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Old 08-03-2022, 11:43 AM #1
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4runner vs Tacoma LCAs and sway bar

Hello everyone,

I have been searching the depths of the internet for answers with no luck, so I guess time to ask all of you...

Here's some background: I am starting to buy the parts to lift my 2000 4runner about 2-2.5 inches (suspension lift) and one thing that seems to be overlooked and under discussed is the front sway bar and links.

First off, I'm not disconnecting/removing the sway bar. From what I have read, this is not the option for me. Simply extending the sway bar like so many suggest would theoretically limit my suspension travel (as far as I understand) so I would like to stay away from that option as well.

Sonoran steel offers a bracket kit in order to attach a 2001 Tacoma sway bar to the 4runner LCAs
Retrofit 01-04 Toyota Tacoma Sway Bar on 96-02 Toyota 4Runner - $48.45 : Sonoran Steel

It seems like this (Sonoran steel option) would be a good mod for me, it would increase my articulation off road and still give me some of the benefits of a sway bar on road.

But, I don't have access to a welder and I'm looking at purchasing new LCAs anyway. I know I can just replace the bushings but would like to replace the arms too.

So here's the question, can I buy 1st gen Tacoma (95-04) LCAs and put them on the 2000 4runner, therefore allowing me to bolt the upgraded sway bar and links on directly without any welding/cutting?

Will I run into any clearance issues with any of the 4runner steering/suspension components and the Tacoma LCAs/ sway bar?
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Old 08-03-2022, 01:17 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K4R77 View Post
Hello everyone,

I have been searching the depths of the internet for answers with no luck, so I guess time to ask all of you...

Here's some background: I am starting to buy the parts to lift my 2000 4runner about 2-2.5 inches (suspension lift) and one thing that seems to be overlooked and under discussed is the front sway bar and links.

First off, I'm not disconnecting/removing the sway bar. From what I have read, this is not the option for me. Simply extending the sway bar like so many suggest would theoretically limit my suspension travel (as far as I understand) so I would like to stay away from that option as well.

Sonoran steel offers a bracket kit in order to attach a 2001 Tacoma sway bar to the 4runner LCAs
Retrofit 01-04 Toyota Tacoma Sway Bar on 96-02 Toyota 4Runner - $48.45 : Sonoran Steel

It seems like this (Sonoran steel option) would be a good mod for me, it would increase my articulation off road and still give me some of the benefits of a sway bar on road.

But, I don't have access to a welder and I'm looking at purchasing new LCAs anyway. I know I can just replace the bushings but would like to replace the arms too.

So here's the question, can I buy 1st gen Tacoma (95-04) LCAs and put them on the 2000 4runner, therefore allowing me to bolt the upgraded sway bar and links on directly without any welding/cutting?

Will I run into any clearance issues with any of the 4runner steering/suspension components and the Tacoma LCAs/ sway bar?
I would expect that the Taco LCA would work just fine. It's possible that since the Taco lower ball joints are a bit different that there could be a difference in steering stop location.

The adapter from SS is just a tab and would be very easy to have someone weld on, especially if you had the arms off the vehicle.

I did that upgrade years ago and it is still working great. I am happy with the upgrade. It's got a bit more articulation while still being slightly stiffer, and its super easy to remove the links if needed.
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Old 08-03-2022, 01:51 PM #3
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Couple thoughts:

- The double ball joint front swaybar setup was only on the later years of some Tacomas - make sure you know what you are getting if you purchase arms. It was a mid-generation 'upgrade' at some point.

- The front independent suspension has a matched wheel and roll rate for the suspension. The front swaybar is for street handling, but removing it won't make the overall truck more tippy than it 'should' be. The rear swaybar, on the other hand is a very good thing - it corrects for the lower roll rate than spring rate in the rear (inboard mounted springs on a solid axle). So, maybe try disconnecting the front and see how it drives? I personally have a front swaybar on the truck, but it is disconnected most of the time because I'm lazy to re-attach it most of the time after any offroading...

-Charlie
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Old 08-03-2022, 02:51 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JZiggy View Post
I would expect that the Taco LCA would work just fine. It's possible that since the Taco lower ball joints are a bit different that there could be a difference in steering stop location.

The adapter from SS is just a tab and would be very easy to have someone weld on, especially if you had the arms off the vehicle.

