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Old 04-23-2006, 09:15 PM   #1
jamal
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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98 2.5GT
my wheels fit

Default Adding a rear swaybar to a 1st gen

I posted this over on legacycentral, and didn't see anything like it here, so I thought I'd share thanks to the magic that is copy/paste:

Ok, well firstly, most Subarus have a rear swaybar. The exception to this is the 92-94 (and later?) Legacy L models, as well as older Impreza base models. For 1st gen Legacies, LS, LSi, and 90-91 L models have a 16mm rear bar. turbos and air suspension cars have 18mm. There are also 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. All Imprezas use the later C-link style (except for the STi).

Picture:


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



The fitment is the same for pretty much every 1st and 2nd gen (90-99 Legacy, 93-07 Impreza) Subaru mounting bracket, but those on 04+ Imprezas are beefed up so if you're doing this swap try to get some of those. The Whiteline bushings for an older bracket are W0404-[mm] and W0406-[mm] for the new ones.

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 a Legacy will fit another Legacy 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. Any Impreza could use any other non-STi Impreza or pre-00 Legacy rear swaybar.



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, as are any Impreza links from a 93-01 or 02-07 wagon. After that the rear suspension changed to a multi-link setup so that stuff doesn't work. I think Outback and Forester 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:



Ha ha take that:



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:





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:





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.

Bonus Picture:

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Last edited by jamal; 11-07-2007 at 02:26 PM. Reason: mariachis
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:32 PM   #2
KD7000
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Thumbs up

That's a great writeup & very nice pictures.


-Now that you've added a rear sway, you should treat your car to some new tires. Those things look kinda beat.
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Old 04-24-2006, 01:04 PM   #3
DLC
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Good info, thanks for posting it. I've linked it in the FAQ.
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Old 04-24-2006, 06:04 PM   #4
strat81
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the 96-99 outbacks also have the 18mm rear bar that should work on the 1st and 2nd gens.
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Old 04-24-2006, 06:14 PM   #5
jamal
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my wheels fit

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KD7000
That's a great writeup & very nice pictures.


-Now that you've added a rear sway, you should treat your car to some new tires. Those things look kinda beat.
Thanks. Actually I did this close to a year ago and have since bought new tires. Unfortunately it was another set of RE92s.

Yeah I thought that Outback bars would fit but wasn't sure.
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Old 04-24-2006, 06:30 PM   #6
strat81
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we test fit one on my gf's 93 legacy (she actually has the bar ready to go... just needs to pick up endlinks and lateral links) and it looks like it should line up no problem.
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Old 04-24-2006, 06:40 PM   #7
jamal
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my wheels fit

Default

Cool. I know there are people using Impreza bars as well. The method I saw to make it fit that I saw was to jack a deep socket into the bump on the tire well and make a nice little rounded indentation.
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