Removal & Installation
This vehicle uses a Watts link assembly which serves the same purpose as a track bar. That is, it is used to control rear axle lateral movement and provides cross-car location of the axle. Unlike a track bar, the Watts link assembly offers more consistent handling and stability at varying suspension heights, either lightly loaded or fully laden. As the suspension lowers or raises, the Watts link assembly compensates by rotating the bell crank in the desired direction. This rotation simulates shortening or lengthening of the links. Since there is one link on each side, the change affects each side of the suspension evenly.
- Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle.
If the lower Watts link is being removed, perform the following first, otherwise proceed to the next step.
Remove the nut securing the bell crank pivot bolt in the center of the axle
- Remove the nut securing the ball joint to the bell crank.
- Install the Remover, Special Tool MB991113, on the link ball joint at the bell crank and release ball joint from the bell crank.
- Remove the bolt securing the link to the bracket on the body of the vehicle. Remove the link.
- Making sure the ball joint end is positioned properly for mounting to the bell crank, install the link into the bracket on the body of the vehicle.
Install the bolt (and flag nut for upper link) securing the link to the bracket, but do not fully tighten it at this time. It must be tightened when the vehicle is at curb height.
NOTEThe upper link extends from the right side of the vehicle to the upper end of the bell crank while the lower link extends from the left side of the vehicle to the lower end of the bell crank.
- Install the upper or lower link to the bell crank. Install the nut on the ball joint stud and tighten it to a torque of 10 ft. lbs. (14 Nm) plus an additional 180°.
If the lower link is the link being installed, perform the following, otherwise proceed to the next step.
CAUTIONAlthough both ends of the bell crank appear to be the same, they are not. When installing the Watts links or bell crank, make sure the bell crank is properly positioned. When mounted properly, the words -BACK UP- should be able to be read from the rear over the top of the axle.
Slide the bell crank pivot bolt all the way through the axle
- Verify the words -BACK UP- can be read on the bell crank from the rear over the top of the axle. If they cannot be read at this position, the link or bell crank is not installed properly and must be removed and reinstalled so that the words -BACK UP- can be read on the upper rear of the bell crank once installed.
- Lower the vehicle to the ground.
- Place the vehicle on an alignment rack or drive-on hoist.
- With the suspension at curb height, tighten the link mounting bolt at the body bracket to a torque of 68 ft. lbs. (92 Nm).