About a month back I got my OME lift installed on my 2000 Tacoma plus 4 new tires, front ARB bumper and Warn winch installed. It was about that time that I started to notice a noise in the front end, driver's side, but didn't find anything and kept driving it.
I've read all of the threads I can find pertaining to R/P bushings, steering column problems etc. etc. The noise only occurs when I'm driving and hit a large crack in the road or a pothole or when I'm off road and hit a sharp bump/hole. Washboard roads don't do it and turning, starting, stopping etc. never make it happen.
The sound is like someone hits the frame with a hammer. It's not a clicking or a sheet metal sound but is a definite clunk and sounds very solid. The truck tracks and drives perfectly and there is no movement at any speed in the steering wheel. Even when I hear the clunk I never feel anything in the steering wheel and it doesn't matter if I hit the same hole straight on or if I hit it at an angle with the wheel turned, I get a clunk.
I've been over the suspension, front bumper/winch and steering and find nothing loose or worn. I did notice that the bushing on the right side of the R/P unit was worn and had play in it so that has been replaced and the clunk is still there.
I've read numerous threads about clunks and all of them seem to point towards the steering column or the R/P unit but I can hold the steering shaft at the floorboard level and turn the steering wheel back and forth and there is no sound and no play. I have pried, pushed and thumped on every component on the front of the truck but can't find anything that could be causing the "clunk".
The "stealership" service dept. said it was the R/P unit bushing and that it also needs the bushings and bearings in the steering column replaced. They did the R/P bushing for me this morning and that eliminated the little bit of play in the old bushing but did nothing to eliminate the "clunk" and now they say that it needs the column bushings and bearing replaced but I can't justify that when I can find no play in anything in the column. Plus, how in the hell could something that was worn in the steering column make a sound as if someone underneath had hit the frame with a hammer?
I know all of this sounds like a replay of all of the other threads related to "clunks" but I've run out of things to check.