Another Sway Bar Bushing Replacement Thread

Lincoln LS

  1. rgorke

    rgorke Active LVC Member

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    I had done a tremendous amount of searching, reading and rereading threads about replacing the sway bar squeaky/creaky bushings. I have a 2004 LS Sport V8 with a 30mm sway bar. I purchased the ED black greaseable bushings.


    Since I have a 2004 with the 30mm bar, I will have to cut the existing "good for the life of the car" bushings off.


    I have also obsessed about how to best access the bushing bracket screws.


    Jack up both sides (on stands) ensuring they are level to avoid unnecessary pressure on sway bar.


    Driver's side: Remove cold air intake and other associated plastics in that vicinity in order to access the forward bushing bolt with a 20”+ extension. Rear bolt can be accessed from underneath the jacked up car with a wrench, I can’t get a socket wrench on it because of the AC unit.


    Passenger side: I can access and get a socket on the rear bolt head from underneath the car. I have read many times that in order to access the forward passenger bushing bolt head, the DCCV valve and some associated hoses, must be move and held out of the way to get a socket on the bold head.


    However, I just picked up a 24” 3/8” extension and found that I can get a socket on the bolt without moving the DCCV. (Attached is a picture). My DCCV has been replaced many times and I am wondering if there are different sized DCCVs.


    Does this sound reasonable? Has anyone been able to replace the passenger side sway bar bushing without moving the DCCV?


    Thanks

    22366575_10212884722144194_5877856629880763110_n.jpg

    22365617_10212884722224196_4700742889591001520_n.jpg
     
  2. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    The DCCVs are all the same size. I replaced my bushings on my 04 V8 without removing the DCCV.

    The pain was cutting the original bushings off with the bar in place. I went through a number of cut-off wheels.
     
  3. rgorke

    rgorke Active LVC Member

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    Awesome thanks! Yeah, I'm not looking forward to cutting those bad boys off. I have a Dremel and am looking at which wheels to use for efficient cutting.
     
  4. 1LoudLS

    1LoudLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    I did not more my DCCV either, only tool I could get in there to cut off the old bushings was a dremel. I also burned threw/broke a bunch of cut off wheels
     
  5. rgorke

    rgorke Active LVC Member

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    Which kind of dremel cutting wheels did you use?
     
  6. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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  7. rgorke

    rgorke Active LVC Member

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    Thanks!!! I was wondering if 3 1/2" cutting wheels might work but they may be too big. I'll stick with the 1 1/4" wheels. I need to make sure I have all that I need once I get this project started since I will be stranded since my wife will be away with the other car.

    Also, would you recommend taking the wheels off or leaving them on? I am thinking off is better in order to take weight off the bar, right?
     
  8. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    There shouldn't be any "weight" on the bar as long as both front wheels are level (both suspended, both hanging, or both removed). There is only stress on the bar when one side is higher than the other. I used ramps instead of jack stands, so I had to leave the wheels on. I did disconnect the end links so that I could move the bar around some getting to the bushings.
     
  9. rgorke

    rgorke Active LVC Member

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    When disconnecting the end links, don't I need to install a new nut(s)? Aren't they the "one and done" type of nuts with the nylon to keep them on?
     
  10. milehighmikey

    milehighmikey Dedicated LVC Member

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    Do these permanent bushings really go bad? Mine have been in place for 220K miles and I just took my links off while on the lift to see if the bar was responsible for some light rattling on road imperfections, but the bushings were still very much stiff and in no way responsible for the noise. Links were new last year, car stays on the lift for the winter so around 10K miles max on the links. I just changed the front shocks and only had one extra upper shock mount to try, and using it on the passenger side seemed to halve the noises. I will be grabbing a new mount soon to put on the driver's side, and hope that solves the rattle. What exactly can go wrong with the permanently bushed sway bar bushings? When I installed mine at 82K miles, I just dropped that front crossmember that the bushings bolted to and then got an alignment afterwards. It was slicker than slick, as I was not able to find a way to maneuver that new bar into place.
     
  11. rgorke

    rgorke Active LVC Member

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    It is a tremendously annoying creaking sound that usually happens when when I brake or accelerate. It isn't the shocks or springs because I can't, for the most part, replicate it pushing down to compress the shock. Nor does it happen when I turn. Also, I have sprayed some lubricant on the bushings and that helps, sort of. It is also temperature dependent. When it gets warmer or when the car warms up, the creak is at its worst. My bushings are all cracked and spongy.
     
  12. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    Yes, they are. That said, you can put them back on with loctite. However, you may find (like I did) that it's time for new end links anyway.

    (At this point, with two LSes, I keep a few new of each size nyloc on hand anyway.)
     
