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Old 11-14-2020, 09:48 PM #1
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Update- Mysterious Steering play/clunk (not bushings or guide)

Update, I replaced my steering rack guide with that new flat smooth one from the newer trucks. this definitely made things better but the clunking is still there and in fact has gotten louder and worse.

When I turn left or right I can occasionally hear this weird Creek or clunk, when I'm driving and turning some times it's even louder I guess because of the weight moving around. Visually I cannot see anything moving, and I have grabbed everything and shook the hell out of it while she was off the ground and I can't get anything to creak or wiggle. At a total loss here.

It definitely affects steering. Should I go ahead and just replace the whole rack? I really don't know what else to do and I don't want to lose control or something if something breaks...

What I've done:
  1. All tie rods
  2. Steering Rack Bushings
  3. Lower Control Arm Bushings
  4. Reck guide upgrade/replacement

I do know some people have mentioned that problem that you fix by tack welding the two metal parts, but I held the shaft under the dash and turned the wheel and as far as I can tell they are absolutely one to one. No noise comes from the dash.

2000 4Runner SR5 4x4 V6; 154k miles

Last edited by jross20; 12-11-2020 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:08 PM #2
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There is a coupling/rag joint that could be worn out and cause the issue. It located at the end of the steering shaft. Where the steering shaft connects to the ps rack.
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:23 PM #3
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There is also the rack guide roller adjustment. Adjusting this takes out the neutral slop in the steering. IIRC, there is an early version and later version of the roller. Some writeups of this adjustment back in the day suggested to replace the roller with the newer version, but I just made the adjustment in my '97 model about 8 years ago and forgot about it until now.
The rack guide is in this video - I'm sure they go over the adjustment...
Steering Rack Guide Replacement - YouTube
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Old 11-14-2020, 11:06 PM #4
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Agreed^ I updated the 97' to the Teflon or ceramic guide, and my 99' model was built Nov 98, and it got the old roller style guide and I just tightened it up a bit once I got bigger tires, if you pull the rack boot on the driver side and turn the wheel slightly back and forth you might see excessive play at the ITRE, tighten it a bit at a time until the steering wheel doesn't want to return to centre and back it off and try again until steering is smooth and wheel wants to return to centre, mind you your alignment is outta whack so go by feel.

This shouldn't have been enough to make your alignment impossible, just not precise, are the LBJ cams mirroring each other, tie rods within 2mm centred, with the poly rack bushings you can be off when you centre the rack and tighten it down, I had to loosen mine up and try again when I did my bushings.
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Old 11-15-2020, 10:17 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiLife View Post
There is a coupling/rag joint that could be worn out and cause the issue. It located at the end of the steering shaft. Where the steering shaft connects to the ps rack.
Interesting, any idea what the part is called or what the part number is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sportscarfan View Post
There is also the rack guide roller adjustment. Adjusting this takes out the neutral slop in the steering. IIRC, there is an early version and later version of the roller. Some writeups of this adjustment back in the day suggested to replace the roller with the newer version, but I just made the adjustment in my '97 model about 8 years ago and forgot about it until now.
The rack guide is in this video - I'm sure they go over the adjustment...
Steering Rack Guide Replacement - YouTube
Ah I started to think about this last night... I guess even if this isn't the problem it wouldn't hurt to go ahead and do this upgrade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm99 View Post
Agreed^ I updated the 97' to the Teflon or ceramic guide, and my 99' model was built Nov 98, and it got the old roller style guide and I just tightened it up a bit once I got bigger tires, if you pull the rack boot on the driver side and turn the wheel slightly back and forth you might see excessive play at the ITRE, tighten it a bit at a time until the steering wheel doesn't want to return to centre and back it off and try again until steering is smooth and wheel wants to return to centre, mind you your alignment is outta whack so go by feel.

This shouldn't have been enough to make your alignment impossible, just not precise, are the LBJ cams mirroring each other, tie rods within 2mm centred, with the poly rack bushings you can be off when you centre the rack and tighten it down, I had to loosen mine up and try again when I did my bushings.
When you say LBJ cams mirroring, I'm just having a hard time picturing that in my head. Haha. Maybe it's too early for my brain to work.
And man I really don't want to mess with the rack bushings again, that sucked. I can't imagine that it couldn't be centered though, with those two large bolts holding it I can't imagine how it would be off center unless they were bent.
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Old 11-15-2020, 10:52 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm99 View Post
Agreed^ I updated the 97' to the Teflon or ceramic guide, and my 99' model was built Nov 98, and it got the old roller style guide and I just tightened it up a bit once I got bigger tires, if you pull the rack boot on the driver side and turn the wheel slightly back and forth you might see excessive play at the ITRE, tighten it a bit at a time until the steering wheel doesn't want to return to centre and back it off and try again until steering is smooth and wheel wants to return to centre, mind you your alignment is outta whack so go by feel.

This shouldn't have been enough to make your alignment impossible, just not precise, are the LBJ cams mirroring each other, tie rods within 2mm centred, with the poly rack bushings you can be off when you centre the rack and tighten it down, I had to loosen mine up and try again when I did my bushings.

is it a bad thing if my new tie rods aren't mirrored? they're definitely not centered... (about 2" of threading exposed on driver side while passenger is about 1/2")
was told "it isnt a problem, since its an old vehicle. it happened during alignment" but my passenger side tire hits the frame rail on the back when turned hard right, and driver side does not do the same when turned hard left. I think this is related? alignment has been done a few times and i've never been told it couldn't be achieved.
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Old 11-15-2020, 10:53 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm99 View Post
Agreed^ I updated the 97' to the Teflon or ceramic guide, and my 99' model was built Nov 98, and it got the old roller style guide and I just tightened it up a bit once I got bigger tires, if you pull the rack boot on the driver side and turn the wheel slightly back and forth you might see excessive play at the ITRE, tighten it a bit at a time until the steering wheel doesn't want to return to centre and back it off and try again until steering is smooth and wheel wants to return to centre, mind you your alignment is outta whack so go by feel.

