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Front Sway bar install
Written by Daniel Ford of San Carlos, Ca






There are many types of aftermarket braces you can buy for your pony, and all that I have seen have been pretty reasonably priced. I actually bought a package deal from Steeda, which ran me about $250 for the Tubular front swaybar, and fully adjustable rear swaybar.

The front swaybar is made of 4130 Chrome-Moly, and extremely strong. I prefer a very stiff front end, but that’s just my style of driving. The front on it’s own retails for $174.95 from Steeda, part number 555-1094. Steeda’s rear swaybar is fully adjustable to meet your driving style and needs. The pricing on this piece by itself is $99.95, part number 006-470.You can tighten or loosen the bushing mount assembly to make more understeer, or oversteer, specifically to create a perfect balance between your already existent components, and further improve upon them.

Lets prep the install, and remember, each bar should take you approximately 2 hours to install, unless you are use to this, I think if I did it again, I would be able to cut the time in half. This upgrade will improve cornering dramatically, and reduce wheelhop (rear swaybar) when in tight corners. In conjunction with a nice 4130 Chrome-Moly Strut Tower Brace, your Mustang won’t dive anymore when you enter those hard city corners with the drainage grates. This will increase the life of your driver’s rear tire, being that those are mostly right hand turns. For this operation you’ll need multiple socket wrenches, and some high temperature silicone bushing grease. Oh and after you do this upgrade, you’ll need an alignment, so if you don’t want to do that, don’t do this. Let’s hit the garage.

1. First things first. If you have a lowered Mustang like I do, (I refused to SLAM mine because of the speedbump issue) you’ll need ramps to get a jack under there, and honestly, I trust factory jacks like I trust serial killers. Just remember, if you drive all the way up the ramp, the jack won’t extend tall enough to lift the tires off the ramps, so just go about half way up. I like to place my jack and stands on the “A” shaped piece in front of the Exhaust piping. Then, remove the tires.


2. With the tires off you should get a clear picture of what you’ll need to do. Here, my friend John points to our stock cast iron behemoth, While my brother Zack sits and reveals in the grease that is about to fly. I have to mention it was Zack’s 22nd birthday when we did this, so Happy Birthday Zack! Back to the issue, you’ll need to brace the suspension on both sides directly under where you are working because if the suspension drops, and this is VERY crucial, it will make it very hard to reassemble the pivot mounting, and if the suspension on either side drops too far, it will cause irreparable damage to your alignment. We used our floor jack on one side, raising it up to meet the suspension, but not push it up, and on the other side used one of our ramps and a piece of wood, the important part here is not the method, but the end result.


3. On removing the factory bar, I decided to start by unbolting the Pivot mountings. You’ll need two sets of socket wrenches for this, and a monkey or crescent wrench. The wrench holds in the middle of the pivot mounting, you’ll find a round “rod” with a flattened section in the middle, and a bolt on the top and bottom. Hold the wrench and bottom and take the top of the assembly off. CAREFULLY take off the rubber bushings, and put it somewhere safe. The key here is NOT TO HURT THE BUSHINGS! This is where the grease is used, also later. I had four extra hands for this, my brother in the middle, holding the bar, and John doing some wrenching while I held the pivot mountings in place.


4. Now move to the other side, and repeat the process. When finished with those two, start to unbolt the “A” shaped mounts that attach the bar to the frame. These are two simple bolts, the only problem is access, unless you have a nice big extension piece. Unbolt these and the bar will drop away from the frame. Here’s the hardest part of the whole procedure. There is this crazy mud flap you can easily see in the pictures that goes around the bar. I wouldn’t remove this flap, (as tempting as it is) because this is what keeps all that dirt and grime from your crank and pulleys. I took the time to maneuver the bar through the small holes in the flap, but in foresight, just remove the frame mounts now, one at a time. By this I mean unbolt one from the frame, then take it off, while someone holds the bar. To take them off, simply get a screwdriver and a partner, and push the pins on the “U” shaped piece to remove it from the “D” shaped piece and the rubber mount. Now slide the “D” piece off the bar on both sides and slip the bar out through the holes in the mud flap.


5. In this picture I compared the two pieces, and the difference is eye popping. Eight pounds lighter than the stock bar, the new one is a wonderful shade of blue, and has a 1.375-inch diameter. Also the new bar has the really nice stop collars that make lateral flexing reduce dramatically. Also they prevent the bar from slipping inside the mount. Coincidentally, the new bar matches my Bihlstein shocks and Roush Springs. So the whole wheel well looks kinda spiffy. Now let’s attack the new bar.


6. First lets maneuver the new bar in place and rest in on that dumb ol’ mud flap, preferably with someone holding it in place. Now, the kit I received came with new rubber mount bushings, I hope yours did too, and these need to greased very well. This isn’t really that crucial, but if you don’t do it, you’ll think you installed the whole thing wrong, because of this weird creaking sound every time you hit a corner or a dip in the road. So grease it up! Apply a nice layer with your finger on the inside of the rubber mount, there should be little nooks and crannies that the grease will sit in. I recommend also dipping the pivot mount bushings in grease, just to make sure, and it will make the bushings last longer.


7. There is a nice little cut in the side of the rubber mount so you can slip it on just outside the collar, then push the “D” piece up around the mount. This doesn’t have to be perfect, or flush because as you put in the “U” piece and bolt it back up to the frame, it will tighten itself right into place. The bar should be able to turn inside the mounts just slightly. Now pull the Pivot mountings to reinsert into the bar, replace bushings, and tighten that sucker down using the two sockets and a wrench method. The important thing here is to only tighten down the pivot mounts to about five or six threads, and make sure you do it even on both sides. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and at this point, the bar may look like one side sits flush and the other is angled, this is just the suspension at two different levels, don’t worry. The bushings should have been greased with the same grease as the frame mounts, and tightened down till there is a small distortion in the bushings (5-6 threads). Now, put those tires back on and do a little dance, cause that’s about it.

MW Note: We'll post the rear bar install soon.


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