►►► BROKEN FRONT SWAY BAR! ◄◄◄

General discussion about our beloved Tercel 4WD cars
hberdan
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►►► BROKEN FRONT SWAY BAR! ◄◄◄

Post by hberdan » Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:08 pm

When driving to work yesterday, I was braking to a stop at a light when I heard a PING!
The vehicle immediately and violently swung to the right, completely out of control! It sideslipped immediately 25 feet to the right--almost off the roadway, but narrowly missing the ditch, not hitting any other vehicles, and not rolling over! Holy Jesus Christ, I thought for a moment or two that I was going to die. I am one LUCKY Tercel driver, boys!
The car was completely ~out of control~.

By not braking, foot off the accelerator, and steering gently I was able to coax it off the highway.
After I got the 87 Tercel DLX 4x4 wagon off the road, I turned off the ignition and inspected it--at first I had thought I'd blown a front tire, and it was fine; I couldn't immediately see any damage, though.
Got back in, started it up, drove SLOWLY a 1/4 mile to a parking area--not using the brakes, just gears--car was squirrelly; parked the car, and called a tow truck (AAA!)
I did a close inspection of the front suspension and found the sway bar (stabilizer bar) was completely broken at the point that it enters the left side steering gear arm. Totally and completely detached!!! The threaded bushed end of the bar had completely broken off. The shaft was broken in half--the nut was still attached to the bushing that was still in the opening.

Well. I didn't die, and the car was not damaged, so I got it towed back to my mechanic. Spent the afternoon replacing the sway bar with a replacement pulled from my parts car, the replacement bar turned out to be in good shape, and all I had to buy was $60 worth of bushings and collars.
It wasn't too hard to do, with regular tools--and help from my retired Toyota mechanic buddy, ha ha.

I took the car in to have the front end re-aligned and found out I also have to have an inner tie rod replaced--something impossible for me to do--so that's gonna cost almost $300 with the alignment. Ouch.
But hey, I'm not dead yet.

My car has 290,000 miles on it, in a fairly dry clime--except for snowy winters. I don't know of any way to inspect the arm short of pulling it; but if any of you have a car with a similar mileage, you might want to figure a way to do that!
The failure was dramatic and sudden--if I had been going at highway speeds--well, I don't think I'd be writing this to you right now.
Last edited by hberdan on Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Typrus
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Post by Typrus » Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:39 pm

The lovely double-function of our swaybar is as a Strut Rod. It keeps the lower control arm from flexing fore or aft. In braking, the body tried to push forward and the brakes pulled the control arm back. Pop!
On my blue one, rust had diminished the rod to 3/8" or so. My silver one is fine.

Glad you're alright! And that your car didn't self-destruct! Well, completely anyway.
RIP 10-07- 1984 Toyota Tercel SR5 4wd Wagen 6 speed

RIP 04-05- 1986 Toyota Tercel SR5 4wd Wagen 6 speed

1st Terc- 1987 Tercel SR5 4wd Wagon 6-speed, Sadly cubed

1985 Tercel Standard 4wd Wagon w/ 3-speed auto, Living a happy life in Boulder last I knew

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Post by ARCHINSTL » Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:44 pm

GLAD you're OK!
Scary, to say the least!
Thanks for the warning - we should all heed this.
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
"Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit."
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
"Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."
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takza
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Post by takza » Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:46 am

That is why I replaced my swaybar...the ends were rusted pretty bad. The ends are a much smaller diameter than the rest of the bar new...and take a lot of torque. I also check the mounting bolts on the front xmember too...don't overtorque.

If you can do the swaybar...you can handle the inner tie rod joint. No biggie.
Give a boy a gun-give a biatch a cell phone-and pretty soon you almost got yourself a police state.

Orwell said: War is peace! Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength...

Image

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Post by ARCHINSTL » Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:33 pm

Was the break a clean one? Was there evidence of it coming on for a while - ie, rust in the crack?

Ditto on takza's remarks about doing the tie rods - I did it a year ago, and it was easier than one might think.

Here is a link to the AZ Repair Guide (note that you do not have to remove the rack; I did not and it worked just fine):
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/repair ... 5280052322
Here are the tools from AutoZone (or other):
OEM27024 - OEM27042 - OEM27022
You will have to enter the tool numbers on the AZ Search block to get big pix of them.

Below is a pix of the arrangement I had to do so that the open end wrench could get enough leverage on the rack's flats so that then using the Crescent to remove the inner tie rod did not twist the rack. I think the rods had RH and LH threads, but I just do not recall. Note that I left the outer and inner rods attached and the outer also attached to the knuckle during the inner's removal; otherwise it would flop around and be awkward.
Image
Below is a pix of the AZ installation tools and an indication of where I had to install shims to match the SAE "socket" with the "metric" tie rod flats. Look at the AZ link and you can visualize it better than my pix, though. This fits into the long tool, which takes a 1/2" drive - and also lets one use a torque wrench (my torque wrench uses a 3/8" drive, but Sears has a very handy reversible adapter for 1/2-to-38.
Image
You do have to get it realigned, of course.
Good Luck - you can do it!
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
"Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit."
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
"Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."
Mark Twain

hberdan
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My tercel:: Sold my 1987 Tercel Dlx 4x4 Wagon but miss driving it everyday. I don't miss working on it, though.
Location: Colorado!

Post by hberdan » Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:58 pm

Thanks for the very good information on replacing the inner tie rod!
Alas, I didn't have the time to do it, my mechanic buddy was unwilling to attempt it, so I bit the bullet today and paid real money, $279USD (same as CDN these days I hear) to have it done along with a complete alignment...ouch!
Well, the car does drive great now, it was seriously out of alignment, all around, as it turns out (only the front alignment was done, of course).
The alignment cost $50, the part was $69, the labor for the part replacement $137. Plus taxes.

