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How to Replace Sway Bar End Links

Replace stabilizer parts until you find the noisy culprit!

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

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Replace stabilizer bushings and sway bar end links

Loosen the nut

Soak the nut and stud with penetrating oil. Then use the special tool to hold the ball stud while you put all your force into breaking the nut loose. Then use the holding tool and a metric box end wrench to finish the job.

sway bar end links tool

Stabilizer link kit

Buy a special tool kit before trying to remove the stabilizer sway bar ends.

Worn stabilizer bushings and sway bar 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 sway bar 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) 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).

Required Tools for this Sway Bar Link Replacement Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY sway bar link replacement 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 Sway Bar Link Replacement Project

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

  • Penetrating oil