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How to Replace Front Sway Bar 1988-02 GMC Sierra 1500

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How to Replace Front Sway Bar 1988-02 GMC Sierra 1500

Created on: 2020-04-24

Watch this video to learn how to install a new sway bar link from TRQ on your 1988-2002 GMC K1500.

Installation Video
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Safely raise and support your vehicle on the frame so your suspension can hang. Now that we've safely raised the vehicle, let's remove this by using a small pry bar right in this little slot. Now, you can see your 22-millimeter lug nuts, remove those. And now, we'll just do the same thing to the other side. Let's get this little plastic cover out of here. To get out the sway bar links, more than likely you're going to have to drop your sway bar. To do that, I would spray right inside this hole right here. Try to spray the top area of that bolt. And then from the other side, spray this side as well. While you're at it, why don't you do the other side of the vehicle at the same time? To get this one out, obviously, it's going to be a little bit difficult. You have minimal room here. Go ahead and try to use some sort of pivoting extension or whatever you might have to get up in there. You could also use a 10-millimeter wrench if you have all day.

Let's do the same to the other side. Now, I'm just going to use a swivel socket to come through this hole. I want to try to find the bolt under there. I'm going to hold that and then I'm going to remove the nut on the top. Okay. So, that one broke. So, now, we're just gonna get the bar off of here. We can move this, try to get this separated real quick. So, now, we have the sheath. This is a metal sheath that goes over this metal part of the bolt. Odds are that's going to be completely rotted together. The best thing to do here would be to cut it. If you were to look right down along here, you can see exactly what I'm talking about. They left plenty of room for moisture to get in there. Let's carefully heat up the area. You obviously want to be careful for any rubber, such as your axle boot or even your ABS wire.

Now, we have that nice and warm. Let's go ahead and heat it with some penetrant spray. Let's clear the area. Let that dissipate for a minute.

Let's get the rest of this off of there. It doesn't look like the bushing wants to be coming out at the same time here. Get this out here. Get that out of there. So, now that we've got both sway bar links loose or off, we're just gonna try to grab the bar, see if we can work it. Grab our bar. So, I'm gonna see about trying to work it out of here. Watch out for the body. That's the only nice thing on this truck. There it is, friend. Now, it's time to get this in here. You want to have it facing exactly in this direction. If you have it upside down, well, you're going to have to probably turn it around once you get it almost halfway in. Okay. All the way down the other end there. Flip it up. This is looking pretty good. Now, we just want to make sure we get these ears underneath the upper control arms. Now, when you're replacing the sway bar links or just the bushings, you want to obviously do those as a pair. And when they're apart is the best time to do it. So, now, when we're getting ready to put this on, it's important to make sure you have the smaller bushing on the bottom side, that's gonna make it much easier to get up through the hole in the bottom of the control arm. Put that in the bushing right up in there. Now, we're going to go with the other bushing that has the washer on it like that, slide it down, and get your shank. Slide that on there. You've got your other washer, a little thing on there. Slide that like that. This is going to go through the bar. Now, we'll grab our bushing with the washer, slide that right on there. We'll get our locking nut. Make sure you put that on as well, obviously. Now, we're going to do the same to the other side, and then we'll jump into putting back on the bushings.

Now, it's time to get our bushing on here. It's a great idea to use a little bit of lubricant. Any kind of grease you can find would be great. That's going to help keep rust and stuff out of there. Here, notice you have a little crack, put that so it's facing towards the rear, if possible. Obviously, this should be attached. Don't pay attention to that. Just gotta try to get this in there. That lined up with where it's supposed to be. Now, I'm going to grab the bracket and my two bolts, I'll start them in, and then I'm going to go ahead and do the same to the other side before I snug it up. All right. Now, we're going to take our 13-millimeter wrench, come through the bottom of that control arm right through the hole, and try to hold the bolt. And we'll come up here with our socket and we're going to snug this up and pay attention to the bushings for how much they try to squish down. I'm just gonna analyze these bushings real quick. What you want to look for is to make sure that they're actually touching up against the bar. They have no room for movement. And you also want to make sure that they're not necessarily squished down like a pancake. If you've done that, you're probably going to damage the bushing. All you want it to be is enough so it touches here, here, here, and then if you could see in there, of course, it's touching as well. We'll do the same to the other side. Let's start all of our bolts in here that hold the sway bar bushings in. We're going to snug these right up. All right. Make sure those are nice and tight. And then do the same to the other side of the vehicle.

Start on one of those lug nuts. Now, we're just gonna start on all the lug nuts, we'll bottom them out, and then we'll torque them to 120 foot-pounds. Torque these to 120 foot-pounds. That's torqued. We'll get our cover on here. Awesome. And now, we'll just do the same thing to the other side.


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