Now, if I get a chance in the next couple of weeks, I will post a photo of the snapped sway bar. It snapped near the center of the bushed and threaded end, on the driver's side. It appears that it was already partially broken, as there was evidence of a partial break that was rusted, and the new, shiny, fresh "break point" was only about 1/8" thickness--so, it seems that the bar was very near breaking for a long time! That's even scarier to think about.
The area of the bar at the break was rusted to less than half the bar thickness, and the steel bushing collar that should've been there was also completely gone--rusted away. And the rubber bushings? Totally oxidized, and broke apart when removed.
The other attachment point of the sway bar, on the passenger side, was almost full thickness, but the steel bushing collar was completely gone over there too--also rusted completely away.
FWIW, on the "new" sway bar, from my parts car, that had 246 K miles at retirement, the sway bar looks really great, but once again the steel collars had completely rusted to nothingness.
On both bars, the center bushings, up under the spray shields, were intact and pliable, and I used the ones in place on the replacement bar.
I am speculating, of course, but the loss of the steel collars, which seem substantially thick, probably contributed to addtl stress on the sway bar ends, as this reduces the OD of the sway bar considerably--so the bar really was "swaying" considerably in the mounting holes.

mrdance123
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Re: ►►► BROKEN FRONT SWAY BAR! ◄◄◄

Post by mrdance123 » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:40 am

Scary! So glad you are OK.
There is the parking brake, very convenient to use with right hand, holding the button so it does not lock. Practice using it to stop frequently, until it becomes a natural instinct if you ever experience brake or steering problems.
84 T4 Foxy Blue, 277k, winter driver.
85 T4 Speedy Blue, SR5 + A/C, 296k, summer driver.
84 T4 Curmudgeon Copper, 293k, my first T4 in 1990, now Dad's driver.
Sold: 86 T2 silver wagon, VIN ending 5847, 194k, cherry condition, in a good home.
RIP - 83 T4 Smokin' Gold, 270k, rusted out body, parted & scrapped
RIP - 84 T4 Quicksilver SR5, 125k, blown engine no oil, had sat 10+ years, parted & scrapped.
RIP - 80 Corolla (purchased new), 473k, 358k original engine, rear-ended totaled 2003.

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simon84
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Re: ►►► BROKEN FRONT SWAY BAR! ◄◄◄

Post by simon84 » Sat May 16, 2015 12:08 pm

I'm wondering what people think about the importance of the metal collar for the sway bar bushing.
I am doing a front end overhaul (CV axles, inner tie rod ends, wheel bearing and lift with a spacer and modified top strut mount bolts).
I pulled apart the swaybar bushings to check for corrosion. They seem to be ok, bushings are fine, bar ends have some rust pitting but no significant deterioration. Of course, the old metal collar disintegrated.

How important is it to have that collar? I am going to put it back together without it for now but I am planning to order the collar sleeves from Toyota.
Driver: 87 Tercel SR5, white, 4ac, weber carb (aka the Tercedes)
Road Tripper:95 Mitsubishi Delica L400 2.8L Turbo Diesel
Motorbike: 94 Kawasaki Ninja ZX6
Project Car:Red 68 Plymouth Sport Fury III
Previous Tercel:Orange 84 Tercel 4wd (aka the pumpkin)

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marlinh
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Re: ►►► BROKEN FRONT SWAY BAR! ◄◄◄

Post by marlinh » Sat May 16, 2015 1:38 pm

Hi Simon, the metal collar takes up the gap between the sway bar and the bushings. When all the parts are new there is a rather snug fit. If you put it together without it there may be some extra movement within the joint but you probably wouldn't feel it while driving. The metal collar is the cheapest part.

Hey, when are you coming to BC?

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simon84
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Re: ►►► BROKEN FRONT SWAY BAR! ◄◄◄

Post by simon84 » Sat May 16, 2015 9:17 pm

Yeah, I just put it back together and it seems that you have to turn the bolt down a bit more than it was to get it to seem snug. I will get the sleeves soon as I can.

I have made a couple of quick trips out there recently but too quick to get up to your neighbourhood. Hopefully I'll be out later this summer.
Maybe August or September and we can connect. I still have those interior door panels if you want them.
Driver: 87 Tercel SR5, white, 4ac, weber carb (aka the Tercedes)
Road Tripper:95 Mitsubishi Delica L400 2.8L Turbo Diesel
Motorbike: 94 Kawasaki Ninja ZX6
Project Car:Red 68 Plymouth Sport Fury III
Previous Tercel:Orange 84 Tercel 4wd (aka the pumpkin)

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marlinh
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Re: ►►► BROKEN FRONT SWAY BAR! ◄◄◄

Post by marlinh » Sun May 17, 2015 7:27 am

Sounds good Simon. It'll be good to get together.

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Re: ►►► BROKEN FRONT SWAY BAR! ◄◄◄

Post by ARCHINSTL » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:04 pm

Thank you for sharing - this IS something like something of which to be which to be aware of!
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
"Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit."
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
"Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."
Mark Twain

Bug
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Re: ►►► BROKEN FRONT SWAY BAR! ◄◄◄

Post by Bug » Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:46 pm

Anyone know where I can get a sway bar? Can't find it on any of the links on this site. Mine broke trying to get the nut off.

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dlb
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Re: ►►► BROKEN FRONT SWAY BAR! ◄◄◄

Post by dlb » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:02 pm

where are you located, bug? wreckers or other forum members who have parts cars might be your best bet.

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Gottolovem
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Re: ►►► BROKEN FRONT SWAY BAR! ◄◄◄

Post by Gottolovem » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:32 pm

I have 4 :oldgeek:
I'll be out of town till later in the month.
probably tricky to ship

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