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-   -   Keep failing sway bar links, bent sway bar? (http://www.ramforumz.com/showthread.php?t=120770)

IN2H2O 09-03-2012 12:32 PM

Keep failing sway bar links, bent sway bar?
 
I got over 280K miles out of the original sway bar links and have replaced them twice now in the last 20K miles. The first set was a cheap set off ebay that only lasted a few weeks. The second set were MOOG and they are clunking now with significant play in the joint.

When I changed them out last, I noticed that the main bar did not set evenly on the links. (Sitting on level ground with all tires at even pressure). The Passenger side made contact first and there was almost 1/2" of a gap still on the drivers side. I travel some rough roads but I find it hard to believe a pothole could bend the sway bar. Is this standard preload or is my sway bar bent?

Anyone else have any insight on this?

RedneckMechanic 09-03-2012 12:56 PM

I discovered that you get what you pay for... My links were bad and I replaced them with the cheapest ones I could get from NAPA. 1 month later, I had the same problem. Replaced them with the more expensive links and they've been fine since. The MOOG links SHOULD have been strong enough. I can't see that your sway bar would be bent. That's some pretty tough steel... Have you checked the 'D' bushings that mount the center of the sway bar to the frame?? If those are out of whack and allowing too much movement, you may prematurely wear the links. Just a thought. Maybe you just got a set of "Friday" links from MOOG...

IN2H2O 09-03-2012 03:36 PM

The bushings are worn but worn evenly and could stand to be replaced. Maybe I'll try out MOOG's lifetime warranty and try another set of links at the same time.

I'd like to know if the mismatch from side to side is common or a sign that something is wrong with the geometry of my truck.?.?.? I have owned big blocks that slowly lay the frame over towards the passenger side but I don't think that is a concern with this little 4.7.

RedneckMechanic 09-05-2012 11:46 AM

No, I don't think the torque of the motor is great enough with the 4.7's to have that kind of effect. On my truck, the left one was the only one making noise and was visually more worn than the passenger side. I'm sure there are a lot of variables that go into how quickly and how severely they'll wear. There's nothing really in the steering or suspension geometry that I can think of that would cause an uneven wear like that. I mean, the only thing the sway bar does, really, is keep body roll down. So... Try replacing the links again AND the bushings on the frame and see what you come up with.

IN2H2O 09-28-2012 05:20 PM

I finally got around to this project this morning. I dropped the sway bar and links off the truck first thing and then took a drive to go get parts. I wanted to see if it still made any noise, and possibly how it rode without it altogether. The ride was silent and the sway was liveable but not something I would really want to ditch prematurely. I also got a chance to place the sway bar on a flat surface and check that it was still straight/square; and it is.

I picked up two brand new MOOG links and a set of bushings. When I installed them, I ran into the same issue as before with the sway bar bottoming out on the passenger side first. The issue is with the curb height of the truck. The passenger side sits 5/8" lower than the drivers side. Nothing is bent and the truck has never been in a major accident so I am writing it off to uneven coil spring sag.

I shimmed the drivers side link so that they land evenly and that's that. Time will tell I guess. At least this way I won't be putting constant preload on the drivers side link.

The MOOG links have a somewhat dissapointing seal on the lower link and both were pretty dry so I will need to step up my maintenance as well. I have to admit that I've gotten lazy at greasing my front end. My first truck had 13 grease points that I hit every 3500 miles but this truck didn't have any until I started adding them and I just keep forgetting to add it back in to the service list.

99gp 09-28-2012 05:37 PM

Are you 4x4 or 2x4?

IN2H2O 09-28-2012 05:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 99gp (Post 898161)
Are you 4x4 or 2x4?

It is a 2002 QC 2wd 1500.

99gp 09-28-2012 06:13 PM

Oh ok, I was going to say if you were 4x4 you would just be able to adjust your torsion bars to adjust that difference

IN2H2O 09-28-2012 08:57 PM

I have coils and I could probably replace them both for under $100 but really, the odds are probably pretty good that no two coils are equal and I'd end up out $100, an hour of my time and still not be level.

IN2H2O 10-02-2012 06:16 PM

The ride report today was very positive. The truck has been very skiddish crossing railway tracks and heavy potholes the past several months, (even with brand new Bilsteins), and that is all gone now. Crossings and rough patches are perfectly smooth and the truck rides like new again which is impressive considering it's at 305K miles.

I guess preloading the sway bar to one side isn't a good thing after all cause it felt like an entirely different truck today.


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