Tundra sway bars links ugh!!!!!

JCMatthews

Tour Guide
I drive an '05 DC Tundra. I have lifted the front 2" using Bilstein 5100 adjustable shocks, and the rear is lifted 1.5" via add-a-leaf springs. It mostly is driven on pavement with a rare off road excursion which is mostly smooth gas well or FS roads. Last July I posted about sway bar links because I noticed that both of the front links were broken. In the spring, I had taken it to the Dollhouse in the Maze District of Canyonlands and Elephant Hill in the Needles District of Canyonlands. I was a little shocked, but the trails were difficult enough for a heavy full size truck and figured the next time I took it on a rough trail, I would remove the links before they could break. Tonight I went out with my son on a series of gas field roads in the western end of the book cliffs that are to the north of our home. We saw a few deer, and enjoyed being out. About a mile from home, I decided to climb a hill that I have climbed in several stock vehicles, I ncluding my Tundra, many times. The line I chose required me to drop my front tire into a shallow ditch, and then turn hard left to climb the hill. I heard a pop as I dropped the left tire into the ditch. I was not sure what it was, but it did not sound right. I was able to easily climb the front left tire out of the ditch, but as the right side started to climb up, I lost four wheel drive. I was not sure what was going on, and tried a different line with the same problem, no four wheel drive. I backed up onto level ground to see what was wrong, and found a horrifying site. When my front left tire went down into the ditch, it broke the top off of the passenger link. When my link snapped it angled forward. Then the suspension articulated allowing the link to stab through the CV boot into the CV joint tearing it apart. I will not know the extent of the damage until tomorrow in the day light when it can be torn down and inspected. I hope that the axle shaft it not damaged, but you know Murphy. Luckily when it happened I was at a point where I could back out, and very close to home. I have thought about how many remote places I have been over the years, and how catastrophic this could have been. I don't understand why Toyota did not design a stronger link. Last spring when the links were broken and not attached I did not notice and adverse steering issues, and will more than likely remove the entire front sway bar, until I am able to find and afford a reliable fix. Here is the only picture I have. It shows the broken link resting on the tie rod, and a hole in the grease covered CV boot.
 

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tyv12

Adventurer
They make hd sway bar links, stock ones are pretty spindly


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Greenyota

Observer
If you use stiff springs like OME 886 or 885 up front I've heard that you no longer need the sway-bar for on road performance. I know a few people on this forum have just left theirs off for a while, without an adverse effect as long as they had heavy duty coils up front.
 

JCMatthews

Tour Guide
I have looked at the LCE links. They look just like the links Downey sold before they went out of business.
 

rickashay

Explorer
wow thats a bummer. I guess i should delte my sway bars sooner than later..... I was hoping to get my C/O's on before I pulled the sway bar but now I'm worried!
 

mtndude23

Observer
I pulled them off my 2000 AC, and now my 06 DC, after breaking a few sets. The trucks really do ride fine with out them.
 

JCMatthews

Tour Guide
I did/do not completely understand cv-joints. I thought they were more like u-joints. I have done a little research, and feel like I understand them better. Here is a picture of what the broken link did to the cv-joint and axle. I drove my Tundra for probably a year with the links broken the first time before I found them, so obviously the truck functions without them. However, I can tell a difference with them off and really like how much tighter the steering feels with a front sway bar. The links that I replaced them with are Moog K8853 replacements for an F-350. They have a flex/ball joint in both ends. It did require shimming them with washers to get them to snug down so they would not rattle.
 

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tyv12

Adventurer
I know some guys feel that with coil overs you don't need a sway bar, but for me having a double cab I ran with no sway bar for about a year and yes off-road it's better but I had an incident where I had 4 guys in the truck and probably 600lbs in the bed and was doing 120k/hr and had a fairly tight corner, truck took a funny bounce on the inside tire and I'm pretty sure the truck was on 2 wheels heard a chirp when the tires came back down scared the **** out of me... Needless to say the hd links were ordered the next day So personally even with 2.5" coilovers and 700# springs sway bars are on there for a reason. If you remove it just be aware of it when ur loaded up and at high speeds


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