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DIY: AVO Swaybar Mount Reinforcement Bracket

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Back under the car finally. Not that I missed it all *that* much, but it was good to get back at finishing up the suspension bits. Since our rear swaybar mount reinforcement brackets came in in some numbers last week, I snagged a pair and got ready to install them. As usual, I put the rear of the Outback up on ramps and got the tools I needed together.


The first thing you will need for this job: A set of our thick steel reinforcement brackets.




The Tools: 12mm socket, 19mm socket, extension to use with the 19mm socket, and most importantly of all, the big mofo breaker bar. Saves you many pulled muscles...




The install location: The bracket mounts at the swaybar mount and the rear diff member. 12mm nuts on the swaybar bushing brackets, and 19mm nut on the rear diff.




You may as well get the hernia out of the way first - unbolt the big nut from the rear diff member. Do this one side at a time, so that the rear differential stays up where it is. This will save you a lot of hassle.




It's pretty much one lonnnnng bolt with that round metal washer thingy. Thin, blackish fluid came out both sides of mine when I unbolted it. I don't know if it's from water building up inside, a liquid-filled bushing that broke, or the car crying tears of joy that it's being paid attention to.




Next, unbolt the bushing bracket and remove it. Leave the bushing itself in place.




What you need to do with the bracket is remove the little tab at the top, as it will interfere with bolting the bracket on to the new reinforcement bracket. This is quite simple, use any pliers or similar and simply work it back and forth, it comes off quite easily.






Now work the new AVO reinforcement bracket inbetween the bushing and the OEM mount. This is pretty easy to do, just pull the rear swaybar back far enough to slide it in, you don't need to remove the endlinks or anything like that.




Now you can put the big 19mm bolt back into the rear diff member to help get things lined up. The bolt holes for the bushing bracket are slotted to give everything a bit of wiggle room. Only lightly bolt it up, enough turns to just make sure the bolt is in place.




Then get the bushing bracket on and the two 12mm bolts back in. Lightly bolt them up, don't tighten them up all the way. You want the reinforcement bracket to be loose enough to move around.




Then you fully tighten up the 19mm bolt, as that will get the reinforcement bracket straight into place where it's supposed to go. At this point you may notice that your OEM rear mount doesn't fully line up with the bracket on one side or the other, or both. That's simply because the OEM mount has bent, either naturally over time, or because it got tweaked from some outside source or the stock bar. Bigger than stock bars will almost certainly twist them a bit over time.




My passenger side bracket was just fine, it bolted straight up to it and everything lined up perfectly. The driver's side, however, was fairly tweaked. The OEM mount was twisted and bent a bit towards the front of the car. This made it a bit difficult to get the bushing bracket back on, but once it was, and once I tightened everything up, it got pulled back into place.


Afterwards I took it for a short spin, to get a feel for it and make sure it was all settled in. The rear end felt *very* solid at this point, and turn in improved a bit. Quite nice, it's feeling great now. The great thing about these brackets is that they improve the performance of the rear bar, as it's not losing some of it's effect by simply twisting the mounts.




Paul Hansen


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Great walk through!


Tried doing mine yesterday. NO go. Broke my ratchet. Snapped right off :lol:


Gonna have to take it to a shop. Those bolts don't want me to take them out. :mad:

If you don't vote Trump, out, you're a bigot who hates america.
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