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Does anyone have this suspention issue?

Old 05-10-2019, 10:50 AM
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Does anyone have this suspention issue?


You can see the scrape mark on the tie rod.
93 4runner, 3.0, manual conversion, 3in under ball lift only using 1in to back off torsion bars to allow suspension to move, headers, Ausse lockers, 4.88 gears, manual hubs.
The problem is the drag link hits the tie rod on drivers side when the suspension moves up. The 3in lift helps, but still hit on bumps.
Anyone know a fix?

Last edited by pplusent; 05-10-2019 at 10:55 AM. Reason: Can't get attachment to show up
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:28 PM
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All steering components good? Steering limit stops present?
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:50 PM
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All bushings and stops are urethane and I new condition. Ball joints, tie rods, idler arm and pitman arm are all new and extreme duty Pro Forge parts. Drag link is Toyota recall replacement and frame is straight. No damage to control arms. Fresh alignment too spec. Tires are stock 31x10.5 toyo AT's.Wheel bearings less than ten k on them. Half shafts are new and diff was just rebuilt.
The interference has been there even before the restoration. Seems like just a bad design I don't know because I never had another 4runner. Was just wondering if it's just how they are like my 99 Tacoma where the wheels just fall off. Just a Toyota design flaw and recall. Wheels fell off my Tacoma twice now due to faulty ball joint design.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:02 PM
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If someone feels inclined to roll under theirs and snap some pictures.

That rod looks bend from here. Is it cause or effect?

That upper control arm seems peculiar also, so I question the caster angle and your report of the control arms are OK.
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:13 AM
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The rod is the correct shape. The bend is how they come new. Toyota designed it that way to clear the drag link but still had tight clearance. The upper arm is normal, but has an under the ball joint lift, so some of the arm around the ball joint has had to be cut for spacer clearance required. The arm is structurally sound and the alignment is right on the money. I have it aligned every six months due to high off road use. It is used in severe terrane a minimum of three days a week. I checked the A arm bushings and they are positioned correctly and in new condition.
I did have an issue before lifting with the panhard rod not being level and forcing the rear axel off to one side which changed the alignment drastically to where I could not do a lift; just not enough adjustment on the passenger side. I did a 4 inch panhard drop to put the axle back in the centered position and correct the front to rear alignment. Now I have full adjustment on the front end.
Can't be happier with the lift and the feel of the suspension. runs smooth, straight and actually articulates now. Before the suspension was so stiff the control arm assemblies never moved up and down. I could literally run up on a large rock on one side and lift the opposite wheel off the ground. With the three inch lift I backed off the torsion bars to where I only gained one inch of actual lift but softened the suspension to where it actually moves up and down. With to new manual transmission conversion coupled with the new lockers, 4.88 gears and headers it's climbing abilities have amazed me. I can now climb steep incline's off road just idling at 600 RPM, and that's with a 3.0 v6. I just don't like the tie rod hitting the drag link. I don't want to break the rod.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:51 AM
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Well I went out in the rain to look..

