2013~2016 Broken CX-5 Stabilizer Link

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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Hi All,

Replaced my brakes for all (4) wheels today and then noticed something that seemed odd. Upon closer inspection, it looks like my "stabilizer bar" is broken for the Passenger (Rear). That would probably explain some of the vibrations/tracking to the left on the road and possible clunks on uneven surfaces that I've been experiencing. Just a few questions if anyone would be able to help:
  1. Would it make a difference if I go OEM or aftermarket for the stabilizer link?
  2. Would I have to replace the bushings as well?
  3. Is there anything else to know?
Driver (Rear) Stabilizer Link:
1616899267828.png
1616899292278.png


Passenger (Rear):
1616899333419.png

1616899361434.png

1616899447190.png

1616899502752.png
 
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South Carolina
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12 MZ5 13 CX-5
I put Moog links on my 04 Mazda3. That wasn't a good move. :( I should have spent the extra $20 and got the OEM's.

Whatever you do, remember that when it comes to suspension work, whatever you do to one side, always do the same thing to the other side.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Hi All,

Replaced my brakes for all (4) wheels today and then noticed something that seemed odd. Upon closer inspection, it looks like my "stabilizer bar" is broken for the Passenger (Rear). That would probably explain some of the vibrations/tracking to the left on the road and possible clunks on uneven surfaces that I've been experiencing. Just a few questions if anyone would be able to help:
  1. Would it make a difference if I go OEM or aftermarket for the stabilizer link?
  2. Would I have to replace the bushings as well?
  3. Is there anything else to know?
Driver (Rear) Stabilizer Link:
View attachment 296960 View attachment 296961

Passenger (Rear):
View attachment 296962
View attachment 296963
View attachment 296964
View attachment 296965
I believe that’s the result of your aggressive driving style ⋯ ;)

I have seen a few reports here before with broken links on stabilizer bar / anti-sway bar, but mainly it’s on the front. May be you should check the links on front stabilizer bar / anti-sway bar too.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
I believe that’s the result of your aggressive driving style ⋯ ;)

I have seen a few reports here before with broken links on stabilizer bar / anti-sway bar, but mainly it’s on the front. May be you should check the links on front stabilizer bar / anti-sway bar too.

Good analysis haha, I think so too :D

I will probably do some inspecting on those parts you listed as well as suspension components now that you bring that up. I did place an order for the rear sway bar links and I'm not sure if I should purchase the fronts as well just in case but I figure I may as well since I'm making the trip anyways.

Just curious, have you heard much about sway bar bushings wearing out before 100,000 miles?
 
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South Carolina
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12 MZ5 13 CX-5
Completely depends on your driving. If you drive pure smooth interstate where the suspension has to do hardly any work, they'll probably last a *long* time. If you drive inner city stop and go traffic with a ton of potholes, then it'll wear out sooner.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Completely depends on your driving. If you drive pure smooth interstate where the suspension has to do hardly any work, they'll probably last a *long* time. If you drive inner city stop and go traffic with a ton of potholes, then it'll wear out sooner.

I'm close to 50/50 city/highway but the city roads are pretty crappy with uneven pavement/rough roads and random potholes everywhere.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Here are the OEM part numbers:
  1. Stabilizer Link Nut (9YB0-41-031): Need (2) per Sway Bar End Link. I bought a total of (8) since I purchased one for each wheel.
  2. Sway Bar End Link (KD35-34-170): Front (Driver/Passenger)
  3. Sway Bar End Link (KD31-28-190): Rear (Driver)
  4. Sway Bar End Link (KD31-28-170): Rear (Passenger)
They cost about the same if not less than the ones from Rock Auto so I didn't really see the point of purchasing aftermarket ones. I have no plans to replace the front ones anytime soon unless they have lots of play in them or they're broken.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
4/3:
Attempted to loosen the sway bar end link for the driver (rear) side but it got too dark so had to stop. Here's my observations:
  • You will have an extremely difficult time removing the top bolt with a socket (impact or non-impact rated) using a 1/2 or 3/8 breaker bar/ratchet due to the tight clearance. I tried using an angle adapter with a socket and nothing really seems to work aside from the crow foot socket. The issue isn't really the socket but more so the breaker bar/wrench as the very top keeps hitting the frame. The magic number for the socket is a 14 mm for both the top/bottom bolts.
  • Another issue you'll run into is the fact that the nut for either the top or bottom is going to keep spinning unless you have an Allen key inserted into the middle of the bolt hole while you loosen. I'll let you guys know the size of the Allen key tomorrow. A more destructive way to stop the spinning would be using a pair of pliers or angle grinder which I saw some people in other forums doing but I would not recommend that unless the Allen key hole is extremely rusted/damaged.
  • Another thing that might help would be to soak the nut using a rust penetrant a day before performing this task.
  • Now that I think about it, it seems like the sway bar end link was designed to be used with a crow foot socket as there is an opening that allows you to insert the Allen key but if you were to use a regular socket, you would not have that ability to do use an Allen key as the socket will be inserted in the anvil of the ratchet.
  • Chris Fix: How to Replace Sway Bar End Links: At 1:54 he explains how the end link removal works.
The picture below is what I am referring to when I say that the clearance is extremely narrow. Aside from a crow foot flare nut socket, the only other alternative I can think of would be to use a ratcheting box end wrench/metric wrench.
1617498914813.png

Will let you guys know how it goes tomorrow.
 
