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HOW TO: Front Sway bar install.. Evo 8/9

 
Old Aug 23, 2011, 09:44 AM
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HOW TO: Front Sway bar install.. Evo 8/9

I had been dreading doing this install.. but after reading Fuelers write up i gave it a go.
going to copy and paste his response.. then edit the few things i noticed.

Originally Posted by fueler11 View Post
I just did the front bar on my IX and can offer some help.
1. Take off the belly pan
2. Remove down pipe and support the rest of the exhaust
3. Remove the bolt at the front of the valve cover that holds the power steering pressure hose down, and slide the return hose out of it's bracket on the fender well. When you lower the crossmember you will need the slack on both lines that this will provide.
4. Remove the support that goes forward/back that has the front motor mount on it too. The one that stops the engine from torqueing forward to back. Then remove only the bolt and nut from the mount behind the engine that is almost directly above the crossmember. You'll need to remove the LF wheel to get access to this rear mount, and remove the RF wheel too, it will help to get the bar out of the car.
5. Get to the steering rack to column mount under the dash. I thought this was the worst part of the job, expecially if you are doing this by yourself. Remove the pinch bolt from the splined rack connection. Then turn the wheel a bit so you see the opening in the splines. A better explanation is turn it so that if the bolt wasn't removed, it would be 90 degrees to you. You will see a small round divot on the rack, it is in perfect alignment with the slotted female column mount. It eliminates the need to mark it with a felt pen is all I'm trying to say, a little time saved.
6. Now loosen the 2 rear bolts and the 2 front nuts that hold the crossmember up. I couldn't find another way to do this, other than lower the crossmember and have somebody wiggle and lift up on that connection, while the crossmember was being carefully lowered by a 2nd person. I did this by myself on a lift. Lowered the member a little bit, climbed a ladder (my car was on a lift) and reach in to wiggle, lift up on that rack connection. Good news is that the male to female splined connection is loose with the bolt out. With 2 people you can do this much easier. All the person inside the cabin has to do is keep things in alignment, wiggle that rack connection a bit, as the person below lowers the crossmember very slowly. Installation on this is just the opposite. There is an upper splined connection on the column that makes it look like you can move a spring clamp up the column, and then compress that splined area to move the shaft up and away from the rack, all without doing anything with the crossmember below. I wasted a lot of time trying to do it that way, can't be done as far as I know. You have to deal directly with the column to rack male/female splined connection and that pinch bolt.
7. Have all crossmember bolts out, and the end links disconnected from the bar too. With 2 people you'll have lowered the crossmember a couple inches. Enough to get the rack loose from that splined connection, but not enough to get the bar down enough to get to the sway bar brackets. I found I should have just lowered the crossmember almost all the way, to gain a bit easier access to the sway bar brackets. So I recommend lowering that crossmember straight down as much as possible. The front studs from the frame rail will help some with this. All the while, grab and feel for play in both the PS hoses, lower the crossmember enough so you still have a bit of play. When you get there, the bar brackets should be easy to get to, and once out the bar will have enough room to be removed from the car with minimal hassle.
8. When installing the bar, pay attention to the center area of the bar where is makes close contact with the crossmember, more importantly there is a metal pipe with a black protective sheathing on it about the diameter of a pencil. I believe this is PS rack intermediate pipe. Bend it and it's support up a bit to gain just a little clearence is all you need.
9. Don't put somebody in charge of that floor jack that thinks it would be fun to rotate the handle and see what happens. My helper did that, all weight of the crossmember was on the PS lines for a very short time until I climbed down the ladder to reposition it like I had it perfectly set up just seconds before. Good news is I had that crossmember pretty far down already, so the lines were taught but no too tight so the extra weight wasn't too sudden, and I don't have any leaks. Like I said earlier, you can lower the rack by yourself, but it's much easier to have a 2nd person on installation help you raise the crossmember, and you in the car aligning the male/female rack connection.

My edits-
I just did the front bar on my IX and can offer some help.
1. Take off the belly pan
2. Remove down pipe and support the rest of the exhaust
3. Remove the bolt at the front of the valve cover that holds the power steering pressure hose down, and slide the return hose out of it's bracket on the fender well. When you lower the crossmember you will need the slack on both lines that this will provide.
4. Remove the support that goes forward/back that has the front motor mount on it too. The one that stops the engine from torqueing forward to back. Then remove only the bolt and nut from the mount behind the engine that is almost directly above the crossmember. You'll need to remove the LF wheel to get access to this rear mount, and remove the RF wheel too, it will help to get the bar out of the car.
5. Get to the steering rack to column mount under the dash. I thought this was the worst part of the job, expecially if you are doing this by yourself. Remove the pinch bolt from the splined rack connection. Then turn the wheel a bit so you see the opening in the splines. A better explanation is turn it so that if the bolt wasn't removed, it would be 90 degrees to you. You will see a small round divot on the rack, it is in perfect alignment with the slotted female column mount. It eliminates the need to mark it with a felt pen is all I'm trying to say, a little time saved.
I saw the divot he was talking about. didnt see where it should have gone. my car has been aligned a few times.. if i were to put that divot in the middle, my steering wheel woudl have been jacked. so i would still recommend using a pen or marker and marking where yours was before you started.
also, when down there, there is a pinch clamp about 8" up the rod towards the steering wheel. when you pinch that clamp, the whole knuckle/rod assembly will sink in towards the steering wheel. pinch the clamp and move the knuckle up it and out of the way once its been marked.

