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Stabilizer Bar Drop Link Replacement
 

Pelican Technical Article:

Stabilizer Bar Drop Link Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$15 to $30

Talent:

*

Tools:

18mm socket or wrench, 6mm triple square

Applicable Models:

VW Golf GTI 1.8T (2004-06)
VW Golf GTI VR6 (2004-05)
VW GTI (2006-09)

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 as drop links) on the Volkswagen GTI MkV connect the vehicle stabilizer bar (or sway bar) to the front strut. 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 vehicle. 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 (red arrow) that attaches the sway bar (green arrow) to a bracket on the strut (yellow arrow).
Figure 1

This photo illustrates the drop link (red arrow) that attaches the sway bar (green arrow) to a bracket on the strut (yellow arrow).

You will need to remove the link from where it attaches to the bracket on the strut with an 18mm socket or wrench (red arrow).
Figure 2

You will need to remove the link from where it attaches to the bracket on the strut with an 18mm socket or wrench (red arrow). Depending on who installed the link last you may need a breaker bar.

If the joint starts turning with the wrench you can use a 16mm triple square to hold the bolt (red arrow) and turn the nut (yellow arrow) with a wrench.
Figure 3

If the joint starts turning with the wrench you can use a 16mm triple square to hold the bolt (red arrow) and turn the nut (yellow arrow) with a wrench.

You will need to remove the link from where it attaches to the control arm with an 18mm socket or wrench (red arrow).
Figure 4

You will need to remove the link from where it attaches to the control arm with an 18mm socket or wrench (red arrow). Depending on who installed the link last you may need a breaker bar.

With the link removed you can check the condition of the bushings (red arrows).
Figure 5

With the link removed you can check the condition of the bushings (red arrows). These bushings are starting to get small cracks but are still good. If the boot is ripped or grease is leaking out it is time to replace. Installation is the reverse of removal.


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Page last updated: Thu 12/14/2017 02:43:25 AM