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Polyurethane Steering Rack Bushings

There are many articles with instructions on how to install new steering rack bushings on a 3rd gen 4runner so I'm not going to do a full write up here, instead these are just tips that might make the process easier. There are links to detailed instructions at the bottom of this page.

Removal

Removing the rack was not all that difficult. It required a 22mm short socket for the driver's side bolt, a 19mm short socket and a 19mm ratcheting box wrench for the center bolt, and a 19mm deep socket for the passenger side bolts. After that I used a large flat-head screwdriver to carefully pry the rack out of the mounts.

Bushings

Getting the old bushings out is a little tough. I ended up using a vise and a large socket to press the center bushing out, and another socket and a mallet to pound the driver's side bushing out.

Installing the new bushings is much easier if you use soapy water as a lubricant.

Re-Installation

The hardest part of the process for me was getting the steering rack back into the brackets with the new bushings in place. Several of the articles below recommend installing the center bolt first and then installing the side bolts. I found that it was impossible to line up the center bolt with the driver's side washer in place, and if that washer is left out it is impossible to put in later. I tried using several clamps and a ratchet strap to pull the rack into place but the center hole always had 1/16" of overlap prevent insertion of the bolt.

The instructions that come with the bushing kit are the way to go, with one small addition. I bent the center tab open slightly to create more clearance  for the new bushings, after that I installed the driver's and passenger side bolts and snugged them to about 100lb/ft. By slowly tightening those bolts I was able to pull the center hole into alignment so the bolt could be installed.

Resources

http://www.wheelersoffroad.com/4runnerrackbushkit.htm
http://www.parksoffroad.com/tacomamods/kristacoma/rackbushings/rackbushings.htm
http://www.keystonekrawlers.com/Mods/Toyota/SteerBushing/TacomaSteeringBush.htm
http://www.yotatech.com/f2/steering-rack-toyota-reman-vs-others-177890/#post51116605
http://www.yotatech.com/f2/steering-rack-bushing-replacement-169316/

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