Sway Bar Removal & Installation
[BSD – 99/2/4] Here is the how-to on sway bar removal and install. Reading this will probably save you from 10 minutes to 30 minutes (of say 1.5 hours) depending on your situation.
Rear Sway Bar removal/install
Start by supporting the rear of the car on jack stands as high as you safely can. More room is better.
You will need a 17mm open end wrench and a 6mm allen wrench, in addition to a 12mm socket and a probably a 4" extension for your ratchet.
Do the harder part first, and that is to take off the nuts that hold the ends of the sway bars to the "drop links". Drop links connect the sway bar ends to the lower A-arm. Use liberal amounts of loosening fluid (such as WD-40) on the threads and the nut. Do both sides now. Break the 17mm nut loose. It should be fairly tight. Try to remove it. After a twist or so, you should see the threads twisting with the nut – not getting looser. Use the allen wrench to hold the threads while using the wrench to loosen the nut. Remove the nut completely. Repeat for the other side.
Then, there are 4 12mm bolts holding the sway bar up to the car. Remove these guys which should be straight forward. The sway bar comes straight down at this time. Install is the reverse of the removal, except I would put each nut and bolt in a few turns before tightening anything. And, keep an eye on the bracket that holds the sway bar up to the car. The bracket is shaped and fits inside a shaped opening. There is a small chance that if the bracket is off-set it will not seat fully.
Front Sway Bar removal/install
This is much the same as the rears. Except the allen wrench needs to be 5.5mm. And, except that the sway bar is actually mounted *above* the battery-and-spare-tire-holder. I was unable to remove my bar without removing the spare tire, battery and then the bracket that holds this stuff – even though I tried. Don’t try and save yourself a few mintues. 🙂
To remove the spare tire, raise hood, remove bolt holding tire in (is hand turnable), remove spare tire. Use 10mm socket to remove nuts holding spare tire vertical bracket and resting cup for tire from bottom bracket. Use 10mm deep socket to loosen battery tie down nuts (on long threaded shafts to side of battery). Remove this bracket by twisting shafts until hook at far end is free. Use 10mm socket to loosen battery cables. Loosen negative first. Remove battery and plasic battery box. From bottom of car, use 12mm and 10mm to loosen and remove 7 bolts holding battery support bracket to bottom of car.
From here, you can use WD-40 or whatever to loosen threads (actually, do this first so it can soak). Remove 17mm nuts, then 12mm bolts and sway bar comes on down.
Try to clean the threads that the 17mm bolt connects to. One of my nuts (front) got lots of crud imbedded in the nylon inserts and was a royal pain to get off. Further, putting the nuts back on caused more binding and I eventually had to take a drop link out and clean the threads and nuts. This is the part that took another 30 mintues or so.