<br>I broke both of my sway bar links( 98 and a half )plastic models in half. I did this while at Lime Rock and one autocross with Nuespeed bars. I have found one other driver in Ca. who has had a similar problem. Anyone else? Nuespeed did not understand why this happened! It is because the link hits the half shafts...in the farthest hole. I did not see the promised followup in the A4 , in E.C. mag. on the swaybar test. Curious.
09-29-1998, 08:27 PM
When Warren Wang was installing the bars on his 98 sport- we noticed his were plastic and my 97 had steel rods. These rods are curved around the rear suspension...<p>Maybe 98 owners need to install these old endlinks to remove the weak link?<p>
09-30-1998, 01:47 PM
Actually, Scott, I wish it were the endlinks that are broken rather that the swaybar mounts themselves!<p>It's hard to believe that nothing else broke before the mounts cracked. The Audi dealer is balking at repairing it under warranty. They're saying that the larger bar put too much stress on the mount causing it to fail.<p>My argument is that there could have been an underlying defect in the metal that contributed to the failure. So, now, I have to get AoA involved and who knows who else to get this resolved.<p>What a PITA!<br>Jim<br>'98 1.8TQ with intact endlinks but broken mounts
09-30-1998, 02:34 PM
There is no way that the mounts should break, unless the bar was not rotating in the bushing. If it is sticking in the bushing they have a good case.<p>If the links are hitting the halfshaft that is a very serious design defect in the placement of the bar holes. They should be spaced to miss the halfshafts regardless of the movement of the wheel. You might be very lucky you didn't score the halfshaft, big money problem there.
scott k smith
09-30-1998, 03:27 PM
<br>Jim, What your saying is that the metal hanger that extends down from the front of the spare tire well, that the swaybay bushings bolts too, is cracking? This is not good ! Time for some more after market stuff to make that stronger. Yeha!
10-01-1998, 12:27 PM
Erik wrote:<br>"There is no way that the mounts should break, unless the bar was not rotating in the bushing. If it is sticking in the bushing they have a good case."<p>I torqued the bracket bolts to 30 ft-lbs. and greased the bushings thoroughly. Wouldn't the bushings squeak if they were binding or didn't have enough grease?<p>Jim
10-01-1998, 01:18 PM
Maybe. The Mazda Miata broke mounts like candy because they weren't reinforced. That may in fact explain why Audi might have gone to plastic links (I haven't checked).<p>I had a bar once that would not rotate even with antiseize. It never did make any noise, because it wasn't rotating. Unhook both endlinks and rotate it by hand.
10-01-1998, 03:04 PM
Don't you think the Audi mounts would be strong enough being about 3-4mm thick? And, don't they usually over-engineer their parts?<p>I suppose the plastic endlinks would allow more flex and reduce the stress on the mount, but wouldn't that defeat the purpose of the sway bar itself? Could you find out what the reason for the change was?<p>As for the urethane bushings, don't they have a low enough coefficient of friction to allow the bar to twist even when the grease is gone? Even if the bolts were too tight, I'd figure that they or the bushing bracket would break before the mount would.<p>Sorry for the "twenty questions" but I'm just trying to figure this all out.<p>Thanks,<br>Jim<br>
10-02-1998, 06:47 AM
They usually overenginner everything I have run into, but the stupid remote range. <p>The forces on the parts are different, the bushing bracket should only see a twisting force on its strong axis. If it is not twisting there then a bending force (at an angle) is placed on the mount. The mount then sees shear forces which, depending on the design, will cause it to tear off.<p>The thicker bar allows more force to be exerted on the mounts than the easily bent factory bar. Which is the whole point of the aftermarket bar of course. <p>The plastic link allows the bar to work because it is strong in tension and compression, but it will easily bend or twist if it is subjected to any angular movement. My guess is that the engineers recognized a problem.<p>In my experience, urethane is really pretty sticky. I would test all of this by putting the car on jackstands, undoing both links and move the bar by hand. It should move. <p>Good luck,<p>
10-05-1998, 08:34 PM
My latest update on this problem and my cracked swaybar mounts:<p>Steve, the Audi tech at Carlsen, came back from vacation today and we had a chance to thoroughly inspect my rear suspension. We found that, in fact, the half-shafts were hitting the plastic uplinks, contributing to the stress on the mounting plates.<p>About a 6mm divot was worn into each uplink. Steve surmised that this was due to the less flexible sway bar pushing the link into the half-shaft and my lowered suspension reducing the clearance between the two. (I have Neuspeed sport springs and Bilstein dampers. The car is lowered about 15-20mm from sport suspension height.)<p>I haven't yet compared measurements of the Neuspeed rear sway bar compared to the factory sport bar, but it's also possible that the distance from the furthest mounting hole ("looser" setting) is too long, putting the bar too close to the link.<p>In any case, it's Steve's opinion that there was no metal defect in the mounts themselves since the passenger side appeared to be failing in the same manner; it was only a matter of time before it developed the additional cracks that the driver's side had. My question is, "Who else might experience these problems?"<p>Since earlier models had the smaller diameter, metal uplinks, they may not experience the same problem as the '98s. Also, if the suspension is not lowered that would also provide a margin of safety. Who knows for sure? In any case, it's been suggested to me that I don't remount the sway bars without reinforcing the mount. I suppose Audi made it just strong enought for their 16mm bar using rubber bushings.<p>It's certainly possible that the 75 miles per day that I drive on mountain roads took its toll as well. Regardless, it looks like I'm going to be paying a fair amount for the repairs - replace the subframe and the uplinks, along with the associated nuts and bolts and another alignment.<p>Furthermore, I am also considering raising the suspension back up to the sport package height to provide more clearance and greater margin of safety so I don't have to deal with this again.<p>Guess it just wasn't my day...<p>Jim
10-08-1998, 01:13 PM
Sorry to hear that. Since I just got the same exact setup as you except the rear was not lowered much (10mm or so and it's on it's lowest setting), I'll have to check to see if the same is happening to my uplinks. <p>Thanks for keeping us updated.<p>Drew<p>ps. Are you still going to keep the front Neuspeed sways on without the Neuspeeds on the back?
10-14-1998, 10:10 AM
Sorry I didn't notice your post earlier.<p>Hope your suspension is OK. I'm going to re-install both factory sport stablizer bars for the time being. <p>I believe Ron A. is going to leave his Neuspeed front bar on and just replace his rear with the sport bar. Perhaps, we'll hear from him how the handling is affected - i.e., if there's too much understeer. His car is one notch lower so it might not be exactly the same as ours.<p>Jim