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Old 04-29-2013, 09:26 PM   #1
Dan400Man
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Default Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

Need to replace the front struts. (One of them collapsed.) I've got EVERYTHING loosened except the bloody nut that attaches the sway bar link to the strut (both the driver and passenger sides). I've soaked it several times (for several days) with Kroil, but no matter, I've been unable to turn the nut without also turning the stud.

This particular stud is different from others I've seen. The ones I'm used to seeing have a stationary hex nut welded to the stud, that is used to keep the stud from turning when tightening or loosening the fastening nut to the link. This one does NOT have a hex nut welded to the stud, but the last half inch end of the stud has a hex shape, small enough to let the fastening nut to turn on to the threads. The idea is that one has to use a wrench on the fastening nut while using some other tool (I used a vice grip) to try to keep the stud stationary. There's no *******' way to get any kind of leverage needed unless the vehicle is up on a hoist.

I'm just now wondering whether I should save my sanity by scrapping the links by cutting them off if I need to, and replacing them with new. These are probably the factory links on this 13 year old car with 134k miles. Driven almost entirely on Michigan roads ('nuf said). Trying not to be penny wise, pound foolish.

What do the wise souls on this forum think?

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Old 04-29-2013, 09:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

The sway bar doesn't attach to the strut. The strut attaches to the knuckle at the bottom, and to the spaceframe at the top.

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Old 04-29-2013, 10:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

I think I know what you're talking about. If you do have to remove it, a very powerful impact tool is best. They can remove nuts like that even with the bolt turning freely.

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Old 04-29-2013, 10:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

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Originally Posted by anmasher View Post
I think I know what you're talking about. If you do have to remove it, a very powerful impact tool is best. They can remove nuts like that even with the bolt turning freely.
Yeah, but doesn't that ruin the link?

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Old 04-29-2013, 11:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

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Originally Posted by Dan400Man View Post
Yeah, but doesn't that ruin the link?
I don't see how it could. Turning it by hand (wrench or ratchet) is the same thing, just slower. You could round off the nut I suppose.

I removed mine with an old buffalo 1/2" pneumatic gun. The rust and penetrating fluid left a nice puff of smoke, but everything went back together fine and it drives fine now.

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Old 04-30-2013, 12:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan400Man View Post
Need to replace the front struts. (One of them collapsed.) I've got EVERYTHING loosened except the bloody nut that attaches the sway bar link to the strut (both the driver and passenger sides). I've soaked it several times (for several days) with Kroil, but no matter, I've been unable to turn the nut without also turning the stud.

This particular stud is different from others I've seen. The ones I'm used to seeing have a stationary hex nut welded to the stud, that is used to keep the stud from turning when tightening or loosening the fastening nut to the link. This one does NOT have a hex nut welded to the stud, but the last half inch end of the stud has a hex shape, small enough to let the fastening nut to turn on to the threads. The idea is that one has to use a wrench on the fastening nut while using some other tool (I used a vice grip) to try to keep the stud stationary. There's no *******' way to get any kind of leverage needed unless the vehicle is up on a hoist.

I'm just now wondering whether I should save my sanity by scrapping the links by cutting them off if I need to, and replacing them with new. These are probably the factory links on this 13 year old car with 134k miles. Driven almost entirely on Michigan roads ('nuf said). Trying not to be penny wise, pound foolish.

What do the wise souls on this forum think?
I think that you are not working on an S-series if you have a front sway bar link attached to the strut. What are you working on?

If the nut is seized on the sway bar link stud then cutting it off (or the stud) is going to be the best way to go.

...
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
I think that you are not working on an S-series if you have a front sway bar link attached to the strut. What are you working on?
Or perhaps not working on the strut. Maybe the OP is working on control arms?....

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Old 04-30-2013, 12:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
I think that you are not working on an S-series if you have a front sway bar link attached to the strut. What are you working on?

If the nut is seized on the sway bar link stud then cutting it off (or the stud) is going to be the best way to go.
Ah yes, you and madpogue are correct. I'm working on my son's 2000 Chrysler LHS. (Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.) Tried both the ChryslerForum and DodgeForum sites NINE days ago without a single response. Since the strut collapsed on top of the one tire, the only way I'd be able to take to a garage is to have it towed. I hated the thought of bringing this on the SaturnFans forums but, needless to say, after 9 days of fighting this, I got desperate. SaturnFans forums are the only reason I still drive a 97 SL2 with over 210k miles on it. Even though it's getting (very) long in the tooth, it still gets 35 MPG on the highway, which is 90% of my driving with that car.

