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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
Sorry if this is obvious , but I can't find a place here that shows how to replace the rack. The Toyota manual for some reason says to remove the steering wheel, which doesn't make sense..

Is it as simple as just removing the old one (taking or not taking the tie rod ends with it ?) and replacing the old one ? My truck was lifted about 6" by the PO.. Apparently when he did this it moved the steering wheel off by about 20 degrees.. just an annoyance but I'd like to fix that , too while I have that off ...

thanks in advance for the help !

thinking about this, I think removing and re-installing the steering wheel would fix my steering wheel alignment problem ...
 

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The replacement itself should be about as you imagine it.
Measure the distance from tie rod to the housing before removal, copy that distance when installing the new rack.

I believe the power steering units are bled by turning the wheel from lock to lock while the engine is running, just keep the reservoir topped off to replace lost fluid.

About the alignment of the new rack, guessing tie rod position will only get you close. Every rack is different, IMHO you should get the truck realigned. The steering wheel will be straightened at the same time.

The fact that it is 20° off already seems to indicate there is a problem.

I'm not an expert on lifted trucks, though, just my 2 cents.

Chipsndukes
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks dukes - I'm out the door to do it now !
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm making progress , but stuck on the tie rod end removal. It looks like you need a special tool to do this - on my way to Schmucks to do this now... Not sure If I can replace the steering rack without removing the tierod ends, but I'll take them off so I can get close to alignment before getting it aligned.

To anyone who's done this before , is it absolutely necessary to disconnect at the tierod ends ?
TIA
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This sux - even with the special tool I can't get the outer tierod out.. No matter how hard I crank down on the special tool to press out the bolt, it just won't budge.. I've had liquid wrench in there for at least 2 hours, too...

I'm going on with this trying to disconnect at the inner tie rod end since I can't remove it at the wheel...
 

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I just did my steering rack.
First straiten the wheels and make sure the steering wheel doesn't move. BEFORE you remove the outers, MARK the threads on the outers with "white-out" so you know "about how far to screw them into the new rack. With the castle nuts removed, pound the bolt on outer TRE with a BRASS hammer being careful still not to screw the threads up. It may seem like they aren't going to come out, but they will. Once both are out, now screw off the outers (I had to reuse mine). Easier to do when the rack is still on. Now put the outers on the new rack. Don't tighten them down until you are done. Be sure to run the castle nuts on the threads to check for straitness. Easier to do this off the truck.

Recheck the steering wheel for straitness. Climb under and mark the RAG JOINT with something you can see and make sure the mark lines up with something you can remember.

Now pull all the attachment bolts/nuts off the rack, leaving the bottom one just barely on. Slide the rack forward until it hits the nut. This will allow you to get at the power steering lines easier. Put a pan under there, because you will lose some fluid. Once the line are disconnected, remove the nut and slide the rack off.

Do everything in reverse for the new rack. MAKE SURE WHEN YOU SLIDE THE NEW RACK IN THAT YOU DON'T MOVE THE RAG JOINT MUCH. Have someone in the cab hold the steering tight and strait if you like.

When you are all done putting it together, fill until the cold line with power steering fluid......NOT ATF. I use synthetic. Start the truck and turn left then right 1 time not hitting the stop. Shut it off and fill it up again. Repeat. once you've done it a couple times you can go all the way left and right. Check fluid. Check for leaks. Make sure everything is tight. You're done. Now go get it aligned.
 

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Excellent tutorial by KMAN, someone who's done this before. :kewl:

If you don't have a brass hammer you can try something that has worked for me before on other cars. Hit the flange on the steering knuckle HARD on the side between the tie rod boot (above) and the castle nut (below).
The hole in the flange will go oval for a split second and this breaks the lock between the tie rod bolt and the knuckle. You need to hit it HARD, be careful, please don't miss and bash something else, leastways a loved one. :bhitit: :doh: :shiner:

Pickle forks and press type special tools don't work well in my experience. Sorry I didn't think to mention the problem of getting the tie rod end off, hope it doesn't give you too much trouble.

Follow KMAN's advice, looks like he knows something about this job.

Chipsndukes
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, thanks for the advice. I have the new rack in and the lines are all connected. Now it's sitting there with everthing connected except the tie rod ends....

Would it hurt the rack if I just screwed the rack into the inner part of the tie rod ? I'd first unclamp the outer part of the boot of course, so that doesn't twist. I'm wondering if that will work as long as I do it gently so as not to damage the seaks inside the outer section of the rack...

I'm not really worried about alignment (I do have marks) since I'm gonna get it aligned. So I guess my question is as long as I can screw it onto the Tie Rod, is it OK to connect it this way without damaging the seal ? It looks like it turns freely as long as I disconnect the boot ?

TIA,
john
 

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OK, thanks for the advice. I have the new rack in and the lines are all connected. Now it's sitting there with everthing connected except the tie rod ends....

Would it hurt the rack if I just screwed the rack into the inner part of the tie rod ? I'd first unclamp the outer part of the boot of course, so that doesn't twist. I'm wondering if that will work as long as I do it gently so as not to damage the seaks inside the outer section of the rack...

I'm not really worried about alignment (I do have marks) since I'm gonna get it aligned. So I guess my question is as long as I can screw it onto the Tie Rod, is it OK to connect it this way without damaging the seal ? It looks like it turns freely as long as I disconnect the boot ?

