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Installing Corvette Shocks and Rear Sway Bar

Thrown A Curve

Mark Potter Aug 22, 1999

Step By Step

Support the rear of the car and remove the rear wheels. We used a lift to aid photography.

Remove the spare tire from the holder, and the tire holder from under the car.

Before installing the bar, hold it in place to ensure a proper fit. Our bar used the factory mounting holes.

Our holes were filled with crud, so we scraped the mounting surface and tapped the factory holes.

Mount the brackets that attach the bar to the rear trailing arm, keeping all nuts facing inside. Be sure to watch the brake-line clearance. Our passenger-side line needed to be nudged out of the way. Be sure to keep all mount points a loose fit for now.

Mount the sway bar with the two sway-bar bushings to the factory holes that were tapped. Be sure to center the bar at this time. NOTE: Rubbing the inside of the bushing with a thin layer of grease will help keep things quiet, because urethane tends to be a little squeaky. Remember, keep the fit loose for now. You may need to move the bar a little to either side.

Before installing the sway-bar-rod links, level both links to the same length with at least half a rod link inside the rod-link end.

Mount the rod-link brackets to each end of the sway bar--remember, loosely for now.

Mount the rod links to the bracket on the sway bar and the bracket on the trailing arm.

Keep the nut connecting the rod links loose.

Before tightening all bolts, temporarily test-fit a rear tire to ensure there are no clearance problems. Now tighten everything up. Be sure to reinstall the spare-tire holder and spare tire.

The shocks we have chosen are Moroso three-way adjustable shocks with settings for regular (same as stock--firm), sport and towing, and extra firm for competition driving.

Set the adjustment of each shock by pushing down and listening for a click, then rotate to desired setting. Our car is a daily driver, so we set it to the regular setting. With sway bars on both ends and new shocks, this should be a good street setup.

Pre-lube all bolts prior to removal. This will help remove years of undercarriage road grime and make removal of stubborn nuts easier to deal with, especially on the front studs.

Remove the top stud. Then remove the lower shock bolt and remove the shock through the bottom.

Install front shocks from the bottom, taking care to seat the stud through the proper hole, and install the lower bolt. Then move to the top and install the upper nut on the stud.

Remove the rear shock bolts, top and bottom. Installation of the rear shocks is simply two bolts and it’s done. Once both sets of shocks are installed, remount the front and rear tires. You’re good to go!

Curves...that’s what driving a Corvette is all about. If you’re like me, you like to go in fast and come out faster. Corvettes are known for their handling characteristics, and yet even good things can be improved upon. For the few individuals who prefer to push their Corvettes to the limits, adding new shocks and sway bars can really give your car a renewed confidence when life throws you a curve or two. Our car is a 1974 Stingray with optional front sway bar.

When we got into our project we discovered that the previous owner had aftermarket shocks installed years ago that were very worn, and one shock was blown. This car was definitely going to benefit from this project.


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