You see that half inch or so bit of the stud sticking out of the castle nut, I don't have that and I've got about a half inch of clearance between those parts.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:04 AM
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I was thinking of grinding some of the castle nut off, but concerned about strength, or taking some material off the rod. I am going to order a couple of tie rods from different manufactures to see if the bend is not right. I do have a half inch clearance on the passenger side, but not the drivers side. I am going to take it to my alignment guy today and see if the lower arm can be adjusted for clearance, if it can't my only hope would that there is a better rod that will do it. Kind of baffled on this one.
Thanks for making the effort to check yours in the rain!
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by pplusent View Post
I was thinking of grinding some of the castle nut off, but concerned about strength, or taking some material off the rod. I am going to order a couple of tie rods from different manufactures to see if the bend is not right. I do have a half inch clearance on the passenger side, but not the drivers side. I am going to take it to my alignment guy today and see if the lower arm can be adjusted for clearance, if it can't my only hope would that there is a better rod that will do it. Kind of baffled on this one.
Thanks for making the effort to check yours in the rain!
Do not grind on the tie rod AT ALL. If you grind on anything take a little off of the castle nut or the end of the stud. but first I would look at the inner and outer tie rod ends on both sides and compare, is there a factory dog leg in both the inner and outer?
If there is only a bend in one is it supposed to be on the inner or the outer?
Is the contact mostly on the castle nut or on the stud or both?
I don't have IFS on mine anymore to be able to compare, so I can't help much there, but I am an ex-alignment tech and I can tell you that the lower control arm cannot be relocated without affecting the alignment, if you shift it rearward to help clear the tie rod you will also have to shift the upper (not adjustable) to get the caster back in spec.
Even if you don't see any frame damage there could still be an issue with one frame rail pushed forward (or the other back) from a past incident. Either an accident or hooking a chain up to one side in the rear and yanking someone out of a mudhole.
I am sure you can see that something like a 1/2 inch difference can cause issues.
If you have a printout of the last alignment I would sure like to see you post it here, I can tell a lot from a computerized printout especially the rear Thrust Angle.
Another possibility is that the stud on your aftermarket pitman arm may just stick farther out than stock.
You should try to find someone with another similar front end and do some side by side comparisons.
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by akwheeler View Post
....
Another possibility is that the stud on your aftermarket pitman arm may just stick farther out than stock.
You should try to find someone with another similar front end and do some side by side comparisons.
Let me clarify here, there should be a full centimeter to a half inch or so clearance foreward of the tierod. The inner tie rod is much too deep into the drag link.
That tapered hole could be wallowed out, the tapered post worn or wrong, or it was just put on with too much "grunting".
..
Back to the lift and the upper control arm. If this cut is not done with great precision, there is a whole other thread about setting this up correctly and reinforcement for the material removed (by blazeland), you can wind up with camber/caster shift. (Speaking from experience here, why I mentioned it in the first place)
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:47 PM
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This is the alignment from today. The toe was off due to my air bags being low. They brought them up to pressure and got the second reading. no adjustment was made.
I have gone to my supplier and ordered in two tie rods from different manufactures with two different designs to see if one would be a different fit.The contact is to the Castle nut and edge of the stud and that is what I would grind down. If anything I would just polish out the scrape marks on the tie rod removing only the raised edges on the gouges to confirm there is no cracks. I don't have any die for nondestructive testing. There is ample clearance on the passenger side.
The rod seems the same as the original on the pitman arm, but it was within a 1/16in of hitting the nut.
This runner is a salvage and was hit across the front end, but not hard enough to damage anything but the bumper and tips of the fenders. The grill was even intact. I had checked the frame measurements to the Toyota manual specs and seemed to be straight. Still it could be slightly off since my measurements were fairly primitive.
If I could find an outer tie rod that had a small offset it would probably correct the issue.
Let me know what you think.
As I remember I did have a slight issue dropping the engine in. On that side the motor mount did not drop right in. I hade to pry it slightly to the rear of the truck to get it in. I was thinking at the time that the frame was a hair off, or maybe just a manufacturing error. Although if the frame was pushed back so would be the A- arm which would give me more clearance on the tie rod.
I use this vehicle several days a week off road and anything could bend the frame. I hit a rut three months ago at 7MPH that bounced the front end 2 feet off the ground and blew the ball out of the bottom of a new lower ball joint. It was a trap the townspeople of a tiny town called Crown King had voted to put in the road to damage cars and give them repair work at ten times the normal rate. It was just a good thing I was not in a car.
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:04 PM
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The tapered hole seemed to be in good shape and did not wobble in the hole and was torqued to spec as I do with everything. I am an engine builder, specifically GM performance engines, and aircraft engines, so Toyota is somewhat new to me and front end work is not my specialty.
Having said that I do from time to time do front end work and I have noticed on specifically Toyota suspension aftermarket parts there has been a difference in the length of the taper on the tie rod ball studs. I have a Tacoma where all the tie rod I have bought have a half an inch of taper that is visible on the ball side of the stud and the grease cup does not even compress at all. Every one I have bought is the same. It would not be unimaginable that the opposite would be true on my 4runner where the taper is to short. I would have to compare it to another one,; which I will do on Monday when they come into my supplier.
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:20 PM
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I would try and get it to a frame shop and have it checked. Not saying your measurements are wrong. But even less that a 1/2" off and it could explain a lot of the contact your having. I don't have a IFS rig anymore so I cant compare at all. I have played with straightening frames from bent yotas in the past with a come along and a tree. Got it close enough for a wheeler but took one to a frame shop to see how "close" I got and it was nowhere in the ball park. My vote is for a slightly tweaked frame. Just because the grill was intact does not mean there is no hidden damage. It just means it was hit by a low car that didn't take out the grill. So it could have jammed in to the tire and tweaked the whole front end just a smidge.
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:50 PM
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Stock 94

