Noise in front after suspension and steering overhaul 98 Toyota Sienna

So I started a “quick” strut job on my mothers 98 Toyota Sienna last weekend, after many complaints about a rattling noise on the passenger side while driving on semi smooth roads. I got in and found that the CV boots were gone, and there wasn’t much grease in the boots, all the ball joints were loose, and the wheel bearings were starting to grind. So since the car is at 225,000 I ordered the parts and took Friday off. I started the job, and also found out that the inner tie rod boot was completely full of ATF(This cars power steering fluid). There was a massive 2 day struggle with the CV axle being rusted in the motor mount bracket. But I finally got it all replaced and back together.
So all told I ended up replacing the following parts; Power Rack, Inner Tie Rods, Outer Tie Rod Ends, Rear Lower Passenger motor mount, Strut Mount, Lower Ball Joints, CV axles, Wheel Bearings, Lower Struts, Upper Strut Mount, Fuel Filter, Brake Pads, Brake Hardware, Oil Filter, and the Oil.
I got it all back together and just finished the test drive ONLY FOR THE NOISE TO STILL BE THERE!!! What did I miss? What could it be? Is there something simple I could have done wrong to continued to have the rattling noise? Any advice would be appreciated, this was my biggest endeavor yet and I hate to give up and take it to a shop…
Also the steering wheel is off 20 degrees to the left, I could handle that, but its not my car and my mother says it needs to be fixed…
PS I am planning on taking it in for an alignment, but it does drive straight down the road as it is.


“steering wheel is off 20 degrees . . .”

Your toe is off. That is to be expected after replacing the rack

Did you use high quality parts?

I’ve found that some cheap parts are barely better (or even worse) than my old defective parts

Is everything torqued to specs?

Yeah I used mostly partsmaster, cordone, or moog depending on what I needed, I had to hit duralast for a few parts but the suspension and ball joints should be good. I had the FSM download and got as close as I could with the torque wrench…


Moog is good quality

Cardone is so-so

Isn’t partsmaster a store brand?

Partsmaster was carried at both orileys and autozone and partsgeek. I fixed the steering by reconnecting the knuckle when the wheels were straight. I took it for an alignment and they gave me nothing asto why it was still making noise from the strut.

Without car in hand, I have no idea what the noise is. Assuming everything is assembled as it should be, any chance this noise could be related to something like a loose exhaust, motor mount, or even a flopping inner fender?
What about a loose sway bar end link?

I think you will be fine as to parts quality as quite often the store brands are manufactured by the same company with the big name.
You mention Duralast which I think is predominantly sold by AutoZone. An example there would be gaskets which are marketed under that name but which are acutally made by Fel-Pro.

With the age and high miles on the car, I tip my hat to you for going about this the right way and replacing all of it.

I have mixed feelings about Duralast parts . . . not so much the batteries, but other things

Sway bar end links are the first thing I look at when I have thunks or rattling going over bumps. Every one of my cars/trucks has needed one at an early age (in my book). They seem to be marginally designed most of the time. At that age/mileage, they are definitely suspect IMO.

Prior to starting job, steering wheel was centered? Wheels straight? And now it is not? By a lot? U did check that rack steering is centered prior to install?

The rack was centered prior to install, but during install it got uncentered. The steering was corrected by putting the wheels straight, removing the link, straightening the wheel and re-connecting the link.
The one thing I did not replace was the sway bar links, and they were easy to move for a ball joint. I will look into replacing those. Also I will see if I can make a recoding to share of the rattling when it hits a small bump.

So I replaced the sway bar links and it is still rattling like something in the passenger strut is loose… I am thinking about the strut thrust bearing?


“strut thrust bearing?”

Please explain

I’ve never heard that term before

Since you’ve already replaced the strut mounts, I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean

When putting the strut back together the mount was the part that had the bolts and then there was a ring that went between the upper insulator and the mount. The diagram refers to this as the thrust bearing


Thanks for the clarification

Now I can picture what you’re talking about