By Jeffrey Ho See (email@example.com)
Last Updated: 03/23/98
This unit will be fitted to a 96 LS-SE with 16k miles and a DIY K&N
intake and a Greddy Front Strut Bar.
- Polyurethane (longer life, resistance to environmental effects)
- Installation Grease (really tacky and sticky stuff)
- Black Colored (don't know if other colors are available)
Fairly stiff units. They don't distort under strong hand pressure
application. Grease is applied to the inner portions of the bushing.
Parts Necessary :
- 1 ES Front Sway Bar 24mm kit (GS-R)
- 1 ES Rear Sway Bar 13mm kit (RS/LS/LS-SE)
Tools Necessary :
- 1 12mm socket
- 1 ratchet
- 1 prying instrument (door clip remover)
- 1 long piece of wood (or similar object)
- Car Jack
- disposable gloves
Front sway bar : The front end needs to be lifted slightly so you can
slider under the car a bit, and work on the sway bar. This can be done simply
with the spare tire jack Honda has provided. Once you have enough room, you can
slide underneath the car and remove the two bolts holding the bushing in. The
front bracket takes a bit of effort to remove. So I had to use my door clip
remove to pry it up a bit in order to pull it off. Removal of the OEM bushing is
a little tricky. It's probably better to use your longer piece of wood (I use
the handle of a hammer) to pry the sway bar away from the chassis, the w/ your
other hand pull the bushing out. The bushings are side dependent! Be sure
to record which way they went came out so when you replace with the ES bushing,
it will install correctly. I wasted about 30 minutes fidgeting w/ one bushing
until I realized I had put it in backwards (it was dark!) I would highly
recommend cleaning your sway bar prior to installing the ES bushing w/ its
grease. I used a shop rag and lacquer thinner to clean the area. Installation of
the front bushing was pretty challenging. The tacky grease gets everywhere so be
careful! Since the bushings are harder, it's a bit tricky to get them to slip
over the quite large front bar. I also had quite a bear of a time install the
bushing brackets back on. The bolt and nut just didn't seem to line up (I think
the front bar is under quite a bit of tension) Take your time and be
Rear sway bar : The rear bushings were ridiculously easy. While
the front required about 1.5 hours for me, I did the rears in what seemed like
15 minutes! You don't need to jack up the car. You don't need to move the rear
sway bar in order to get more clearance. Installation otherwise is similar.
During removal, I got a chance to compare the parts as well as the OEM
durometer. First off, the ES bushings weren't exactly the same compared to the
OEM. Size wise, they're a close match. I also believe the bushing split is not
in the same location as OEM -- unimportant during installation. The OEM bushings
were extremely soft. In fact, when you looked at the front sway bar you could
actually see the bushing already deformed! I performed before and after tug
tests on the sway bar, and I got less deflection with the ES bushings. Seems
like it's gonna do some wonders.
Seat of the Pants :
I was giddy with excitement as I drove off. I had pretty high expectations.
As I was letting the car warm up, I made slight steering oscillations. The car
seemed a little skittish! And I began to wonder if I had done something wrong.
Body roll didn't seem noticeably diminished and I was sorta disappointed
Boy was I in for a surprise! I finally arrived at the big right hand
sweeper near my place and proceeded to take it on. Wow o wow o wow!
Body roll definitely diminished. The car now has a more commanding road feel to
it, and dare I say there was less understeer? Further driving revealed, that the
early skittishness was a misinterpretation of the car behaving to steering input
more readily. The car's initial turn in at speed has definitely improved. I
found myself using too much steering input now. This is how Honda engineering
intended the car to handle!