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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm reading the Haynes manual, and Sec 6 talks about removal and refitting the roll-bar.

It's not clear (to me) whether I have to go through all the steps (1 to 7) just to replace the links.

Step 4 says;
Remove the nuts and bolts securing each end of the anti-roll bar to the lower suspension arms....

If I just do this, will I be able to replace the links, or does the whole bar need to come off ?
 

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No you don't have to completely remove the anti-roll bar.
If you have the new parts and have a look at their location the job should become self evident.:)

P.S. Just for clarification the anti-roll bar is a large rod that goes acroos the the suspension system and connects one side of the suspension to the other.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Clio ll - Replace Front Anti-Roll Bar drop links - Aghhh!! Help!!!!

I've been doing this job today. What I thought would be a simple job, has turned into the most difficult job I've ever attempted.

Started on the off-side. The nut securing the roll bar to the suspension arm came off easily enough.

You would think the next bit would be easy. Just remove the bolt and pull the rubber parts away. They just wouldn't budge. I tried hammering the end of the bolt upwards and levering the top of the bolt, but it was stuck fast. After what seemed like hours, I resorted to using a ball joint separator between the top of the bolt and the suspension arm. This eventually shifted the bolt upwards.

At this point, before attempting the near-side, I decided to release the anti-roll bar from it's two mounting points, as it was getting in the way when I was trying to release the off-side. Releasing the near-side mounting was very difficult, because there are several pipes in the way, and I couldn't get a socket on it. After about half an hour, I managed to remove the bolt using a spanner.

The near side link was a lot easier to remove, for some reason. The nut came off easy, I levered the roll bar away, put the nut back on the bolt, then I put a socket and bar on the nut and wiggled the screw from side to side. Still didn't come free, but then I hit the nut with a heavy hammer several times, and that shifted it.

Unfortunately, putting it all back with the new parts is proving very difficult. When I fit the new bolt and all the rubber spacers to the arm, there's not enough thread to get the nut on.

Also, when I try to to fasten the roll bar back to it's mountings, due to the springiness of the rubber mounting bush, I can't get the bolt to reach to the mounting hole.

Can anyone suggest how I'm going to get this lot back together please ?
 

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Firstly there is no need to undo the bolts which attach the anti-roll bar to the bodywork/subframe. Now that you have removed them you'll not get them back until each outer end of the bar is detached from the lower suspension arm. Before going any further refit and tighten the anti-roll bar retaing bolts.

Using a long bar or stout length of timber will allow you to spring the ends of the roll bar up enough to insert the links.

Getting the new bushes compressed sufficiently can be a challenge but again depressing on the on top of thebar should help get the nut started. Failing that using a sharp knife slice about 1mm of one of the bushes on their flat side only.

Yes the old link bars and bushes can be difficult to remove at times but cutting through the bushes and bolt with a hacksaw usually allows them to be easily removed.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Noel

Yes, I realise now unfastening the roll bar was a stupid thing to do.

I've not done anything with it today.


TBH "refit and tighten the anti-roll bar retaing bolts" is the bit I think I'm going to have most difficulty with, because last night, I couldn't get the hole in the securing bracket to align with the hole in the chassis in order to insert the bolt (bear in mind that I have to hold the nut at the back). The rubber bush that the bracket holds against seems to have swelled. I guess it has to be a tight fit anyway to ensure the roll bar can't move.

Any ideas how I can get the clamp to close ? I'm thinking maybe some way of getting the rubber to contract temporarily with temperature change !
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got the roll bar brackets back. Taken me about 2.5hrs this morning (before food;just having breakfast now).

Off-side, I heated the rubber first with a hot-air paint stripper. Then, I managed to pinch the bracket up with a pair of grips (can't remember what they're called, but I made this pair at school) enough to get the bolt into the sub-frame hole.

It took me another half an hour just to get the nut on the back of the bolt. For some reason it just didn't seem to want to go on. I eventually managed it by turning the bolt whilst holding the nut. This bit's very awkward, because there's no gap in the subframe to get your arm through to hold or turn the nut; you have to get your arm over the top of the sub-frame. It's best to have some cushions behind your head and back to get your arm at the right height.

I noticed the end of the bolt (where the nut first threads on) is tapered, starting off narrow. Is this some sort of anti-cross bolt ?

The near side, there seems to be less room. I couldln't get the grips on, but managed to push the bracket close enough to get the bolt into the sub-frame hole. Again, had to use a spanner on the bolt as no room for a socket (maybe a 1/4inch drive would go on). Once the bracket had pressed up a bit, I managed to get a 1/4inch drive long socket (it's 13mm btw) on (I only have a long socket in 1/4 drive).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Job done now.

The near side was quite easy.

My Method for Replacing the Links
Put the top rubber spacer and the main rubber section in a bucket, and pour boiling water over. Leave for 10 mins, then dry off with a towel.

Push the main rubber section into the hole in the Suspension Arm, with the grooves uppermost. Push the link rod into the top spacer, and push them both into the top of the hole in the Suspension Arm and through the main rubber section, then through the hole in the Roll Bar.

Put an appropraitely sized wooden box under the Roll Bar, then place a piece of wood just thick enough to go under the Roll bar on top of the box. Use a wooden wedge to force the Roll Bar upwards. This should give you enough space on the thread of the link to get the bottom rubber (the one with a washer in) and the locking nut on. Tighten using a torque wrench to 11lb/ft on the Clio, but only once the car is on the ground (according to Haynes).

