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Loose front end...

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Alpha Q Up, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. Mar 15, 2012 at 7:57 PM
    #1
    Alpha Q Up

    Alpha Q Up [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ruben
    San Jose
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    Hey fellas,

    I think I may have an issue with my front end.

    When I'm driving at highway speeds and I hit a rut/pot hole. Especially when my wheels are turned slighty. My truck jerks side to side.

    Almost feels like my truck is going to loose control.

    I have the following set up:
    -Billy 5100's
    -ebaich coils
    -285's (33's)
    -aftermarket wheels

    Here is a video of the noise that I hear.
    http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc134/rm3rd/507cb3b8.mp4

    Here is a picture:
    [​IMG]


    What do you guys think it may be? What can I do to fix this?

    Thanks
    Ruben
     
  2. Mar 15, 2012 at 10:08 PM
    #2
    TacoMX

    TacoMX TW's Official anti body-lift pundit

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    check out your upper and lower ball joints, inner and out tie rods, and steering rack for play.
     
  3. Mar 15, 2012 at 10:28 PM
    #3
    ffirg

    ffirg Well-Known Member

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    I have the same issue, but I'm all stock...
     
  4. Mar 16, 2012 at 1:10 AM
    #4
    ffirg

    ffirg Well-Known Member

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    one of my front tires has a slow leak, but it still wanders all over the road and feels like it catches every nook and cranny in the road even when they are all pumped up equally. An alignment and new rack bushings are in the works for the near future. Hopefully that will help a bit.
     
  5. Mar 16, 2012 at 7:10 AM
    #5
    Alpha Q Up

    Alpha Q Up [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Alignment was done over 5k miles ago. But been wheeling twice.

    At low speed pot holes I get rattling or clunking.



    Any write ups to check ball joints and steering rack? (not sure where to locate the steering rack.)
     
  6. Mar 16, 2012 at 11:49 AM
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    rtb777

    rtb777 Member

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    I had the same noises while hitting bumps and pot holes and I also had some play in the steering wheel. I switched out the steering rack bushings a couple days ago and so Far no noise or play.
     
  7. Mar 16, 2012 at 11:55 AM
    #7
    rtb777

    rtb777 Member

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    If you want to check your steering rack it is bolted to the crossmember that is behind the front diff. Have someone underneath the truck while it's off watching it while you jerk your steering wheel left and right. Mine had obvious play in the bushings. Also my mechanic claims he changes them all the time on our trucks. Good luck man!
     
  8. Mar 16, 2012 at 12:12 PM
    #8
    TacoTabe

    TacoTabe Well-Known Member

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    I've had a few loose 'front ends' in my day. One was like throwin a hot dog down a hallway...
     
  9. Mar 16, 2012 at 9:38 PM
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    Alpha Q Up

    Alpha Q Up [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Are the steering rack bushings easy to access? And swap?
     
  10. Mar 17, 2012 at 6:50 AM
    #10
    tacoma04

    tacoma04 Laissez les bons temps rouler

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    The rack bushings are not hard, you just have to muscle them in. Here is a link to the repair process.

    Rack Bushings



    You may want to look t the one also. A more involved repair but if this is the problem, it is well worth the effort.

    Steering Column
     
  11. Mar 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM
    #11
    tan4x4

    tan4x4 Well-Known Member

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    Steering damper shot?
     
  12. Mar 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM
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    Alpha Q Up

    Alpha Q Up [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Bruce,

    Im going to check the steering column. I'm hoping it's not that. It looks time consuming.

    Has any one done the bushings? What kit did you use? I want a kit that works. Not one that has to be modified like the write up.
     
  13. Mar 17, 2012 at 12:17 PM
    #13
    ffirg

    ffirg Well-Known Member

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    I have read that energy suspension had fixed that issue on their new kits. Not positive though.
     
  14. Mar 17, 2012 at 1:42 PM
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    tacoma04

    tacoma04 Laissez les bons temps rouler

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    I used the Dorman kit for my 04 and I did have to drill one of the sleeves out just a bit. There was another sleeve, but it was loose around the bolt, so I wanted a snug fit. I don't know if this has been changed yet.


    You can check the steering column by reaching under the dash and grabbing the column before it goes through the firewall and hold it. Then move the steering wheel back and forth and see how much play your have in the column.
     
  15. Mar 17, 2012 at 1:45 PM
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    11TRD

    11TRD MERICA

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    /\ X2

    Could also be sway bar
     
  16. Mar 17, 2012 at 1:50 PM
    #16
    newertoy

    newertoy Well-Known Member

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    1st guess--STEERING RACK BUSHINGS.
    Jack up the front-both tires off the ground. try to move the tire back and forth-see if your steering rack moves when the tire is pushed or pulled--there should be some movement--but not much.
    Check TIRE PRESSURE FIRST.
     
  17. Mar 17, 2012 at 3:15 PM
    #17
    Alpha Q Up

    Alpha Q Up [OP] Well-Known Member

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    What type of tire pressure would cause this? Low, high or uneven?
     
  18. Mar 17, 2012 at 3:26 PM
    #18
    Alpha Q Up

    Alpha Q Up [OP] Well-Known Member

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    What type of tire pressure would cause this? Low, high or uneven?
     
  19. Mar 17, 2012 at 5:50 PM
    #19
    TacoMX

    TacoMX TW's Official anti body-lift pundit

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    Someone mentioned the sway bar....negative on that. The sway bar just prevents body roll has nothing to do with any variances in the front end. Take it from a guy who has been driving without a sway bar for 5 years ;)
     
  20. Mar 18, 2012 at 8:15 AM
    #20
    watacomaguy

    watacomaguy Active Member

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    FYI, I haven't trouble shooted a Tacoma front end before.. Anyways. I like to start simple. Do the wobble test for front bearings. Push pull. See if you detect bad ball joints(hard to actually see, usually a front end alignment detects them. Yank on tie rod ends and other bearing surfaces. If your truck has over 100K I'd probably replace the shocks if you can't find anything else wrong. They can make your handling go to heck fast.
     
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