Anti-Sway Bar broken?

nfldriver

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I have limited experience working on cars, but the other day when I replaced my rotors and brake pads I noticed a beam connected near my wheel that is completely severed. I'm not sure what it is, but was told it may be my anti-sway bar? I could tell my car hasn't been handling well lately and is making popping noises when I turn & go up/down an incline. I'm assuming this is why. If you know exactly what this piece is that is broken and could give me as much information about it as possible I really would appreciate it. I took pictures and have them attached.
 

nfldriver

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The left side is also pretty badly rusted, and almost broken off. I'm guessing a repair wouldn't be cheap? Does anybody know how much this might cost if somebody even attempted to fix it?
 

dcraig1000

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do it your self brother. not difficult at all.
1. Raise and support the vehicle on jackstands.

2. Matchmark the stabilizer bar to the mounting bracket for installation.

3. Remove the two nuts attaching the clamps for the stabilizer bar to the lower control arms. Do not remove the studs from the control arm.

4. Remove the bolts which attach the retaining plates to the engine cradle on both sides. The retaining plate covers and holds the stabilizer bar.

5. Disconnect and remove the exhaust pipe and crossover if necessary.

6. Pull the stabilizer bar down and remove, then remove the insulators.

To install:

7. Install the insulators to the ends of the stabilizer bar.

8. Align the stabilizer bar to the matchmarks and attach the stabilizer to the frame.

To aid in stabilizer bar installation, a pry hole has been provided in the engine cradle.

9. Install the reinforcements to each side at the frame, then tighten the reinforcement bolts to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm).

10. Secure the insulator clamps to the control arms and tighten the attaching nuts to 32 ft. lbs. (43 Nm).

11. Lower the vehicle.
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Metrix

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Those sway bars are used on about 10 different GM cars. Same thing happened on my '99 Century and a friends Monte Carlo. First the upper half breaks off then it eventually breaks off all the way.
I weld them back together, fill the transition to pipe solid along with adding some metal to the edges. If you don't have access to a welder, Rock Auto sells them for around $80.

No need to lower the subframe. Remove the wheels, unbolt the end links, unbolt and remove the brackets, it pulls right out.






 
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nfldriver

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Dcraig1000 & Metrix, thanks for the info & tips. I think I can actually pull off replacing the bar or fixing it with a weld. I appreciate the replies.
 

Meggie13

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Are broken sway bars a common issue among Buicks???

I JUST had the sway bar replaced on my 99 Century that only has 32,000 original miles on it (bought it from an old lady). It was comletely broken on the right side. I too only paid about $340 from Meineke, the mechanic told me that they replaced it with one that wasn't hollow like the original.
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nfldriver

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I think this is a common thing among GM cars made around 99-2000. Since I posted this I've actually heard from a lot of people who said they've had GM models with the hollow sway bar that had issues. A family member of mine even had this issue with a Park Avenue. Seems like it would be a good idea for owners of a Buick made around that time to keep an eye on the sway bar.
 

mflaherty

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Hey all, new to the forum. This exact thing happened to my 2003 century, with the front stabilizer bar snapping. I was reading the Haynes maunal and it says to drop the subframe after disconnecting a steering pin. Anyone know if you can get the bar in and out without dropping the subframe? and if you do, do you have to pull that steering bolt?
 

Metrix

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The factory service manual for my '99 also says to drop the subframe. It wasn't necessary. Once the brackets are removed it slides out. "97 to 2005 bodies are similar.
Cross your fingers.
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merc6

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1998 Buick Century Limited
Advance Auto sells an aftermarket sway bar - made by Dorman. The new sway bar comes with new frame bushing and new end link bushings. Price is $99.

http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_Suspension-Stabilizer-Bar-Dorman---OE-Solutions_25989513-P_1414_R|GRPCHASAMS_831886256____

Is this where we check into the "I snapped mine clean off too" thread?

