Steeda Front Sway Bar Install Notes — easier than expected...blown OEM PP bushing a surprise

Discussion in 'Suspension, Brakes & Chassis' started by Roadway 5.0, May 10, 2020.

  1. Roadway 5.0

    Roadway 5.0 Strassejager

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    #1 Roadway 5.0, May 10, 2020
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
    Today I installed Steeda’s front sway bar and adjustable end links. It was time to ditch the PP sway bar—I had a bit of sway on sharp turns that I wanted to get rid of, so in the new bar went.

    Install notes:

    Let me say that this install was much easier than expected. It took a few hours, but I was working at a leisurely pace.

    The toughest bit of the install is what all the YouTube install videos don’t show you...the bushing bolt under the alternator is a MAJOR pain to break, and I despise the ridiculous plastic flap that sits in the way of the operation:

    full.jpg

    I used a 3/8” socket wrench to squeeze on the bolt...a 1/2” will not fit under the alternator nor would a breaker bar and socket. I didn’t have the necessary leverage, so I got creative with a breaker-bar slid over the socket wrench (a roof rack with the end cap pulled off):

    full.jpg

    With this bolt out of the way, the remaining three bushing bolts came right out via a 20” extension by going through the engine bay (you need to remove the airbox):

    full.jpg

    The rest was not challenging—surprisingly so. I fished the OEM bar out from the **passenger side**. The only slight resistance was routing the bar around the large radiator hose. All too easy and done in 10 minutes or so.

    full.jpg

    I pushed the new Steeda bar in from the passenger side. Another 10 minutes and done:

    full.jpg

    I chose to attach the end links differently than how the OEM bit were installed—the large Steeda bar didn’t allow for much clearance (1-2mm) between end link and strut, so I installed the end links through the back side of the bar to give globs of clearance (testing still needed to ensure clearance at full lock):

    full.jpg

    The big surprise during this install was that my passenger-side OEM PP sway bar bushing was no longer fully bonded. Here’s a video of the properly bonded driver’s side:



    And now the un-bonded passenger-side:



    Cleary not a good situation, and this brings to light as to why I felt the car was more responsive turning fast one way, as opposed to the other. Another surprise was that the passenger-side OEM sway bar end link was bent. It wasn’t bent badly, but bent nevertheless. Glad I changed out the whole lot.

    All and all, a straightforward install that was actually enjoyable to do in the garage on jack-stands. More to follow on how it drives once I can get out and about. Have a good one,

    - Mike

    ——————————
    UPDATE:

    This bar was well worth the time and coin. The steering is much more accurate, the nose stays flat, left/right steering effort/feedback is now symmetrical, and the steering wheel snaps back to center where it would previously linger about 1/2” off center. The bar is set at medium-stiff (third hole towards the front).

    I blasted a series of 45 to 90 degree turns, with my winter tires no less, and front grip for sure increased. The steering is a touch heavier in mid-turn, and is deliciously precise. No degradation of ride quality.

    In the end, I came to three conclusions:

    1) Replace the PP bar if you lower your car or just want better handling.

    2) Adjustable end links are a worthy upgrade as they give mounting options and are stronger than the OEM pieces

    3) It absolutely surprises me just how light and precise this car can become with a big front bar along with my other suspension mods. My buddy’s GTi feels like a soupy, heavy mess in comparison. The S550 is a hell of a value.

    Have a good one,

    — Mike
     
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  2. luc

    luc Well-Known Member

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    Where do you live? Quite a lot of corrosion in your car
     
  3. OP
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    Roadway 5.0

    Roadway 5.0 Strassejager

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    Three winters in Bavaria, Germany. One winter in upstate New York. Daily driven car, even in inches of snow :beer:
     
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  4. Brian@BMVK

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    No one wants those bonded bushings anyway.

    I look forward to your thoughts once you get some drive time.
     
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  5. SteedaTech

    SteedaTech Well-Known Member
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    Mike, Thank you for your detailed install info.

    Steeda Tech
     
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  6. ModularKid21

    ModularKid21 Well-Known Member

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    Nice choice :thumbsup: B0781CDB-EF09-43D5-A885-2F6DEBD88487.jpeg
     
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  7. OP
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    Roadway 5.0

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    #7 Roadway 5.0, May 12, 2020
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
    This bar was well worth the time and coin. The steering is much more accurate, the nose stays flat, left/right steering effort/feedback is now symmetrical, and the steering wheel snaps back to center where it would previously linger about 1/2” off center.

    I blasted a series of 45 to 90 degree turns, with my winter tires no less, and front grip for sure increased. The steering is a touch heavier in mid-turn, and is deliciously precise. No degradation of ride quality.

    In the end, I came to three conclusions:

    1) Replace the PP bar if you lower your car or just want better handling.

    2) Adjustable end links are a worthy upgrade as they give options for mounting and are stronger than the OEM pieces

    3) It absolutely surprises me just how light and precise this car can become with a big front bar along with my other suspension mods. My buddy’s GTi feels like a soupy, heavy mess in comparison. The S550 is a hell of a value.

    Have a good one,

    — Mike
     
  8. Brian@BMVK

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    The stiffer front is definitely where it's at. Makes a tremendous difference.
     
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  9. FreePenguin

    FreePenguin Well-Known Member

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    Plus.

    It looks nice. Lol when my cars on ramps and I see all the blue springs, shocks, and sways. makes me feel giddy
     
  10. ModularKid21

    ModularKid21 Well-Known Member

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    Well put Roadway. Compared to stock, the car feels like a laser guided missile with the right tires. No doubt, there are better handling cars in the realm of performance vehicles, but I believe the s550 is second to none in the value category.

    Apologies in case I missed it, but I see you set it on the 2nd stiffest setting. Any plans to change it in the future?
     
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  11. OP
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    Roadway 5.0

    Roadway 5.0 Strassejager

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    One step away from full stiff feels pretty good when matched to my big Steeda rear bar set at full soft. I might make a change or two after more seat time, especially after I mount my stout summer tires on. We shall see. The benefits of adjustability :beer:
     
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  12. ModularKid21

    ModularKid21 Well-Known Member

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    For sure. Funny you say that as I have Steeda’s rear bar as well, but set on the middle setting. I’d been wanting to move it back to full soft thinking it would provide a tad more rear grip. And to think, some people say front and rear bars are overkill
     
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  13. Chef jpd

    Chef jpd Well-Known Member

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    Nice writeup. I have the same bars on my EB.
    just be sure to use a boatload of lube on those poly bushings.
    I had to re lube mine twice after developing a very embarrassing squeak on the inner barrels of the bushings.
     
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  14. Brian@BMVK

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    Softer bar and stiffer spring works reeeeaaallly well.
     
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  15. WhiteyDog

    WhiteyDog WOOF!!!

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    Ya know, I thought I was the only one who thought this but was sorta kinda afraid to admit it. I wish ALL Steeda's parts were "Steeda blue" , but then I'd probably just lay under my car and smile my *ss off at all the blue there is. Oh, did I type that out loud? . . . .
     
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