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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 04-29-2007, 09:05 PM   #1
captaindrewle
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e46 Front Sway Links (Swaybar) DIY

HI All, I'm just about to replace my front sway links with some Febi brand links because I'm getting that rattle/clanking/pin-ball-machine noise from my front suspension when I go over bumps at low speeds.

I did a little recon today and will perform the install next weekend. Just thought I'd post some pics because I never found any in the forums. It looks like a really easy DIY (two bolts per side), but I'm sure others like to read about the process before undertaking the task.

I'm going to try to change the links while only jacking up one side at a time and bracing the end of the sway bar with my floor jack.

I'm using pieces of the madrussian sway bar replacement diy as a guide.

Pics:

Sway bar link is front and center. It's a thin metal tube that connects to the strut (bolt clearly seen just above center) and goes back behind the rotor to connect to the actual sway bar.



Nice pic of the whole sway bar link from inside of the wheel well.



Lower part of the sway link.



Upper part of the sway link.



How I plan on bracing the sway bar with my floor jack while having one side jacked up at a time.

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Old 04-30-2007, 11:14 AM   #2
hummer
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Don't jack the sway bar! Loosen the nuts and then jack under the nub to raise the suspension until the link goes loose. Then remove the nuts and link.
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:12 AM   #3
jtriana
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Sway Bar Q

Captaindrewle

Did the "rattle/clanking/pin-ball-machine noise" occur when you braked or just as you passed over bumps?

I am hearing a clanking noise mostly when I brake, but occasionally I hear it when I do hit bumps. Do you suspect my end links or sway bar bushings are bad?

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Old 05-01-2007, 03:25 PM   #4
captaindrewle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtriana View Post
Captaindrewle

Did the "rattle/clanking/pin-ball-machine noise" occur when you braked or just as you passed over bumps?

I am hearing a clanking noise mostly when I brake, but occasionally I hear it when I do hit bumps. Do you suspect my end links or sway bar bushings are bad?

Attachment 225261
I hear the noise when I'm going slow over bumps - no braking involved. I don't know exactly what your problem is, but it could also be your control arm bushings.
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Old 05-01-2007, 03:29 PM   #5
captaindrewle
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Originally Posted by hummer View Post
Don't jack the sway bar! Loosen the nuts and then jack under the nub to raise the suspension until the link goes loose. Then remove the nuts and link.
hummer, I'm planning on jacking up one side with the BMW jack, and then just using my floor jack to rest the sway bar on (no pressure) so it does not move/rotate when I disconnect the link. Although, I'm guessing that the sway bar won't even move when the link is disconnected.
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:08 AM   #6
hummer
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When you jack up one side, the sway is going to be loaded up. So you need to jack under the hub to unload the sway and let the link go loose. The sway can't fall because it's attached to the other side.
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:49 AM   #7
Narcisse91
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A much easier way would be to drive up onto ramps... I've swapped swaybar endlinks plenty of times that way, and there are no tricks to it. Drive up, unbolt, replace, bolt, drive down.
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Old 05-02-2007, 12:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narcisse91 View Post
A much easier way would be to drive up onto ramps...


Either that, or raise both front sides and there will be no preload on the front sway bar.
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Old 05-04-2007, 03:46 PM   #9
captaindrewle
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Thanks for the suggestion, Narcisse91 - I've been looking for a good excuse to purchase some ramps.
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:55 PM   #10
mruelas
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no problem unbolting when up on ramps....do you have plenty of room to get to the nuts?
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Old 05-08-2007, 02:26 AM   #11
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what exactly do this do when driving the car? Help support the struts?
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Old 05-08-2007, 05:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mikepbrooks View Post
what exactly do this do when driving the car? Help support the struts?
What exactly are you asking? English please.
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grafiksguy View Post
What exactly are you asking? English please.
That is english, but ill say it another way, what do sway bar links do?

Just because i forgot to put a word in there doesnt mean you dont understand it...typos you know, everyone has a few in there life time...
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Old 05-10-2007, 05:15 PM   #14
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Hey captaindrewle, did the replacement of the sway bar links eliminate the clunk sound you were hearing?
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Old 05-12-2007, 10:31 AM   #15
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Hey if I replace these do I need a alignment?
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:32 PM   #16
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anyone?
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:57 PM   #17
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No, replacing the sway links shouldn't necessitate an alignment.
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:43 AM   #18
gokcer
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My links bolts look bent. Again I am looking at them while the steering wheel is turned al the way to one side.

Are these supposed to be straight all the time or is it a round joint that twists while the wheels are not pointed straight?
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:17 AM   #19
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The link ends are ball joints. When you turn the wheel the strut rotates and the link ball joints move as intended.
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:45 PM   #20
gokcer
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I just did this DIY and it was very simple. Almost as easy as changing tires.

1. I lifted one side and put a jack stand under the control arm(I placed it under the rubber joint with blue ring on pic#2, NOT directly under it but right next to it so jackstand did not touch the rubber part)

2. Removed the wheel(wheels point straight ahead for ease of reach to the part).

3. I lowered the car on the jack stand and this made it really easy to get the stabilizer link in and out by making the swaybar line up with the link. There was no pressure on it. Just unbolt the nuts and it came out without any force. Same thing as putting it back in, just slide in there and tighten 2 bolts.

4. Install wheel, lift the car, remove jack stand, drop the car

5. Go to step #1 and repeat for the other side.
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Last edited by gokcer; 06-26-2007 at 06:49 PM.
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