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Old 03-24-2017, 02:18 AM   #1
Vancouver98STi
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Question Question on installing rear sway bar poly bushings

I'm a Subie newb with a recently acquired '98 JDM Impreza STi wagon. I want to stiffen the suspension up a bit... and among other things, I've bought a set of Prothane 16-1104 poly bushings for the rear 20mm sway bar. They look just like these...



I'm not 100% sure these are the proper ones to fit the mounting brackets, but the hole size is at least correct.

As anyone knows who's worked with poly bushings, these things are rather stiff. I was surprised to discover that there is no split in these bushings. I haven't tried it yet, but I imagine it's a little difficult to slide these things into place from either end of the sway bar. Then there's the challenge of trying to get some lube between the bar and the bushings.

Is there any reason why the bushings couldn't/shouldn't simply be slit open so they can be "snapped" over the rear sway bar... like this fella did? (Although I think I'd rather use a nice sharp box cutter knife as opposed to a hacksaw.)

Advance to 1:10 if the video doesn't start there.


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Last edited by Vancouver98STi; 03-24-2017 at 02:30 AM. Reason: Added info
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:12 AM   #2
oaklandish_WRX
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I did just as you suggest with the same prothane bushings. yes, a nice sharp drywall knife cut in the same spot as OEM; lube them and rock on.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:01 AM   #3
Charlie-III
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I actually prefer bushings like that, a lot are saw cut leaving a gap that lets the bushings bind on the bar.
A heavy sharp knife (I use a utility knife) will cut it fine.
When you install them, make sure they are sorta warm, they will bend easier.
Also make sure where they sit on the bar is clean and smooth, it may take sanding off rust to get to this point.

Did they come with straps? If not, you may need to shim/modify things so the OEM straps hold the bushings securely.
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:25 PM   #4
Vancouver98STi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oaklandish_WRX View Post

I did just as you suggest with the same prothane bushings. yes, a nice sharp drywall knife cut in the same spot as OEM; lube them and rock on.
Great, good to hear!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post

I actually prefer bushings like that, a lot are saw cut leaving a gap that lets the bushings bind on the bar.
A heavy sharp knife (I use a utility knife) will cut it fine.
Excellent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post

When you install them, make sure they are sorta warm, they will bend easier.
Also make sure where they sit on the bar is clean and smooth, it may take sanding off rust to get to this point.
Good points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post

Did they come with straps? If not, you may need to shim/modify things so the OEM straps hold the bushings securely.
No supplied straps.

I haven't had a chance to spend any time under the car since I bought it. (The winter here has been colder/wetter than usual, and the car is kept out in the open.) So that's my excuse for not being 100% sure that these bushings are going to fit the factory mounts.

I think I'll actually go a step further and drill the brackets and bushings to install zerk fittings for lubrication purposes. I want an effective way of injecting lithium grease between the poly bushings and sway bar. I have poly sway bar bushings on another car, and despite lubing them well with the supplied grease during initial assembly, they're now squeaking and squawking two years later.
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:47 PM   #5
Vancouver98STi
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Smile I'm very slow, but I do fine work...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancouver98STi View Post
Great, good to hear!

I think I'll actually go a step further and drill the brackets and bushings to install zerk fittings for lubrication purposes.
I finally got around to this. I think it worked out quite well. Besides adding zerk fittings to the OEM metal brackets, I also ground out a channel all around the inside of the bushings for the lithium grease to be pumped into.




And here's a shot of the V-cut I made in the bushings which I figure will allow the cut sections of each bushing to self-align themselves when put under pressure while being installed. Unnecessary? Perhaps, but it didn't cost any extra.


Last edited by Vancouver98STi; 06-14-2017 at 06:45 PM. Reason: Additional info
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:26 AM   #6
Vancouver98STi
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Figured I might as well post an image of one of these mounted. I'm quite pleased with how it all worked out.

They've been installed several months now... and not even a hint of a squeak or a squawk.

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Old 10-31-2017, 10:51 AM   #7
Patrick Olsen
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I've never seen the bushings come un-cut like that. I don't remember if I used Prothane or Energy Suspension, but mine came cut. I guess mine were the universal type, though, not for the OEM brackets. The Whiteline ones I got for the front bar (for use with the OEM brackets) were also pre-cut. I do like your angle cut, that seems like a pretty good idea.

For grease, I've got a grease gun with a tube of Energy Suspension bushing lube. That stuff is stiiiiiiicky!


Last edited by Patrick Olsen; 10-31-2017 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:11 PM   #8
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
I've never seen the bushings come un-cut like that. I don't remember if I used Prothane or Energy Suspension, but mine came cut. I guess mine were the universal type, though, not for the OEM brackets. The Whiteline ones I got for the front bar (for use with the OEM brackets) were also pre-cut. I do like your angle cut, that seems like a pretty good idea.

For grease, I've got a grease gun with a tube of Energy Suspension bushing lube. That stuff is stiiiiiiicky!
I see you're running the upgrades WRX mounts I went to those when I changed to the COBB adjustable rear bar.
I actually prefer the uncut bushings (as I mentioned earlier), cut ones are usually saw cut which can create its own issues.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:19 PM   #9
Vancouver98STi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post

I do like your angle cut, that seems like a pretty good idea.
Thanks. The idea came to me as a relatively simple way to self-align the opposing sides of the (custom cut) bushing.

Those updated rear sway bar mounts look nice and beefy. Any benefit to replacing the original ones on a GC/GF when the 20mm bar is still being used? If not, what thickness bar would necessitate an upgraded mount?
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:59 AM   #10
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancouver98STi View Post
Thanks. The idea came to me as a relatively simple way to self-align the opposing sides of the (custom cut) bushing.

Those updated rear sway bar mounts look nice and beefy. Any benefit to replacing the original ones on a GC/GF when the 20mm bar is still being used? If not, what thickness bar would necessitate an upgraded mount?
When you break the stock mounts.


Knowing my OEM rear bar "may" break the stock mount, I went to the newer (back then) updated WRX mount when I went to the heavier rear bar.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:04 PM   #11
Patrick Olsen
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My beater is on pretty much stock-ish suspension (2.5RS-spec replacement KYBs, 2.5RS springs, 18mm Outback rear bar). I probably didn't need the stronger mounts, but they were cheap and I was installing new bushings, so I figured it couldn't hurt to do it all at once.
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