123 and 126 Chassis Front Torsion Bar Failure

Alert! Check yours before experiencing a dangerous suspension failure

This problem is becoming increasingly more common as these cars age. If the torsion bar breaks at high speed it can be very dangerous! All the failures I have seen so far have been on rusty cars (those cars from the midwest and east where they salt the roads). That is not to say it cannot happen on a non-rusty front end. If you have not inspected your front end recently, my recommendation is that you do so immediately. If the ends of the torsion bar at the top of your front suspension show signs of rust or wear due to loose rubber bushings - then take it into a good front end shop and have them remove the torsion bar from the upper control arm and inspect it carefully.

Problem & Solution

Common among these chassis:


Note how the end just snapped off the spring steel bar. That leaves your front end loose and sloppy at the top.


1. Replace the sway bar. A new bar is about $400 and labor to install one is around 20 hours!  It is a tough and not fun job. Imagine what that would cost at your local repair shop?

2. Repair the end of the bar. Someone has very cleverly designed a high strength fitting to go on over the end of the existing bar.  This will save you over a $1000! The broken bar is cut back a small amount, the new fitting is slid on over the old bar and tack welded in place.  


Related work:  While you are in there you will most likely want to replace the upper control arms and outer control arm rubber bushings.  Use Miracle Paint to coat all rusty areas to slow down and prevent further rust damage.