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Old 08-31-2020, 07:15 PM #1
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Need new bushings or steering rack?

Symptoms: 4runner pulls to the right. Now crazy bad, but enough to be annoying. I took it into firestone for an alignment and they told me it was my steering rack. They said it needs replaced, and strongly suggest bushings also.

My rack is not leaking or anything. I have read on there that bushings are related to loose/sloppy steering but would it impact pulling to one size? Should I try bushings first? Or just replace the rack and pinion all together?

*i am going to be taking the front end apart anyways to re do my oil pan gasket?l, so Iíd just add that to my project and make it a longer day. I just donít really feel like spending $500 if I donít have to lol
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Old 08-31-2020, 08:30 PM #2
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Symptoms: 4runner pulls to the right. Now crazy bad, but enough to be annoying. I took it into firestone for an alignment and they told me it was my steering rack. They said it needs replaced, and strongly suggest bushings also.

My rack is not leaking or anything. I have read on there that bushings are related to loose/sloppy steering but would it impact pulling to one size? Should I try bushings first? Or just replace the rack and pinion all together?

*i am going to be taking the front end apart anyways to re do my oil pan gasket?l, so Iíd just add that to my project and make it a longer day. I just donít really feel like spending $500 if I donít have to lol
I did the whole steering rack restoration with new bushings and tie rods. It's still a 200k POS. Just replace the whole rack and check that problem off the list. It comes with new ITRE's too.
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Old 08-31-2020, 08:55 PM #3
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If you do decide to replace your steering rack, you probably want to grab the "Gear Assembly Insulator" part number 45517-35010 separately as it does not come with the rack. It's the one bushing that is considered separate from the rack, and while you can install it later if you need to, it's easier to just do it with the rack. It is included in both the energy suspension and whiteline kits if you decide to just replace your bushings with aftermarket bushings.
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:25 PM #4
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Mine moved 3/4" side to side before this kit:

Amazon.com: TRW JBU1005 Premium Rack and Pinion Mount Bushing: Automotive

Solid as a rock now.....
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Old 08-31-2020, 10:25 PM #5
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Buchings

mine was sloppy even after realign. Most pronounced between 55-70. Just replaced bushings with poly & made world of difference. YMMV
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Old 09-01-2020, 02:08 AM #6
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Hopefully, you don't find out like I did when replacing the rack that the higher pressure hose assembly is shot b/c it's a $400 part from Toyota
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:48 PM #7
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Mine moved 3/4" side to side before this kit:

Amazon.com: TRW JBU1005 Premium Rack and Pinion Mount Bushing: Automotive

Solid as a rock now.....
Is that a rubber bushing? My energy suspension poly bushings squeak like a POS on these NYC roads. Avoid poly at all costs.
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Old 09-02-2020, 12:41 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc3g View Post
Hopefully, you don't find out like I did when replacing the rack that the higher pressure hose assembly is shot b/c it's a $400 part from Toyota
Dude that is not what I wanted to hear! Lol
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Old 09-02-2020, 12:44 AM #9
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I did the whole steering rack restoration with new bushings and tie rods. It's still a 200k POS. Just replace the whole rack and check that problem off the list. It comes with new ITRE's too.
I didnít know the oem rack came with ITREís. Thatís like $300 right there. Not a bad deal. Considering doing the outer TREís also and basically have a brand new steering system.
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Old 09-02-2020, 01:09 AM #10
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If your rack is not leaking, doesn't make any wierd noises moving the rack back and forth, the rack should be still good. I would check the itr and otr for looseness/slop. And replace the bushings and go from there.
My experience with worn rack bushings was a death wish driving anything above 55mph. Truck tracked left and right very erratically. 55 and below mph was manageable. New rack bushings fixed the tracking issues for me.
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Old 09-02-2020, 03:21 AM #11
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I have no experience with 3gen and only can compare to my 5 gen. Tonight was the first time we drove it after all suspension including coils and rubber parts had been replace under there. The steering doesn't have a solid feel to it. I feel a bit of jerkiness or a tiny bit of sloppiness or play at the wheel. No vibration at 70 mph. This is my kids 4 runner. He will be 16 next year so we spent the summer working on it. How do I know if a steering rack is needed? No leaks, but I see a bit of movement under the car when he turns the steering wheel back and forth. My 5 gen's steering is rock solid with no play.

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Old 09-02-2020, 09:20 AM #12
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Get a second opinion. Especially if they are not leaking.

I replaced both lower control arms and sway bars on 2005 SR5 with 150,000 miles on my mechanics advice, I bought the "exact fit" parts on Amazon.com and they were not expensive.


Amazon.com: 2 New Front Lower Control Arms With Ball Joints Left Right Compatible With 2003-2009 Toyota 4Runner; 2007-2009 FJ Cruise; Lexus GX470 Replaces Dorman 521-433 521-434: Automotive



Amazon.com: MOOG Chassis Products K90683 Stabilizer Bar Link Kit: Automotive

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Old 09-02-2020, 11:07 AM #13
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Quote:
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Get a second opinion. Especially if they are not leaking.

I replaced both lower control arms and sway bars on 2005 SR5 with 150,000 miles on my mechanics advice, I bought the "exact fit" parts on Amazon.com and they were not expensive.


Amazon.com: 2 New Front Lower Control Arms With Ball Joints Left Right Compatible With 2003-2009 Toyota 4Runner; 2007-2009 FJ Cruise; Lexus GX470 Replaces Dorman 521-433 521-434: Automotive



Amazon.com: MOOG Chassis Products K90683 Stabilizer Bar Link Kit: Automotive
Those are 4th gen parts not 3rd gen.
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:17 AM #14
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My bad steering was worn lower control arm bushings. It drives like a dream now.

It would randomly just decided to track left or right with the steering held strait ahead. I had zero up and down play on my rack ends and when I would just start to turn the wheel my tires moved. So, I put my finger on the real lower drivers side bushing and had Kendra turn the wheel and I could see and feel the bushing deflect almost 1/8Ē.


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Old 09-02-2020, 12:06 PM #15
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If your rack isn't leaking, I wouldn't jump right into replacing the steering rack because it's quite pricey. An OEM rack that comes with inner new inner tie rods will run you around $500.

Get under the rig and have someone you trust not to run you over get in the driver seat, start the rig and turn the wheels back and forth while you're staring at the steering rack. If you see gross movement left to right, you're bushings are toast and it's time to replace them. But, I'm not not sold on the fact worn steering rack bushings are causing your pulling issue. I would also suspect worn lower control arm bushings like somebody mentioned.

I would advise you to not follow the suggestion of buying aftermarket control arms. People have shared horror stories of failures with these cheaper control arms. Even the OEM LCAs can fail from lots of abuse from hard 4wheeling so inferior LCAs is a bad idea. Same goes for aftermarket steering racks. Quite often, the aftermarket steering racks fail quickly forcing you to either pay for the labor to replace it again or you yourself has to get under the rig to replace it. A Lifetime Warranty might end up being a Lifetime of Misery for you having to repeat the same job over and over again. Buy OEM for important components like this because in the long run it's the smart choice.






This video shows another technique of removing the LCA bushings with a hydraulic press and also addresses a common issue of finding the cam adjuster sleeves rusted and stuck in the bushings.

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