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Just when you think a repair will be easy... #5108771 05/18/19 08:25 PM
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KrisZ Offline OP
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... 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.

20190518_105617.jpg20190518_093459.jpg

2015 Grand Caravan 3.6L - 31k miles.
2006 Mazda 3 2.0L - 171k miles
Re: Just when you think a repair will be easy... [Re: KrisZ] #5108775 05/18/19 08:30 PM
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Chester11 Offline
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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.

Re: Just when you think a repair will be easy... [Re: KrisZ] #5108790 05/18/19 08:39 PM
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gathermewool Offline
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Stupid question: did you spray with penetrant prior to?


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Re: Just when you think a repair will be easy... [Re: KrisZ] #5108801 05/18/19 08:47 PM
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eljefino Offline
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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.

Re: Just when you think a repair will be easy... [Re: Chester11] #5108816 05/18/19 09:00 PM
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KrisZ Offline OP
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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]


2015 Grand Caravan 3.6L - 31k miles.
2006 Mazda 3 2.0L - 171k miles
Re: Just when you think a repair will be easy... [Re: KrisZ] #5108817 05/18/19 09:00 PM
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Dave9 Offline
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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.

Re: Just when you think a repair will be easy... [Re: KrisZ] #5108823 05/18/19 09:03 PM
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AZjeff Online Content
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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.


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Re: Just when you think a repair will be easy... [Re: eljefino] #5108824 05/18/19 09:04 PM
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KrisZ Offline OP
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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 by KrisZ; 05/18/19 09:04 PM.

2015 Grand Caravan 3.6L - 31k miles.
2006 Mazda 3 2.0L - 171k miles
Re: Just when you think a repair will be easy... [Re: KrisZ] #5108825 05/18/19 09:04 PM
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das_peikko Offline
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You made a nice cut with the hacksaw; I'm impressed.

Re: Just when you think a repair will be easy... [Re: AZjeff] #5108836 05/18/19 09:08 PM
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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


2015 Grand Caravan 3.6L - 31k miles.
2006 Mazda 3 2.0L - 171k miles
Re: Just when you think a repair will be easy... [Re: gathermewool] #5108842 05/18/19 09:11 PM
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KrisZ Offline OP
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Originally Posted by gathermewool
Stupid question: did you spray with penetrant prior to?


I didn't and that was probably stupid of me.


2015 Grand Caravan 3.6L - 31k miles.
2006 Mazda 3 2.0L - 171k miles
Re: Just when you think a repair will be easy... [Re: KrisZ] #5108854 05/18/19 09:20 PM
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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


97 GMC RCLB K2500LD L30/4L60
Re: Just when you think a repair will be easy... [Re: KrisZ] #5108855 05/18/19 09:21 PM
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Trav Offline
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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.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Just when you think a repair will be easy... [Re: KrisZ] #5108866 05/18/19 09:32 PM
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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...

Re: Just when you think a repair will be easy... [Re: KrisZ] #5108868 05/18/19 09:36 PM
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spasm3 Offline
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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.


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