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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How-To: Replace Sway/Anti-Roll Bar End Links


Overview:
The factory sway bar (aka anti-roll bar) end links are made of plastic and tend to get worn after a while, which causes rattling heard in the front end of the vehicle. In addition, they have an excessive amount of flex, being made of plastic. This tutorial explains how to replace them.

Tools Required:
- Two 18mm wrenches
- T40 Torx bit & ratchet
- Two jackstands and a jack
- Lugnut wrench, or 19mm socket with a breaker bar
- Optional: 18mm socket and ratchet
- Optional: extra grease & grease gun (I used AMSOIL synthetic water resistant grease)


Part Required:
2 x MOOG K750519 (Available on Amazon.com)

Procedure:
Lift the both the driver and passenger side of your vehicle until the wheels are off the ground. If you only lift one side at a time, you won't be able to get the end links off. Remember that jacks are used to lift; jack stands are used to hold the vehicle up. Do not rely on a jack to hold the vehicle up while you work. Remove both front wheels and place them under the vehicle.

The sway bar end links are two plastic bars parallel to the struts. Using the T40 torx bit, ratchet, and one 18mm wrench, loosen and remove the 18mm nut on the top and the bottom of the end links. Note that the T40 torx bit is used to hold the stud in place; you are using the 18mm wrench to do the loosening. I found that my small 1/4" drive ratchet with an adapter was more than sufficient.



Once you have the 18mm nut off both sides, remove the old sway bar end links (they will pop right out). Optional: before installing the new end links, I prefer to add a little more grease. You'll need a grease gun to do this.



Installation is a bit different than removal. You will need two 18mm wrenches, as you won't be able to fit a ratchet behind the bottom side . One wrench is used on the base of the stud to hold it in place, and the other on the nut.
Note: You may be able to use an 18mm ratchet on the bottom if you lift the sway bar and attach the bottom of the end links on both sides first, then lower the sway bar to attach the top. I only thought of this after the fact and installed one side completely before moving on to the other. I was able to use an impact wrench to get the top nut on more easily. These are lock nuts, so they will go on with some resistance. I found that I could position the wrench holding the base so that it rests against something (like the CV shaft as pictured below), which makes it easier to tighten the nut.



I don't have a torque spec for the nuts; just get them "good and tight." These are lock nuts, so they won't back out easily, and you aren't likely to be able to over-tighten them by hand using wrenches.



Get the wheels back on, and you're done.

My immediate impression was that cornering stability was significantly improved. Mine were not rattling or showing any signs of failure, but I wanted to replace them due to reports that the OE links tend to flex under load and do not stabilize the vehicle as well as they could. I chose the MOOG end links as they had grease fittings, were made of solid steel, and have a good reputation for making quality suspension parts. All in all, this is a ~2 hour job. While it looks simple, turning tight lock nuts with two hand wrenches takes a while and is a bit of a PITA.

Make sure to grease these joints once a year with a good synthetic grease and you aren't likely to have to replace these again.
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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Good write up - looks like a similar setup to the end links on my Cobalt - except they learned their lesson about how they cast the nut on the end link. Mine had a cast nut about 3/16" deep, and I ended up having to use vice grips to hold it still (also, it was behind the strut, not in front of it).

The Moogs had a much more substantial nut, are greasable and, as a bonus, were thicker. They're a typical upgrade in the Cobalt world - and it appears to be no different here!

As I notice slop on ours, this will be an easy swap over.
 

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How-To: Replace Sway/Anti-Roll Bar End Links


Overview:
The factory sway bar (aka anti-roll bar) end links are made of plastic and tend to get worn after a while, which causes rattling heard in the front end of the vehicle. In addition, they have an excessive amount of flex, being made of plastic. This tutorial explains how to replace them.

Tools Required:
- Two 18mm wrenches
- T40 Torx bit & ratchet
- Two jackstands and a jack
- Lugnut wrench, or 19mm socket with a breaker bar
- Optional: 18mm socket and ratchet
- Optional: extra grease & grease gun (I used AMSOIL synthetic water resistant grease)


Part Required:
2 x MOOG K750519 ($20 each on Amazon.com)

Procedure:
Lift the both the driver and passenger side of your vehicle until the wheels are off the ground. If you only lift one side at a time, you won't be able to get the end links off. Remember that jacks are used to lift; jack stands are used to hold the vehicle up. Do not rely on a jack to hold the vehicle up while you work. Remove both front wheels and place them under the vehicle.

The sway bar end links are two plastic bars parallel to the strut. Using the T40 torx bit, ratchet, and one 18mm wrench, loosen and remove the 18mm nut on the top and the bottom of the end links. Note that the T40 torx bit is used to hold the stud in place; you are using the 18mm wrench to do the loosening. I found that my small 1/4" drive ratchet with an adapter was more than sufficient.



Once you have the 18mm nut off both sides, remove the old sway bar end links (they will pop right out). Optional: before installing the new end links, I prefer to add a little more grease. You'll need a grease gun to do this.



Installation is a bit different than removal. You will need two 18mm wrenches, as you won't be able to fit a ratchet behind the bottom side . One wrench is used on the base of the stud to hold it in place, and the other on the nut.
Note: You may be able to use an 18mm ratchet on the bottom if you lift the sway bar and attach the bottom of the end links on both sides first, then lower the sway bar to attach the top. I only thought of this after the fact and installed one side completely before moving on to the other. I was able to use an impact wrench to get the top nut on more easily. These are lock nuts, so they will go on with some resistance. I found that I could position the wrench holding the base so that it rests against something (like the CV shaft as pictured below), which makes it easier to tighten the nut.




I don't have a torque spec for the nuts; just get them "good and tight." These are lock nuts, so they won't back out easily, and you aren't likely to be able to over-tighten them by hand using wrenches.




