Unexpected vehicle maintenance

Sunday was a nice day for February, 70 degrees with the sun peeking through the clouds. I figured it was a good time to rotate the tires on the truck, as the last time I did that was the end of summer. The boys were hanging out with me on the driveway as I started with the drivers side. Nothing out of the ordinary, it goes a lot quicker these days with the jack stands vs putting on the spare. As luck would have it though when I got to the passengers side front, the last wheel, something was a miss. The bolt connecting the stabilizer bar to the lower control arm had broken and I thought to myself “I wonder how long it’s been that way“. None the less it seemed like something I could take care of. And with a little work, it was.

From s10

I did a little research online and found AutoZone had front stabilizer bolt kits, $7.99 a piece. I called just to make sure the were on the shelf, as it’s about 15 minutes away, and they were. With parts in hand and back home I got to work replacing the bushings and bolt. First problem was getting the old stuff off. A little more difficult than I thought. With the bolt broken and the bushing spacer seemingly attached to the bolt I had to rip and tear the spacer from the bolt. With that done I decided to replace the other side, that wasn’t broke, but was just as worn.

Pliers in hand on the other side now I got a hold of the top washer and with a quarter turn of the bolt, it broke. I should have expected that but unfortunately I wasn’t prepared. The bolt was still long enough that I couldn’t pry it away from the mount and I wasn’t having any luck with the spacer. After way to long with the pliers and vice grips I headed to Home Depot for a Dremel attachment. I needed to cut the spacer and the bolt, the Dremel was just the tool but I didn’t have anything that would cut. After finding what I needed and back home it was getting dark. The Dremel did the trick but the next problem was the kit would fit. The stabilizer bar was to close to the lower control mount and I needed to collapse the wheel to get a little more room. I’d have to leave that for tomorrow.

After work this evening I was able to install the drivers side by jacking up the passenger side. The test drive was good and the front end felt tighter for sure. With any luck these will be good for another 225,000 miles like the originals!!!!