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Old 07-15-2015, 01:33 AM #1
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Time for front end maintenance

All right so here is my problem.

I have managed to blow through a set of goodyear tires in less than a year with 13,000 miles on them, I find this odd because they usually last 50-60,000 miles. I had the vehicle aligned as soon as the tires go on. I do not offroad very aggressively just down canal roads for work and farm roads that are very well maintained. I go into our Toyota dealership because they are pretty honest and they have done good work with all of our ,yota's. Turns out my tie rods are shot, my a arm bushings are shot and my lower and upper ball joints are shot. Toyota dealership says that by having these things worn down a lot will cause the alignment to go out of shape. So I naturally want to fix the problem, the dealership wants $3,659 for the entire job.

My questions to you guys is...

Is that a good price for someone to fix something like this?

Should I go for a upgrade instead? Say the stage two system from Icon? Or the Camburg Performance Uniball control arms?

Also on a complete unrelated note do you guys think that my 4Runner with 284,650 miles would make a 5 hour journey with a about 7,000 mile elevation gain?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:52 AM #2
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Here's your new plan of action:
(I work best in list format)
  1. Tell the dealership "thanks, but no thanks"
  2. Pick up a set of SPC UCA's
  3. Pick up new OEM inner and outer tie rods
  4. Order new OEM LBJ's
  5. Order new poly steering bushings
  6. Check your LCA bushings while the IFS is dissassembled. These were thought to be invincible, but lately we've seen more and more cases of destroyed LCA bushings.
  7. Install all of the above yourself. Suspension work is VERY easy, but somewhat labor intensive. Also, many folks are put off by it, so places charge an arm and a leg for labor.
  8. Get a quality alignment at a reputable shop OR get a lifetime alignment at Firestone.

If ANY part of you has a desire to upgrade suspension, this is the time to do it. You'll have the entire front end disassembled, which will make accessing it easy. I recommend the full 2.5" ICON or King's setup. Kings are slightly more affordable, but otherwise nearly identical. If you do plan on upgrading your suspension, be sure to get lifetime alignment at Firestone, because you'll be sure to get your money's worth.
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Old 07-15-2015, 08:39 AM #3
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I just bought OEM outer tie rods and LBJ's from Toyota of Dallas for $311 shipped. The inner tie rods are quite pricey ($120/ea) so didn't go for those. Upper arms I agree with Absalom and get a set of SPC's (light racing is another name they go by) for around $400-450. You could have all new OEM//aftermarket front end parts for under $1100-1200 and then save the remaining $2,559-2,459 in labor and do the job yourself. Suspension work is really simple and the most difficult part for me generally is just getting the bolts undone. They are easy to get to but they like to seize up.
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:11 AM #4
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to answer your first question. Yes, $3700 is reasonable for most dealerships doing this work. A break down would help to see where their higher up-charges are located. One possibility is to order the parts yourself and have a trusty independent mechanic do the labor for you or even pay a friend to help. As stated before, this project takes time but is not that difficult. Will save you a LOT of $$$.

To help with your second question. Yes, your Runner will make the hike as long as it has been well maintained, just check fluids and tires before you leave and keep an eye on your temp gauge.
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:04 AM #5
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If you choose not to lift, may of us have had good experiences with some of the higher-end aftermarket inner tie rods. They are well made and near identical to the OEM's (there's some photos laying around these forums). I picked up 2 inners (SANKEI brand) for $40 and have done great so far. What you are looking for are the ball joints to move smoothly but firmly (not loose) and not leave any scoring or marks on the ball joint when you rotate, as that's a sign of bad casting.

If you lift, then scratch that idea. Lift puts extra stress on the tie rods and you'll want the best you can get or you'll be doing it again.
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Old 07-15-2015, 08:19 PM #6
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For 3600 you could have a full long travel suspension!

One thing I would add to absaloms post is to make sure your steering rack is still good. It can leak and/or the internal bushings can go bad causing excessive play. At almost 300k I would be surprised if your rack is still good, assuming it's the original.
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:23 AM #7
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All Fixed

For anyone who cares...We had a close family friend who specializes in making lowriders go through the entire underneath of the car and literally replaced everything for around $1500 in labor. All I did was buy the parts and bring them to him. Everything is fixed that was broken or worn out. Balljoints, tierods, front brake lines, rear drum brakes, and steering rack. Basically drives like it did when we bought off the lot new in '98.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:28 PM #8
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All sounds good, except maybe the air will be too thin if you take that 7,000 mile elevation gain
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:22 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcleod View Post
All sounds good, except maybe the air will be too thin if you take that 7,000 mile elevation gain
You made me re-read the post three times.

Thanks.
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:46 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Wilson013 View Post
You made me re-read the post three times.

Thanks.
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