Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:47 pm Post subject: Addco Sway Bar problems
I purchased a set of Addco sway bars some time back for my 2005 Impala LS.
I do not recall if it was their kit #02174 (front) and kit #02179 (rear) or if it was kit #740 (front) and kit #639 (rear).
The rear bar set collars that mount on the bar to limit sideways motion rub on the body of the car. I ground these down so they no longer rub. I also had to use a spacer on the bushing mounts of about .125" as they do not supply new hold down caps and the stock ones really smash the urethane bushings that they suppled before I modified them. I also had thes bushings built up (.125") to try and push the bar far enough away from the frame to stop the rubbing.
The front bar appears to be about .75-1" short on both sides where the urethane bushing mounts to the frame to hold the sway bar in place. The way it is now the bar is positioned at a bend on both sides that distorts the bushing. I have tried sliding and rotating the bar to see if it helps but it only helps on one side and then the other side is twice as bad as it was before.
I have ordered a GMPP #12498643 front bar from Summit racing (less than half the cost of the Addco bar) to see if this solves the problem.
I was just wondering if anyone else had the same problems with the Addco sway Bars. Right now I would tell everyone to NOT BUY the Addco kit/s as they seem to be very poorly designed for this application.
The GMPP part number I show is supposed to be the 34mm thick bar. It is my hope that it is slightly longer or at least flat/square at the bushing mounting points. I really wish I had looked at some other W body forums before I purchsed these. Had anyone else had problems with theirs I would have steered clear of these and not wasted the $300 plus dollars on them. I had always heard good things about Addco products. Now I will never buy anything from them again. The amount of frustration and time spent working with these has been incredible to say the least!
Thanks for your input. I will do more research next time...
The front sway bar mounts are on the aluminum engine cradle. There are threaded inserts in the cradle to accept the sway bar mounting bolts. I received my GMPP front sway bar today and it matches the FE2 suspension sway bar that I took out in all dimensions exactly with the exception being it is about 3/8" larger in diameter. The GMPP urethane bushings that were supplied also have the little protrusion on the bottom that matches the dimples in the cradle where original bushings mount. The instructions from Addco do not mention having to "drill" anything. I am afraid that if you were to drill the cradle you would create a weak point in it where it might start to crack. That being said, I still feel the Addco sway bar was very poorly designed. Once I have it back out I will compare it to the GMPP and the stock sway bar that came out of the car and will post my findings here. Stay tuned.....
Well I finally got around to installing the GMPP front sway bar on my 05' Impala LS. Other than me puting it in upside down the first time (trust me you can do this) it fits just like the one from my original FE2 suspension.
By the way, when you put in upside down, the sway bar hits the exhaust down pipe that is attached to the cat. When installed correctly it has plenty of clearance. I hope this helps someone else if they choose to do this modification. It would be nice if GMPP would mark the bar RH and LH so you do not make this mistake when installing it.
I promised I would supply dimensions comparing the Addco sway bar to the GMPP sway bar so here we go:
GMPP, center to center on stabilizer end link mounting holes, 46.125",
Addco, 45.75" or about .375'" shorter.
GMPP, length on bar before it turns sharply to stabilizer end link mounting points, 31.5". Addco, 29.75", or about 1.75" shorter.
The GMPP and FE2 sway bars do have more kinks and bends in them than the Addco bar. I noticed on my car that where you mount the bushings for the sway bar on the aluminum carriage that they are slightly offset or crooked if you will. The back bolt being closer to the outside of the car while the front bolt is closer to the inside of the car.
I can only guess that this is the reason why the Addco bar distorted the bushings so badly when they were tightend down.
Once I get it out and test drive it I will let you know my thoughts. I am going with urethane sway bar end links as the GMPP bar came with rubber just like the original FE2 suspension. You would think that they would come with urethane as it is a performance upgrade would you not?
I am way late in posting this. The GMPP front bar works great and this is the way I should have gone to begin with. The ADDCO rear bar continued to be an issue. When there was any weight in the car it would squeak loudly. No amount of synthetic grease stopped the noise and I would still hear the set collars rub on the mounting bracket under hard corning. I wound up replacing the rear bar with a GMPP bar. While 1/8" smaller in diameter and not as straight, it fits perfectly and best of all it does not squeak. The difference in performance is hardly noticeable. Buy the GMPP sway bars and save yourself the money, time, and frustration.... (PS) I had my GMPP sway bars powder coated red. They look great!
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