Front Sway Bar Bushing (MK90558) by Mevotech®. Quantity: 1 per Vehicle. Warranty: Lifetime or 60,000 Miles. Stabilizer bar bushings provide direct transmission of force from the sway bar to the body of the vehicle. Bushings isolate and reduce transmitted noise, road shock, and vibration. When a vehicle is in motion, axial and radial movement of the suspension system, combined with the excess heat generated by the vehicle, cause the bushings to twist and stretch. These stresses can lead to hardening, cracking, and even breaking. This normal wear can be increased by rough road conditions, or by worn or defective shock absorbers, further shortening the life of the bushings. Worn bushings can allow surrounding components to change positions often causing excessive noise in passenger cabin. Once bushings have begun to harden and crack, they must be replaced.
After running some challenging four wheel drive trails, I found the anti-sway bar bushings were split and badly in need of replacement. It's no surprise really, since I never disconnect the bar while off-roading. Unlike the earlier models, the 2001 and later Tacomas have very short endlinks, so they don't offer much of an opportunity for fabricating a quick disconnect. That's fine with me, because during my attempts to measure the difference between connected and disconnected, I've never found enough of a difference to worry about. In other words, I could still reach the limits of travel with the bar connected. I have yet to test the flex with the new urethane bushings. If the suspension doesn't flex as well, I'll be visiting the dealer for a new set of rubber bushings. In the meantime, here's the info on the urethane ones!
So, the take away from this is that... you must remove one (or possibly both) sway bar links to inspect for worn sway bar BUSHINGS, cause you can't see 'em, and the whole assembly is TOO TIGHT to feel any slop....... until you remove a Sw.B. link or two.