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TL Sway Bar Upgrade: Install and Thoughts

1880 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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Probably a good replacement post for the old one that was made a long time ago. What year is yours? I think I might go for the aftermarket options and get a 25 mm rear sway bar since using the part numbers in the old post I was not able to find a good place to buy the bar, and if I did it was overpriced and cost the same as the aftermarket one. Not sure if your part numbers are different than theirs
(car info below my pfp) 2010-15 have the same suspension setup whether its 2 or 4wd, the bar I pulled out is what you'll pull out of yours if you decide to upgrade. All in all I spent around $318 for everything, shipping is what killed me for the most part since I got stuff from 3 different places.

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I know that the bar is the same, I ask the year because you say there was a bunch of rust. You got the bar at a fair price, but at that point I could pay less and get a 21mm aftermarket, or pay the same as you and get a 25mm aftermarket. The aftermarket comes with the whole kit from one place. I can't see any reason why I shouldn't go with the thickest 25mm bar, it should be a huge upgrade to the factory 15mm bar with no downsides
Most of this 2010's rust is surface and a good undercarriage spray would've made it look way better but I know from experience that this is actually really good for a 120k midwest car. The only downside I can think of with an even thicker rear bar is making the lack of front stability extremely noticeable, I could tell a difference right away, so much less rolling in the back compared the front now. Plus unless you get poly bushings for the 25mm bar, rubber ones would wear out quicker since there's less material around it, but that's a long term thing. Front Sway Bar is probably the next big ticket item besides HFP Wheels or the bumper I'm looking for... or the elusive under spoiler kit.
I think these crosstours have front sway bars, but so far no one has attempted to upgrade them. You can buy a dual lower subframe bar that can help stabilize, but you lose an inch of ground clearance. There is also the front strut tower bar, though I doubt a new one will make a difference. I'll have to do more research, worst case I can get the 21mm aftermarket bar as it was like $240 for the whole kit and will do the same as your Acura 20mm bar.
There is a front but its heavily obscured by the subframe and to change it looks like you have to drop the whole thing. I guess the lack of sturdiness could be attributed to the worn shocks and springs cause everything else looks and feels solid up there.
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Maybe the newer facelifts handle better. Yours has hydraulic steering over eps which is nice, but mine definitely corners well. My only complaint is on a sharp turn and I mean turning into a street not driving around a curved road, you kinda feel like the car is floating into the turn and you lost contact with the ground, which isn't true. I don't know if it's my junk Goodyear tires or what.
I have some chinese-special tires on mine, Sumitomo HTR A/S PO3, but I liked how the PO2 never slipped even in the rain so I decided to get the next gen, having a V speed rating is a plus even though this car is limited at 120. I would rather have EPS over hydraulic honestly, my power steering reservoir is whiny and it caused me trouble when swapping the engine. I've never "felt" like the car lost contact with the ground when turning, always felt solid even if it does roll.
The hydraulic in my 2012 accord coupe feels great, not sure about the crosstours but in my 2015 with eps it doesn't have as much road feel, and the steering just isn't the same, the wheel is wobbly which is just an eps problem.
In general how cross-compatible are the various parts from Acura sedans with the Accord and Crosstour, and which ones would offer useful upgrades like this? For example, I would suspect the TL could also offer struts that are "better" in various small ways, without trying to convert my comfy CUV into a performace sports car.

Any ideas on how to go about determining if any particular Acura part would fit and has reasonable potential for noticeable improvement, besides buy and pray?
There is a few, but it's also not the same platform at all. I believe it's like 2011-2014 that has compatible parts. The suspension I don't believe works, I forget exactly why but it's something to due with the vehicles weight and the suspension strength, if it was put on an 8th gen Accord the accord would sit to high, and on the crosstour it may just not be compatible at all. If you want parts, the compatible stuff comes from the 8th gen Accord sedan. The Acura TL just happens to have one or two small things like the sway bar that ends up being the same width since it's a similarly sized vehicle.
Although not guaranteed, if it "fits" on an Accord, it will likely fit just as well on a Crosstour. That's why Accords are a go-to source of parts.

If the problem is the Accord doesn't weigh enough, then the Crosstour may be its own solution to that problem:

According to Wikpedia, a 9th Gen Accord (equivalent gen to my 2013) has a curb weight of 3,193 lb, while a 4th Gen TL is reported as ranging from 3,699 lb (base) to 3,948 lb (SH-AWD). That's a pretty big difference. But according to, my i4 Crosstour weighs 3,730 lb, which is heavier than the base TL.

If the TL's strut is simply too tall, regardless of weight, then perhaps the smaller TSX might still have something to offer?

