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Old 08-16-2008, 01:01 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 150637
Join Date: Jun 2007
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Lynnhood, WA
02 WRX Wagon
96 Impreza, 06 STI

Default How to install Tribeca (25mm) front sway bar on an 96 impreza brighton - pictures

Hi all,

I just completed an install of a 25 mm front sway bar on my 1996 impreza brighton 1.8L AWD. The car comes with a 20mm swaybar and after driving with the new bar on I could definately tell front of the car was much more stable in quick transitions.

The bar fits well, and only costs around $60, thus this is a very good upgrade if you are on a budget. The downside is that the stock bushings need to be modified in order to get a good fit. Read the following for the full install guide:

First step is to raise the car on jackstands and remove 1 front wheel (doesn't matter which).
Unbolt the two rubber sway bar bushings that look like this:

Then remove the endlinks shown here (bottom left) and remove the bar (Be careful not to dent any of the lines or header as you remove it).

Here is a comparison of the two bars:

Close up detail

(The tribeca bar is about 3.5 inches longer, but will be mounted on the outside of the fsb links instead of the inside and thus the extra length does not cause fitment problems).

Now to modify the bushings. First I took the brackets and ground down the tabs that hold the rubber in with my air die grinder. This is so the bar wont rub on the tabs once it is installed.

Then I took the rubber bushings and tried to enlarge the openings with my air die grinder and failed miserably. So I put my thinking cap on and found the perfect tool for enlarging the holes - a 1" round-over router bit shown here:

I learned that the key to drilling them bushings out is low speed and push hard, thus lots of rubber material gets removed before its goes up in smoke (the enlarged bushing is also show in the picture above.

At this point I attempted to install the new bar and found out it is necessary to drop the header. Trust me on this, the bar does not have enough clearance to be installed without damaging the header or the other lines under the car.

To drop the header you must first remove the O2 sensor, which is found on the front side of the catalytic converter. I unbolted the bottom of the heatshield (5 stubborn bolts) so the I could get my wrench on the O2 sensor.

Now that thats done move to where the exhaust manifold is bolted to the engine. Remove the 3 bolts on each side and pull the manifold down until it is hanging down a couple inches. It will just hang there on its own.

At this point I wirebrushed the mating surfaces of the manifold and block to make sure the new gaskets I bought ($11 ea dealership) would fit without leaks, they looked really caked with carbon deposits. (picture shown before I brushed)

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Ninja007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 01:01 AM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 150637
Join Date: Jun 2007
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Lynnhood, WA
02 WRX Wagon
96 Impreza, 06 STI


Now install the sway bar by pulling down on the manifold until you can slip the swaybar between the manifold and subframe until it rests as shown (Make sure the bars go over the steering rods.

Attach the bar to the endlinks and bushings until all nuts/bolts are finger tight.

Now reinstall the exhaust manifold to the block with your new gaskets. Reinstall the O2 sensor. Reinstall the heatshield bolts.

Now tighten all of the sway bar nuts/bolts evenly until it rests in the perfect position:

Tie rod clearance 1

Tie rod clearance 2

Header and line clearance:

Now go perform multiple consecutive emergency lane changes then go autocross
Ninja007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2008, 05:06 PM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 151079
Join Date: Jun 2007
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: College Park, MD
2005 2.5RS RBP
motec system exhaust-RIP


Did this increase understeer at all? Or did it just make turn in and changing direction more stable
chazly413 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2008, 09:37 AM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 163068
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Jersey
08 outback sport


lol thats pretty awesome. good work
obs2008 is offline   Reply With Quote

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