3rd Gen 4runner Lower Control Arm Upgrade

By | August 6, 2022

Over fourth dimension, rubber bushings clothing out and need to be replaced. This happened for me recently when I Replaced All the Bushings on my Tacoma, and I figured that others could benefit from a quick lilliputian guide that shows the entire process and lists all the necessary parts.

Before getting started, I should note that when replacing the Lower Control Arm (LCA) bushings, i must remove the steering rack from its mounts. As such, this is also a good fourth dimension to refresh the bushings that secure it besides, which is not a hard procedure: Stride-by-Step Steering Rack Bushing Replacement on a 1st Gen Tacoma (or 3rd Gen 4Runner).

When replacing the LCA bushings, there are a few ways to go well-nigh it:

  • Completely new LCAs. This is how Toyota wants you lot to do information technology, since they don’t sell replacement bushings, and replacing the entire LCA means you don’t demand any special tools to press out the onetime bushings. Simply dang, OEM Toyota LCAs are expensive (50: 48069-35120 | R: 48068-35120), if all you need are bushings. Of course, you can always get aftermarket LCAs, which people seem to have reasonably good luck with and are much less expensive (Moog L: Left | R: Right) (Mevotech L: Left | R: Right).
  • Whiteline LCA bushings. Lots of folks go this route, and the Whitelines install very similarly to the OEM bushings – rubber within of a metal sleeve that presses into the LCA. These piece of work well, merely take the possible drawback of the metal sleeve rusting into the LCA simply similar the OEM sleeves exercise.
  • Strongflex Polyurethane LCA bushings. These are fabricated of a higher performing polyurethane rather than rubber, but the real reason to go this road is because the poly bushings insert straight into the LCAs, with no pressing in of a metallic sleeve. This should – in theory anyhow – brand future replacement a easy.

All three of these options are covered in this stride-by-step guide, and I call out below which steps tin exist skipped if you’re going one route or some other.


Parts for this chore are pretty straight forwards. Plainly, you demand bushings, but it’s also highly recommended to get new cam sleeve, nuts, and bolts since it is common that the existing ones will be rusted into the bushings and need to exist cut out.

  • Bushings. One of the post-obit, which I recommend in this order, though any will work:
      • Strongflex Polyurethane LCA bushings. Best performance, easiest maintenance.
      • Whiteline LCA bushings. Nifty option. Often easier to purchase and less expensive than Strongflex. Best option prior to development of Strongflex bushings.
      • New LCAs – OEM: (L: 48069-35120 | R: 48068-35120) or aftermarket: (Left | Correct). A skilful option if y’all don’t accept the tools to press out the old bushings.
  • four of Toyota OEM Alignment Cam Sleeve (48409-35050)
  • 4 of Toyota OEM Alignment Cam Nut (48452-35020)
  • four of Toyota OEM Alignment Cam Bolt (90080-11283)


While this job isn’t difficult with the right tools, there are several “specialty” tools necessary in society to go the job done hands. These tools are by and large useful for working on the front end finish of a Tacoma, so don’t worry that you’ll need them for this job only; you’ll use them over and over once more.

  • twenty ton press from Harbor Freight – used for pressing out the old LCA bushings.
  • Press/Pull Sleeve Kit – used to capture the LCA (and other) bushings every bit they are pressed out.
  • OTC 6295 Front Service Kit – contains pitman arm puller, used to separate the LCA from the lower brawl joint (LBJ).
  • OTC 4518 Stinger 5-ton Bar-Type Puller/Bearing Separator Set – used when pressing out the old bushings.
  • Floor jack.
  • (ii) half-dozen ton jack stands.
  • (ii) 3 ton jack stands.
  • Misc sockets (I recommend this set up from Williams, a Snap-On make)
    • 12mm socket – steering rack, sway bar removal.
    • 14mm socket – sway bar end link removal.
    • 19mm socket – lower shock mountain, steering rack.
    • 21mm socket – to remove lug nuts.
    • 22mm socket – to remove steering rack, OTRE castle nut.
    • 24mm socket – LBJ castle nut removal.
    • Ratchet, Extensions, every bit necessary.
  • Breaker Bar.
  • Torque Wrench.
  • Cold Chisel and Hammer.
  • A Propane (good) or MAPP gas (better) torch – to apply heat when pressing out bushings.
  • A reciprocating saw and carbide tipped blades – if necessary to cut out the alignment cam components.
  • An impact wrench for lug nuts and various other tasks.

