Shine Rear Sway Bar
August 6, 2005
I've never really liked the loss of ground clearance you get with the Neuspeed or Autotech rear sway bars. The first time I saw the Shine sway bar, I knew it was something that would work for me. It is the stealth sway bar. You hardly see it is there.
Stealth you ask??? Photos will show you what I'm talking about.
Before the sway bar installation.
After the installation. You can see 3 bolt heads and one lock nut. That's all you see.
Craftsman offset drill
Serious drill bit.
I'd heard a few horror stories about guys taking 3-4 hours drilling the holes you need for the Shine sway bar. It took Paul and I about 2 1/2 hours to do the complete job from jacking the car up to rolling it out of the garage for its test drive. Having the right drill and the right bit makes ALL the difference.
Start by marking the center of the bar. You want to line this up very carefully. If you install it off center, your car won't handle as well as it could.
You then need to trim the rubber insert inside the rear swing arm. I used a small hunting knife. I've seen guys use a one sided razor blade. I felt better with a bigger, stronger blade. This knife is so sharp that it cut through the rubber insert just like buttah.
I'm trimming with a hunting knife. yes. I need a shave.
Once you get the rubber insert trimmed, it is time to place the sway bar against the swing arm and align it to start drilling. The c-clamps that we had didn't hold the bar very well on their own. I duct taped the bar in place, then clamped over the duct tape. That held it really well.
You start with the sway bar clamped to the botttom of the rear swing arm. That lets you drill the holes in the bottom first.
The drilling begins.
Make sure to stop every few moments and dip the bit in cutting oil. It is important not to burn the blade. It'll never cut through this steel if you burn the bit. I drilled for 30 seconds, then dipped it in oil, then went back to drilling. It took less than 2 minutes to drill each of the 8 holes.
Sway boled to the bottom of the swing arm.
Once you get a hole drilled, go ahead and insert the bolt. That makes sure that all the other holes will be lined up. It also lets you get rid of the c-clamps.
Here's the other side.
Next you need to drill the inside 2 holes.
This is my buddy Paul drilling one of the holes twards the center of the car.
This shows the 2 lower holes drilled.
Next you need to place the sway bar inside the swing arm and line up the holes in preparation of drilling the upper holes in the swing arm. To hold it in place, I pushed one of the bolts into the outside holes, then duct taped them in place. I also then clamped the bar in to make sure that the upper holes were in the right place.
This is me drilling the outer, upper hole on the driver's side. You can see that I've already done the inner hole. The bolt is in place and tightened down.
Here's Paul getting a workout drilling the last of the 8 holes.
This is what it looks like on the drive side when it is done.
I took a few minutes to hit the newly drilled holes with a bit of spray paint. That should help preserve them a bit. I tried putting the lock nuts facing down if possible. That seemed the most secure way. That really isn't possible with the exhaust system there. Only one of the 4 bolts could be inserted that way. I'll change the other when I do the exhaust.
The car handles much better now. I've got the OEM sport suspension. Adding the rear sway bar gets rid of so much body roll. The car really loves exit ramps and on-ramps now. I can't wait to take it out on the twisties.
Next stop: COILOVERS!!!! We'll see when I can afford them. I need stainless steel exhaust some time soon too. ;)
Thanks for reading.
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