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Old 01-30-2007, 01:03 AM   #1
runerx
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2003 VUE 2.2L
Default Sway bar link replacement

Whelp, looks like I have a bad sway bar link or bushing in the drivers side front of my VUE. For anyone who has done this replacement:
A. do you have any suggestions (anything that can be lubed)?
B. does anyone else make aftermarket links for the VUE
I'm going to start trying to nail down exactly what is creaking/groaning and hopefully get it fixed soon, but I will be surprised if its not the link.
I'm usually hearing the sound when the front end first moves when you take off (one or two pops)and when turing the wheels in either direction when moving or still (grunts/groans as wheels turn.)
I don't seem to hear it over bumps. It sounds like a creaky door if you move it slowly.
Any hints are greatly appreciated.

thanks
Dave

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Old 01-30-2007, 03:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

VIse-grips and an 18mm socket. Air tools work best, because those things rust and seize like no tomorrow.... Good luck!

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Old 01-30-2007, 07:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by runerx View Post
but I will be surprised if its not the link.
I'd be surprised if it was the link.

I had pretty much that same noise that you describe. I knew the noise was coming from the left side so I disconnected that sway bar link and drove around the block. The noise seemed to go away (but man did the VUE roll in the corners! YIKES!) but I still wasn't convinced that the link could be making that noise. The link seemed to move freely when it was disconnected.

If you open your hood and push down on the front bumper repeatidly, does the noise seem to come from the strut mount? If you grab the top of the tire and shake it in and out of the wheel well, can you detect any movement- even if a little? I answered YES to both of these questions and decided to replace my strut mount. $128 later and about 2 hours in my garage, the noise is gone.

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Old 01-31-2007, 04:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

Actually, from what I have seen lately, if it doesnt happen much over bumps but happens when turning, it is probably the links. They get corroded, bind up, and creak to bejesus when weight is transferred through them.

I would do the test he suggested though. But my best educated guess would be links.

OR you could bring it in for me to figure out!!!

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Old 01-31-2007, 11:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

Any Idea on cost or if there are aftermarket versions available??

Dave

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Old 02-03-2007, 03:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

FIXED IT!!

I removed the drivers side Wheel and began to check to see what was making noise It seemed to be in the link but I wasn't sure until I removed it and found one end to be frozen.

I repaired it by using an awl to make a small hole in the boot and and spraying lube into the joint by using the tube on on a can of Motorcycle teflon chain lube poked into the hole. I had to work it around using a allen wrench in the end of the bolt, but after about 10 min of spraying and working i was completely freed up. I did end up making another small hole in the boot to allow the pressure from the spray can to escape You have to watch out though the spray will still squirt out at you. once it felt loose I reinstalled it and presto no more noise. I don't know how long it will last but I have had "repairs" like this do very well. (hopefully)

Dave

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Old 02-05-2007, 03:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

runerx wrote:

"I repaired it by using an awl to make a small hole in the boot and and spraying lube into the joint by using the tube on on a can of Motorcycle teflon chain lube poked into the hole. I had to work it around using a allen wrench in the end of the bolt, but after about 10 min of spraying and working i was completely freed up. I did end up making another small hole in the boot to allow the pressure from the spray can to escape You have to watch out though the spray will still squirt out at you. once it felt loose I reinstalled it and presto no more noise. I don't know how long it will last but I have had "repairs" like this do very well. (hopefully)"


Can you post pics of the repair your performed to get rid of the noise?

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Old 02-05-2007, 02:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

Sorry no pics but I will explain as best as I can.

Try to figure out which side is squeeking/creeking jack the car up and remove that tire. Be sure to chock the wheels well and place jack stands under a sturdy part of the chassis. Try to lift the vehicle as little as possible to avoid binding the sway bar so you can remove the link and reinstall it when the time comes. I left one wheel on the ground to load the steering to help me figure out where the noise was coming from and just kept the vehicle as level as I could.

With the wheel removed you will be able to clearly see the link, it sits just to the inside of the strut and mounts at the top to the strut and at the bottom to the sway bar. Slowly turn the steering from left to right (you need two people) put your hand on the sway bar and feel to see if one end seems to have more vibration when it makes noise than the other. This will make it easier to lube without removing from the vehicle if necessary. If you can tell Soak the Nut on the swaybar with good penetrating fluid and give it some time to work it way back into the nut. Remove the 18mm (IIRC) nut, you may need to use an allen wrench to hold the sway bar bolt or there is a flange that you can get a wrench on located on the back side just outside of the boot.

