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Old 08-31-2022, 01:55 PM #1
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Front End Play 2004 Sport

I need a brake job, right and left front calipers are sticking.

Iíve replaced the inner and outer tie rods in the last year.

When I was diagnosing my brakes, I found these symptoms: a hard wobble when braking hard on the left and steering shake. Right and left wheels wonít turn freely (rubbing/scraping). Left wheel heating up after a 20 minute drive.

I also found a wobble in the steering. How much play is within spec?

I am wondering if I didnít do the tie rods correctly so before I drove it again I will check those. I truly feel they are tight though.

I see you can adjust the steering rack a bit also.

The front tires both move right to left about an inch?

Is this a rack going bad? No leakage from the rack and from what I can tell the rack isnít moving (so I believe the bushings are ok?)

Can you all help me diagnose this? Thanks!
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:17 PM #2
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1. Did you get an alignment at a shop after you installed the inner and outer tie rods? If you did not then that's a problem.

2. What brand inner and outer TREs did you use? I had Moog and they were trash. After going to OEM with the new rack it was night and day.

3. The wobbling when braking is worn rotors. When you replace your calipers, rotors, and pads that should take care of 95% of your issues.

I don't believe the play your describing is a worn rack. They don't go bad easily unless abused. Mine lasted 520,000 miles until I swapped it.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:56 PM #3
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Randy88fj62 has some good points. If the front end wasn't aligned then it could be way off throwing off your steering. Doubtful on the steering rack itself but I've read the rack bushings can get loose allowing the whole rack to move. Steering racks usually start leaking when they go bad.

Definitely recheck the ball joint work. Also watch all the moving parts while someone is moving the wheel left to right until just after the play is gone and with the motor off. Listen for clunks and play in the pivot points, there should be none when watching from underneath.

You need to fix the brakes before you can move on with some of the issues. Hard to spin, noise and looseness can be a wheel bearing but sticking calipers will throw you off.

I'm not sure what you mean by the tires moving an inch, do you mean they move together but the steering wheel does not? If so then the steering shaft u-joint may be your culprit.
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Old 08-31-2022, 06:44 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randy88fj62 View Post
1. Did you get an alignment at a shop after you installed the inner and outer tie rods? If you did not then that's a problem.

2. What brand inner and outer TREs did you use? I had Moog and they were trash. After going to OEM with the new rack it was night and day.

3. The wobbling when braking is worn rotors. When you replace your calipers, rotors, and pads that should take care of 95% of your issues.

I don't believe the play your describing is a worn rack. They don't go bad easily unless abused. Mine lasted 520,000 miles until I swapped it.
1. Alignment : Check

2. Toyota OEM

3. I agree, just making sure, the left is cooking, and the right is about to go, IMHO, so I am gonna swap both. Easy to do both!

Half a million miles, Awesome!
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Old 08-31-2022, 06:52 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinNH67 View Post
Randy88fj62 has some good points. If the front end wasn't aligned then it could be way off throwing off your steering. Doubtful on the steering rack itself but I've read the rack bushings can get loose allowing the whole rack to move. Steering racks usually start leaking when they go bad.

Definitely recheck the ball joint work. Also watch all the moving parts while someone is moving the wheel left to right until just after the play is gone and with the motor off. Listen for clunks and play in the pivot points, there should be none when watching from underneath.

You need to fix the brakes before you can move on with some of the issues. Hard to spin, noise and looseness can be a wheel bearing but sticking calipers will throw you off.

I'm not sure what you mean by the tires moving an inch, do you mean they move together but the steering wheel does not? If so then the steering shaft u-joint may be your culprit.
I agree, it is not leaking, so I'm just checking, and I couldn't see movement, like is described with bad bushings. The rack seems super solid in there.

I'll recheck everything.

I agree about the brakes, and since alignment was done, that should be good. It still tracks straight, and no movement when going over bumps etc.

The wheels both move right to left like an inch (I jacked the front end up and had my wife sit in the driver's seat). The steering wheel moves the same amount. So it all is tight. I just didn't know if there was "Play" of up to an inch normally when pulling the wheels left to right when they are supported.

Interestingly enough, there is a way to adjust the steering "box":

I wonder if this is what I can do to "tighten it up"?

