DIY DIY - Front Sway Bar
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Thread: DIY - Front Sway Bar

  1. #1
    DubMeister SpeeDemon's Avatar
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    Default DIY - Front Sway Bar

    Here's my last piece of the suspension puzzle to my ride. I don't care what people think about "just having a rear sway bar is fine", this front sway kicks arz! I took it for a spin on some winding roads in my area, then hit up some straightaways. It did exactly what I thought it would. If you need more of an explanation to the reason for a front sway, PM me because this is a DIY thread. I went with H&R's 26mm sway bar. Their bushings are great because there's no maintenance involved.

    Install time: About 3 hours or less

    Tools needed:
    1- Floor Jack and a piece of wood for support
    2- Jack Stands
    3- bricks or wheel stops
    4- 6mm Triple Square bits (NOT torx!) Sourced from ECS Tuning (Schwaben - "Short Reach" Triple Square Driver Set ES#9013): http://www.ecstuning.com/stage/edpd/...category=Tools
    5- 1/2" Socket
    6- 13mm Socket
    7- 16mm Socket
    8- 18mm Socket
    9- 3/8" Socket Wrench
    10- 1/2" Socket Wrench (would be helpful more than 3/8")
    11- 1/2" Breaker Bar (for a-arm bolt removal)
    12- 3/8" Torque Wrench (A MUST!)
    13- 6" socket extender
    14- Vice Grip Pliers

    NOTE: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be careful with this install as you are going to be spending a lot of time underneath the vehicle and the subframe free at one point.

    DIY:

    1) Loosen the lug bolts on both front tires. Place bricks or wheel stops behind the rear tires. Jack up the front end of your ride on jack stands. Remove the tires.

    2) Remove Endlink bolts by inserting the 6mm Triple Square Bit into the endlink bolt. Attach the 1/2" socket to the end of it. Attach 6" extention to that, then the 3/8" Socket wrench. Use vice grips to clamp down on the nut. Now you can remove the nut from the bolt.


    3) Remove the bolts holding the sway bar bushings in place (13mm Socket)


    4) Here's a breakdown of the mm socket for each bolt. The blue dots denote bolts you do NOT need to remove. The arrows are pointing to the two Head Subframe bolts that are recessed behind the control arm (you'll need the 6" extension for these, but DO NOT remove them yet! Only loosen them)



    5) Make sure you have a jack up against this subframe with a piece of wood in between at this point.

    6) Remove all the bolts highlighted in red except for the Head Subframe bolts I told you about. You only need to loosen the Dog Bone mount retainer bolt (listed in yellow writing from step 4) and turn the bracket around so it clears the Dog Bone Mount

    7) I recommend using a 1/2" socket breaker bar for these two a-arm bolts, they're tough to loosen.


    8 ) With all the bolts removed except for the two Head Subframe Bolts, and the jack is in place holding the subframe, remove those two Head Subframe Bolts. At this point, the subframe should only be held up by the jack (with the wood in between for support).


    9) I also removed the HID leveler arm just in case before lowering the jack (7/16" box wrench and a 10mm socket will remove the nut, but make sure the leveler joint is facing the driver's side after you're done). Lower the jack SLOWLY! It's good to have a friend on hand to help you eye the clearance that you need over the Head subframe arms to get the sway bar out. Don't worry about the bracket holding the turbo-back exhaust arms, it won't be damaged.

    10) Once you get enough clearance, remove the stock bar. Place the bushings that came with your new bar on. Slide the top portion of the supplied brackets on top of the bushings. Put the new Sway bar in and let hang (don't worry about the lower brackets or securing the bar yet).

    11) Jack up the subframe enough to start threading all the bolts back in reverse order to hand tight positions.

    12) Now you can place the lower portion of the bracket in place and thread the bracket bolts back through. (if you bought the H&R Bar, the nut will face into the bracket with the thinner side...this will lock the nut in place with the way the bracket hole is shaped). Re-attach the endlinks to the 'lighter' (outer) or 'stiffer' (inner) hole.