Last edited by Andy A; 05-12-2019 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by pplusent View Post

This is the alignment from today. The toe was off due to my air bags being low. They brought them up to pressure and got the second reading. no adjustment was made.
I have gone to my supplier and ordered in two tie rods from different manufactures with two different designs to see if one would be a different fit.The contact is to the Castle nut and edge of the stud and that is what I would grind down. If anything I would just polish out the scrape marks on the tie rod removing only the raised edges on the gouges to confirm there is no cracks. I don't have any die for nondestructive testing. There is ample clearance on the passenger side.
The rod seems the same as the original on the pitman arm, but it was within a 1/16in of hitting the nut.
This runner is a salvage and was hit across the front end, but not hard enough to damage anything but the bumper and tips of the fenders. The grill was even intact. I had checked the frame measurements to the Toyota manual specs and seemed to be straight. Still it could be slightly off since my measurements were fairly primitive.
If I could find an outer tie rod that had a small offset it would probably correct the issue.
Let me know what you think.
As I remember I did have a slight issue dropping the engine in. On that side the motor mount did not drop right in. I hade to pry it slightly to the rear of the truck to get it in. I was thinking at the time that the frame was a hair off, or maybe just a manufacturing error. Although if the frame was pushed back so would be the A- arm which would give me more clearance on the tie rod.
I use this vehicle several days a week off road and anything could bend the frame. I hit a rut three months ago at 7MPH that bounced the front end 2 feet off the ground and blew the ball out of the bottom of a new lower ball joint. It was a trap the townspeople of a tiny town called Crown King had voted to put in the road to damage cars and give them repair work at ten times the normal rate. It was just a good thing I was not in a car.
Originally Posted by thefishguy77 View Post
I would try and get it to a frame shop and have it checked. Not saying your measurements are wrong. But even less that a 1/2" off and it could explain a lot of the contact your having. I don't have a IFS rig anymore so I cant compare at all. I have played with straightening frames from bent yotas in the past with a come along and a tree. Got it close enough for a wheeler but took one to a frame shop to see how "close" I got and it was nowhere in the ball park. My vote is for a slightly tweaked frame. Just because the grill was intact does not mean there is no hidden damage. It just means it was hit by a low car that didn't take out the grill. So it could have jammed in to the tire and tweaked the whole front end just a smidge.
I agree with the fish guy, sorry it took me so long to get back onto this.
what I see on the rear thrust angle leads me to believe that the frame may be tweaked, either from a wreck or like I said earlier by hooking a chain to one side of the frame and yanking on a stuck vehicle (or this vehicle was the one stuck, but it's a Toyota, that rarely happens!) this will shift one frame rail back making it more like a diamond than a square. There are too many possibilities to mention, but if your comparisons involving the tie rods and the drag link, pitman arm length vs idler arm length don't get you anywhere you should check with a frame shop to see what they say.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:37 AM
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A frame shop is the only thing left to do. I went to do that once, but they wanted more to check it than I paid for the vehicle.
I am looking at the tie rod from one of the Toyota car models that has a very similar rod but with a more dramatic bend in it. The issue there is the threads look to be a smaller diameter. Being Proforge makes there own parts I ma going to see if they can make that rod with the 4runner threaded end. I don't think they will, but worth a try. I could buy another runner and swap everything over then scrap this body and frame, but there are zero problems now with this one other than this issue.
I could make an offset link between the two rods, but could not be Shure it wouldn't break. This really sucks after all the work on this one to get it just the way I wanted it.
Thanks for the input guys. for now I will keep it in service and hope it never brakes.
If you all think of anything else that could be a fix feel free to let me know.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:00 PM
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How much does a frame straightening cost, what is involved?

