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Power steering leak help

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by motopreserve, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. Apr 26, 2013 at 7:06 AM
    #1
    motopreserve

    motopreserve [OP] Active Member

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    Hey folks. Total newbie, so please excuse my ignorance.

    I've been experiencing low power steering fluid levels since I got my used 2002 tacoma TRD WITH 126k on odometer. I've kept an eye on it to spot the source of the issue, and refilled when needed. I hadn't seen any seeping around the resevoir, or anywhere else until I was able to get under the truck today.

    While under there, I noticed leaking in the 2 photos below. There are 2 rubber gaskets that both seem crushed and seeping some type of fluid. Not a ton, but enough to cover the areas below them with a slick of moisture.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm wondering if the leakage in these areas would cause the low fluid level in the resevoir. I have not been able to spot anything else leaking. If you could point me in the right direction to check - it's much appreciated.

    Thanks for any help in advance.
     
  2. Apr 26, 2013 at 7:13 AM
    #2
    ARB1977

    ARB1977 Don't be a dick

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    Those rack bushings are shot. That rust looks pretty bad. May need a new rack my friend.
     
  3. Apr 26, 2013 at 7:16 AM
    #3
    motopreserve

    motopreserve [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks for the quick response. Can you tell me if this would be causing low level in the resevoir - or is this a whole seperate issue???

    Appreciate the help.
     
  4. Apr 26, 2013 at 7:17 AM
    #4
    Yamaha Dave

    Yamaha Dave Well-Known Member

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  5. Apr 26, 2013 at 7:21 AM
    #5
    Texoma

    Texoma Well-Known Member

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    Those bushings are the ps mounts. I suggest degreasing the area and power pressure washing it to clear off any fluid. Then drive it a few miles, after that you can check where the leak is coming from. Most commonly leaks occur from the fittings going in to the rack, where inner tie rods go in to the rack, around the pump or reservoir, and some times leak from broken tubing. But it does look like those bushings need to be replaced after the leak is fixed. Good luck
     
  6. Apr 26, 2013 at 7:35 AM
    #6
    motopreserve

    motopreserve [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks so much folks. For the bearers of bad news, you guys are awesome! :)

    I plan on cleaning/degreasing the area thoroughly first, to hopefully target the leak. In the meantime, I will research replacement parts for the rack. I am a bit mechanically inclined (refurbish/rebuild vintage motorcycles), but this is my first forest into auto mechanics.

    Thanks for the link. I will check that out and see if it seems something I can handle on my own.

    Scott
     
  7. Apr 26, 2013 at 7:35 AM
    #7
    motopreserve

    motopreserve [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks so much folks. For the bearers of bad news, you guys are awesome! :)

    I plan on cleaning/degreasing the area thoroughly first, to hopefully target the leak. In the meantime, I will research replacement parts for the rack. I am a bit mechanically inclined (refurbish/rebuild vintage motorcycles), but this is my first forest into auto mechanics.

    Thanks for the link. I will check that out and see if it seems something I can handle on my own.

    Scott
     
  8. Apr 26, 2013 at 7:49 AM
    #8
    Yamaha Dave

    Yamaha Dave Well-Known Member

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    No worries, bad news unfortunately it happens. Such is life. I try not to harp too much on what I cannot control. Let us know how everything turns out.

    Also if if its something you feel you don't want to tackle yourself, you could always just order the rack assembly yourself then go shop around at your local garage shops that you trust and get quotes on having them install it.
     
  9. Apr 26, 2013 at 8:02 AM
    #9
    motopreserve

    motopreserve [OP] Active Member

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    Just got a quote at Auto Zone. $330 after core return. Probably doesn't include the bushings etc that ill need - but it's not the end of the world. I had planned on spending some money on this truck - knowing that it was high mileage, and used well (let's call it broken in thoroughly with love :)

    Appreciate all the info.
     
  10. Apr 26, 2013 at 8:19 AM
    #10
    blknblubkrdude

    blknblubkrdude Well-Known Member

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    Oil field truck with 250k miles...original powertain. Wheelers 881's/5-pack, Energy bushings throughout.
    Looks like your passenger side bushing is worn out, and has then in turn allowed debris between bushing and the housing of the rack, causing the metal to wear through, allowing oil to leak, which I will guarantee is why your reservoir is low!

    When you (or whoever) replaces the rack, make sure to throw a set of these in: http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Energy-Susp-Kit-Steering-Rack-Bushing-Black-Truck-Toyota-8-10101G-/370744435805?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Model%3ATacoma&hash=item565217245d&vxp=mtr
    They will last much longer, and tigthen up the feel of your steering.

    Good luck on the fix!
     
  11. Apr 26, 2013 at 8:50 AM
    #11
    motopreserve

    motopreserve [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks so much for that link. I'll place an order for those - and get the rack when I finish my move to Vermont in a week.

    I'm hoping that as long as I keep an eye on the fluid level, I should be safe to drive for a week???
     
  12. Apr 26, 2013 at 2:50 PM
    #12
    motopreserve

    motopreserve [OP] Active Member

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    Do I need 2 orders of these - or this is everything I need when swapping them for the OEM?

    Thanks
     
  13. Apr 26, 2013 at 5:51 PM
    #13
    tacoma04

    tacoma04 Laissez les bons temps rouler

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    Just one order is all you need. That does one rack.
     
  14. Apr 26, 2013 at 6:07 PM
    #14
    motopreserve

    motopreserve [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks for the clarification!
     
  15. Apr 27, 2013 at 7:53 PM
    #15
    TejasYOTA

    TejasYOTA Countinuous improvement

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    Check the TTORA Garage Section....
    Rackdoctor
    Life time warranty....
    http://www.rackdoctor.net/
    And they sell those poly bushings.

    Way better than used, Toyota or an auto store.

    As for the leak, make sure you are not using power steering fluid.
    Use ATF fluid with DexIII
    Why, because the seals used are the same as the transmission.

    Is you use PS it will degrade the seal and allow the fluid to leak.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  16. Apr 28, 2013 at 5:47 AM
    #16
    motopreserve

    motopreserve [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks for the link. I'll get a quote from this place - and make sure I get all the bushings needed. QUICK QUESTION: the bushings available on the rack product page as an add on are all that I need for this install? Or are there other bushings I need in addition to what is presented on the page?

    I have definitely been using the Dex III type fluid. Fortunately I read that early on. Trying to read as much as I can and get a folder going of all the how-tos and tips i can find, as well as all the little quirks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  17. Jul 2, 2013 at 6:47 AM
    #17
    motopreserve

    motopreserve [OP] Active Member

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    Just wanted to do a quick follow up post. I ordered all the parts from Wheelers and Rack Doctor. They arrived just before I was scheduled to leave on tour for a month. I had my girlfriend drop the truck off at the repair place - had it installed while I was away.

    Finally got a chance to drive it yesterday - when I got home. Noticeable difference in the steering. For sure it is tracking better, feels more stable. Had planned to do the fix where you tack the steering column to take the play out of it. Not sure it really needs it now...

    The shocks seem to be an improvement too - but I have not had a chance to get the truck on to some of the more bumpy, dirt roads around here. Looking forward to noticing that difference too. I replaced them with the same shocks that came on the TRD - delivered in a package from Wheelers.

    Thanks for all your help and advice folks.
     
  18. Jul 2, 2013 at 10:17 AM
    #18
    Yamaha Dave

    Yamaha Dave Well-Known Member

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    Awesome good to hear. :)
     
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