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Steering Rack Replacement on 5th Gen 4Runner

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010-2024)' started by strannik, Jul 25, 2023.

  1. Jul 25, 2023 at 10:18 PM
    #1
    strannik

    strannik [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2023
    Member:
    #34370
    Messages:
    107
    On my previous trip the steering rack on my 4Runner decided that it had enough beating. It started making clunking noise, making me wounder whether or not I should continue with my journey. I decided to move on despite of this. If steering was getting effected in any way during the trip, there were towns where I could stop for an emergent repair. Luckily, I was able to make it back and replace it at home.


    As far as I know, there are only two ways to approach this repair. To remove the steering rack a certified Toyota technician would have to lift up the engine, whereas a DIYer is able to accomplish the same without lifting the engine. To do this, however, one has to move a lot of things out of the way.

    [​IMG]

    Parts

    Steering Rack Replacement

    Part # Product Qt Price
    44200-35094 Power Steering Link Assembly 1 $747.26
    90119-14138 Bolt 2 $6.95
    90178-A0058 Nut 2 $1.50
    15692-31030 Gasket 1 $3.74

    Engine Oil Change
    • Engine oil
    • Oil filter
    Power Steering Fluid Change
    • ATF


    Preparation

    Flush steering fluid

    I did not perform steering fluid flush. I did it about a year ago, so the fluid should have been in good condition.

    Center and tie off steering wheel

    I used bungee cord to tie off steering wheel. I have seen others use a seat belt. I had to rotate steering wheel slightly to take off intermediate steering wheel shaft, but it was returned to the center position afterwards.

    [​IMG]

    Disconnect negative terminal on the battery
    I skipped this part. I assume this step is taken for safety reasons to avoid airbag ejection while you are hammering intermediate steering shaft out.

    Remove skid plates

    Remove outer tie rod ends

    To do this job, I used ball joint separator tool that I loaned from a nearby AutoZone. I also counted the number threads as I spun outer tie rods off.

    Remove inner tie rod ends
    Same as above. I used inner tie rod removal tool that I loaned from AutoZone. You need 40mm attachment for this.

    Rack and Pinion

    Manual Pages: 2900 – 2902

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Nuts & Bolts
    • Rack and Pinion Bolts (2x): 89 ft/lbs
      • 19mm socket + 19mm wrench
    • Pressure Feed Tube Assembly (2x)
      • 17 mm wrench
    • Pressure Feed Tube Assembly Bracket Bolt (1x)
      • 12mm wrench
    • Tie rods ends – inner
    • Tie rods ends – outer
    • Tie rods ends- outer – adjustment nut
    Fluids
    • Power Steering Fluid

    ***​

    Pressure Feed Tube Assembly and Bracket Bolts
    [​IMG]

    Both of the lines can be removed with 17mm wrench. To remove the one that is further up, the hose has to be taken off and the nipple undone. The nipple and bracket bolt have to be transferred to the new steering rack.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bolts
    The two bolts that are holding steering rack in place are upside down. Some people claim that they can be removed by loosening the lines that run to the oil filter housing and AC compressor. It seems that everyone who has ever done this job, either on Tacoma or on 4Runner, just cut them off with reciprocating saw or Dremel rotary tool.
    Passenger’s Side
    I cut the bolts using reciprocating saw with diamond teeth blade and Dremel rotary tool with large cut off disks. I had to use vise-grips pliers to keep the bolt from spinning and falling down.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Driver’s Side
    I had to struggle with the bolt on the driver’s side. Instead of cutting it in a straight cut, I had to rotate it and sharpen it as a pencil.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For me, it was easier to place rotary tool this way.

    [​IMG]

    You will need to secure the rack in place afterwards for removal of some of the components. I just used new bolts for that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2024
    ID_Yeti, 2Toys, grizzlypath and 2 others like this.
  2. Jul 25, 2023 at 10:32 PM
    #2
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster Slope Survivalist

    Joined:
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    Idaho
    Vehicle:
    2018 SR5
    265-70-17 Ridge Grapplers, TRD Pro rims, 3M precut bra, N-Fab nerf/steps
    I have to wonder if regular PS fluid flush’s would have prolonged its life?

