Sprinter anti-roll bar drop link replacement tip (T1N)


Here is a quick tip I have used to assist in replacing the anti roll bar links on the Mercedes Sprinter 2000-2006 model year T1N.  Often due to corrosion of the smooth surface that used to be the painted ends of the anti-roll bar (sway bar) and the wishbone attachment makes for difficult removal and refitting of the drop link arm bushes.

Drop Link Sprinter

Drop Link Sprinter

Removal of the old bushes is quite simple, (due to wear they often nearly drop off anyway) WD40 spray or washing up liquid and a lever will assist !  Refitting the drop link is, as maybe you will know, a little more problematic.  Whether you have re-bushed your original drop links or purchased complete replacements the same scenario applies.

Remove the triangular plate that covers the end of the leaf spring 3x 16mm bolts.  Take the plate with the integral lower mounting bar from the vehicle and use a vice or large clamp to press the bush onto the mounting stake.  Use some spray lube as above to assist fitting.  Refit the leaf spring cover plate to the lower wishbone and remove any loose rust scale from the roll bar end.  Offer up the unattached drop link arm bush to the end of the roll bar (use a little lubricant on the rubber again) Take a 22mm 1/2 drive socket and place it over the end of the drop link bush/arm to be pushed onto the roll bar.  Have an assistant turn the van steering wheel slowly either left or right lock dependant which side you are working.  Position and trap the socket between the back of the hub assembly and drop link bush as the lock is applied.  Continue to turn the steering wheel to further push the socket and as a result press the bush with minimum effort onto the end of the roll bar.  Job done…!

Obviously a little care has to be taken to avoid trapping your fingers to complete the above but if you have ever had to change this component on either a Mercedes or other similar vehicle you will recollect mauling away under the vehicle, usually collecting resultant bruises – muttering the often heard phrase: ‘How the hell do they get these bl@@dy things on here in the first place…’ 🙂  Even with vigorous cleaning, sanding and filing it is rare to be able to clean up the mating parts of the roll bar end and wishbone mounting to such an extent to allow you ‘just push the new bushes on’ by hand, so this tip works really well.




8 thoughts on “Sprinter anti-roll bar drop link replacement tip (T1N)

  1. Thanks for the info Steve.

    I tried the method of turning the wheel but it wasn’t working for me. I found the easiest way was to follow your way i.e. unbolt the bottom mount and remove the link pin from the roll bar then mount the tie rod with the new bush onto the detached bottom mount.

    The bottom bush then mounted I found that the easiest unassisted way get the link pin back on the roll bar was to not bolt the plate up until after the pin is back on the roll bar. Not bolting the plate down lets the bush/pin go on straighter and thus easier.

    Push the rubber bush halfway out of the top end of the link pin so that it goes on the roll bar first, then push the bush further onto the roll bar end using a socket against it. The end of wooden lever is then placed on the suspension damper and the socket/ bush gently levered on to the roll bar end. As the bush tends to be pushed out of the link pin use a larger socket to push the link pin back over the bush until the complete assembly is seated correctly.

    The triangular plate is then bolted down. Hope that makes sense and can help somebody.

  2. Hi,
    Shame I can’t control+v to quickly paste in text.
    The ride in my sprinter 313 2002 is rubbish on the pot holed lanes around here, so modifying the rear suspension. A previous owner fitted air assisted suspension on the back with 7″ air bellows which helps, but I’m going to fit 10″ bellows and single leaf springs (originally had twin leaf). I’d like to fit a weaker ARB as this is the main source of the bad ride by throwing the body around. The one fitted is 27.5mm diameter. Are all the Sprinters the same size, or can I get smaller diameter units? I may even remove it altogether if I fail to get an alternative.

    I look forward to your comments.

    1. Hi Steve,
      I have just been discussing the replacement of twin leaf springs on a 416 to make the ride less harsh, so we are on the same page. I would opt to remove the ARB totally as it often was deleted from the build on many models and it is debatable if you would actually notice any difference to the handling (Unless you had a special box body or HYMER RV conversion up top) So I would not try reducing the diameter, just remove it completley and see how you go.

      As the original owner obviously was supplementing his springs with the air suspension, he was carrying large loads and possibly he had also fitted HD dampers too. Look to identifying what is fitted here and changing these to OEM units as a minimum, or maybe something exotically adjustable if you have the cash.

      My own thought would be along your line of reasoning, to rely only on the single leaf springs. Just using the bags ‘inflated’ when needed/fully laden. It is overall ‘compliance’ of the suspension system you need for a good ride and suspension that is not supple, with hard to flex springs is not a good recipe for that. Controlled movement is the formula you are looking for.

      Also experiment with ranging the rear tyre pressures slightly below recommended, try a few different pressures, this should transfer some harshness of ride into the sidewall of the tyre and not direct it straight into the axle/spring set-up.

      Just to give you a heads up on rear ARB issue. The Mercedes SL320 Sport Coupe, ran with a rear ARB to 1996 then MB dropped it altogether to address complaints of harsh ride. The heavier SL500 and SL600 vehicles retained the bar and it was only re-introduced in 2000 for the final SL280/320 run that were equipped with ‘sport pack’ suspension (stiffer springs) So if they can junk it on their top line car to improve the ride, I am fairly convinced it would be of no detriment to do similar on the Sprinter.

      Hope that helps a little, do report back your findings as I have been questioned on this several times and it would be nice to get some feedback.

      All the best

  3. Well I’ve since discovered I have the 4T springs and ARB. I’ve now fitted single leaf springs and removed the ARB. What a difference. Its a lot smoother and far less road noise. I’ve got the existing air springs pumped up to around 40psi. There’s more body roll, but I’m not using it for racing. Well pleased with the work done so far.

    1. Hi Steve,
      I thought it sounded as if you had the 4T set up because the 27mm bushes were for that model in the catalogue. It seems the previous owner was hauling heavy weight. no you have it back to stock you at least have a base line from which to work.
      All the best

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