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Sway Bar Upgrade How-To

swaybar suspension mk1

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#1 Fuze

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 10:14 AM

This is a pretty simple upgrade that is easy to overlook, but really pays off in the way the car handles. I have D2 coilovers, front and rear strut braces, and the sways were showing their weakness. In a nushell, sway bars tie the right and left control arms together and resist them moving too independently of each other. The result is the car stays flatter. I picked up a set of MK1 sways from a member here and did the upgrade. Here's some tips.

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As you can see, the MK1 bar is a thicker, heavier bar. They are powdercoted red and include new pivot bushings. These busings must be used because the newer bar is thicker, and the stock size bushings don't fit the fatter bars, which are 25mm and 21mm.

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I don't have access to a lift and don't exactly LIKE working under the car on jackstands. I will if I have to, but in this case ramps are fine. As long as the wheels are level, there is no tension on the sway bar. You don't even have to pull the wheels off, but obviously there are a few ways to do this. This way worked for me and I'm 6'3.

FRONT: Once you are under the car, you'll see the front bar is held on by six bolts: Two at the end links, and four holding the two pivot U-brackets on. Take the end link bolts out, then take out the braket bolts. Go slow, don't drop the bar on your head. ;)

REAR: The rear bar is held on by four bolts, the two end link bolts and two on each U-bracket. The rear U-brackets are a hinge type, they hook in at the bottom and bolt in at the top. You'll probably have to unbolt the rear section of the exhaust as it partially blocks access to the passenger side U-bracket bolt, at least mine did but it's a 3" MK1 system. Once you get the brackets off, the bar will fall free. Take a break and grab a beer.

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Now if you haven't upgraded the endlink bushings to urethane, might as well do it now. You can grab them at Pep Boys or Autozone, just bring an endlink bolt with you to match size. MK1 also has kits for the Starion.

Putting the new bars in is the same process in reverse. Before crawling under the car, I greased the pivot bushings and fit the front U-brackets onto the new bushings. They may need some hammer help to get them all the way on, but take the time to do it now, because if you don't it will be a pain to line up the bolts when you get under there. Don't forget the 2 smaller pieces that sit under the bushings in the brackets. In the front, the brackets are left/right so pay attention to that. I used a jackstand to hold the middle of the bar up while fitting the endlink bolts, then bolted up the pivots. Don't tighten anything down until you get all the bolts on.

In the rear, it's a different story. The hinge type U-brackets don't fit well around the slightly fatter rear sway bar bushings. Since you have to hook the hinge on first, then push it into position and thread the bolt in at the top of the bracket, it can get a little frustrating and that's an understatement! (The pivot bushings compress as the bolts are tightened.) To top it off, the stock #7 bolts are very short. What I did is put the brackets in a vice with the bolt end in the vice, and slighty bent them a little so the bolt tab would be closer to the frame, to take up some of the gap. I also scrounged up a couple of other #7 bolts which were longer, this made it a little easier but if you're a trooper you can get the stock bolts back in. ;) Grab another beer.

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Button it all up and check to make sure you tightened all the bolts down. Take a drive and slide the car a little, you'll see there's much less drama, meaning it feels like you have more control due to the reduction in body roll. The car is more controllable when sliding and flatter when cornering, and feels tighter and more solid. The point at which rear traction is broken and regained is smoother. A great combination with any lowered suspension and if you drive your car near the limit, you'll feel the difference.

Mookeeh MK1 Starion Parts Factory

Mookeeh MK1 Ebay

Edited by Fuze, 24 August 2013 - 02:07 PM.

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#2 nightwalkerancestery

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 10:45 AM

Something to add to the poly endlinks is that it can be a total B**** to get the nut on the bolt. I had to find a way to slightly compress the bushings in order to get the nut on.

- Charles
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#3 taeisallin

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 12:08 PM

good write up! well done!

now....what would happen if i bring over a case of beer? could you help me with the swap?

where are you in nj?

car looks very nice btw

tae
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#4 DurbenQuest

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 01:36 PM

lol the rear u bushing were a blast on my car.. fuze, loving the car bud.
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#5 Fuze

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 01:54 PM

View Posttaeisallin, on 15 October 2012 - 12:08 PM, said:

good write up! well done!

now....what would happen if i bring over a case of beer? could you help me with the swap?

where are you in nj?

car looks very nice btw

tae

LOL sure, I can drink the case of beer and supervise! Seriously though, PM me I'm in Morris County near Morristown. The parking space outside my apartment isn't the best place to work though :(

View PostDurbenQuest, on 15 October 2012 - 01:36 PM, said:

lol the rear u bushing were a blast on my car.. fuze, loving the car bud.

Thank you sir! Yours is a lot prettier though! Yeah I was cursing like a sailor under there trying to get those rear bushing bolts back in.

Edited by Fuze, 15 October 2012 - 02:02 PM.

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#6 IntercooledFlatty

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 01:37 PM

nice write up :D i have found that with the upgraded bars and or poly bushings it's best to get longer mounting bolts. it makes it much easier to install ;)
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#7 Lee-bo

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 09:57 AM

Does anyone know where I can get a set of uprated sway/stabiliser bars for my 1990 Starion? The ebay shop doesn't list anything, and I cant find anywhere else that stocks them. Thanks,

Lee

#8 importwarrior

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 11:33 AM

Try here. Be sure to contact them, they might no be listed on the website.

http://www.stsuspensions.com

Please read this as well.

http://www.starquest...howtopic=151289

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