    180k doesn’t seem like a lot for the rack and pinion.

    Thank you for taking the time to post the removal and replacement. Good job.
     
  3. Jul 25, 2023 at 11:11 PM
    #3
    Rob41

    Rob41 Veteran

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    Northern Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2023 Supercharged 4Runner TRD
    Magnuson Supercharger, CSF Performance Radiator, Eibach Pro-Truck Series 2R suspension, SCS Ray10 Bronze Wheels, Pedal Monster, TRD Pro Grill, TRD Pro Roof Rack
    Great write up and thanks for sharing!
     
    strannik[OP] likes this.
  4. Jul 25, 2023 at 11:41 PM
    #4
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster Slope Survivalist

    Joined:
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    Idaho
    Vehicle:
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    265-70-17 Ridge Grapplers, TRD Pro rims, 3M precut bra, N-Fab nerf/steps
    Good point, off roading can definitely add a lot more stress to the rack and pinion.

    Thanks again for starting a thread that is worth while reading.
     
  5. Jul 26, 2023 at 1:24 AM
    #5
    Matt83

    Matt83 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2019
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    Northeast
    Any pictures to share from the Dempster and Dalton?
     
  6. Jul 26, 2023 at 11:41 AM
    #6
    bigdaddy2021

    bigdaddy2021 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2021
    Member:
    #22834
    Messages:
    162
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Brian
    So-Cal
    Vehicle:
    2019 4runner - TRD Off-Road
    Armored, Dobinson's lift, 33's, MC TacoBox, Frontrunner rack, light overland mods, M8000 winch.
    Anyone else feeling like this is a GREAT example of a job they’d let a shop take care of?
    :):):)
     
    Rocko9999, Manhattan and Slopemaster like this.
  7. Jul 26, 2023 at 12:40 PM
    #7
    bigdaddy2021

    bigdaddy2021 New Member

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Brian
    So-Cal
    Vehicle:
    2019 4runner - TRD Off-Road
    Armored, Dobinson's lift, 33's, MC TacoBox, Frontrunner rack, light overland mods, M8000 winch.
    great story and kudos to your “can do” spirit! You’ve probably holistically breathed new life into your rig by undoing all that corrosion and rot.

    :cool::cool::cool:
     
    strannik[QUOTED][OP] likes this.
  8. Feb 4, 2024 at 8:11 PM
    #8
    strannik

    strannik [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2023
    Member:
    #34370
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    107
    Intermediate Steering Shaft

    Manual Page: 2877

    [​IMG]

    Nuts & Bolts
    • Intermediate Steering Shaft Subassembly Pinch Bolts (2x): 27 ft/lbs
      • 12 mm socket
    ***​

    After steering wheel was centered and secured in place, I removed the link that attaches to the pinion.

    [​IMG]

    I found it easier to spread it with a screwdriver tip and apply a good amount of PB blaster into the opening that was created. To do this, you have to rotate steering wheel slightly. Remember to center it back again. As was mentioned earlier, the rack has to be secured with one of the bolts. I just used new bolts to keep the rack in place.

    [​IMG]

    Then, I finally knocked it out with a pry bar.

    [​IMG]

    Reassembly

    This part will come later on, but I will include it in this section.

    I added a fair amount of anti-seize to the splines when I was assembling everything back. Some of of the anti-seize got on the pinch bolt as well, so I torqued it 25% less than the specified torque value. I also found it easier to slide it in place by getting the end of the pry bar inside the U-joint, while the other end was leaning against the frame. This way you can hammer a few times on the end of the pry bar where the handle is to assist with the process.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also lubricated U-joint with 5W-30 oil. I’ve seen a few videos on YouTube of people lubricating them with heavier gear oil as a part of preventative maintenance. I will adapt this practice as well.

