The Nissan Club banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Alright, thought I'd do up a whole thread around the Gen4 rear sway bar.

Though not factoring majorly in my mod list in my .sig, the stiffer rear sway bar actually makes a ton of handling difference. I was pretty excited when I got my RacingLine Rear Sway bar...because it actually looks like a performance part, unlike the hollow tube factory OEM tinkertoy piece that comes with the car. It is substantially thicker than OEM and consequently comes with larger diameter bushings...see pics below, the RL RSB is about the same diameter as a QUARTER (yes the Canadian quarter peso and the US quarter are almost exactly the same diameter).

I bought some new MOOG problem solver endlinks as they too seem to have meatier construction than many of the cheaper or econo links did. Grease nipples were just icing on the cake!

Fast forward two years...when my car suddenly makes these funny clunking noises from behind the rear passenger seat. I assume it was the heat shield above the muffler as I knew it had already corroded through the front aluminum rivet..I mean WHO uses Aluminum rivets into a Steel frame member...has Nissan never heard of galvanic reactions?! (turns out both sides were loose at the front rivet, but neither side was actually making the banging noise) Instead a foot long chunk of inch thick solid steel bar was dangling and bouncing around under my car!!





Annoyingly it seems I had somehow broken my 2 year old RacingLine sway bar....and based on other threads...am unlikely to get any kind of warranty or replacement satisfaction since it seems they've boarded up shop and run for the hills....but that's another thread

ow

So, now I have an urgent need to replace the rear sway bar...the one I'd thrown out just this spring thinking I'd never need the sorry POS OEM unit. Well turns out I need a new one.



So I ordered the $250US Stillen bar, which graciously comes with new endlinks, which I definitely needed, but no bushings (because it's the same diameter as the stock bar)...yeah, the ones I threw out back in the spring...so now I need to order new bushings, sigh. Dealer wants $30/CDN ea...bwahahahaha not happening. RockAuto wants $6 for a pair of MOOG bushings...that's a winner folks! Check out how much smaller the OEM/Stillen bar is compared to that quarter!



While on RA's site, I also ordered some Mevotech Supreme endlinks which look substantial and have grease nipples, just in case I don't like the look of the ones that come with the Stillen bar....I'll probably just use them anyways.

More pics of this and re-assembly once the bar gets here sometime next week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
860 Posts
Were you looking for another performance sway? Otherwise you could have easily found a stock one at a junkyard for probably a few dollars.
 

·
09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Were you looking for another performance sway? Otherwise you could have easily found a stock one at a junkyard for probably a few dollars.
Yes, as I said in my post above, the stiffer sway bar is one of my favourite mods...there is just no going back to stock :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
I'm probably going to be doing this myself soon. The handling is still sub par compared to my practically stock 3rd gen altima. I recently changed struts all the way around (kybs), tie rods, new hub assemblies, and new tires. It's still feels like there's a disconnect with the road and feels sloppy.

Do you need an alignment after a rear sway bar swap?
 

·
09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I'm probably going to be doing this myself soon. The handling is still sub par compared to my practically stock 3rd gen altima. I recently changed struts all the way around (kybs), tie rods, new hub assemblies, and new tires. It's still feels like there's a disconnect with the road and feels sloppy.

Do you need an alignment after a rear sway bar swap?
No alignment should be required after the swap of the sway bar (unless it already needed one). My bar just arrived, hoping to get it on tomorrow...been driving around all week without any sway bar at all...no hard cornering for me!! Glad it has been hot and dry and not slippery and wet!

Agree with the manufacturing defect, should not have broken!
 

·
09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Satisfying Conclusion!

A rather straightforward and uneventful install. As usual, you'll find some pics and some install notes below.

First off, the Stillen bar is a different shape than the OEM or Racingline, with an extra 'bend' at either end which is needed to clear the lower control arm spring cup at max extension, you'll see in a couple of pics the bar and cup get within an 1/8" or so of each other at the lowest point (ie jacked up). It's nicely painted? in red and very well packaged for transit.



I wound up using the supplied endlinks for a couple of reasons, largely because they are different in size and shape. The 'redesigned' endlinks provided with the bar a bit longer and have a 90' rotation between upper and lower joints, whereas the stock have something more along the 75' (approx guess). I took pictures once the bar was mounted to eyeball the relationship between bar end and the mounting tang on the suspension arm...and lo, yes, 90' is about right. I figured this was better than having a more limited range of movement by using the OEM fit parts...so I'll keep those Mevo parts and see if I ever need to replace the Stillen parts down the line.




The $6 Moog bushings, a strange blue colour, fit perfectly and I lubed them up with favourite silicone grease, Molykote 111 (which you'll have heard me praise earlier as it has a very high wash resistance)


Below image is upside down!


Some install notes:

Tools: torque wrench, 14mm, 17mm sockets, and for Stillen 5/8 crescent wrench and 9/16 long sockets
Grease: Molykote 111 or similar rubber/neoprene compatible bushing grease, Antiseize (optional)
Time: 1-2 hours...depending how good you are and how much you have to fight the old parts, and less with airtools.

-blocked both front wheels front and back and set parking brake
-jacked car up on each side and placed jack stand on the inside of the reinforced rocker panel, inline with the official jack point
-removed both rear wheels

I had already removed the old bar, but when you do it, note the following (and ref Stillen info in next post):
- mark the driver side of sway way
- note the orientation of the endlinks (ie endlink upper nut on front side, lower nut on inside, bushing bracket split on rear bolt etc.)
- I don't think you can put the Stillen bar on upside down, but in my case the white sticker was on passenger side
- remove the upper nut (14mm?) of the old endlink on both sides
- loosen the rear bolt (17mm) of the bushing bracket about 1/4", remove front bolt
- slide bracket forward until it clears bolt and lower bar onto exhaust system
- repeat for other side

I fished the bar in and out from the passenger side with the bushings attached. You do a little push pull first to get the bar ends clear and then slide it straight out from behind the rotor.

I pre-greased the bushing area of the new bar with MK 111. Opened the bushing split with a finger and slid it over the flattened end of the bar. It's not hard to work it around the 2 bends before it gets to where it needs to be, but at the 2nd bend, while the bushing split was at its widest, I put a line of grease in there with the hope that it would prevent water, salt and grit from catching in the crack. Once in placed I smoothed it all down and around to ensure no air gap into the bushing from either side or the split (which I mounted so that it was rear facing). I placed the OEM bushing D clamps over the new bushings and lightly push down on them to seat them. The friction fit and grease held them in place while I inserted the new bar into place.

I lightly touched the bracket bolt holes with some antiseize compound just to make hand tightening the bolts easier. New bar fished in same way. Lift one side at a time, slide split part of bushing clamp onto existing bolt, and while supporting, insert the frontside? bolt and hand tighten enough to hold in place. Repeat for other side.

Check both sides to ensure that the sway bar ends can move freely up and down and that they aren't on the wrong side of the suspension arm tang or tangled in the parking brake cable. Now torque the bracket bolts to spec, 22 ft-lbs. Expect some grease to squeeze out.

Lay the old bar on the ground, in the same orientation it was on the car (remember, you marked the driver side?). Match the new endlinks to their respective sides (they are mirror images of each other, remember nut to the front and inside?). Take one and hand fit on the vehicle, hand tightening the supplied nut enough so that it stays in place. Repeat for other side. