Nov 022013
 

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This weekend I replaced the front sway bar links on my 1999 BMW M3. Recently I had new OEM Sachs front struts installed, so it was time to refresh the end links as well. My car has low miles, but 14+ years still take a toll.

Replacing front sway bar links is a perfect DIY job, because virtually no skill is required. Unscrew and remove old, replace with new. I had access to a lift, and removed the front wheels for access.

OldView

Top bolts to strut, bottom to sway bar

Unfortunately one thing I didn’t have was a 17mm wrench, to secure the inside bolt while unscrewing the outside nut with a 17mm socket. I had to use an adjustable wrench, which came loose often and cost me some time.

Adjustable Wrench

So definitely have a 17mm wrench if you tackle this DIY. One more tip is to use an extended 17mm socket for the top bolt, like one for removing tires. A shorter 17mm socket works best for the lower bolts. The Lemforder links came with instructions showing not to use an air gun for this job, just elbow grease.

Last year I replaced the rear links and shocks, so the car is now set on the suspension front for a long time. Lemforder is an OE manufacturer for BMW. But since these weren’t technically genuine BMW parts in BMW packaging, they only cost $32 each. As I wrote about early this year, if you do a little homework you can save a lot of money on replacement parts.

The E36 M3 was crowned the best handling car at any price by Car & Driver magazine back in 1997.  Refreshing the suspension hopefully will keep my M3 handling like new.

Old and New

Old and New

Blown

Past time to replace this one, ruptured and near failure


 

  One Response to “Front Sway Bar Link Replacement on the E36 M3”

  1. I also have a 99 M3. I just replaced my front sway bar last night. I think the size wrench you need on the inside of the link is 16 mm, not the 17 mm you stated. I found that a bicycle cone wrench or headset wrench are thin enough to easily fit in the restricted space. Here’s a link to what I’m talking about:

    http://www.parktool.com/product/16mm-shop-cone-wrench-scw-16

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