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My '04 Tacoma has recently developed a cluck when I'm turning. It is most noticeable when I turn one direction and a short time later turn the opposite direction.

I took the truck by an alignment shop today and they showed me how the rack and pinion was shifting around. They checked into the cost of new bushings and found out that the driver's side is non-serviceable. The cost of putting in a new rack and pinion: about $1300. :eek:

I've set up an appointment for tomorrow with the stealership to see if there's a chance of having it repaired under warrantee.

When I got home, I started thinking about it and decided for the heck of it to check the bolts. The bolt holding in the driver's side bushing was loose. I tightened it up a bit (I don't have a torque wrench handy and don't know what it should be anyway). After snugging it down a bit, the noice has gone away.

So after all this, my question is: Would I be safe to make sure everything is torqued down properly? I concerned about possible existing damage to the bushings and I'd rather not just be postponing the replacement of the rack and pinion. Oh yeah, my other concern, I'm taking off for a week in Moab in two weeks, and then heading to California. I'd really rather not run in to major problems in Moab.

thanks
 

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Energy suspenison makes a complete kit for the rack. Now that bushing on the Drivers side is a PITA to change but it can and has been done many times. Parks offroad.com (I think ) has a write up.

Maybe Peter will see this and give the right web address if thats not it.
 

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Whoa...! The bushing problem is common and darned sure doesn't need $1300 bucks to fix.

Get yourself some Energy Suspension poly bushings. The folks at the link are very familiar with exactly what you will need.

www.suspension.com

It is not too difficult to change these out yourself. There are some sites available that give the play by play on how to do it. One of the other members will supply links in another post as well. I don't know where to find that stuff on this new board yet.

A torque wrench is necessary for the reinstall. Air tools also make the job go easier as well. A wheel alignment will have to be done after you finish as well.

Don't replace the rack until you try this first! Very likely this is your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
maddog said:
Why would an 04 not be under warranty??
Because it has a Fabtech 2.5" lift and oversize BFG tires. So the stealer may have an out (and this dealer just may use it).
 

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www.northwestoffroad.com sells them 18.45 for the set but you have to order 50.00 worth of stuff. I have my rac bushings still sitting here in the box. When your rack makes the cluck noise does the steering wheel b/c off centered and if you cut it back the other directions it makes a noise and centers back up. My truck does that, it didn't do it till I added 2.5" of sus. lift on top of the trailmaster lift. I just deal with it and when I get the time i'am going to put on my new rack bushings. My rack moves a good bit back and forth turning 36" tsl radials.
 

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platform389 said:
A torque wrench is necessary for the reinstall. Air tools also make the job go easier as well. A wheel alignment will have to be done after you finish as well.
Everything is correct except the wheel alignment. In most cases, a wheel alignment is not necessary. Unless the alignment is changed while working on the rack, then its not necessary to align it afterwards. Even when I did mine, I removed the outer tie-rod end so I didn't have to mess with the alignment.
 

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ShowStop said:
Everything is correct except the wheel alignment. In most cases, a wheel alignment is not necessary. Unless the alignment is changed while working on the rack, then its not necessary to align it afterwards. Even when I did mine, I removed the outer tie-rod end so I didn't have to mess with the alignment.
Bzzzt... My experience when I did the job on mine says otherwise...:)

When I did mine, the steering wheel was not level when the wheels were pointed straight ahead. After the alignment, wheel was in proper position again. Better to cover all the bases when helping someone with a DIY job to avoid more problems later for the guy...
 

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platform389 said:
Bzzzt... My experience when I did the job on mine says otherwise...:)

When I did mine, the steering wheel was not level when the wheels were pointed straight ahead. After the alignment, wheel was in proper position again. Better to cover all the bases when helping someone with a DIY job to avoid more problems later for the guy...
You can re center your steering wheel without getting an alignment. What would change in the front end alignment?
 

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flatlandtacoma said:
You can re center your steering wheel without getting an alignment. What would change in the front end alignment?
Can't speak to that at all. The wheel was off when I finished the bushing install, and back where it was supposed to be when the alignment was done.

On page SR-2 of the 01 Service Manual, it lists Incorrect Front Wheel Alignment as reason #2 for poor return to center for the steering wheel. That was the reason I elected to have one done after completion of the bushing install. As stated above, it solved the problem, so it needed to be done. Remember the old saying: "If it is stupid and it works, it isn't stupid..."

My recommendations were based on my personal experience. Reading what the thread author wrote, it is clearly obvious he wasn't getting good advice from the folks there. Hopefully, he will read what we have written here and be able to address his problem without being taken for large sums of money.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
platform389 said:
My recommendations were based on my personal experience. Reading what the thread author wrote, it is clearly obvious he wasn't getting good advice from the folks there. Hopefully, he will read what we have written here and be able to address his problem without being taken for large sums of money.
I wasn't going only on the advice given here, I did post on a local board as well and talked with other shops. I was happy to find out that there was an alternative to replacing the rack. Thanks everyone, that responded.

The bushings should be here next Tuesday, and I do plan on having the alignment checked after installation (just be cause I'm anal about stuff like that :) ). In the meantime, I got under the truck and re-torqued all the bolts which seems to have helped eliminate the noise.

Again, thanks everyone.
 
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