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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

Long story short... I just installed the stock front strut and shocks for winter. I've acquired the car in August 2015 and it had some performance suspensions installed but the owner also gave the original ones.

Ever since I put the original ones back on I've had a little "cluck" sound coming from the front driver side when I go over bumps. It's mostly noticeable when I'm driving slow. I was suspecting the stabilizer link so I took the wheels of and checked everything. Indeed I found out that the driver side link as opposed to the passenger side link does not seem to be tightened properly.

I tried to tighten it but the upper link bolt is spinning freely. I tried using a wise grip to press down on the back end of the link to try and tighten it some more but the nut itself is spinning freely on the link towards the end of the bolt thread. Is that an indication that the link is broken and needs to be replaced? I'm not quite sure what in the process of changing the suspension has caused this to happen as it wasn't present before.
Any helpful feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks everyone!
 

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there are flats, some are 18mm, some another size. It requires a very thin wrench to go back there and hold it, like a bicycle hub cone wrench. Alternatively you can use an impact wrench and it will tighten usually.
 

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2003 M3 6MT Slicktop
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you either have the type of endlink that uses an allen key to hold it from behind or the type that takes a thin open end wrench on the front base to hold it. a third design uses an Allen key to hold the tip. Most common though uses a thin open end wrench to hold the base. I forget the size (but 17mm?) seems to ring a bell. so you hold the base and this allows you to tighten the nut.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
there are flats, some are 18mm, some another size. It requires a very thin wrench to go back there and hold it, like a bicycle hub cone wrench. Alternatively you can use an impact wrench and it will tighten usually.
Thanks but the tool is not the issue. I personally used a ratchet with the proper 17mm head. As I said though, towards the end of the bolt when it's just about to get tight the nut keeps spinning although a wise grip was holding the whole thing pretty tight... or so it seemed.

you either have the type of endlink that uses an allen key to hold it from behind or the type that takes a thin open end wrench on the front base to hold it. a third design uses an Allen key to hold the tip. Most common though uses a thin open end wrench to hold the base. I forget the size (but 17mm?) seems to ring a bell. so you hold the base and this allows you to tighten the nut.
17mm is right but I've never found any place to hold it tight and that is why I tried using a wise grip which I believe did hold the thing tight but nut kept spinning regardless... No place for any Allen key that's for sure. I triple checked and didn't find anything. However now that you mentioned open end wrench I believe at the end of the link bold was a little flat I guess corner that maybe would allow a wrench to hold it. I'll give that a try.

I'm still curious though... Why was one side spinning but not the other? Pretty confusing....
 

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Thanks but the tool is not the issue. I personally used a ratchet with the proper 17mm head. As I said though, towards the end of the bolt when it's just about to get tight the nut keeps spinning although a wise grip was holding the whole thing pretty tight... or so it seemed.



17mm is right but I've never found any place to hold it tight and that is why I tried using a wise grip which I believe did hold the thing tight but nut kept spinning regardless... No place for any Allen key that's for sure. I triple checked and didn't find anything. However now that you mentioned open end wrench I believe at the end of the link bold was a little flat I guess corner that maybe would allow a wrench to hold it. I'll give that a try.

I'm still curious though... Why was one side spinning but not the other? Pretty confusing....
No not the nut, the back side (on mine) has very thin flats on it. Push back the rubber and look very closely.
 

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as Franz stated, the wrench goes at the base of the balljoint. Sometimes hidden by the rubber boot. So from the inside looking out it would be the balljoint/wrench/swaybar/nut. the Open wrench fits directly on the balljoint at its base between the swaybar to hold it from spinning. The nut is on the other side of swaybar that is tightened down.
 

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There are 2 small flats on the side on the other side of the nut.

They will be there, the size is usually between 16-18mm depending on the vendor of the part, they vary. I recall the OE flats tend to be slightly larger than many of the aftermarket parts.

You can usually get flat wrenchs at bicycle shops or you can buy a cheap wrench and grind it flat/narrower.

Sometimes???? you can use long nose pliers to grab the flats and keep the bolt from spinning, but this does not work very often.

The other, not recommended thing you may be able to do is grab and hold the threaded part of the bolt that is exposed from the nut and use the open end wrench to tighten the nut. The problem is doing this, if you damage the threads too much, removing the nut in the future may be very difficult and you may need to cut the the bolt.

See the picture in this thread where a wrench is used along with a socket to hold the bolt from spinning - http://www.beisansystems.com/procedures/front_struts_procedure.htm
 

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Guys, you can use the wrench in our trunk toolkit to hold that. It fits perfectly.



These are the flats everyone is talking about.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok so I took my wheel of for the 4th time perhaps and I think I'm positive on the problem. I did find the flat sides that you guys were talking about and I did indeed properly held the whole thing solid with the wise grip the first time. I also tried a 17mm wrench which fits perfectly.

However it is definitely the nut that is used up. When I look at the inner part it is all worn out. I might've unintentionally put it on crooked and it messed it up when I reassembled everything. The bolt thread looks just fine however. I guess I'll be heading to the hardware shop right away and find a proper nut.

I'll keep you guys posted, and again thanks for the great and prompt help!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
One last thing... Does anyone know the nut size I need? I realize I can't compare it in store because I have to put everything back on :(

My link looks exactly what is on the ECS picture.
 

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You can drive without one of the links if you really need to...it's not a critical item. I mean don't drive it like you stole it but a couple miles is no big deal. Take the other end off and you are good.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok guys, problem solved! I appreciate all the support this is a great community.

It was really the nut that was well worn out.

Thanks again!
 
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