I.L. Motorsport

NC Sway Bar Replacement Procedure

by John Borst


A text-based guide for upgrading your NC's sway bars.

Basic Steps :

The following steps should be completed after removing both front wheels and placing car jacks underneath the front end. This will allow the front hubs/rotors to hang free. There is no need to remove any of the front end splash pans if you follow this procedure.

Steps followed:

1. Open the hood and place shop light shining down over sway bar area (now you can clearly see what you're doing through the wheel wells!!)
2. Remove ABS wire sensor brackets, both sides (12mm)
3. Remove passenger side upper end link nut from sway bar (14mm); push arm/bolt through sway bar hole
4. Remove passenger side sway bar clamp from frame (14mm)
5. Remove passenger side sway bar clamp and bushing from sway bar with hands
6. Remove driver's side upper end link nut (14mm); push arm/bolt through sway bar hole
7. Remove driver's side sway bar to frame clamp (14mm)
8. Remove driver's side sway bar clamp from sway bar with hands
9. From driver's side, work sway out by rotating the bar clockwise so the "U" is upside down. You will have to raise the passenger side of the sway. It would be helpful to have a second pair of hands on the other side while you do this.
10. Work driver's side of the sway over the steering shaft where it meets the hub (back side of shaft); then pop it over to the front side of the shaft. (Note: You might find it helpful to turn the steering wheel a bit to make this step easier)
11. Lastly, from the driver's side, angle the passenger side of the sway up and pull it out
12. The rear is a two minute job... no need to raise the rear. In fact, you can do it while the front was still on jacks

Installation Procedure :

The installation procedure is pretty much the reverse of the removal procedure with the exception of the following:

First, thread the new bar in from the driver's side until it is generally in place. Next, you'll need to check to see if your bushings need to be trimmed. To do this, install the sway bar to the frame using the new bushings (supplied with your new sway bar kit) and "U" clamps, but do not install the bar to the end links just yet. Once the sway bar is mounted to the car frame (via the two "U" clamps), grab the end of the bar and see if you can rotate the end up and down by hand. There will be resistance, but you should be able to move it up and down with a moderate amount of effort. If you can not, you'll need to remove some material from the flat side of both bushings (From the side that mounts flush to the car frame - not from the inside wall of the bushing hole). Use a file or Dremel tool to remove the excess bushing material as required. If you do not remove this excess material, your bar will bind (and possible snap under load). This will also cause excessive stress on the frame mount and may lead to failure. Additionally, the ride will suffer (it will also be overly stiff) as the sway bar is unable to do its job -- which is to transfer force from one wheel to the other as designed. Generally speaking, the bushings will be the proper size right out of the box, but many have reported that they are not. Therefore, you should do this check first.

Once you've determined that the bushings are sized correctly as is (or trimmed to the correct size), go forth and complete the installation. Be sure that the inside of the bushings are well greased (with the grease provided in sway kit). Be sure that the split in the bushing is facing towards the ground (should the split not be in the flat face of the bushing, but rather on the curved surface) when installing the sway bushings inside the "U" clamps,. This allows moisture, if any, to drain out.

Back to the Garage

2 July, 2007

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