    13) Torque bolts to specified values. Here's a breakdown of the torque specs:

    TORQUE TO YIELD SPECS BY NUMBER:
    ("torque to yield" means, torque to specified lbs, then turn each bolt to specified degree)
    1- 52LBS + 45 DEGREES
    2- 37LBS + 45 DEGREES
    3- 52LBS + 45 DEGREES
    4- 15LBS + 45 DEGREES
    5- 52LBS + 45 DEGREES
    6- 74LBS + 45 DEGREES
    7- 52LBS + 45 DEGREES
    8- 44LBS (30LBS IF YOU HAVE VF ENGINEERING MOUNT FOR CENTER BOLT)

    And you're all done. Enjoy that your front end will no longer jump up when you launch. Enjoy that you take heading out of corners faster. Enjoy lessening the whiplash transfer effect from front to rear when cornering.

    Peace,

    SD
    Last edited by SpeeDemon; 11-10-2008 at 03:20 PM.
    REVO Stage 3, K04 w/Forge Wastegate, RS4 Injectors, R8 Pressure Regulating Valve, APR Pump, EVOMS CAI, Milltek Exhaust, Synapse DV, BSH Throttle Pipe, S3 Diffuser Pipe, Forge Intercooler, 42DD Stealth Catch Can, NewSouth Boost gauge, Dieselgeeks Short shifter, Clubsport suspension, RSD rear stress bar, H&R F&R sway bars, tint, grounds

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  3. #2
    Jedi Dubber VA2STLTH's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    Just finished my swaybar swap out with the front bar today. Boy those 18mm subframe bolts were on tight.. whatever that white thread lock was did its job. Also, that 10mm plastic wire lead bolt couldnt be in a more tough spot to get on and off.

    Any suggestions on where to get a replacement 18mm subframe bolt? Im sure its a pain to source. Help please.
    Quote Originally Posted by dlight88 View Post
    try reading for once instead of e-thuggin

  4. #3
    Fahrenheit GTI Owner banditscout's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    nice, thanks for the DIY SpeeDemon...you're always there when us laymans need you.

    GIAC X-Chip, Neuspeed P-Flo SRI, Eurojet PCV Fix, New South Performance Column Mounted Boost Gauge, AS OF TODAY- GIAC DSG REFLASH (AMAZING!!)*

  5. #4
    DubMeister SpeeDemon's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by banditscout View Post
    nice, thanks for the DIY SpeeDemon...you're always there when us laymans need you.
    Not a problem....glad to hear someone found it useful.

    SD
    REVO Stage 3, K04 w/Forge Wastegate, RS4 Injectors, R8 Pressure Regulating Valve, APR Pump, EVOMS CAI, Milltek Exhaust, Synapse DV, BSH Throttle Pipe, S3 Diffuser Pipe, Forge Intercooler, 42DD Stealth Catch Can, NewSouth Boost gauge, Dieselgeeks Short shifter, Clubsport suspension, RSD rear stress bar, H&R F&R sway bars, tint, grounds

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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    PM Sent

  7. #6
    Dubber In Training Chase's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    Is the sway bar solid steel or hollow?

  8. #7
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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    Phenomenal write up! I plan on doing sways soon when I do my suspension. Also, Not your fault, but wherever you hosted the pictures resized it so that the numbers are difficult to read. I myself can still read them fine, just letting you know

    This will be a HUGE help when I go to do this!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 07GTIMYFAST View Post
    intake- my grandmother can install in 30 minutes

  9. #8
    New Dub Cub
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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    hi and thanks for the guide, i tried removing mine yesterday, but couldnt get the bar out the bush brackets were snagging on the steering rack. what do you recomend? also the steering wheel is slightly off centre now!

  10. #9
    DubMeister SpeeDemon's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by bmx View Post
    hi and thanks for the guide, i tried removing mine yesterday, but couldnt get the bar out the bush brackets were snagging on the steering rack. what do you recomend? also the steering wheel is slightly off centre now!
    I think I understand what you are trying to say (correct me if I don't cuz I'd like to help). Once you have the subframe lowered, you remove the bar (including the bushings, but you may wanna try and snap the bushings off to help remove the bar. It's a tight fit).

    One other thing you could do to simplify removing the bar once the subframe is lowered (which is what I did), is to keep the bar bolted in place and take an electric grinder tool (4 1/2" or smaller will do) to the middle (or wherever you can safely grind it in two pieces. It doesn't take long for the grinder to grind through the bar since the stock bar is hollow. Just wear eye protection cuz there will be sparks flyin'.

    Hope this helps!

