I’m working on an 03 Camry trying to replace the sway bar end links.

The Allen key hole stripped and I’m having trouble removing the bottom nut. The top one was easier due to all the space I have.

The control arm, axle, and tie rod make for tight space so I can’t get my bulky electric impact in there.

I’ve tried using vice grips behind the nut clamped under the boot but I can’t get the nut to move with hand tools without the shaft eventually spinning on the vice grips.

Any suggestions? Also is there a procedure to make accessing the bottom nuts easier like removing both top nuts allowing me to move the entire sway bar in certain directions?

I thought about cutting them off but my 4.5” angle grinder seems too big to cut precisely in the space. If I picked up a Dremel would it get the job done?

  • If you are going to replace them, don't be afraid to cut them ... a Dremel will do the job, it will just take a lot longer than using a 4.5" angle grinder. You might also try something like a Sawzall if you have something like that. end links are usually pretty cheap, though the ones for your Camry are a little more expensive than most. Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 14:31
  • a mechanical nut splitter is also a good method...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 14:33
  • Yeah I’m replacing them. I just can’t find enough room to cut them with the grinder or sawzal. The bottom nut is between control arm, tie rod, and axle. Any suggestions on a dremel that would cut through it pretty well?
    – ohmmy
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 14:33
  • @SolarMike could you elaborate on that? Never heard of those
    – ohmmy
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 14:34

2 Answers 2


As some have not heard of mechanical nut splitters, here is an image:

enter image description here

Can be very effective in some tight spaces.

  • This might work. Any recommendation on brand or where to get them? Locally I’m near and Advanced auto, Lowe’s, and Home Depot
    – ohmmy
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 15:17
  • Not a clue, I would be going to Snap-on, Facom or quality tool shops, Pfefferli etc
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 15:20

What I have found to work is to knock the casing off the end of the bolt were the joint is & just bang it or pry it out.This will allow for a good grip with a beefy vise-grip. p.s. This is very common though I dont think so much with Toyota. I would suggest trying to go for a slow start on these in the future I've found them to come right off.

  • With hand tools? My impact doesn’t get in there on the bottom bolts so makes it hard to start turning in the position they’re in
    – ohmmy
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 19:54
  • I literally used a hammer to hit the bar close to the joint & knock the boot off . my answer is addressing what you said "I can’t get the nut to move with hand tools without the shaft eventually spinning on the vice grips" so this would enable a better grip so it doesn't slip. I dont have suggestion for accessibility for impact
    – precise
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 20:07

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