Doing the Chore

Most of these steps are relatively straight frontward, and sometimes the order tin exist swapped effectually a scrap based on your own preferences.

Accessing the Lower Control Artillery

The kickoff thing to practice is proceeds access to the LCAs, which demand to be removed. Since these are common tasks, I’ll outline them without going into too much item.

  1. Using a floor jack and jack stands, support the front of the truck on the frame with both front wheels completely off the footing.
  2. Remove the wheels.
  3. Lock the steering wheel. This is necessary in order to maintain right steering wheel orientation once the steering rack is removed in order to admission the LCA bolts.
  4. Brand certain the parking brake is on, and at least ane rear tire is chalked.
  5. Remove the skid plates.
  6. Remove the sway bar and sway bar end links if they are installed.
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Disconnecting Outer Tie Rod (OTRE) from the Lower Ball Joint (LBJ)

In order to more easily move the steering rack out of the manner of the LCA cam adjusting bolts and sleeves, it’s necessary to disconnect the rack from the LBJ.

  1. Remove the cotter pin from the OTRE castle nut.
  2. Apply a 22mm socket to loosen the castle nut securing the OTRE to the LBJ.
  3. Use the smaller Pittman Puller in the OTC 6295 Front end Service Set to dissever the OTRE and LBJ.
    Note: leave the castle nut loosely threaded onto the OTRE when yous do this, and it will continue the articulation from exploding when it’s pressed out.

Removing the Steering Rack

Removal of the bolts securing the steering rack is necessary in order to motility the steering rack a flake, allowing access to the LCA cam adjusting bolts and sleeves.

This process is covered hither: Stride-by-Step Steering Rack Bushing Replacement on a 1st Gen Tacoma (or tertiary Gen 4Runner).

Disconnecting Suspension and LBJ from the LCA

  1. Using a 19mm socket and 19mm wrench, remove the nut from the lower shock mount.
  2. With the nut removed, pull the lower shock bolt out of the mount.
    Note: you may need to save tension on the bolt slightly to practise this past lifting the hub/rotor associates.

  3. Support the spindle and upper control arm using a jack stand nether the rotor. This will keep unnecessary pressure level off of the suspension components as well as the CV axle.

  4. Remove the cotter pivot from the LBJ castle nut.
  5. Using a 24mm socket, loosen, but do not completely remove, the LBJ castle nut.
  6. Use the larger Pittman Puller in the OTC 6295 Front Finish Service Prepare to separate the LBJ from the LCA.
    Note: leave the castle nut loosely threaded onto the LBJ when yous practice this, and it will go on the joint from exploding when it’s pressed out.

Removing the LCA Cam Adjusting Bolts, Basics, and Sleeves

This role of the projection can be hard if your cam bolts, nuts, and sleeves are rusted into place, or rusted to the sleeves of the LCA bushings. Before continuing forward, brand sure you have replacement parts on manus for any that might be destroyed in this process, or simply plan to replace them as proficient practise.

  1. To remove the passenger side front and rear, and  driver side forepart bolts, apply a 19mm wrench to hold the Alignment Cam Nut and a 22mm socket to loosen and remove the Alignment Cam Bolt.
  2. To brand room to remove the driver side rear bolt, remove the ring clamp securing the steering rack kicking that covers the Inner Tie Rod (ITRE), and slide the boot toward the OTRE.

  3. To remove the driver side rear commodities, apply a 19mm wrench to agree the Alignment Cam Nut and a 22mm socket + extension to loosen and remove the Alignment Cam Bolt.
    Note 1: to fit the 22mm socket + extension, every bit well every bit remove the commodities, you will demand to manipulate the steering rack out of the way.
    Note 2: Protect the ITRE shaft using a rag between the extension and ITRE.

  4. As each bolt is removed, pry the Alignment Cam Nut off the contrary side of the joint.
    Note: the Alignment Cam Nut may be rusted onto the Alignment Cam Sleeve. If this is the case, the sleeves may demand to be cutting out; see Cutting out the LCA Cam Adjusting Sleeves beneath.
  5. With the Alignment Cam Nuts removed, pry the Alignment Cam Sleeves out of the LCA bushings.
    Annotation: the Alignment Cam Sleeves may be rusted into the LCA bushings. If this is the instance, the sleeves may need to be cutting out; come across Cut out the LCA Cam Adjusting Sleeves beneath.

