Thursday, May 22, 2014

Installing the 981 X73 Rear Sway Bar Upgrade

An easy handling upgrade for your non-X73 Sport Suspension equipped 981 Cayman or Boxster is to replace the stock rear sway bar for an X73 Sport Suspension rear sway bar.

On a PASM-equipped 981, the stock rear bar is actually hollow, with a weight of ~4.65 pounds, whereas the X73 rear bar is a solid unit at a weight of ~8.5 pounds with only marginal size difference. As you can imagine, a solid bar is going to be stiffer than an equivalently sized hollow bar, giving you better handling characteristics.

Swapping out the stock bar for the X73 bar is a very easy process. There are only 4 bolts and 2 nuts that have to be removed.





Tools needed:

  • Socket wrench with 16mm socket
  • 16mm wrench (a ratcheting wrench would be preferred)
  • T30 Torx bit

You can choose to remove the nuts connecting the stock bar to the endlinks, or remove the bolts attaching the sway bar brackets. We opted to remove the sway bar bracket bolts first.


You’ll first want to raise the rear of your car to allow you access to the sway bar. A lift with a jack, as always, makes this process a lot simpler, but if you’re using ramps or a jack & jackstands, just make sure the car is properly chocked to prevent accidents.


Using your socket wrench with a 16mm socket, remove the bolts attaching the sway bar brackets to the car. There are two per bracket. Once the bolts are removed, the brackets can be taken off. Go ahead and leave the bushings on the bar for now to help protect the bar from directly contacting the car when you go to disconnect it from the end links.




Now all that’s left is to remove the nuts that connect the sway bar to the endlinks. If you were to try to remove the one nut on each side with just your 16mm wrench, you’ll find that they’ll just freely spin. If you look at the bolt that goes through that nut, you’ll find that the center of it is sized for your T30 Torx bit. With your T30 Torx inserted in the center to keep the bolt in place, you can now take off the nut. We suggest using a ratcheting wrench here, as you have limited space to otherwise turn the wrench.

Once the nuts are off on both sides, you can pull the endlinks to the sides to free the bar. It helps to hold the bar in the middle as you do this to keep the bar from dropping down.




With the bar completely free, it can be pulled out from the side. Remove and inspect the stock bushings for damage, and then lubricate the insides with rubber-safe grease (it’ll help stop squeaking later down the line).



Put the now-greased bushings onto your new bar. The bushing installs on the outside of the “collars” on the bar, i.e. on the sides nearest the wheels and not the center. You’ll also want the opening of the bushing to face outwards towards the rear of the car.

Installation of the new bar is now the opposite of removal. Feed that bar through, line it back up with the endlinks, and make sure the brackets line up properly. Also, we suggest you hand-tighten all the nuts and bolts first in case you have to play around with alignment before you snug everything down tight.

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