Does the process weaken the frame? Better to leave it as is and work with it, if it's just that bit?
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:53 PM
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Frame work is expensive, too expensive. I have ground dove the point on the castle nut and edge of stud then polished out the damage on the tie rod. Of course the point of the nut was pointed directly at the rod.
I then painted the nut and rod to see if it is still scraping and on a short run the paint no only has a thin line on it where it is making contact. I will have to drive it more to see, but if that's all the contact there are still some things I can do to hopefully make clearance.
When I replaced the pitman arm the alignment mark on the new arm was about three spines off center and I opted to set it up to the marks on the original arm. After looking at it today I think the offset was to better position the ball shaft with the notch in the tie rod. If this is why it was offset then repositioning the pitman arm my correct the issue I am in contact with Proforge who made the pitman arm, so maybe they can answer if that is what the offset was for.. If it is still making hard contact I may try that although that pitman arm won't be easy to get off after pressing it on.
I will give it a few day and see where I am at with it. Will be going off road on Friday so that should tell me how hard it is still contacting.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by pplusent View Post

You can see the scrape mark on the tie rod.
93 4runner, 3.0, manual conversion, 3in under ball lift only using 1in to back off torsion bars to allow suspension to move, headers, Ausse lockers, 4.88 gears, manual hubs.
The problem is the drag link hits the tie rod on drivers side when the suspension moves up. The 3in lift helps, but still hit on bumps.
Anyone know a fix?
looks bent to me, are you sure the drag link is installed correctly? can you invert/flip it?
Originally Posted by Andy A View Post

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this looks correct to me

at least before I cut that pesky IFS junk off
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:32 PM
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by pplusent View Post
When I replaced the pitman arm the alignment mark on the new arm was about three spines off center and I opted to set it up to the marks on the original arm. After looking at it today I think the offset was to better position the ball shaft with the notch in the tie rod. If this is why it was offset then repositioning the pitman arm my correct the issue I am in contact with Proforge who made the pitman arm, so maybe they can answer if that is what the offset was for.. If it is still making hard contact I may try that although that pitman arm won't be easy to get off after pressing it on.
I will give it a few day and see where I am at with it. Will be going off road on Friday so that should tell me how hard it is still contacting.
Do not expect anything to change clearance wise by re-clocking the pitman arm.
The only thing this effects is the centering of the steering wheel (which can be corrected by adjusting both tie rod adjusters) and how many turns your steering wheel will make from center to full left and center to full right.
You should make sure that #1 your steering wheel is centered, #2 that one tie rod adjuster is not adjusted a long way in and the other a long way out, they should be close to even, and #3 that you can still turn lock to lock and the steering stops on the knuckles contact the pads on the lower control arms (you get full steering both directions and it isn't limited by the steering box reaching the end of it's travel).

In regards to dropzone's comment "looks bent to me, are you sure the drag link is installed correctly? can you invert/flip it?" If you flip the drag link the tapered holes won't line up right, you can't roll it over and still attach the idler and pitman arms and if you swap it end for end the tie rods would have to attach to the front side of the drag link (same thing with rolling it)... no go.

Last edited by akwheeler; 05-15-2019 at 03:16 PM.
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