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Old 05-03-2008, 05:47 PM   #1
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Default Best method for replacing sway bar bushings+outer tie rods?

Is it easier to replace the sway bar bushings with the car up on ramps, with weight on the wheels obviously, and work below the car, or to jack up the side of the car and work from outside the wheel well. Seems like that way I'd need to have another jack so I can push up on the control arm to loosen tension. I'd prefer to do the sway bar bushings below the car on ramps if I could.

What about the outer tie rod? Looks like I'll have to take the wheel off for that cause I have to screw it off the shaft.

Thanks for the help and suggestions.

Btw I'm doing this for front end vibration at highway speeds. I've diagnosed everything else (put on new rotors and pads; had wheels balanced on a new machine (only had to re-balance 2 of the 4 wheels and only very slightly); bearings are good-no play, no change in vibration when turning wheel at speeds; tranny ok- vibration stays the same when in neutral at highway speed. I'll probably do the sway bar bushings for $11 in parts first then do outer tie rods if that doesn't help, then an alignment. The alignment is likely fine right now because car doesn't pull at all and tires are wearing very evenly.
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Old 05-03-2008, 06:28 PM   #2
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All I can say is "good luck". I have done all this, plus a new cv axle, trying to stop a vibration at highway speeds. Car still vibrates. Let us know what happens. I still want to stop the vibration. I don't know what else to try. Everytime someone suggests something to try, I have already done that!
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:11 PM   #3
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These are the instructions for replacing the stabilizer bar bushings. If you're replacing those, you may as well do the stabilizer links (end links) while you're at it.

Removal Procedure

1. Raise the vehicle.
2. Remove the stabilizer shaft clamp bolts.
3. Remove the stabilizer shaft clamp.
4. Remove the stabilizer shaft rubber insulator.

Installation Procedure

1. Install the stabilizer shaft rubber insulator.
2. Install the stabilizer shaft clamp.
3. Install the stabilizer clamp bolts. Tighten the stabilizer clamp bolts to 47 Nm (35 ft. lbs.).
4. Lower the vehicle.

Yes, you will have to remove the wheels to replace the tie-rod ends. If they aren't worn, replacing them is not likely to make much difference.
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:27 PM   #4
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The alignment can cause a vibration that'* just like a wheel slightly out of round that comes and goes. I'd suggest having the alignment put spot on the ideal settings front and REAR. That worked for mine when it was newer.

Also have the wheels and tires Road Force balanced on a Hunter 9700. It'* best to use a shop that has an experienced tech running it to try to troubleshoot tires that don't roll round.
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:31 PM   #5
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imidazol,
I did all that plus a new tie rod end, new cv axle, new tires, balancing, and I can't remember what else............and it still vibrates at 60-75 mph. NOTHING I have tried has solved the problem. Any ideas?
Thanks,

2001 SE 114,000 miles.
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:05 AM   #6
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It'* an interesting phenomenon, this 60-75 mph shake because I'm sure when these cars were brand new with 5 miles on them going on a test drive they wouldn't shake at highway speeds. You would think that one of the biggest variables that changes over time would be the compression and shrinking of the nylon and rubber bushings - which would allow for greater play in the suspension. Then add in a little play in the bearings, and shocks....but still, I've had plenty of vehicles with 100k plus miles on them that drove super smooth on the highway at speed. Their front and back shocks were worn, etc, everything was.

From my experience with all three domestic manufacturers, I think GM'* weaknesses are suspensions and transmissions, and they do well with their peppy engines. Ford has weaker engines, and power steering pump problems, and some oddball design problems. Chrysler electrical and switches are an endless headache.

Too bad these Bonnevilles don't ride like glass.
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:31 AM   #7
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You are right on all counts. I always come back to the same solution..........I just live with the shake. No one has been able to come up with a better solution yet. It'* a shame isn't it?
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:49 PM   #8
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Well this morning with the front wheels jacked up I checked my 3 and 9 o'clock positions. I'm getting quite a bit of play from the outer tie rod it appears. I can't see the inner tie rod. I wonder if that is bad too. But the amount of play in the wheel feels like the same length of the vibration in the dash and wheel, when I feel the play it was like feeling that vibration exactly. I wonder, should I replace both the inner and outer tie rods?
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:14 PM   #9
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Well some more info... I went and rechecked the driver side and there was quite a bit of side to side play in the wheel, so much so that I thought maybe this was normal.

So I then jacked up my relative'* 2003 Chrysler town and country minivan that has 65k on it and rides smooth as glass. Both front tires had absolutely NO play either 12 and 6 or 3 and 9.

Just seems like the Bonneville has way too much slack at the wheel that would allow vibration to occur at highway speeds hitting small bumps, slight turns etc that would amplify quickly into a strong resonant vibration.

We'll just to have to see what some new parts do for this issue.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:09 PM   #10
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I too get the 65-MPH shimmy, but runs like glass at all other highway speeds.

I am quite anxious to find out if your new bushings make a difference to the 65 MPH shimmy and/or to the low-speed clunking over minor potholes etc. I had a new left end-link adjuster arm installed (which didn't seem to improve anything and perhaps made the clucking worse in the end) and the mechanic said the problems I was experiencing might have something to do with old bushings (I've got some 160,000 miles on mine).

So you might be onto something. There may might be a connection between these two problems and bushings.

PLease do update us!!
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