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Premature Rack Bushing Wear

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Lil Puke, Oct 29, 2021.

  1. Oct 29, 2021 at 9:34 PM
    #1
    Lil Puke

    Lil Puke [OP] Well-Known Member

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    crumbs between seat cushions, junk in glove box, center console mostly full
    Update:
    I’ve found the issue!!! Whenever I purchased my new rack I chose to order a 2004 model so that I’d be guaranteed the updated rack guide. What I overlooked was that the center bolt diameters which pins the rack in place did change throughout the years. So my side to side slop is due to my own ignorance. The Poly bushing kit I ordered has two different sizes of sleeves for the center bushing so in theory, installing the smaller diameter sleeve will cure my issue. Hopefully this thread will be able to help anyone else that is having similar issues…. So false alarm, my OEM bushings did not fail prematurely. Rather, I failed to do my research. :anonymous:

    Hey Fellas,

    This past February I replaced my worn out rack and pinion with an OEM one from Toyota. Along with that I installed SPC upper arms, replaced lower control arm bushings with Energy Suspension Poly bushings, as well as installed new inner CV boots.

    Over the past month or so I’ve felt like my steering has developed some slop, but have discounted it until crawling under my rig today. It appears that my rack has about an 1/8th inch of slop side to side.

    First off, while I feel like this is excessive, I want to make sure this isn’t a normal amount of slop.

    Secondly, does anyone have a suspicion on what might’ve caused the rack bushings to wear out prematurely?

    Some helpful info:

    I’ve not replaced outer tie-rod ends but they do not indicate any play.

    I rechecked torque values today and they’re all within spec. (123 ft-lbs on clamp and vertical bolt.
    141 ft-lbs on horizontal one)

    The OEM racks come with the bushings already installed so there’s not really a way that I could’ve messed them up.

    I’m all ears to any ideas or suspicions. At the moment I’m planning on ordering some Poly bushings from Energy as a replacement, but am worried there might be another component that I’ve overlooked which caused these “fresh” bushings to go bad prematurely in the first place.

    Thanks in Advance!
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
    SLAPS 65 likes this.
  2. Oct 29, 2021 at 9:36 PM
    #2
    Bishop84

    Bishop84 Well-Known Member

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    OEM is likely reman, and I feel like they skip bushings as long as the look solid.

    I've seen this plenty of times and its frustrating.

    Go ahead and order the upgraded bushings and don't fret about it too much. It's very common on this era toyota truck.
     
    Abeyancer and Lil Puke [OP] like this.
  3. Oct 29, 2021 at 9:39 PM
    #3
    Lil Puke

    Lil Puke [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for the quick reply and good to hear that this isn’t a first time problem. I will say that I did buy this rack through a dealership under the impression that it would not be a reman unit, was I incorrect with that assumption?
     
  4. Oct 29, 2021 at 10:12 PM
    #4
    turbodb

    turbodb AdventureTaco

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    You got a new rack and new bushings, don't worry. The rubber in the rack bushings is pretty soft though, so having 1/8" of play seems totally "in spec" for them. Replacing with poly is a good idea, and Energy Suspension or Total Chaos are fine options.

    Sounds like you know what you're up to when it comes to swapping them out, but for others who may end up here, this is a write-up that covers all the parts needed, as well as the tools and steps to replace the bushings.

    Step-by-Step Steering Rack Bushing Replacement on a 1st Gen Tacoma (or 3rd Gen 4Runner)

    [​IMG]
     
    1997tacomav6 and Area51Runner like this.
  5. Oct 29, 2021 at 10:23 PM
    #5
    Superdave1.0

    Superdave1.0 Grandma Dave

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    I've installed a couple racks on 1st gen Tacoma. Both dealer new. The first one was all new oem bushings, the rack moved side to side. The 2nd (last week) did new oem rack with Energy Suspension bushings. Rack does not move at all. Tight steering as well.

    20211024_150839.jpg 20211024_173634.jpg
     
    1997tacomav6 likes this.
  6. Oct 29, 2021 at 10:46 PM
    #6
    Lil Puke

    Lil Puke [OP] Well-Known Member

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    crumbs between seat cushions, junk in glove box, center console mostly full
    Thank you all for supplying good info, I appreciate it and it’s nice to know that this isn’t an unheard of issue. Poly bushings should arrive on the 5th, with any luck I’ll no longer be white-knuckling the steering wheel on the 6th!
     
