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Sway Bar Link Replaced - Review and Instructions

XK8 / XKR ( X100 ) 1996 - 2006

Sway Bar Link Replaced - Review and Instructions

 
  #1  
Old 09-30-2015, 03:46 PM
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Default Sway Bar Link Replaced - Review and Instructions

Guys,

Someone like me will search for instructions someday. Let me cover that first:

Tools: Impact Wrench (you 'll never get the upper bolt off without one)
19mm Ratchet (top bolt's stock nut)
18mm Ratchet (replacement comes with a new nut 18mm)

1/2 inch (bottom bolt head)
5/8 inch (bottom Nut)
9/16 inch open wrench (need to hold and provide opposing torque for upper nut which is likely rusted on)
Liquid wrench to help loosen upper bolts

Raise front of car on jack stands. I left wheels straight ahead, worked fine.

Remove upper nut. Use a 9/16 wrench to hold the opposing bolt head from turning. It is under the rubber bushing, your wrench will find it. The thinner the wrench the better for this.

Remove lower bolts.

replace the sway bar link. Torque is 63 foot pounds for top bolt; 33 foot pounds for lower bolt.

Job done go for a ride.

Improvement Review:

I did not expect any change, the old link didn't look too worn out, but gosh for the price and time to change it why not. It's a cheap fast job.

I did the first run with my Irish Setter in my lap. Of course I couldn't push the envelope but something seemed different. I dropped her off at home and went for a real test drive.

First impressions - smoother, quieter. In fact bumps in the road have much less effect on the ride now. This can't be true I thought to myself, it is just a sway bar. Continued driving said otherwise. This car was driving more like I remembered her 40,000 miles ago.

Let me try to explain. I replaced the front shocks and shock mounts a month or two ago. It made a huge difference. Tighter suspension, better ride. On the other hand, I still felt those bumps - you know the raised bumps that go left to right on the road - a little too hard. It thumped through the entire car, Before today I wondered if I remembered things wrong or what, Jaguars were supposed to be smooth weren't they? Today the bumps were not felt. Well I am scientific by nature, this is all qualitative stuff. I wanted to see some good hard empirical evidence.

I decided to take her to that road with "the turn." You know, that turn on an nice country road that you have taken every one of your cars through a hundred times. My XJ6 made it through there at 32 mph. This XK8 could do 40mph in her best days.

Last month, after the shock change, I did take her through. 40mph was pushing it. A lot of roll, ASC lit up, I was pushing the envelope, tires were slipping. Ah I thought to myself, it must have been some change when they repaved this road last summer.

Well I got her to that road and took that turn about an hour ago. No cars around so I just decided to have a little fun and just accelerated through the turn nice and easy, figured I'd be ready if things started to push the envelope. It was pretty solid, kind of fun, then I glanced down 1/2 way through the turn: I was at 43mph and no tire slip at all!! The car didn't blink. It was that safe rock solid feeling I haven't seen in quite a while.

Well it was on to test #2. I had another test turn in store: a left turn from a side road onto a busy single lane road. This is one of those roads where you have to grab your opening and move fast or you'll be there for 10 minutes. I used to love turning off the traction control, flooring it - lights up the tires as you pivot into the lane. Then just let go of the wheel for an instant and regrasp it - during that instant the car snaps into straight traction and you are off. Well I hadn't seen that snap to traction in quite a while, even after the shock change I had to countersteer to regain the traction. I took that turn on the way home - She's back!!! It performed flawlessly.

For me this is now quantitave evidence. It doesn't make sense but the front sway bar link replacement has made a really big improvement, even in ways I never would have guessed. I can't wait to get the rear links which are on thier way. Hope it helps you too.

John
 

Last edited by Johnken; 09-30-2015 at 03:48 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:31 PM
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Thanks for the write-up!

Do you by chance have a link to the parts that you replaced / purchased?
 
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Old 09-30-2015, 09:24 PM
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Thanks Jonken, you've convinced me I should finally take care something that only looked iffy but not convincingly bad. Great write up.
 
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Old 09-30-2015, 09:47 PM
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Rear links are the same as ford contour fronts. Paid $2 a piece for mine from Rock Auto. The old ones are a bit trickier to get off due to rusting threads but fairly easy to do if you don't mind laying on your back.
 
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Old 10-01-2015, 09:21 AM
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Blindside,

This is from Partsgeek, just google them.

Here's the part number from Partsgeek's order:
part: W0133-1622149
brand: First Equipment Quality
1998 Jaguar XK8 Sway Bar Link
(they are about $36 for the pair)

John
 
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:55 PM
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Any idea if this would be comparable to the 1999 XJR?
 
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:41 AM
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HI Robman, Could you please clarify one thing about your question? Did you mean performance improvment or part number when you asked if "this" would be comparable?

It's probably obvious, excuse me if it is, but I would like to try to help you out for sure.

John
 
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:45 AM
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Sway bar project sounds great, will do next, just had all 4 ball joints replaced and control arm bushings, car felt immensely better in the corners if this improves ride even more thank you.
Jeremy
 
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:10 PM
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Hi John, I meant the procedure sorry for the confusion
 
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:24 AM
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Jeremy, please let us know how she turns out.

Robman, I don't know but the other day Ungn advised me about XJR hubs, maybe he knows the answer.

John
 
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:13 AM
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Hey All,
You guys are great. This is the first user site I have ever responded to. I am an automotive technical trainer for a major aftermarket manufacturer and been a technician for close to forty years. As such, I find most things I read online somewhat dubious or just wrong. My wife bought me a one-owner '01 XK8 convertible last year in Scottsdale, AZ and I have been hooked ever since! You folks are a treasure of meaningful information based on experience. Thanks to all of you for sharing!

Bob Barrett
 
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:21 AM
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Bob, thanks for digging this up. It reminded to order new ones, it's been almost 3yrs . Wow, time flus.

I will follow up to review the ride after I'm done.

John
 
 
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