How to Replace Sway Bar End Links

Replace stabilizer parts until you find the noisy culprit!

Fixing a clunk when your car hits a bump is a trial and error process. Start with the stabilizer bushings and then the bar end links, using a special tool.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Replace stabilizer bushings and bar end links

Worn stabilizer bushings and end links can cause horrible clunking noises when you drive over bumps. Unfortunately, there's no good way to check them by feel (they're loaded with vehicle weight) or by sight. So you have to start replacing parts until you find the noisy culprit.

Start with the stabilizer bushings. They're the most likely candidates, and they're also the cheapest and easiest to replace (about $10 a pair). Just remove the bushing brackets one or two bolts each) and slip on the new bushings. But if you've replaced those and are ready to tackle the end links (about $40 each), stop! Removing the rusted nuts can easily turn into an all-day affair. Since you'll save about $100 labor by doing the job yourself, it's worth getting one of these tool kits: Lisle No. 34110 (about $17) for Ford Taurus, Sable and Windstar vehicles. Or Lisle No. 33820 (about $26; both models available at sjdiscounttools.com) for additional Ford, GM and Chrysler vehicles. For more information on Lisle tools, visit lislecorp.com. Once the nuts (two per link) are off, the rest of the job is a piece of cake (photo).

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Socket/ratchet set
  • Wrench set

You'll need a special stabilizer bar end link tool.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Penetrating oil