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Steering / front suspension rattles on dirt roads / washboard

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Old 05-15-2013, 03:16 PM   #1
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Steering / front suspension rattles on dirt roads / washboard

My 98 tacoma ( 2.7 4 cyl ) drives like new on the paved roads, but on dirt roads I get lots of rattle in the steering and front suspension. It just had a new OEM steering rack installed 500 mi ago. Shocks are new. What else should I be replacing? Thanks for the help.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:00 AM   #2
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probably either the bushings in your front end or the steering wheel slip joint. Try jacking the front up and shaking it around. If that's tight, it's probably the slip joint. Is it kinda dodgy going down the road? Like randomly darts left and right? There's a slip joint in the steering column that is supposed to be there to collapse in a hard front collision and not poke through the wheel and impale you. From my understanding it gets sloppy over time and allows some play between the steering rack and the wheel. You have to pull everything apart to get to it and put a little tack weld on it. Big enough to hold everything but still want it to be breakable just in case (otherwise you've ruined the safety feature of the slip joint alltogether). Try searching around here or googling, there's several writeups floating around for the procedure.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:04 AM   #3
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Yea its a pain in the ass but i just deal with it.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:02 AM   #4
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Be sure to check your upper and lower ball joints for play. If those are rattling, they could have a catastrophic failure. Also, check your steering rack bushings as those tend to get worn and loose. While you're down there I'd check your inner and outer tie rod ends too. They can cause a rattle.

Beyond that, I'd bet that some of it is coming from the steering wheel slip joint, like MowTaco said. That rattle is not a safety concern, though.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:46 AM   #5
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inner and outer ties rods get eaten up by these trucks, and it can happen real fast if you offroad a lot...I replaced mine 2 years ago, got rid of the rattle, but now it is back, I drive a lot off paved getting to certain properties...time to do it again...just another thing to consider when troubleshooting...easy repair, real easy...
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