How to change a car’s sway bar
  1. What’s a Sway bar?

In order to understand how to change a sway bar, one needs to have a thorough understanding of what a sway bar is and how it works. A sway bar is basically an Antiroll bar which is a part of the suspension of a vehicle that helps in reduction in body roll of a vehicle during fast cornering of a vehicle or during irregularities of the road.

The sway bar connects the opposite wheels together with short-lever arms linked with torsion springs. The sway bar increases the suspension’s roll stiffness and its resistance in rolling in turns.

When a car takes a swift turn the vehicle drops a lot towards the outer wheels and the sway bar which connects the wheels forces the opposite side wheel of the vehicle to get closer to the vehicle. So during a quick turn, all the wheels are close to each other and the body.

Once the turn is executed the downward pressure is reduced and the wheels return to their original position and normal height.

All the wheels are cross-connected with the help of the sway bar, hence any change in any wheel automatically leads to a change in the other one.

The combined movement of the wheels allows them to generally execute the separate tilting of the others and the vehicle remains stable against the terrain on which it’s moving.

There is a significant drawback of the Sway bar, as the wheels are connected the force exerted by the bump gets transmitted from one wheel to the opposite one. On a damaged road, the bumps are frequent and the bars can produce a lot of jarring, side to side body motions which increase in severity based on the stiffness and diameters of the sway bar.

  1. What equipment do you need to change a Sway Bar?

Replacement of the sway bar is not that difficult if you follow the guidelines and also have all the necessary equipment for its replacement.

  1. Breaker Bar

  2. Jack stands

  3. Ratchet and appropriate size sockets and wrenches

  4. Safety glasses

  5. Torque wrench

  6. Wheel chocks.

The tools used for the replacement may vary from car to car, but the above-mentioned list is the general tools needed to replace a sway bar.

  1. What’s the reason for a bad sway bar link?

The three most prominent reasons for a bad sway bar is simply time, kilometers, and usage. But there are various other reasons like corrosion, rust, and metal fatigue. Also, the sway bar bushing sometimes hyperextends the links and causes them to break which is quite common. As the bushings get worn out over a period of time

  1. Steps to remove the old Sway bar:

  1. Loosen the wheel Lug nuts: use a breaker bar to loosen up the wheel lug nuts, do not remove the lugs entirely, and just lose them up.

  2. Raise and support the vehicle using a jack stand. After this chock, the rear wheels set the parking brake.

  3. Identification of the bad link is crucial in this step, one needs to verify which link is broken.

  4. The next step is simply removing the loose lug nuts by hand, once you remove them then get rid of the wheel and tire assembly.

  5. Finally, remove the sway bar link. Now the tricky part here is there are two types of the sway bar link hence how to remove the sway bar depends upon which sway bar link your car has:

  1. Ball Joint type sway bar link:

  • Use an open-end wrench or Torx head screwdriver (which depends on the vehicle design) to hold the stud portion of the sway link bar.

  • While you hold the stud, remove the other nut with the help of a ratchet and socket or a wrench.

  • After you free both the lower and the upper nut you can remove the sway bar link of the vehicle.

  1. Bolt type sway bar link:

  • Use a wrench to hold the sway bar link Bolt.

  • Use a wrench or socket to remove the stabilizer link nut.

  • Now, you need to pull the bolt up through the sleeves and the bushings.

  • And finally, remove the sway bar link of the vehicle.

  1. Steps to install the new sway bar:

  1. Compare the old and new sway bar links and make sure that they have the same design.

  2. Ball-type joint sway bar link: this one’s extremely simple. All you need to do is simply slide the stud in their slots and your bar is installed.

Bolt type sway bar link: one needs to slide the new link through the sleeves and bushings as well as the slots in the sway bar link arm

  1. Reinstall the retaining nuts and do not tighten them all the way, keep them a bit loose as you need to torque them later.

  2. Now you need to install the wheel and tire assembly placed on the lug nuts

  3. Now after you install the assembly, you need to tighten the lug nuts using a ratchet and socket.

  4. Now, as the tires are set in place the vehicle is ready to stand on its own, so remove the jack stand and place the vehicle on its own.

  5. As the vehicle is at its normal height use a torque wrench to tighten the sway bar links as per the manufactures specifications.

  6. Using the sway bar link kit is one of the best ways to replace the sway bar as.


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