I did that upgrade years ago and it is still working great. I am happy with the upgrade. It's got a bit more articulation while still being slightly stiffer, and its super easy to remove the links if needed.
I'm just learning about the stop location difference too. since some of the aftermarket LCAs (way too expensive) are sold for both the 4runner and Tacoma, I would like to think the steering stop is dependent on the ball joint only and not the LCA. It seems my best option might be to go to a parts store and compare the 4runner and Tacoma LCAs in person.

If I can't figure out for sure if the Tacoma LCAs are going to fit then I might try to find someone to weld the Sonoran adapter tab on. I just don't like waiting on someone else when I'm ready to put everything back together.

Seems like everyone is pretty happy with the upgrade and that however I accomplish it, it'll be the way to go. I appreciate your help!
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Old 08-03-2022, 02:57 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phattyduck View Post
Couple thoughts:

- The double ball joint front swaybar setup was only on the later years of some Tacomas - make sure you know what you are getting if you purchase arms. It was a mid-generation 'upgrade' at some point.

- The front independent suspension has a matched wheel and roll rate for the suspension. The front swaybar is for street handling, but removing it won't make the overall truck more tippy than it 'should' be. The rear swaybar, on the other hand is a very good thing - it corrects for the lower roll rate than spring rate in the rear (inboard mounted springs on a solid axle). So, maybe try disconnecting the front and see how it drives? I personally have a front swaybar on the truck, but it is disconnected most of the time because I'm lazy to re-attach it most of the time after any offroading...

-Charlie
From what I've seen the control arms remained the same on all the 1st gen Tacomas and they just changed up the sway bar and links. I'll double check on that if I go with the Tacoma LCAs though.

Thank you for the info, it's always good to learn more about suspension. I'll try to disconnect the front sway bar to get an idea about how it feels but I'm pretty sure that I'll end up keeping a sway bar attached. I like that the Tacoma sway bar setup could handle more situations without having to disconnect.
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Old 08-03-2022, 05:23 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K4R77 View Post
From what I've seen the control arms remained the same on all the 1st gen Tacomas and they just changed up the sway bar and links. I'll double check on that if I go with the Tacoma LCAs though.
I'm saying that the early 1st gen Tacomas used the same style swaybar attachment as the 4Runner. It was a mid cycle change (only '01-'04). Make sure you get the right arms.

That said, I looked into it a bit more, and it looks like the 1st gen Tacoma may have always had the same tab on the arm and changed the swaybar and link instead of the arm, swaybar and link. It is odd the differences between the Tacoma and 4Runner despite the similarities.

-Charlie
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Old 08-03-2022, 05:39 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phattyduck View Post
I'm saying that the early 1st gen Tacomas used the same style swaybar attachment as the 4Runner. It was a mid cycle change (only '01-'04). Make sure you get the right arms.

That said, I looked into it a bit more, and it looks like the 1st gen Tacoma may have always had the same tab on the arm and changed the swaybar and link instead of the arm, swaybar and link. It is odd the differences between the Tacoma and 4Runner despite the similarities.

-Charlie
Yeah I think we are on the same page. The change in 01 didn't affect the control arm. The 1995-2000 tacoma still use that top bracket and the link is a ball joint on the control arm side and stacked bushings on the sway bar side.

Seems very weird that they would make such a different sway bar setup for two nearly identical front ends. If the Tacoma setup performs better I don't know why it wouldn't have been changed on the 4runner too?
That's why I'm thinking there could be some sort of clearance issues that I am not thinking about.

Hopefully someone out here has tried the swap.
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Old 08-04-2022, 09:50 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K4R77 View Post
From what I've seen the control arms remained the same on all the 1st gen Tacomas and they just changed up the sway bar and links. I'll double check on that if I go with the Tacoma LCAs though.

Thank you for the info, it's always good to learn more about suspension. I'll try to disconnect the front sway bar to get an idea about how it feels but I'm pretty sure that I'll end up keeping a sway bar attached. I like that the Tacoma sway bar setup could handle more situations without having to disconnect.
95-00 Tacoma's have a different LCA than the 01-04 Tacoma's. The early models had sway bar links that attached at the LCA and sway bar. The later model doesn't have the lower tab, and attached at the sway bar and spindle. The sway bar is also more narrow on the early model vs the later. So like @phattyduck said, make sure you know what you're getting. Getting the later model won't do you any good unless you but the spindles as well.

