Sway bar end links. What a pain in the ass. Did all four corners on my girlfriend’s ‘07 Legacy, and two of the four would not give up without a fight that escalated once to an angle grinder, and the second time to a dremel (because clearance issues). The above photo was the angle grinder situation. Below is the one I was able to cut through with a dremel cut-off wheel.
As you can see from the chewed-up ring around the stud, I tried the locking pliers trick but to no avail. They were as tight as humanly possible, and in fact they held fast. But that part which is supposed to be locked with the ball joint stud itself, broke loose. It’s not supposed to friggin break loose. I was left with no other surface upon which to clamp the locking pliers so out came the death wheel. This is what it looked like before I made sparks on the second one:
No room to get an impact of any size onto the 14mm nut, in fact a super slim head 3/8" drive ratchet just barely fit with a shallow socket. It was far too tight to even attempt a 1/4" drive setup; I was leaning with most of my body weight just to turn it slightly with a 12" ratchet handle.
The lead photo was honestly the toughest one though, because even after I cut through the stud, it was evident to me that I had not cut close enough to the sway bar to get inside the opposite side flang nut. So then I had to grind down what was left of that nut very carefully to avoid messing up the sway bar. I still ended up nicking the nearby front axle, but not enough to worry about.
Start to finish, five hours. It was dark by the time I finished, needed to bust out some alien-looking LED head lamp to finish up the last corner and torque down the wheel nuts.
So how was your Sunday, fellow Opponauts?