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Front Sway Bar Bushing Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Sway Bar Bushing Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$50

Talent:

**

Tools:

5mm Allen head socket with ratchet, 18mm wrenches, swivel and extensions

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W211 (2003-09)

Parts Required:

Sway bar, sway bar bushings

Hot Tip:

Soak the bushings with penetrating oil to help remove them

Performance Gain:

Eliminate squeaking from worn sway bar bushings

Complementary Modification:

Change sway bar links at the same time

As a car enters a turn inertia acts on the cars' body and attempts to keep it going in the straight direction. While in the turn centrifugal forces throw the body to the outside of the turn. This compresses the outer suspension and at the same time lightens the load on the inside suspension. This is known as body roll. Drivers tend not to like body roll as it feels like you are floating around a turn. In an effort to reduce body roll a sway bar was added to the front suspension. A sway bar connects the left and right side suspension of a car. This way when the car enters a turn as the outer suspension compresses the inner suspension compresses a small amount also, therefore reducing body roll. Sway bars are made of metal and can and do flex. Typically the thinner the sway bar the greater the flex and the greater the body roll. The thicker the sway bar the stiffer it is and the less body roll the car has. Sway bars move up and down as they twist going through turns. Sway bar bushings hold the sway bar in place while the suspension moves up and down through corners. These bushings can wear over time and sometimes produce a squeaking noise as the car is being driven. In this tech article we will go over the steps to replacing your sway bar bushings.

These fasteners are going to be tight and there may not be a lot of room to swing the wrench. You are going to have to be patient and use some force to remove fasteners and components to rebuild your front end. Corrosion may hold a component in even after you have loosened a fastener.

Lift and support the front axle of the vehicle. You have to remove the tires to perform this job and it does make access much easier since you may not have access to an automotive lift. See our tech article on jacking and supporting your vehicle and removing the front tires.

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. This is what we had on our car. Someone replaced the manufacturer's fasteners with 13mm Allen head fasteners which were harder to remove.

This picture illustrates under the front of the car.
Figure 1

This picture illustrates under the front of the car. Remove the 5mm Allen head fasteners that hold the sway bar bushing brackets to the frame of the car (green arrows). It is better to remove the top fasteners first, then the bottom fasteners. Here I am only cracking the lower fastener loose.

This picture illustrates both the left and right sway bar bushing bracket mounting fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 2

This picture illustrates both the left and right sway bar bushing bracket mounting fasteners (green arrows). Notice how someone has replaced the two Allen head fasteners on the right side of the car with two 13mm fasteners. The stock factory OEM fasteners are the 5mm Allen head fasteners on the left.

With the brackets loose pull the sway bar out of its mount on the body of the car.
Figure 3

With the brackets loose pull the sway bar out of its mount on the body of the car. Pull it away from the subframe, then down in the direction of the green arrow.

With two 18mm wrenches remove the sway bar link fasteners where they attach to the sway bar.
Figure 4

With two 18mm wrenches remove the sway bar link fasteners where they attach to the sway bar. Pull the fastener out of the sway bar. You may have to wiggle around the sway bar a little to get the fastener out. Do this for both sides of the sway bar. This picture illustrates the left side of the vehicle.

Remove the bracket from the sway bar.
Figure 5

Remove the bracket from the sway bar. This can be very tough. These sway bar bushings were baked on to the sway bar itself. As you can see here the rubber from the bushing has ripped away from the bushing and is now attached to the sway bar. You may have to cut away and/or clean up the sway bar with a scraper to remove excess rubber from the bushing. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Install the new bushings around the sway bar and fit the sway bar in its mounts on the chassis. Install the brackets and tighten the fasteners. Install the two outer sway bar to sway bar links and tighten the fasteners.

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Comments and Suggestions:
M.o Comments: How much will it cost me to buy the front right and left sway bar bushing for including cast cover for 211 4matic?
November 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Paulo Comments: Im from Portugal, is it possible to ship it here?
June 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, international shipping can be done.
Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Paulo Comments: What bushings for the sway bar do you use, since the w211 sway bar has the bushing attached to the sawy bar from factory?

Regards
June 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There are a few aftermarket solutions, including H&R. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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