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Front sway bar bushing/link replacement

I am using Meyle HD sway bar links and OEM bushings.

Learning Context

All vehicles are equipped with a sway bar also known as an Anti-roll bar which reduces the tilt feeling when entering turns in your vehicle. Replacing or upgrading your sway bar and sway bar links will decrease the tilting or better known as body roll of your vehicle.

Symptoms of bad sway bar mounts/links

  • Increase body roll/tilt
  • Creaking or clunking while turning
  • Reduced turning radius
  • Abnormal tire wear

Why am I replacing them?

After driving my E28 up to Newcomb’s ranch I kept hearing a popping sound coming from the driver’s side when entering lefts turns. After visually inspecting my sway bar, I found the sway bar links had a lot of play and the bushings were worn out.

Summary

  1. Jack up the car and safely place jack stands
  2. Replace sway bar links and bushings
  3. Tools/Parts
    • Meyle HD sway bar links P#3160604322/HD
    • OEM Bushings P# 33551129677
    • Torque links to 48 ft-lbs
    • Torque bushing brackets to 16 Ft-lbs
    • Angry ass jacking pad/Jackpads
    • 17MM socket
    • 17MM wrench
    • 13mm socket
    • High temp grease
    • Degreaser
    • Scotch bright pad

Procedure

  1. Park your vehicle on a flat surface and jack up the front end, if you don’t know how to safely jack up your car check out this how too post. I use Angry ass jacking pad and jack-stand pads to safely jack my car up and work on it.
Angry ass jack pads to safely jack up my 1987 535I BMW

2. Once the front end is in the air, turn your wheels full lock to either side and locate your upper sway bar link nut.

Upper sway bar link nut of a 1987 535I BMW

3. Take two 17MM wrenches to place one on the sway link but, and the other on the sway bar link stud to prevent it from spinning.

Dual wrench tecnique to remove the nuts off of a 1987 535I BMW sway bar link.

4. Locate the bottom nut of the sway bar link and use your 17MM socket as well as a wrench to remove the sway bar link completely.

1987 535 I BMW bottom sway bar link but.

5. Once you have both sway bar links removed, use the 13MM socket to remove the sway bar bushing bracket bolt.

Using a 13MM socket to remove the bracket off of the sway bar.

6. Once you get the sway bar completely off your vehicle, this would be a great opportunity to clean the sway bar and the brackets. I had a bad power steering leak a few years ago and the sway bar was coated in power steering, I used some awesome degreaser and Scotch bright pad.

7. After cleaning the brackets I took some Redline high-temperature grease to the brackets and the bushings.

8. Once you apply grease complete the steps in reverse, I begin reinstalling the sway bar by installing the links first. I prefer to install the links first because it holds the sway bar up and you do not need to juggle the sway bar and the bracket when installing it. Torque your sway bar links down to 48 ft-lbs

9. Then take your bracket and reinstall it onto the vehicle, and torque your brackets to 16 ft-lbs.

10. Once you have all your nuts and bolts torqued down, reinstall your wheels. Torqure your wheels when the vehicle is back on the ground to 80 ft-lbs for OEM wheel bolts, I torque my lug nuts to 90 ft-lbs.

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