tools for easier front swaybar/bushing replacement - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

Camry 3rd & 4th Gen (1992-1996 & 1997-2001)/1st Gen Solara (1999-2003) Toyota Camry Discussion for years 1992-1996 & 1997-2001, as well as Solara discussion for years 1999-2003. Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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post #1 of 22 Old 05-17-2017, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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tools for easier front swaybar/bushing replacement

Alright, you folks helped me out a few weeks ago with removing and cleaning my IACV and it went smooth. That has built my confidence and now I want to tackle the job of replacing front swaybar links and bushings. Both my links are shot and the actual swaybar can easily be moved within the bushings. I have read the prior posts regarding this subject and I think I know what to do. I would rather spend a few bucks on tools that will make the job easier. It was recommended to use a 12mm ratching box end wrench for removal of the rear bushing screws, a metric allen key (what size?) and some non petroleum grease for the bushings. Could someone give me the exact sizes of ALL the wrenches needed and the size of the allen key? And is this a job that a non mechanic could do? I have learned that with excellent advice (given from this forum) and having all the tools BEFORE you start a job, usually makes jobs tolerable. Any tricks of the trade would also be helpful.
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post #2 of 22 Old 05-17-2017, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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I am sorry I forgot to say it is a Toyota Camry 1999 V6
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post #3 of 22 Old 05-17-2017, 12:50 PM
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For the bushings, yup, 12mm ratcheting box wrench. Flex-head would help as well. You can get better clearance if you drop the subframe a bit...19mm bolts on that, 134 ft-lbs. A friend with a prybar is helpful.Grease the bushings, and you may want to put Teflon tape on the sway bar where it clamps as well (will eliminate squeaks).

For the endlinks, the counterhold should be 5mm hex. Stock nut is 14mm, but aftermarket endlinks (I use Beck/Arnley) often come with a 15mm. If it came with a Nyloc, don't reuse if you have to take it off or it'll loosen even with the right torque (ask me how I know). The V6 Beck/Arnley offering comes with a regular nut with a serrated/toothed base IIRC...much better.

Torque on endlinks is 29 ft-lbs, torque on bushings is 14 ft-lbs (but you're not going to torque that ).
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post #4 of 22 Old 05-17-2017, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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This may sound dumb, but would removing the rotor make this job alot easier? I have 55000 miles on my rotors and they pulsate when braking especially if the brakes are warm. I have heard that its probably better just to replace the rotor especially if its warped. I have watched a few videos and think I could handle the rotor replacement.
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post #5 of 22 Old 05-18-2017, 12:28 AM
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This may sound dumb, but would removing the rotor make this job alot easier? I have 55000 miles on my rotors and they pulsate when braking especially if the brakes are warm. I have heard that its probably better just to replace the rotor especially if its warped. I have watched a few videos and think I could handle the rotor replacement.
The sway bar hardware? No, not really...everything's about as accessible as it's going to get.

Yeah, the pulsation is probably a warped rotor. Replacement is easy, caliper bracket bolts are 79 ft-lbs IIRC. Caliper bolts themselves...I want to say 25?

Whenever I do brakes I replace pads and rotors at the same time, no sense turning rotors anymore when high-enough quality rotors are available for nearly the same price. I live in CA where rust isn't an issue, so I don't worry about rotors made of "Chinese steel." Honestly, I've heard more complaints on these forums from people who put Brembo blanks on than from people who use the plain-jane Centric rotors.

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post #6 of 22 Old 05-18-2017, 10:40 AM
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Soak all your fasteners down a day or so ahead of time with a penetrating fluid of your choice to aid in removal. I even wire brushed the exposed threads on the connecting links to help removing the nuts even easier. If the connecting links fight you coming out remember you can always take a right angle grinder or hack saw to them for removal. J The sway bar bushing mounts not so much. Hopefully you have a gen 4, the gen 3 sway bar bushing mounts on the 5SFE anyway are a PITA to replace due to limited space from the frame.
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post #7 of 22 Old 05-18-2017, 05:34 PM
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As mentioned, the main difficulty may be rust and seized fasteners. But otherwise the tools mentioned should work just fine. I use MAS or Mevotech stabilizer bars without the grease zerks. I'm done with greasable Moogs as solid and tight steering they offer.

Later on when you're comfortable to work on brakes you need to make sure the anchor pins are sliding freely. They should move with two-fingers pressure. Otherwise they can cause uneven pad wear and rotor problems. Also make sure the wheel lugs are properly and evenly torqued down. I use the $9.99-11.99 (on sale) 1/2"-drive torque wrench from Harbor Freight.
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post #8 of 22 Old 05-19-2017, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Rockauto website has stabilizer bar bushings for my 1999 V6 camry in both 16mm and 17mm diameters......which one do I need? ....or which one is better? I am assuming I need to replace the bushings because I can easily slide the stabilizing bar back and forth. Thanks
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post #9 of 22 Old 05-19-2017, 12:00 PM
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A good way to check it is to see which metric open end wrench fits over it, 17 or 18mm.

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post #10 of 22 Old 05-19-2017, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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good simple idea, I don't know why I did not think of that. Is there any advantage to having a tighter bushing on?
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post #11 of 22 Old 05-19-2017, 05:16 PM
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Get the one that fits, if you have clearance with a larger bushing it'll rattle. Only real upgrade is to go with polyurethane bushings instead of rubber, which will be stiffer and harder-wearing. Might squeak more though, so Teflon tape and grease are a good idea.

I've used Moog and Beck/Arnley bushings for gen3/4 Camrys and ES's. Beck/Arnley offers rubber bushings for all four corners, but Moog offers rubber for the rear and PU for the front (their highly-recommended Problem Solver line).

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post #12 of 22 Old 05-19-2017, 05:55 PM
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You need to get the right size. I believe one is for the V6 and the other for the I4. Not sure which one for which.
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post #13 of 22 Old 05-22-2017, 03:12 PM
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The Gen3/4 is fairly straight forward. The Gen5, the sway bar link AND bushing is kind of a PITA to do...will be asking for tips in the Gen5 forums.

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post #14 of 22 Old 05-22-2017, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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how much play should be between the sway bar and bushings? I can slide the swaybar back and forth pretty easily. Once the front sway bar bushings are replaced, should I have any play in the bar? or should the bushing fit tightly and prevent side to side movement? Thanks
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post #15 of 22 Old 05-22-2017, 09:12 PM
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how much play should be between the sway bar and bushings? I can slide the swaybar back and forth pretty easily. Once the front sway bar bushings are replaced, should I have any play in the bar? or should the bushing fit tightly and prevent side to side movement? Thanks
I've only used PU bushings for the front, but after replacement, they were so solid I couldn't wiggle them at all.
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