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Thread: Sway Bars

  1. #1
    Master Mechanic HawaiiKid's Avatar
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    Post Sway Bars

    So the Hellwig swaybars I ordered last week came in! Well, the front one did at least. So, being how I am (always excited for my next project) I immediately ripped into the box, pulled the parts out and rushed to get under the truck to install it! No problem yet, right? So in order to install the front sway bar, I needed to pull the stock one (that I didn't even know I had) off. First bolt pain in the -ss, but I got it off ok. Second bolt-stripped. Third bolt-part way off, then stripped. Fourth bolt-stripped. WD-40'd em, didnt do anything but drip in my eye. So...now I'm stuck there, because I don't have a good garage to work in (aka, no real lights, and lots of Hawaiian B-52 cockroaches ) and its real dark out. Any advice on how to get these stripped bolts out? I'm thinking I might just have to take it to a shop and have them drill em out or something. Anyways, here are a few starting pics. BTW, this sway bar is SOLID, super heavy and clearly really well made.

    EDIT: Anyone think something like this would work? Threads arent stripped (I dont think), the heads on the bolts are just really rounded off).
    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...id=00952166000


    Last edited by HawaiiKid; 10-26-2010 at 03:23 AM.

    2003 Silverado, SOLD 1/11/11 for my... 2001 Ford Mustang Bullit, #1787

  2. #2

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    :/ That sound like a horrible experience. Depending on how stripped the bolts are, you may have a hell of a time getting them off all together. If there are absolutely no angles on the bolt heads to work with, you may have to drill out the bolt. Just be careful not to mess up any of the threading or you'll really be in trouble. Or you can pick up a screw/bolt extractor for a minimal price and try that out.

  3. #3

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    Go ahead and get the stripped head bolt removers from Sears. I have a set. They're worth their weight in gold if they save you from having a shop drill them all out.

    Are the nuts captive or welded to the frame somewhere? If so you want to avoid drilling them out at all costs. I'm used to replacing them on cars and you can usually get at the the nut and bolt. So vice grips will sometimes save your butt.

    If that kit comes with poly bushings make sure you lube them really well and that the bar rotates freely in them *before* you start hooking up the end links. Once you torque down the bolts that hold the retainers on the bushing. If the bar won't rotate freely. Then the bushings are grabbing it too tight. That is bad. You'll need to put a washer on the back side of each bracket then bolt it down. That will stop the bushing from being compressed so much. If you don't get it right then the bar will not work right.

    If you have adjustable end links you want no preload. If not just connect the end links and have at it.
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  4. #4

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    I'd say go with the sears bolt removers as well. I've also had pretty good success with easy out kits. Did your new kit come with replacement bolts by the way?

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  5. #5

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    Yeah... good points. I would try anything before having to drill out a bolt. Give 'em a shot.

  6. #6
    Master Mechanic HawaiiKid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vms4evr View Post
    Go ahead and get the stripped head bolt removers from Sears. I have a set. They're worth their weight in gold if they save you from having a shop drill them all out.

    Are the nuts captive or welded to the frame somewhere? If so you want to avoid drilling them out at all costs. I'm used to replacing them on cars and you can usually get at the the nut and bolt. So vice grips will sometimes save your butt.

    If that kit comes with poly bushings make sure you lube them really well and that the bar rotates freely in them *before* you start hooking up the end links. Once you torque down the bolts that hold the retainers on the bushing. If the bar won't rotate freely. Then the bushings are grabbing it too tight. That is bad. You'll need to put a washer on the back side of each bracket then bolt it down. That will stop the bushing from being compressed so much. If you don't get it right then the bar will not work right.

    If you have adjustable end links you want no preload. If not just connect the end links and have at it.
    Ok, I will def make sure the bar is lubed up well before installing it...it came with a little bottle of lube so I'll make sure to use it. And I'll also make sure to not over tighten the fittings on the bushings, the Hellwig instructions were also very clear about not over tightening things!

