How to Replace a Sway Bar Link in an E39 BMW

Written by william zane
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The E39-generation BMW 5 Series is the fourth generation of this German sedan. Like all cars, the sway bars on the E39 are fastened to the suspension with end links that come off of the sway bar at 90-degrees and bolt to the suspension. Over time, sway bar links can become worn or even broken, causing the suspension to behave unpredictably and make strange noises. Though the dealer can charge several hundred dollars to replace these parts, this is a job that can easily be done by the owner for the cost of the links, which is about £32.50 for a pair.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • Socket set and ratchet
  • Open-ended wrench
  • Sway bar end links

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Park the BMW on a flat level surface. Loosen the lug nuts for the wheels. If you are only replacing a front end link, only loosen the front lug nuts. If replacing a rear, loosen the rear lug nuts. Lift the end of the vehicle you are replacing the end link at with a floor jack. Lower it onto jack stands. Finish removing the lug nuts and the wheels.

  2. 2

    Locate the sway bar and the end links. The sway bar is a thin, tubular length of metal that goes from the suspension on one side of the car to the opposite side, at the front and rear of the car. One end of the end link fastens to the end of the sway bar and the other end of the end link bolts to the BMWs suspension.

  3. 3

    Remove the nut that holds the end link to the sway bar at the front with a socket and an open ended wrench. Use the wrench to hold the stud in place that the nut threads onto. Remove the nut at the opposite end of the link where it bolts to the suspension.

  4. 4

    Remove the nut that holds the end link to the sway bar at the front with a socket and an open ended wrench. Use the wrench to hold the stud in place that the nut threads onto. Remove the nut at the opposite end of the link where it bolts to the suspension.

  5. 5

    Install the new link by sliding the stud on the end of the link through the hole in the sway bar and then installing and tightening the nut. Use the wrench to hold the stud in place while you tighten the nut with the socket. Bolt the opposite end of the link to the suspension in the same manner.

  6. 6

    Remove the nut that holds the link the sway bar at the rear of the car with a socket and an open-ended wrench using the same method as the front. Remove the nut that hold the end link to the rear suspension control arm.

  7. 7

    Install the new link by sliding the stud on the end of the link through the sway bar and then threading on and tightening the nut. Install the opposite end of the link to the control arm in the same manner.

  8. 8

    Reinstall the wheels and thread on the lug nuts. Lower the BMW off of the jack stands with the floor jack and then tighten the lug nuts to 40.8kg/ft with a torque wrench.

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