  13. rgorke

    rgorke Active LVC Member

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    Right, new end links are definitely in the near future. I may just pick up some new nylocs...Is there a stock size or are they different depending on the link?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  14. 1LoudLS

    1LoudLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    mine were completely shot by 75k miles, I didn't have any creaking, but I had a loud rattling noise over every little bump I hit. almost sounded like the all of the bolts were left loose on the top of one of the shocks. replacing both bushings totally fixed the problems.
     
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    • 1LoudLS

      1LoudLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    • rgorke

      rgorke Active LVC Member

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      OMG!!!!!

      If I ever come across the "engineer" that designed these bushings and bracket that "last the life of the car", I'm gonna kick him in the nuts and when he bends over kick him in the shins. Getting to the bracket and undoing the bolts wasn't bad at all. I had some difficulty getting the air intake apart...the crankcase vent connector was particularly difficult. I am not sure how you guys got a straight cut at the bracket using a Dremel. I could only get to the outside half of the bracket, then my Dremel started to malfunction (more of an operator error). I used a regular drill to drill a series of holes across the other side.

      Then having difficulty doing one cut I tried to pry the byatch off the bar...unsuccessfully. It was getting late so I just made sure I could get the new bushing, bracket, and collar on to make the car drive able. Then I was able to essentially cut most of the bushing out so I could maneuver the bracket around and make another cut and get it off.

      On the bright side, the car is silent now. I had a suspicion that it was the driver's side bushing that was making most of the noise. I'll get to the passenger side, whenever....

      I only have one picture of the mangled bracket and bushing.

      Replacing these bushings should be in the "how to" section...maybe a collection of the different write ups by folks...that's what helped me!

      Thanks everyone!!! Tomorrow, my passenger window regulator arrives!!!
       
    • rgorke

      rgorke Active LVC Member

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      Here's a picture of the sacrificed bushing and bracket...

      IMG_5184.JPG
       
    • joegr

      joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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      Yes, it's a really big pain. If I ever have to do it again (the other LS), I think I'll just buy the whole bar (if still available), and disconnect/reconnect/evacuate/fill the AC.
       
    • rgorke

      rgorke Active LVC Member

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      What sucks is that the creak is now back after driving a bit today in the heat....it doesn't creak turning or up and down or side to side. It is a front to back motion that makes it happen. Taking foot off brake at signal and stopping. Could be the other one also needs replacing...ugh.

      But I did get my new window regulator in today!!!!
       
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      • cammerfe

        cammerfe Dedicated LVC Member

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        Some years ago I needed to replace the steering mounts on my Pinto. The hardened bolts that went through the mounts---shaped very like the sway-bar mounts---were rusted to the mounts. I messed around for an hour and then fired-up my cutting torch and removed the rubber in less than a minute on each side. I'd think it possible to do about the same thing on sway-bar mounts.

        KS
         
      • rgorke

        rgorke Active LVC Member

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        I don't trust myself to do that...I was worried enough using the dremel as to not slice through a hose or finger or worse....
         
      • cammerfe

        cammerfe Dedicated LVC Member

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        I have a foot-square piece of fire-proof fabric that's intended to be used as a barrier for such things as soldering copper pipe next to a stud, etc. In the confines around the sway-bar bushings it'd be a good idea to use it when torching.

        KS
         
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        • gambling209

          gambling209 LVC Member

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          Remember, fire proof blanket still will catch on fire. I know, sounds dumb, but true.
           
        • cammerfe

          cammerfe Dedicated LVC Member

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          Actually, it'll scorch and crumble if exposed to enough direct heat, but not 'burn'. Using it is a massive improvement over 'nothing'. But don't aim the torch flame directly on it, particularly with the extra oxygen for cutting turned on.

          KS
           
        • rgorke

          rgorke Active LVC Member

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          Another update!!!!!

          The creak has been somewhat constant for the last couple of weeks. Tried everything, greasing ball joints, bushings, etc...well, yesterday I finally got to replacing the passenger side sway bar bushing. The front suspension is now silent!!!!

          I didn’t think the cause was the passenger side bushing because I could hear it seemingly come from the driver’s side. This one was quite AS bad as the drivers side since I was able to reach the front bracket bolt from above with a 24” extension and also get a rachet on the rear bolt.

          I was able to make a cut with my dremel pretty easily near the “top” of the bushing. The hard thing is making the second cut. I ended up drilling a series of holes across the bushing and then it bent open.

          I also had to jack up the passenger side wheel in order to get the bushing loose. The new ES bushing, formula 5, and collar went on fairly easily except for getting the bolts threaded...but I finally got them on!

          Nice to not have the car’s creaking arrive 5 mins before you do!!!
           

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