Front stabilizer bar bushings - yikes!
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Hopatcong, NJ
    Posts
    21
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Front stabilizer bar bushings - yikes!

    Okay, so my front inner and outer tie rods were shot - despite there being no info in the mopar service manual about changing the inner ones, I changed these out with little issues - since I knew I'd need to perform some work under there I chose to under go some more suspensions and steering work.

    I took the car to a mechanic who recommended I might want to change my front sway bar links and bushings. The car is a 2007 (bought in late 2006) caliber SE 2.0. I've also had this incessant rattle in the rear suspension almost since I bought the car nearly 8 yrs ago. I won't address the rear suspension here as I haven't touched it yet.

    So I went ahead and ordered a bunch of parts. Front inner outer tie rods, front stabilizer bar links, front stabilizer bar bushings. a bunch of rear suspension parts (which I will probably post about in another thread) - Surprisingly, the tie rods have been pretty simple to do, including the inner ones. I rented some special tools from auto zone and advance auto to get this done. Just needed a propane torch to get the jam nut loose, that was the only major snag there. My guess is some sort of loc tite was used and heat was needed to loosen them up. The last time I had the tie rods done by someone else, this time I'm doing it myself.

    My first issue came about while trying to remove the front stabilizer bar links. The nuts are completely frozen up. I tried using a propane torch on the bolts to no avail. Finally I cut these off with a saws all, and still the nuts are stuck. I can't quite get close enough to get them off with a saws all, plus it's scratching up all sorts of other stuff down there. I'll have to rent out a grinder to try to get these off.

    While working on this, I also tried removing the old stabilizer bar bushings. Holy crap! How on earth does anyone get any sort of tool inside there to loosen up the retaining clamp bolts?!? I tried getting these from the side of the car (keep in mind, I'm working outside and I only have a pair of jack stands and a small floor jack). There's virtually no room to get my gigantic hands in there with a ratchet and almost no room to turn the ratchet either. I did manage to get them loose, but I can see it taking forever to get them off. There's gotta be a better way.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    CaliberForumz.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Delhi, ON, Canada
    Posts
    540
    Rep Power
    10

    Default

    I have to do all this work too. Waiting for something to break lol. Only have 130,000 KM or 80K miles and she's all worn out. Will cost about $1500 with all the parts and that's doing it myself. Going to try and hold off til spring. Prob another 15-20K kms to put on it.

    Starting to see the oem parts are built to get just enough life out of them past warranty and then everything starts failing.

    The stock ball joints were dead at 63K km, this set has lasted longer but starting to get clunky.

    Good know that you can rent the inner tie rod socket never thought of doing that.


    How how many miles are on your 07'? Mine is an 09'. Struts front and rear are getting deader too.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Pacific
    Posts
    2
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Autozone rents a tool for the life of me i can't think of it. Im sure if you give your local Shop a call they will know what you are needing it's a Separator tool. And yes you can rent a tie rod socket and sleeve too.

  5. Remove Advertisements
    CaliberForumz.com
    Advertisements
     

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Hopatcong, NJ
    Posts
    21
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Well I did rent out the inner tie rod tool from advanced auto - very important for this job - the tie rods were simple enough using the right tools. The sway bar links and bushings? I had to grind the old links off using a grinder rented from Home Depot, That took care of that. The biggest snag was while trying to remove one of the bolts from the sway bar bushing brackets. The rear-most right side one snapped off inside the very rusted out crossmember. Dodge has inspected these crossmembers due to an extended warranty issue and they're technically still within "okay range" - I personally think they look like sh_T.

    No way I'm getting the retaining bolt out, so I'm driving it with one fewer bolts holding the front sway bar on. Hoping it won't be a major problem, but I can see how it could be. I tried using a metal epoxy to "liquid weld" the bracket in place but it wouldn't hold and just made a mess.

