Subaru Forester 2018 Swaybar End Links

Jun 4, 2003
My wife got a 2018 Subie Forester a couple years ago and while she likes the car overall, she's disappointed with its handling. Way too much body roll, like a 1960s Cadillac. We have a 2004 Forester that still runs great, and its suspension is much tighter. Subaru definitely softened the suspensions over the years.

I figured the first step would be to replace the rear sway bar, and I finally got around to that. OEM is 16mm diameter, replaced it with a 19mm, should have about twice the rate and is a Subaru OEM replacement part. Well those end links were TERRIBLE! The nuts were corroded in place, removing the nut would shear the bolt. This car is only 2 years old, garaged, with only 6,000 miles, not driven on salted roads. I've worked on 20+ year old cars with 6 figures of mileage whose suspension parts were in better shape than those end link bolts.

Anyway, instead of detaching the end links from the swaybar, I unbolted the lower end link attachments and removed the entire bar + end links. Once removed from the car, soaked the end link bots/nuts in liquid wrench, and worked the nut back and forth, gradually chasing the threads back and forth, cleaning and applying more liquid wrench, until it came off clean. Completed the job, and the end link bolts/nuts are now rust-free. Another year or two and this would have been impossible.

I saw some YouTube videos where people hacksaw or torch the end links so this may be "normal" for Subarus. And a warning for others...

PS: excellent results! For the price (about $100) it's a noticeable improvement in handling.
Last edited:
Sep 23, 2006
757 Virginia, USA
Many newer asian vehicles use cone lock nuts on their OEM swaybar links. I replaced all four links on my wife's Honda and had to grind and saw off 6 of the 8 nuts which had no rust on them whatsoever. Removing the other two lock nuts resulted in stripping the threads off the swaybar link studs!

The non-reusable cone lock nuts have deformable threads that serve to lock the nut onto the stud like a permanent fastener.

Cone Lock nuts

I replaced them with Moog swaybar links which came with conventional nylon insert lock nuts.