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Old 05-05-2003, 01:07 PM   #1
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Default Loose sway bar links?

So I'm underneath the SSEi yesterday doing an oil change (Good news: it'* been less than 3,000 miles since the last one; Bad news: it'* been a year almost to the day since the last one. Hey, I've been busy, the cobbler'* sons go barefoot and the psychiatrist'* wife is crazy, etc. )

So I figured now would be a great time to try and track down the heavy banging noise I've been getting from the front left wheel. I originally figured it was just a bad strut, and it does gurgle if I bounce the car, but the banging noise was coming from lower down. I couldn't find anything wrong using jack stands (letting the front wheels dangle), but finally I put the front wheels on ramps so the suspension was compressed to regular height, and bingo: The link bolts at both ends of the anti-sway bar are loose. I mean really loose: I can turn both of them with my fingers because the bushings are completely uncompressed and the bolts are just banging around in the holes.

All the bushings are _there_ and seem to be intact; it'* just that the nuts on the upper end of the bolts have apparently backed off. Anybody seen this happen before? It looks all factory-original (kind of a yellowish urethane bushing, right?) and the nut on both of them looks to be rusted up solid after ten years; I couldn't turn the nut on the bolt at all, but at the same time I couldn't get a good enough angle on it to just shear it through and bolt in the replacements myself.

I guess they need to come apart anyway when the struts are replaced, right? Might as well spring for new ones at that time. What else am I going to get surprised with while replacing struts? I'd like to buy all the necessary parts myself, then have the local shop put them in for me.
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Old 05-05-2003, 11:40 PM   #2
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Good thing someone else is doing it! It took me about six hours to change out the struts. Make sure you get an alignment done after the struts are put on.

But the stabilizer links don't have to come off to take the struts off, nor do you have to remove the struts to take the links off. It may be easier if you do both at the same time. I had to saw mine off because they were rusted on.

The bushings in the replacements that I ordered were black, not white like the originals. I guess that means they were a rubber substance. Apparently I looked up the wrong part number. I installed them anyway, but thinking about it, I probably lost a little of the stiffness up front. I haven't been able to notice the difference, though.
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Old 05-06-2003, 11:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuddyduddy121
Good thing someone else is doing it! It took me about six hours to change out the struts. Make sure you get an alignment done after the struts are put on.
Yup; I have the Pontiac service manuals and I've been reading how to do it, but realistically, with my schedule, sometimes it'* better to fix problems by just throwing money at them. I mean, I'll do stuff like electrical work and anything involving Not Breaking Expensive Parts 'cause it'* my car and often I trust myself to do a better job on those things than I do the local mechanics, but when it'* easier and quicker to do the job on a lift with air tools and a couple of special tools (e.g. spring compressors), I'll leave it to guys who specialize in that. I'll buy the parts myself first, though; I know I can do better on price that way.

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Originally Posted by fuddyduddy121
But the stabilizer links don't have to come off to take the struts off, nor do you have to remove the struts to take the links off. It may be easier if you do both at the same time. I had to saw mine off because they were rusted on.
Thanks; good to know. I was thinking about it later: with a good carbide bit on a drill, I can just drill a hole in the end of the link bolt, then switch to progressively larger drill bits until the hole is bigger than the head of the bolt and I've basically just drilled it into oblivion. (I used to do that all the time when replacing old front shocks.) I can then pull the link apart and swap in a new Grade 8 nut and bolt.

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Originally Posted by fuddyduddy121
The bushings in the replacements that I ordered were black, not white like the originals. I guess that means they were a rubber substance. Apparently I looked up the wrong part number. I installed them anyway, but thinking about it, I probably lost a little of the stiffness up front. I haven't been able to notice the difference, though.
Well, I _think_ mine are original, since I've owned the car since it was three years old, it'* never been in an accident and wasn't modified by the previous owner as far as I can tell. (It was a leased car to an accountant.) Mine look to be a dark-yellow urethane color (you know, like skateboard wheels?) which I assume are stiffer than what the civilian-model Bonnevilles get, and I figure it would be nice to reuse them. I mean, it'* not like they've been _doing_ anything down there since the compression nuts backed off; they're not exactly worn out.
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Old 05-06-2003, 02:33 PM   #4
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As long as the physical properties of the bushings haven't changed, you are fine. But I would be a little leary that they may not be as flexible as they used to be, or they may be smaller than they used to be...

The new links, including bushings, were only $10 apiece.
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Old 05-09-2003, 04:32 PM   #5
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i did mine the other day. both of them were broken off
and they were the yellowish color also... it took me 20 minutes to do them.
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Old 05-09-2003, 04:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
i did mine the other day. both of them were broken off and they were the yellowish color also... it took me 20 minutes to do them.
I wish mine were broken; it'd be easier to get the bolts out.

Once I get the old ones cut out one way or another I'll be home free...
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