Rear End Bushing Replacement

When I first took the 4Runner for test drive before I bought it, as soon as I got it out of the driveway and gave it some gas, I could feel the body sway left a bit. If I let off the gas at higher speeds, the body would sway right. I was caught off guard by it and assumed it was due to the 3″ lift that was installed. It bothered me though. After much research and discussion on the T4R forums, it led me to replacing ALL of the rear end bushings.

Over the course of about 3 weekends, I replaced the REALLY worn out bushings of the rear upper and lower control arms, the rear lateral bar and the rear sway bar. I forgot to take some pictures of how bad the OEM bushings looked 17 years later. It almost looked like the bushings had turned into mushrooms!

I also had to buy replacement (used) OEM rear upper control arms as they were too rusted to salvage. Some of the other components had some rust, but a wire wheel, sand paper and paint resolved that issue. I bought replacement bushings for everything, as well as new nuts and bolts (mostly OEM) for everything and kept the old ones that were in great enough condition as backups.

Removing the bushings was a REAL challenge. Only utilizing a large hand clamp and a large socket made this job painfully difficult. I had to do all kinds of crafty things to remove the bushings from the lateral bar and the lower control arms. Finally, I had to have the rest of the bushing removal done by a shop that had a 200+ pound press. Additionally, despite having watched Timmy the Toolman’s videos, I made the mistake of removing the control arms as a set at the same time, which made the rear end axle roll backward about 2″. So, I had to use a ratchet strap and a cable winch puller to pull the rear end forward in order to connect the control arms.

Now that all of that has been completed, the rig rides SO SMOOTH! I no longer have the body sway issue or the hard body jerk when cruise control gave the engine sudden gas.

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