Once once you have pulled the sway bar bolt out of either the strut or sway bar, both ends should move freely, if either feels sticky or stuck thats the culprit. You may be able to lube the sticky end at this point. It's much easier if the end that you want to work on is free from the vehicle. The best way however is to remove the link completely to work on it. If ends both move ok turn the steering again to see if the noise is still there you should now know if its the link or if you need to look at other parts such as the strut bearing?? in the top of the strut tower, or the tie rod ends, they could also cause a noise like this.
You can also completely remove the link and put the wheel back on and drive around the block to listen for the noise. It won't hurt anything as long as you bolt everything back up, but you will notice more body roll.

Once you have identified which end or both is sticky use an awl or other small pointed object to poke a SMALL hole in the boot (the smaller the better as far as it resealing) I ended up making two holes, one to put the lube in and one to let the pressure from the aerosol can out, it balloned the boot slightly and sprayed the lube back out. (be careful of your eyes) Get a can of spray lube with a straw and insert the straw into one of the holes, try to point the straw back into the base of the socket and spray in short squirts to avoid ballooning the boot to much (Dont pop or tear the boot)!!!!
Put the allen wrench in the end of the sway bar bolt and begin to move the end around. You may need to lightly clamp the link in a vise and GENTLY tap the end side with a hammer or mallet to get it to move in all directions and to throughly lube the inside of the joint, avoid mashing the threads or it may not go back on. It should move freely in all directions.

Once the joint is freed up put the link back on (i hit the threads again with the penetrating fluid to clean up any residual crap), tighten everything back down, put the wheel on and turn the wheel again to see if the noise is gone, take a test drive and hopefully you won't have any more noise.

I think all in all I spent about an hour diagnosing where the noise was eminating from and doing the actual repair.

Hope this helps

Dave

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Last edited by runerx; 02-05-2007 at 02:51 PM..

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Old 02-05-2007, 03:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

I hope it lasts for you. I honestly wouldnt expect much from it, since the lube wont be sealed in, it will help for a little while. Keep us updated.

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Old 02-05-2007, 03:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

The pin hole seals enough to keep the pressure from the can in, It can't be leaking much... Plus now I have a "grease fitting"
I'm hopeful too

Dave

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Old 02-06-2007, 02:28 AM   #11
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2003 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

Right BigDaddy. Anything out of an aerosol can won't be as good as the suspension grease they pack into the bearings ball joints and suspension parts. My guns are loaded with Castrol High Temp bearing grease. Anything else is for the door hinges.

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Old 02-06-2007, 02:45 AM   #12
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Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

Obviously what was in there wasn't all that great.
Will what I did last 68K?? Probabally not but It might get me to what I feel is a reasonable distance for replacing it. I realize this isn't a permenant fix.... but for now it saved me buying a part that I can keep going for a little longer.

Call it the cheap bas*ard fix if ya wanna but for now no more squeek.

2.5 days

Dave

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Old 02-10-2007, 09:25 PM   #13
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Thumbs Up Re: Sway bar link replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by runerx View Post
FIXED IT!!

I removed the drivers side Wheel and began to check to see what was making noise It seemed to be in the link but I wasn't sure until I removed it and found one end to be frozen.

I repaired it by using an awl to make a small hole in the boot and and spraying lube into the joint by using the tube on on a can of Motorcycle teflon chain lube poked into the hole. I had to work it around using a allen wrench in the end of the bolt, but after about 10 min of spraying and working i was completely freed up. I did end up making another small hole in the boot to allow the pressure from the spray can to escape You have to watch out though the spray will still squirt out at you. once it felt loose I reinstalled it and presto no more noise. I don't know how long it will last but I have had "repairs" like this do very well. (hopefully)

Dave
Thanks for posting your solution - I just performed a similar repair on my '03 and it seems to be holding up nicely. The noise was almost unbearable before I decided to check it out. Now I just have to get my oil leak fixed

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Old 02-10-2007, 10:23 PM   #14
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Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

Welcome!

Yeah I figured that i'd see what I could get out of it short of a replacement. It got a pretty severe test this week with the really cold temps and decent amount of snow. So far one week and no noise.
Fingers are still crossed.

Dave

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Old 02-12-2007, 03:29 AM   #15
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Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

If you want, I may be able to get you some links with my discount. It isnt much, but they have a beefier updated part to replace what came on yours. Let me know if it is something you would be interested in. At this point, I honestly dont know what my discount on them is, but it would make it worth it to use updated, OEM parts!

Don

Only offering because you are here in town..... and I have helped work on your Vue! O2 sensor....

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Old 02-12-2007, 11:22 AM   #16
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Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

Cool thanks for the offer!!
If it starts sqeekin again (and I'm sure it will) I'll let you know.
the whole O2 sensor kinda sucked because if I could have figured out what was screwin up I could have replaced it myself. Unfortunately the generic code readers said "no faults" and while I already had the check out time invested I figured that it was just worth it to go ahead and get it done.

Dave

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Old 02-12-2007, 03:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: Sway bar link replacement

No problem.... and you were saying that at the shop, so I believe ya! Just let me know and I will find out the price for ya....

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