You can also just extend the front links, and achieve nearly the same results with a third of the work.

Mike
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Old 08-04-2022, 11:02 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MStudt View Post
95-00 Tacoma's have a different LCA than the 01-04 Tacoma's. The early models had sway bar links that attached at the LCA and sway bar. The later model doesn't have the lower tab, and attached at the sway bar and spindle. The sway bar is also more narrow on the early model vs the later. So like @phattyduck said, make sure you know what you're getting. Getting the later model won't do you any good unless you but the spindles as well.

You can also just extend the front links, and achieve nearly the same results with a third of the work.

Mike
Thanks for the information this just seems to be getting more complicated.

I must be looking at the wrong trims or something here. When I go look up parts for a Tacoma I get the following number for one of the LCAs: 48069-35120

If you look at the compatibility of that part it fits nearly every model from 95-04 so it seems that the LCA did not change in 2001. So it will always have that upper tab whether or not it is being utilized. Unless it only did for certain trims that I'm not seeing.

Also if I look up the steering knuckle 43201-35071 it fits pretty much every trim from 95-04 so it doesn't seem that a tab was added for a sway bar link, unless it is on every year.

However, when you look at sway bars there are a few different options and they seem to meet the cutoff criteria that we are discussing. 48811-04110 fits the 2001-2004 4wd models whereas 48811-04040 fits the 1995-2000 4wd models.

If Sonoran steel is creating a tab that goes on top of the control arm and allows a sway bar from 2001-2004 to be used the I would expect that it is mounting to a similar location as the Tacoma, to the tab on top on the LCA.

So perhaps the TRD trim or something is where the sway bar setup is even different. If anyone has some different part numbers for me to look at, let me know because i think I'm missing something.

Also, since I'm replacing at least control arm bushings and probably just control arms entirely, I'm not concerned about the amount of work, or even the cost... to a point. If the Tacoma sway bar is just a very slight improvement over an extended 4runner link then I think it would be worth it.
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Old 08-04-2022, 11:15 AM #10
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Just idle speculation, I certainly don't know, but it's possible that Sonoran Steel makes the bracket that way to account for a suspension lift, so the bar ends are in a more neutral setting at the raised ride height, instead of reaching down to the arm.
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Old 08-04-2022, 11:24 AM #11
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FWIW, I found a stock front swaybar endlink snapped a few years ago during an oil change. Removed what was left of the hardware on that side and never worried about it again. So, basically no front sway bar for at least 3 years now.
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Old 08-04-2022, 12:59 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K4R77 View Post
Thanks for the information this just seems to be getting more complicated.

I must be looking at the wrong trims or something here. When I go look up parts for a Tacoma I get the following number for one of the LCAs: 48069-35120

If you look at the compatibility of that part it fits nearly every model from 95-04 so it seems that the LCA did not change in 2001. So it will always have that upper tab whether or not it is being utilized. Unless it only did for certain trims that I'm not seeing.

Also if I look up the steering knuckle 43201-35071 it fits pretty much every trim from 95-04 so it doesn't seem that a tab was added for a sway bar link, unless it is on every year.

However, when you look at sway bars there are a few different options and they seem to meet the cutoff criteria that we are discussing. 48811-04110 fits the 2001-2004 4wd models whereas 48811-04040 fits the 1995-2000 4wd models.

If Sonoran steel is creating a tab that goes on top of the control arm and allows a sway bar from 2001-2004 to be used the I would expect that it is mounting to a similar location as the Tacoma, to the tab on top on the LCA.

So perhaps the TRD trim or something is where the sway bar setup is even different. If anyone has some different part numbers for me to look at, let me know because i think I'm missing something.

Also, since I'm replacing at least control arm bushings and probably just control arms entirely, I'm not concerned about the amount of work, or even the cost... to a point. If the Tacoma sway bar is just a very slight improvement over an extended 4runner link then I think it would be worth it.
I personally feel that you're making this more complicated than it needs to be. You have 2 people telling you the same things, and @phattyduck is one of the most knowledgeable members on here.

The 95-00 Tacoma will use a single joint sway bar link with a bushing on the other end. This link looks the exact same as your 3rd Gen, but shorter, and mounts the same way. The 01-04 Tacoma will use a double joint sway bar links with no bushings. This link looks the exact same as the 03+ 4runner, but shorter, and mounts in a similar fashion.

Scratch the spindle, you're fine there.

