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Old 01-09-2006, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: X5world
Posts: 54
Xoutpost has disabled reputation
Contributed by: JVZ104

Sway Bar/Swing Bar Link DIY

I had a loud “clunk” from the driver’s side wheelwell of my

’01 X5 4.4 at lower speeds with sport suspension whenever I’d maneuver suddenly
or ride over a bump. It literally sounded like there was a midget down there,
riding along on the suspension and beating against the wheelwell whenever I hit
an imperfection in the pavement under 40 mph. If this is what you’re
experiencing, it could be one of many suspension components, but it’s hard to
check to see if it’s the links that are the culprit when the vehicle is in the
air. They won’t display their maximum “play” without a load on the suspension.
Luckily, I am a big old collard green-eatin’ boy, so I was strong enough to
simulate a load when the X was on a lift. If you don’t have the strength to
push and pull on that suspension and you don’t have another person there beside
you to check for suspension play, you may never feel play in the links unless
you wedge yourself under the X while it’s on the ground.

Ok, this is an easy DIY that you can do at home with a floor
jack, jack stands, a 19mm socket, an 18mm socket, a ratchet, a thin 19mm and a
thin 18mm open end wrench, and a 19mm box end wrench. Even easier with a box
end ratchet wrench. I have to thank Gary, Angel and Matt at Martin Motorsports
for letting me use their lift and tools and lava soap. My community association
writes fines for any resident jacking up their cars to work on them, so I have
to leave home for my DIY fun.

Find your parts here: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/select.do...ies=E53&arch=0

I got OEM links off of ebay for $55 plus shipping for both

links. They run about $60 a pair at the dealer.

The parts look a lot like a dog bone to me. About 14” long,one is silver and one is black. The black link is for the passenger side, the silver goes on the driver side.

Remove the front wheels and you’re ready to get to work.
Just above the bottom attach point for the front strut is the top attach point for your sway bar link. You’ll need to use your thin, open end wrench here to hold the hardware in place for removal and for installation of the new one.

The nut you need to remove is marked A in the photo, the
bottom link attach point is marked B, and the silver object marked C is the
wrench to hold the hardware in place. My apologies for the extremely bad camera phone pic, I will get a better quality replacement posted soon.

In between the bushing and the washer is a nut which is flat

on only two sides, as opposed to the usual 6 sides. This is where your open end
wrench goes. I used an 18mm on mine, I’ve heard sometimes a 19mm may work too,
but that may depend on your model year or build date.

In the next photo, you’ll see what removal looks like for

the hardware for the top of the link.

Load your 19mm socket onto your ratchet, and break torque on

the nut labeled “A” in the photo. Continue to hold the open end wrench “C”
behind the hardware while loosening and removing the nut for the top attach
point. Once it is removed, it should slide right out of the hole. Carefully set
the hardware aside, you’ll need it for the installation of the new links.

Now we’re moving on to “B”, the bottom of the link.

Same deal as before: open end wrench behind to hold the

two-sided nut while you break torque on the 6-sided nut on the front. Here is
where it really kicks ass to have a ratchet box end wrench, because the space
at the bottom is much tighter. I’ll assume if you’ve gotten this far, that you
can figure out which configuration of tools works best for you.

This next photo is horrendous, but please, bear with me, as

I was covered in grease and I had bad lighting.

“C” is the point where you want to insert the open end


“B” is the six-sided nut attaching the bottom of the link to

the sway bar.

Remove the hardware and set aside.

Get your new parts and make sure you’ve got the proper link

for the proper side. The driver’s side won’t fit on the passenger side and vice
versa, but you may be tempted to try to force something that almost fits.

Silver on the driver’s side, black on the passenger side.

Like port and starboard for the sailors out there.

Make sure you replace the washer(s) as they were upon

removal, and reverse your steps for installation. I think it’s easier to
install the top of the link first, but not necessary.

Can’t give you torque guidelines on this, but I hand tightened and gave it 40 foot pounds afterwards. I would check your hardware after 50 miles or so, to make sure it ain’t movin.

Put your wheels back on, toque your lug nuts appropriately

(105 foot pounds for my ’01 X5 according to BMW), and test drive with the AC and radio off).

>That my friend, is the sound of a silent suspension.

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