PDA

View Full Version : DIY: RS4 Rear Sway Bar Installation



Jer
10-14-2010, 11:40 PM
Did this today and was unable to find a DIY so figured I would post up a quick explanation in case anyone else is looking. I didn't take pictures to post up but it's pretty straight forward really.

Tools: Ratchet, 13mm socket, 16mm or 5/8" socket, various extensions & a C-Clamp

Start by backing the car onto ramps. This is easiest and will keep load on the suspension so if you don't get an alignment you're more likely to retain your previous adjustments. I would recommend you get your car aligned however for performance, safety and prolonged tire life. Even slight tweaks to adjustment settings can change your suspension geometry drastically.

Once on stands put the car in park and set the parking brake for safety. Chocking the front wheels on the front side isn't a bad idea either.

Crawl under the car to begin work. I wear Mechanix gloves, long sleeves & well as eye protection when working on cars and I suggest you do the same. Eye protection is especially important when working underneath the car looking up. Gravity isn't a friend to your eyes.

Once underneath the car you will see the factory sway bar just ahead of the spare tire hump. Work your way to the driver's side of the car and along the way you will find a bushing and bracket that secures the car to the chassis of the car. Continue along the bar and see the larger bolt that ties the bar end to the lower suspension of the car. Pay CLOSE attention to the blue piece of plastic running up and down right near the end of the bar. This is the vehicle's level sensor and you do NOT want to disturb or break this part. Make sure everything you do with removing and replacing the bars clears this first and be careful when working around this part.

When you get to the end of the bar you see a larger bolt. I read to use a 16mm socket but most standard socket sets don't include a 16mm so if you don't have one a 5/8 will work just fine. Do NOT USE A 17mm socket as this will easily strip the bolts. Once you get to this bolt you can loosen it and remove it. It's easiest on both of the end bolts to access with an extension from the side while looking from the rear. Do the passenger side as well.

Once both bar ends are unbolted go ahead and drop the back half of the exhaust. Follow the exhaust to the rear and just inside the bumper cover you will find a rubber hanger attached to a bracket anchored by two 13mm bolts (everything we're working on aside from the bar end bolts will be 13mm). Go ahead and remove them on both sides and let the exhaust hang.

Now you can remove the two brackets anchored by two 13mm bolts each side. The bar should now be loose but this step is the hardest: Getting the bar out and the new one back in place. About the best advice I can give here is to take our time clearing that blue part inside the wheel well area mentioned earlier and work you way side to side while pulling down on your exhaust. NOTE HOW THE BAR COMES OUT. I made the mistake of thinking I knew which way it went and when I finally got the RS4 bar in place on both ends the center curve was the wrong way. I had to remove it and start over. The only part worse than removing a sway bar on the A4 and putting it back in is having to do it twice.

Once the old bar is out you can now put the new one back in. Reverse order paying attention to the blue part on the driver's side. affix one bar end onto the sleeve and put the bolts in but do NOT tighten down yet. We'll leave everything loose until all bolts are started properly.

Once both end bolts are threaded in a few threads move back to the brackets. This is the second most fun part if you're reusing the smaller factory brackets from the thinner sway bar on the thicker bar. If you got the brackets then this should be a breeze. I thought I ordered one with the new larger brackets made to handle added thickness of the rubber bushing but nope. I had all new bolts & bushings but no brackets. Oh well. On the driver's side I was able to thread the top bolt a couple threads and then get the bottom one to catch as well and give it a few threads into the hole. It takes some pretty strong pushing so this is where the C-clamp can come in handy. Cranking the bracket down onto the rubber bushing before attempting to bolt will make like easier. Repeat on the passenger side alternating top and bottom a few turns until it's snugged down flush with the chassis mount bracket.

At this time make sure you tighten down the bar end bolts all the way. Replace your exhaust brackets the way they were (note that there is some adjustment to center your exhaust tips if they're crooked) and you're all done.

Here's the only photo I took demonstrating the size difference between the stock base A4 sway bar and the new and improved RS4 which is noticeably thicker and more stout:

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_u5gGqJHjM6Q/TLf2hPn7S-I/AAAAAAAABN4/adhGXdIzG5o/s640/IMG_20101014_120424.jpg

A quick drive better feel around corners with a noticeable decrease in understeer with a new bias towards oversteer making the car corner more neutrally. I also noticed that the bumps in the road seemed a little more pronounced than before. Like just driving down a street the cracks in the street seemed to jar me a little more than before but it's possible I was just more aware/sensitive to the cars handling characteristics since I had just upgraded the suspension and was paying attention to the car's handling.

In all this was a simple, quick and inexpensive mod that produced some decent gains in handling. I would suggest it for just about anyone and I think most will be happy with the results & performance return on time/money investment.

Anyway, sorry for the lack of pics but hopefully I described it will enough to offset the lack of pictures. Hope this helps.

jimrobbington
10-15-2010, 07:01 AM
Nice, been wanting to do this. Did you get an alignment? I never thought or heard of that being necessary with this mod, but it makes sense.

Jer
10-15-2010, 09:08 AM
Nice, been wanting to do this. Did you get an alignment? I never thought or heard of that being necessary with this mod, but it makes sense.

My new Conti DWS's will be in hopefully today. Once my new set of tires are on I will have a four wheel alignment done. As I said, it's not a requirement especially if you use the ramp method versus jack stands that allow the suspension to unload while removing/replacing. But doing an alignment whenever messing with with suspension related components is never a bad idea. Some people try to save money here and there and figure some tasks are less likely to change your geometry and this is certainly one of those.

beantown
10-15-2010, 04:09 PM
Nice, been wanting to do this. Did you get an alignment? I never thought or heard of that being necessary with this mod, but it makes sense.

You're right, it isn't necessary to get an alignment after the install. I didn't and everything worked out just fine.

Jer - good write up, however there was a DIY posted on this in the past: http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/225821-RS4-Sway-Bar-Install-Guide

Jer
10-15-2010, 11:15 PM
You're right, it isn't necessary to get an alignment after the install. I didn't and everything worked out just fine.

Jer - good write up, however there was a DIY posted on this in the past: http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/225821-RS4-Sway-Bar-Install-Guide

Well, a few problems. 1) that thread didn't come up in a search 2) it's not in the tech section where DIY's belong or I wouldn't have wasted my time typing up another and 3) there's some misinformation in that DIY.

beantown
10-17-2010, 04:08 PM
Well, a few problems. 1) that thread didn't come up in a search 2) it's not in the tech section where DIY's belong or I wouldn't have wasted my time typing up another and 3) there's some misinformation in that DIY.

I'm not knockin on your write-up at all; good info.

S4nikator
03-05-2013, 01:08 AM
I'm about to take this sway bar re & re on this week... Had my S4 on the hoist to take a look-see on Sunday. I'm glad I read your post, as I had no clue to look for the blue levellers!
Cheers!