    Quote Originally Posted by ntbush83 View Post
    I'd say go with the sears bolt removers as well. I've also had pretty good success with easy out kits. Did your new kit come with replacement bolts by the way?
    New kit did NOT come with replacement hardware, but I already bought 4 new bolts from a local hardware store to replace them. I'm def going to go pick up that kit this afternoon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincennes02261897 View Post
    :/ That sound like a horrible experience. Depending on how stripped the bolts are, you may have a hell of a time getting them off all together. If there are absolutely no angles on the bolt heads to work with, you may have to drill out the bolt. Just be careful not to mess up any of the threading or you'll really be in trouble. Or you can pick up a screw/bolt extractor for a minimal price and try that out.
    I really dont want to drill it out, esp cause the bottom bolt would be almost impossible to get a straight angle on.

    Thanks for the advice, going to pick up this kit after work today!

  7. #7

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    Make sure the bolts you purchased are grade 5 or 8 as cheap ones may break.

    Definitely use the lube on all the bushings. I changed the bushings on the sway bar on my Jimmy. I ordered black ones from NAPA and they ended up being black urethane instead of rubber and they squeaked all the time unless it was raining!
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    I am sending this post to My friend at Hellwig. Just to let you know about 99% of all cars and Trucks Have some sort of Front sway bar and about 40% have a rear. What you want is the thicker (Even 1/4) makes a differance) I also added the Better reat end links to mine and it made for a better handling.. And the Hellwig are Solid unlike some others that are Hallow...
    08 Z71 Avalanche Mods to date: K&N CAI,Hellwig Swaybars and End Links, Corsa Sport Exhaust, Superchips Programer,IPCW LOF & 3rd brake light and tails, AMI Gas door,Show Hooks and Door locks, Enkei Wheels, with Pirelli tires, StreetScene Bowties, Grant Steering wheel,Muth signal mirrors,SSBC Big Brake kit,Huskyliner Mug gards,Floor mats and Hood shield, McGard Lug nuts and locks, Bedrug, Cervini's Ram Air hood,35watt HID Fog lights, Sylvania bulbs all around ZXE's Highs and Lows, WhiteNight Back up lights,Sirius and HD Radio, SnugTop sitting on deck now Got a Softopper on now,Tempress Boat Hatches.... New Bilstein shocks are on... New Mods coming soon..... X

  9. #9
    Master Mechanic HawaiiKid's Avatar
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    Day 2 of my fight with the frozen bolts. Winner-the bolts. I went to Sears, bought the fittings in the link above-they fit great, and I thought it was going to work! I'm a bigger guy, 6-2, 260 and I was laying under the front end with the fitting on and a rachet around that, and I started to pull. And pull. And pull. And just about when I thought my arms were gonna fall off, the fitting stripped off what was left of the edges on head of the bolt, and I smashed my hand into the frame.

    Fk.

    SO, being a guy who hates leaving a job feeling like I could have at least done SOMETHING, I cut the u-brackets off using a sawzall (being super careful about not hitting any of the plastic boots on the front diff and wheels) trying to make the bolts easy to get to. Then I tried to unbolt the endlinks, and since they are on with like a threaded washer/nut at the top I couldnt get the bolt to not spin. :( So I just said f it and cut those in half too So now I have a swaybar-less Silverado, and I'm just going to take it into a shop in the morning tomorrow and have them pull these bolts out, they are such a pain in the -ss.

    Pulling the stock sway bar did show the difference between the Hellwig and the factory one, which is HUGE. The Hellwig bar is solid (very solid, really heavy), and the stock one feels very flimsy and hollow next to it, so I'm excited to feel the difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enkeiavalanche View Post
    I am sending this post to My friend at Hellwig. Just to let you know about 99% of all cars and Trucks Have some sort of Front sway bar and about 40% have a rear. What you want is the thicker (Even 1/4) makes a differance) I also added the Better reat end links to mine and it made for a better handling.. And the Hellwig are Solid unlike some others that are Hallow...
    Yeah, def didn't know that mine came stock with one, and honestly if I knew how much of a pain these bolts would have been I prob wouldnt have even bothered. However, feeling the difference between the stock one and the Hellwig part makes me excited for once I am actually able to get it mounted!

  10. #10
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    Take it easy on the corners on your way to the shop. Without your bar on there it is going to act a lot different than what you're used to.
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