    Area51Runner likes this.
  7. Oct 30, 2021 at 6:48 AM
    #7
    1997tacomav6

    1997tacomav6 V6 5sp,RegCab,TRD Supercharger,Haltech,meth, 710k

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    V6 5sp,RegCab,TRD Supercharger, 1.9” pulley, methanol injected Haltech ECU, AC TRD supercharger,(MUST DO) TRD supercharger ported, rebuilt 3 times over 500,000 miles, every 125,000- 150,000 needs rebuild Projector headlights HID 5 speed manual Amsoil for all drive train Smaller 2” pulley,(300hp) (MUST DO) 2004 DESNO fuel injectors, zero ping ping, 2004 side door mirrors Dick Cepek Rims, Michelin tires LTX, ( that last 100,000 miles) Now running Dynopro ATM mud and snow tires KN cold air intake Cat back exhaust with ss exhaust tip, Raised exhaust tail pipe to 2" below body line Optima*dry cell battery,red top Alpine sirius radio, 200 watt amp, focal is165 split door pod speakers Focal door speakers Subwoffer behind seat Viper alarm, Electric Locks Dark tinted windows, 4runner bucket seats, Tacoma Rubber floor mats TRD fender extenders, Bilstien shocks chrome push bar, chrome nerf bars, add a leaf for rear springs trailer iv hitch, electric brake control, Drilled slotted brakes, High carbon steel (MUST DO) EBS green stuff 7000 series pads(MUST DO) TRD engine oil cap TRD stick shift, Rear sliding window 2002 4Runner functional hood scoop cut into Tacoma hood, 4Runner dual overhead map light Gentex Auto dim + Compass + Temp, garage,rearview mirror Corbeau bucket seats Snow Methonal kit stage 2 Champion 3 core aluminum radiator Linex bed liner Haltech stand alone ECU
    I had a new OEM rack installed two years ago.
    The steering seams to be pretty tight still,
    But when I look at the collar large bushing I see rubber skid wears marks on either side of the bushing a good 3/8” on the tube part on the rack,
    Is this normal?
    How hard is it to just replace this Single collar bushing?

    E3DED2B2-F654-4F56-9FE5-C2ACCC26B20E.jpg
     
  8. Oct 30, 2021 at 7:15 AM
    #8
    Lil Puke

    Lil Puke [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Short answer, the collar is super easy to replace….

    For my case, it’s easiest to see the side to side play in my rack at the collar, but really, the whole unit is moving. I’m under the interpretation that the slop is really telling me that ALL bushings need replaced. I believe the collar’s job is mostly to keep the rack linear to the frame crossmember, but the vertical bolt in the center and the horizontal bolt towards driver side are the main staking force since they’re on a sheer.

    Maybe someone with more than just 2¢ Of advice will chime in here as well. But with my current experience, I’d replace all of them, especially since the bushing replacement pack isn’t very spendy.
     
    phoenix ray and 1997tacomav6 like this.
  9. Oct 30, 2021 at 7:38 AM
    #9
    1997tacomav6

    1997tacomav6 V6 5sp,RegCab,TRD Supercharger,Haltech,meth, 710k

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    Aww, good to know, I was thinking the collar kept it locked down,
    The OEM rack is only 2-3 years old so I’m not sure why the collar bushing is leaving skid marks on the rack,
    I think I will just replace the collar for now if it’s easy,
    Just remove the the collar bolts and bracket and slid it in?
     
  10. Oct 30, 2021 at 7:56 AM
    #10
    Kevins60

    Kevins60 axle wrap tells me my rear brakes are working

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    I just did the ES poly rack bushings a few months ago. May be the best upgrade I’ve done on the truck and it isn’t too hard to replace them all. I did not takes the wheels off or disconnect tie rods and I just dropped the sway bar out of my way. After I got the rack unbolted I had enough room to reach everything. I used a utility knife to cut the shoulders off the old bushings and they pushed right out. To install the new, I put the split bushings in and coated the inside of the bushings and outside of the metal sleeves with prothane grease and squeezed the sleeves in with a pair of big-ass channel locks. Hardest part after that was getting the leverage to torque everything to spec while laying on my back under the truck and lining up the bolts for the skid plates. That always gives me fits. Here’s the grease I used, it’s supposed to be safe for polyurethane and a little bit goes a long way.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002P8SAU2?ie=UTF8
     
  11. Oct 30, 2021 at 9:47 AM
    #11
    Bivouac

    Bivouac Well-Known Member

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    Remains to be seen I bought the tires and wheels the rest came along
    I still have the original bushings at 250,000 miles .

    Is it the larger tires that leads to early Steering Rack Failures and Power Steering Pumps??
     
  12. Oct 30, 2021 at 9:57 AM
    #12
    Lil Puke

    Lil Puke [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thats an interesting question, and I wonder the same.

    I want to say that larger tires shouldn’t impact the steering so much given the contact patch with road surface really won’t change too much across tire sizes, maybe width though? Also could see how the larger tires at speed could create more inertia making it more difficult to force them into a directional change.

    I’m no physicist or engineer though, so can’t say I have a great grasp on truly how much the forces would change.
     
    Bivouac likes this.
  13. Oct 30, 2021 at 10:44 AM
    #13
    Kevins60

    Kevins60 axle wrap tells me my rear brakes are working

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    In my case I could see the rack move maybe 3/16” left and right when the steering wheel was turned. As to the why, collar keeps the rack secured to the cross member. It’s the smaller bushings that limit the potential for movement of the rack up and down and back and forth. If your rack is moving in the collar bushing it’s because the smaller bushings are worn.
     
    1997tacomav6 and Lil Puke [OP] like this.

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