Gen II Prius Sway Bar Installation Guide

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by jwp_pv, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. jwp_pv

    jwp_pv Junior Member

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    I couldn't find a detailed walk through on the sway bar installation, but after completing it, I see how easy it was, but I thought it might benefit others that are contemplating it and would like some visuals before embarking on the mission. I did the install by myself, but it would have been nice and faster if I had a helper :p

    Cost breakdown
    TRD Sway Bar from John Elway Toyota, Manhattan Beach, CA - $156.50 + 15.26 tax
    30 inch steel pipe from Lowes - $9.00

    Total install time
    45 minutes - 1 hour
     

    Attached Files:

    8 people like this.
  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Have you noticed any difference in cornering performance?
     
  3. jwp_pv

    jwp_pv Junior Member

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    Thanks Patrick, forgot to mention that! I did take it out for a spin around the block taking the corners extra hard. I did feel MUCH less body roll going around the corners. In my neighborhood there is a sharp left turn in the road with the speed limit posted at 15mph. I used to take that turn at about 20mph and would feel like the car was about to lose it. After I installed the sway bars, I took that turn at around 30mph (not safe, I know :eek:), and the car was very stable.

    I have the stock Goodyears that the dealer installed new when I bought the car used (at the end of June). With the new sway bars, the tires aren't screeching around the turns as much. I have them inflated to 38/38.

    I should also mention that I have the BT plate installed as well, but from what I gather, the cornering improvement came mostly from the sway bar.
     
  4. hxiong

    hxiong Junior Member

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    Nice write up, pictures are great!
     
  5. subarutoo

    subarutoo New Member

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    Nice write-up! Does anybody know how the TRD measures up to the Pontiac Vibe/ Toyota Matrix bar? Is the TRD bigger? The price isn't bad, but is a junkyard Matrix/Vibe bar the same?
     
  6. atroader

    atroader Engineer

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    I'm finally looking for a sway bar for my 2007 for cornering help- Is this the best swaybar to get? What about Subarutoo's question?
     
  7. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Very well done, nice write up!
    Have you noticed any change in MPG, good or bad yet? Seems easy enough, I have some spare change....maybe!!

    PS... Nice torque amplifier!!:D

    I am going to add an edit here....I have been reading the PDF over and over talking mysef into this, and after lookig a pic 1, over and over, I think the new bar is upside down! It looks like the housing bows upward, maybe thats the camera lens effect.. I notced you mentioned this in your post.

    The reason I think this, is note in pic 1 the old bar was higher up the on the mounting posts, it is not welded to the center of the mounts, but offset.
    Now look a pic 4, notice the new bar is welded below the center of these mounts and it appears of bottom out in the metal holder.
    Pic 5 shows this nicely.
    In reading the instruction page, 3a seems to indcate there is a up and down, as it mentions proper orientation. But what are the ramificatons of mounting it upside down???
    Maybe it just bangs against the mount, will it effect how it performs????
    I don't know, anybody have a thought????
    Or it just could be due to the exra thickess of the new bar...

    On the bright side, I talked myself into this, and am going to order one tomorrow!!!
    I will figure it out and let ya all know whats up!!
     
  8. jwp_pv

    jwp_pv Junior Member

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    I haven't noticed any change in MPG. I would reiterate what others have said regarding this mod, and definitely recommend this as an upgrade for ANY driver. No change to ride quality at all, but makes the car feel stable in turns.

    Unfortunately, I'm away on a business trip and won't be back until August. I'll definitely take a look at the install when I get back, maybe I'll try placing the sway bar "upside down" and see how it fits. I'll also weigh the old bar and new bar for comparison.

    Regarding the instructions on 3a, I think they are referring to the installing the bar in the "U" position facing the front of the car...and not the upside down "U" position. So... if the front of the car was the top of the page, it's stating the obvious, which is to install it \__/ and not /--\. I do not know, but I don't think you can't even install it /--\.

    As for banging noises, my wife hasn't reported anything :) She's been driving the car while I'm away and I'm sure she would have been freaked out and called me. But she says the car is fine.

