Along with the sway bar links there was an EGR valve in that box of parts that arrived a couple weeks ago. This weekend that valve was replaced.
Again I hit the YouTube auto manual before doing the job in order to size up exactly what would be needed. Ouch! That does not look fun. Indeed the videos made it look like a real knuckle buster to get out.
In one video the mechanic has to pound away with a mallet and breaks a 10mm socket in the process of removing the valve body bolts.
An exhaust gas re-circulation valve (EGR) allows the engine control to mix, injecting oxygen poor gas back into the intake to control the oxygen going to the cylinders. Because it moves exhaust gas the valve eventually gets plugged up with soot and other combustion byproducts.
My experience was somewhat easier. I did need to remove the entire intake manifold and throttle body to get access. But once I had room, things came apart fairly easily, no broken sockets.
It was one of those annoying jobs of putting bolts in blind and having to crank away one click of the ratchet at a time, just frustrating, not really hard in the limited space available.
Job done, one more broken thing fixed. Two hours to complete saving $400 in mechanic fees. The vehicle is in good shape for the moment, I do need to think about an oil change in the near future. Time to return my attention to the house.