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Sway bar links - OEM necessary?

1580 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  phattyduck
In February of 2021 I paid the Honda dealer to replace my sway bar links. About a month ago that fantastic clunking sound while turning over bumps/inclines came back. I lived with this sound for so long before figuring it out….I’ll never forget that sound and feel. They gave me a 1 year warranty, and they went out at around 13 months….just like clockwork.

Sway bar links, or stabilizer bars (depending on where you’re from) look easy enough to replace myself. So my 2 questions are:
1. Is this as easy as it looks for novice DIYer?
2. Do I need OEM, or any suggestions? Rock auto has them anywhere from $6 to $38. I don’t know what the OEM price is. Honda charged me $197 parts and labor to replace them a year ago (with some sort of discount).
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
mevotech are good...

if youre certain that sound is the link kits and not the struts, struts make sounds at different temps.
mine are silent in the cold months and noisy in the summer.
Struts have less than 40,000 miles on them, and the sound/feel is exactly the sound/feel that was solved by the sway bar links. But I will check both.
 

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Do I need OEM
Yes, if you want to ensure the outstanding service life you have experienced at a high price. 🙃

Easy DIY. Just make sure to remove load (jack up off ground) on both sides so you are not battling a loaded sway bar. You will generally need an open end wrench or vise grip on the "inside" to hold it while removing the nut with a ratchet/impact wrench.
 

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Personally I like MOOG for end links because they are much beefier/rigid than OEM. Grease zerk ensures long life if you hit it with the grease gun yearly. It is easy to replace but if you are in the rusty area you might have to cut it off with a reciprocating saw.
 

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Personally I like MOOG for end links because they are much beefier/rigid than OEM. Grease zerk ensures long life if you hit it with the grease gun yearly. It is easy to replace but if you are in the rusty area you might have to cut it off with a reciprocating saw.
My vote is for Moog too--it's much better designed than OEM. This is one of those rare occasions which you don't want to go OEM.
 
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Quick question, when you replace sway bar bushings and links, what else should I replace whole I have the wheels off??
I would plan to inspect/replace the sway bar bushings, too.

You could also time this job with an oil change; the filter is easier to access with the wheel removed.
 

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Note the grease fittings on the aftermarket links! If you have a grease gun they probably would take only a tiny bit of grease maybe after 15,000 miles or so. You can install them without jacking if you can get under there. If the car is level there will be no tension on either side. Where you mess up is jacking up one side which puts a tremendous load on the sway bar and end links - that can get you hurt. Now that I've seen the Moog with the grease fittings, I want a pair!
 

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Note the grease fittings on the aftermarket links!
I've been around since the days when all suspension and steering parts had grease fittings. IMHO the so-called advantage of a grease fitting is highly overrated and indicates an inferior design.

Water and dirt get inside these parts easily and fast. The only way to get it out is by pushing new grease. But by then it has already gotten to the bearing surfaces and started corrosion and/or wear. Not to mention there is no mechanism to keep grease on the contact surfaces as sliding and twisting motions push it off.

I'm all in favor of sealed suspension parts.
 
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I've been around since the days when all suspension and steering parts had grease fittings. IMHO the so-called advantage of a grease fitting is highly overrated and indicates an inferior design.

Water and dirt get inside these parts easily and fast. The only way to get it out is by pushing new grease. But by then it has already gotten to the bearing surfaces and started corrosion and/or wear. Not to mention there is no mechanism to keep grease on the contact surfaces as sliding and twisting motions push it off.

I'm all in favor of sealed suspension parts.
^this
The links with grease fittings appear to be superior, at first glance, but in reality they are a PITA. I have Moog links on the front and rear of my Cadillac and they work very well. However, the zerk locations are awful and requires that I snake the grease hose through the springs. On two of them I have to use a 90 degree hose coupler; on the others I can only use a straight coupler. In other words, the lube job requires two grease guns (because I am not going to replace the coupler in the middle of a job).

Another vote here for sealed parts!
 

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I've been around since the days when all suspension and steering parts had grease fittings. IMHO the so-called advantage of a grease fitting is highly overrated and indicates an inferior design.
Vote 3 for sealed parts (and generally OEM if a Japanese make). That just means they don't think they can keep water/grime out of the joint and expect the customer to do it instead. There are places where grease zerks are appropriate (RWD prop shafts, etc.), but not on swaybar links...

-Charlie
 
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