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Old 11-13-2012, 02:09 PM
Biodiesel300TD's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Albany, OR
Posts: 4,845
w123 Sway Bar Links -- Metal vs. Plastic

Anyone have opinions and if one is better than the other? My 240D has it's original links and they are metal, you can buy plastic replacements or metal. But is one better than the other?

'04 Jetta TDI Wagon
'82 300TD ~ Winnie ~ Sold
'77 300D ~ Sold
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:27 PM
Phil_F_NM's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 490
I just replaced my original metal links with the plastic ones. I had a bit of trepidation about it but the small boots on the metal ones were all torn up, so I figured the benefits of the plastic ones were that the small ball joints in them were brand new and so not loose as well as the plastic not being able to rust. Considering the size of the original metal ones being thinner tan a pencil, I don't think the stresses imparted upon them would be enough to hurt the plastic units. Just my opinion.

Phil Forrest

1972 220D "Trudy," named by a friend.

"The 220D sounds good... I suspect it is the only car that you need a calendar for, rather than a stopwatch, when doing acceleration tests."
Tom Abrahamsson
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:34 PM
Biodiesel300TD's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Albany, OR
Posts: 4,845
Yea, I kind of figure the plastic ones are fine, they are also cheaper.
'04 Jetta TDI Wagon
'82 300TD ~ Winnie ~ Sold
'77 300D ~ Sold
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:15 PM
pawoSD's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 15,321
I have never seen a plastic one bend or break.....the part that fails is the little grease filled ball socket/boot....which can happen just the same on a metal one.
-diesel is not just a fuel, its a way of life-
'15 GLK250 Bluetec 90k - mine - (OC-91,200)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 18k - wifes (OC-25k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 161k - mine (OC-165,000)
'01 E320 - 180k - dad's (OC-182,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 134k - dad's (OC-139,500)
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:55 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Out in the Boonies of Hot, Dry, Dusty, Windy Nevada
Posts: 9,585
Is the length the same? in the pictures the metal one`s look longer.
I think they went to plastic is because it is cheaper to manufacture.

there were three HP ratings on the OM616...

1) Not much power
2) Even less power
3) Not nearly enough power!! 240D w/auto

Anyone that thinks a 240D is slow drives too fast.

80 240D Naturally Exasperated, 4-Spd 388k DD 150mph spedo 3:58 Diff

We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics. Funny how that works
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:02 PM
Silber Adler's Avatar
Silver Eagle
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Living on a gravel road in a Red State
Posts: 593
I just replaced the rear sway bar links on my w123. It had plastic so I put on new plastic ones. The old ones had loose ball joints and no boots left. I paid 19 for the pair on peachparts. Had them and the rest of the order inside a week.

It is nicer driving without all the clicking.

Changing them was simple I pulled the rear wheel and used a 17 mm open end wrench to unscrew it from the hub. I had two 17s ready to take off the top (at the sway bar) but only needed the one.

I am considering putting a stiffer rear sway bar or adding a second one to the rear. It understeers a lot. Will wait until I get new shocks though.

85 Merc 300D - Unwinding 31 years of wear
86 VW TD
Mahindra Diesel
Iseki Diesel

In 2007 I didn't own a diesel.
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