Introduction

For such a small and inexpensive part the sway bar link on the rear suspension of W123's can create quite the racket.

If, as you drive or rough roads, you hear a lot of rumbling or clunking from the rear of the car the first place to check is the sway bar links. It's easy to diagnose, and almost as easy to replace. Do yours today; stop living with the noise!

You will need to begin by jacking up the rear end of your car, and removing the rear wheels. If you need help with these, see the guides below: Jacking technique guide.

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You can see here the sway bar link where it attaches to the sway bar. It's hidden partially behind the brake shield. It's tricky to take a good picture of...
  • You can see here the sway bar link where it attaches to the sway bar. It's hidden partially behind the brake shield. It's tricky to take a good picture of...

  • The threaded portion of the link goes through a hole in the sway bar end and is held in place by a nut.

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At the bottom, it screws in to the hub assembly.
  • At the bottom, it screws in to the hub assembly.

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  • View this video to hear what a bad sway bar link sounds like when you move the sway bar around. If yours sounds like this is definitely time to replace it.

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Remove the nut from the top of the sway bar link using a 17 mm socket to turn off the nut while holding the inside of the sway bar link joint with an open end 17mm wrench.
  • Remove the nut from the top of the sway bar link using a 17 mm socket to turn off the nut while holding the inside of the sway bar link joint with an open end 17mm wrench.

  • Then use the open end 17mm wrench to loosen the bottom joint of the sway bar from the hub assembly.

  • You'll then be able to remove the sway bar link for inspection. Save the nut and any washers as the new links do not come with replacements.

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Pictured are example of the joints on the two sway bar links that were removed from this 1985 300D. Each one is split or even missing. You can see how this exposes the joint to moisture, dust, and road debris; this quickly ruins the joint. You can see how this exposes the joint to moisture, dust, and road debris; this quickly ruins the joint.
  • Pictured are example of the joints on the two sway bar links that were removed from this 1985 300D. Each one is split or even missing.

  • You can see how this exposes the joint to moisture, dust, and road debris; this quickly ruins the joint.

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  • Watch this video to see how loose the bottom joint on this sway bar link was. It was half of the culprit for the clunking. The other side was just as bad.

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  • Install the new sway bar links by following these steps generally in reverse.

  • View this video to hear the difference with new links. Or, perhaps more accurately, not hear anything at all!

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

4 other people completed this guide.

Nicolas Siemsen

Member since: 12/06/2013

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3 Comments

Great photos and videos. Good job. Thanks.

Pat OBrien - Reply

You're welcome! This is definitely one of those repairs that are 1) easy and 2) provide a LOT of immediate tangible benefit. It's super annoying driving around with bad sway bar links.

Nicolas Siemsen -

How to get it off the hub assembly in the first place ? do I have to remove the brake disks ? and how much do I need to torque them

adelkheir - Reply

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