  6. In one case all of the Cam Adjusting Sleeves are removed, continue to Removing the LCAs.
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Cut out the LCA Cam Adjusting Sleeves (only if necessary)

If the Alignment Cam Nuts or Sleeves are rusted in place, they will need to be cut out. Carbide tipped blades are necessary for this as the steel in the LCA bushing sleeves is hardened and normal blades will boring quickly.

  1. Using a reciprocating saw with carbide tipped blades, cut through the Cam Adjusting Sleeves, being careful not to mar the LCA surface or frame mounting surface.
    Note 1: A large cutting-off wheel can exist used for this as well, merely a saw is recommended.
    Note 2: After cut one side of the LCA out, identify a Alignment Cam Commodities through the bushing to hold information technology in place more easily while cut the 2nd leg.

Removing the LCAs

With the Cam Adjusting Sleeves removed, the LCA is gratuitous and can be removed from the frame.

Pressing Out the Quondam LCA Bushings

Pressing out the LCA bushings entails application of both force and heat. Heat is supplied by a torch, and force can be applied with either a 20-ton press (recommended) or a bottle jack.

Using a Press (recommended)

When using a press, a bearing splitter is used to push the LCA down over a socket on the press surface. Equally the LCA is pressed down, this socket keeps the bushing from moving, effectively pushing it out of the LCA and into a sleeve placed on tiptop of the begetting splitter.

  1. Using a hammer and cold chisel, curve the flange of the bushing away from the LCA then that the begetting splitter fits between the ii surfaces.

  2. Attach the bearing splitter betwixt the LCA and bushing flange. Ensure that the edge of the bearing splitter supports the perimeter of the LCA as much as possible, as you volition be pressing on the bearing splitter to force the LCA down.

  3. Identify a 24mm socket on the printing surface, followed by the LCA, followed by a 76mm outside-bore printing sleeve and cap.
    Notation: For one side of the LCA, a deep 24mm socket tin can be used. For the other side of the LCA, a shorter socket must be used in order to articulate the LCA on the press.

  4. Using a torch, utilise heat around the unabridged bushing area in order to expand the LCA slightly and to help pause whatever corrosion between the LCA and bushing sleeve.

  5. Slowly apply the press to press the LCA down while the 24mm socket forces the LCA bushing to remain stationary, pressing it out of the LCA.

Using a Canteen Jack (normally done; not recommended)

When using a bottle jack, the nearly important thing to ensure is that y’all don’t apply so much force between the LCA legs that you deform the LCA itself as y’all press out the onetime bushings.

  1. Place the OEM bottle jack between the LCA legs with the acme against the LCA bushing that y’all desire to remove.
  2. Secure a ratchet strap as all-time you can around the LCA legs to assistance in keeping them from spreading equally the LCA bushing is pressed out.
  3. Using a torch, apply rut effectually the entire bushing expanse in lodge to aggrandize the LCA slightly and to help intermission whatsoever corrosion betwixt the LCA and bushing sleeve.
  4. Slowly use the canteen jack to press the LCA bushing out of the LCA.

Prepping for and Installing New Bushings

With the old bushings removed, the difficult role of the task is complete. Reassembly is much easier equally long as the LCA legs have not been spread during removal.

  1. Make clean out the LCA sleeves using steel wool or Emory cloth.
  2. Apply a coat of primer and pigment to the LCAs, in any locations that yous heated, to protect from future rust.

If you are installing Strongflex bushings:

    1. Employ grease to the outer surface of the bushings and insert two bushing halves into each LCA sleeve.
      Note: If you take both blood-red and yellow bushings, the red bushings get in the front hole and the yellow bushings go in the rear hole.

    2. Apply grease to the inner surface of the bushings and to the outer surface of the metal inner sleeve.
    3. Slide the metal inner sleeve into the bushing.

If you are installing Whiteline bushings:

  1. Employ grease on the interior surface of the bushings and the outer surface of the inner sleeves.
  2. Printing the inner metal sleeves into the bushings.
  3. Apply anti-seize to the inner surface of the LCA and outer metal surface of the bushing.
  4. Press the bushings into the LCA using a vice or press.
    Notation 1: If using a vice, a pair of Channellock pliers tin be used between the vice jaw and metallic bushing lip to avoid pressing directly on the condom.

    Note 2: if using a press, a 50mm inside bore/60mm outside diameter sleeve tin can be used to press on the metal bushing lip.

