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Anti-sway bar link replacement guide w/pics

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by vervepipes, February 2, 2007.

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    1. vervepipes

      vervepipes Active Member

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      Well it was time to change my anti-sway bar links so I brought a camera. This is what I found one day after hearing loud clunks every time I hit uneven ground: [​IMG]

      As much as I dont like NAPA, I'm a sucker and keep going back to them. The job would have neen made easier if the bolts were 1 or 2 MM longer to help the nuts grab the thread. The kit comes with both sides (indevidually packaged per side) loosely in a bag, but here is what the stackup should look like: [​IMG]

      If your old link is broken, removal could be as simple as pulling down (or up) on the remaining bit, or else some release-all and a 15MM socket for the bottom and 16MM socket for the top will do the job. When I removed the non broken one, the nut was on the bottom and the bolt was passed down from the top, so because of clearance issues I lifted the truck a bit from the front crossmember to be able to pull the bolt out.

      *note: I realize that safety wise I did the job wrong, I installed it from the bottom up. The reason for this is in the case of a nut letting go, the bolt will not simply drop out and disconnect the anti sway bar, so I may end up re-installing them later in the propor fashion, but you can still use the pics as reference, just start from the top instead of bottom.

      start the stackup with a washer and bushing (they bushing "cups into the washer and the smallest part of the bushing should fit into the holes on the arm and bar, so it's hard to get it wrong)and pass it through the first hole
      [​IMG]

      Then continue with a bushing and washer
      [​IMG]
      This is where you would add the copper coloured tube spacer. The next half is identical to the first portion. To be able to get the nut started, you then have to drop the truck back down and tighten away. I dont know about a torque because you dont want to wreck the bushings, so I just put it tight with about 3-4 threads showing. The new bolt and nut were 11/16

      Hope this helps anybody who wants to do this.
       
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    3. trucku

      trucku Well-Known Member

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      My truck just broke the left rear link. For the life of me I cannot get it off. I used a hammer to try to slam the bolt down out of that composite sleeve it is in, but no luck. I was able to back it off about a half an inch to keep the top of the link from slamming into the sway bar end when I hit bumps. I have broken away most of the sleeve, but the bolt will not come out.
      Anyone have any ideas? my bar link is the same as the picture above with the top nut broken. I will go to Pepboys and see if I can get something to pull on the nut and force it off.
       
    4. bp1506

      bp1506 Active Member

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      15-21 ft/Lbs Is what these are supposed to be torqued down to. At that point the bushings will look squished pretty good.

      I didn't change my rear links, but if the top nut is broken off you should be able to slide it out. Maybe you just need to use one of those products like liquid wrench to lubricate it a little to slide it out. When the front ones broke on my explorer i also couldn't slide it out, so i sprayed it down with wd40 and used a pair of vicegrips pull it out.

      Anyway good luck.
       
    5. trucku

      trucku Well-Known Member

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      I sprayed the heck out of it...lol. The shaft within that composite sleeve is very deformed from corrosion. I sprayed it as I broke away the sleeve. I can get it to turn but not pull out. I will try again this weekend.

      My truck is under warranty, but the hassle from the dealer guys and fear they will just be dumb brutes keeps me away. The end links are cheap enough to replace, but I didn't think it would such a pain in the arse...
       
    6. bp1506

      bp1506 Active Member

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      Hmm I dont know then, maybe someone else will chime in with a good suggestion.
       
    7. rck2drums

      rck2drums New Member

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      Hacksaw
       
    8. trucku

      trucku Well-Known Member

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      Can't get the blade into a clear position to cut the head of the bolt. Going to buy a big arse pry bar and try to force it out.
       
    9. HR57

      HR57 Member

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      Plasma Torch?
       
    10. Jim Creek

      Jim Creek New Member

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      Anyone know if the Ford Explorer Sway Bar Links are the same as the Ford Explorer Sport
       
    11. Scorpian21

      Scorpian21 New Member

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      I cut mine out Sway Bar Link) with a 5" waffer wheel. I replaced them with Moog. Worked Great.
       