    [​IMG]

    Front Differential

    Manual Page: 1299

    [​IMG]

    Nuts & Bolts
    • Front Differential Support Bolts (2x): 101 ft/lbs
      • 19mm socket + 19mm wrench

    ***​

    Front differential support bolts had to be removed. They were getting in the way and front differential as well.

    [​IMG]


    Removal of Structural Components

    Manual Page: 2970

    [​IMG]

    Nuts & Bolts
    • Front Suspension Member Brace Subassembly Bolts (6x): 22 ft/lbs
      • 14mm socket
    I only had to remove Front Suspension Member Brace Subassembly. Swaybar removal was not necessary.
     
  9. Feb 4, 2024 at 8:13 PM
    #9
    strannik

    strannik [OP] New Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    A/C Compressor Removal

    Manual Pages: 3914 – 3917

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Nuts & Bolts
    • Cooler Compressor Assembly Bolts (3x) : 18 ft/lbs
      • 12mm socket + 3in extension for the upper, right bolt
    • Cooler Compressor Assembly Nut (1x) : 18 ft/lbs
      • 12mm socket + 10in extension
    • Suction Hose Subassembly Bracket Bolt (1x)
      • 10mm socket
    • Tensioner: 14mm socket

    ***​

    Serpentine Belt

    [​IMG]

    To loosen up AC compressor, serpentine belt has to be removed from the AC compressor pulley. I didn’t remove it completely from all the other pulleys.

    [​IMG]

    The hardest part was removing rear, upper bolt. I removed it using 12 mm socket attached to 3″ extension. Removal is best done through the wheel well.

    [​IMG]

    The bottom 2 bolts are easy to remove.

    [​IMG]

    The upper, left one requires 12mm deep socket and 10in extension.

    [​IMG]

    Manual says that the stud has to be removed in order to get AC compressor out. I left the stud in place, so AC compressor was just hanging on it.

    To move AC compressor line out of the way, I had to pry AC compressor with a screw driver. Without the aid of the screwdriver, I had hard time moving it past tiny supports at the bottom of the compressor.

    [​IMG]

    I tried to push steering rack in past the AC compressor line, but it was a bit difficult. I decided to move everything out of the way first, and then tie the line with a wire that I secured under the hood.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    With everything out of the way, I could easily slide old rack out, and put new one into place. Before you can do that, you have to take off oil filter housing, and prepare the rack for insertion.

    [​IMG]

    Preparing New Steering Rack

    I had to remove inner and outer tie-rods from the new rack. I do not have bench vise, so I had to come up with an alternative way to get the job done. 10 inch ratchet extension was placed through one of the bolt holes, and a long tube was placed over it. While one person was holding the rack in place, the other person was taking inner tie rod off.

    [​IMG]

    Centering Steering Rack

    https://youtu.be/PtrKH-hd4y4

    This video shows you several methods of centering the rack. One of the methods shows you how to do it with both of the inner tie rods attached to the rack. The other one shows you how to accomplish the same thing with them off the rack. I followed the second method.

    After driving the car to the alignment shop I discovered that my steering wheel was off center by a good inch.

    It was probably better to center the rack by using the ruler method. I am pretty certain that my steering wheel was centered when I assembled everything back.
    Adjusting the Rack to Make it Fit
    I had to make a few adjustments to the rack though to make it fit. The rack was centered, so its ends were protruding evenly from both of the sides. It was impossible to fit it in this way, so I had to shorten the passenger’s side of the rack by a lot.

    You will have to recenter it once it is installed, but if you have all the measurements and marks, it is fairly easy process. I found it was easier to do if you install one of the inner tie rods, and just push and pull on it to rotate the pinion to the correct position.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Feb 4, 2024 at 8:15 PM
    #10
    strannik

    strannik [OP] New Member

    Joined:
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    Member:
    #34370
    Messages:
    107
    Oil Filter Housing Removal

    Manual Pages: 2579, 2580, 2585

    [​IMG]

