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Weld your sway bar now!

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by shovelracer, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    I wanted to put this somewhere that it would be most useful. Truck is a 2004 F250.

    I developed the common front end clunk about 1-2 years ago and never really gave it much concern because I knew the sway bar links were to blame. I keep up on everything else like balls joints and rods, but did not see the need to spend $120 on a part with some apparent slight play. What I did not realize was that the mounting plates were not cylindrical on the inside where the bolt goes through. Probably part of the casting process. They instead allowed the bolt to wobble in the hole under extreme load. Extreme meaning enough load that the friction caused from the nut torque no long prevented movement. The result was a very wobbled hole on each side and a pair of severely worn links.

    My solution was only after damage occurred. Had I known the potential outcome I would have welded the nuts to the frame the day it came home from the dealer.

    Upon removal of the old links I learned of the hole wobbling. After I stopped swearing I went into my scrap bin and pulled out some 1/2" ID tubing. I then bored out the holes and slid the pieces of tubing into the holes and welded them in place. Ground them flush and painted them up. I reinstalled the new links and threw a booger weld on each nut to the frame to prevent additional future movement should the tubing start to wobble. The boogers can easily be cut out later if needed.

    Hope by my trouble someone else can prevent their own.


    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
  2. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    I just bought new end link bushings from Energy Suspension for $52. I may do this mod just to extend the life of the new bushings.
  3. Pinky Demon

    Pinky Demon PlowSite.com Addict
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,121


    Can't say I've seen that before. Will definitely check into that next time I'm down there.
  4. grec-o-face

    grec-o-face Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    Same here, never heard of that. I've got the Energy Suspensions bushings in there now. Been in for over a year - and they're banging again. Not all the time, just when it's wet out, or when there's weight in the bed. I haven't been able to figure it out.
    I've done a ton of these trucks, all with the Energy bushings - never had a problem, except for mine. I guess I'll pull the bolts and look for signs of wear.
  5. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,440

    I just did the energy susp. bushings too and did not notice that elongation hole. I really never looked for it either. I will have to check it out.
  6. abbe

    abbe Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 718

    my trucks got the clank terrible. I'm kind of confused as to what you did exactly to be honest.
  7. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    I could see that without the middle pics, and there aren't any. I basically fixed the elongated hole in the frame with a piece of tubing. I bored out the hole to be the size of the tubing and centered, cut and welded it in. This would not really be needed if you did not have a bad hole. Then I placed a weld on the bottom of the nuts just to make certain that they do not try to move again. Perhaps it would have been fine without it, but I don't see how that slop is any good.
  8. gtstang462002

    gtstang462002 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    Looks like the bolt was holding tight to me. Where the bolt was sitting the mark still apears round in the picture that you have there I would have put the new links in and run them back down tight like I have been doing for years as a Ford tech. I can't say that I have ever seen a need to do the drastic measures that you are describing here.
  9. brad96z28

    brad96z28 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,525

    I guess if u let ur seized links go long enough it can happen.