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95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4th gen pickups and 3rd gen 4Runners

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Old 04-14-2011, 06:45 AM   #1
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Replacing upper ball joint. What else should I replace while under there?

My upper ball joint boot busted on the passenger side last week. Squeaks like a school bus. I'm replacing this weekend pending rain.

What else do you guys recommend replacing while down there? I'm thinking all four ball joints, sway bar links and bushings, shocks, strut bar bushings.

What else? Please don't say control arm bushings.

Do I need anything special besides a puller? Other threads make it sound like a real PITA. I'm hoping that's specific to 4WD rides.

I'm only a 2WD 2.4L. Hope to work up to V6 and 4WD someday.

Thanks.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:44 AM   #2
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How are your tie rod ends? Those seem to go around the same time the Ball Joints go out. I am not too familar with the 2WD set up, but I know the idler arm bushings always go out on 4WD's. Take a look at those too.

If you mess with any steering stuff, you will need an alignment after your done.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:42 AM   #3
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The tie rod ends look good. In fact, it all looks pretty good in there minus the ball joint boot. It just seems I should replace it all while I'm in there.

If I need a puller to pull the ball joints out, does that mean I'll need a press to get them back in? Or does the torque on the castelated nut take care of this?

Thanks.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:45 AM   #4
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you should be able to use the puller in reverse to seat the new ball joints
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:13 AM   #5
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What kind of puller are you using? I have tried 4 different pullers but end up using a picklefork every time, everything seems to slip off.

Edit* your list looks good, upper/lower bjs especially.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:56 AM   #6
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I was just going to rent a ball joint puller from Advance Auto.

How much does a pickle fork cost?

When you say to use the puller in reverse do you mean to just push the ball joint back in from the top? Will this damage the ball joint?

Thanks.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:57 AM   #7
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use a fork and a hammer for the ball joints
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:59 AM   #8
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After they're out, how do I get the new ones back in?
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:16 PM   #9
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Remove the cotter pin,losen the nut,Insert the forkl inbetween the shaft and the knuckle,hammer away,It should pop loose.Then remove the 4 bolts holding it to the upper contol arm,and it will come out.Rebolt the new one in,insert the shaft into the knuckle and tighten to spec.Do top and bottom,while your there.Easy.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:21 PM   #10
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So there's no need for a press to get the new one in? Just tighten castle nut to spec huh? That is a sigh of relief for me as this is my first time working on suspension and steering components. Thanks.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:22 PM   #11
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there bolted in.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:31 PM   #12
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Thanks a ton "iselloil" for your input. I have way less fear going into this job now. I'll get the pickle fork instead of the bj press then.

And the bottom bj is done just like the top?
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:03 PM   #13
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Top and bottom get removed the same way on a IFS
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:12 PM   #14
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Sorry, i wasnt familiar with the 2wd Taco front end. I knew that the 4runners are the same between the 2wd and 4wd, but you will be just fine with a pickle fork, no need for the puller
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:54 AM   #15
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This job was so much easier than I had feared. Borrowed a puller from Advance Auto. The small jaw worked easy on the tie rod ends and upper ball joint. It wouldn't fit into the space for the lower until I let the knuckle swing away from the wheel well (after upper ball joint was detached). So the small puller worked easy there too. It was kind of tough to slide it over the knuckle with the rubber boot wanting to push it back out. Ball joints replaced. My tie rod ends looked great so I left them there. Sway bar bushings and links were pretty easy too. Just don't lose track of all the bushings and bushing plates on the links. There's a lot there.

So the PITA part was the part I thought would be the easiest. Replacing the front shocks. The top of the shaft just sheared off when I tried to hold it and turn the nut. So now there is just the nut with nothing above to grasp and prevent the shaft from turning. Both the front shocks did this.

What should I do to remove these? I'm stuck. I'm guessing a mechanic who can torch the thing off.

The back shocks were of course a breeze.

And after the test drive on comes the check engine light. Really? I didn't even pop the hood.

Thanks to all for the help.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:08 AM   #16
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Drill it out m8. Just be careful to not use to big of a bit. you can also order kits that are made for broken off nuts and such.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:36 PM   #17
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Hey hey - I hate to say it, but if you have no interest in keeping those shocks, ViseGrip the shaft and do it in with a reciprocator. It's ugly but it'll work.

Funny, my rear shocks were the ones that gave me trouble.

STICK

PS> Could your ABS sensor set off a CEL? I don't know - code it.
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:49 PM   #18
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It's good that you are updating your own thread Up&Down but you have left me confused on what vehicle is even being worked on.

The 4Runners in this sub forum would be 4 cylinder 2.7. I think the Tacomas also.

Almost everyone with a 3rd gen 4Runner posts up that the rear shocks are a major pain in the butt to replace-but you had no issues. So again not sure which vehicle is being discussed.

Also if you post up your location with your name then other members nearby might be willing to throw some cash at you to have you guide them in their efforts.

What kind of mileage is your ride at? There have been catastrophic ball joint failures leading to wheel separation and so on. Typically on severely lifted trucks or those over 200K miles.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:17 AM   #19
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To Ron and others whom I confused.

My apologies to all for any confusion on what vehicle is being worked on.

I'm working on a 1995 Tacoma 2.4L 2WD. Bone stock. One day I'll have a V6 4WD, God willing.

Yeah, rear shocks are a breeze on this truck. Just a bolt at the top and bottom of each shock.

I've also seen the pics of the catostrophic bj failures. Bad stuff. My truck is at 115K.

One quick question. My steering wheel is a little off center after I bolted everything back up. Does this mean my alignment is off? I assume if you mess with steering and suspension then this will affect alignment. Thanks.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:36 AM   #20
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On my old 87 you could take the steering wheel off and turn it how you needed (assuming that your alignment was ok). I dont know how much of a PITA it is with an airbag but good luck.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:36 AM
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