    If you do the install, try taking a pic of the sway bar in the different orientation and send me the pic. I can update the doc and repost.

    Good luck KK6PD.

     
    1 person likes this.
  9. jwp_pv

    jwp_pv Junior Member

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    I think the difference between the Hotchkis bar and the TRD swaybar are going to be neglible, but either compared to the stock bar is going to be quite different.

    I'd say get the cheapest one you can.

    -Jae

     
  10. blades

    blades New Member

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    Very nice write-up, jpv!! Thank you for taking the time to document it so well.
    FWIW, I think I agree with KK6PD that the bar is upside-down, as he mentioned, based on the before and after pics. But that would mean that TRD put their sticker on it upside-down, which seems pretty careless on their part.

    All in all, this sounds like a very worthwhile mod!
     
  11. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    Is the Touring swaybar any different than the regular Prius sway bar? How much of a difference would it be to upgrade from a Touring sway bar to the TRD say bar.
     
  12. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    There will be a difference in ride, but if you don't notice it, that's what counts.

    Bumps that effect one side of the car only will make the most difference. Bumps and dips that effect booth sides equally there will be no difference.

    Holes in the road that effect one side only will also be a bit rougher, but not as much as bumps.

    You will also tend to loose rear wheel braking traction on rough corners or under hard braking on irregular surfaces more with the bar added. Whether you notice it or not is a function of how well you are attuned to your car and how much roll stiffness the bar added.

    I suspect the bar you added isn't overkill, but here is some info on the topic.

    Browser Warning

    You will also be closer to the point of getting into terminal over steer when you back off the throttle in a hard turn. For instance you get onto a clover leaf off ramp faster than expected and back off the throttle. If you have added enough rear roll stiffness (sway bar) you stand a good chance of your car swapping ends. That's not a good place to find out that you have made your car unstable at the limits.

    When I change suspension I go find a safe place to push the car to it's limit in corners and see if I have created monster.
     
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  13. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    Good idea - try some highway speed emergency lane changes if you can - those are usually the hardest to control if the car is prone to over steer. Unfortunately, due to the speed, it's nearly impossible to find a safe place to do it unless you can find a huge empty parking lot. Maybe some auto-x time will help, too. :)
     
  14. flareak

    flareak Fleet Captain

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    question for ya: how did you get it up to the specified ft*lbs?
     
  15. jwp_pv

    jwp_pv Junior Member

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    You can use a torque wrench, but I just wrenched it as hard as I could.
     
  16. Azipod

    Azipod Member

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    I'm interested in the TRD 24" rear-bar. However, since this bar isn't made for the Prius, how much effect does it have on the vehicle at its limits? Most bars work wonder within a good operating range but when you get to the limits of the vehicle, things can break lose quiet easily. I'm afraid of using the rear bar that is too stiff and the rear end will spin out. Yes, I've had this happen before, but on another vehicle where I added a beefer rear bar but did nothing to the front. :(
     
  17. Gravedigger

    Gravedigger Junior Member

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    Very well done!
     
  18. plastermaster

    plastermaster Junior Member

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    I found this old thread on a search for a flatter ride in my Prius. I sent an email to TRD and they wrote back saying that the part number of the sway bar in the OP is not a toyota part number, and that TRD doesn't have any swaybars for a base prius. They do have a front bar for the Plus package but it isn't compatible with the base models. Now that many years have gone by is there any current recommendations for sway bars front and rear for the PriusII?
     
  19. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    If you look at the PDF linked to post #1, you will see that the TRD Rear Sway Bar is for a Corolla/Matrix, not Prius. Ask to see if there is a new part number for the Corolla/Matrix Rear Sway Bar.
     
    #19 dolj, Dec 21, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  20. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed Surly tree hugger

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    Toyota isn't gonna tell you the trd bar fits perfectly, but it does. or, the Progress bar, which I got from TH motorsports also works great. but its true the car will oversteer if you push it. so I strongly recommend replacing the front bar with a used corolla/ matrix bar. cheap from the junkyard, make sure you get the frame bushings too. that will balance it out and handling will be very predictable.
     
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