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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
SC rear sway bar on a NON-SC element (EX, LX, 4wd, 2wd); Lazily written DIY

When I lifted my element I wanted to keep the body roll in check so I bought SC front and rear sway bars from Majestic. The front is a direct swap in, provided you also buy the new bushings to go with it. The "straps" that hold the bushings are the same size as your originals.

For me the front bar didn't work out. My element, being lifted, has an increased moment of inertia when it comes to rolling over. The increased MOI combined with a very stiff sway bar on very soft springs caused my element to lift the inside front wheel on just about every turn. I drive pretty aggressively but the constant lifting and spinning got old fast, it theoretically did handle better but at the expense of traction. I removed the SC front bar and went back to stock, I believe on a stock ride height element with stock springs the SC front bar would be fine, and with aftermarket springs it would be perfect.

So I finally got around to making the modifications necessary to mount the SC rear bar on my 03 EX 4wd. I will not be making a step-by-step DIY, if you cannot look at the pictures and determine what was done, then you probably shouldn't tackle this one.

Impression/Disclaimer:
This works really well, my wife has always complained that the element "threw her around" in the passenger seat. This rear bar really helps keep the body roll under control and makes for some really confident emergency lane changes. Essentially you've increased the spring rate for your outside rear wheel, so response to direction changes is much faster. You do lose some ride quality, going over speed bumps crooked or hitting something with one rear wheel will be rougher than before but it's not uncomfortable.
I have put this through its paces and my mounts show no sign of moving around or bending, I feel they are plenty strong to handle the forces from the sway bar. However modifying your vehicle is your choice and I hold no responsibility or liability for you performing these modifications.

abc384 did this first, I'm just making a DIY that is easier to find in case anyone wants to do this

Materials:
1) SC rear bar (#6 in link below)
Majestic
2) bushings for SC rear bar (#7 in link x2)
3)"Straps" for bushings (#8 in link x2) IMPORTANT!!! YOUR STOCK STRAPS WILL NOT WORK
4) New endlinks x2 (Rockauto.com) (The SC endlinks are shorter, and probably work better, but my EX ones haven't caused a problem)
5) Some angle iron -- hardware store
6) Some flat iron, .75" to 1" wide -- Hardware store
7) Good quality bolts and matching nuts x 4 (~1" to 1.5" long) Lock washers are also a good idea.
8) Black paint (rustoleum is good)
9) A hacksaw, a file, a drill, and some drill bits
10) 2-3 Hours
COST: about $110 - $120 so compared to $160 for an ST rear bar this isn't a huge cost savings but if you can find a used SC rear bar this could save you a substantial amount of money.

Instructions:
Basically you want to move the mounting point for the sway bar straps to the outside ~ 1 1/8 inches.
Cut 4 pieces of angle iron all the same size and then drill 2 holes in each of them 1 1/8 inches apart.
Take the "flat iron" and use your new SC straps as a guide, cut 2 pieces of flat iron the appropriate length and drill 2 holes in each piece that line up with the bolt holes in the SC "straps".
Assemble as seen in these pictures: ALSO check the abc384's thread for more pics !!!!!!
Use Jackstands! These pictures are from when I was finishing up and getting ready to lower the car




2 IMPORTANT THINGS in this last picture:
1) I don't think abc384 included the "flat iron" piece seen here (above the angle iron there is another piece of metal that the bolts go through). This flat iron helps keep everything square and adds to the strength of the "Straps" the straps were only intended to clamp the bushing, not to withstand stretching forces, so the flat iron piece prevents our new mount from spreading apart.
2) The flat iron is installed incorrectly in this picture. It should be installed between the two pieces of angle iron, and the strap. The bushings are meant to be pushed up against a flat surface, in my pic you can see that the bushing is still partially open, it should be almost completely closed around the sway bar. If you put the flat iron between the strap and angle iron you will have to cut the flat iron short enough to fit inside of the angle iron. It is possible but I wanted ample metal left around the bolt holes. So I sacrificed "proper bushing clamping" for strength. It is possible to leave enough metal and still mount the flat iron b/t the strap and angle iron, I will be re-doing that part whenever I can to ensure proper bushing function.
 

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The reason you can't see the pictures is because back in 2012 or 2013, all of them were lost in a server malfunction.

Today, i installed a rear SC sway bar in my 2008 EX, and snapped a couple pics to share what's going on. First, the comparison between the two. Notable differences are that obviously the SC bar is thicker, but it is also a bit curvier and the distance between the mounting points and where the end links bolt to are shorter. The thickness and shorter arms are what make it a stiffer sway bar. The SC bar is on the bottom, and the EX is sitting above it:
202538


Because the sway bar is a larger diameter, the EX bushings and brackets no longer work (SC is on the left, cleverly labelled as such). The hole spacing on the EX is about 60mm and IIRC, the SC was like ~68mm:

202539


So between the curvy differently shaped sway bar and bigger mounting bracket, you end up with the mounting points being in a slightly different location (in line with each other along the length of the bar, just offset along that length...):

202540


To solve this, it sounds like people cobbled together a "U" bracket to extend the mounting points outboard. I toured the local hardware store and found this instead. A Simpson Strong-Tie E-Z Mender. It is a pretty burly thick gauge metal and is the perfect "U" cross section for this application that fits over the existing welded on mounting block on the frame:

202541


I basically just cut 2 strips off the top that were 3.5" long

202542


And drilled 5 holes in it (not shown in the picture above. 2 holes match the frame (use the EX mounting strap as a guide), and 2 holes match the new SC mount (use that as a guide). The 5th hole was a drain hole because the way the U is oriented, it would catch and hold water, so a little drain hole was just some insurance. Here it is installed as a test fit:

202543


After making sure everything bolted up just fine, i sprayed some undercoating on the brackets, let them dry and buttoned everything up with a set of M8 bolts, nuts, and washers for the SC bracket.

A pretty simple fabrication job, really.

I'll definitely be keeping an eye on those brackets for a while to make sure nothing goes bendy-bendy. Another thing i'll be keeping an eye on is the end link because, due to the shorter arms, it seems to be at or near the limit of its range. Nothing weird sounding on test drives, fortunately, so seemingly so far so good.

As for the handling? I wasn't sure what to expect for a change. Maybe it is because I am already on BC Coilovers, but i can't say i noticed a huge difference. A little bit sure, but honestly, if some sway bar sprite magically changed it out in the middle of the night... not sure i would have noticed. Having said that, and knowing it is there, it does feel a little more planted in the back.
Not a huge expense, and a fun satisfying little project. I'd probably do it again.

I hope this helps like the 3 other people out there considering doing this who haven't already done so ?
 

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...I hope this helps like the 3 other people out there considering doing this who haven't already done so ?
Bahahahahaha!

I have an extra SC and I'm getting ready to install BC Racing coilovers... It's like you're talking directly to me... :LOL: (y)
Thanks for the info and updated pics!!

-Brad
 
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