Almost two years ago I had the upgraded TPC suspension installed for our testing article at VIR. That suspension included TPC's adjustable drop links. One of the known issues about the TPC links is that they can be noisy. Mine were and despite pumping gobs of grease into the dust boots (which did quiet them some) I still had annoying clanks from the front suspension at times. I had almost grown used to it when a passenger in my car recently remarked "what's broken?". I must admit that during the winter I bought a set of Anze Suspension adjustable drop links that have sealed ends and intended to put them on my car but with sub zero temps in the garage I never got around to it. So now, with the temps in the triple digits I thought what the heck, let's get under the car and sweat and see if these new drop links make any difference.

Here is a picture of the Anze drop links, they come sealed in a bag, disassembled, and with basic instructions.

I called Angelo at Anze and asked him if it made any difference whether or not I left the car on the lift or if I used my center jack to lift the front end off the front of the lift at let the wheels hang (and removed the tires for easier access to the suspension). He said it didn't really matter for the install but that for setting the drop links that the car should be on the ground, in fact if you want to simulate the car with a driver add your weight to the drivers seat. So I decided to simply drive the car up on the lift, raise the lift up, but leave the wheels and tires on the car and access everything from underneath.

The first order of business was to get the old TPC drop links off. To do this required a 17mm socket and wrench to loosen the bottom end of the drop link first and remove it from the sway bar. If installed properly there should be no tension on the drop link when the car is at rest and the bolt should slide out. In the next picture you can see the lower end of the drop link and the sway bar end, the rusty nut was fortunately mostly surface rust.

In the following picture I have now removed the nut and pulled the bolt back through the sway bar.

The next part of the removal operation is to remove the upper bolt that not only holds the drop link in place but also tightens the suspension collar around the strut tower. If you have the car up in the air with the suspension dangling then the strut tower will want to fall downward when you remove this bolt and loosen the collar by doing so. With the car parked flat you don't have that concern. So while space might be a little tighter, you aren't fighting suspension parts. I should note that TPC uses a large (Torx-T55 / hex equivalent) headed bolt that is a bit of a pain to get on with the proper tools and get loose but I managed to do it. Conversely the Anze pieces are simpler in that there is a collar that you'll hold with one wrench and then simply use a socket and ratchet on the other end to tighten.

After removing the TPC units I placed one side by side with the new Anze unit shown here:

You might notice the main bolt had more shoulder and less threads on the Anze unit, one of my TPC units looks like the threads were a little mashed so having more shoulder may be a good thing.

At this point we simply need to reverse the process with a few minor changes. In the following picture I have attached the upper bolt and drop link head to the suspension tower. I found it best to check what size wrenches I needed for the collar and for the nut because they are different on each end and different from the combo needed to install the lower end of the drop link. I used both metric and US standard tools and chose what I believed to be the "best fit" for each bolt I was working with in the confined space I was working in. You definitely need 17mm, 3/4, 11/16 and 14mm.

The next step was that I threaded the arm into the top drop link head all the way. Then I spun the bottom drop link head on all the way. This way I had the maximum number of threads in each head. Of course at this point the overall length was too short to get the lower end to go through the hole in the sway bar. You do NOT want to just spin the lower head downward until it fits as that would mean you'd have fewer threads in the bottom. What you want to do is spin the threaded arm out of the upper head one or two turns as well as spin the lower head in the off direction from the arm one or two turns and then check to see if it fits.

Continue to do this until the bolt in the lower head slides through the hole in the sway bar with no resistance. You may need to tweak up or down a little as you fish the bolt through the sway bar. By doing this in an even fashion you should end up with the maximum amount of bolt threads in both the upper and lower drop link heads.

Once you have the bolt in the lower head through the sway bar you can tighten the washer and nut on the other side to secure the lower drop link head to the sway bar.

Now if you spin the center threaded rod one direction or the other you should feel it getting tighter. One direction will be pushing the two drop link heads apart, the other pulling them together. I went in the direction of pushing them apart, but it really wasn't more than say a 1/4 to a 1/2 turn of the rod until there was resistance.

Now it is time to tighten the lock nuts (in the above picture they are towards the center). You can spin them by hand until they reach their respective upper and lower heads and then use a 14mm wrench to tighten them snugly. It helps if you use a wrench or pliers to hold the center rod at the point where it has a flat section for doing exactly that. Once the two jam nuts are tight you are done other than checking torque values provided by Anze in their instructions. I usually re-check torque after a few days of driving just to make sure nothing is working loose.

At this point I cleaned up my tools, lowered my lift and drove the car off. I took the car for a spin over roads that I normally drive, including some rather bumpy ones and the difference was like night and day. No more clunks, no more clanks, just a quiet suspension. I should have done this a LONG time ago, but am certainly glad that I finally got around to doing it!

I highly recommend these drop links to anyone who is thinking of changing out their sway bar(s). Anze carries a full line of suspension products so be sure and contact them for any of your needs.

In all I would say this process was a 3 out of 10 on the difficulty scale, certainly much easier if you have a lift, but the alternative is to jack up the front end of your car and put it on jack stands while you work on the suspension. Under no circumstances should you jack up only 1 side of the car as that puts force on the sway bar and you won't be able to get the drop links apart. Enjoy and Stay Tuned!