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TL Sway Bar Upgrade: Install and Thoughts

1851 Views 58 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Ang
Hey all, I got all the parts for the TL sway bar upgrade and did it earlier today. It went fairly smooth considering Wisconsin winter rust on these little nuts and bolts. (tools and part numbers at the end)
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On the top is my old sway bar and the bottom is the one that comes on a 2009-14 Acura TL-SHAWD
The stock Crosstour rear sway bar is 15mm wide and the TL's is 20mm as well as being more straight.

To remove the sway bar you have to remove the end links that attach to a bracket that comes off of the knuckle.
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As well as two other brackets that hold the sway bar with one bushing each. On each side, a bolt runs through to the welded nut from on the top of the rear subframe. These bolts are 12mm and they have a lock washer on the top.
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In an ideal world without corrosion, these sway bar end link nuts should come out when you put a 5mm Allen into the bolt end and turn the nut with a 14mm. I immediately knew that wouldn't work as the 5mm didn't fit in it and a 4.5mm was too loose. So I busted out the vise grips and held the back side of the link and loosened it with a ratcheting box end wrench and an m18 impact wrench. The one on the driver's side was a little worse, so I ended up having to cut off the little boot and grab the entire joint to hold it as I took it off with the impact, the penetrant I sprayed on it was steaming off by the time it came out.
(If you are replacing the end links you don't have to worry about removing the nut that attaches to the sway bar itself.)
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Once you remove the end links and the bushing brackets are out the sway bar is loose. Route it out from either side of the car, since its a long bar that isn't flexible you have to fenagle it to come out. If I was able to do so, anyone else can too. I got it parallel with the car and out from between the frame and the exhaust, I think I also went into the spare tire area a little bit so that wiggle room helped.

After you remove the bar you can compare it with the thicker TL bar, see first pic again, and now you can do the reverse of removal. Once the sway bar is in place above the lower control arms on both sides you can attach the bushings to the bar and loosely bolt the bracket in. The bushings themselves are directional and have an arrow pointing to where the front should be. Now that the bar is mostly in its position you can attach the end links to the new bar, they are directional so you can't mix them up. When everything is loosely bolted in, tighten down the bushing brackets and then the end links on the bar side and then the knuckle side (I used good-and-tight as a torque spec here). When the wheels are bolted back on and torqued you can set the car down and roll it back and forth to set the joints and bushings in their place, check to see that the nuts and bolts are all tight at this point and then you're done and should have something that looks like this if you used all new parts.
(note the rightfully upside-down "20.0" on the bushing)
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After going for a drive the change of feeling while cornering at speed is night and day, this feels so much better and will really show you how sloppy it felt before. It also shows you that stiffening up the rear gives away how bad the front is, and when I inspected everything while I had my engine out everything was solid even at 116k miles. Still makes me want an upgraded front sway bar, but that looks a little more involved, most likely have to drop the subframe for it or sneak it out by magical ways.

Now for the list of stuff.

2010-15 Honda Crosstour Parts:
Left Side End Link - 52325-TP6-A01
Right Side End Link - 52320-TP6-A01
Bushing Bracket x2 - 52308-TA0-A00
Bracket Bolt x4 - 93402-08020-08
Link to Knuckle Nut x2 - 90002-S10-000
Link to Bar Nut x2 - 90212-SA5-003

2009-14 Acura TL Parts:
Sway Bar - 52300-TK5-A02
20mm Bushings x2 - 52306-TK5-A01

You can get all of the parts from one Acura parts place but the only thing to look out for is the "link to knuckle nut", on the parts page for a 2009-14 TL, they use the same nut as the "link to bar nut", so if you do use an Acura distributor just get 4 of the 90212-SA5-003 nuts.

Jack Stands (I couldn't find mine but I trust my Jack)
19mm, for lug nuts
14mm for end links
12mm for bushing brackets
5mm Allen for end links (In an ideal world)
A variety of Vise Grips (For when the Allen hole strips out)
A knife (If you need to take desperate measures)
Impact Wrench
Electric Ratchet
3/8" ratchet
Torque Wrench (for the wheels, or don't, the impact is fine)

Electric tools aren't required but they make it go a lot faster, you can use the tool in your trunk if you don't have anything else for the lug nuts.
You can use an impact with extensions or the box end of a wrench on the end links but that's very tiring.

On the bushing brackets I used an electric ratchet with a deep socket, you can get them out with a regular ratchet and a deep socket or a shallow with an extension, a wrench might be hard to get in there.

If you look closely at the end link in that last picture you might be able to tell that it isn't a Honda nut, that's cause I didn't look close enough at the part pictures and just expected the links to come with nuts, since when would Honda be generous. I got a 4 pack of M10x1.25 flange nuts from O'Reilly's and they worked great.

Some more pictures:
A cool picture I found of the entire frame of a Crosstour, let me know if I should post the full ones, here I color coded the sway bar, brackets, and end links.
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A zoomed out area of the sway bar from the passenger side, includes the bar itself, bushing bracket, and end link
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The stock bushings, you can see the "FR <--" mark along with with the "15.0" mark (the bracket and bushings are separate pieces)
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Great write-up!!
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