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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got done installing a new axle, new ball joints, and new tie rod ends. Went in to get it re-aligned and I'm told my left inner tie rod is "marginal". I did some searching and I can't find a replacement anywhere; looks like the whole rack needs to be replaced in one go.

Has anyone done the rack replacement? It looks relatively simple; there's a shaft held on with a lock nut on the top, and two bolts mount it to the body of the car. What am I missing here?
 

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Ok, after looking at the TC shop manual (similar rack, just not electric) it looks really easy... one bolt holds on the intermediate shaft, two bolts hold on the rack (after disconnecting the tie rod ends). The shaft may have to lift up some from inside, or maybe the subframe has to be dropped a little, but I don't see anything crazy jumping out at me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
New steering rack is in, and it wasn't that bad. The official shop manual has you do a TON of things that are completely unnecessary, so here's the easy way:

Removal:

1. Secure the steering wheel so it can't accidentally get rotated much (I just used the seat belt for this).
2. Jack up car and remove front wheels.
3. Disconnect tie rod ends (just take off the cotter pins and bolts and give the top of each a whack with a hefty hammer)
4. Unbolt the steering rack (two large bolts you can reach from the wheel wells - turn the bolt on the top, not the nut on the bottom)
5. Unbolt the 12mm bolt to disconnect the steering shaft under the boot inside the car. The shaft kind of compresses like a strut so you can just push it in and out of the way once its unbolted.
6. Disconnect the short steering shaft piece from the steering shaft boot (outside the car this time) and pull that short piece out through the inside of the car. Remove the boot from underneath.
7. Push the steering rack out of the way slightly enough to have a straight shot at the rear motor mount bolt from the drivers side wheel well, and take it out. You'll need a few extensions to reach it with a ratchet.
8. Unbolt the rear motor mount bracket from below the car (2 nuts, 2 bolts).
9. Push the rear motor mount bracket up an inch or so (no need to jack up the engine or transmission, it just slides past without the center bolt) and pull the whole rack out through the drivers side wheel well.

Installation:

1. Center your new steering rack and put your tie rods ends on (just eyeball tie rod end position on each end based on the old rack; you'll need an alignment no matter what)
2. Lift up the motor mount bracket again and slide the whole rack in (with tie rods) through the passenger side wheel well.
3. Torque down the motor mount bracket (70 ft/lbs on all four bolts; medium thread locker recommended)
4. Slide in and torque down the motor mount center bolt (70 ft/lbs; medium thread locker recommended)
5. Position and torque down the steering rack mounting bolts (102 ft/lbs each; medium thread locker recommended)
6. Put the steering shaft boot in place and connect the short steering shaft to the steering rack (26 ft/lbs, no thread locker)
7. Put the wheels on dead straight and lower the car to keep them in place.
8. Straighten up the steering wheel and reconnect the steering column to the shaft (26 ft/lbs, no thread locker)
9. Get an alignment
10. (Optional but highly recommended) Perform a steering zero point calibration (TIS doc ID# RM00000275300NX). This requires no special tools for the "manual" method (have to use a paperclip to short some pins, turn the wheel different ways, etc.) but there's an easier automated method if you have the techstream software and a compatible cable.

After having done it once, I think I could probably do this is under an hour now with hand tools. The official way requires taking apart **** near everything on the front of the car, and would be an absolute unnecessary nightmare...
 

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New steering rack is in, and it wasn't that bad. The official shop manual has you do a TON of things that are completely unnecessary, so here's the easy way:

Removal:

1. Secure the steering wheel so it can't accidentally get rotated much (I just used the seat belt for this).
2. Jack up car and remove front wheels.
3. Disconnect tie rod ends (just take off the cotter pins and bolts and give the top of each a whack with a hefty hammer)
4. Unbolt the steering rack (two large bolts you can reach from the wheel wells - turn the bolt on the top, not the nut on the bottom)
5. Unbolt the 12mm bolt to disconnect the steering shaft under the boot inside the car. The shaft kind of compresses like a strut so you can just push it in and out of the way once its unbolted.
6. Disconnect the short steering shaft piece from the steering shaft boot (outside the car this time) and pull that short piece out through the inside of the car. Remove the boot from underneath.
7. Push the steering rack out of the way slightly enough to have a straight shot at the rear motor mount bolt from the drivers side wheel well, and take it out. You'll need a few extensions to reach it with a ratchet.
8. Unbolt the rear motor mount bracket from below the car (2 nuts, 2 bolts).
9. Push the rear motor mount bracket up an inch or so (no need to jack up the engine or transmission, it just slides past without the center bolt) and pull the whole rack out through the drivers side wheel well.

Installation:

1. Center your new steering rack and put your tie rods ends on (just eyeball tie rod end position on each end based on the old rack; you'll need an alignment no matter what)
2. Lift up the motor mount bracket again and slide the whole rack in (with tie rods) through the passenger side wheel well.
3. Torque down the motor mount bracket (70 ft/lbs on all four bolts; medium thread locker recommended)
4. Slide in and torque down the motor mount center bolt (70 ft/lbs; medium thread locker recommended)
5. Position and torque down the steering rack mounting bolts (102 ft/lbs each; medium thread locker recommended)
6. Put the steering shaft boot in place and connect the short steering shaft to the steering rack (26 ft/lbs, no thread locker)
7. Put the wheels on dead straight and lower the car to keep them in place.
8. Straighten up the steering wheel and reconnect the steering column to the shaft (26 ft/lbs, no thread locker)
9. Get an alignment
10. (Optional but highly recommended) Perform a steering zero point calibration (TIS doc ID# RM00000275300NX). This requires no special tools for the "manual" method (have to use a paperclip to short some pins, turn the wheel different ways, etc.) but there's an easier automated method if you have the techstream software and a compatible cable.

After having done it once, I think I could probably do this is under an hour now with hand tools. The official way requires taking apart **** near everything on the front of the car, and would be an absolute unnecessary nightmare...
I have a 2015 tC and it needs a new rack. There's some mechanical slack and knocking when steering at low speeds, but no fault lights of any kind are illuminated on the dash right now. After reading the instructions you've posted and looking at the location of the rack, I can see how to get it out through the driver's side wheel well. However, I've never heard of zero point calibration until reading it here. Doing some quick research into it, specifically with Toyota's, I'm seeing a LOT of people reporting that they're not able to get the VSC or EPS dash lights to go out and/or losing EPS altogether. When replacing the rack, is it absolutely necessary to do this calibration if the steering wheel is kept in the exact same position, not being moved at all, and centering the rack to match the rack being replaced? I have the tools and capability to swap out the rack, but I don't want to get into it if it will cause issues with the clockspring, steering wheel angle sensor, or the EPS module itself.
 
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