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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 10-29-2010, 10:08 AM   #1
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How do I know which tie rod to replace???

I know I need to replace these. When jacked up the tires wobble from side to side. Passenger side is the worst, drivers not too bad. Just did bearings and races, so I know those are good. Just wanna make sure i buy the right parts.
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:10 AM   #2
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Jack it up and check what parts are loose?

How the heck could anyone tell you which parts to replace on YOUR truck from behind a computer screen? Replace the parts that are LOOSE and WORN OUT. Or, just replace them all.
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:18 AM   #3
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I vote for replacing the both at the same time.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:03 PM   #4
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Replace the idler bushings first, then see where you stand. That may be your problem right there. If you need to replace a tie rod, replace 'em both, as mentioned.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:35 PM   #5
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+1 on replacing them both.
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:43 PM   #6
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replace both start with the outers if you do not plan on replacing all 4
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:09 PM   #7
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Might just be me but I have stock inners with 250k...I'm not nice to my truck and they're fine. Definitely worth checking though.
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:09 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. I guess I wasn't specific enough. Parts store lists inner and outer for both sides, plus a middle and I wasnt sure what was really needed. I'll start with both outers.

Death cougar - not sure what's up your a** but the topic title is "how do I know which tie rod....". I'm not expecting anyone to know what needs to be replaced on MY truck from behind their computer screen, but was hoping thy with all of the knowledge here, somebody would be able to point me in the right direction - which every other post did except for yours.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:04 AM   #9
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I'd replace both on both sides, and while you're at it, replace the adjusting sleeves. When you get the tie rods out, you'll know you did the right thing by replacing the whole thing, cause those adjusting sleeves will be seized like crazy if they were never changed. You're looking at about $80 total, but you will be completely satisfied. It'll also take much less time to do the work.

And, although cougar's post was abrupt, your question was vague (title especially). On top of that, cougar has been around forever. He's helped a lot of people on here, and it's frustrating to want to help without getting some good details on the problem. Not knocking you gray. You're here for help, and that's why everyone is here.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:37 AM   #10
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Just to repeat myself, be aware that the OEM tie rods are particularly long-lasting on our trucks - my 1989 originals with 286,000 miles on them are still tight.

On the other hand, the plastic bushings in the idler arm wear out much more quickly. And the symptom of a loose idler arm is steering play, in the passenger wheel more than the drivers. Suggest you search "idler arm" and "bushings" and do some reading.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:20 AM   #11
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hey grey to help you choose which ones to replace take a pair of vice grips with the front end off the ground and squeeze each one of the ends. This will help you to see which ones are loose. If replace what just "needs" to be replaced. However as stated above doing both sides of the affcted component is a good idea. Kind of like light bulbs, if you replace 1 you should replace the other side. It's probably not far behind.

Cyberman makes a good comment about the adjusting sleeves. They will most likely be toast. If they aren't now, they will be when you try to break those 15+ year old ends out of them.

if it helps here is a component break down of the front end:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:05 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies. I guess I wasn't specific enough. Parts store lists inner and outer for both sides, plus a middle and I wasnt sure what was really needed. I'll start with both outers.

Death cougar - not sure what's up your a** but the topic title is "how do I know which tie rod....". I'm not expecting anyone to know what needs to be replaced on MY truck from behind their computer screen, but was hoping thy with all of the knowledge here, somebody would be able to point me in the right direction - which every other post did except for yours.


Everyone told you the same thing: "Replace them all" which is as helpful as my post.

Try getting under your truck and yanking crap around until you find which tie rod is loose, and then replace it. Is that really so hard?
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Old 10-30-2010, 03:21 PM   #13
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Gotta agree with the coug...very vague info to start and seriously, how the f would anyone know what's wrong with YOUR truck? I understand that most people are here for help, but basic research would have yielded more results in much less time.

--Anyway, rant complete. If you find that you have a bad inner, replace BOTH inners. Same goes for the outers. Replace everything in pairs/groups/whatever...for example, never replace just your drivers side brake pads.
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:49 PM   #14
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To check your tie rods you don't even have to break out the jack. Just have someone start it up and rock the steering wheel back and forth, 11 to 1 o'clock. while the steering linkage is moving with the weight of the vehicle on it you should easily be able to spot any tie rod that is loose. It'll be moving side to side independent of the part the stud goes through. (side steering arm or centerlink).
I agree, they do last long and I would only replace one if it was bad.
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:49 PM
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1980, 4x4, check, end, ends, outer, pickup, remove, replace, replacement, replacing, revo, rod, rods, tie, tierod, toyota, truck

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