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C5 Corvette Sway Bars - Bar Talk
Installing Hotchkis' C5 Sport Sway Bars
Apr 29, 2010
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Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
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C5 Corvette Sway Bars - Bar Talk
Hotchkis Sport Sway Bar Set
Our installation took place at Hotchkis' shop in Santa Fe Springs, California. The company manufactures suspension upgrades for all makes and vintages of performance vehicles, which explains the Mopar in the background.
With the car on the lift, we can get a good look at the OEM front sway bar. Although this Z06-spec bar is considerably stiffer than the one found on the base C5, the new Hotchkis unit is claimed to be 115 percent stiffer still.
Begin the job by removing the lower endlink nuts...
...followed by the four bolts (two per side) that secure the bar to the frame. You should then be able to pop out the lower-endlink studs and slide the bar out of the vehicle.
Raise the new Hotchkis bar into place and install the included bushings.
These bushings are permanently impregnated with a dry lubricant, and no additional lube is required.
Maneuver the bushings so that their placement mimics that of the OEM pieces. With that done, apply anti-seize to the original sway-bar bolts and partially reinstall the brackets.
Begin threading the bolts by hand to avoid stripping the threads in the aluminum frame. Don't fully tighten the brackets at this point; you'll need to be able to rotate the bar within the bushing in order to complete the next step.
Hotchkis offers the package in two different forms: PN 2285 (used here) includes sway bars and bushings that work in conjunction with the stock Z06 endlinks, while PN 2234 adds upgraded endlinks to the mix. The Hotchkis links offer maximum performance and durability at the expense of a skosh more road noise. Whichever kit you choose, installing the endlinks and tightening the frame brackets to 35-40 lb-ft completes the front-end portion of the job.
With the front sway bar installed, it's time to move on to the rear bar, shown here.
As with the front bar, this portion of the job begins with the removal of the lower-endlink nuts.
Use a spray lubricant if necessary to help break them free.
Next, remove the upper bolts that hold the sway bar to the frame, followed by the nuts on the lower frame mount. Leave the lower bolts in place, as these secure the lower A-arms to the car. Push out the lower-endlink studs and remove the bar from the vehicle.
Using the factory parts as a reference, install the new bushings on the Hotchkis bar.
The three mounting holes in the Hotchkis bar (top) make it possible to dial in different levels of stiffness to match your vehicle specifications and driving requirements. Depending on the setting, the bar can be configured to offer 60, 100, or 150 percent more stiffness than the factory piece.
Lift the new bar into place and secure it by loosely reinstalling the frame brackets. Remember to use anti-seize compound on the threads of the bolts.
Install the endlinks, inserting each top link into one of the three holes on the end of the new bar. Hotchkis recommends starting with the outermost (loosest) setting, then working your way inward (increasing stiffness) as needed.
With the endlinks in place, tighten the bolts in the upper and lower frame mounts (to 35-40 lb-ft and 60-65 lb-ft, respectively) to complete the installation. Check these bolts after 100 miles of driving and retighten them if necessary.
The Hotchkis sway bars are powdercoated black, lending a welcome dose of understated style to the Z06's underbody. The rear-facing company logo is a savvy bit of marketing, considering that's the position from which the car's on-track competition is likely to view it.
Our test car had previously been fitted with a methanol-injected ProCharger system, in preparation for its role as camera car during the filming of a Hotchkis promotional video. With the new sway bars in place, the Z acquitted itself admirably during the shoot, handily outpacing several comprehensively modified muscle cars on Socal's famous Streets of Willow road course.
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