The sway bar is different as noted on SS's page, and they state to get the 48811-04110 sway bar from an 01-04 model. This is needed since it's narrower than the earlier models, and the ends are not oriented the same. The 48811-04110 will have vertical mounting points while the early model will have horizontal mounting points.

The SS tabs will be mounted in a similar fashion and location to an 01-04 Tacoma.

I'm also 100% confident the sway bar design and links changed in 01. I sell extended sway bar links, and have to know about these changes in models.

Mike
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Old 08-04-2022, 01:45 PM #13
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I personally feel that you're making this more complicated than it needs to be. You have 2 people telling you the same things, and @phattyduck is one of the most knowledgeable members on here.

The 95-00 Tacoma will use a single joint sway bar link with a bushing on the other end. This link looks the exact same as your 3rd Gen, but shorter, and mounts the same way. The 01-04 Tacoma will use a double joint sway bar links with no bushings. This link looks the exact same as the 03+ 4runner, but shorter, and mounts in a similar fashion.

Scratch the spindle, you're fine there.

The sway bar is different as noted on SS's page, and they state to get the 48811-04110 sway bar from an 01-04 model. This is needed since it's narrower than the earlier models, and the ends are not oriented the same. The 48811-04110 will have vertical mounting points while the early model will have horizontal mounting points.

The SS tabs will be mounted in a similar fashion and location to an 01-04 Tacoma.

I'm also 100% confident the sway bar design and links changed in 01. I sell extended sway bar links, and have to know about these changes in models.

Mike
I think we are all saying similar things.

It looks like @phattyduck and I are in agreement, here is the last thing from him "
That said, I looked into it a bit more, and it looks like the 1st gen Tacoma may have always had the same tab on the arm and changed the swaybar and link instead of the arm, swaybar and link. It is odd the differences between the Tacoma and 4Runner despite the similarities."

So the 95-00 Tacoma and 01-04 Tacoma have the same control arm but different sway bars and end links. We should all be in agreement there now. We are also all in agreement that the sway bar end links and sway bar did change in 01. I am not saying anything different.

Now back to the 95-00 Tacoma vs 2000 4runner. Yes, they both mount with bushings on one side and a ball joint on the other. The 4runner does not have a tab on top of the control arm for the sway bar so it is mounted to the back side of the control arm, thus requiring a longer link than the Tacoma.

This is why I am wondering if I can put a Tacoma control arm on the 4runner. That way I could actually mount either Tacoma sway bar and link setup (1 ball or 2 ball) on my 4runner because the link would be bolted to the top tab on the Tacoma control arm and not on the back side like the 4runner control arm.

So let me reiterate. Rather than welding on the Sonoran steel tab so that I can use a Tacoma sway bar on my 4runner. Will the Tacoma control arm fit on the 4runner thus eliminating the need to weld on a tab myself, because the tab is already on there from the factory.
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Old 08-04-2022, 01:49 PM #14
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I think we are all saying similar things.

It looks like @phattyduck and I are in agreement, here is the last thing from him "
That said, I looked into it a bit more, and it looks like the 1st gen Tacoma may have always had the same tab on the arm and changed the swaybar and link instead of the arm, swaybar and link. It is odd the differences between the Tacoma and 4Runner despite the similarities."

So the 95-00 Tacoma and 01-04 Tacoma have the same control arm but different sway bars and end links. We should all be in agreement there now. We are also all in agreement that the sway bar end links and sway bar did change in 01. I am not saying anything different.

Now back to the 95-00 Tacoma vs 2000 4runner. Yes, they both mount with bushings on one side and a ball joint on the other. The 4runner does not have a tab on top of the control arm for the sway bar so it is mounted to the back side of the control arm, thus requiring a longer link than the Tacoma.

This is why I am wondering if I can put a Tacoma control arm on the 4runner. That way I could actually mount either Tacoma sway bar and link setup (1 ball or 2 ball) on my 4runner because the link would be bolted to the top tab on the Tacoma control arm and not on the back side like the 4runner control arm.

So let me reiterate. Rather than welding on the Sonoran steel tab so that I can use a Tacoma sway bar on my 4runner. Will the Tacoma control arm fit on the 4runner thus eliminating the need to weld on a tab myself, because the tab is already on there from the factory.
Yes, the LCA's are interchangeable between the two. Then you just need the sway bar and links.

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