The Off-side was not so easy. I had to fit the old bottom rubber and old nut on first. Tightened it up, and came back to it after I'd done the Near-side. Then it was compressed enough to get the new rubber and locking nut on. However, I think there's a problem with it. I noticed that the Roll Bar doesn't fit to the Suspension Arm at the correct angle. I'd say it fits at approximately 15 degrees.

So, is my Roll Bar bent on the Off-side ?

This would account for two things;

1. The Off-side tyre (brand new 2 years ago) is unevenly worn, with more wear on the outside (I always check my tyre pressures regularly), whilst the Near-side tyre is fine.

2. The car has always made a whistling noise that sounded like it was coming from the front Off-side. On the test drive, the whistling noise was gone. I'm wondering if the bottom of the metal link rod has been rubbing against the inside of the hole in the Roll Bar.


The car is soooooooooooooo much better to drive now. The ride used to be so noisy, and I always used to approach speed bumps in trepidation.
 

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According to Haynes manual the mounting bolts removal and refitting has a 3 out of 5 level of difficulty (actualy removing and refitting the entire anti-roll bar gets a 3/5).

I did this job today at a DIY garage. I must say that without the help of a very experienced mechanic, i could not have done the job.

Removing the old bolts was frustratingly difficult and required an angle grinder with a cutting disk to remove them. First i cut off all the rubber with a sharp screwdriver. Apparently the original centerpiece rubber has a metal fitting inside that was rusted on to the bolt.

Next the amount of pressure required to compress the rubber fittings so that enough of the thread on the bolt is free was just ridiculous. I had the car on a lift and we used a a long, solid steel bar and actually lowered the car on top of that bar (about an inch thick, held upright on the garage floor) so that the bar was pushing upwards on the anti-roll bar. Then with the help of a crow-bar the mechanic pushed the bolt downwards and thus we got just enough thread free to put the nut on.

A very simple job apparently...:crazy:
 

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here's an easy way to do this. jack car up, remove wheel. undo old drop link bolt/cut off. put a long bar between the wishbone lower and the anti roll bar, apply pressure downwards and the old rubber should decompress. take off old rubbers and bolt. insert new bolt with top rubber (the one without the washer), insert large rubber onto bolt, let go of the long bar, rubber should compress slightly. check to see all is lined up correctly. leaving the bottom rubber off for now, put on a washer and the old bolt, or one with a suitable thread, (don't put the new nut on yet as its a nylock one, for single use, ideally), tighten up until the middle and top rubbers have compressed enough to fit the bottom rubber on IMPORTANT BIT. whilst tightening, place a scissor jack under the anti roll bar, close to the drop link. this should hold the rubbers compressed, allowing you to remove old nut and washer, fit the new bottom rubber and nut. tighten up to correct torque, and away you go. as always support the car on axle stands, and be safe. good luck
 

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Looking at this thread I am looking to change my ARB's mine look like this



I'm now wondering if I should leave it for a garage to do not because I cant do it. It seems like a load of faff getting the locking nut back on. Is there a faff free way to do this or is the garage the best choice?

Decisions Decisions :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just for info;

6 years and 35k miles later, this needed doing again after an MOT fail (only fail item). A well known Autocentre (PM me if you want their name) did the job for £82 (that's both sides of course).
 

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here's an easy way to do this. jack car up, remove wheel. undo old drop link bolt/cut off. put a long bar between the wishbone lower and the anti roll bar, apply pressure downwards and the old rubber should decompress. take off old rubbers and bolt. insert new bolt with top rubber (the one without the washer), insert large rubber onto bolt, let go of the long bar, rubber should compress slightly. check to see all is lined up correctly. leaving the bottom rubber off for now, put on a washer and the old bolt, or one with a suitable thread, (don't put the new nut on yet as its a nylock one, for single use, ideally), tighten up until the middle and top rubbers have compressed enough to fit the bottom rubber on IMPORTANT BIT. whilst tightening, place a scissor jack under the anti roll bar, close to the drop link. this should hold the rubbers compressed, allowing you to remove old nut and washer, fit the new bottom rubber and nut. tighten up to correct torque, and away you go. as always support the car on axle stands, and be safe. good luck
To add my experiences - I tried this method, but using the trolley jack, on the under side of the ARB to compress the drop link rubber, but it still wasn't enough to get enough thread visible to fit the nut. Even though the jack helped, the bolt and top rubber were not compressed enough to allow the nut to be fitted.

What I did was to use the nut and washer from the old drop link, but without the new bottom rubber, then tightened the nut fully on the new drop link to compress the rubber. While still compressed, I used a "quick grip" tool (budget one from a German Supermarket) to keep the rubber compressed. I put one end of the grip on the Torx head of the drop link and the other end of the grip on the outer end of the ARB, but in such a way to still allow enough space to fit the bottom rubber piece, while the grip was still in place. I also used the trolley jack to apply a little pressure to the underside of the ARB for good measure.

This worked a treat and I was able to fit the new drop link in about 15 minutes. Before trying this, I had struggled for about 2 hours!!!

Hope this helps someone one day.
 
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