|[Click on Photo]
Figure 1: Rear sway bar mounting bracket
Figure 2: Predrilled counter-sink hole for bracket
Figure 3: Rear sway bar mount and bracket
Figure 4: Rear sway bar drop link
Figure 5: Sway bar installed around transmission mounts
Figure 6: Reinforcement piece welded into rear trunk
|| Most 914s did not come with the
factory sway bars installed. I've often heard of the 914 handling best described as
'interesting' without a set of sway bars. I've put the factory sway bars on my own
car (shown in the pictures) and the difference is like night vs. day. The car is much more
stiffer and can take quick curves without blinking an eye. It's especially useful
when trying to catch the end of a yellow light while making a left turn.
For those who are going to be racing their 914s, it may be wise to leave off
the rear sway bar. This is because the 914 doesn't have a limited-slip differential
on the rear axle. When going around a tight bend, the sway bar will tend to
lift the inner wheel up off of the pavement, resulting in a slight loss of gripping
power on the road. The solution is to install a limited slip, but that's just a
bit costly (usually around $800-$1000). On everyday street cars, the benefits
of the added stiffness outweigh any differential concerns.
It is important to note that the rear sway bar shouldn't be added without
the front sway bar already in place. I hear that handing will be all over the
place if the car only has just the rear bar. The front sway bar may be
installed just fine without the rear was installed as well.
The first step in performing the installation is to obtain all the
necessary parts. You will need:
- 914 stock sway bar or aftermarket equivalent
- 4 rear droplink bushings
- 2 sway bar 'running' bushings
- 2 sway bar brackets
- 2 reinforcement plates
- Lithium or equivalent grease
Pelican Parts can provide all of the parts to do the job
right. The factory sway bars are sometimes difficult to come by, however,
Weltmeister makes a really great aftermarket bar. We are currently having the rear
sway bar brackets and reinforcement plates manufactured to the original specs,
at reduced factory prices. Drop us a line if
you want to order a complete installation kit for your car.
The only difficult part about the installation is welding the brackets
onto the car. The brackets fit on the underside of the trunk of the car. They are
L-shaped in order to fit around and attach to the transmission support bar. A
factory sway bar bracket is shown in Figure 1.
The bracket has two nuts that are welded to the L-shaped steel stock. One of these
nuts fits perfectly into a hole already drilled into the bottom side of the
transmission support bar. This hole can be seen in Figure
2. There were actually two different types of brackets made, but the
L-bracket (shown here) will work well on all cars.
The best method of aligning the bracket is to place the nut in its
predrilled counter sunk hole and then align the edge so that it is perpendicular with the
edge of the trunk. The 'raised' portion of the sway bar actually mounts to the rear
trunk sheet metal. The proper location of the sway bar mount is shown in Figure 3. Once this location is identified, it
is recommended that you score the location on the sheet metal with a sharp
The bracket will need to be welded onto the transmission support bar,
and the trunk floor. Before doing this, however, it is wise to check the
location of the mounts by assembling the sway bar and making sure that everything
fits ok. The last thing you want to do is remove the bracket once it's welded in
[Tod - At this point you might find that the bracket
that attaches to the left (drivers) side of the car interferes slightly with the
rear "U" sheet metal brace that is welded several inches behind the transmission
mount support bar and connects to the rear sheet metal to support the bumper mounting. You
can score the metal on the L bracket here and remove the excess material with a hacksaw. I
only had to remove ¼" of material for a perfect fit. Do not oval out the factory
hole in the transmission support bracket, this will cause a misalignment in the sway bar
and end up pre-loading one side of the suspension even if you can get the sway bar mounts
The drop links fit into special bolts that must replace the ones
that hold the shocks to the bottom of the trailing arms. The best way to
replace these is to place a floor jack under the trailing arms. At this point
of course, the car will have to be up in the air, supported by jack stands underneath the
jack points or the motor mounts. Place the floor jack under the trailing arm and jack it
up just to the point were pressure is relieved off of the shock assembly. Loosen the
nut and the bolt should slide out easily - in theory. It may take a bit of
wiggling to remove. Once removed, replace it with the new bolt with the drop link mount.
The drop link and its mount are shown in Figure 4.
Getting the sway bar situated perfectly in the car may take a little
bit of practice and patience. The bar is bent around the middle to avoid
hitting the transmission mounts. The correct orientation of the bar is shown in
Figure 5. After the bar is in place, bolt
the little U-clip to the sway bar bracket with the 'running' bushing inside. Then check to
make sure that the bracket is correctly aligned with the marks you made earlier.
When this is confirmed, then weld the bracket at both ends, to the bottom of
the trunk floor and the transmission mount. If you don't have a welder, then
carefully and clearly mark where you want the bracket to go, and then take it to your
welder friend or a local shop.
[Tod - Before you begin welding with
whatever type of welder you have (probably a MIG or TIG), keep in mind that the
transmission support mount is made from a thicker metal than the trunk floor pan, both of
which need to be welded to the L - bracket. Adjust your welder voltage (heat) controls
accordingly so that you do not burn through the trunk pan which is easy to do if the wrong
heat range is selected.]
It may be wise to consider replacing your trunk floor if it is real
rusty. I replaced my trunk floor because I didn't want to mount the sway bar to a
weak floor. This of course is a very long , messy and difficult job, and shouldn't be
entered into lightly.
After the brackets are welded in, you then need to weld in the two support
plates that reinforce the rear trunk panel. These plates can be seen in Figure 6. This is a top view of the trunk.
The plates are welded onto the opposite side of the sway bar mounts (i.e.
inside the trunk area underneath the carpet). They fit into the corner of trunk
panel and stiffen the panel where it's mounted to the bracket underneath. I had my welder
friend use rosette welds to attach the plate uniformly to the trunk panel. (Rosette
welds are similar to sport welds except a bit stronger. Holes are drilled
into the top panel, and then the weld is placed within this hole, creating a sort of
weld-type rivet. The end result is a weld that looks very much like the factory
original, yet is much stronger.)
Well, that about completes the job. If you are a
welder, then it is a real easy job. If not, then you need to line up a friend or
welding shop to do the work for you. If you have any questions about this job, drop us line...