    SD
    Last edited by SpeeDemon; 06-06-2009 at 01:18 AM.
    REVO Stage 3, K04 w/Forge Wastegate, RS4 Injectors, R8 Pressure Regulating Valve, APR Pump, EVOMS CAI, Milltek Exhaust, Synapse DV, BSH Throttle Pipe, S3 Diffuser Pipe, Forge Intercooler, 42DD Stealth Catch Can, NewSouth Boost gauge, Dieselgeeks Short shifter, Clubsport suspension, RSD rear stress bar, H&R F&R sway bars, tint, grounds

  11. #10
    Dubber In Training p8ntbaljunkie18's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    i have heard that putting a front sway bar on your car can be counter productive to its turning abilities. is there any truth to this? Should i buy a rear only or the full package? thanks.
    07 MKV UNITED GREY, WINTER PACKAGE, SUMMER SLICKS, APR STAGE 1, P-FLOW COLD AIR EXTENSION, FORGE DV, NEWSOUTH TURBO POD, COLOR MATCHED JE DESIGNS EYE LIDS. SMOKED SIDES, TURN SIGNALS, AND TAILS. NEUSPEED TORQUE ARM INSERT, BILSTEIN PSS9 COILOVERS, PREMIUM PACKAGE

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  12. #11
    DubMeister SpeeDemon's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by p8ntbaljunkie18 View Post
    i have heard that putting a front sway bar on your car can be counter productive to its turning abilities. is there any truth to this? Should i buy a rear only or the full package? thanks.
    That seems to be going around a lot....and there is some validity to that statement (like if you were to add same millimeter sway bars on both front and rear). but don't believe everything you hear. Think of it as a bus or a rollercoaster....where do all the adrenaline junkies always wanna sit? In the rear. The reason is because whatever the front end is doing, it will be more pronounced in the rear ("whiplash" effect). Sure you can just get the rear sway and it will do its job, but keep in mind that you now have a hollow front sway bar with a higher millimeter solid core (if you go with H&R) rear sway. So in order to reduce the car's sway even more, you'll want to add a higher mm front and a slightly lower mm sway bar in the rear (again to reduce the "whiplash" effect as much as possible). Plus, the front sway bar will aid in reducing the nose of the car's natural desire to rear up when launching off the line. It's simple physics, but a lot of people just go with what one person says and run with it and it spreads. I've been into performance for the past 8 years if that's worth anything. I absolutely love the way my ride feels now that I have a full suspension. I know every move my car is going to make now.
    REVO Stage 3, K04 w/Forge Wastegate, RS4 Injectors, R8 Pressure Regulating Valve, APR Pump, EVOMS CAI, Milltek Exhaust, Synapse DV, BSH Throttle Pipe, S3 Diffuser Pipe, Forge Intercooler, 42DD Stealth Catch Can, NewSouth Boost gauge, Dieselgeeks Short shifter, Clubsport suspension, RSD rear stress bar, H&R F&R sway bars, tint, grounds

  13. #12
    Dubster
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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by SpeeDemon View Post
    That seems to be going around a lot....and there is some validity to that statement (like if you were to add same millimeter sway bars on both front and rear). but don't believe everything you hear. Think of it as a bus or a rollercoaster....where do all the adrenaline junkies always wanna sit? In the rear. The reason is because whatever the front end is doing, it will be more pronounced in the rear ("whiplash" effect). Sure you can just get the rear sway and it will do its job, but keep in mind that you now have a hollow front sway bar with a higher millimeter solid core (if you go with H&R) rear sway. So in order to reduce the car's sway even more, you'll want to add a higher mm front and a slightly lower mm sway bar in the rear (again to reduce the "whiplash" effect as much as possible). Plus, the front sway bar will aid in reducing the nose of the car's natural desire to rear up when launching off the line. It's simple physics, but a lot of people just go with what one person says and run with it and it spreads. I've been into performance for the past 8 years if that's worth anything. I absolutely love the way my ride feels now that I have a full suspension. I know every move my car is going to make now.
    nice write up yo...So i bought my car with Koni 1150 Coilovers on it...but i noticed there is no front or rear sway bar! I wondered if the previous owner did this cause the coilovers added too much spring rate to the front? Idk...Anyways I bought a ABD Racing 25mm front bar but im re thinking of putting it on...any thoughts

  14. #13
    DubMeister SpeeDemon's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by dutchbro View Post
    nice write up yo...So i bought my car with Koni 1150 Coilovers on it...but i noticed there is no front or rear sway bar! I wondered if the previous owner did this cause the coilovers added too much spring rate to the front? Idk...Anyways I bought a ABD Racing 25mm front bar but im re thinking of putting it on...any thoughts
    I've never dealt with that particular coilover kit. I think a good question to ask the previous owner was what he/she hoped to accomplish (driving style-wise) by removing the sways. Find out the plus' and minus' (I'd kinda like to know, too!).