Get the wheels back on, and you're done.

My immediate impression was that cornering stability was significantly improved. Mine were not rattling or showing any signs of failure, but I wanted to replace them due to reports that the OE links tend to flex under load and do not stabilize the vehicle as well as they could. I chose the MOOG end links as they had grease fittings, were made of solid steel, and have a good reputation for making quality suspension parts. All in all, this is a ~2 hour job. While it looks simple, turning tight lock nuts with two hand wrenches takes a while and is a bit of a PITA.

Make sure to grease these joints once a year with a good synthetic grease and you aren't likely to have to replace these again.
I found when lowering my car, reattaching the end links, was easier for me using my pass-thru socket wrench...so I guess if someone already has one of those that could also be an option!
 

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I didn't realize the sway bar links are plastic. Would replacing these with metal links increase the stiffness of the sway bar? If so, that would reduce oversteer, or increase understeer. My Cruze does feel like it has a bit of oversteer. I attributed that to the stiff rear beam suspension, but maybe it has to do with the plastic sway bar links in the front.
 

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. My Cruze does feel like it has a bit of oversteer.
The Cruze was the first FWD car I've owned that didn't have major understeer in the gravel or snow. No need to e-brake at all to drift corners, just turn the steering wheel harder and the back end will start to rotate. I don't know if it was due to tire differences of not, in the snow we compared my 1LT with the rear Zlink to one without and my car seemed much more prone to rear end rotation than the car with out the zlink.

My Sonic LTZ oversteers even more than my cruze with seemingly even more control through the steering wheel. A few times on gravel roads I've noticed the stability control system is active and I believe partially to blame for this behavior, its applying some brakes to get the back end of the car to match your steering input. When I say some brakes, It feels like only one side in the back and one in the front at fast ABS speeds.
 

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I'll adjust this technique just a bit for anyone in Atlantic Canada. Use a blow torch to blow the nut off the sway bar link once the car gets to be 5+ years old because you will never be able to just turn the nut off. It rusts so bad that it almost because 1 with the bolt.
 

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The Cruze was the first FWD car I've owned that didn't have major understeer in the gravel or snow. No need to e-brake at all to drift corners, just turn the steering wheel harder and the back end will start to rotate. I don't know if it was due to tire differences of not, in the snow we compared my 1LT with the rear Zlink to one without and my car seemed much more prone to rear end rotation than the car with out the zlink.

My Sonic LTZ oversteers even more than my cruze with seemingly even more control through the steering wheel. A few times on gravel roads I've noticed the stability control system is active and I believe partially to blame for this behavior, its applying some brakes to get the back end of the car to match your steering input. When I say some brakes, It feels like only one side in the back and one in the front at fast ABS speeds.
Interesting. So the Z-Link might increase oversteer. Maybe the metal sway bar links would reduce that, unless you like the oversteer. I have not experienced the stablitrak working yet. But I have had the traction control kick in many times. It doesn't seem to be very sensitive, and I can usually spin the wheels for a bit before it does actually come on. The Firestone tires don't have the best traction.
 

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Since no one replied, I guess that I will have to be the guinea pig for this one. I have ordered these moog ones from Amazon and they will be shipped all the way to India. For my Diesel. Let's see whether they fit or not.
 

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Just did this on my 2014 diesel. One comment,, put the bottom bolt thru the hole first. If you do the top first and the bottom isn't in the right position,, it hard to get the top one back out.
 

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Just did this on my 2014 diesel. Put the bottom stud thru the bottom hole first. If you put the top one in first and the bottom isn't in the right position, it is hard to get the top one back out.
 

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Did mine today. You were correct about being a PITA turning the bottom nut 1/8 of a turn at a time. Don't notice any real difference, but I feel better having less plastic in my car. :)

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
 

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Installed mine this morning, then I took it on a lot of on ramps and other turns that I usually drive. There was a noticeable difference, especially on a turn with uneven pavement. This was worth every penny of the $36 it cost.

It took me about an hour, including gathering all my tools, jacking the car, replacing the links and cleaning everything up.

I had to turn the steering to the left in order to get the top bolt through the hole on the passenger side.

To remove the old nuts, I used the box end of my 18mm wrench. I had my 40 Torx on my ratchet and just turned the ratchet instead of turning the wrench. The joint spins with the ratchet.

To install the Moog links, I used a Craftsman 3/8" ratchet with a regular 18mm socket. This fit perfectly for the bottom bolt and I was able to put it on in just about a minute. The top bolt sticks out a little more because the strut bracket isn't as thick as the sway bar. I used my 3/8" ratchet but had to switch to my 1/2" ratchet at the end because the smaller one was too short. The 18mm socket for my 1/2" ratchet worked perfectly.

The only concern I had was not being able to measure the torque on the bolts because my torque wrench wont fit in there. The Service Manual says 48 Lb Ft. I used about as much force as it took to break the old ones loose. I don't drive in snow or salt, so there was no corrosion on the bolts.

Thank you, XtremeRevolution, for the write up. Very happy.
 

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48lb-ft is the spec for the OEM end links. The Moog end links have different locking nuts that will take more effort to tighten. I don't think the exact torque matters on these end links.
The new nuts for the Moog links don't have the nylon inserts like the old ones did. It was obvious that they have some sort of locking feature. They did require extra effort to install them, but it wasn't hard. I pretty much tightened them as much as I could in the confined space.

Here is how they look now.

IMG_2322.JPG

After driving a little more yesterday, I still think this made a noticeable difference. The difference is most noticeable in handling turns, bumps and uneven pavement. I think there might be a bit more understeer, but the other improvements outweigh that in my opinion.

I thought about painting them gloss black, but decided to just get them installed.
 
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