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Old 05-21-2012, 11:41 PM   #1
03Sleepr
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How to: Install your new sway bars!

First off, I'm not a professional mechanic but I hope I was thorough enough for any novice mechanic to be able to do this. if not, feel free to PM me or ask in comments.

If I did something the hard way/stupid way. correct me.

List of things you will will need:
Jack, using two is preferred for lowering subframe.
Jack stands (4)

4-way.
3/8 ratchet
2" extension
15mm deep socket
1/2 inch socket
18mm socket
13/16 socket
3/8 open end wrench
Seems like I used more than this?

sway bars, bushings, grease that came with them.

Power tools are a God-send.

Time.

First, Break lugs loose(don't remove) and jack up your car and place SECURELY on jack stands ( I had 4, if you only have two then alternate between front and rear and be sure to BLOCK YOUR WHEELS) remove wheels.


Note: since I was cheap while installing struts and spring I now have to change strut mounts, so I had strut assemblies removed during this process.

Rear, this is by far the easier bar to install

first, remove your end links from both sides (15mm)


next are the two inside mounts, 1 bolt each 15mm.
.

now you can remove your rear bar and replace with your new bar/bushings starting with the inside mounts. for the two mounts you have to slide the tab on top into the slot then bolt it down. replace end links, DONE.

now for the "FUN" bar.
looking at the drivers side A-arm
you will need two ratchets or wrenches both 1/2" to remove this bushing.


now time to lower the subframe. place your jack under one section and put pressure on the subframe, but not enough to raise the car off of the jack stands, remove these four 15mm bolts (2 on each side)



these two (only one pictured), side by side behind trans fluid pan (LA1)
15mm deep socket+extension IIRC



this bolt, just behind the previous two, backside, center of the subframe. 15mm


another (this one is nice to have an air ratchet as its the longest effing bolt I've seen in my life) holds the backside of the A-arm. another 22mm I believe.



now you can probably lower the rear of the subframe enough to remove the sway bar mounts, but you probably can't remove the bar.

moving to the front of the subframe

this bolt is a 13/16" there are two of these, one on either side. remove them.



three in the front/center unpictured, 18mm.

you can now lower the subframe enough to get the bar out, but first you need to undo the mounts.

from here you can see the bolt for the drivers side mount, 15mm same design as the rear but now the bolt is on the backside, tab on the front. (its nice to have a ratchet with an extendable handle here).



now time for the passenger side mount. the nut on top is a 3/8" remove it then move the lines out of your way and use your 15mm deep socket on the bottom.



now remove the bracket and bushing from the bar and you will be able to pull it out from the rear of the subframe.



put your bushing on the new bar and push it back on top of the subframe.



now position your bushings correctly



grease your brackets and push them over the bushings, be sure to slide the front tab in the slot. bolt both sides down and bolt your subframe back up.


now replace the bushings on both ends



put everthing back together and go drive!

If I left anything out feel free to add info.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:18 AM   #2
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+1 Rep...Amazing How-to.. you'll be saving a lot of people money!
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:08 AM   #3
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im jealous of that rust free looking car...
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:24 AM   #4
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I give you rep just for taking the time to do this.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:34 AM   #5
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Repped!
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:20 PM   #6
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wow thanks guys lol, I didnt think it was that great.. I guess I'll have to make more of these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a.graham52 View Post
im jealous of that rust free looking car...

it spent most of its life in New Mexico, since being is KS for two years its getting worse, I may por-15 the underside sometime this year.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:46 PM   #7
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It's not overly complex, it's just a pain.
Kudos for DIY'ing this job.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03Sleepr View Post


it spent most of its life in New Mexico, since being is KS for two years its getting worse, I may por-15 the underside sometime this year.

my old LD9 alero came from new mex and it was 100% spottless... now a dumbass female is beating the shit out of it.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:51 PM   #9
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When you remove the front subframe bolts, what is holding it up? Do you only need jacks at the back of the subframe? Does the engine lower with the subframe?
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmike View Post
When you remove the front subframe bolts, what is holding it up? Do you only need jacks at the back of the subframe? Does the engine lower with the subframe?

you still have engine mounts holding the engine, it will move but shouldn't fall. I had one jack on the rear and one on the front. you don't have to lower it much, 3-4 inches will suffice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a.graham52 View Post
my old LD9 alero came from new mex and it was 100% spottless... now a dumbass female is beating the shit out of it.
that sucks, cars in NM are always in great shape its always nice to go back and see all the rust free classics..
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:41 PM   #11
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good write-up
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yeah right!
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:32 PM   #12
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They sun fade in NM like a mother though
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:19 AM   #13
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also good to note.. if you do unbolt the cradle and lower it... you maybe effect your alignment angles a little. if it were me giving professional opinion id say you need an alignment afterwords.
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:59 PM   #14
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I'm glad you have the LA1 it'll make more sense now
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:16 PM   #15
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You misinformed on the 22mm bolt, it is a 21mm. Great write-up, doing this now and taking a video.
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:26 PM   #16
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Lol! You got first post smoked
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:33 PM   #17
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So I got the subframe down, now having trouble with the sway bar mounts. The passenger side one keeps spinning so I can't take the nut off. The bolt underneath isnt where the hole is on the subframe, so I can't just stick a socket in....

I also was able to get the subframe low enough without taking apart the suspension at all (e.g. knuckle bolts, tie rods, sway bar end links). I loosened the forward mount bolts and subframe bolts, and took out all the rear ones.

With all due respect, I a 21mm socket for those 2 forward subframe bolts as well and the nut on top of the passenger sway bar mount bolt is 10mm. I know this because I used a open ended wrench, the 3/8 didn't fit.

Last edited by PJGrandAm : 05-28-2012 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:49 PM   #18
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Ha, GM Engineers tricked me. More like I had a derp moment, the bolt is double threaded like Darth Maul's Lightsaber. This caused me to think the bolt wasn't unthreading because the top thread was moving with the bolt head. I missed my coffee this morning I think.
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Last edited by PJGrandAm : 05-27-2012 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:52 PM   #19
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I cannot for the life of me figure out how to take out the old endlinks.... Anyone have any info/ideas?
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:53 PM   #20
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So was there any modifying to the bushing to be done? I cant even get the bar mounts to screw in, the bushing is too big....

EDIT: So I was looking at the OP's pic of the bushing mount, mine is all crooked on both sides. I'm afraid I put the bar in upside down or maybe I just have to tilt it a different way, still messing with it.

EDIT2: I have decided that my bars don't fit... Does anyone have any pictures of their bars? The part where my bushings go isn't perpendicular to the center-line of my vehicle like the stock bar. This causes my mount to angle outwards from the car...

Here is a picture of the bar next to a straight bar, the part where the bar mounts is at the end of the red bar. (I moved the bushing for comparison purposes)
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File Type: jpg Sway bar diagram thingy.jpg (108.1 KB, 324 views)

Last edited by PJGrandAm : 05-28-2012 at 12:37 AM. Reason: Added more info
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