Reinstalling the LCA Cam Adjustment Hardware

Installation is essentially the opposite of removal. Echo this process twice for each LCA.

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  1. Spread some antiseize on the outer surface of the LCA Cam Sleeve.
  2. Insert the LCA Cam Sleeve to secure the LCA.
    1. For Strongflex, the LCA Cam Sleeve passes through the frame, through the LCA bushing, and through the opposite side of the frame.
      Notation: There are no washers used between the bushings and frame with this production.

    2. For Whiteline, the LCA Cam Sleeve passes through the frame, through a washer, through the LCA bushing, through a second washer, and finally through the contrary side of the frame.

    Note ane: the LCA Cam Sleeve inserts from the front end of the vehicle for the front leg of the LCA, and from the rear of the vehicle for the rear leg of the LCA.
    Note 2: When inserting the driver rear LCA Cam Sleeve, you will need to start the sleeve into the LCA leg with the outset adjuster pointed down in order to slide by the steering rack. In one case it is past the rack, you can rotate information technology into the appropriate position.

    Note three: Before moving to the side by side step, ensure that the Kickoff Cam Adjusters on the Sleeves and Basics are oriented “up,” with the bolt pigsty on the lesser.

  3. Align the LCA Cam Nuts so that the get-go adjusters are aligned in the same orientation as the adjuster on the sleeve and printing it onto the sleeve.
  4. Spread some antiseize on the LCA Cam Bolts and slide information technology into the LCA Cam Sleeves. Only finger tighten the bolts at this bespeak.

Reinstalling the Steering Rack

Whether you decided to replace your steering rack bushings or not, reinstallation of the steering rack is the opposite of removal. Torque specs are as follows:

  • Driver side bolt: 141 ft-lbs
  • Center commodities: 123 ft-lbs
  • Passenger bolts: 123 ft-lbs

This process is covered here: Stride-past-Pace Steering Rack Bushing Replacement on a 1st Gen Tacoma (or 3rd Gen 4Runner).

Reconnecting the LBJ, and Lower Shock Mount, and OTRE

Installation is the opposite of removal.

  1. Insert the LBJ post into the LCA and thread on the associated 24mm castle nut.
  2. Using a 24mm socket, torque the castle nut to 105 ft-lbs, plus whatever boosted to allow for insertion of the cotter pin.
  3. Insert and secure a new cotter pivot.
  4. Insert the lower shock mount commodities from the rear of the vehicle, and thread on the associated 19mm nut to the front end of the mountain.
  5. Using a 19mm socket and 19mm wrench, torque the lower stupor mount to 101 ft-lbs.
  6. Insert the OTRE post into the LBJ and thread on the associated 19mm castle nut.
  7. Using a 19mm socket, torque the castle nut to 67 ft-lbs, plus any additional to permit for insertion of the cotter pin.
  8. Insert and secure a new cotter pin.

Wrapping upwards the Installation

There are but a few things left to do in order to finalize the installation.

  1. Reinstall the sway bar (if desired) and torque to spec.
    • End links at LCA: 51 ft-lbs.
    • End links at Sway Bar: 22 ft-lbs.
    • Sway Bar frame mounts: 19 ft-lbs.
  2. Reinstall the skid plates.
  3. Reinstall the wheels and tighten, but do not torque, the lug nuts.
  4. Remove jack stands supporting front of vehicle.
  5. With truck supporting its own weight, torque lug nuts to 89 ft-lbs.


It’s important to take the truck in for an alignment immediately, as your alignment volition be significantly off afterward performing this work. Still, fifty-fifty prior to getting an alignment, it’south important to eyeball the alignment and get information technology “close,” so you aren’t chewing up your tires on the fashion to the alignment shop.

  1. Park the truck on a flat surface.
  2. Roll forward and backward approximately 20 feet.
  3. From the front of the truck, inspect the alignment to ensure the wheels are as vertical as possible. If they are non vertical, rotate the LCA Alignment Cams to accommodate their orientation.

  4. Once you are satisfied that the wheels are more often than not perpendicular to the ground, torque the Cam Adjusting Bolts to 96 ft-lbs.
    Note 3: Ensure that the Offset Cam Adjusters on the Sleeves and Nuts are oriented “up,” with the bolt hole on the lesser.
  5. Have the truck in for an alignment.

Source: https://adventuretaco.com/guide/step-by-step-lower-control-arm-bushing-replacement-on-a-1st-gen-tacoma-or-3rd-gen-4runner/