I have a Toyota RAV4 2002.
Have steering wander, little center response, also the steering steer on its own some time. Also outside wear on one tire. The whole rack was moving alot, so I replaced the rack bushings with poly busings, and the outer tie rods is brand new. Now I have a clicking/popping sound comming from outside, driverside where the rack connects to the steering wheel area when turning wheel.
Pulled hard in the inner tie rods but no movement. Cant find any loosenes from the steering wheel and down either. Also disconnected sway bar but still noise.
I took of the boot on the driver side, and turned wheel too look whats happening. The whole rack shaft bends when turning. The noise is comming from inside the rack. Is that normal? Because of new stiffer busings? Or is it time for new rack? Something else I should check before i get a new one? Is the rack shaft only held in place with seals? There must be some bearing that have gone bad maybe?
Please check my videos:
With boot of, loose rack shaft: https://youtu.be/9Ul8yZZ4PRg