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1984-1989 Toyota 4Runner Troubleshooting

The first generation 4Runner has many commonalities with the pickups from those years and both still have a devoted cult-like following. Many have converted these vehicles into rock crawling and 4X4 play vehicles, but there is also a good number of them still on the streets. They are most easily noted by the removable top , something that was only available in this model.

Truck makes noise when going over a bump ¶ 

Despite how slow you go over speed bumps or pot holes the truck makes a loud banging pop.

Check the components of the steering linkage ¶ 

Look underneath the front of the vehicle between the front tires at the components of the steering linkage. If any of the parts seem to be fitting loose then replace that component. Pay special attention to the idler arm, bolted onto the frame of the passenger side, as it is the most likely suspect. If one of the joints on it is separated or not connected then it is the problem and should be replaced or repaired

Drifting while the truck is in motion ¶ 

While driving, you experience the truck to be drifting while you hold the wheel steady. It can either be dramatically drifting or barely noticeable.

Visually check the idler arm ¶ 

Look underneath the vehicle between the front two tires and bolted onto the frame should be the idler arm. If the joints are loose, disconnected or leaking grease then it is time to repair or replace the idler arm.

Mechanically inspect the idler arm on the ground ¶ 

With the truck parked, have a helper turn the steering wheel while you observe the tires. If he/she can turn the wheel without any resistance and no tires moving then it is time to repair or replace the idler arm.

Mechanically inspect the idler arm in the air ¶ 

With the front of the truck properly jacked, using wheel chocks and jack stands, try to move the wheels. If the wheels can move without a helper observing the steering wheel turning, then it is time to repair or replace the idler arm.

Cap will not come off the idler arm ¶ 

When trying to replace the idler arm, it can often be hard to get the cap off so that the joint can be replaced.

Clean all the grease and dirt off the cap ¶ 

Often times, a good cleaning can make the cap come off much easier. Spray the cap liberally with a grease penetrating agent such as WD-40 or PB Blaster and let it soak for 2 minutes. Once the penetrant soaks into the grease take a rag and wipe the old grease and dirt off. If it all doesn't come off then gently brush it with a steel brush to loosen it and wipe off the grease. The cap should be easier to take off now.

Tap the cap ¶ 

Insert the arm into a vice and tap the cap with a hard rubber mallet or very gently with a hammer until the cap loosens enough to take off.

Twist the cap ¶ 

With the arm in a vice, take a large pair of vice grips or channel locks and fit them about the cap. Use the tools to try and get the cap to wiggle, breaking the seal holding it on. Once the cap has some free play in it, follow the instructions on this guide.

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