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Front Sway Bar Link Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Sway Bar Link Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$45

Talent:

**

Tools:

18mm wrenches (2), 19mm wrenches, T40 Torx socket with ratchet

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W211 (2003-09)

Parts Required:

Front sway bar links

Hot Tip:

Use a pry bar to position the sway bar when removing the bottom connection

Performance Gain:

Eliminate clicking noise when changing direction while driving

Complementary Modification:

Change sway bar bushings at the same time.

As a car goes through a turn inertia forces the body of the car towards the outside of the turn. What this means to the driver and occupants is that when the driver turns the steering wheel of the car to the left, the body of the car wants to continue straight and rolls opposite the direction of the turn. This action causes the outside of the suspension to compress. As a result the inside suspension wants to lift. When the outside suspension compresses and the inside suspension lifts this is known as body roll. As you can imagine, no one likes excessive body roll. It gives you the feeling you are floating rather than driving. In an effort to off-set body roll a sway bar was added to the front suspension. A sway bar mechanically connects the left and right side suspension components. This way when the outside suspension compresses on one side of the car in a turn the inside suspension compresses also, reducing body roll. The sway bar is made of metal and does flex, so it has its limits. Typically the thicker the sway bar the stiffer it is and the less body roll you will get. On the 211 chassis at both the left and right ends of the sway bar are links. This helps keeps the sway bar design straight and allows more movement through maximum suspension travel. These links can wear out and as you change direction or go over a series of bumps you hear a light clicking in the suspension. In this tech article we will go over the steps to replace your sway bar links.

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. Keep in mind the joint may pop out when you use a removal tool so keep your hands clear and wear protective gloves.

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 up and supporting your vehicle and removing the front tires.

The procedure to replace the front sway bar links is the same for both the left and right side. In these pictures we are working on the left side. Keep in mind all the steps apply to both sides. It is recommended you replace both sides at the same time to keep your handling neutral.

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 picture illustrates the front of the front left side wheel well.
Figure 1

This picture illustrates the front of the front left side wheel well. Remove the two wiring harnesses from their mounting bracket on the sway bar link. Pull the wiring harnesses out in the direction of the blue arrow.

With two 18mm wrenches, remove the sway bar link fasteners at the sway bar.
Figure 2

With two 18mm wrenches, remove the sway bar link fasteners at 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.

Using a 19mm wrench remove the 19mm fastener that mounts the upper front sway bar link to the spindle.
Figure 3

Using a 19mm wrench remove the 19mm fastener that mounts the upper front sway bar link to the spindle. It is a ball-socket and the ball-joint may spin while spinning the fastener. Use a T40 Torx socket and ratchet to counter-hold the ball-joint while you loosen the fastener.

With the bottom fastener removed from the sway bar, pull down on the link in the direction of the green arrow to remove.
Figure 4

With the bottom fastener removed from the sway bar, pull down on the link in the direction of the green arrow to remove. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. From below insert the top of the link in its mounting hole in the spindle and tighten the fastener. Line up the bottom fastener between the link and the sway bar and tighten down. Insert the two wiring harnesses in their bracket on the sway bar link.

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