Written by Daniel Ford of San Carlos, Ca
There are many types of aftermarket braces you can buy for your pony,
and all that I have seen have been pretty reasonably priced. I actually
bought a package deal from Steeda, which ran me about $250 for the Tubular
front swaybar, and fully adjustable rear swaybar.
The front swaybar
is made of 4130 Chrome-Moly, and extremely strong. I prefer a very stiff
front end, but thats just my style of driving. The front on its
own retails for $174.95 from Steeda, part number 555-1094. Steedas
rear swaybar is fully adjustable to meet your driving style and needs.
The pricing on this piece by itself is $99.95, part number 006-470.You
can tighten or loosen the bushing mount assembly to make more understeer,
or oversteer, specifically to create a perfect balance between your already
existent components, and further improve upon them.
Lets prep the install, and remember, each bar should take you approximately
2 hours to install, unless you are use to this, I think if I did it again,
I would be able to cut the time in half. This upgrade will improve cornering
dramatically, and reduce wheelhop (rear swaybar) when in tight corners.
In conjunction with a nice 4130 Chrome-Moly Strut Tower Brace, your Mustang
wont dive anymore when you enter those hard city corners with the
drainage grates. This will increase the life of your drivers rear
tire, being that those are mostly right hand turns. For this operation
youll need multiple socket wrenches, and some high temperature silicone
bushing grease. Oh and after you do this upgrade, youll need an
alignment, so if you dont want to do that, dont do this. Lets
hit the garage.
1. First things first.
If you have a lowered Mustang like I do, (I refused to SLAM mine because
of the speedbump issue) youll need ramps to get a jack under there,
and honestly, I trust factory jacks like I trust serial killers. Just
remember, if you drive all the way up the ramp, the jack wont extend
tall enough to lift the tires off the ramps, so just go about half way
up. I like to place my jack and stands on the A shaped piece
in front of the Exhaust piping. Then, remove the tires.
2. With the tires off you should get a clear picture of what youll
need to do. Here, my friend John points to our stock cast iron behemoth,
While my brother Zack sits and reveals in the grease that is about to
fly. I have to mention it was Zacks 22nd birthday when we did this,
so Happy Birthday Zack! Back to the issue, youll need to brace the
suspension on both sides directly under where you are working because
if the suspension drops, and this is VERY crucial, it will make it very
hard to reassemble the pivot mounting, and if the suspension on either
side drops too far, it will cause irreparable damage to your alignment.
We used our floor jack on one side, raising it up to meet the suspension,
but not push it up, and on the other side used one of our ramps and a
piece of wood, the important part here is not the method, but the end
3. On removing the factory bar, I decided to start by unbolting the Pivot
mountings. Youll need two sets of socket wrenches for this, and
a monkey or crescent wrench. The wrench holds in the middle of the pivot
mounting, youll find a round rod with a flattened section
in the middle, and a bolt on the top and bottom. Hold the wrench and bottom
and take the top of the assembly off. CAREFULLY take off the rubber bushings,
and put it somewhere safe. The key here is NOT TO HURT THE BUSHINGS! This
is where the grease is used, also later. I had four extra hands for this,
my brother in the middle, holding the bar, and John doing some wrenching
while I held the pivot mountings in place.
4. Now move to the other side, and repeat the process. When finished with
those two, start to unbolt the A shaped mounts that attach
the bar to the frame. These are two simple bolts, the only problem is
access, unless you have a nice big extension piece. Unbolt these and the
bar will drop away from the frame. Heres the hardest part of the
whole procedure. There is this crazy mud flap you can easily see in the
pictures that goes around the bar. I wouldnt remove this flap, (as
tempting as it is) because this is what keeps all that dirt and grime
from your crank and pulleys. I took the time to maneuver the bar through
the small holes in the flap, but in foresight, just remove the frame mounts
now, one at a time. By this I mean unbolt one from the frame, then take
it off, while someone holds the bar. To take them off, simply get a screwdriver
and a partner, and push the pins on the U shaped piece to
remove it from the D shaped piece and the rubber mount. Now
slide the D piece off the bar on both sides and slip the bar
out through the holes in the mud flap.
5. In this picture I compared the two pieces, and the difference is eye
popping. Eight pounds lighter than the stock bar, the new one is a wonderful
shade of blue, and has a 1.375-inch diameter. Also the new bar has the
really nice stop collars that make lateral flexing reduce dramatically.
Also they prevent the bar from slipping inside the mount. Coincidentally,
the new bar matches my Bihlstein shocks and Roush Springs. So the whole
wheel well looks kinda spiffy. Now lets attack the new bar.
6. First lets maneuver the new bar in place and rest in on that dumb ol
mud flap, preferably with someone holding it in place. Now, the kit I
received came with new rubber mount bushings, I hope yours did too, and
these need to greased very well. This isnt really that crucial,
but if you dont do it, youll think you installed the whole
thing wrong, because of this weird creaking sound every time you hit a
corner or a dip in the road. So grease it up! Apply a nice layer with
your finger on the inside of the rubber mount, there should be little
nooks and crannies that the grease will sit in. I recommend also dipping
the pivot mount bushings in grease, just to make sure, and it will make
the bushings last longer.
7. There is a nice little cut in the side of the rubber mount so you can
slip it on just outside the collar, then push the D piece
up around the mount. This doesnt have to be perfect, or flush because
as you put in the U piece and bolt it back up to the frame,
it will tighten itself right into place. The bar should be able to turn
inside the mounts just slightly. Now pull the Pivot mountings to reinsert
into the bar, replace bushings, and tighten that sucker down using the
two sockets and a wrench method. The important thing here is to only tighten
down the pivot mounts to about five or six threads, and make sure you
do it even on both sides. It doesnt have to be perfect, and at this
point, the bar may look like one side sits flush and the other is angled,
this is just the suspension at two different levels, dont worry.
The bushings should have been greased with the same grease as the frame
mounts, and tightened down till there is a small distortion in the bushings
(5-6 threads). Now, put those tires back on and do a little dance, cause
thats about it.
Note: We'll post the rear bar install soon.
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