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Rattling noise back side of engine. Bad steering rack?

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Old 08-16-2013, 09:34 AM   #1
cmf21 [OP] cmf21 is offline
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Rattling noise back side of engine. Bad steering rack?

My dad has a 2000 4runner with 230,000 miles on it. For the past year or so there has been this rattling noise while driving that seems to be coming from the driver side part of the truck like around the backside of the engine or possibly underneath. The noise sounds like a washer rattling around on a bolt or something that's not tightened down or a loose chain.

Anyways, I've been under the truck multiple time, looked around in the engine bay near the firewall and have found nothing. Today I go back out and looked again and noticed the stabilizer link bushings are bad again but I also noticed the boot for the inner tie rod is off and looks like their is some black grease on it. I push the boot back on the steering rack but as I was doing that I noticed that the steering rack is leaking oil around the big bolt on the side facing the rear.


This got me thinking that maybe the rattling noise is coming from the steering rack. Could a bad / leaking rack be making this noise or something else like the stabilizer link bushings? In the past two years, I've replaced the inner and outer tie rods and such but don't think that's the problem. It only makes that rattling noise while driving down the road and it's pretty annoying.


Any ideas?
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:45 AM   #2
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Sounds like a tie rod is bad. No telling how long the boot was off. Jack up that side and move the wheel back and forth and see if the inner tie rod has play, there should be a clamp holding the boot on the rack, if its gone thats probaly what you heard rattling. If the boot has been off then all the grease has probaly washed out and it will probaly fail prematurely. Here is link on first gen how to with a good inner and outer tie rod video, the factory clamps most people destroy getting off or dont get tight when the reinstall so they switch to hose type clamps. But he shows to take off and reinstall the clamp properly. http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/1st...ful-links.html
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:48 AM   #3
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How could the tie rod be causing the rattling noise? It makes the rattling noise while driving, not turning. There's is a clamp on the outer part of the boot but the inner part that connects to the rack never had one. Maybe when I replaced the tie rods, I should have used some clamps or wire but if the rack is bad, I'm not going to worry about it now until my dad replaces it.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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Because if the inner socket is wore from no grease the ball is rattling evertime you hit a bump and the tire moves. Regardless if you are turning or not. Thats why when a tie rod is bad the steering feels loose going down the road, the wheel is moving in and out when it shouldnt. I also had a heat shield on the underside of cab rattling and had to put a washer on one of the bolts to stop it. Just take your finger and slap the shields like a tuning fork and if its loose it will vibrate and rattle.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:49 AM   #5
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That would make sense. I'll still check around but we'll probably just end up buying a new rack with the inner tie rod included.
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