    12. jdavid0607

      jdavid0607 New Member

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    13. jdavid0607

      jdavid0607 New Member

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      I had the same problem on my front link. I ended up using a sawsall with a metal cutting blade. I sawed off close to the bottom and was able to drive the top piece out, then hammer the bottom out as well. Good luck.
       
    14. JethroBodine

      JethroBodine New Member

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      Saw it right in the middle.
       
    15. ambrosiaB

      ambrosiaB Member

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      omg this helps so much I bought the new end links and they are too short. about to freak out. took them back to the store they said you have to jack the control arm itsself up to make up the difference. does this sound right? after looking back online these are the longest ones they sell. .5 inches too short!!
       
    16. swshawaii

      swshawaii Explorer Addict

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      Many have put the end link bolt heads on the bottom and used a floor or bottle jack to start the threads.

      Do not over torque, about 15-20 ft/lbs for polyurethane, or until you can barely turn the center sleeves by hand.
       
    17. ambrosiaB

      ambrosiaB Member

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      liquid wrench penetrating oil worked well for mine idk how stuck it was before that though
       
    18. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      for me the hardest part is getting the old ones off (broken or not). i found the saws-all worked pretty well. what a dumb-ass design Ford has. i used the Moog problem solver end-links with the blue colored bushings. as long as you take both old link bolts out, the sway bar will just swing up & down. i had no problem getting the nuts on, but if you do (like other's have said) put the bolt in from the bottom and jack up the control arm as necessary. i found i had to re-tighten the nuts after a few months as they started making noise. no problems since.
       
    19. swshawaii

      swshawaii Explorer Addict

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      STILL the best cheap suspension mod I've ever done. The Moog K7275 end links with soft blue thermoplastic rubber bushings are known for blowing out, or pulling through the cupped washers. Replacing them with the 7/16" I.D. ES poly bushings made them almost bulletproof and they will probably never fail. Can also be tightened without deformation.

      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2791778&postcount=10
       
    20. kkjb4x4.0

      kkjb4x4.0 Active Member

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      Should be.
       
    21. swshawaii

      swshawaii Explorer Addict

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      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2622504&postcount=9
       
    22. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      yeah, i've heard about this issue, but it's been about 18 months now and they're still ok. if/when the bushings blow out, i plan to replace them with the ES bushings.
       
    23. swshawaii

      swshawaii Explorer Addict

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    24. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      maybe i'll pick up a set of the ES donuts and try them on my Exp when the weather warms up a bit. i suppose the more resilient material and the ability to torque them down tighter makes the difference. did you put in ES sway bar bushings too? i'd think that might improve the feel even more. i recently installed Moog grease-gusher upper/lower ball joints on my Exp. i need to do the 2 Mountaineers this spring (get the BFH ready...)
       
    25. swshawaii

      swshawaii Explorer Addict

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      I replaced the stock front bushings with the ES greaseable type "A" universal brackets and upgraded the rear sway bar with an Addco 633 that came with brackets and poly bushings, then added zerks. Wanted the Explorer Express X-Spec rear bar but EE wanted $120 to ground ship and wasn't negotiable. I've recommended the front end link bushing mod to a few and have been told they installed them without shaving the nipples. Had to be a very tight fit because they are considerably taller than the Moog bushings. Two ES 9.8103G kits needed for both sides, eight total. Moog's "gusher bearing" technology is amazing. Regardless of what some people say about Moog and their country of orgin, they are very robust parts, especially for the price from RockAuto or Amazon. These links may interest you.

      http://www.moogproblemsolver.com/suspension/ball-joints/powdered-metal-bearing

      http://www.moogproblemsolver.com/_pdf_En/MOOG_PS_Bulletin_27015_Socket_Design_En.pdf
       
      Last edited: January 16, 2014
    26. Reaprr

      Reaprr New Member

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      ok i know this is old but i gotta ask ive been looking for a few and the problem ive got is i replaced the links but my explorer keeps eating(and by eating i mean destroying them) the rubbers ive got the warranty from oriley 2x now im using MasterPro® Chassis - Stabilizer Bar Link Kit Part # K7275 they lasted about a month or 2. Any ideas on what may be causing the issue i thinking of trying replacing the rubber bushings but dont want to waste money on better bushings when i may have another issue

      98 ford explorer awd 5.0
       

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