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1,598 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just finished this and took some photos. I saw some older write ups but they either didn't have photos or the images were broken. Quick note, in my research online I came across some articles/videos saying that you need to load up the suspension to do this job. With the mk3 this isn't necessary, I had no issues with tension due to not having the suspension loaded up. I think it may be due to the OEM end links being a ball and socket design which will adapt to the position of the sway bar relative to the lower control arm.

Get your new parts ready:
  • 2 x sway bar bushing - 48815-24030
  • 2 x sway bar end link - 48820-24010

Raise the front end of the car up and get both wheels off. You can do this job with the wheels positioned straight ahead.

With everything up in the air the first step is to remove the two old front end links. This will be the most difficult step depending on the condition of your current end links and their fasteners. Mine came off pretty easy and are the original 30 year old end links and I live in salt spray Hawaii, so hopefully yours come off ok too.

When removing the upper nut (14mm) that connects the end link to the sway bar first break it free from the mating surface and get it spinning. I used a breaker bar for this part. Once loose you should be able to spin it with a ratchet pretty easily but will probably be turning the nut and stud together. To get the nut off the stud you'll want to take advantage of the 5mm hex fitting at the end of the stud. Get a box wrench to hold the nut and a 5mm hex socket on a ratchet and fit it into the hex end. Clean up any dirt/crap that might be in the hex fitting so you can seat it in there well. Now hold the box wrench secure and use the ratchet to to press in hard and TIGHTEN the stud down into the nut. It will probably feel pretty crusty as you go over the exposed part of the threads. Spray with your favorite "stuff" and just work at it until the nut pops off.

For the bottom nut it's the exact same process but you'll need an extension to reach it.

Break it loose

Leave the top stud in the sway bar to hold the end link for you and get your wrench and ratchet set up. Be careful with your box wrench around the ABS speed sensor wire!!

Start crankin' away

Hopefully you'll soon end up with a removed end link. Note the washer on the bottom stud. The new Toyota parts do not come with new washers so you'll need to transfer that over. It goes between the end link and mounting hole in the lower control arm. You should be able to see markings on it where it touched the end link that will tell you how it was previously seated.

Rinse and repeat for the other wheel, exact same process.

With the end links removed you can replace the sway bar bushings easily now. I did them each one at a time so that I could use the other bushing to help hold the bar up.

On the passenger side I recommend removing the intake charge hose if you have OEM hoses or something similar. You can see here that the bushing and bracket sit right above it. It's easy to remove so no reason to try and work around it.

Much better

Driver's side has no such obstruction. The AC line is nearby but it's not an issue. (Ignore the zip-tied dead power steering line :) )

Old bushings were doing ok but you can see it was just a matter of time until they were going to give out.

Hit the image limit, continued in the next post...

1,598 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
New bushings with silicone grease. I'm using leftover Sil-Glyde from doing my brakes.

I didn't take picture of the install since it's pretty much just everything in reverse. For the bushings you can coat the inside and outside with the grease, basically anywhere contact is made. Doesn't have to be a heavy coat, just something to sit in between. Pop the bushing over the sway bar, put the bracket back on, the bolt it up. 12mm bolts at 13 ft/lbs.

Something to note on installing the end links. When securing the nuts down to the end link studs I was able to cinch them down to the 47 ft/lbs spec per TSRM without doing anything special to hold the stud like how it was when removing them. Just make a note on how long an extension you're using for the lower nuts to account for some torque loss. I thought I was going to have to do something janky to hold the stud still and try to torque up to a decent amount of force but thankfully it was just like torquing any other nut/bolt.

Remember to always step back and admire your work, very important

I finished them off with a dousing of fluid film to protect against corrosion, particularly for the exposed threads and hex fittings.

Wheels on, set her back on the ground and you should be good to go! If you're like me and doing this to fix some "clunks" then enjoy the nicer sounding ride!
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