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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 2008 Titan crew cab, 2WD, has 147k miles... it started doing this... when I turn the steering wheel to the right, it makes a ratcheting noise, clicking. It does not do this turning to the left. It sounds like it is coming from the steering column. It will do this even when not moving, so, it is not in the wheel. What can this be and is it serious?

EDIT: See 9/8/16 update.
 

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Isn't there a u-joint in the steering shaft? Maybe that is tits-up.
 

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Isn't there a u-joint in the steering shaft? Maybe that is tits-up.
This.
A dry U joint will do it. Wd40 would usually be enough to cure it.
 

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This.
A dry U joint will do it. Wd40 would usually be enough to cure it.
pope, my boot is ripped around said u joint....think it'll be an issue long term?
 

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pope, my boot is ripped around said u joint....think it'll be an issue long term?
Spray it with something. Dry dirty ones bind up.
It will probably last forever with no boot if you keep some lube on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I started this thread. A friend helped me and while I turned the steering wheel, he tried to figure out where the clicking was coming from. He got under it and found something. There is a rubber boot (called a bellows) that is on something called a "tie rod end" piece. The tie rod piece cost $26. It's about a foot long and has a joint near one end. We bought that tie rod end piece and shall install. However, I don't understand how this could make the clicking sound. We have been told that the bonnet is just to keep dust and debris off the piece. I think it costs $35, haven't bought it yet, not sure I will. The old bonnet has a rip in it, though. I'm a tightwad, lol.
 

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I have aftermarket upper control arms that have a heim joint. When they run out of lube (that I put on) they make an unholy racket when turning, hitting bumps, braking, you name it. So if you have a joint in the steering that has dried out I can see it making the kind of noise you describe.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I am the OP. My neighbor thought it was coming from the tie-rod. There is a short piece, maybe a foot long; it has a joint in it. There is a rubber boot around it. The rubber boot was torn/worn out, so, it has been exposed to dirt/mud for probably many months. I got the parts and finally got somebody to put it on. He is a mechanic with a shop. He called it an inner tie rod. I finally got him to help me out because the truck was roaring bad. I thought it was the tie rod piece. He said no, it's not that, I think it is a bearing. Which we had already checked twice for by him and also my neighbor. It did sound like a bearing failing. Sure enough, it was and the mechanic put a new front left wheel bearing in. I got it back and the clicking is the same. Dang! I think the mechanic forgot to even check for the clicking; he just put the tie rod, rubber boot, and bearing in and that's that. $400 later I still got clicking going on. The mechanic now says it might be rack and pinion has dirt in it. Is this clicking bad news or leave it? Also, do you have to take the wheel off to get to the rack and pinion?
 
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