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Improving Handling and Noise When Parked

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by Cat5Tdi, Aug 8, 2020.

  1. Aug 8, 2020 at 10:32 AM
    #1
    Cat5Tdi

    Cat5Tdi [OP] New Member

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    Hi folks, I'm in an 03 Access Cab, 4.7 4wd Auto, 180k. Truck is in good shape and I don't drive it a ton these days, but I need to tackle a couple of outstanding issues.

    First, overall handling sucks. Steering feels loose, driving curvy roads creates a lot of body roll. I have BFG A/Ts and their extra weight doesn't help. Towing is also pretty miserable, though my only experience with this truck was a 6x12 overloaded U-Haul, so maybe that's not fair. I do have a 22' rv I'd like to start pulling with the Tundra though, so I want to get handling in better shape. I imagine most of it is just due to age (not sure if p.o. replaced anything suspension-wise). Any suggestions on that?

    Second, when parking with a hot engine, there are very noticeable creaking noises from the bottom for some time. Like your typical engine cool down sounds, but louder. I thought something was leaking on the exhaust but I can't seem to find anything. Not losing any fluids, no overheating on any sensors. Are there any common issues there to look for?
     
    theblurry1 likes this.
  2. Aug 8, 2020 at 10:40 AM
    #2
    Sunnier

    Sunnier “DO it!”

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    “Improving handling and noise when parked” :rofl: I went immediately to trying to imagine what “handling” needs doing when parked. LOL!

    Did your front sway bar get removed? I removed mine to remove limitations of suspension and increase off-road capabilities when I went long-travel... and the result on road is that the truck leans significantly during even loose turns, especially when the truck is weighted with gear. So, I suggest you check to make sure you’ve got a sway bar installed in front, and maybe get one for the rear.
     
  3. Aug 8, 2020 at 10:49 AM
    #3
    YardBird

    YardBird Native San Diegan

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    I would suspect the exhaust system and heat shield(s) to be the issue with cool down sounds after the engine is shut off. It can be metal on metal moving and contracting when cooling.
    Of course, the heat shield can amplify this noise as well.
     
  4. Aug 8, 2020 at 10:51 AM
    #4
    BlueRibbon4x4

    BlueRibbon4x4 Let’s color match it

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    Agree with checking sway bars, also, how old are your shocks? May want to upgrade.
     
  5. Aug 8, 2020 at 10:51 AM
    #5
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    2002 Access Cab Owner since new here. Been tow/hauling with it since new.

    Our years came with a front sway bar. The links are prone to snap from age/rust as mine did and resulted in steering like a boat. I’ve recently had the front rebuilt and they added new sway links to the factory sway. Handling improved! I also added a rear Hellwig 7700 sway bar which made the truck handle even better! Highly recommend.

    The truck handles so much better tow/haul with the sway bars and Bilstein Shocks. I’ve upgraded the brakes, as well as the 2002 brakes were undersized. Even with all the improvement I still keep the tow weight under 4k lbs. because our trucks can’t handle heavy.

    Your popping noises are probably the exhaust manifold cracks/problems famous on our 1st Gens. The crack in the manifold is popping.
     
  6. Aug 17, 2020 at 7:17 PM
    #6
    Cat5Tdi

    Cat5Tdi [OP] New Member

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    Late reply but thanks for the tips. Sure enough, passenger sway link is shot. I'm gonna order the set and bushings, and maybe that rear sb. Best I can tell, shocks may be original. It seems 5100's all around are the way to go? (Is it worth it to replace coils too?) I've also considered dropping the extra $$$ and going with a small 2-3" lift to level it out, but not sure how much that's going to compromise my towing. Anything else to swap while I'm in the front end?

    I'm on the fence with the popping / pinging noises. I can't hear any sign of the exhaust leaking while running. From thread I wonder if it's normal. It sounds more like heat shields cooling down around the cats IMO (esp driver side). Maybe I just need to suck it up, but regardless it is very loud compared to every other vehicle I've had. I do have a bad o2 that needs swapping (p0051 passenger upstream), I don't see how that could be directly related but it wouldn't hurt to change it.

    Finally, in the 'I need to look under the truck more often' department. I noticed a bit of pure coolant (not ATF-I think...) pooled on the oil drain plug. Garage floor was clean, it must be minor but I can't see anywhere it's coming from. I cleaned the pan, hopefully it will be easier to spot. Coolant is a tad low so it makes sense.

     
  7. Aug 17, 2020 at 7:30 PM
    #7
    empty_lord

    empty_lord They see me rollin'

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    5100s are a good shock. If your towing you may need to look into new rear leaf springs for your truck too.
    I lifted mine with 5100s all the way around on lift springs and did a 3 leaf add a leaf kit in the rear truck drives very planted for a lifted truck.
     
  8. Aug 18, 2020 at 4:13 AM
    #8
    bmf4069

    bmf4069 Yup, that's car parts in a dishwasher

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    Yeah, I'd say that's done. As for coolant on the drain plug, theres 2 coolant train bolts on the block. I'd check for leaks on those. They may be weeping and running down the block onto the oil pan and down to the bolt.

    As for anything else to swap out while doing the links, not really. You don't need to remove anything else while in there. However, give everything a good look, especially the lower ball joints, and do the shake test on your tires before taking them off.


    Edit: @Sunnier I thought the same thing! :rofl:
     
    revtune, Sunnier and Darkness like this.
  9. Aug 18, 2020 at 4:21 AM
    #9
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Lift will compromise your towing. Keep her factory for better towing. Do you have TRD Offroad Package on your truck? If so those are heavy duty coils and they should still be good. The lighter coils on other models do sag more and may be worn out if you tow regular.

    Check your heat shields on the exhaust pipes. The bands rust off and allow them to rattle etc.

    Your oil crank/cam seals may be leaking and the drip is making its way down to the pan. Could be coolant, but you’d probably see that elsewhere before the pan.
     
  10. Aug 18, 2020 at 6:27 PM
    #10
    Cat5Tdi

    Cat5Tdi [OP] New Member

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    Yep, TRD. It's a southern truck so underside is in good shape compared to most. It hasn't seen more than 500 miles this year, sitting there probably doesn't help anything.
     

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