But I figured the main problem I'm having with the Chrysler is mostly universal in that you have to keep the stud on the link from turning in order to get the fastening nut off. Sure enough, within one hour of my OP here, there are two responses.

So, what I'm picking up in this thread is that there's no risk of damaging the link by letting the stud spin. I thought I had read otherwise years ago.

For the sake of the argument, let's presume I could get the fastening nut off the stud without ruining it. Would the mere fact that these links have 134k Michigan miles be a good enough reason to replace them anyway while I'm replacing the struts? (Actually, I'm replacing the strut assemblies with Gabriel Readystruts.)

Thanks for bearing with me on this!

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Old 04-30-2013, 01:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

You should have said it was a Chrysler from the beginning. How about some photos, we all can't picture the part in question with photographic recall (like everything on an s-series).

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Old 04-30-2013, 01:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

Might get a broader base of help here: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=28

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Old 04-30-2013, 07:47 AM   #11
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan400Man View Post
Ah yes, you and madpogue are correct. I'm working on my son's 2000 Chrysler LHS. (Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.) Tried both the ChryslerForum and DodgeForum sites NINE days ago without a single response. Since the strut collapsed on top of the one tire, the only way I'd be able to take to a garage is to have it towed. I hated the thought of bringing this on the SaturnFans forums but, needless to say, after 9 days of fighting this, I got desperate. SaturnFans forums are the only reason I still drive a 97 SL2 with over 210k miles on it. Even though it's getting (very) long in the tooth, it still gets 35 MPG on the highway, which is 90% of my driving with that car.

But I figured the main problem I'm having with the Chrysler is mostly universal in that you have to keep the stud on the link from turning in order to get the fastening nut off. Sure enough, within one hour of my OP here, there are two responses.

So, what I'm picking up in this thread is that there's no risk of damaging the link by letting the stud spin. I thought I had read otherwise years ago.

For the sake of the argument, let's presume I could get the fastening nut off the stud without ruining it. Would the mere fact that these links have 134k Michigan miles be a good enough reason to replace them anyway while I'm replacing the struts? (Actually, I'm replacing the strut assemblies with Gabriel Readystruts.)

Thanks for bearing with me on this!
Chryslers used to be all we worked on when we had our business. All Chrysler products (well almost all) use this setup. We always just cut them off because after they were on any length of time they got noisy anyway. Get Moog replacements. They have grease fittings and a hex nut on the back side. When you put it back together a little never seize will go a long way also.

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Old 04-30-2013, 08:33 AM   #12
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

sorry, waste of a post considering this belongs in "other cars" and NOT the S-Series...

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Old 04-30-2013, 09:38 AM   #13
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Might get a broader base of help here: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=28
Never knew that forum existed! My bookmark to SaturnFans points right to the S-series Tech forum. Thanks for posting that, madpogue!

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Old 04-30-2013, 09:56 AM   #14
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

unintended duplicate -- forum's server is crawling right now!

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Last edited by Dan400Man; 04-30-2013 at 09:57 AM.. Reason: duplicate post, no option to delete post?

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Old 04-30-2013, 09:59 AM   #15
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

Quote:
Originally Posted by underthehood View Post
Chryslers used to be all we worked on when we had our business. All Chrysler products (well almost all) use this setup. We always just cut them off because after they were on any length of time they got noisy anyway. Get Moog replacements. They have grease fittings and a hex nut on the back side. When you put it back together a little never seize will go a long way also.
Got the Moog replacements the other day as precaution, so that I had everything I needed to put it all back together. Thanks for the tip on the "never seize".

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Old 04-30-2013, 10:00 AM   #16
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

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sorry, waste of a post considering this belongs in "other cars" and NOT the S-Series...
Sorry about that. Didn't know about that forum until madpogue mentioned it. Can the moderator move this thread to that forum?

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Old 04-30-2013, 12:13 PM   #17
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Default Re: Sway Bar Links - the BANE of a home mechanic's existence

Our MPV has sway bar links attached to the struts. Here's what the link bolts and nuts looked like after the extraction. (yep, I replaced the links). I call this man art


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