I have the Dorman from above but I went in person to get the only one in stock for my area. It has some weight to it I can tell it's not hollow. I didn't feel the difrence but I heard the loud audible *FRAAP* it made. I almost needed a new pair of underwear.

Not 56K friendly!
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k280/merc6/125cc400.jpg

The website for 1a auto included this video would be be same or similar procedure?

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdOdimz_QUE&feature=player_embedded[/ame]
 
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exception

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Century
My 2003 Century 3.1L broke its (hollow) sway bar today!

I found a link to replacing sway bar on 2004 Regal. It suggests that dropping subframe would make it a lot easier: http://www.buickforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21453 My Haynes book for Century also says so.

I am newbie with very basic tools. I don't want to drop the subframe risking damaging steering. I read this thread and learned it is unnecessary to drop subframe on 1999 Century. Did you have to use brute force to pull it out/in (i.e. using a hammer)? Did any one actually replaced it on 2003-2005 century?
 

merc6

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1998 Buick Century Limited
I ended up having a local guy do it and he dropped the frame. From what others said you could do it w/o dropping it, you just have to route it through. That bar is heavy compared to the one that is broke, might want a 2nd pair of hands to maneuver it in there. Once you get the bar on, (if you didn't find a junk yard hollow to replace it) it's night and day. Just don't try and do 100 mph on the on ramp cause the car feels like it can. I might end up doing the rear one too since it's the equivalent of the plastic coat hangar. Just have to justify the price since the ones I found are adjustable.
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Metrix

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With a little wiggling the sway bar slides right out, (on a '99)

If the 2003 is different, dropping the subframe isn't a simple job. Just disconnecting the intermediate shaft from the rack is a pain. Center the wheels, lock them into position with the key off and don't move it or the wheels while the shaft is separated. With the wheels centered the pinch bolt on the intermediate shaft lines up in the correct position for removal.

The subframe also needs to be match-marked to the body as it can move side to side and fore and aft. It's adjustment is used to align caster and camber.
There are two 3/4" alignment holes on the right side of the subframe. A 3/4" dowel or pipe can be used to align the hole in the subframe to the hole in the body. The alignment hole in the subframe is somewhat of a rough alignment, use match marks also to be sure the subframe goes back to it's original position. If the subframe alignment is off the car will pull to the left or right when driven.

There are at least two different exhaust pipes used on the 3.1. One is solid pipe, as mine is and the other has a flex joint. If that's the cause, a small amount of clearance can be gained by disconnecting the upper motor mounts and use a ratcheting strap to pull (rotate) the engine forward. If you need more clearance the exhaust is easy to disconnect from the manifold with a long extension from under the car.

Dropping the subframe;
After disconnecting the intermediate shaft.
Place a jack under the rear center of the subframe to support it while you remove both rear subframe bolts. You can screw them back in about 4 turns as a safety.
Loosen the front subframe bolts about 2 turns. Lower the jack at the rear of the subframe until you have enough clearance.
 
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dascooper

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Getting the sway bar in by 2003 Century replaced today. Somehow broke (it is hollow - replacement is solid). Is costing me about $300, which seemed reasonable given some of the other posts. Sounds like the original design was poor.
 

merc6

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1998 Buick Century Limited
Getting the sway bar in by 2003 Century replaced today. Somehow broke (it is hollow - replacement is solid). Is costing me about $300, which seemed reasonable given some of the other posts. Sounds like the original design was poor.
Yes extremely poor. The 97 Century service video even admitted it was a cheap part back when it was "off the showroom floor" new. This heavier bar was supposedly going to drastically weigh the front end of the car down. Wait till you make a quick U Turn with the new bar on. It's a completely different car from the one you are driving in a straight line.
 
Saved 200 bones doing it instead of having the garage do it.

You can read the process how we did it in the 'Old Regal' forum.

We did not drop the cradle. Did not want to drop the cradle. Don't need to drop the cradle. You can if you want to, but why??

Patience and 2 guys gets the job done.

When you're done it's a different car!
 
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