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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My car has just hit over 90k miles and the front end has lost some of it's stability and reponsiveness

I suspected it was time to finally get around to refreshing and upgrading the front end to TRD bushings.

I did this myself but I wouldn't recommend this as a DIY. This writeup is not meant as a DIY guide but just an overview. It's about an 8 on the difficulty scale due to sheer number of tools necessary to accomplish this. I had to use a press with various sockets/arbor plates/clamps/bearing puller, inline air saw, air chisel, impact wrench, several ball joint pullers, torque wrench, etc....

Here's the parts lineup:

Lower Control Arm #1 primary bushing:


Lower Control Arm #1 support bushing:


Lower Control Arm #2 bushing:


Steering rack right bushing. Notice the old one with a deformed lip. Time to replace.


The steering rack left bushings are not sold separately and supposedly only come with the rack? Anyways....they did look fine.

I also replaced the front lower ball joint since I was there but the original ones were still as drum tight as new. I changed them anyways as I had already bought the parts but I'll probably put these used ones up for sale.

Left to right - LCA ball joint, #1 LCA, #2 LCA (also know as caster arm)


The #1 bushing was a challenge to press out because it is flanged on one end preventing the arm from being easily supported to press out. This is where an air chisel and large bearing plate come in handy. Of note was that the #1 bushing looked completely good and intact. But since I was in there....

This was already part way pressed out but I forgot to take a pic of how to bend the flange so a bearing plate can be clamped in there to support the arm


Pressing all the way out



The #2 bushing is where my handling troubles were coming from. Notice you can see right through parts of it and the obvious tear in the rubber at the top. What you can't see is all the cracks and tears in the rubber as I bend it around in a vice. The new one is solid and you cannot see through it.


The #2 bushing takes quite a bit of effort to remove as I didn't have a fixture to support and press it out. Destructive removal time:


After the center is cut out, I then cut the a slot in the larger band with an high speed air saw to weaken it. Then break it with my make shift chisel here



I've got the front end fully put back together at this point. Just need to change my oil and a few other maintenance items and I'll get to the road test soon.

I did another mod as I was down there to slightly increase the front end suspension travel:
http://my.is/forums/f89/increase-front-suspension-travel-396046/#post5963812
 

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Thanks for posting this up. I actually started this project this morning, and saw this post. I got the bushing kit from Top Speed Auto Accessories which I believe is made by Hardrace. Not sure if it's the same as the TRD, but they look very similar. I'm about to tackle the bushing removal/install portion, which IMO, is the only real difficult part. Most of the rest is just tedious nut/bolt/screw removal. FYI, I estimated it would have been around $1,500 total (parts & labor) to have my local shop replace both lower control arms #1, and #2, (since they had to order the whole arm assemblies from the dealer), and have it aligned. I'm looking at a total of about $300-$400 total to do it myself, including having the shop align it afterwards.
 

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I just looked on Top Speeds site, the bushings were like $60?

I assume thats just the two bushings in the lower arms.
They are $49 per side (#1, and #2 lower arm bushings) on the site, but I called and ordered two sets for $45 each plus $10 shipping, so total was $100 even. The local dealer price for just the #2 lower arm w/ bushing was $220 each, and if you add in the #1 arms too, that's probably about $1,000 just for both complete arms. :jawDrop:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm about to tackle the bushing removal/install portion, which IMO, is the only real difficult part. Most of the rest is just tedious nut/bolt/screw removal.
You're right. Without the right tools though, you won't be able to successfully press in/out that bushing. Any local shop should be able to do that for you however. Just make sure they press the bushing back in the right orientation.

Another part to pay attention to is that when you are installing the #1 arm back in the vehicle, make sure to load the suspension before tightening down the pivot. Otherwise, the bushing will prematurely self destruct.
 

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You're right. Without the right tools though, you won't be able to successfully press in/out that bushing. Any local shop should be able to do that for you however. Just make sure they press the bushing back in the right orientation.

Another part to pay attention to is that when you are installing the #1 arm back in the vehicle, make sure to load the suspension before tightening down the pivot. Otherwise, the bushing will prematurely self destruct.
See I'm easily capable of removing the arms but I lack a press. I need to ask what my time is worth trying to air chisel things out ect ect ect. Its probably one of those situations where I Unbolt the arms then bring the arms and bushings to a machine shop and have them press them out and the new ones in.

BTW. Does any one know the rubber durometer on the old bushings and the durometer on the bushings on that top speed site?
 

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FWIW, after partially undoing the #1 arm, and inspecting the bushing, I'm leaving that one intact since is seems perfectly fine and solid. Seems like a whole lot of unnecessary work to replace that one now. The #2 LCA bushing is really soft and cracked just like Teck described. Even though I won't be using the #1 bushings, it's still a much better deal to just do the #2's.

BTW, what vendor did you get the TRD bushings from?
 

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Nice job!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
BTW, what vendor did you get the TRD bushings from?
I got them via Carson Toyota. Took awhile to get here but I think it's worth the wait.

I tried to see if there was any obvious durometer increases but it's really hard to discern. The part numbers and castings are completely identical to stock. Just like my upgraded TRD bushing in my rear AAR control arm. Looks like TRD uses exactly the same molds but with higher durometer rubber. Just the way I like it.

I still have some rear megan toe arms and GS400 rear upper aluminum arms to mount. That'll be the next phase.
 
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I did the Topspeed bushings just a week ago and I also left the number 1 bushing intact and only replaced the number 2 and the steering rack bushing. I really think the durometer is much higher with the topspeed set, how much higher I do not know, but I have definitely felt the difference in stability and weirdly enough feels a little bumpier (not by much though, but if you pay attention you will feel it).
But I used a 20 ton press so it was rather easy to take out the old one and put in the new one. Took 15-20mins max to swap out bushings. I need an alignment now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah...Ed did the GS upper arm mod. I really wanted an aluminum upper arm for the IS300 front end since that's where the weight bloat really is and where added traction can really help since we're front tire limited. Partly the reason I'm avoided Supra brakes as well cause I don't want more unsprung weight. But the GS front uppers are different.

I'll let you know how the rears go when I get to it. The effects would probably be pretty minor.

And yes...Chado has that AWESOME TRD full suspension set. It's actually a pretty good deal when bought as a set. Just that I already have the partial TRD rear lower arms. I really want the TRD, or at least TRD bushed rear traction bar, but that arm or bushing are not sold separately.
 
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