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Front End looseness while tapping brake pedal

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by srsupertrap, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Mar 6, 2011 at 10:46 AM
    #1
    srsupertrap

    srsupertrap [OP] Well-Known Member

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    2001 Tacoma SR5 V-6 TRD 4 X 4
    Bilstein 5100s, Borla 14945 S/S Exhaust, Fram Air Hog Filter, Diff Breather Mod & NGK Wires
    My 2001 Tacoma TRD 4WD which has 125K has the following front end looseness SYMPTOM: When stopped on a incline and I let the truck roll back at under 1 mph and tap the brakes I feel excessive (loose) movement transmitted through front end into the steering wheel. The other part of the symptom living in Colorado we have steep mountain decents and grabbing the brakes at 65 MPH going down hill causes the front end to shutter, let off the brakes no front end vibration.

    I have eliminated the following potential issues:

    1) Front Brakes: Rotors are not warped & Brake Pads are smooth and not glazed
    2) I have replaced the Front Anti Sway Bar Bushings with Toyota OEM parts
    3) The shocks are good new Bilstein 5100's all around

    I believe the problem is Front End bushing related. I am sure someone has had the exact same symptom so what should I check for next?
     
  2. Mar 6, 2011 at 11:03 AM
    #2
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Check your steering rack bushings. They're known for getting loose/worn on the 1st gen trucks. They're easy and cheap to replace if you do it yourself.
    Here's a writeup:
    http://www.lieblweb.com/steeringbush.html

    The other thing I was thinking...that you have driveline slop/play. Crawl underneath your truck (while in park or in gear) and grab the rear driveshaft with your hands and rotate it. How much can you rotate it?

    Other than that...jack up the front end and check everything. Balljoints, steering knuckles, steering rack, front bearings....
    Let us know what you discover.
     
  3. Mar 6, 2011 at 11:10 AM
    #3
    JoeyTacoma

    JoeyTacoma Well-Known Member

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    Eagle, Colorado
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    2007 TRD Off-Road DC Silver 4x4
    Satoshi Grill, BHLM, K&N Coolair Intake, Bilstein 5100 Ajustables, Rear leafspring TSB, Toytec AAL, 16" M/T sidebiters, 265/75r16 Firestone Destination A/T
    I think 01-04 toyotas had a ball-joint recall. Could this be the culprit?
     
  4. Mar 6, 2011 at 11:50 AM
    #4
    srsupertrap

    srsupertrap [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Bilstein 5100s, Borla 14945 S/S Exhaust, Fram Air Hog Filter, Diff Breather Mod & NGK Wires
    The driveshaft can rotate approximately 1/4 inch with the 5 Speed in Neutral and the hand brake On

    JoeyTacoma,

    Certainly could be ball-joint as well. When I purchased it in 2008 I checked recalls and none were Open but maybe I need to check again?
     
  5. Mar 6, 2011 at 7:50 PM
    #5
    DirtyBob72

    DirtyBob72 Member

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    I had the same problem "shimmy" in the steering wheel. I replaced the lower ball joints my self and it took care of it. there is a recall on them but mine had been replaced already. I also replaced the bushings on the rack after the shop suggested it before i had the alignment done.
     
  6. Mar 7, 2011 at 4:13 AM
    #6
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    1/4" is pretty normal. I had a 96 tacoma with 110k miles and I could rotate it 1/4". So - consider that a non issue.

    Have you checked your front wheel bearings? Since it shimmies when you step on the brakes......but you say the rotors are not warped, that's the only other item I can think of. Wheel bearings......

    Any slop in the wheel bearings will transmit through the wheels/brakes when you step on the brakes.

    Jack the truck up and shake the wheel in & out and front to back manually and see if you have any 'play'.
     
  7. Mar 7, 2011 at 5:35 AM
    #7
    srsupertrap

    srsupertrap [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Bilstein 5100s, Borla 14945 S/S Exhaust, Fram Air Hog Filter, Diff Breather Mod & NGK Wires
    The truck only shimmies when the brakes are appied coming down a steep grade at speed. There are no shimmies, pulses while driving & braking during the normal commute on flat land.

    I will need to look at those wheel bearing because the looseness symtpom can be felt when the truck rolls back at a stop light and when you hit the brake you can feel slop

    Thanks for the call on the driveshaft I would have had no idea what is Good/Bad. I won't be able to diagnose or T/S during the week because its the only daily driver but I will be back on the weekend
     
  8. Mar 7, 2011 at 10:13 AM
    #8
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    I can't say its good or bad - I just know that my 96 had it and the truck still ran fine (no shimmies, vibes, etc). It's gear wear..... It can cause thumps & such as the driveline slop is under torque and/or at rest. But, it shouldn't cause that vibration.
     
  9. Mar 13, 2011 at 2:58 PM
    #9
    srsupertrap

    srsupertrap [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Bilstein 5100s, Borla 14945 S/S Exhaust, Fram Air Hog Filter, Diff Breather Mod & NGK Wires
    Performed some T/S this weekend on the Tacoma. On Saturday I had it jacked up and grabbed the wheels and shook them back n forth. No major looseness in the wheel bearings. I then pryed up on the lower ball joints with it jacked up and I don't see any major slop there.

    Today I am pretty sure I found the looseness or something related. I had a friendly helper get in the truck and let it roll backwards and then slam on the brakes while I observed. First I got under neath and with the Taco rolling away from me I watched and observed. Then got back up and looking between the tire and fender well I see upper arm is moving side to side when hitting the brakes. I might be using the wrong terms but the upper control arm bushings appear to be worn out. This would coincide with the looseness I feel in the brake pedal when slammin the on the brakes while it rolls backwards.

    I am pretty certain this movement is not normal. Has anyone experienced samiliar problems. Next question are those bushings a press fit?
     
  10. Mar 13, 2011 at 4:31 PM
    #10
    shitroc

    shitroc Master of War

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  11. Mar 14, 2011 at 4:07 AM
    #11
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Awesome!! Gotta love it when you find the problem!!

    Never did that kind of work on a tacoma - sounds like a PITA!!

    GOOD LUCK!!
     
  12. Mar 15, 2011 at 8:07 PM
    #12
    srsupertrap

    srsupertrap [OP] Well-Known Member

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    2001 Tacoma SR5 V-6 TRD 4 X 4
    Bilstein 5100s, Borla 14945 S/S Exhaust, Fram Air Hog Filter, Diff Breather Mod & NGK Wires
  13. Mar 16, 2011 at 7:37 AM
    #13
    shitroc

    shitroc Master of War

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    they make some high quality stuff,good fitment to. probly cheaper then oem to.
     
  14. Mar 19, 2011 at 6:56 AM
    #14
    srsupertrap

    srsupertrap [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    2001 Tacoma SR5 V-6 TRD 4 X 4
    Bilstein 5100s, Borla 14945 S/S Exhaust, Fram Air Hog Filter, Diff Breather Mod & NGK Wires
    I checked and found the Toyota Upper control arm bushings sell for $44 a set from these guys. http://toyotapartspeople.com/

    Anyone know what tool is required to drift or push those bushings out of the upper control arms? Since I don't have any press and some shop is probably going to charge me $100 plus to remove and install the bushings perhaps it's easier to replace the entire upper control arm assemblies.

    Those retail for $175 each at the link above. Any one with experience here?
     
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