    Nuts & Bolts
    • Oil Filter Bracket Studs (2x): 7 ft/lbs
      • E-trex e8
    • Oil Filter Bracket Nuts (2x): 15 ft/lbs
      • 12mm long socket
    • Oil Filter Bracket Bolt (1x): 15 ft/lbs
      • 12mm standard socket
    • Feed Lines Bracket Bolts (3x)
      • 10mm standard socket
    • Oil Filter Cap: 18 ft/lbs
      • 64mm socket, 2″ ext
    • Oil Filter Drain Plug: 10 ft/lbs
      • 3/8″ drive 6″ ext
    Fluids
    • Engine Oil

    ***​

    Oil had to be drained from the oil pan and the filter prior to removal of the housing.
    It is much easier to access two nuts from the engine bay.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The long bolt can be accessed from underneath the car.

    [​IMG]

    To move the housing completely out of the way, 2 upper studs have to be removed. To do that E8 E-TORX socket is needed. Otherwise the housing can only be moved horizontally, which is barely enough to get the job done. This is done for two reasons. Oil filter housing is really getting in the way, and you will eventually have to replace the gasket.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    ***​

    You also have to free up the lines that run to oil filter housing. This requires removal of 3 bracket bolts.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ***​

    Once oil filter housing is hanging freely, you can move it out of the way. I just placed it on top of the AC compressor line. This way when I moved the line, it would lift the housing up as well.

    [​IMG]

    Reassembly

    I carefully cleaned out mating surfaces with a utility knife blade, and wiped with alcohol several times. I tried to avoid using a blade, but all the other methods failed on me. Back in the days, I used Jasco Paint Remover, but they stopped selling it where I live.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I decided to reuse the old gasket. The gasket was coated with copper spray about 5 times to fill in all the imperfections. To look at it, it was cheaper to order a new one, but it meant that I had to wait another week for it to get here. I reassembled the housing in about 10-15 minutes after spraying the gasket with the copper spray.

    [​IMG]

    I inserted two studs into the housing and placed gasket on them. The lower bolt was inserted next and loosely screwed into the block. This allowed the housing to stay in place while I torqued down 2 studs. Once the studs were torqued to 7 ft/lbs, I tightened the bolt and 2 nuts to 15 ft/lbs. Quite a bit of sealant came out on the sides.

    [​IMG]

    I then reinstalled oil filter, and refilled engine with oil.


    Power Steering Fluid Flush

    https://youtu.be/ydNGlQ5RVt8


    I run almost the whole gallon of ATF through the system to clear out all the junk and air bubbles. I kept turning steering wheel until the fluid in the line was crystal clear with no particles and huge air bubbles.

    [​IMG]

    The hardest part was taking off the hose. I used small vise-grip pliers, and kept repositioning them until I got it off completely.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. May 15, 2024 at 8:14 AM
    #11
    CO_Gary

    CO_Gary New Member

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    Wow @strannik, what an awesome writeup! I found this thread by starting to do some research to do this same thing, after I got a quote from ToyTec to do this for $4K (parts & labor). Now I understand why they have such a high amount labor. I was considering doing this myself, but I'm not sure I want to attempt it despite my ability to do so. You don't happen to live in the Denver area do you? haha

     
  12. May 15, 2024 at 9:56 PM
    #12
    Gripster

    Gripster New Member

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    The bolts that you had to cut off to remove I don’t follow how you get the new ones in.
    Great details and sure looks painful.
     
  13. May 15, 2024 at 10:26 PM
    #13
    runnerjimmy

    runnerjimmy Wannabe

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    Scottsdale Az. Castle Rock Co.
    Vehicle:
    2021 ORP Barcelona red
    Fox 2.5 DSC. 2 1/2” front, 2”rear. Falken Wildpeak 255/80/17
    Appreciate your tenacity, rack and pinion gear itself being pretty simple it is never an easy replacement. I think they build the vehicle around this steering rack.

    Vehicle enters the assembly plant first thing you see hanging there is the steering gear, then they drop the frame and all other components.

    Not sure what causes steering gears to be so problematic, fluid temperature, extreme side to side locks, Dunno!

    Almost easier to remove engine to get to these suckers.
     

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