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Tie Rod or Steering Gear?

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Old 06-27-2012, 02:11 PM   #1
Pat Masac [OP] Pat Masac is offline
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Tie Rod or Steering Gear?

I've got a 1995 Tacoma V6 2WD with almost 320,000 miles on it. Recently I went on a 1500 mile trip and went in to get my tires rotated. The guy who rotated my tires noticed some side to side movement and said I needed some front end work. I took it to a local shop and he said that the movement was in the rack and pinion. There is no movement on the vertical axis (I've had both lower ball joints replaced). He said he has seen "way worse" so I went on about my trip with no problems. I've noticed no tire wear or shimmying but was curious as to what this might be, how serious it is and, mostly, what I need to do and how much it is going to cost. I had a lower ball joint separate once so I've learned to respect front end issues! Thanks. I've gotten a lot of good advice on this board.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:02 PM   #2
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It sounds like the bushings on the rack and pinion need to be replaced. If the tie rod coming out of the rack is moving then you will need to replace the rack and pinion unit. As for cost that will depend on if you do the work your self or have it done and the type of parts you use.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:35 PM   #3
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Tacoma Guy, Thanks for the response. I was hoping it was the bushings. I'll check it tomorrow and see what I can figure out. If it's the rack and pinion unit is that what Toyota is calling the "steering gear"? You mean the whole piece with the power steering lines going into it? If so, that costs around 600 bucks where the bushings are about 15 dollars. Am I right on this?
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:39 AM   #4
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Yes that is what they call the steering gear and its around 600.00 dollers give or take. I had mine done and it ran me about $ 800.00 for parts labor and an alignment. If you got 320.000 miles out of the original one thats impressive!
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:10 AM   #5
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Tacoma Guy, Thanks again. You make a good point- can't complain after getting 320k out of it! I was confused on whether the steering gear could be replaced or if there were certain parts that could be replaced so you answered my question. If the steering gear is the problem I'll probably change it myself- doesn't appear to be too big a job but I'll have to pay for an alignment.
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Masac View Post
Tacoma Guy, Thanks again. You make a good point- can't complain after getting 320k out of it! I was confused on whether the steering gear could be replaced or if there were certain parts that could be replaced so you answered my question. If the steering gear is the problem I'll probably change it myself- doesn't appear to be too big a job but I'll have to pay for an alignment.
No problem. Glad I could help!!
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Masac View Post
Tacoma Guy, Thanks again. You make a good point- can't complain after getting 320k out of it! I was confused on whether the steering gear could be replaced or if there were certain parts that could be replaced so you answered my question. If the steering gear is the problem I'll probably change it myself- doesn't appear to be too big a job but I'll have to pay for an alignment.
As far as racks go, I just used these guys for a remanned rack for my wife's Audi...http://jorgenauto.com/rack-pinion/toyota.html

They were reasonable, great customer service, and the part worked great! Came with the inner rods as well.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:46 PM   #8
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You do not need to replace the whole rack! Look at the rack bushings (physically holds the rack to the cross member) and the inner and outer tie rods. U have to move the boots to look at the inners. Rack bushings are known to go on these trucks so check those first http://www.wheelersoffroad.com/tacorackbushkit.htm
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