The question is not aimed at parts in general. It's about parts that might offer an upgrade from the mostly-Accord parts in the Crosstour, while still being "Honda parts"... and where "upgrade" is not defined as simply "more like a race car."
The crosstour is built on the 8th gen Accord platform. It's basically an 8th gen Accord hatchback that has a more premium ride and design, and the facelift that we have is the same thing but with some upgrades pulled from the 9th gen Accord, such as the steering wheel, radio, engine, speakers (these are a downgrade though), seat design, fog lights e.t.c. there is a few parts that can be pulled from the tl, such as the rear sway bar, but the majority of parts won't fit since it's a different platform. But yes if it will fit on the 8th gen Accord sedan, then it's likely it will fit on the crosstour. Mine is a top spec V6, so it weighs 4100lb. If the only issue is due to the TL being heavier, than I suppose the suspension system could work. The thing also is that our crosstours have double wishbone front suspension, and I don't remember if the similar generation TL does or not. If it doesn't, then the whole front suspension would never fit, though the rear might if it's a similar independent rear suspension design. I can't see any benefit from having the tl suspension though, these facelift crosstours ride very smooth compared to my 2012 accord coupe. My 2015 Crosstour feels like a brand new car where as my accord feels like it's a bit old, though the pre facelift crosstours built at the same time in 2012 may also feel that way, I have no clue. The TSX is again another different platform and a smaller vehicle, it would share parts with the similar year Civic if anything.
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My thinking on the strut, which is pure speculation at this point, is the TL strut might be designed with slightly more advanced (expensive) tech, potentially leading to a minor but noticable improvement in handling while maintaining that same luxury smoothness.
Unlikely. The crosstour is basically an Acura with Honda parts, and it was Acura priced at equivalent to $50,000 for my top spec model, it is not just 100% directly thrown together from the accord. The crosstour does have bigger brakes and parts, and if the 8th gen Accord rides like my 8th gen coupe, I definitely would not want to throw stock suspension from it onto my Crosstour when it comes time to replace the suspension.
lol, reading through that thread again pisses me off cause I spent over 300 total for all of this stuff and they got it for a third of that, saw one say 60 and the poster had 120 or something all in
I don't think anyone did it for $60 but about $150 probably. Like I said the OEM parts are over priced now which is why it cost you $300, it's like $180 to get a 21 mm aftermarket bar which will perfectly replace the OEM 20 mm bar. If you want to go even harder you can get the 25 mm bar for like $280. I still can't decide which one I should get.
Manual swap your coupe and trick it out, leave the crosstour for mostly stock.
If I wanted a manual coupe I'd sell mine and buy one, it's not worth all that work to swap it. My only complaint about it is the unpractical 2 doors. The Crosstour while having a way smoother ride, still handles very well, but it can't hurt to make it handle even better as long as I'm not sacrificing ride quality or j35 bulletproof reliability. Not to sure what I want to do with the accord yet.
I know Bilstein makes good stuff, M539 Restorations on youtube uses them exclusively and he is a very OEM oriented guy. The only thing is finding something from anyone that fits on our cars, or even the regular accord or TL, 8th gen wasn't very popular for mods as much as the other generations or even in general with honda's own lineup.
Everyone runs to civics. The people who want significantly more power in a bigger and way nicer vehicle, like us, go for the accords. And for the people who want luxury, we go for crosstours.
Manual swap your coupe and trick it out, leave the crosstour for mostly stock.
My black Crosstour will look great blacked out with black wheels. Bags are expensive, so I'm thinking maybe a more rugged tire for now. Not something that sticks out of the fenders though, I've seen people do it to crosstours and it doesn't look great. Just not sure if these will produce a lot of noise.
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Is this specifically for the AWD Crosstours, or can it also be used with the FWD cars as well???
They both have sway bars, you can upgrade the sway bar on both.
Is it the same sway bar for both??
No it actually looks like it's not when I look at my Honda diagrams. They are a different shape and slightly different mounting location. I haven't done a ton of research into the tl sway bar upgrade, so I'm not sure if the part numbers provided by the two posts are for a TL SH AWD and put onto a 4WD crosstour, and that potentially meaning you can put a regular FWD TL sway bar onto a FWD Crosstour, but either way they are different. More research will be needed, I'll look if I have Acura tl diagrams.
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Is it the same sway bar for both??
I Checked, I have no TL Diagram. But heres a Comparison, 4WD is on the Left with FWD On the Right. The Bar Has a Bend In the Middle Rather than At Each Side, And the Mount is Slightly Farther Back on the frame, So im not Sure. A Quick Search Shows the Second photo below being a 2012 TL AWD OEM Rear Sway Bar being completely Straight, I guess its just the same length, so when replacing the Mounts, it fits fine. So its possible that it may still fit since the new mounts would be able to hold it either way.
Oh and that Bar is on Ebay Used for $120 with everything needed. Might be a really good budget option to get yourself a TL Bar. $120 Free Shipping for used 20mm oem vs $180 For a 21mm Aftermarket or $280 for a 25mm aftermarket.

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If Bilstein makes something that fits, it's by accident and they won't tell you which it is. just says they can't show you anything if you search for any Crosstour or 8th or 9th gen Accord.
Nothing says it fits the crosstour, you just have to know what fits from the 8th and 9th gen Accord.
1. There are certainly many retailer and manufacturer websites that do list parts for the Crosstour, even if some don't.
2. As stated in my post, Bilstein 's website does not list anything for the Accord either.

So I really have know what you mean here, or what you're getting at.
Crosstours specific parts sure. Parts made for the accord that fit the crosstour, extremely rare.
Been working on it today, I'll finish tomorrow. The end link bolts have been a pain to get off, the Allen wrench only partially worked, and now I'm onto vice grips due to the threads being so dirty. I'm going from my factory 14mm bar to a tl 3.7 20mm bar.
I cut off the little boot on the driver side to get a needle nose vise grip into the back of the joint to make it stop spinning, once i got it out far enough i was able to move to the big vise grips and easily hold it to remove the nut. Rusty threads are easily the thing making this job take forever instead of a half hour. Passenger side didn't fight that hard thankfully. I got the entire job done in 2.5 hours. That also included a parts run for the end link nuts.
Yeah it got to hot I'll finish tomorrow. I don't want to replace my purple Honda end links, so far the rubber seems to be fine while I grip onto the metal piece. Shouldn't matter if that's a little messed up.
How did you get the bushing mounts out? I didn't realize the bolt was on the top. I can't really get a wrench in there, do I need to take the tire off? The old 2014 post said it was done without ramps in a driveway quickly.
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