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ramvan2500 05-25-2011 12:08 AM

Replaced Sway Bar Links on my Ram Van
Well I need to do some work on the steering and suspension so what better way then one piece at a time etc... So I went price hunting last night for all the parts I needed tie rod tubes, tie rod ends, ball joints, bushings, shocks, springs etc... So I saw the sway bar links for 4.49 each their was the standard OEM spec ones which were out of stock and the upgrade heavy duty spec ones that were in stock so I picked up the HD ones of course. need 2 for 4.49 so I spend like a little under 10 bucks not bad.

The heavy duty links are about 50-60MM longer in total then the OEM and the link it self is thicker.

Getting them an installing them wasn't an issue, removing the old ones was a pain in the butt.

First off a little history on my van, well my parents got it in 2000 in New Jersey and we use to drive it to Florida for vacation so many times a year then we moved to florida their was all kinds of brake issues and then I broke the window etc... then it got to a point were the brakes failed 3 times and my parents didn't want to get it fixed or nothing so I asked my parents if I could have it and they gave it to me so from that point it was maybe 2006 that it broke to now 2011 it never moved. So I don't know what the condition of the links were back in 06 but for it to be sitting in florida with the weather and the salt water from the ocean for 5 years couldn't be good at all.

well moving onto removal all that should give you a clue to the condition. so with that in mind I went to remove the two nuts from the link well the top nut is where i always start and of course the threads were rusted to unscrewing it was not a reality so i tried to unscrew it but the bolt snapped at the top so nut removed yay. then comes the bottom one, well first attempt with a plier and a socket wrench isn't good because my left hand isn't that strong being a righty and all so i tried to bend the bolt hoping it would snap by using a crow bar. that didn't work so i tried to squeeze the pliers as hard as I could and finally snapped the bolt at the bottom and removed the old link. the bushings were of course hard as rock and cracked... so i went ahead put some hi temp grease on the mating surface of the sway bar and the control arm were the link goes. then I put the link on and tighten the bolt a little then lowered the van and tightened to 100 Inch lbs, no problems their. then to the passenger side I snapped off the top nut and then used pliers and my socket wrench and snapped the bottom one too. then same lube procedure as the driver side and same install procedure and then lowered and tightened to 100 in lb.

I can say in my opinion doing the simple thing as changing the old links actually gave my van a much stiffer feeling which is what I wanted.

Here is a photo of the new links (stock photo):
Old Links: Yuck

RedRam10 05-26-2011 12:19 AM

Looks like you'll be driving much safer now.

ramvan2500 05-26-2011 12:35 AM


Originally Posted by RedRam10 (Post 533898)
Looks like you'll be driving much safer now.

Oh most certainly. It's amazing that they didn't snap just sitting on their. But I still have a few more suspension and steering items that I will have to replace and will be replacing eventually. I need a new upper ball joint for my driver side because the grease fitting rusted away and I can't remove the fitting to replace so I have to replace the whole ball joint. But in order for me to do all this I have to get a ball joint socket so I can remove and yes install it and torque it to specs. But for now it should be fine, just can't grease it. Everything else is ok, I'm going to eventually replace the tie rod tubes and ends cause they're very rusted and old and would be best to replace them. I do believe it was good I replaced those links cause they snapped very easily with a wrench and pliers and this van weighs 6800Lbs so it would have sucked to have one of the links snap while making a curve. But all that aside I still have to get all 4 new tires cause the ones on here well for one the thread markers are showing and two they're about 7 years old. But they are good enough to drive around town I can't drive very far with them. I need to get a steering wheel alignment because the steering column is off center with the wheel alignment. The alignment is fine but the steer wheel is way off that and my spider in the coupler is broke and I should flush my steer gear out with new fluid cause it's real old and would be best to flush it and change with some new valvoline synthetic. But anyways for now it really feels much better and stiffer. Even when I get inside the van it doesn't rock as much anymore since I replaced those links with longer upgrade model ones. But hey it starts up and idles ok, the idle has some slight bumps but it has been sitting for a long time and has a ton of miles but once I get all new suspension and steering and I get this thing out on the highway and open her up for a distance it should help clear it out. I did a ton of oil and fuel treatments. I know if I clean out everything and do a valve job it should be much better but I am saving that for a while because time and money. But for now it is much better then it was before. It has a window now and working brakes. It's come a long way. I have to get some transmission fluid I put 4 quarts in after I changed the filter and their is only a dot of transmission fluid on the very tip of the dip stick... So yea it needs fluid like crazy. It's probably why I use to hear the complaint that it would slip. Well no fluid you get slip but yes band adjustment would help. Only thing is I don't have all the proper tools to do the bands myself. I have a torque wrench yes but I don't want to use my cheap wrench on a transmission. I will use my cheap wrench on the top part of the engine and suspension etc but when it comes to the lower parts of the engine rods, bearings, and the transmission I will use a real beam type so I can get pretty darn close.

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