Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog Tech Info Tech Forums
 
Follow Pelican Parts on Facebook Follow Pelican Parts on Twitter Follow Pelican Parts on Instagram Follow Pelican Parts on YouTube Follow Pelican Parts on Pinterest Follow Pelican Parts on Tumblr
  Search our site:    
View Recent Cars  |   Cart  | Project List | Order Status | Help    
 >  >
Front and Rear Sway Bar and Sway Bar Bushings Replacement
 
Bookmark and Share

Pelican Technical Article:

Front and Rear Sway Bar and Sway Bar Bushings Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$50

Talent:

**

Tools:

13mm, 18mm wrenches, T30 Torx bit, 10mm, 13mm, 18mm sockets with ratchet

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)
BMW M5 Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Front and rear sway bars and sway bar bushings, self-locking nuts

Hot Tip:

Replace self-locking nuts

Performance Gain:

Eliminate the squeaking noise over small bumps from worn sway bar bushings

Complementary Modification:

Change sway bar links if necessary

As you drive your car the direction of the wheels are controlled by the steering mechanism of the car. When you change direction the steering mechanism changes the direction of the wheels. Now inertia acting on the body of the car wants the body to continue in the straight ahead direction. Because the body is resting on the suspension the body of the car is forced towards the outside wheels to the turn. This causes the outside suspension to compress under the additional load on the suspension. The inside suspension would actually increase a small amount as a result of the load being removed from the inside suspension during the turn. This action is known as "body roll" and drivers tend not to like excessive body roll since it does not provide a taught ride. The driver would say it feels like they are "floating" around the turn.

In an effort to reduce body roll sway bars connect each side of the suspension with one another. This way when the outside suspension compresses in a turn the torque on the sway bar transfers some of the energy to the inside suspension causing it to compress slightly also. This prevents body roll. Typically, the thinner the sway bar the less torque is applied to the inside suspension and you will feel slightly more body roll. A thicker sway bar will allow more torque to be applied to the inner suspension creating less body roll. Now sway bars twist as the suspension moves up and down. They are held in place with rubber bushings and rotate inside the bushing. As these bushings wear out you can develop a squeaking noise as the sway bar twists inside the bushings. Bushings can also get soft and will allow the sway bar to move around and not effectively reduce body roll.

A performance upgrade would be to install polyurethane bushings which are much harder and hold the sway bar in a more fixed position. These bushings being firmer do translate more road feel to the steering a suspension so you may also notice a slightly harsher ride. If you are into performance driving it is a worthwhile trade off. In this tech article we will go over the steps to change your front and rear sway bars and sway bar bushings.

Lift and support the axle of the vehicle you are replacing parts on. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Remove the front splash shields and reinforcement plate, for front sway bar replacing. See our tech article on engine splash shields replacing.

Remember your car may have been serviced before and parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches

Front sway bar:
Front sway bar: Working at the sway bar, loosen the 16mm end link nut while counter-holding the T30 Torx in the center of the stud.
Figure 1

Front sway bar: Working at the sway bar, loosen the 16mm end link nut while counter-holding the T30 Torx in the center of the stud. Pull the link out of the sway bar and place it out of the way. The photo shows the right side of the vehicle. Repeat the process for the right side.

Front sway bar: Working at the right side sway bar bushing, remove the 10mm power steering line support bracket fastener (green arrow).
Figure 2

Front sway bar: Working at the right side sway bar bushing, remove the 10mm power steering line support bracket fastener (green arrow). Pull the power steering line away from the sway bar bushing. Then remove the two 13mm sway bar bushing fasteners (yellow arrows).

Front sway bar: Working at the left side sway bar bushing, remove the two 13mm sway bar bushing fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 3

Front sway bar: Working at the left side sway bar bushing, remove the two 13mm sway bar bushing fasteners (green arrows).

Front sway bar: Pull the sway bar down and away from the subframe.
Figure 4

Front sway bar: Pull the sway bar down and away from the subframe. Be sure not to lose the shim (green arrow).

Front sway bar: Remove the sway bar bushing bracket (green arrow) from the sway bar.
Figure 5

Front sway bar: Remove the sway bar bushing bracket (green arrow) from the sway bar. Slide the bushing along the sway bar and open up the split in the bushing (yellow arrow) to remove it from the sway bar. You can now remove the sway bar, slide it down and out of the front end of the vehicle. Reverse the steps to install the new sway bar and bushings. Install new bushings dry, without lubrication. Install the sway bar bushings with new self-locking nuts.

Rear sway bar links: 
Rear sway bar links: Working at the sway bar, loosen the 16mm end link nut while counter-holding the T30 Torx in the center of the stud.
Figure 6

Rear sway bar links: Working at the sway bar, loosen the 16mm end link nut while counter-holding the T30 Torx in the center of the stud.

Rear sway bar links: Working at the front subframe, remove the two 13mm sway bar bushing bracket fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 7

Rear sway bar links: Working at the front subframe, remove the two 13mm sway bar bushing bracket fasteners (green arrows). Counterhold bolt from above the subframe and loosen the nut from below (inset). The right side is shown. The left side is similar. Remove both sides.

Rear sway bar links: Pull the stabilizer bar down away from the subframe.
Figure 8

Rear sway bar links: Pull the stabilizer bar down away from the subframe.

Rear sway bar links: Pull the stabilizer bushing bracket (green arrow) off.
Figure 9

Rear sway bar links: Pull the stabilizer bushing bracket (green arrow) off. Then open up and peel the bushing off the stabilizer bar (yellow arrow). You can now remove the sway bar, slide it out through the subframe to the side to remove it. Reverse the steps to install the new sway bar and bushings. Install the new bushings dry, without lubrication. Install the new bushings with new self-locking nuts.


Bookmark and Share
Comments and Suggestions:
Pete Comments: Hi
Nice article. Do you have the torque for the bolts in picture 3. I.e. the sway bar bushing to the frame.
Thanks
Pete
November 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don’t have that info.


I would grab a repair manual. It will have the torque specs.


Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

  Search our site:    

View Cart & CheckOut | Project List | Order Status |  Help    

 

[Home] [Customer Service] [Shopping Cart] [Privacy Statement]
 [Contact Us] [About Us] [Shipping] [Map to our Location] [Careers]

Copyright © Pelican Parts Inc.

Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:40:01 AM