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    
 >  >
Sway Bar and Bushings Replacement
 
Bookmark and Share

Pelican Technical Article:

Sway Bar and Bushings Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1.5 hours

Tab:

$100

Talent:

***

Tools:

Set of sockets 13mm, 16mm, 15 or 16mm wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW Z4 Convertible (2003-06)
BMW Z4 Coupe (2006)

Parts Required:

sway bar, sway bar bushings

Hot Tip:

Leave all fasteners loose until you have new parts installed

Performance Gain:

Replace faulty sway bar or bushings

Complementary Modification:

Install performance sway bar

As you drive your car, the heading of the front wheels is controlled by the steering mechanism of the car. When you change direction, the steering mechanism changes the heading 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 wheels that are outside on the turn. This causes the outside suspension to compress under the additional load on the suspension. The inside suspension would actually lift 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 (also known as stabilizer bars) connect one side of the suspension to the other. This way when the outside suspension compresses in a turn the torque on the sway bar transfers some of the force to the inside suspension causing it to compress slightly also. This reduces 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 bushings.

In BMW Z4 models stabilizer links connects the stabilizer bar to the struts (front) or suspension arms (rear). The connecting links and bushings wear out over time. When they begin to fail, you may have a knocking noise in the suspension when driving over bumps or when steering the vehicle. To inspect the front stabilizer links, jack the front of the vehicle and wiggle the wheel back and forth. While wiggling the wheel, listen for a noise from the link. If no noise is heard, place your hand around the ends of the link and monitor for looseness as you wiggle the wheel. The rear link has a rubber bushing the stabilizer bar inserts into. These wear out and cause a clunking sound. If you have a noise in the rear, this is a good place to start looking. If the clunk doesn't show up in the link, inspect the sway bar bushings. As on Z4 models, they can cause a similar noise when worn. In this article I describe how to replace the sway bar and bushings on the rear suspension of the BMW Z4M.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been 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.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Raise and support your vehicle on jack stands. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Front: The front sway bar link (red arrow) connects the strut (blue arrow) to the sway bar (purple arrow).
Figure 1

Front: The front sway bar link (red arrow) connects the strut (blue arrow) to the sway bar (purple arrow). Start by removing the end link connection at each side of the sway bar, see our tech article on sway bar end link replacing.

Front: The front sway bar (red arrow) has two bushings (purple arrow), right side bushing shown.
Figure 2

Front: The front sway bar (red arrow) has two bushings (purple arrow), right side bushing shown. Right and left side shown.

Front: Start by removing the 13mm fasteners for the sway bar bushings (red arrows).
Figure 3

Front: Start by removing the 13mm fasteners for the sway bar bushings (red arrows).

Front: Next, remove the sway bar bushing bracket (red arrow).
Figure 4

Front: Next, remove the sway bar bushing bracket (red arrow). Then remove and replace the sway bar bushing (blue arrow). If just replacing the bushing, reverse steps to reassemble.

Front: To remove the sway bar (red arrow), slide it down and out of the vehicle, once the bushings are removed.
Figure 5

Front: To remove the sway bar (red arrow), slide it down and out of the vehicle, once the bushings are removed. Reverse steps to reassemble.

Rear: The rear sway bar link (purple arrow) connects the rear swing arm (red arrow) to the sway bar (blue arrow).
Figure 6

Rear: The rear sway bar link (purple arrow) connects the rear swing arm (red arrow) to the sway bar (blue arrow). Start by removing the end link connection at each side of the trailing arm, see our tech article on sway bar end link replacing.

Rear: Remove the two sway bar bushing 6mm Allen fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 7

Rear: Remove the two sway bar bushing 6mm Allen fasteners (red arrows). Left side shown, repeat for right side.

Rear: Once loose, I like to use a stubby ratchet (blue arrow) to remove the fasteners (red arrow).
Figure 8

Rear: Once loose, I like to use a stubby ratchet (blue arrow) to remove the fasteners (red arrow).

Rear: Next, remove the sway bar bushing bracket (red arrow).
Figure 9

Rear: Next, remove the sway bar bushing bracket (red arrow). Then remove and replace the sway bar bushing (blue arrow). If just replacing the bushing, reverse steps to reassemble.

Rear: To remove the sway bar, start by removing the rear bumper support fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 10

Rear: To remove the sway bar, start by removing the rear bumper support fasteners (red arrows). Then the two 18mm support brace fasteners (blue arrows). Move the support braces to the side, then lower the sway bar to remove, twist it to fit it down from above the differential. Reverse steps to reassemble.

Bookmark and Share

  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 03:00:40 AM