Difficult sway bar end link nut. Ideas?

Difficult sway bar end link nut. Ideas?

Postby Ken2.7 [OP] » March 16th 2018, 4:07am

I just got a new Dorman front sway bar to replace the hollow OEM bar and getting the rubber bushing and nut started on the bottom of the link is a bear. I searched on here and saw one mention of reversing the bolt and placing the head down below and the nut on top but when I did that I found the nut and threaded portion beyond it extend within 1/4” of the upper control arm. I’m tempted to saw off the excess threaded portion and leave it it that way.
Are there any secrets to getting that end link nut started inside that lower control arm like the original was? Thanks in advance for suggestions and by the way the solid Dorman weighed 18 pounds and the hollow OEM weighed 9; if that matters. I will follow up with my impressions of driving with the new sway bar.
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Re: Difficult sway bar end link nut. Ideas?

Postby plymouthcranbrook » March 16th 2018, 4:18am

I used a jack to compress the spring and then line up the link and start the nut. Placed it under the lower A Arm. 2001 AWD
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Re: Difficult sway bar end link nut. Ideas?

Postby Ken2.7 [OP] » March 16th 2018, 4:25am

I’ll try that tomorrow. Thanks that’s a great idea.
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Re: Difficult sway bar end link nut. Ideas?

Postby WinnieVan » March 16th 2018, 7:55am

I used a long pry bar to manipulate the sway bar until I could get the nut started. Although, I reckon it is easier to use a jack under the control arm -- because I ended up needing two sets of hands to pull it off my way.
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Re: Difficult sway bar end link nut. Ideas?

Postby zzimmer3 » March 16th 2018, 12:46pm

As you mentioned, i sawed the extra threads off. It's been like that for a while now without issue. For such a tiny thing, it's a pain in the hindquarters.
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Re: Difficult sway bar end link nut. Ideas?

Postby Rinny » March 16th 2018, 1:36pm

And all this time I thought I was mechanically challenged..............I cut off the excess also and used locknuts on the threads.
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Re: Difficult sway bar end link nut. Ideas?

Postby 1lowcab » March 16th 2018, 2:09pm

Another one for cutting the excess off, been like that for a long time now with zero problems.

I really don't see the difference in going in from the top or the bottom....except from the bottom and cutting off the excess is WAY easier!
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Re: Difficult sway bar end link nut. Ideas?

Postby Ken2.7 [OP] » March 24th 2018, 2:04am

In case someone else has the problem and looks to this board for a solution I finally got the links on my 2000 AWD Astro with the nuts on the bottom. I worked on one side at a time with the Astro resting on its wheels. After removing the bolts for the idler arm and swinging it out of the way I removed the two bolts holding the retainer that clamps the sway bar to the frame. That gave me enough movement in the sway bar to better center the bar with the hole below and slide the bolt through. I then duct taped a long socket to the lower rubber bushing and nut to keep it all together and slid the bushing, nut, and socket up in the hole and by moving the bolt a little to line it all up I was able to get it started. I had blue thread locker already on so it was then a matter of torquing the link which I set to 13 foot/lbs. I then reattached and torqued down the sway bar retainer and finally moved the idler arm back in place. To aid lining the holes I inserted a taper punch in one opening and then started the bolt in the other. As stated before I did one side at a time but was tempted to loosen the other side to see if that would give me a bit more room to work.
I found several torque values in a previous post and settled on 27 ft/lbs for the retainer and 77 ft/lbs for the idler arms and I used blue thread lock on both. I would be interested in what torque values others have used because I found several torque specs.
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