How-To: Replace Sway/Anti-Roll Bar End Links
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.
- 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)
2 x MOOG K750519 (Available on Amazon.com)
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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