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Old 09-14-2005, 03:35 AM   #1
GmG
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1998 SC2
1992 SC
Default Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

This is my first how-to, so bear with me. Suggestions/corrections welcome. I thought using links for the images was preferable to a bunch of attachments at the end.

The sway bay links are dogbone shaped metal pieces with ball joints at both ends that connect the rear sway bar on Sx2 vehicles to the rear suspension. Over time, these wear out and will eventually seize and break if not replaced. Checking the joints for movement at each end and the rubber boots for damage periodically is a good practice. Mine occasionally had a audible "clunk" in the rear from the broken pieces bumping together when the car went over bumps.

PHOTO: broken link

Replacement is a fairly easy job, aside from rusted on nuts that can cause difficulty. I performed this repair on a 98 SC2. This information is provided by me as an amateur, and should be verified if you are unsure of yourself. I'm not responsible for repairs gone wrong!

I paid US$103 including tax for both links at my local dealer. Genuine Saturn parts include new nuts. A few dollars could be saved by ordering from saturnparts.com, etc.

Tools required

Jack
Jack stands
breaker bar and socket for lug nuts
14mm wrench
15mm socket (deep well preferred) and ratchet
penetrating oil (PB Blaster, etc)
torque wrench (optional, but recommended)

Chock front wheels, jack and properly support the rear of the vehicle. Do not work on a vehicle supported by a jack alone!

Remove rear wheels on the side(s) whose link(s) are to be replaced.

Spray penetrating oil on all link nuts, using caution to avoid getting overspray on brakes.

Remove both nuts from the link by holding the hex portion of the stud with a 14mm wrench, while removing the nut with a 15mm socket. A breaker bar may be used on the nut if it is frozen. Remove the other link if replacing both.

PHOTO: wrench position

PHOTO: old and new links

Insert the new link and torque nuts to 30 ft-lbs. Repeat on other side if replacing both links.

PHOTO: link inserted

PHOTO: link fully installed

Replace wheel(s) and lug nuts, lower vehicle and torque lug nuts to 103 ft-lbs.

...
George
92 SCm 138k
98 SC2m 131k

"You shouldn't leave things in the fridge. That is the lesson."

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Old 09-17-2005, 01:39 PM   #2
sunshn1972
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1998 SL2
Default Re: Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

I just did this repair on my 98 SL2. I spent a couple hours trying to get the rusted nuts off. Eventually, I put some extensions onto the socket to get the wrench out past the wheel well, and put a metal pipe on the handle of the wrench. With the added leverage the nuts came off pretty easily and the entire project was pretty quick after that.

Kids, don't try this at home.

...
This space intentionally left blank.

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Old 01-15-2011, 05:32 AM   #3
mjoekingz28
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Default Re: Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

Thanks for the write up!

I have an SC2 with drums and I notice this sounds thats like a CV axle popping/creaking but it sounds like its coming from the passenger rear and I only notice it going from 5-35mph in a straight line.

Someone at BITOG suggested sway bar end links, so I will take the rear tire off tomorrow and see if I can find anything wrong.

Am I just looking for a broken link or is there anything else to look for?

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Old 04-28-2011, 04:06 AM   #4
keithreed
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Default Re: Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

Not bad for giving instructions. I understood it. Thanks

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Old 07-18-2011, 10:29 AM   #5
infinitewisdumb
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

good luck getting off a sloppy sway bar end link with just a socket and wrench. Especially after you get the first of the two bolts off, the other side will just slop around and it is super hard to get any torque on it. The only way I was able to get mine off was to MAPP gas (or Oxy) the nuts that hold the links on and then wrench/socket them off. That makes the nuts much easier to move.

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Old 10-19-2011, 12:25 PM   #6
rockrobstr
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Default Re: Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

[QUOTE=GmG;676512]Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

Great post!

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Old 10-31-2011, 04:37 PM   #7
Denis Twosaturn
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Default Re: Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

Hey...nice job on the instructions.

I just had my annual safety inspection completed (Mandatory) and have to replace one of my links because the rubber bushing was kinda "mushy".

This particular repair was new to me, but after reading your post, I'll probably replace them both.

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Old 11-28-2011, 03:43 PM   #8
paulclawson3
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Default Re: Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

Instead of jack stands could you use the back your car up method on those lifter things from the store?

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Old 03-02-2012, 07:26 AM   #9
djdevon3
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Default Re: Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

Nice article. Enjoyable read.

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Old 07-22-2012, 09:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulclawson3 View Post
Instead of jack stands could you use the back your car up method on those lifter things from the store?
Many techs don't even trust Jack Stands (I've had cheap sheet steel jack stands collapse on me - I was very lucky I got out from under the car in time), but use lengths of 6X6 or 4X4 Timber as backups to prevent catastrophic injury - preferably Pressure Treated. I have steel Handles from Home Depot screwed onto the ends of mine to make them easier to use.

Note I do not recommend Concrete Cinder Blocks. These can crack and split.

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Old 08-08-2013, 09:15 AM   #11
OU812
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Default Re: Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

Do 96 S series have these links, i didnt see them on my car unless im looking in the wrong place.

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Old 03-10-2018, 04:22 PM   #12
Nigey
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Default Re: Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

A bit of thread resurrection.... My SL2 started creaking about a week ago and thanks to these forums I realized it was a high probability it was the sway bar stabilizer links. Having had SL1's before, I never knew about this part!

It's a pretty easy job (and to add to the debate, I use a jack, axle stands and big old wooden blocks, I'd never rely on just one thing, and prefer to rely on 3 things to support a car as a rule of thumb, maybe I'm a bit over cautious!). Additionally, as a cyclist I'd had an old frame that had cracked, so have used a cut tube of the frame over a wrench for leverage with great results. And I found I really needed this too to get the nut off.

One last thing: I got 2 Moog sway bar links for $11 from RockAuto (they were private label package) but was delighted to see they were actually Moog branded parts with the grease fittings. I pumped them full of grease before installing, as well as inserting a small cut plastic tube full of grease just slightly longer than the nipple over the grease nipple to protect from the weather. So for a total of $18 incl shipping, I replaced both, I have no creaking now, result and a bargain!

...
2007 Saturn Aura XE 3.5 L LZ4 V6
2002 Saturn SL2 1.9L (manual)

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Old 07-15-2018, 07:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigey View Post
A bit of thread resurrection.... My SL2 started creaking about a week ago and thanks to these forums I realized it was a high probability it was the sway bar stabilizer links. Having had SL1's before, I never knew about this part!

It's a pretty easy job (and to add to the debate, I use a jack, axle stands and big old wooden blocks, I'd never rely on just one thing, and prefer to rely on 3 things to support a car as a rule of thumb, maybe I'm a bit over cautious!). Additionally, as a cyclist I'd had an old frame that had cracked, so have used a cut tube of the frame over a wrench for leverage with great results. And I found I really needed this too to get the nut off.

One last thing: I got 2 Moog sway bar links for $11 from RockAuto (they were private label package) but was delighted to see they were actually Moog branded parts with the grease fittings. I pumped them full of grease before installing, as well as inserting a small cut plastic tube full of grease just slightly longer than the nipple over the grease nipple to protect from the weather. So for a total of $18 incl shipping, I replaced both, I have no creaking now, result and a bargain!



Thanks

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Old 09-07-2018, 05:28 PM   #14
jhonky
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1998 SL2
Default Re: Sway Bar Link Replacement *With Pictures*

Just did this today. Was surprisingly easy

...
98 SL2
5th gear swap- .643 gear
245,000 miles
215/45 17"
I burn about a quart about every 1500 miles.

If it ain't broke, fix it some more.

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