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Any tricks for aligning sway bar holes -SOLVED

Discussion in 'Street Suspension' started by Tbruz, Feb 20, 2021 at 2:30 PM.

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  1. Tbruz

    Tbruz Full Access Member

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    Trying to replace the PS sway bar end link on my 1997 Tahoe. Easily removed the broken link with a sawzall but the re-assembly has me cursing and ticked me off enough to walk away after 60 minutes of struggling.
    Tried a pitch bar, jacking up , un-jacking, lifting opposite rear corner.........
    Frustration coupled with the melting snow on the undercarriage dripping onto my head may cause the replacement to wait until a warm spring day unless someone has a trick to aligning the sway bar hole and Lower control arm.
    Thanks in advance
    Tbruz
     
  2. PNW VietVet

    PNW VietVet Supporting Member

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    I would bet you think you don't have enough threaded rod to reach thru all of the washers and bushings to get the nut on the end. I have ran in to that before. First make sure you have the right kit and compare the rod length to what was on the rig. Use a floor jack and get right at the end of the control arm under the lower ball joint. Jack it up there and get the wheel off the ground and you will likely be able to accomplish what you want to. If not, jack it up as I said and use a long pry bar to get in under the frame and above the sway bar and pry down while the jack has the tire off the ground. Sometimes just loosening the frame bushing mount brackets allows enough bar movement pivot downward to accomplish what you want and then retighten the frame bushing mount bolts.
     
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  3. Doubeleive

    Doubeleive Supporting Member

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    jack up the front end so BOTH wheels are off the ground
    loosen the opposing side sway bar end link (so the bar will move easily up/down)
    put your new linkage on, tighten both sides
    lower vehicle
    drive it.
     
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  4. Doubeleive

    Doubeleive Supporting Member

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    man it's not that difficult, lol
    the front bar has pressure applied with wheels on the ground
    the rear bar is the opposite it has no pressure with wheels on the ground
     
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  5. PNW VietVet

    PNW VietVet Supporting Member

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    :Big Laugh: I have only one time ever installed sway bar links at home on the ground and it worked for me. The rest of the time I had a lift and tall jack stands I could screw up to take pressure off the way I wanted to. I should have been more clear that the loosening of the frame busing brackets and moving the bar by hand, was with both old links gone. My bad. By the way, I am old, we think of ways to make things more difficult.
     
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  6. Doubeleive

    Doubeleive Supporting Member

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    I battled one once like that a long time ago, after I figured out why it was so difficult to do, it's a cake walk now
    you can do it with one wheel up but it's going to fight you the whole time, so much easier to just put both wheels up and loosen the opposite side, or if doing both sides then just get the nut on the one side and then move to the other side and finish up.
     
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  7. PNW VietVet

    PNW VietVet Supporting Member

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    Yep, better to have the bar all "floppity floppity" when doing it.
     
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  8. Tbruz

    Tbruz Full Access Member

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    VICTORY!
    Todays attempt with both wheels off the ground went a lot better than yesterdays single-lifted-wheel effort.
    I was able to get the new end link in from the bottom up versus the original one being installed top down.

    Then I ran into PNW VietVets comment about"...not enough threaded rod to reach..."
    Solved that issue by temporarily installing one of the removed, already compressed bushings just under the nut. Went out for a leisurely drive and when I retuned the new link and new bushings had settled/compressed enough that I was able to replace the old bushing with the remaining new one.

    In summary the hints to R&R the end links are:
    1. Sawzall removal, easier and quicker than trying to unbolt the old one
    2. Both front wheels lifted
    3. Bottom up install versus top down
    4. Use one of the removed bushings and go for a ride to help settle the new link/bushings before replacing with the last new bushing

    Thanks again for everyone's input.
    Tbruz
     
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  9. exp500

    exp500 Full Access Member

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    Tbruz- Please edit your original post title, add "SOLVED". Thanks, really helps when searching for help.
     
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