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How to Replace Your Stabilizer Bar Links
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

How to Replace Your Stabilizer Bar Links

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$20 to $40

Talent:

**

Tools:

16mm socket and wrench

Applicable Models:

VW Golf GTI (1999-00)
VW Golf GTI 1.8T (2002-05)
VW Golf GTI 20th Anniversary (2003)
VW Golf GTI 337 (2002)
VW Golf GTI GLS (2001)
VW Golf GTI GLX (2000-01)
VW Golf GTI VR6 (2002-05)

Parts Required:

Stabilizer link

Hot Tip:

Inspect the links the next time you raise your car

Performance Gain:

Tighter handling

Complementary Modification:

Replace sway bar bushings

The stabilizer or sway bar links (sometimes referred to drop links) on the Volkswagen GTI MkIV connect the vehicle stabilizer bar (or sway bar) to the control arms. Over time, the connecting link wears out and gets play in the ends. When they begin to fail, you may have a knocking noise in the front end when driving over bumps or when steering the vehicle. If you suspect your stabilizer link is going bad, jack up 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.

Begin by safely raising and supporting the vehicle. Please see our article on jacking up and supporting your GTI MkIV. Remove the front tires. The stabilizer bar is not under stress or pressure so you do not need to worry about things moving with the links off.

This photo illustrates the drop link that attaches the sway bar (red arrow) to the control arm (yellow arrow).
Figure 1

This photo illustrates the drop link that attaches the sway bar (red arrow) to the control arm (yellow arrow).

You will need to remove the link from where it attaches to the control arm with a 16mm socket or wrench (red arrow).
Figure 2

You will need to remove the link from where it attaches to the control arm with a 16mm socket or wrench (red arrow). Depending on who installed the link last you may need a breaker bar.

You will need two 16mm wrenches or sockets to remove the nut (red arrow) and bolt (yellow arrow) that holds the link to the sway bar.
Figure 3

You will need two 16mm wrenches or sockets to remove the nut (red arrow) and bolt (yellow arrow) that holds the link to the sway bar.

With the link removed you can check the condition of the bushings (red arrows, these are fine).
Figure 4

With the link removed you can check the condition of the bushings (red arrows, these are fine). The nuts and bolts (yellow arrow) are single use hardware and should always be replaced. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:34:52 AM