Edit: this is not like a 4th Gen 4runner rack apparently. Thanks @AuSeeker



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4th & 5th Gen UCA Install Thread

Last edited by Slowgoat; 09-01-2022 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 09-01-2022, 05:57 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowgoat View Post
I agree, it is not leaking, so I'm just checking, and I couldn't see movement, like is described with bad bushings. The rack seems super solid in there.

I'll recheck everything.

I agree about the brakes, and since alignment was done, that should be good. It still tracks straight, and no movement when going over bumps etc.

The wheels both move right to left like an inch (I jacked the front end up and had my wife sit in the driver's seat). The steering wheel moves the same amount. So it all is tight. I just didn't know if there was "Play" of up to an inch normally when pulling the wheels left to right when they are supported.

Interestingly enough, there is a way to adjust the steering "box":

I wonder if this is what I can do to "tighten it up"?









Just an FYI, that "steering box adjustment" video you posted is showing old type of steering components, it totally different than a rack and pinion which is what we have on 4th Gens T4Rs, I not sure but there maybe a similar adjustment on a rack and pinion, but don't use that video, find one for a T4R rack and pinion if there is one!
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Old 09-01-2022, 06:02 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuSeeker View Post
Just an FYI, that "steering box adjustment" video you posted is showing old type of steering components, it totally different than a rack and pinion which is what we have on 4th Gens T4Rs, I not sure but there maybe a similar adjustment on a rack and pinion, but don't use that video, find one for a T4R rack and pinion if there is one!
Thanks for that!

I hadnít gotten in there yet so that makes sense.

I love this forum!
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Old 09-01-2022, 08:12 AM #8
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So when you're talking about this steering "play".. you said that both your left and right wheel, as well as the steering wheel, move the same amount when the wheels are off the ground?

If so, I don't see an issue? if you had independent play between the 2 wheels, that is a problem. if you have independent play between the 2 front wheel and the steering wheel, that's a problem.. if everything is moving together I don't see any concern. If you're steering wheel is turning the same amount that means you don't have any bushing play or steering rack play. If you move the steering wheel slightly I'm assuming you see the same movement translate down to the wheels.

it sounds like just about 100% of your issues are front brake related. If you're cooking the caliper after a 20 minute drive it's definitely shot. The rotors are garbage also.

My suggestion, depending on what your budget and desire to keep driving this rig are is to go OEM rotors and pads. I've had decent luck with aftermarket calipers, just don't settle on the cheapest of the cheap.

Before you start pulling things apart, make sure you can crack the brakelines loose on the calipers. It would suck to get half into the job and realize you're going to strip the brakeline fittings and will need replacement ones.



*Edit** Also make sure you're buying to correct calipers & rotors since you're the sport and have the larger brakes up front**
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Old 09-08-2022, 08:55 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aemravan View Post
So when you're talking about this steering "play".. you said that both your left and right wheel, as well as the steering wheel, move the same amount when the wheels are off the ground?

If so, I don't see an issue? if you had independent play between the 2 wheels, that is a problem. if you have independent play between the 2 front wheel and the steering wheel, that's a problem.. if everything is moving together I don't see any concern. If you're steering wheel is turning the same amount that means you don't have any bushing play or steering rack play. If you move the steering wheel slightly I'm assuming you see the same movement translate down to the wheels.

it sounds like just about 100% of your issues are front brake related. If you're cooking the caliper after a 20 minute drive it's definitely shot. The rotors are garbage also.

My suggestion, depending on what your budget and desire to keep driving this rig are is to go OEM rotors and pads. I've had decent luck with aftermarket calipers, just don't settle on the cheapest of the cheap.

Before you start pulling things apart, make sure you can crack the brakelines loose on the calipers. It would suck to get half into the job and realize you're going to strip the brakeline fittings and will need replacement ones.



*Edit** Also make sure you're buying to correct calipers & rotors since you're the sport and have the larger brakes up front**
Apologies for the late reply.

This is really helpful.

I feel that what you described is exactly what happened. Wheels and rack and steering wheel are all moving together.

My steering yolk is rusted all to hell, but the replacement looks to be a real *****, so I am going to replace the brakes, and continue to look for hubs and steering issues after that. Hopefully it's no big deal. I'll prob have a front end shop take a look also just to be sure eventually.

I have the 5th gen upgraded brakes, so I am putting the Toyota OEM rotors, Napa Painted Lifetime Calipers, and Akebono pads (supposedly the OEM supplier for Toyota.)
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