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Steering rack bushing suggestions

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Uphillshunter, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. Dec 12, 2017 at 9:56 PM
    #1
    Uphillshunter

    Uphillshunter [OP] El Taco Diablo

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    So, this kind of goes along with my tie rod end replacement post.

    I replaced these bushing on the steering rack at the same time I replaced all my tie rod ends. (https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/tie-rod-end-replacement-suggestions.523928/)

    Steering rack part number:
    Energy Suspension Polyurethane
    8.10103G

    Before I started, I found this video was most helpful in familiarizing myself with what I would be doing and the tools that would be needed.

    https://youtu.be/iQ7i7QVx-lA

    The guy in the video pretty well covers it. But I figured I would share some additional info I learned while I was doing mine. EXCEPT the grease he uses. See note at the bottom of this post.

    Here is a picture, for refernce. The picture is facing the front of the truck, taken from under the truck behind the steering rack.

    First of all. Your oil filter is located above #1 and #2 in the picture. Why is this important? If you have ever spilled oil out of your filter, while changing it, I would suggest you check and make sure you clean that off the top of the #2 bushing (#2 bolt and bushing are vertical). If oil sits on top of this bushing, it will rot it. The #2 bushing on mine was about 30% gone. When I started pulling the bolt, oil started seeping out like it was a plug. (This exessive amount of oil was due to the fact that I got lazy and had the oil changed by a quick lube and they left the new filter loose... but I would still definately suggest checking).

    My #1 bushing was in, by far, the worst shape. It was probably over 50% gone. It was easy to see it was in bad shape. The rubber was bulging out between the washer.

    As I said above, I did this replacement while doing the tie rods. I would recommend this, as I think it made the process easier. But as you can tell in the video, it is possible to do without removing the tie rods, or disconnecting them. I would definately recommend inspection of the steering rack boots for holes etc at a minimum... and would also recommend moving the boots to inspect the inner tie rod.

    I removed the sway bar, to make things easier, as well. (This is where I kicked myself in the ass for not having already ordered a new sway bar bushing kit... do that, if you are replacing the rack bushings!) Removal of the sway bar allowed more room between the steering rack and the crossmember.

    The #1 bushing can only press out one way, and that is towards the crossmember the rack is mounted to. I used an old 14mm socket and big f'n hammer to pound out #1. I placed the head of a 1 1/2 pound dead blow hammer between the rack and the crossmember to support things while I pounded on it. (a piece of 2x4 would probably work too) I used an "F clamp" to press the new #1 back in. The "F clamp" kept the bushing from pressing out the back when I pressed the sleeve into the bushing.

    The #2 bushing pounded out (up) relatively easy for me. I used the "F clamp" on this one too, to push it back in.

    The #3 bushing is just a straightforward U bracket.


    Note: before you start putting the bushings back in, need to thoroughly clean the areas they go in. I used super clean, dried it completely with a rag and then used 200 grit sand paper strips to get all of the hard residue and any pits smooth.

    Energy Suspension does not mention greasing these bushings. Some people don't grease them. I greased mine with Super Lube.

    **Do not use ANY kind of petrolium based grease on Polyurethane. Petrolium based lubes will eat polyurethane. Super Lube is non-petrolium based. Lithium grease is non-petrolium as well.**
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
    TrentonTDG likes this.
  2. Dec 13, 2017 at 8:15 AM
    #2
    Glamisman

    Glamisman Well-Known Member

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    were there any symptoms or did you do this because you were in there anyway?
     
  3. Dec 13, 2017 at 8:49 AM
    #3
    Uphillshunter

    Uphillshunter [OP] El Taco Diablo

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    The main symptom was that when ever I hit a bump the truck would get all wild on me. The steering also felt pretty loose in general.

    I wasn't sure if it was the rack bushings or the tie rods, so I decided going in I would replace both while I was in there.

    Comparing the wear I found on the tie rods and the wear on the rack bushings... I am pretty sure most of the loose steering was from the rack bushings.