This shouldn't have been enough to make your alignment impossible, just not precise, are the LBJ cams mirroring each other, tie rods within 2mm centred, with the poly rack bushings you can be off when you centre the rack and tighten it down, I had to loosen mine up and try again when I did my bushings.

Is it a bad thing if my new tie rods aren't mirrored? they're definitely not centered... (about 2" of threading exposed on driver side while passenger is about 1/2")
was told "it isnt a problem, since its an old vehicle. it happened during alignment" but my passenger side tire hits the frame rail on the back when turned hard right, and driver side does not do the same when turned hard left. I think this is related? alignment has been done a few times and i've never been told it couldn't be achieved.
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Old 11-15-2020, 11:36 AM #8
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No its not ok that the tie rods are different lengths, as then your LBJ cam adjusters wouldn't mirror each other either, and the lower rear cams should look the same, and the front cams should be close to the same position. Thats why they have those lil lines on there and the FSM so you can get it right. Age should effect the alignment unless something is worn or bent, usually its just the alignment tech thats bent and lazy.

http://www.markofshame.com/fsm/03_Ta...4wdpr/insp.pdf
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Old 11-15-2020, 12:08 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jross20 View Post
So, when I gently turn my wheel left and right, I his this light clunk/click.

What I've done:
  1. All tie rods
  2. Steering Rack Bushings
  3. Lower Control Arm Bushings

2000 4Runner SR5 4x4 V6; 154k miles

My 98 had really bad slop in it when I got it. a chunka-chunka back and forth.
My 97 had zero slop in it.

I Put the body from the 98 onto the frame of the 97. (it's more complicated than that but... mostly) so the rack, rods, and bushing/rag joint were all pretty new and had zero play before, so it had to be upstream of the power train.

My 2 cents

1. old rack (off 98) had a little bit of play and leaked a bit.
2. the old bushings were kind of shot so very likely this was also a little slop.
3. the u-joint had a tiny bit of slop in it. this I swapped over from the 97 and it removed the remaining slop

so as your finding out the steering is the sum of all the parts. Each part had a tiny bit of wear in it so that totaled a larger chunka-chunka.

This is the u-joint part and it's a big pain to get at.... but like I said mine had worn a bit.

4529035040
YOKE SUB-ASSY, STEERING SLIDING

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Old 11-15-2020, 12:21 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepydad View Post

4529035040
YOKE SUB-ASSY, STEERING SLIDING

This is the part that no one seems to know about. They do loosen up. I’ve tried a few things to get the slop out of mine with mixed results. Best improvement was a tighter one from a junkyard.

They are really expensive from Toyota.
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Old 11-15-2020, 12:39 PM #11
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[QUOTE=jross20;3567055]Interesting, any idea what the part is called or what the part number is? (thanks @sleepydad for this idea)

I did the rack bushings/guide bushing on my rig. My bad rack bushings/guide bushings didn't cause a noise as you were describing on post #1. It did however created the rig to have a mind of it's own steering wise, more so at speeds over 55mph. Scary experience.
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Old 11-15-2020, 12:45 PM #12
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Not sure how this works, but here is a video...if it loads correctly

VID_20201115_095024.mp4 - Google Drive

You can hear it starting at roughly 6-7 seconds in.

Last edited by jross20; 11-15-2020 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 11-15-2020, 12:51 PM #13
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[QUOTE=HiLife;3567094]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jross20 View Post
Interesting, any idea what the part is called or what the part number is? (thanks @sleepydad for this idea)

I did the rack bushings/guide bushing on my rig. My bad rack bushings/guide bushings didn't cause a noise as you were describing on post #1. It did however created the rig to have a mind of it's own steering wise, more so at speeds over 55mph. Scary experience.
that is what most people call the rag joint.

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Old 11-15-2020, 12:57 PM #14
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Not sure how this works, but here is a video...if it loads correctly

VID_20201115_095024.mp4 - Google Drive

You can hear it starting at royghly 6-7 seconds in.
hmmm that almost sounds like the steering shaft part? there is a plastic bushing in there and a top dust seal?



have you watched Timmy vid on "the shaft?" as always he does an excellent job.



as a bonus it has some nice p orn type intro music in it... or that is what a friend of mine told me.
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Old 11-15-2020, 02:44 PM #15
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[QUOTE=sleepydad;3567101]
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiLife View Post

that is what most people call the rag joint.

Interesting, mine does look like shit, is this hard to replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepydad View Post
hmmm that almost sounds like the steering shaft part? there is a plastic bushing in there and a top dust seal?



have you watched Timmy vid on "the shaft?" as always he does an excellent job.



as a bonus it has some nice p orn type intro music in it... or that is what a friend of mine told me.
I did watch that but as far as I can tell I can't feel any play between the shaft and the steering wheel. Like if you reach under the dash and hold it while turning the wheel.

At a different alignment shop, I need her to at least be drive-able while i make other repairs.

The 2nd shop kept going on about "the wheel keeps turning back" and I'm like...yeah it should return to center. If it doesn't on one side the cam/caster is wrong most likely.

I freaking wish there was a DIY shop where I could pay to do the alignment myself. I was certified years ago, would take a minute but it's like riding a bike

Last edited by jross20; 11-15-2020 at 03:08 PM.
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