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Old 22nd November 2006, 14:14   #1
Mike Fraser
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Default Anti-Roll bar drop link

In an effort to find the clunk from the rear of my Surf, I've spent the best part of the morning crawling around on my driveway. I posted a thread about this clunk happening when I make a right hand turn & most of the replies suggested the rear ARB. I now know that none of the mounting brackets have sheared & the bushes look to be in good order, at least on the mountings to the axle. I thought the O/S drop link top bush looked a little suspect so I put a spanner on it to see if there was the possibility of tightning it up & to my surprise, the whole link rotated quite easily until stopped by the ball joint at the lower end of the link. Is this normal? I would have thought that any means of attaching an ARB would require a rigid mounting, not something that rotates. Any bush replacement I've done on other vehicles ARBs has usually required a bit of effort to release the attaching nuts & bolts. The nut itself wasn't loose, in fact, the nut looks to be fairly well rusted to the thread at the top of the drop link but I'm sure some duck oil will free it up. I'm also unsure as to why there is a ball joint at the bottom of the link. I always thought that an ARB relied on its' own torsional stiffness to resist the rolling effect & it seems to me that putting a ball joint at either end kind of defeats the purpose.

Anyway, anyone else have any idea if this drop link is supposed to be able to rotate in its top mounting? BTW, the N/S one also rotates, but not as freely as the O/S one.
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Old 22nd November 2006, 14:51   #2
NiftyNev
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They will rotate if you put a spanner on them because they are mounted in bushes.. Just centre the ball joint on them and all will be ok. A ball joint allows the rod section to pivot rather than just flex the bushes as on other types.

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Old 23rd November 2006, 00:22   #3
Mike Fraser
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Thanks for the replies, guys. Without wishing to sound bolshie, I fully understand the principals & layout of anti-roll bars albeit my experience is limited to road cars where the ARB, if fitted, is usually fixed in a much more solid manner. I've never seen a ball joint on any ARB fitted to a road car but I can fully understand that it probably allows for articulation on 4x4s. I perhaps worded my question incorrectly. What I meant to ask was, is it normal for the drop link to be able to be rotated on its vertical axis by means of a spanner applied to the topmost nut at the TOP end of the drop link. My drop link would be able to be rotated 360 deg with ease were it not stopped by the ball joint at the BOTTOM end. I'm not sure of the correct torque for the nut at the top of the link but would have thought it would have been high enough to prevent the drop link from turning in the upper mount. Please correct me if I'm wrong! In other words, if I were to remove the ARB & leave the drop links hanging, I'd be able to rotate them, probably by gripping the bottom end of the link by hand & twisting it. Should it be this easy?
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Old 23rd November 2006, 13:31   #4
MattF
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You dont' really need them to be tight in their mounts with regards to
rotation. Obviously they shouldn't have any lateral play. With each of
the arms on the A.R.B's, I had to apply side pressure to them whilst
getting the nut off, so I personally would say that's normal.
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Old 23rd November 2006, 14:19   #5
NiftyNev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Fraser
What I meant to ask was, is it normal for the drop link to be able to be rotated on its vertical axis by means of a spanner applied to the topmost nut at the TOP end of the drop link. My drop link would be able to be rotated 360 deg with ease were it not stopped by the ball joint at the BOTTOM end. I'm not sure of the correct torque for the nut at the top of the link but would have thought it would have been high enough to prevent the drop link from turning in the upper mount. Please correct me if I'm wrong! In other words, if I were to remove the ARB & leave the drop links hanging, I'd be able to rotate them, probably by gripping the bottom end of the link by hand & twisting it. Should it be this easy?
The drop links should only be tight enough to compress the bushes to about the same diameter as the metal washers. There has to be some allowance for compression and expansion of the bushes to allow for shock absorption. The drop link will actually slide up and down inside the bushes as each compresses or expands. Torque on the drop link nuts will remain the same because the upward or downward force on one bush is compensated by an opposing upward or downward force on the other. So to answer the question on should they turn easily. With a spanner, yes. However, if you can turn them easily by hand while fitted in position then the bushes may not be compressed correctly or they have lost their flex or are worn and need replacing.

Hope all that makes sense.

Nev
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Old 23rd November 2006, 16:13   #6
Mike Fraser
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Nev, thanks. You've confirmed what i've been thinking. The upper & lower upper bush (that is, the two parts that make up the upper drop link bush) don't look anything like as compressed as they should be. I appreciate that they need some flex in them but at the moment, to me, they look as if they havn't been tightned enough. Is there a torque setting for the top drop link nuts? I imagine there must be but I've checked the Oz 4 Runner workshop manual & can't find one in there. Mind you, it seems a bit sketchy on a lot of things!

Not sure if attending to this will get rid of the clunk but it's worth a try.

Mike
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Old 23rd November 2006, 23:36   #7
TonyN
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You can just do the nut up till it reaches the bottem of the thread. This way it always squashes the bushes the same.

All the drop links swivel, its not a big issue. It lets the axle hang one sidedown or the other without bending the drop link. The ball joint doesn't affect the twisting of the sway bar from each end its still supported ridgedly from the chassis. As long as the rubbers are compressed and not split it shouldn't cause any problems.
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Old 24th November 2006, 02:04   #8
NiftyNev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Fraser
Is there a torque setting for the top drop link nuts? I imagine there must be but I've checked the Oz 4 Runner workshop manual & can't find one in there. Mind you, it seems a bit sketchy on a lot of things!
There is no actual torque setting. I'd drop both links and check the condition of the bushes. Compression of the bushes is something I have found to have various recommendations depending on if they are rubber or some other compound. Best way I can put it is to tighten enough to eliminate any movement and still allow some compression of the bushes under load. I have nolathane on mine and will be replacing with rubber soon.

Nev
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