Total Chaos Fabrcation

What Are Spindle Gussets and Why Do I Need Them?

toyota spindle gussets information article header


Why Should I Install Spindle Gussets?

Bent spindles are the most common failure we see on the trail. A bent spindle can ruin a family adventure or fun weekend planned with friends. A broken spindle will leave you dead in the water and requires a complete replacement spindle to repair the vehicle – it can also damage several other components when it breaks. To prevent this from happening, we highly suggest installing a set of weld-on spindle gussets. 


2nd Gen Tacoma Prerunner with spindle gussets and long travel suspension
If you use your truck like this, you definitely need TOTAL CHAOS spindle gussets!


What Is A Spindle?

The spindle (also called a knuckle) spans between the upper and lower control arm. At the bottom of the control arm, it has a hole where the axle shaft passes through and the unit bearing mounts. This part of the spindle is super strong, but above that is a long, unsupported span that can bend as a result of hard impacts. The spindle is the connection (link) between unsprung weight (wheel/tire) and the sprung weight (vehicle itself) and when you increase the weight on both ends of the spectrum the spindle becomes the weak link.


How Do You Bend A Spindle?

Installing larger tires and aftermarket off-set wheels increases the load on a Toyota spindle. These upgrades increase the likelihood of causing a Tacoma spindle or 4Runner spindle to bend or break. The same applies to the Lexus GX 460 and Lexus GX 470 spindles, larger wheels and aftermarket tires can cause the spindle on the Lexus to bend or break. Installing an aftermarket bed rack, tent, or drawer system upgrade can add hundreds of pounds of additional weight to your vehicle. The added weight can also contribute to damaged spindles when you hit rain ruts or hop the tires in rock crawling situations.


Factory Toyota spindle vs. factory spindle with weld-on spindle gussets
The added strength of TOTAL CHAOS spindle gussets is obvious.


How Do You Break A Spindle?

Hitting a rain rut at speed on the brakes is the number 1 cause for a bent or broken spindle. Cruising down the trail and clipping a rock, tree root or large obstacle that you could not see results in a hard impact to the front wheel and is the second most common cause of a bent or broken spindle. Rock crawling can damage a spindle when you are in low lock and loose traction – spinning the tire or hopping the front end on a rock then finding traction under torque is another very common way to bend or break a spindle.


How Do You Install Spindle Gussets?

The gussets themselves are relatively inexpensive, but you do need to completely remove the knuckles to install them, so it makes sense to do this at the same time as adding TOTAL CHAOS control arms and coilover shocks. If you are paying shop time for the installation of the gussets, expect to pay for four hours of labor.


Weld-on Toyota & Lexus spindle gussets assembly process
Prep work is critical to successful welding.


Can You Weld To A Toyota/Lexus Spindle?

Toyota spindles are forged steel, not cast, allowing you to either MIG or TIG weld the 1/8’inch thick, pre-bent laser cut mild steel brackets on to them with no need for preheating the spindles, regardless of whether you drive a Toyota Tacoma, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Lexus GX 470, or Lexus GX 460.


Are Spindle Gussets As Strong As Aftermarket Spindles?

Yes. Installing TOTAL CHAOS spindle gussets is a preventative step that greatly increases the strength of the stock spindles without the expense of aftermarket spindles. We recommend reinforcing weak links such as factory spindles and cam tabs before they become a problem. Installing a set of weld-on spindle gussets can prevent you from needing to call a tow truck to get home if you break a spindle. Spindle gussets can also help prevent you from chewing a fresh set of tread on new tires if you have to drive to a repair facility to fix a bent spindle.

Sway bar compatible spindle gussets for Toyota Tacoma, 4Runner, GX470, GX460, and FJ Cruiser
You don’t need to ditch your sway bar when you add TOTAL CHAOS spindle gussets.


Can I Keep My Sway Bar After I Install Spindle Gussets?

The tight packaging of components under the front of some vehicles results in the spindle gussets wanting to share the same space as the factory sway bar brackets. TOTAL CHAOS offers most gussets with, or without, provisions for your factory sway bar depending on your preference to retain the sway bar. Our sway bar capable spindle gussets were originally designed for 12,000 pound military vehicles used in active combat areas, where the sway bar was an absolute requirement to control the weight in life or death situations. Securing such a contract requires rigorous testing unheard of in the off-road aftermarket, yet TOTAL CHAOS passed the infamous “Detroit Shaker” with flying colors and demonstrated their ability to dramatically reduce stress failures when their spindle gussets were installed.


Do I Need Wheel Spacers To Install Spindle Gussets?

Wheel spacers may be required after the installation of TOTAL CHAOS spindle gussets. The upright on the factory spindle is curved to allow for tire clearance, but this is also part of the reason they are prone to bending! The TOTAL CHAOS spindle gussets span across this area to add much needed strength, but as a result wheels with high positive offset (shallow backspacing) like the factory wheels may make contact with the gussets, requiring a wheel spacer in order to have adequate clearance. To clear without spacers, aftermarket wheels must have a maximum backspace of 4.5-inches for 16′-inch wheels and 4.75-inch for 17-inch wheels. When running wheel spacers, we recommend Spidertrax. Just like TOTAL CHAOS products, Spidertrax wheel spacers are engineered to exacting standards and crafted in the USA from the highest quality materials.


Weld-on Toyota spindle gussets assembled and powder coated
After welding and painting your spindles are ready to be reinstalled.


TOTAL CHAOS Spindle Gusset Installation Instructions


Toyota/Lexus Spindle Gusset Applications (click for product page)


2016+ Tacoma Spindle Gussets (with sway bar provision)

2016+ Tacoma Spindle Gussets (no sway bar)

2005-2015 Tacoma Spindle Gussets (with sway bar provision)

2005-2015 Tacoma Spindle Gussets (no sway bar)

1996-2004 Tacoma Spindle Gussets


2010+ 4Runner Spindle Gussets (with sway bar provision)

2010+ 4Runner Spindle Gussets (no sway bar)

2003-2009 4Runner Spindle Gussets (with sway bar provision)

2003-2009 4Runner Spindle Gussets (no sway bar)

1996-2002 4Runner Spindle Gussets

FJ Cruiser:

2010+ FJ Cruiser Spindle Gussets (with sway bar provision)

2010+ FJ Cruiser Spindle Gussets (no sway bar)

2007-2009 FJ Cruiser (with sway bar provision)

2007-2009 FJ Cruiser (no sway bar)


2007-2021 Tundra Spindle Gussets

2000-2006 Tundra Spindle Gussets

2008-2022 Sequoia Spindle Gussets

2001-2007 Sequoia Spindle Gussets

Land Cruiser 200 Series:

2008-2021 LC 200 Spindle Gussets


2010-2023 Lexus GX460 Spindle Gussets (with sway bar provision)

2010-2023 Lexus GX460 Spindle Gussets (no sway bar)

2003-2009 Lexus GX470 Spindle Gussets (with sway bar provision)

2003-2009 Lexus GX470 Spindle Gussets (no sway bar)

2008-2021 Lexus LX570

International Models:

2016-2021 Hilux Revo Spindle Gussets

2005-2015 Hilux Vigo Spindle Gussets

2010-2023 Prado 150 Spindle Gussets (with sway bar provision)

2010-2023 Prado 150 Spindle Gussets (no sway bar)

2003-2009 Prado 120 Spindle Gussets (with sway bar provision)

2003-2009 Prado 120 Spindle Gussets (no sway bar)

1996-2002 Prado 90



Warning WARNING: This product can expose you to a chemical or chemicals such as Talc, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects and/or reproductive harm. For more information go to


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