I just noticed this broken part during a tire rotation, It looks like it has been broken for some time. I haven’t noticed anything in how the van drives, so I am curious, what is it? Is it needed? How hard is it to replace? And what would that procedure be? Thanks a bunch
Here are some picutres
Sway bar link.
what does it do? do I need to replace? I have seen no affect on driving performance.
It helps to keep the vehicle from leaning excessively when cornering. Some have one on the front but not the back, some front and back and some have none.
It’s a sway bar link, you have one on each side, and yes they should be replaced; including the one that is not broken - yet.
This does affect the handling and will be most noticeable on curvy roads or if you have to veer sharply.
It’s a safety factor, so replace them.
Duely noted, What is the process for replacement? Is it as simple as getting new ones and bolting them in?
Sometimes it’s a cut and dried procedure and sometimes it’s not.
These links use a ball socket and nut. Often what happens is the the nut will turn the ball socket threaded stud and since there is no way of holding the stud, it can be difficult to remove the nuts.
Usually it’s either a cutting torch or grinder. Sometimes a C-clamp can be used with a small bar to press the link against the steering knuckle. This may apply enough pressure to allow the nut to come off; or not.
They’re enough of a problem that salvage yards don’t even mess with them if they need a sway bar off. They just torch the links in two.
I recall a long time ago Tom and Ray talking about getting a Dremel tool for a gift, and not finding any uses for it. I find it does a good job of cutting off sway bar end link ball joint bolts, and the like. Tom and Ray would not know this because they have that nifty grinder attachment that snaps on the end of the air hose in there garage : )
Oh the dremel, The one tool that has gotten me into so much DIY trouble, doing repairs and modifications I have no business doing =o) Like perhaps the time my 92 cavalier blew its head gasket and destroyed the head, I had a 91 Cavalier sitting around but the 91 had a throttle body carb the 92 was fuel injected. The heads were the same save for the fuel injection ports. . . hrm… Dremel it!!! I got another 45000 miles out of it before everything else on the car was toast. I can’t believe they didn’t find any uses for it. I use it fore everything.
The back/front thing is to balance the lean. If you change these things it can put you into an under steer or over steer situation. The suspension designers put them there for a reason. If you remove it, you are asking for trouble. If one is changed to larger or smaller ones without compensation of some sort on the other end of the vehicle your handling can change radically.