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Fun story replacing sway bar bushings

 
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Old 18 Dec 2014, 01:35 am
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Default Fun story replacing sway bar bushings

04 PT GT 5-speed

Recently purchased the car from a guy who said the control arm bushings were bad and as that is a common problem with these I guessed he was right with the way it sounded going over bumps. Finally put it up on some ramps when I was doing an oil change and saw the culprit, a broken front sway bar end link. So I thought quick and easy job and while I'm at it might as well replace the sway bar bushings.... Bad idea.

Broke off the two rear bolts that hold the sway bar bushings in. Simple fix right? I've dealt with broken bolts in worse places before. Well long story short ended up breaking about 20 cobalt drill bits (says they're meant for hardened steel well not so much and at $4 a pop it was getting old quick). Broke nearly all of my easy outs also. Needless to say nothing was working in my favor of trying to save the threads in the frame as there is no access to the bolt hole since it goes into the frame. After about 8 hours of struggling i said f%^k it and finally got the bolts (and threads sadly) drilled out and I just drilled through the frame and put long bolts with lock nuts on instead.

The bolts seem somewhat close to the rubber boots on what I think was the inner tie rods although I didn't really look too close it seemed like there was enough clearance to not worry.

Thought you guys might enjoy the stories of my struggles.
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Old 18 Dec 2014, 10:40 am
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Default Re: Fun story replacing sway bar bushings

Afew few weeks ago, I did an oil change on my wifes PT. And like you had it on ramps and decided to look around. My sway bar link was completly gone, which explained some of the clunks comming from the front end. I didn't try taking the sway bar off though.
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Old 18 Dec 2014, 11:33 am
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Default Re: Fun story replacing sway bar bushings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leob1 View Post
Afew few weeks ago, I did an oil change on my wifes PT. And like you had it on ramps and decided to look around. My sway bar link was completly gone, which explained some of the clunks comming from the front end. I didn't try taking the sway bar off though.
You don't want to except to repair. Will drive on the curves much better once you replace the links. Check if the bar shakes in the mounting rubber. If so that will clunk.
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Old 19 Dec 2014, 12:23 am
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Default Re: Fun story replacing sway bar bushings

Yep,

Those front sway bar links sure do seem skimpy. Not sure why they were designed that way with the little thin bolt and threaded insert instead of a nut.

But there's plenty of good after market links out there. I got some eBay specials that were supposed to be polyurethane from the photo but turned out just to be butyl rubber. I was a little disappointed. That's what I get for buying links that were around $12 with free shipping. But they were so much better than the OEM links that I did the install anyway.



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Old 19 Dec 2014, 01:09 am
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Default Re: Fun story replacing sway bar bushings

May I suggest to learn how a common anti- roll bar works. Then look up about bolt strength consideration. Then look up what effect the soft bushing on end links have compared to the harder bushing material , solid or adjustable end links.
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Old 19 Dec 2014, 01:25 am
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Default Re: Fun story replacing sway bar bushings

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyinPurplePeopleEater View Post
.....So I thought quick and easy job and while I'm at it might as well replace the sway bar bushings.... Bad idea.

Broke off the two rear bolts that hold the sway bar bushings in....
Haha I feel your pain. I broke 3 of the 4 bolts in my frame. Luckily it is in the replacement frame I bought at the junkyard since it is pretty rust free and mine looks flakey and nasty. But even still I am not looking forward to fixing it. It's the menial tasks which suck the most! lol
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Old 21 Dec 2014, 02:26 pm
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Default Re: Fun story replacing sway bar bushings

Yes it is always what seems like the simplest tasks that have the most unknowable problems that make them take for ever to fix.

I bought some Moog sway bar end links from the parts store and I'm pretty happy with them. Although I think I bought the wrong sway bar bushings. They have a 26mm and a 24mm size and I measured my sway bar to be 26mm across but the bushings seem very loose. I guess I'm not sure how tight the bushings should be but I would assume snug up against the bar.
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Old 21 Dec 2014, 02:58 pm
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Default Re: Fun story replacing sway bar bushings

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyinPurplePeopleEater View Post
04 PT GT 5-speed

Recently purchased the car from a guy who said the control arm bushings were bad and as that is a common problem with these I guessed he was right with the way it sounded going over bumps. Finally put it up on some ramps when I was doing an oil change and saw the culprit, a broken front sway bar end link. So I thought quick and easy job and while I'm at it might as well replace the sway bar bushings.... Bad idea.

Broke off the two rear bolts that hold the sway bar bushings in. Simple fix right? I've dealt with broken bolts in worse places before. Well long story short ended up breaking about 20 cobalt drill bits (says they're meant for hardened steel well not so much and at $4 a pop it was getting old quick). Broke nearly all of my easy outs also. Needless to say nothing was working in my favor of trying to save the threads in the frame as there is no access to the bolt hole since it goes into the frame. After about 8 hours of struggling i said f%^k it and finally got the bolts (and threads sadly) drilled out and I just drilled through the frame and put long bolts with lock nuts on instead.

The bolts seem somewhat close to the rubber boots on what I think was the inner tie rods although I didn't really look too close it seemed like there was enough clearance to not worry.

Thought you guys might enjoy the stories of my struggles.
Were you using a variable drill motor when you were drilling with the cobalt drills?
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Old 28 Dec 2014, 11:58 pm
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Default Re: Fun story replacing sway bar bushings

I replaced my sway bar end links and bushings about a year ago when trying to eliminate a noise. I had to use vice grips to get the end links off but the bushings came off with no effort. Maybe it's because they don't salt the roads here...
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