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Old 10-18-2021, 01:47 PM #1
elykrunner elykrunner is offline
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Leaking & right rear tire wear

Hi, I need some advice, and help.

I purchased a 03 v8 4x4 4runner (212k) back in spring. I essentially traded my 98 4runner for it. (275K)

I am having issues with my 4th gen. THe rear right tire is wearing excessively fast. SO I had it aligned and got new tires. Still having the same issue. The previous owner did mention they were rear ended but sounded like it was all cosmetic repairs. The shocks leak a little as well. Its the outside of the tire thatís wearing fast. When it was Aligned they said it wasnít far off when I brought it in. I think it has to do with the previous accident. I also have a RTT on top.


Now, Iím noticing oil puddles everywhere I park. Its coming from behind the transmission. The oil, looks clear/ slight brown, smells like oil/lube. I included a picture. I think its the gear box? Iím planning to take it in, but since i usually try to repair stuff myself, I wanted to have a clear understanding of what to expect when I take it in. Im currently traveling and have no where to work on it. What would you expect to spend on something like this?


THis is my 3rd 4runner. I had the 98 for 13 years with 275k on it. I wanted a 4x4 with roof rack, and hitch so I essentially traded for this one. I donít really care for the v8s gas millage, but the 4 disc brakes is a huge game changer for me.


Would you chase the tire wear problem? I bought this for $4,000.
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Old 10-18-2021, 03:43 PM #2
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If the shocks are weeping, chances are they're toast.

Assuming there's no obvious reason, visually, to believe that a rear arm is bent or bushing worn out, the shocks & springs could be the reason for excessive tire wear. The camber & toe change as the suspension moves around, the shocks being worn out likely means the springs are sagging as well.

Having had plenty of strange problems on my 4th gen, I would not spend time & money chasing an unknown problem when there's a known problem LITERALLY bolted to the symptom.

Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the transfer case leak shown, so I cannot comment.
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Last edited by Keros; 10-18-2021 at 07:32 PM. Reason: If the shocks are worn out, the springs are probably shot too.
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Old 10-19-2021, 10:28 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keros View Post
If the shocks are weeping, chances are they're toast.

Assuming there's no obvious reason, visually, to believe that a rear arm is bent or bushing worn out, the shocks & springs could be the reason for excessive tire wear. The camber & toe change as the suspension moves around, the shocks being worn out likely means the springs are sagging as well.

Having had plenty of strange problems on my 4th gen, I would not spend time & money chasing an unknown problem when there's a known problem LITERALLY bolted to the symptom.

Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the transfer case leak shown, so I cannot comment.
That would make sense, that the obvious thing that is worn out is causing it. I did inquire about this to the alignment shop, they made it seem like it would be the axel if anything..

I did find this thread with someone having the similar issue after putting on new shocks, they were also rear ended.
rear tire tread disappearing!

Its wearing fast, in under 10,000 miles the tire became nearly unusable. I know shocks are expensive to replace, so its quite the risk for me. but if itís the right solution, then thereís nothing else to do..
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:06 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keros View Post
The camber & toe change as the suspension moves around, the shocks being worn out likely means the springs are sagging as well.
This is not correct, the rear suspension is a solid axle. Suspension height won't effect alignment. If it did, every time someone lifts their truck the rear would be misaligned just like the front.
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:59 AM #5
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The transfer case is a somewhat common issue. I bought the stuff to do mine, but haven't built up the courage to do so.

Fixing the transfer case shift motor leak from within..

It's likely a $5 o ring. But it requires dropping the TC, cracking it open, replacing the seal, redoing the gasket, and putting back.
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Old 10-19-2021, 12:30 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inv4drZm View Post
This is not correct, the rear suspension is a solid axle. Suspension height won't effect alignment. If it did, every time someone lifts their truck the rear would be misaligned just like the front.
Fair, yes, I think that was poorly worded; I think what I was trying to say was that there's no way to know what's going to wear and where it'll wear when the shocks are blown and the springs are toast, and the miles rack up

If the tire is cupped or scalloped would bring better closure to the issue. "Worn" is too general to provide any specific speculation. A picture is worth a thousand words
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Last edited by Keros; 10-19-2021 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 10-19-2021, 03:36 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whamola View Post
The transfer case is a somewhat common issue. I bought the stuff to do mine, but haven't built up the courage to do so.

Fixing the transfer case shift motor leak from within..

It's likely a $5 o ring. But it requires dropping the TC, cracking it open, replacing the seal, redoing the gasket, and putting back.
$5 o ring thatís gonna cost me $500 to fix? Its leaking a lot unfortunately. On my 3rd gen, I was poor and never touched anything, it always leaked a small amount of tranny fluid but it was easy to check and maintain. This is a lot more involved.
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Old 10-19-2021, 03:51 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keros View Post
Fair, yes, I think that was poorly worded; I think what I was trying to say was that there's no way to know what's going to wear and where it'll wear when the shocks are blown and the springs are toast, and the miles rack up

If the tire is cupped or scalloped would bring better closure to the issue. "Worn" is too general to provide any specific speculation. A picture is worth a thousand words
Its outside wear. Iíd say about a 3rd of the tire is rounding off. I guess I didnít get a picture of the previous tire. Here is where Iím at now.
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Leaking & right rear tire wear-6667bde4-e6e4-4c6a-8239-d1a00d8d5877-jpg  Leaking & right rear tire wear-f625dec1-49fe-45f8-bea8-ddc99b0dce7d-jpg  Leaking & right rear tire wear-6102622f-75d9-4dee-9172-255c1c7fa3aa-jpg 
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Old 10-20-2021, 04:07 PM #9
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Assuming that tire wear spans the entire circumference of the tread, I'd imagine the gold-plated next step is to visit a reputable body shop that has a frame rack and measure all the reference points accurately to make sure everything is within spec.

