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e36 swaybar install ?

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by phanley, Mar 9, 2009.

    • Member

    phanley

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    I'll be installing new swaybars(front and rear) in my 96 328 soon, and I can't seem to find a detailed DIY online, and the Bentley manual only gives a remove/install for the front.
    I have been able to figure out what I'll need to to to remove and install the new bars, but I still have one question:
    Is it OK to do this with the car on ramps, or does the suspension need to hang free-with the car on jack stands or a lift?
    The only reason I ask is that I feel much safer working under a car that's on ramps than one that's on jack stands. I don't want to damage any suspension components (by having the car improperly supported), but I also don't want to take an unnecessary risk.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    If the car is level, i.e. there both sides of the suspension are at the same height, there should be no problems doing on ramps provided you have enough room to get it out. You can always put it on ramps and get everything loose, then jack it up onto stands if you need clearance (then you wouldn't have to be under the car very much.) Can't for the life of me remember what it takes to do the rear bar, though.
    • Member

    phanley

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    That's what I was hoping. If I have to use the jack stands I will. I just wasn't sure if the sway bars were under pressure with the road wheels on the ground. Thanks:)

    boostlife guest

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    do swaybars make a big change in ride on the e36
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Not much. They're a secondary influence on body roll (Springs are primary.), so you might notice slightly flatter cornering. At street speeds, you should hardly be able to tell if they influenced understeer.

    boostlife guest

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    what about upper strut bars front and rear
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Strut bars stiffen the unibody, also providing some additional support for the shocktower areas (helping to minimize deflection in those areas) - once added, you may notice crisper (more immediate) turn-in response, and possibly also in turning-transitions. Shouldn't really affect ride quality noticeably or at all.
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    Brian A

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    It seems to me that shock tower deflection must be about 3 orders of magnitude less than plain tire sidewall deflection. I am surprised that there is any noticable effect.
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    MGarrison

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    Yes, but depending on chassis rigidity, the change in turn-in response can be noticeable. Certainly is on E21's & E30's. As each generation has gotten stiffer, I imagine it would be less noticeable for each succeeding body-type. My E21's rear shock-towers stress-cracked from the lowered suspension, auto-x, & driving schools, for instance. Nobody made a rear stress bar at that moment in history, had to have one custom-fabbed.
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    granthr

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    Once you get everything unbolted, you might run into some difficulty removing the old bar with suspension in it's normal position. At this point you might have to get the wheel free of the ground to get it out and consequently the new bar into position.

    Isn't it important to tighten everything up with the suspension in it's normal position? (IE on the ground).
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    MGarrison

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    I don't think it matters for swaybars.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Only certain bushings that depend on flexing materials to function (like upper control arm bushings on the E28). None do on the antiroll bars. They're intended to move relatively freely in their mounts and at their ends.

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