    The brake shimmy I was feeling, and the uneven tire wear, was probably the tie rods.
     
    TrentonTDG likes this.
  4. Feb 12, 2018 at 11:49 AM
    #4
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    @Uphillshunter

    Did you notice any clunking/popping when turning your steering wheel when your bushings were bad?

    I'm chasing a really bad pop/clunk noise when turning (and sometimes when going straight)...I've ruled out the sway bar, ball joints, CV axles, wheel bearings, etc. Thinking it must be the bushings in the steering rack (hopefully).

    Thanks for the write up/video, this will help me out a ton when I do them later this week.
     
  5. Feb 12, 2018 at 7:00 PM
    #5
    Uphillshunter

    Uphillshunter [OP] El Taco Diablo

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    I never had a clunk when I was having problems wit h my rack... but your bushing may be more done than mine were.

    Have you checked the bushings on your upper and lower shock mounts? (and if they are tight) Those could give you a clunk when turning (and going straight for that matter).
     
    TrentonTDG likes this.
  6. Feb 12, 2018 at 8:55 PM
    #6
    Dalandser

    Dalandser ¡Me Gustan Las Tacos-mas!

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    Empty Wallet Mod
    Not sure if any of your questions could be answered here:



    @eon_blue have you checked your LCA cam bolts? I had a repetitive pop when one of those was stripped even though everything was torqued to spec. Other people have gotten clunks / pops when their LCA bushings wear out and create play. I jury rigged an iPod to video where the sound was coming from to pin point it. Some guys suggested a cheap GoPro knockoff would make that easier - I think they were correct lol.
     
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  7. Feb 12, 2018 at 9:17 PM
    #7
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    I haven't looked too hard at those, but I think I should...I've had an alignment done twice now and the popping has still been the same so I didn't really consider it could be the LCA bolts, but I'll check them.

    I ordered the same Energy Suspension kit that @Uphillshunter installed for my steering rack, the bushings look OK from what I can see behind the skid plate but I can't see much. I know a buddy of mine with a 2nd gen had bad steering rack bushings and his truck sounded like popcorn when he turned the wheel haha, which is why I was thinking that might be the culprit.
    I was convinced for a few weeks that it was my CV axles, because the angles were really bad but even after the diff drop and replacing the CVs, the popping hasn't gone away. I even lowered the Kings down about a half inch (angles look much better now). So I've about 90% ruled out that as being the issue, unless I got unlucky with the used CV axles that I put in (which would suck).

    In any case, it couldn't hurt to replace the bushings just to have upgraded ones and rule it out...the kit was only $25. I'll try to install it this week and report back.
     
    Dalandser and Uphillshunter [OP] like this.
  8. Oct 25, 2019 at 12:43 PM
    #8
    Phessor

    Phessor Well-Known Member

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    I know this is an older thread, but when I went to replace my bushings I could not get the center bolt to come out. It hit the oil pan!
    All the videos I have watched do not address this issue. Am I doing something wrong?
    How did you get yours out and in?
     
  9. Oct 25, 2019 at 12:45 PM
    #9
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    Interesting, I had the same problem but not hitting the oil pan...mine hits the front differential (just barely). Are you sure it's the oil pan?

    The reason it hits the front diff on my truck is because of the useless diff drop I installed...either have to remove the diff drop (what I plan on doing) or shave down the flange on the head of the long bolt so it clears the diff.

    In my case, that flange on the bolt head is all that hits the diff, but it's enough to prevent the bolt from coming out completely.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
  10. Oct 25, 2019 at 1:02 PM
    #10
    Phessor

    Phessor Well-Known Member

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    You are correct, it hits the front differential when I tried to pull it up.
     
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  11. Oct 25, 2019 at 1:04 PM
    #11
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    Have a diff drop installed? Easiest thing to do would be to remove it and put it back on when you're done with the bushings
     
  12. Oct 25, 2019 at 1:10 PM
    #12
    Phessor

    Phessor Well-Known Member

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    I do, and I will see if it works for me, thank you.
     
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