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HOW TO: ST Sway Bar Installation (RS Specific)

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Well, I finally got around to installing the ST rear sway bar on my 2003 RS. Since the RS didn't come with a factory sway bar it was obviously more than just a mere bolt-on, so I figured I'd do a quick walk-through on how it went together...especially since the How To for a standard ST Sway Bar install doesn't seem to be working and is missing it's pictures now.

First, here's some background information. Besides the sway bar itself (with bushings), you're going to need a set of lower control arms for a GS, GT, or GTS...if you can pick up a used pair that's great, but they're also relatively cheap at the dealer so either way is fine. End links are another item you'll need...I bought mine new from the dealer, but keep in mind they don't come with the nuts to attach them so you'll need to order those as well (I just picked up some nuts and washers at a hardware store though...they're M10 fine thread, just take one of the links in with you to match up the threads). Another area the RS is lacking in this department is the rear crossmember...the models equipped with sway bars have mounting bosses allowing the sway bar to be bolted right can pick up a used crossmember, or make a couple modifications, which is what I'll also need attaching hardware for the sway bar itself.

Required Parts List:
Rear Sway Bar w/bushings
Sway Bar Mounting Bolts (4 each)
Sway Bar End Links (2 each)
End Link Nuts & Washers (4 each)
Lower Control Arms From GS, GT, GTS (2 each)
Rear Crossmember (optional)

Step 1: Raise rear of car and support with jackstands at the sides. Remove rear wheels.

Step 2: Remove lower control arms. You will need a 17mm wrench and socket (I recommend using an impact gun). Only one bolt is located at each end of the lower arms...they are the tubular arms, not the ones with the ball joint on the outter end. Unfortunately, at least on my car Mitsubishi installed the inner bolt on the passenger side with the nut to the rear of the car which made it difficult to get the bolt out since it hit the fuel with it a little and you should be able to get it out though.

Step 3: Modify the rear crossmember. Since I did not replace the crossmember, I had to make a couple alterations to it for everything to fit. You will see two bolt holes on each side next to the toe adjustment bolt that will be used for attaching the sway bar. These holes were just a touch too small for the bolts I bought, so I filed them out a little. Also, I had to enlongate the upper holes in order to get the bracket to bolt's a pain filing by hand, but worth it when you're done...I also recommend filing them out enough to where you can put the bolts in with the nuts to the rear so you don't have to worry about the bolts hitting the tie rod. With the holes done, there's one more modification that needs to be made to the crossmember...flatten out the area of the lip adjacent to the mounting holes by bending it 90 degrees...otherwise, the sway bar will hit this area since our crossmember don't have the mounting bosses to move it out enough to keep from hitting...see picture below:

Step 4: Modify sway bar mounting brackets. You will see that the top and bottom of the brackets each have a corner cut off at about a 45 degree angle. The bottom of the brackets need to have the both corners cut at about a 45 degree angle to clear the crossmember lip...a quick pass with a die grinder or a hacksaw will do the trick.

Step 5: Install the sway bar. Make sure you use the lubricant for the bushings so you don't get annoying squeaks. Simply bolt it up to the crossmember using the 4 bolts you filed the holes for. Looking at the sway bar, there is a v-bend to one side...this goes below the exhaust (towards the driver's side). Leave the bolts a little loose at this point so it will be easier to move around.

Step 6: Modify the tie rods. You will notice as you swing the sway bar ends toward their desired orientation that the sway bar contacts the tie will have to make a small notch in each tie rod for clearance. The tie rods are only used to locate the spindle latteraly, and do not support the weight of the vehicle, so making a small notch should not be a concern. Not much material needs to come off...I removed a section just wider than the tie rod, and less than 1/4 inch high. You only have to notch the rear side of the tie rod...the front should be fine...see pictures below:

Step 7: Install lower control arms. Make sure the end link mounting tabs are towards the rear of the vehicle. The easiest way I found to do this was to install the inner bolts first from the rear (so the nuts go on towards the front), then as you swing the bar up into position line the end links up with the not install the nuts on the end links at this time. Installing the outter bolts was a little difficult and involved prying (and pinching my thumb between the arm and the spindle...hurt like hell), but wasn't too bad once I figured out just where to put the prybar. Once you get it lined up, make sure your end links are also still lined this point you can install the rest of the hardware and tighten everything to specs. The end link should be about vertical, which is much different than some I've seen...see picture below:

Step 8: Install rear wheels, lower the car, take it for a test drive, and enjoy...:bigthumb:
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