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Discussion Starter #1
All,
Been reading these forums for about a year now... First time post!

Anyway, with a mechanics stethoscope I tracked down a subtle 'groaning sound during turning' to my front driver side sway bar link. (Incidentally, during my last inspection the dealer mentioned these were binding. Replacement $175) I was wondering if you guys wouldn't mind commenting on the following:

1. Are these as easy to replace as they seem to be? (two nuts/link)
2. Do I need to replace both sides, or could I just replace the side that is making noise?
3. It might not be convenient to replace these for a week or two. Is it safe to wait? (groaning is quite soft/quiet) Could I try pulling the boot back a bit and greasing the joint?

Much obliged for any assistance,
Jason
 

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If it is indeed the links yes its ok to drive with just the noise you put up with. I've been shooting a couple of mine with grease and movin them with a pliers for over a year. I dont have to pull back the boot, its the rubber gone bad. I stick the lube straw in the bad spot and shoot. As long as they are not broke or bent you should be OK. They can give you a bit of trouble removing cause that nut can just spin. May have to cut off or have some special tool. Dont have to replace both but would not hurt. I dont have a groaning sound tho.
 

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Just did these on a 2012 and the nuts were pretty badly rusted, so I sort of expect they will be badly seized on a 2006. They may need to be cut off. Soak with penetrating oil ahead of time.

Consider doing the sway bar bushings if you end up doing the end links. and if there is any chance you need struts, now would be the time.

Raise the front end, and put on jack stands (unless you have access to a lift). Pull the front tires..Makes it way easier.

End links and bushings from Rock Auto total about $70. They have cheaper end links than the ones I bought. Bushings are about $4.00. It took me about 3 hours because the nuts were so rusty and I did the bushings also.
 

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$175 sounds steep...
 

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Any type of spray grease works, nothing special. Just replaced the fronts and rears on mine two days ago. What a difference, no more noise and it feels like I got new shocks. My shocks are fine it was just a comparison from installing shocks on other trucks I've owned. Don't know why I waited so long, but didn't want to replace during the winter months, should have done it late last fall. All is good now for another 100,000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I'm holding out hope that the liquid wrench will help, but it looks like these nuts will need to be cut off. Any tool recommendations? I was going to use a grinder with a cutoff wheel, but space is tight... Am I overlooking a more obvious solution?
Thanks,
j
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Success! Here are a few tips to save some time...

First, use a mechanics stethoscope on BOTH sides... I replaced the driver side and still had the noise. When I listened to the passenger side stabilizer link, the sound was way louder and this turned out to be the problem side. Now on to the repair...

Jack up vehicle, use jack stand, remove tire. Cut stabilizer bar in half with cut off disk or grinding wheel. Once cool, yank on the cut end to pop the tie bar off the ball joints. Now carefully start grinding... On the top bolt, where the bolt faces out, grind down past the face of the nut. Every 0.5 mm or so, check the nut to see if it has come loose! First time around I ground this all the way down which took forever. On the second side I only had to grind down about 1/2 through the nut before it came off...

One the lower joint, the ball faces out. this one you have to shave down almost all the way to the stabilizer bar. Once it starts getting close, you can grab the nut on the other side with vice grips and pull.

First time around this took me a couple hours. Second time around probably 30 min or so. Good luck!
 

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I personally would do both sides automatically even if only one side was actually broken. Its just a matter of time before the other side would go. All the tools are already out!

I would also change out the sway bar bushings at the same time as they tend to go bad, are cheap, and are easy to do when the tension is off of bar (when the end links are removed)
 

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Success! Here are a few tips to save some time...

First, use a mechanics stethoscope on BOTH sides... I replaced the driver side and still had the noise. When I listened to the passenger side stabilizer link, the sound was way louder and this turned out to be the problem side. Now on to the repair...

Jack up vehicle, use jack stand, remove tire. Cut stabilizer bar in half with cut off disk or grinding wheel. Once cool, yank on the cut end to pop the tie bar off the ball joints. Now carefully start grinding... On the top bolt, where the bolt faces out, grind down past the face of the nut. Every 0.5 mm or so, check the nut to see if it has come loose! First time around I ground this all the way down which took forever. On the second side I only had to grind down about 1/2 through the nut before it came off...

One the lower joint, the ball faces out. this one you have to shave down almost all the way to the stabilizer bar. Once it starts getting close, you can grab the nut on the other side with vice grips and pull.

First time around this took me a couple hours. Second time around probably 30 min or so. Good luck!
What were you listening to with the stethoscope??? .... and were you riding shotgun in a fender sling at the time? :act035: :act060: :act024: :act029:
 
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