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Painting tips: Wipe down with solvent( lacquer thinner or acetone work best) and use your favorite paint. We find that a rust inhibiting paint and primer work best, for the long term, especially in the rust belt areas of the world.
1. Unpack the traction bar assembly from the shipping box.
2. Completely assemble the traction bar assembly off of the truck before you start the install to make sure you understand how it goes together and you have all of the parts needed.
3. Once you have the bar completely assembled off of the truck and are sure you understand how it is assembled then proceed with the rest of installation.
1. Lift the truck from the ground to provide sufficient working room under it. Use a lift or jack stands to safely support it and make sure it is safe BEFORE you crawl under it.
2. Assemble the front mount. The poly bushings get pushed into place, then the shackles are attached to it with the 1/2" x 3 3/4" long bolt. Tacomas use short shackles and others have a longer version with 3 holes in each. Pickups can use the longest setting, and 4Runners need the shorter setting.
On Tacomas, the curved part of the bracket faces up toward the truck body. One of the bolts on the side closest to the drive shaft will pass through the carrier bearing mounting bracket. You may need to loosen the carrier bearing bolt. The forward half of the front bracket that goes on the front side of the cross member will sit on the lip of the carrier bearing support.
There are 4 cross bolts. The cross bolts should not be over tightened or you could crush the cross member on Tacomas. It is not a boxed cross member like the earlier trucks. Once you see that it is squeezing the cross member tight that is tight enough. There should be a few threads of the cross bolt showing on the exit side of the nut.
3. Drain the rear differential. It is best that you let it drain over night if possible. Always be sure make sure you can remove the fill port before you drain the diff so you can be sure you can refill it.
4. Dry fit the rear diff bracket. There are several versions of the bracket for different trucks. You will need to dry fit it to determine which studs will need to be removed and replaced with the supplied studs. Once the studs have been identified, remove the nuts on those studs.
5. Now, use the double nut technique or use a stud wrench to remove the studs. The double nut technique is to use two nuts on the stud. Put both of them on the stud so that the second one is on just far enough to get the stud to come flush with the nut. Then take two wrenches and tighten the nuts against each other to lock them to the stud. If you get them tight enough, you can use an open end wrench on the first nut and back it out of the housing.
6. Install the new studs using the same double nut technique. The studs have a short threaded end and a long threaded end. The short end goes in the differential housing. Place a small amount of RTV or other suitable thread sealant to seal the threads so the diff fluid will not leak out of the threads. Tighten the studs down until they are snug. The longer studs go in the top 2 holes.
7. Notice the recesses machined into the differential around the stud holes. In these recesses you will place the BLACK machined style washers. These washers must fit inside the machined recesses. The bracket will rest on these washers and they will hold the bracket slightly off of the differential. DO NOT OMIT THIS STEP.
Slide the differential bracket over the studs. Install the washers and nuts on the studs. Tighten to factory specifications in your shop manual. There is one nut on each style differential bracket that will be real hard to get a wrench on to tighten it. A crowfoot type wrench on a socket extension works well for this one pesky nut. A flex head Gear Wrench works too.
8. Assemble the bushings and sleeves in the adjustable ends. Using a little bit of lube like WD-40 or white lithium grease makes things easier.
9. Install the adjustable ends in the torque bar and make sure the jam nuts are loose.
10. Install the heim joint into the front end of bar with jamb nut. Hold the bar up next to the brackets and adjust the ends so they are close to fitting correctly. The shackle should go up but can be mounted in the down position too.
11. Lube the rear bushings and install the bar in the rear bracket. Adjust the ends to get the bottom hole to line up. Install the large mounting bolts in the rear diff. They go from the outside toward the diff. Do not tighten anything now.
12. Install the bolt thru the shackle, then the spacer and heim joint. Then thru the second spacer, second shackle and install the nut loosely. Use the adjustment on the heim joint if needed to move the shackles into the proper position( about 90* to the bar). Bolt it into place and tighten all the nuts and bolts.
13. Now tighten all the rear bolts. The best place to start is to find the neutral position of the adjustment where there is no tension on the torque bar. Then adjust it so there is a small amount of tension upward on the front mount. Under acceleration, this is the direction the torque will move the torque bar. From there, you can set the tension anyway you want, but most leave it right there. Now tighten ALL the jam nuts on the turnbuckle are tightened. If you do not properly tighten the jam nuts, there will be an excessive amount of stress placed on the threads and can cause damage to them.
14. Double check your work. Make sure all the nuts and bolts are tightened down. Check for proper clearance between the front mount and the vehicle body. Check bar clearance with muffler. If needed, you can pull the muffler over towards the frame with a universal muffler hanger.
15. Replace the drain plug and refill the differential with proper gear lube and install the fill plug.
16. Test drive the truck and then raise it and inspect everything.