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Rear sway bar end links FRUSTRATING!! (Trying to replace struts)

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Old 01-14-14, 05:38 PM   #1
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Angry Rear sway bar end links FRUSTRATING!! (Trying to replace struts)

Trying to replace the rear shocks got the back seat out, car jacked up & on stands sprayed all the nuts & bolt with CRC everything's going good, managed to break all the nuts/bolts loose without too much trouble and then come to the bit where the sway bar end link is bolted to the strut...

It seems that the last mechanic or perhaps previous owner who did the shocks managed to round out the hex bit in the middle... I got the bolt loose and it turned a few times before they both started to spin. At best the grip I can get on the hex inside is crappy - little to none, it's more like a round hole than a hex one. I have new allen key and also new hex socket both 5mm - they're not old & worn out.

Now the problem is the nut got about halfway off before they both wanted to turn... Inside hex getting no grip really. I can't tighten it back on, and can't loosen it off..

So I'm left with maybe buying some needle nose vice grips and seeing if I can get any grip on the inside hex with those... Anyone think that will work??

Other than that I'm lost for ideas other than to try and hacksaw thru the bolt.... I'll have to go and buy a hacksaw with those needle nose vice grips...

I've ordered a replacement end link which should be here tomorrow cost about $40NZ for new aftermarket part - Toyota wanted $250 for OEM part, Repco wanted just over $150 for Nolathane aftermarket part, Super Cheap Auto wanted $75. So given I'm on a tight budget I'm happy.
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Old 01-14-14, 06:17 PM   #2
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A small-ish pair of Vice Grips (not needle nose) can be used on the back side of the link to keep it from turning. Cut away the rubber boot to get a better look. Of you can take a hack saw and cut them off.
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Old 01-14-14, 06:48 PM   #3
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I cut mine with a dremel without even going as far as you did. Those allen key designs are only good for a few years, before they get corrosion in them and seize up. The ones I have now have a bolt on the shaft and a bolt that you turn, so you can use two wrenches to break them loose.
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Old 01-14-14, 07:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lexus2000 View Post
A small-ish pair of Vice Grips (not needle nose) can be used on the back side of the link to keep it from turning. Cut away the rubber boot to get a better look. Of you can take a hack saw and cut them off.
Sounds promising... I'll try cutting the boot away. I hadn't thought to try that. Hopefully my regular vice grips are small enough, if I not I get some smaller ones...

then maybe the hacksaw last resort...

I don't really want to surrender and go to a mechanics lol... that will really brass me off!

I suppose I'm going to run into the same problem when it comes to removing / unbolting the link at the sway bar end (bottom end)
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Old 01-15-14, 05:01 AM   #5
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Mine zipped off no problem with an impact gun.

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Old 01-15-14, 06:45 AM   #6
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I used hacksaw....took some patience...
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Old 01-15-14, 10:48 AM   #7
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Mine zipped off no problem with an impact gun.
You must be lucky for the bolt & nut not to have both spun on you!
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Old 01-15-14, 10:53 AM   #8
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Replacement end link just arrived... The brand is Camelot, now I just need the shops to open so I can get a couple more tools and back to the task....

It's comforting too see others have had the same issues and it's not just testing my me, lol

The hex bolt fits my hex socket perfectly! No way would the bolt turn with a snug fit like this, so shouldn't be to hard to get on - touch wood, fingers crossed etc etc

I just hope it's not a drama getting the link off at the bottom end (sway bar end)

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Old 01-15-14, 10:57 AM   #9
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Its common on older vehicles....especially when you live in areas where they use salt on the street for winter. Make sure you put some anti-seized on the threads so that if you have to remove them in the future, they would come off easier.
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Old 01-15-14, 11:15 AM   #10
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Its common on older vehicles....especially when you live in areas where they use salt on the street for winter. Make sure you put some anti-seized on the threads so that if you have to remove them in the future, they would come off easier.
They are definitely coming off again sometime in the not to distant future... So I'll get some anti-seize for sure. The replacements I've got are from a vehicle thats being wrecked - just a temporary measure. I'll get around to either ordering some quick struts, or if I feel real enthusiastic I might just replace the struts, boots, & mounts..

I was thinking the springs are probably passed their best by now and look to be the originals..
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Old 01-15-14, 11:38 AM   #11
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Yes, quick struts (if they are available for your model) are easy and less headache.

I have replaced struts / springs / strut mounts using spring compressors....not fun....
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Old 01-15-14, 01:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by gtstcactus View Post
I just hope it's not a drama getting the link off at the bottom end (sway bar end)
Just going to throw this out there...why don't you move on to the bottom end...who cares about the end attached to the strut, you are about to replace that and the end link.

I dremeled mine off too...
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Old 01-15-14, 08:39 PM   #13
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Just going to throw this out there...why don't you move on to the bottom end...who cares about the end attached to the strut, you are about to replace that and the end link.

I dremeled mine off too...
I'm going to do it tomorrow weather permitting... as best I could tell the hex bolt centre of the bottom part of the link appears to be in good condition not rounded out like the one connected to the strut, so I'm hoping it shouldn't give me too much difficulty!

I was thinking one of these nut splitters should work to deal with this nut I can't remove.... Anyone see why this wouldn't work???

http://www.supercheapauto.co.nz/onli...om=70306#Cross

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Old 01-16-14, 09:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Power6 View Post
Just going to throw this out there...why don't you move on to the bottom end...who cares about the end attached to the strut, you are about to replace that and the end link.

I dremeled mine off too...
LOL, I just realised what you meant by this now....

I don't believe I did this..... I spent ages - several hours fighting with the nut.... trying to get hex socket to grip it, then Using nut cracker, hacksaw and various other bits & pieces to get it off - without success...

I was getting damn sick of it and sat back for a short break and was thinking about the above post and only then did it sink in LOL.... No need to remove the damn nut attaching strut to end link when replacing both....

The other end of the end link came off in seconds... I'll have to stick a photo of the mangled nut up for laughs sake...

Anyway job done - strut & end link replaced... I used the TEMS strut in my NON TEMS Windom (cut the wire) and all is good - horrible noise is gone & suspension works like it should...

First time I've done a strut/shock replacement on my own - the only other time was helping a friend on an old Mistubishi about 15 years ago - so suffice to say I'm quite pleased with myself, I really didn't want to surrender to a mechanic!
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Old 01-16-14, 09:04 PM
 
 
 
 
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2005, alan, bar, change, ct200h, endlink, es330, lexus, links, oem, rear, rounded, stabilizer, strut, sway, wrench

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