How to Install a Sway Bar on a Chevy

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A sway bar, also known as a stabilizer bar, is a solid steel bar that connects the lower control arms on your Chevy to the frame. When a car drives through a turn, the weight of the vehicle shifts to the inside of the turn. If the vehicle is moving quickly through the turn, there is a potential for the wheel on the outside of the turn to be lifted off the ground. The sway bar exerts a downward force on the lower control arm on the outside wheel, keeping it on the ground. Upgrading to a thicker sway bar will help to make your Chevy more stable in turns. In addition, replacing worn bushings and isolators will help to improve your vehicle's handling.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench set
  • Measuring tape
  • Replacement bushings

Removing the Sway Bar

  • Lift the front end of the vehicle, and support it with jack stands placed underneath the frame.

  • Disconnect the sway bar from the lower control arm by removing the nuts from the end links and removing the end links.

  • Disconnect the sway bar from the frame of the vehicle by removing the nuts and bolts that secure the frame bushings.

  • Remove the sway bar from the vehicle, and remove the frame bushings from the sway bar.

  • Examine all the fasteners and rubber isolators. Replace any fasteners that are rusted or deformed. Replace any of the rubber isolators that are dried out or brittle.

Installing the Sway Bar

  • Install the frame bushings on the new sway bar and connect them loosely to the frame.

  • Install the end links on the lower control arms, placing one rubber isolator underneath the control arm and one above. Loosely install the retaining nut above the topmost isolator.

  • Slide the end links through the holes in the ends of the sway bars. Place a nut, washer and rubber isolator underneath the sway bar, and one isolator, washer and nut above the sway bar. Do not tighten.

  • Measure to see that the sway bar is centered in the frame. Adjust if necessary.

  • Tighten all fasteners, and lower the vehicle

Tips & Warnings

  • Use an anti-seize compound on the threads of all fasteners to make disassembly easier the next time you must remove the sway bar.
  • Always follow the instructions listed in the owner's manual when lifting or lowering a vehicle. Failure to do so could cause injury or death.

References

  • "Chilton's General Motors Camaro 1967-81 Repair Manual"; Chilton Book Company; 1997
  • "Haynes Chevrolet Camaro 1970 thru 1981 Automotive Repair Manual"; Scott Mauck and John H. Haynes; 1983
  • "Haynes Chevrolet & GMC Full-size Vans 1968 thru 1996 Repair Manual"; Don Pfeil and John H. Haynes; 1999
  • Photo Credit dave_7 - creativecommons.org
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