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Steering rack needing replacement?

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by 1stgenike, Mar 5, 2022.

  1. Mar 5, 2022 at 3:53 PM
    #1
    1stgenike

    1stgenike [OP] New Member

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    Have the truck going into the shop on Monday for new U-Joints and a carrier bearing. Hoping to eliminate some vibration as the current carrier bearing allows for a good 2in of play.

    Now I've known my steering rack has been very slowly weeping fluid from the driver side, but never has any drops and both boots are fine and sealed. Steering is solid with no play. Attached is a picture better showing what I am explaining. As you can see one of the bushing is pretty chewed up.

    Is this an issue I should address and replace, or does my rack still have some life? what do you guys think?

    IMG_9891.HEIC.jpg

    IMG_9889.HEIC.jpg
     
  2. Mar 5, 2022 at 3:57 PM
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    shifty`

    shifty` I am the Demon Cleaner

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    You sure that's not an oil leak from the back of the block?
     
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  3. Mar 5, 2022 at 4:14 PM
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    1stgenike

    1stgenike [OP] New Member

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    100% positive that it is coming form the rack.
     
  4. Mar 5, 2022 at 4:45 PM
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    TILLY

    TILLY Gently Used Member

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    If it were mine, I would clean it up real good with some degreaser, then run it to see where its weeping from. My bet is that its from one of those top fittings. Good luck.
     
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  5. Mar 5, 2022 at 4:50 PM
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    shifty`

    shifty` I am the Demon Cleaner

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    That's what I was thinking at first too, but you can see the collection of liquid and grime starts about an inch above both the fittings so unless they're squirting upward, seems weird to me. If you look to the right of that, you can see some saturation into the metal (look above the flex line).

    My valve cover gasket started leaking spontaneously recently for no clear reason. My rack was looking like .... if OP's rack is 6 months into the leak, mine looked like it was about 3-4 weeks in. I actually started noticing it first because the lower half of the boot was darker in color from the midline down.

    The 4.7L naturally slopes down in the back. When oil drips off the back of the block, it will hit the manifold and also cover this entire area. But maybe it is the rack. OP would know by the smell for sure.
     
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  6. Mar 5, 2022 at 9:24 PM
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    1stgenike

    1stgenike [OP] New Member

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    Thats what gave it away. Its def not engine oil. I climbed back under there and it is actually leaking from the top fittings. You were spot on. Recommend replacing? Or can I milk some more life out of it?
     
  7. Mar 5, 2022 at 9:41 PM
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    TILLY

    TILLY Gently Used Member

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    Clean it all up, torque down all the leaky fittings you can find, and then top off and monitor your P/S reservoir to keep it at the proper level. Let us know how you make out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2022
    Tundra2 likes this.
  8. Mar 6, 2022 at 7:23 AM
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    gascap

    gascap New Member

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    I would clean it up and tighten the hydraulic lines like others recommend. Meantime buy a set of new polyurethane bushings for replacement before the original ones get chewed up enough to work themselves out. If the original rack's still good, or needs replacement, the polyurethane bushings aren't a loss because they can be installed in the old or new rack as an upgrade from the original rubber ones.
     
  9. Mar 6, 2022 at 9:13 AM
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    shifty`

    shifty` I am the Demon Cleaner

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    I haven't had mine apart yet, so I can't say if there are rubber gaskets (serviceable or otherwise) right there, on the tip of the fitting, which you may be able to replace (may find evidence in the FSM posted on this site0. But I'd at least degrease it, clean it up, and make sure both fittings and associated bolts are torqued down properly.

    What I will say is, if this is a matter of aging rubber, ATP makes AT205, a non-swelling additive that reconditions seals and is safe for everything but brakes and fuel lines, pretty much. I used it for my sudden valve cover leak and cam seal leak. No more evidence of cam seal leak and VC leak reduced by about 2/3 what it was, long enough for me to get parts and hopefully replace next weekend.
     
    w666 likes this.
  10. Mar 6, 2022 at 10:19 AM
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    RR60

    RR60 New Member

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    1stgenike[OP] and bmf4069 like this.
  11. Mar 7, 2022 at 4:18 AM
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    bmf4069

    bmf4069 Yup, that's car parts in a dishwasher

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    I've been limping by with the same leak on my rack for a few years now. I just top off my PS fluid every other week or so. I've got the rack waiting to be installed, same one posted above. I picked up some new tierod ends as well. I think you'll be fine.
     
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  12. Mar 7, 2022 at 3:14 PM
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    rock climber

    rock climber New Member

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    Mine has the same grime as yours and it's been fine for years. It's the lines up top, but they are so expensive to replace I just keep an eye on the fluid, but I only have to top it off about every 8 months.
     
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  13. Mar 15, 2022 at 4:16 PM
    #13
    1stgenike

    1stgenike [OP] New Member

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    Thank you guys. Going to hold off. I have not even noticed a low PS fluid level. Will keep eye out.

    In other news, truck is back from new U-joints and carrier bearing. $750 later and there is literally no vibrations whatsoever. Feels like a brand new truck. Worth every penny.
     
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