    Still notice a clunk in the front end which can only be the struts or the ball joints - I've ordered new front lower control arms with ball joints to change these (this will now be the third set this car has had changed) hoping the clunk in the front goes away. I don't notice any dipping and diving to indicate the struts are blown out yet, although they may be due soon as well - gonna have to wait another year or so on that one.
    Last edited by mikem1968; 09-21-2014 at 06:09 PM.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Hopatcong, NJ
    Posts
    21
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Well estimating about 6000 miles since the above work, lots of noises in the front end - When all was said and done, I know I ground a little too close to the stabilizer bar on the driver side and had to repair that with liquid weld, but it was a somewhat sloppy repair. I never flattened out / sanded down the liquid weld, so theres a "bump" on that side where the link attaches at the bottom side to it. The liquid weld itself is pretty solid though and has held up through a VERY brutal winter here. Recently took the wheels off to inspect and the tie rods and new ball joints seem solid, but the drivers side Sway Bar link is very very loose, thus some of the noise. I also believe I ordered the wrong sway bar bushings as these seem to show lots of room where the bushing is supposed to "pinch" the bar - the original Mopar ones were VERY fat - but the MOOG ones weren't. I may attempt to replace these yet again. In my estimation I believe the mechanic who told me I "needed" to replace any of these sway bar components was full of sh_t. I had already ordered the parts and paid the shipping so I just replaced these anyway, but I honestly saw nothing wrong with these components. The Tie rods and Ball joins are a known and common issue on this vehicle and YES those DID need to be replaced. The other damage I caused in the above repair involved the passenger side sway bar bushing bracket, this bolt broke off right inside the crossmember and I basically had to get someone to weld a screw sticking up so a nut could be tightened down on top. Versus trying to even get the screw out which was impossible. That "repair" has also held up pretty solid through the winter. Pretty sure most of the noise I hear now is due to the already work out (possibly defective) link, somewhat loose or wrong sized sway bar bushings and now the front struts which definitely need to be replaced.
    Last edited by mikem1968; 06-29-2015 at 04:21 PM.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Hopatcong, NJ
    Posts
    21
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Well it turned out my drivers side link was loose on the bottom nut where it attaches to the stabilizer bar. Tightening this removed that noise - installed new struts - replaced the MOOG bushings with new Mopar OEM bushings ( pricier, but huge difference) - added a chunky rubber washer under the bracket where the bolt was welded onto the top of the front crossmember on the passenger side to attach the passenger side bushing bracket and VIOLA noise is ALL GONE! The front end sounds and feels exactly like it did when I drove it off the dealership lot, over 9 yrs ago. My advice - besides making sure everything is very tight, stick with the OEM bushings for this repair - if you look at the OEM ones and a pair of MOOG bushings there's a huge difference besides the color. The OEM 's are trickier to install and much harder to tighten down, but the results are well worth it. If you do go for aftermarket bushings, make sure they're designed exactly the same as the OEM ones.
    Last edited by mikem1968; 07-07-2015 at 04:21 PM.

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Lake Wales, FL
    Posts
    9,585
    Rep Power
    33

    Default

    Man, I have to salute you for your tenacity. Sounds like you've had a hell of a time with all the front end work and as time goes on, I miss my Caliber less and less. Glad to hear you got it all straightened out and are happy with the results.
    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and stupidity... and I'm not sure about the former."
    Albert Einstein

    Charlie Patterson












  10. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    2
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    The same thing happened to me regarding the bolts for the brackets for the sway bar bushings.

    They were rust welded in place. Do NOT attempt removal unless you have an acetylene oxygen torch and heat the bolts from beneath the car (there are access holes through the subframe).

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    2
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sguest101 View Post
    The same thing happened to me regarding the bolts for the brackets for the sway bar bushings.

    They were rust welded in place. Do NOT attempt removal unless you have an acetylene oxygen torch and heat the bolts from beneath the car (there are access holes through the subframe).
    BTW you can get around replacing the sway bar bushings by wrapping some rubber (i.e. from cutting a plumbing coupler piece) around the sway bar in the center where it hits the engine mount. Use some grease and zip ties and that solves the sound problem from worn sway bar bushings . I never even had to remove the sway bar bushing brackets to solve my problem lol.

  12. Remove Advertisements
    CaliberForumz.com
    Advertisements
     

+ Reply to Thread

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Note: If your email address requires someone to click a link before they can send you email, DO NOT REGISTER WITH IT as no one is here to click the link and you will never get your activation email!
We have banned MANY Free email providers.
If you get notice that your email address is banned when you try to sign up, it is because its been banned due to spammers using the provider, or too many members bouncing emails we send back to us via the free provider! If this happens to you, you will need to use a different email. If you do not provide a valid email address you will not receive your activation email. We recommend that you register with an email address which is attached to your ISP! Not a free service! We have found that using free accounts causes you to not receive your registration email. In any case, you should add CaliberForumZ.com to your spam filter whether using a free account or your ISP account. If you bounce email to us, you will have your account deleted and your IP address banned!

Where you live

Enter the Year and Model of your vehicle here. (e.g. - Caliber)

What trim level did you purchase?

What sex are you?

Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Your date of birth and age are displayed in several places on the forum. Only the administrator will have access to your date of birth should you choose to hide it via the privacy option below.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Similar Threads

  1. Stabilizer removal help
    By The Gaffer in forum Dodge Caliber Mechanical Problems and Questions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-20-2014, 08:35 PM
  2. Bushings????
    By adio1010 in forum Custom Dodge Caliber Chassis - Suspension - Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-14-2010, 10:52 AM
  3. Engine Torque Stabilizer Strut for the Caliber
    By Harvey Turner in forum Dodge Caliber General Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-21-2008, 12:19 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •