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Front End Knock, Need Diagnostic Help

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by buick455, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. Jul 3, 2009 at 11:17 AM
    #1
    buick455

    buick455 [OP] Active Member

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    I have a 1996 Tacoma LX, 4WD, with 189,000 miles on it. The front end makes a single loud knocking noise when hanging a left. It does it about 50%-90% of the time. It goes "knock" once and that's it and it seams to sort of reset itself upon hanging a right. Like if I hang a left and another immediate left it will do it the first time but not the second.

    Before you tell me what you think (believe me I am open to any ideas) here's what's been done already:
    New Rack and Pinion, All tie rod ends, lower ball joints, one lower control arm bushing, left half axle, sway bar links and the shocks are two years old.

    The rest of the bushings seem good. The tires are good. I don't see any slack in this system.

    I am at a loss. Please help.

    Thanks,

    Clint
     
  2. Jul 3, 2009 at 11:26 AM
    #2
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Welcome to TW!

    How to the upper ball joints look? Have you separated tehm from the spindle and checked for loosness?
     
  3. Jul 3, 2009 at 11:30 AM
    #3
    buick455

    buick455 [OP] Active Member

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    No I have not separated them. I messed with them though and didn't see much play.
     
  4. Jul 3, 2009 at 11:36 AM
    #4
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    I dont think you can really tell unless you pop them off the spindle. At this point, it cant hurt to check. Also, how do your front springs look? Could one be broken? I know it would lean if it was, but Im just throwing ideas out......
     
  5. Jul 3, 2009 at 11:45 AM
    #5
    buick455

    buick455 [OP] Active Member

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    Your right it can't hurt. It does lean a bit in the back thou, so I think that is a leaf spring/hanger issue. One thing at a time. I am headed out to the garage.

    QUESTION, IF IT IS THE UPPER, HOW DO YOU CHANGE THAT? BIG PRESS?

    Thanks for the help!!!
     
  6. Jul 3, 2009 at 12:29 PM
    #6
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Yeah, you have to use a ball joint press. Or, I think you can pound it out with a hammer, but I havent tried that. :)
     
  7. Jul 3, 2009 at 12:34 PM
    #7
    buick455

    buick455 [OP] Active Member

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    Soooo, I popped the uppers. They both spin but offer a decent amount of resistance. The have no up and down movement in the socket, and to me they appear to be ok, but I am not 100% sure what I am looking for. Thoughts?
     
  8. Jul 3, 2009 at 1:35 PM
    #8
    buick455

    buick455 [OP] Active Member

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    Anyway after taking the rubber boots of and thoroughly examining the upper ball joints I found no play, no rust, or basically defects in any way. I grease them and put it back together. Its not them.

    Any one have any other ideas because I am stumped.

    Thanks,

    Clint
     
  9. Jul 3, 2009 at 1:38 PM
    #9
    buick455

    buick455 [OP] Active Member

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    Could this be a wheel bearing?
     
  10. Jul 3, 2009 at 4:28 PM
    #10
    buick455

    buick455 [OP] Active Member

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    Maybe something in the steering column?
     
  11. Jul 3, 2009 at 4:30 PM
    #11
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Im still thinking on this........and still stumped.
     
  12. Jul 3, 2009 at 4:32 PM
    #12
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    You can check the weel bearings by grabbing the wheel, and seeing if it clunks.

    FWIW, the last time I delt with this issue, it was due to the bolts on the lower control arm that bolt to the spindle were not torqued propperly.
     
  13. Jul 3, 2009 at 4:37 PM
    #13
    buick455

    buick455 [OP] Active Member

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    I should have noticed that already but will take a look. I my fun meter needle has fallen off for today! I'm going to hit this tomorrow because right now all I want to do is hit my truck with a baseball bat.
     
  14. Jul 3, 2009 at 5:34 PM
    #14
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Totally understand.
     
  15. Jul 3, 2009 at 9:26 PM
    #15
    saltbranch

    saltbranch Well-Known Member

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    Just another thought, the steering rod and end joints? My 93 Dakota 4x4 turns out to have about 2"s side to side play at where the 2 piece rod joins. I checked ball joints,bearings and everything else and ended up at the steering rod last. Might be worth a look. Good luck
     
  16. Jul 3, 2009 at 9:31 PM
    #16
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    getting there....
    my truck does the same thing....nothing to worry about,if yous is like mine. crawl under the truck and look where the steering stops are(or would be...prerunner and 4x4 trucks dont have them), its just a small area that will rub on left hand sharp turns. if this is the case for yours....you will see a small area that is worn off when you turn the steering wheel.....if its jacked up....you can just turn the front by hand.
     
  17. Jul 5, 2009 at 10:39 AM
    #17
    buick455

    buick455 [OP] Active Member

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    I had my wife turning the steering wheel while observing everything. Of course it will not make an knocking noise, while on jacks, no matter how you place them. I had her moving the wheel for an hour and still don't see the cause. Since I know the integrity of the important components is good (hell, I changed most of them) I am going to let it rest for awhile. I hate giving up, but I don't know what else to do.
     
  18. Jul 5, 2009 at 10:40 AM
    #18
    buick455

    buick455 [OP] Active Member

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    Yeah, that seems good. You mean off of the column and down to the rack right? That rod?


    quote=saltbranch;735852]Just another thought, the steering rod and end joints? My 93 Dakota 4x4 turns out to have about 2"s side to side play at where the 2 piece rod joins. I checked ball joints,bearings and everything else and ended up at the steering rod last. Might be worth a look. Good luck[/quote]
     
  19. Jul 5, 2009 at 11:32 AM
    #19
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Have you tried having her turn the wheel while its on the ground?
     
  20. Jul 5, 2009 at 12:48 PM
    #20
    buick455

    buick455 [OP] Active Member

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    Yep, nothing but a squeak from the right side lower ball joint, which is of course new, because I like to change lots of expensive components for nothing.
     
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