6. Now loosen the 4 rear bolts and the 2 front nuts that hold the crossmember up. make sure you have a jack holding the cross member in place as it will come crashing down if you dont.
7. Have all crossmember bolts out, and the end links disconnected from the bar too. I found I should have just lowered the crossmember almost all the way, to gain a bit easier access to the sway bar brackets. So I recommend lowering that crossmember straight down as much as possible. The front studs from the frame rail will help some with this. All the while, grab and feel for play in both the PS hoses, lower the crossmember enough so you still have a bit of play. When you get there, the bar brackets should be easy to get to, and once out the bar will have enough room to be removed from the car with minimal hassle.
8. When installing the bar, pay attention to the center area of the bar where is makes close contact with the crossmember, more importantly there is a metal pipe with a black protective sheathing on it about the diameter of a pencil. I believe this is PS rack intermediate pipe. Bend it and it's support up a bit to gain just a little clearence is all you need.
9. Don't put somebody in charge of that floor jack that thinks it would be fun to rotate the handle and see what happens. My helper did that, all weight of the crossmember was on the PS lines for a very short time until I climbed down the ladder to reposition it like I had it perfectly set up just seconds before. Good news is I had that crossmember pretty far down already, so the lines were taught but no too tight so the extra weight wasn't too sudden, and I don't have any leaks.

with the steering rack connector rod choked up inside of itself, just put the cross member back in place without worrying if its lined up with the splines inside. bolt it back in, get it tightened down. then go into the car, pinch the clamp again and telescope the steering rod back down to the rack. line your original marks back up and tighten the 12mm bolt.


Honestly this was MUCH easier than i had anticipated. i figured i would fight it for a few days. took 4 hours or so start to finish, with me slacking half the time and taking my time.

other things i would upgrade while in there- (but didnt because i didnt know)
Steering precision kit
front motor mount (blox or some other sort)
steering rack mounts


let me know if you guys have questions on anything.
ps, thanks for the initial write up Fueler! it helped a ton!
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Old Aug 23, 2011, 09:47 AM
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ps.
take off both wheels to start. easier to loosen the wheels when car is on the ground!
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Old Sep 1, 2011, 06:27 AM
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anyone know if Evo 4-6 is the same amount of difficulty? any pointers would be nice!
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 09:59 PM
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bump for new sway thread.
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Outlanded View Post
anyone know if Evo 4-6 is the same amount of difficulty? any pointers would be nice!
pretty much the same
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 12:20 PM
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Crud! The dealer won't install my swaybar. I have to go to a friend to do it. I do have a question, when doing the work on the steering, is it possible for the airbag to go off? That was one of his concerns and the other one was that I might have to get it realigned. I have the 2009 Ralliart.

This is the instuctions I am planning to give him.
https://www.evolutionm.net/forums/ev...evo-8-9-a.html
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Old Jan 22, 2012, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Fuego View Post
Crud! The dealer won't install my swaybar. I have to go to a friend to do it. I do have a question, when doing the work on the steering, is it possible for the airbag to go off? That was one of his concerns and the other one was that I might have to get it realigned. I have the 2009 Ralliart.

This is the instuctions I am planning to give him.
https://www.evolutionm.net/forums/ev...evo-8-9-a.html

I wouldnt worry about the airbag going off, I dont see how it would go off accidentally just by loosening up the rack. I installed my tanabe front swaybar without removing the tie rod ends. Even if you take them off so long as you dont try to adjust them you should be fine.
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Old Jan 23, 2012, 03:55 PM
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This install doesn't seem as bad as I thought, but I still dread it.
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Old Apr 9, 2012, 09:17 PM
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Just did this install and it really isnt that bad! Steering rack is the only bad thing. which if its on a lift would make it ten times better. Still stupid though how you have to do all that just for a sway bar install
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Old Apr 9, 2012, 09:46 PM
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steering rack doesn't even need to come off. I took out my stock and put a 24mm whiteline back in without touching a steering rack or tie rods. The key is a good sized pry bar and another set of hands to help you.

If you are firm and careful you have enough room once you take off all the bolts to the cradle to do some prying on the cradle itself to get the old bar out, and the new bar in. Just make sure you put the new bar in EXACTLY reverse of how you took the old bar out. Literally you could do this in 1.5-2 hours and not really break a sweat. I've done 2 of them already.
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 05:21 PM
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ya i just pulled mine down further to make it easier on myself. But no one should be scared to do this thats for sure
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Old Jul 2, 2012, 10:46 AM
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Is it possible to remove the mounts on the swaybar without dropping the subframe? I had a new fsb put in with my new trans but the mounts are squeaky and I want to grease them. I checked them out with the wheels off and the front look decently reachable, but the back I could barely get my fingers on. I just want to loosen them up so I can grease the crap out of the bushings. Does anyone know if this is possible?
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Old Jul 22, 2012, 10:03 AM
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For some reson this front bar seems like so much work... it may be better to do this and the steering rack buchings at the same time?
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Old Sep 19, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bxracer1 View Post
steering rack doesn't even need to come off. I took out my stock and put a 24mm whiteline back in without touching a steering rack or tie rods. The key is a good sized pry bar and another set of hands to help you.

If you are firm and careful you have enough room once you take off all the bolts to the cradle to do some prying on the cradle itself to get the old bar out, and the new bar in. Just make sure you put the new bar in EXACTLY reverse of how you took the old bar out. Literally you could do this in 1.5-2 hours and not really break a sweat. I've done 2 of them already.
+1 on not having to disconnect ANYTHING involving the steering rack or tie rod ends. I also made a point of R&Ring my front bar without using any pry bars (although I have a full complement of cheap ones, thanks Harbor Freight! ) and I did it alone, without a helper, crawling around under the car in my garage... not up on a lift.

I put up my step-by-step instructions here: https://www.evolutionm.net/forums/ev...l#post10963330
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