Though the main roll characteristics of a car are dictated by the large coil springs that suspend the body, the springy bar that connects opposite wheels helps to dampen and control any major body tilt that can’t be handled by the individual coil springs. Replacing a thinner anti-roll bar with a thicker and stronger unit is a simple way to increase handling prowess.
This article focuses on front sway-bar replacement for the 1995-2005 Ford Mustang, but the basics of replacement will apply to any year car within that model line.
How to Replace a Mustang Sway Bar
Loosen lug nuts on both front tires.
Raise car about 24 inches from the ground using a floor jack, and secure with jack stands on the A shape piece of frame-rail next to the exhaust pipes.
Remove lug nuts and tires.
Insert a jack stand firmly under either side of the suspension to prevent the control arm from dropping. Do not raise the suspension. DO NOT allow the control arm to drop at any point during installation.
Identify The pivot mount. It is 6″ long by 1/2″ diameter brass anodized rod rising from the control arm. The sway bar is the flattened round bar attached to the top of the pivot mount.
Adjust the crescent wrench to size and grasp the flattened central portion of the pivot mount to prevent rotation. Have an assistant hold the wrench still while you address the retaining nuts.
Using two sets of 9/16 sockets, carefully remove the nut holding the sway bar onto the pivot mount, and the pivot mount to the control arm.
Use a pry bar to gently raise the flattened sway bar end section from the pivot mount until it clears completely. Be very careful not to damage the flexible bushings on the mount.
Repeat unbolting procedure on other side.
Underneath the car, follow the sway bar and locate the two A-shaped sway bar mounts. Use a 6-inch extension to reach the two bolts on either one, and unbolt them. The sway bar will fall free.
Work the bar out to one side or the other. It will come out through the wheel well. Be very patient, and have your assistant support the underside of the sway-bar while you twist it to clear the undercarriage. DO NOT remove the engine mudflap or chassis members that may get in the way. The bar will clear without removing anything.
Slip the A-shaped mount off the sway bar, and remove the rubber bushings from inside.
Dip your kit’s new rubber bushings in grease, and work it into every nook with your finger.
Slide the metal mounts, sans bushings, over the new sway bar and let them dangle.
Work heavily greased new bushings onto either side of the new sway bar, and insert them into the metal mounts. This mount installation must be done in two stages, since the metal mounts with bushings pre-installed will not fit over the flattened portion of the sway bar. The new bar should now resemble the bar you took out.
Work in the new bar through the small holes where the old one came out. Keep the same orientation as the original.
Heavily grease all pivot mount bushings wherever they contact metal.
Reverse the sway bar removal procedure to bolt everything back together. Install the frame mounts first, and then the pivot mounts.
Tighten the pivot mount bolts until you see some distortion in the bushings, till the pivot mount bolt rises about 5 to 6 threads past the top of the nut.
Take the car to a qualified alignment shop to have the suspension reset.
- Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need
- New anti-roll bar kit
- Floor jack
- Lug wrench
- Four jack stands
- Full set of sockets and wrenches
- Adjustable crescent wrench
- Pry bar
- Flat head screwdriver
- High temp silicone bushing grease
- Consider hollow chromoly anti-roll bars. They’re lighter and more durable than the stockers they replace.
- Driving a car with misaligned suspension can be dangerous, so consider having the vehicle towed to your local alignment shop.