This Noob Wants to Attempt a Rear Swaybar Install

Discussion in 'MINI' started by Stefanie, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. Stefanie

    Stefanie Well-Known Member

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    Hey friends!

    So a little you may (or may not) know about me...

    1. I'm not experienced working on cars.
    2. I know my way around tools.
    3. I'm reasonably intelligent (depending on who you talk to).
    4. I learn pretty quickly (I think).
    5. I'm supposed to be making my kids an egg salad sandwich right now. :D

    So anyway. I watched a video of a rear sway bar install and read the written instructions. Seems easy enough, though the dude in the video used air tools, which I don't have. How much time should a noob like me reasonably expect to spend doing this? Any tips?

    Thanks! :D
     
  2. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    The first time, allowing for mistakes and such, about 2-3 hours.

    Having a clean, level, smooth floor that's well lit helps immensely too.

    Air tools are not needed, they just speed things up in the right hands.

    It also makes things easier if you have an extra set of hands around to hold things or push the new bar in while you hold the subframe down slightly and so on.
     
  3. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    When you say you know your way around tools do you mean you know how to walk around them or use them? :D
     
  4. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Ok I couldn't help it. It is straight forward. I don't know if this is your first DYI on your MINI but its a good one to start with. We are here to help and to poke fun. I say if you have the tools you need go for it!
     
  5. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Oh yea point 5, I'll take a sandwich.:D
     
  6. Stefanie

    Stefanie Well-Known Member

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    Haha! Mostly I just walk around them... :ihih:

    Come to Cali and help me and I'll gladly make you a sandwich! I did my hood scoop grill myself. That's pretty much the extent of my DIY car projects thus far. I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty, just concerned I may need some supervision. Really glad to have you guys as a resource. :)

    Thanks for the tips, Minidave!
     
  7. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Hay we all started some where its just a matter of unbolting it. Just don't be like me and lose any bolts or nuts keep them where you won't accidentally hit them and scatter them all over the place.
    If you have questions along the way ask we will keep an eye out for them.

    So are you going to try it?
     
  8. Stefanie

    Stefanie Well-Known Member

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    Thank you!

    Yes, most likely I will try it. I'm going to force Lance (Code3_Mini) to help me. ;)

    Maybe I'll make him a sandwich in return...
     
  9. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Numero uno..... Use safe solid jack stands... Or get it up on those solid RHINO Ramps (Walmarts sells them and "others").... Don't get under the MINI unless it's rock stable....

    [​IMG]

    "2. I know my way around tools." There are a few tools on this site.... But we're here for ya...

    Nothing more fulfilling than doing the "mod" yourself... Go for it...:Thumbsup:
     
  10. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Amen Metalman!

    All excellent points.
     
  11. Stefanie

    Stefanie Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the tip! I'm going to spend a bit of time gathering materials (and abducting Lance) - and will let you all know how it turns out. :D
     
  12. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Ramps won't work for this job, you have to remove the wheels.

    Just get a good set of stands under a solid point and you'll be fine - the best place is the jack points on the sides of the car for this work. Since you 'll be loosening and lowering the subfame, you can't set the car on that.
     
  13. Stefanie

    Stefanie Well-Known Member

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  14. GeorgeCo

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    Stefanie: Welcome and enjoy, this is a great project to get started with, but remember a sway-bar is a gate-way drug: Many other mods will follow.... That said, here's some advice to feed your addiction.

    Get a Bentley Manual for your model.
    R56 Manual
    R53 Manual

    The key to the swap is getting enough room to maneuver the bar. Usually that means completely removing the strut on one side, but I have successfully done it by only removing the top two bolts and working the bar through and around the rear spring. Just be prepared for the lower strut bolt to be a bigger pain to remove than it should be (at least that's been my experience.) Also make sure your torque wrench goes high enough for the lower bolt. 121 ft lbs for R56, 103 ft lbs for R50-R53.

    More tips and instructions here on my blog. Good luck. Post photos when complete.
     
  15. Code3_Mini

    Code3_Mini New Member

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    No abduction needed...I come willingly :p but you do make some bomb sammiches, so I won't turn that down. I think this will be easy and fun. If I bust a knuckle though (likely), I will require a GI Joe band-aid.
     
  16. Stefanie

    Stefanie Well-Known Member

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    GeorgeCo - thanks! Very helpful!

    You all rock. :)
     
  17. Code3_Mini

    Code3_Mini New Member

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    That's actually a very true statement (gateway drug). Although I think the car itself is the gateway drug haha
     
  18. Stefanie

    Stefanie Well-Known Member

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    Box of GI Joe band aids...check!
     
  19. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Every time I go to work on one of the cars my wife makes sure my oldest daughter is ready for ambulance duty. More then once she has carried me for stitches. Last time the doctor just stitched me up in the hallway.

    But I'm sure you two will be ok!:D
     
  20. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    If you weren't on the wrong coast I would be glad to help you out. :Thumbsup::lol:
     

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