Throwing good money after bad money to fix the suspension & leak might not be the best use of bucks.

The cheap DIY is to get under there and visually inspect all the mountings, arms, and bushings for anything that doesn't look perfect. However, if the frame is bent slightly, there's no reasonable way of seeing that without the right equipment. This may put you in a position of chasing imaginary problems; all the things you can see look great, so there's nothing "to fix". But the frame isn't confirmed to be within spec.

I'm not overly familiar with the alignment process your truck would have had to get those numbers... and if it would have picked up a bent axle in that process. You could call big brand tire and ask them if the alignment machine would see that the rear axle is not within specification.
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Last edited by Keros; 10-20-2021 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 10-22-2021, 11:26 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keros View Post
Assuming that tire wear spans the entire circumference of the tread, I'd imagine the gold-plated next step is to visit a reputable body shop that has a frame rack and measure all the reference points accurately to make sure everything is within spec.

Throwing good money after bad money to fix the suspension & leak might not be the best use of bucks.

The cheap DIY is to get under there and visually inspect all the mountings, arms, and bushings for anything that doesn't look perfect. However, if the frame is bent slightly, there's no reasonable way of seeing that without the right equipment. This may put you in a position of chasing imaginary problems; all the things you can see look great, so there's nothing "to fix". But the frame isn't confirmed to be within spec.

I'm not overly familiar with the alignment process your truck would have had to get those numbers... and if it would have picked up a bent axle in that process. You could call big brand tire and ask them if the alignment machine would see that the rear axle is not within specification.
Thanks for the tips and replying, I really appreciate it.
I think Iím going to take it in and fix the leak and save up for something else. The person who sold it to me definitely wasnít trying to get one over on me. They let their 90 year mom drive it for years and she got rear ended and used it for local trips only. It sucks that I let my bulletproof 3rd gen go, but maybe Iíll find a even better deal.
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Old 11-04-2021, 08:12 PM #11
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Updating: Had my vehicle checked at 2 places.

Les Schwab mechanic thinks the tire wear is caused by a bad power steering rack. I also have movement in the lower ball joints & cv axles and the front struts are leaking.

Thereís a few things wrong, but why would this cause excessive tire wear only on one tire in the rear?

I havenít taken it to a frame shop but I am suspecting the axle or frame is bent. Maybe when they were rear ended they hammered into the receiving hitch and threw something out of wack.

Accoriing to the mechanic the place I had it aligned at should of noticed these issues and not even done an alignment without doing the power steering rack done first.

It was also had ďgoodĒ alignment before I took it in.
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Old 11-04-2021, 09:34 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elykrunner View Post
Updating: Had my vehicle checked at 2 places.

Les Schwab mechanic thinks the tire wear is caused by a bad power steering rack. I also have movement in the lower ball joints & cv axles and the front struts are leaking.

Thereís a few things wrong, but why would this cause excessive tire wear only on one tire in the rear?

I havenít taken it to a frame shop but I am suspecting the axle or frame is bent. Maybe when they were rear ended they hammered into the receiving hitch and threw something out of wack.

Accoriing to the mechanic the place I had it aligned at should of noticed these issues and not even done an alignment without doing the power steering rack done first.

It was also had ďgoodĒ alignment before I took it in.
I also wonder how a bad power steering rack would affect a rear tire.
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Old 11-04-2021, 09:47 PM #13
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The rear left toe (1.75 degrees) is bothering me...
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Old 11-04-2021, 10:09 PM #14
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Quote:
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The rear left toe (1.75 degrees) is bothering me...
I was just trying to find what the standard rear alignment specs should be. After looking at several other people posting their alignment specs, mine is way off in comparison.
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Old 11-05-2021, 10:23 AM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elykrunner View Post
Updating: Had my vehicle checked at 2 places.

Les Schwab mechanic thinks the tire wear is caused by a bad power steering rack. I also have movement in the lower ball joints & cv axles and the front struts are leaking.

There’s a few things wrong, but why would this cause excessive tire wear only on one tire in the rear?

I haven’t taken it to a frame shop but I am suspecting the axle or frame is bent. Maybe when they were rear ended they hammered into the receiving hitch and threw something out of wack.

Accoriing to the mechanic the place I had it aligned at should of noticed these issues and not even done an alignment without doing the power steering rack done first.

It was also had “good” alignment before I took it in.
Straight up speculation:

Fuel tank and driver are on the left. Engine is in the front, so the truck in stock form is a tad nose heavy.

I found this talked about it another thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jharris2
You're right -- not easy to find at all. I found it for the V6 models in the New Features Manual, page 112.

2WD 52/48
4WD 54/46

The V8 may be slightly heavier on the front.
4th gen weight distribution

Anyway, all things being equal, I'd think the wear could focus on the tire with the least grip (i.e. weight). Which would probably be the right rear. Not to say that's absolutely why the wear is focused there. But with no other explanation, it's at least something.

I've never had much appreciation for a mechanic telling me a part is "bad". What about it is bad, why do you think this? I like specifics. What about the rack has made it bad? If it's weeping out of a seal, that's not going to be effecting your tire wear problem.
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