    I can, however, tell you that my experience with the setup I have is nothing but positives. I know what my ride's capabilities are and it gives great feedback.

    The Autotech Clubsport Kit that I have lowered the front by 1.5" and rear by 2.0". So I went with 26mm front sway and 24mm rear.

    Hope this helped.
    REVO Stage 3, K04 w/Forge Wastegate, RS4 Injectors, R8 Pressure Regulating Valve, APR Pump, EVOMS CAI, Milltek Exhaust, Synapse DV, BSH Throttle Pipe, S3 Diffuser Pipe, Forge Intercooler, 42DD Stealth Catch Can, NewSouth Boost gauge, Dieselgeeks Short shifter, Clubsport suspension, RSD rear stress bar, H&R F&R sway bars, tint, grounds

  15. #14

    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    SpeeDemon,
    Thank you for taking the time to do that write up!
    I wanted to ask your advice about the front sway bar now that you've had it on awhile. I currently have the H&R Premium Coilovers with a H&R 24mm rear sway bar set to firm. I've been doing some research and as you know, most people seem to think its not worth the effort to install a larger front sway bar. I have ordered the 26mm H&R front sway bar and plan to put it on the "soft" setting.
    Would you recommend installing the front sway bar? I was wondering what your thoughts are on the positives and/or negatives of the front sway bar.

    Thanks for your time!
    Last edited by UberVW_TDI; 10-30-2010 at 04:06 PM.

  16. #15
    DubMeister SpeeDemon's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    PM sent
    REVO Stage 3, K04 w/Forge Wastegate, RS4 Injectors, R8 Pressure Regulating Valve, APR Pump, EVOMS CAI, Milltek Exhaust, Synapse DV, BSH Throttle Pipe, S3 Diffuser Pipe, Forge Intercooler, 42DD Stealth Catch Can, NewSouth Boost gauge, Dieselgeeks Short shifter, Clubsport suspension, RSD rear stress bar, H&R F&R sway bars, tint, grounds

  17. #16
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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    SD,
    Thanks for the article you wrote a few years ago. I have my car apart and noticed that the factory sway bar bracket nuts are flared to hold the brackets to the sway bar. I guess that's why H&R sent me new brackets, nuts and bolts. In your post you don't mention that. The H&R 26mm bar that I purchased also came with 4 1.5" bolts that I'm not sure what to do with. I was thinking they have something to do with flaring the nuts to hold the brackets together, but not sure how to do it. I was thinking about taking the bar to a local shop to have them perform the nut flare??

    Any advice?

    Thanks,
    Dan

  18. #17
    DubMeister SpeeDemon's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY - Front Sway Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by dgzagm View Post
    SD,
    Thanks for the article you wrote a few years ago. I have my car apart and noticed that the factory sway bar bracket nuts are flared to hold the brackets to the sway bar. I guess that's why H&R sent me new brackets, nuts and bolts. In your post you don't mention that. The H&R 26mm bar that I purchased also came with 4 1.5" bolts that I'm not sure what to do with. I was thinking they have something to do with flaring the nuts to hold the brackets together, but not sure how to do it. I was thinking about taking the bar to a local shop to have them perform the nut flare??

    Any advice?

    Thanks,
    Dan
    Dan,

    You'll have to call H&R on that one cuz I didn't have to do what you are describing. So unless, they modified their equipment, it should just be a straightforward install.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help.

    SD
    REVO Stage 3, K04 w/Forge Wastegate, RS4 Injectors, R8 Pressure Regulating Valve, APR Pump, EVOMS CAI, Milltek Exhaust, Synapse DV, BSH Throttle Pipe, S3 Diffuser Pipe, Forge Intercooler, 42DD Stealth Catch Can, NewSouth Boost gauge, Dieselgeeks Short shifter, Clubsport suspension, RSD rear stress bar, H&R F&R sway bars, tint, grounds

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