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