Just when you think a repair will be easy...

Messages
9,356
Location
Canuck living in California
... it goes south on you. I decided to tackle a bad the driver side sway bar link. After doing a wheel bearing, drive axle seal and strut upper mount recently without any hiccups, I though this one will be a walk in the park, WRONG! The lower nut was rusted in pretty good and I rounded it off. I had to go in with a hacksaw, cut the link off, drill through the remaining shaft and then twist it off, thankfully the nut had a bit of bite left. What would've been a 30 minute job turned into an hour and a half knuckle buster. Pictures of the carnage are below.
 
Messages
228
Location
PA
ugh...I did the same [censored] thing. how did you fix it? I tried to drill it out - no dice. Also couldn't get a good solid shot with a hammer and punch, because the sway bar kept moving. Had to take it to a shop with my tail between my legs.
 
Messages
35,731
Location
ME
You gotta grind down past the "rust lock" then you can knock what's left of the stud through. Sway bar links are an almost gimme that they won't come loose.
 
Messages
9,356
Location
Canuck living in California
Originally Posted by Chester11
ugh...I did the same [censored] thing. how did you fix it? I tried to drill it out - no dice. Also couldn't get a good solid shot with a hammer and punch, because the sway bar kept moving. Had to take it to a shop with my tail between my legs.
Yes I tried to punch it through at first too, but then I realized there is a flange that the sway bar link presses against. I highlighted it below. You can hammer all you want on it, it will not budge. So I drilled through the center, about 1/4 inch, didn't want to go further as I couldn't get it exactly centered due to access and I was afraid of drilling into the sway bar itself. Then I pout a pair of vice grips on that flange and twisted the nut. Drilling though weakened the shaft enough that it sheared off. [Linked Image]
 
Messages
1,583
Location
Cincinnati, USA
They salt the roads here in winter so when doing certain suspension repairs, but especially sway bar links, I assume I will need an angle grinder and may just reach for it before even trying a wrench. As far as the stud left severed in the sway bar, I probably would have given it a shot of penetrant then tried a screw tool, meaning a ball joint press or tie rod press or if nothing else, a large C-clamp with a cup over the side you want to pop the stud out of. However, I like to replace sway bar bushings too, so I might have just cut the links, took the whole sway bar out (has to come down anyway to put new bar bushings on) and had it on a bench for the rest of the job, where it's also easier to clean some rust off the bar including the area where it pivots in its bushings.
 
Messages
9,356
Location
Canuck living in California
Originally Posted by eljefino
You gotta grind down past the "rust lock" then you can knock what's left of the stud through. Sway bar links are an almost gimme that they won't come loose.
Yup, it's pretty much a given in the rust belt, but I was optimistic as the passenger side went without any issues about two years ago. I would probably get to the grinder eventually if the drill didn't work LOL
 
Last edited:
Messages
9,356
Location
Canuck living in California
Originally Posted by AZjeff
You must have brought the rust with you from Canuckistan. When we moved here from Rustylvania I sold all the vehicles and replaced them with rust free SW stock.
LAMO! crackmeup
 
Messages
3,656
Location
Worst Case, Ontario
Originally Posted by KrisZ
Originally Posted by gathermewool
Stupid question: did you spray with penetrant prior to?
I didn't and that was probably stupid of me.
Are you from Ontario or what? You're making us look bad over there, foreigner! wink
 
Messages
23,509
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
I have never known anything different, almost every job is like this. Essential tools, smoke wrench, cutoff wheel, air hammer, power hacksaw, mig welder, cobalt drills, punches and chisels and thin body wrenches.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
44,159
Location
New Jersey
I always hit some snag. If not a snag, I forget something that wastes a bunch of time. It seems like the DIYer can never win...
 
Messages
11,566
Location
North Carolina
Originally Posted by KrisZ
Originally Posted by Chester11
ugh...I did the same [censored] thing. how did you fix it? I tried to drill it out - no dice. Also couldn't get a good solid shot with a hammer and punch, because the sway bar kept moving. Had to take it to a shop with my tail between my legs.
Yes I tried to punch it through at first too, but then I realized there is a flange that the sway bar link presses against. I highlighted it below. You can hammer all you want on it, it will not budge. So I drilled through the center, about 1/4 inch, didn't want to go further as I couldn't get it exactly centered due to access and I was afraid of drilling into the sway bar itself. Then I pout a pair of vice grips on that flange and twisted the nut. Drilling though weakened the shaft enough that it sheared off. [Linked Image]
Thats where a small mig welder helps out. Weld a nut on there and wrench it out. The heat from the weld helps break it free.
 
Messages
919
Location
Virginia
I'm not a huge fan of EricTheCarGuy, but something he said in one of his videos really struck a chord with me - "There comes a point during every repair where you say to yourself, 'why am I making my life so difficult?'"
 
Messages
7,961
Location
New England
Originally Posted by KrisZ
Originally Posted by gathermewool
Stupid question: did you spray with penetrant prior to?
I didn't and that was probably stupid of me.
Not stupid at all! I've done the same [censored] thing and learned from it. I now wouldn't dream of removing ANY fastener without douching it with penetrant multiple times before trying to remove them.
 
Messages
9,356
Location
Canuck living in California
Originally Posted by maxdustington
Originally Posted by KrisZ
Originally Posted by gathermewool
Stupid question: did you spray with penetrant prior to?
I didn't and that was probably stupid of me.
Are you from Ontario or what? You're making us look bad over there, foreigner! wink
Hehehe, yeah I know. The sun must be messing with my head, back in Ontario I would've soaked that thing in penetrating fluid for a week prior to the repair. LOL
 
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