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2020 CX-5 AWD
Although nothing yet on a Mazda, I've run into similar link (and other suspension component) removal issues on other vehicles in the past. And a number of them were absolutely impossible to remove using standard methods, due to seized, spinning components and/or bolts or nuts rusted away.

In all of those situations I was able to successfully accomplish the removal using either a Dremel with a metal cut-off wheel, a reciprocating saw with a high quality metal blade (Diablo, etc.), or an angle grinder (usually using an extra thin metal cutting wheel). I've used all three of these tools at various times, and occasionally more than one of them on the same job. All three of the above tools can get the job done, and which one to use usually is simply a question of access to the component needing to be removed.

No idea what the access is like for you on this particular job, but I'd be willing to bet that one way or another, you can get one or more of those three tools into that location where the link is bolted, and get it cut out. Good luck with it, whatever method you chose to use!
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Although nothing yet on a Mazda, I've run into similar link (and other suspension component) removal issues on other vehicles in the past. And a number of them were absolutely impossible to remove using standard methods, due to seized, spinning components and/or bolts or nuts rusted away.

In all of those situations I was able to successfully accomplish the removal using either a Dremel with a metal cut-off wheel, a reciprocating saw with a high quality metal blade (Diablo, etc.), or an angle grinder (usually using an extra thin metal cutting wheel). I've used all three of these tools at various times, and occasionally more than one of them on the same job. All three of the above tools can get the job done, and which one to use usually is simply a question of access to the component needing to be removed.

No idea what the access is like for you on this particular job, but I'd be willing to bet that one way or another, you can get one or more of those three tools into that location where the link is bolted, and get it cut out. Good luck with it, whatever method you chose to use!
Absolutely spot on 100%. I just attempted to use the Allen key with a box end 14 mm to remove the nut and then the bolt snapped and now it's free spinning. I'll probably try the Dremel/angle grinder and if that doesn't work out my next step would be the mechanic.

This is one of those cases where it seems like a simple unbolt and bolt and you're done but then you have to deal with rust and the zero clearance with the top bolt that doesn't allow an Allen key to fit unless it's a right angle.
 
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2020 CX-5 AWD
... I'll probably try the Dremel/angle grinder ....
As I mentioned previously, a thin (1/8" or 1/16") metal cut-off grinding wheel will generally work better for this type of job. Those thin wheels slice through the metal very quickly and efficiently, whereas the thicker ones will have to remove far more material, and have to work much harder to do so.

Also keep in mind that you can cut (separate) the link bar, thereby allowing you to rotate the top section that your cutting, and also rock it back and forth. This may, or may not be helpful, so perhaps start with the link intact and see how that goes.

I recall separating one, rocking it around a bit, and then have the bolt shaft fracture and the entire thing pull right out, clean as a whistle! But that one had big time rust on it, and I'd probably never be that fortunate a second time.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
As I mentioned previously, a thin (1/8" or 1/16") metal cut-off grinding wheel will generally work better for this type of job. Those thin wheels slice through the metal very quickly and efficiently, whereas the thicker ones will have to remove far more material, and have to work much harder to do so.

Also keep in mind that you can cut (separate) the link bar, thereby allowing you to rotate the top section that your cutting, and also rock it back and forth. This may, or may not be helpful, so perhaps start with the link intact and see how that goes.

I recall separating one, rocking it around a bit, and then have the bolt shaft fracture and the entire thing pull right out, clean as a whistle! But that one had big time rust on it, and I'd probably never be that fortunate a second time.

I didn't use the metal cut-off grinding wheel but I probably should have as it took a while to cut through the nut and each blade was destroyed during the process. I tried to focus on the washer portion of the nut and do a clean cut. I was successful but it was a very exhausting process that I would've probably rather just paid someone to do it lol.

The rotating didn't really help me, I think what ultimately helped was just attempting to loosen the nut enough to expose the bolt portion of the stabilizer link where possible. I have pictures in this resource I just posted, you can see how bad of a job I did.

https://www.mazdas247.com/forum/index.php?resources/2013-2016-cx-5-stabilizer-link-replacement.118/
 
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2020 CX-5 AWD
Wow, I would never have imagined cutting those links off with an oscillating tool! But all that matters is that you got the job successfully done, and hats off to you for hanging in there with it. And those minor marks on the sway bar from the cutting process are not a problem at all, and no need to feel you didn't do a good job. So you can wave to the shop where you would have had the work done, as you drive past with those new links that you installed yourself(y)