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Add a rear sway bar to a 1st gen Impreza or Legacy


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#1 jamal

jamal

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 03:06 AM

I wrote this for legacycentral and it is intended for 1st gen legacies, but it applies to Imprezas without an RSB as well. So I changed a little of this and it mostly applies to all Subarus now.

For early Legacies, there are two different lateral link/endlink setups. The 90-92 cars have droplinks, which are a vertical endlinks that fit into a hole in the rear lateral link.

Picture:
Posted Image

The 93-94s, along with most other newer Subarus, have C-links that connect to tabs on the endlink:

Posted Image

AFAIK, all the BC/BF mounting brackets are the same, as well as pretty much every other Subaru mounting bracket.

It should also be noted that the mounting brackets on 04+ Imprezas are beefed up, and are a good option if you don't want to spend all that money on the HD whiteline or whatever parts.

So, anyway, if your car doesn't have a rear swaybar, it's not terribly difficult to install one. The benefits of an rsb include better handling due to more evenly balanced roll stiffnesses and less body roll. It really makes the car feel a whole lot better and creates less understeer.

What you'll need to do this:

-A swaybar*
-Rear lateral links with endlink mounting tabs
-Endlinks
-Swaybar mounting brackets and the right bushings for the bar you're using.
-Possibly a thread chaser
-Probably new hardware to mount the lateral links
-An alignment afterwards

*Only swaybars made for 1st gen Legacies will fit other 1st gen Legacies without issue. The tire well is in the way of impreza bars, although they can be made to fit by "moving" the bump out of the way. WRX sedan bars might be too wide as well. If you have an Impreza, you don't have to worry about this, and Legacy bars will also fit.

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If you shop around and buy the parts used, you should be able to get everything for around $100. My swaybar is 18mm from a 94 turbo Legacy, and was $50 shipped. The lateral links and endlinks are from a 99 Impreza, and I think I paid around $40. The mounting brackets are from an 02 WRX, and cost me $20 or so.

You wouldn't want lateral links from an 02+ Impreza sedan because they are longer. 93-99 Legacy links are all the same as far as I know. After that the Legacy rear suspension changed to a multi-link setup so that stuff doesn't work. I think Outback swaybar mounting brackets are taller so you might not want those, either.

Once you have all this stuff, you'll need to replace the rear lateral links. This part may or may not be easy. I had a hard time with the bolt that connects the link to the crossmember. It's a cammed bolt that is used to adjust toe, and mine was fused to the metal part of the bushing. After a whole lot of prying and burning, I cut off the bolt with a sawzall. Before this I had brought it to a shop, and their impact gun couldn't get the bolt out of the bushing. The side that connects to the knuckle didn't come out very nicely, either, and I ended up destroying the bushing.

Burn baby burn:

Posted Image

Ha ha take that:

Posted Image

I had to bring the long bolt that connects the links to the kunckle to pepboys to get the remains of the bushing off. I recommend just buying new bolts, nuts, and washers beforehand, then it won't matter if you have to cut things off. I waited 3 weeks to get the cammed bolt because we kept ordering the wrong thing.

Alright now things are looking better:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Time to get the mounting brackets on. The holes are already in place in the frame, so all you need are the mounts and hardware. The right one is a little difficult because there isn't much room to get at the front bolt, which is above the gas filler tube. I found it was best to take off all the plastic shrouding and such on the tube to get at the hole, and also to chase the threads because the bolts didn't want to go in very easily. I don't remember the pitch off the top of my head.

Here you can see that there isn't much room:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Putting on the swaybar is pretty easy. You just need to feed it over the exhaust and bolt everything down. Endlink bolts should be torqued to spec with the car on the ground.

Since you messed with the cammed bolt that adjusts toe and put on different lateral links, you're going to want an alignment. You should probably mark where they were in the first place, so you can drive around a bit without trashing the tires.

Other threads of note discussing rear swaybars:

http://bbs.legacycen...pic.php?t=25767
http://bbs.legacycen...pic.php?t=22175
http://bbs.legacycen...pic.php?t=19565
http://bbs.legacycen...pic.php?t=15736
http://bbs.legacycen...pic.php?t=15967
http://bbs.legacycen...opic.php?t=2366
http://bbs.legacycen...topic.php?t=986
http://bbs.legacycen...topic.php?t=195

Another option could be to buy the endlinks that attach to the end of the lateral links.

Bonus picture:

Posted Image




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