Pre 1994 Drop Link Replacement, by Carl Davey
So if you have a busted anti roll bar drop link you'll probably know about it via one (or both) ends of the ARB (anti roll bar) flapping against the lower arms under cornering etc. This creates a knocking noise in the cabin and apart from being unpleasent to listen to isn't helping the cars handling.
Replacements are available from Vauxhall as well as your local motor factors. They are almost guaranteed to have stock as the early type are a common problem. They were so bad that along with the lower arms the design was altered in 1993. Check to see which type you have before you go in. The early type look like this and are for a 22mm ARB:
Get the car on a level surface and slacken the front wheel bolts on the side of the car with the busted link. This happened to be the passenger side (offside) on my car.
Jack the car up and remove the wheel. I use a piece of wood between the jack and subframe to prevent damage. Once the car is at a suitable height for working on you should support it on axle stands.
A little investigation should reveal a broken drop link. Be it snapped completely like mine or just a worn/split bush.
The quickest and easiest way to remove the link is with a hacksaw. Cut the through the plastic outer casing first, don't worry about going too far just yet.
The rubber bush may not come off in one like mine did but don't worry if it doesn't. Just cut enough of the rubber away so you can clearly see the metal sleeve.
Take a hacksaw to this too and be careful not to catch the anti roll bar as you do so.
With the sleeve removed and just bare anti roll bar left it's time to clean it up. Don't make the mistake of just knocking the loose bits of rust off or cleaning the first inch. You have to very nearly be able to see your face in the ARB for a good 2 inches before the bush will go on. I used a Dremmel-type multi tool with flap wheel attachment although emery cloth or wire wool will work.
With the ARB cleaned up smear on some lubricant. Fairy liquid or grease will work but rot the bush. Silicone grease is ideal if available.
Time to annoy the missus. Get in the kitchen and boil the kettle. Drop the link in a suitable container with some Fairy liquid and pour in the boiled water up to the level of the bush. Leave to simmer for ten minutes! This has the effect of warming the metal sleeve within the bush so it expands leaving you with a better chance of the link sliding all the way on first time.
While the link is boiling remove the strut-top bolt to allow the strut to fall down and permit easier manipulation of the lower arm. 24mm and 11mm spanners are required.
With the link suitably warm align it with the end of the roll bar. With two hands push the link onto the roll bar. Three quick heaves should see it home.
With the link in the same position realtive to the ARB as the previous one ensure you have one washer and bush fitted to the threaded pin. Both the washer and bush 'nipples' should face towards the lower arm. Rotate it so the retaining pin goes through the arm. Seat the bush and lift the arm up, securing it with the strut top bolt.
Fit the lower bush and washer ensuring the 'nipples' face the lower arm and secure with the 13mm nylock nut provided. Although there is no hard and fast rule there should be around half an inch of thread showing beneath the nut.
Re-tighten the strut-top bolt as required. Refit the wheel. Lower the car and remove the jack. Tighten wheel bolts. Test drive car and listen for further knocks etc.