TIA,
john

Didn't your steering rack come with new inners and boots (mine did)??? If so, why would you screw with that?
Just put the outers on the new rack and be done. Am I missing something?
 

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Patrick, just to let you know, the owners manual calls for ATF in the rack, not power steering fluid. Mine is an '02 but I doubt they changed through the years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi KMAN, I don't think I explained myself very well...

I'm wondering, since I can't remove my outer TRE's and my new rack is mounted, would it be ok for me just to screw the inners (yes, they came with the rack and had new boots) onto the outers which are still on the truck ?

I'd disconnect the outer boot clamp so the I could screw the inner on to the outer without twisting the boot all to hell..

Its physically possible to do this from what I can see, but I'm concerned about when I twist the inner to screw it onto the outer if I'd mess up the seal or anything like that with all of the screwing/rotation...

It obviously rotates freely because of the movement it has to go through, but just concerned about turning it around so many times...

It this isn't kosher, I'll starting pounding again on the outer tre and maybe try chips tricks, too..
thanks !
 

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Hi KMAN, I don't think I explained myself very well...

I'm wondering, since I can't remove my outer TRE's and my new rack is mounted, would it be ok for me just to screw the inners (yes, they came with the rack and had new boots) onto the outers which are still on the truck ?

I'd disconnect the outer boot clamp so the I could screw the inner on to the outer without twisting the boot all to hell..

Its physically possible to do this from what I can see, but I'm concerned about when I twist the inner to screw it onto the outer if I'd mess up the seal or anything like that with all of the screwing/rotation...

It obviously rotates freely because of the movement it has to go through, but just concerned about turning it around so many times...

It this isn't kosher, I'll starting pounding again on the outer tre and maybe try chips tricks, too..
thanks !
you can do what you are saying but is pretty hard to get the inner and outer tie rods lined up with the outers still on the truck and the inners still attached to the rack. It seems like that is your only option though if you can't get the outers off. Even if you could get the outers off, you have probably messed up the threads by now and wouldn't be able to get them back on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the clarification. I haven't messed up any threads up luckily. I unscrewed the inners from the outers while I was removing the old rack.

I figure I can line them up by turning the steering wheel and/or lifting the front end so I can move the tires (and therefore the outer TR).

I know this whole thing sounds kinda "redneckish" , but I just don't see a way I can get that dang outer removed from the steering knuckle without damaging something else. I even rented the puller and it just wouldn't unscrew any more. I'm not exactly a small dude (6" 230 and I do weights) and put a lot into it... It just wasn't going anywhere and I didn't feel like breaking the tool I was renting..
 

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Patrick, just to let you know, the owners manual calls for ATF in the rack, not power steering fluid. Mine is an '02 but I doubt they changed through the years.
My rebuild rack had a red tag on it stating "Warranty is void" if you put ATF in there. Power steering fluid only. Not sure why they would be different. I use ATF in the wife's truck, but I'm not voiding anything.
 

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Thanks for the clarification. I haven't messed up any threads up luckily. I unscrewed the inners from the outers while I was removing the old rack.

I figure I can line them up by turning the steering wheel and/or lifting the front end so I can move the tires (and therefore the outer TR).

I know this whole thing sounds kinda "redneckish" , but I just don't see a way I can get that dang outer removed from the steering knuckle without damaging something else. I even rented the puller and it just wouldn't unscrew any more. I'm not exactly a small dude (6" 230 and I do weights) and put a lot into it... It just wasn't going anywhere and I didn't feel like breaking the tool I was renting..
I think I understand you now.

You should be able to do what you are talking about with no problem because the inner is a ball that will just spin. No need to remove the boot. Don't move the steering wheel. Move the wheel itself. Might be kind of hard to get the threads started, but after you do, just turn them IN until you hit the marks you made before you took them apart.
 

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The whole process would be a lot easier if you jack up the truck and remove the wheels/tires. what kind of puller are you using? You should be using a puller like this:
 

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My rebuild rack had a red tag on it stating "Warranty is void" if you put ATF in there. Power steering fluid only. Not sure why they would be different. I use ATF in the wife's truck, but I'm not voiding anything.
Patrick, when I got my reman rack, it already had ATF running through the system. Search the boards and you will find a few threads on why not to use power steering fluid. It messes with the power steering pump. Here is the FSM page showing the type of fluid to use: http://deserted1.com/FSM/Repair_Manual/03tacoma/pp/sr/lubr.pdf

You might want to call the place that you bought the rack from and ask them about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks KMAN - I feel better now... I will move the wheel to adjust instead of the steering wheel....

Cooper , the tool I used looked exactly like the one you have and I put a wrench around to turn. - after 2 days' soaking in liquid wrench it still wouldn't budge.

I started off by trying to pound out w/hammer but it wouldn't budge with that , either...
 

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Patrick, when I got my reman rack, it already had ATF running through the system. Search the boards and you will find a few threads on why not to use power steering fluid. It messes with the power steering pump. Here is the FSM page showing the type of fluid to use: http://deserted1.com/FSM/Repair_Manual/03tacoma/pp/sr/lubr.pdf

You might want to call the place that you bought the rack from and ask them about it.
Thanks, I'll check into that.
 

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I know this suggestion is probably coming to late but, in the past when I have had problems getting things like tierod ends to come out I've found that it always helps to apply a little heat to the situation. So if you take a propane torch to the metal around the tirod end for a few seconds, it should get that hole to expand a bit and the tierod end should pop out much nicer.
 
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