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Old 04-26-2013, 07:06 AM   #1
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Power steering leak help

Hey folks. Total newbie, so please excuse my ignorance.

I've been experiencing low power steering fluid levels since I got my used 2002 tacoma TRD WITH 126k on odometer. I've kept an eye on it to spot the source of the issue, and refilled when needed. I hadn't seen any seeping around the resevoir, or anywhere else until I was able to get under the truck today.

While under there, I noticed leaking in the 2 photos below. There are 2 rubber gaskets that both seem crushed and seeping some type of fluid. Not a ton, but enough to cover the areas below them with a slick of moisture.





I'm wondering if the leakage in these areas would cause the low fluid level in the resevoir. I have not been able to spot anything else leaking. If you could point me in the right direction to check - it's much appreciated.

Thanks for any help in advance.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:13 AM   #2
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Those rack bushings are shot. That rust looks pretty bad. May need a new rack my friend.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:16 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response. Can you tell me if this would be causing low level in the resevoir - or is this a whole seperate issue???

Appreciate the help.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:17 AM   #4
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^^ what he said.

The entire steering rack assembly needs to be replaced. Nothing esle you can really do. Not uncommon for these trucks. I think they go for around $400 from most places. Also I'm not sure how mechanically inclined you are but if you're feeling froggy here is a complete how-to (not mine) on how to replace it yourself.

http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forum...k-replacement/
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:21 AM   #5
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Those bushings are the ps mounts. I suggest degreasing the area and power pressure washing it to clear off any fluid. Then drive it a few miles, after that you can check where the leak is coming from. Most commonly leaks occur from the fittings going in to the rack, where inner tie rods go in to the rack, around the pump or reservoir, and some times leak from broken tubing. But it does look like those bushings need to be replaced after the leak is fixed. Good luck
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:35 AM   #6
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Thanks so much folks. For the bearers of bad news, you guys are awesome!

I plan on cleaning/degreasing the area thoroughly first, to hopefully target the leak. In the meantime, I will research replacement parts for the rack. I am a bit mechanically inclined (refurbish/rebuild vintage motorcycles), but this is my first forest into auto mechanics.

Thanks for the link. I will check that out and see if it seems something I can handle on my own.

Scott
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:35 AM   #7
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Thanks so much folks. For the bearers of bad news, you guys are awesome!

I plan on cleaning/degreasing the area thoroughly first, to hopefully target the leak. In the meantime, I will research replacement parts for the rack. I am a bit mechanically inclined (refurbish/rebuild vintage motorcycles), but this is my first forest into auto mechanics.

Thanks for the link. I will check that out and see if it seems something I can handle on my own.

Scott
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:49 AM   #8
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No worries, bad news unfortunately it happens. Such is life. I try not to harp too much on what I cannot control. Let us know how everything turns out.

Also if if its something you feel you don't want to tackle yourself, you could always just order the rack assembly yourself then go shop around at your local garage shops that you trust and get quotes on having them install it.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:02 AM   #9
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Just got a quote at Auto Zone. $330 after core return. Probably doesn't include the bushings etc that ill need - but it's not the end of the world. I had planned on spending some money on this truck - knowing that it was high mileage, and used well (let's call it broken in thoroughly with love

Appreciate all the info.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:19 AM   #10
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Looks like your passenger side bushing is worn out, and has then in turn allowed debris between bushing and the housing of the rack, causing the metal to wear through, allowing oil to leak, which I will guarantee is why your reservoir is low!

When you (or whoever) replaces the rack, make sure to throw a set of these in: http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Energy-S...17245d&vxp=mtr
They will last much longer, and tigthen up the feel of your steering.

Good luck on the fix!
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:50 AM   #11
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Thanks so much for that link. I'll place an order for those - and get the rack when I finish my move to Vermont in a week.

I'm hoping that as long as I keep an eye on the fluid level, I should be safe to drive for a week???
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blknblubkrdude View Post
When you (or whoever) replaces the rack, make sure to throw a set of these in: http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Energy-S...17245d&vxp=mtr
They will last much longer, and tigthen up the feel of your steering.

Good luck on the fix!
Do I need 2 orders of these - or this is everything I need when swapping them for the OEM?

Thanks
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:51 PM   #13
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Just one order is all you need. That does one rack.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:07 PM   #14
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Thanks for the clarification!
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:53 PM   #15
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Rackdoctor
Life time warranty....
http://www.rackdoctor.net/
And they sell those poly bushings.

Way better than used, Toyota or an auto store.

As for the leak, make sure you are not using power steering fluid.
Use ATF fluid with DexIII
Why, because the seals used are the same as the transmission.

Is you use PS it will degrade the seal and allow the fluid to leak.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:47 AM   #16
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Thanks for the link. I'll get a quote from this place - and make sure I get all the bushings needed. QUICK QUESTION: the bushings available on the rack product page as an add on are all that I need for this install? Or are there other bushings I need in addition to what is presented on the page?

I have definitely been using the Dex III type fluid. Fortunately I read that early on. Trying to read as much as I can and get a folder going of all the how-tos and tips i can find, as well as all the little quirks.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:47 AM   #17
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Just wanted to do a quick follow up post. I ordered all the parts from Wheelers and Rack Doctor. They arrived just before I was scheduled to leave on tour for a month. I had my girlfriend drop the truck off at the repair place - had it installed while I was away.

Finally got a chance to drive it yesterday - when I got home. Noticeable difference in the steering. For sure it is tracking better, feels more stable. Had planned to do the fix where you tack the steering column to take the play out of it. Not sure it really needs it now...

The shocks seem to be an improvement too - but I have not had a chance to get the truck on to some of the more bumpy, dirt roads around here. Looking forward to noticing that difference too. I replaced them with the same shocks that came on the TRD - delivered in a package from Wheelers.

Thanks for all your help and advice folks.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:17 AM   #18
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Awesome good to hear.
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