Suspension, Steering and Brakes Replacing front anti-roll bar links/drop links

Discussion in '1st Generation (2004-2011)' started by yanw, Monday 7th Sep, 2015.

  1. yanw Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Yan Gloucester
    I hit a *big* pot hole while on holiday in Belgium and the FR-V started pulling to the right. I managed to find somewhere to get the tracking adjusted however when it was up on the ramp the guy showed me that the right anti-roll bar link had snapped. The left hand side one was pretty knacked as well. The car is an 08 petrol with 53000 miles on the clock.

    They adjusted the tracking the best they could and we managed to get home no problem. Checking the Lings website on my return I discovered the OE links ar £56 each. Euro Car Parts do other links for £12 or £18 each so I went for the "Lemforder" ones:
    Honda FR-V | Anti Roll Bar | Anti Roll Bars Components | Quality Car Parts

    I'm normally a motorcycle guy so I had to go and buy a better jack and some axle stands. A trip to Machine Mart and £38 later I was in business:
    Clarke CAX2TF 2 Tonne Folding Axle Stands

    - Machine Mart

    Clarke CTJ2B 2 Tonne DIY Trolley Jack

    - Machine Mart

    I didn't get any wheel chocks as I am tight but I did make some out of some scrap wood.

    There are lots of YouTube guides to replacing the links, which are useful, however they tend to be done by Americans who don't live in places where they grit/salt in the winter.

    My first attempt at jacking up the car (I used the FR-V jacking guide, many thanks) put two small holes in the drive so I salvaged some 2mm steel plate from the garage for the jack and got some more 1mm steel plate from B&Q for the axle stands.

    The second attempt got the front of the car up and the front jacking points onto the axle stands. I did have to block under the jack (and steel plate) to get the car high enough onto the stands (first hole up) so as to have the car on them and the wheels still up.

    All the online guides (previously mentioned) show that a quick squirt of PlusGas and some heat will allow you to remove the nuts from the threads. This was very much not the case. The first one did (finally) come off after a good roasting however the upper bolts are difficult to get to and were fully corroded/welded on. After three hours, a trip to Screwfix for some more blow-torch gas, and much cussing I got the angle grinder out and cut/ground the back of the link off.

    Fitting the new link was really easy. Be sure to "lock the bolt" with an allen-key and then tighten the nut rather than on some guides using an impact wrench. Not locking the bolt with an allen-key will spin the ball joint in the cup and knacker you new link. I put plenty of copper-slip on in case it's me that has to do it again.

    The second side took less than an hour. This was because I cut the link off straight away. I found using some heat allowed me to remove the link bar off the two ball-ends and made it easier to get at it with the cutting disk.

    The car drives much better now and I'm off to get the tracking adjusted tonight.

    If you are thinking about doing this yourself then take a look at the YouTube guides (Honda Accord is very similar, so is the Civic) but keep in mind:
    • The bolts will be corroded on. Try heat to get them off but be prepared to cut them off with an angle grinder.
    • "Cooking" the link bars will make it easier to remove them off the ball ends which makes it easier to grind them off.
    • Use an allen-key to stop the bolt spinning when you tighten the new ones on.
    • £112 for a pair OE parts is "very salty". OEM parts can be had for £36 a pair. Cheapo parts are £25 a pair (I wouldn't/didn't).
    • Machine Mart axle stands are a good buy.
    • Unless you have a concrete drive/work area be sure to put some steel plate under your jack and axle-stands.
    Hopefully this will help some of you out there to save a few quid. I probably spent the same or less than the labor charge on stands/jack/steel plate but I now have that kit for the future (back brakes need stripping and seals....).
    Ichiban likes this.
  2. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
  3. yanw Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Yan Gloucester
    No pictures sorry. I was very oily and the kids have no interest in helping me :Frown:
    kes likes this.
  4. foursail Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Nice write up I've Just had my two front droplinks changed with the Lemforder ones but let honda do it while they did my ball joint. Think these must be fairly common to go on the FR-V with it being a bulky car. All mine have been replaced before and I've done the rear ones in the past myself a few years ago and your right a bit of pain getting them off but a straightforward job for the amateur like me!
  5. Busa1340r Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Yate
    Probably too late now....but... ARB drop links should not affect your tracking, so what you had done in Belgium would more than likely have been sufficient.