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Old 12-01-2012, 04:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I need some advice!

My 03 Sable has the clunking noise in the front like many other cars on here. I checked everything and I've come to the conclusion it's the front stabilizer bar inner bushings. The Haynes manual says this repair is really complicated. I have to take off the Y-pipe, steering gear and then drop the sub-frame. It also says there is a danger in having the airbag accidentally deploy. Is all this really necessary just to change the sway bar bushings? Maybe you guys know an easier way. I included a picture of the bushing, it doesn't really move that much but i think it's enough to make the noise. If anyone knows the size of the bolts that would also be a big help. Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Before you freak out on the bushings (yeah, they are a pain) change out the links connecting the sway bar ends to the struts if you haven't already done so. That did it for me when I was faced with the same scenario; those ball joints do most of the clunking when worn.

On the other hand, when loaded up the sway bar tends not to bounce inside the bushings. I'm thinking of trying some sort of rubber restorative to see if I can breathe new life into my bushings for a few years...
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, try replacing the end links first. If you want you can shoot some silicone spray into those bushings to lubricate them.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'll 3rd on the end links. My wagon had 90k miles and the OEM plastic end links along with a front end clunk. I replaced them with MOOG and have not had a clunk since.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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4th on the end links!!


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Old 12-01-2012, 09:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Iv heard its good to use lithium grease on those bushings from Scotty Kilmer on YouTube. I greased end-links to the strurts about a month ago and I pushed on them today with a pry bar, there is absolutely no movement. How else can you tell if they're bad, maybe take them off? I originally thought the noise was the lower engine/trans mount. It was split in 2, I changed it Friday but the noise is still there?

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Old 12-01-2012, 10:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's almost impossible to accurately check the links when they're mounted. Even just sitting still with one wheel on the ground loads up the sway bar and end link ball joints a little bit. Best way to check them is to remove them. Been there, done that.

Dittoes on the MOOG end links, as well. If you need replacements, get the metal ones with the Zerk fittings for lubing the ball joints.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I will have 2 take them off tomorrow, I checked on Advanced auto.com, they have the Moog end-links but it doesn't look like you can grease them. Has anyone used the Autozone Duralast end-links? I am asking cause I got 20$ in free cash to use on my rewards card.

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Old 12-01-2012, 11:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Duralast ones stink. They will go bad again and again. They have a lifetime warrenty though. I did what you are about to do because I was short on cash.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The best way to determine if the sway arm bushings are bad is to disconnect the sway bar from the endlinks, both sides.

If the sway bar move freely you need new bushings. Before buying new endlinks I would verify if they are tight to the strut and sway bar. My bushings were so bad gravity moved the sway bar when disconnected. Make sure you disconnect the vacuum line to the brake booster or you'll be buying a vacuum manifold as well. This is located on the driver's side firewall. And the reason why you have to do this is because you have to drop the subframe to swap out the sway arm bushings.

I've had front-end mechanics grab the sway bar and try to move it while attached to the endlinks. And then they say "feels good" to me. Yeah people now days just don't understand how to go about listening to the customer or just don't give a crap.

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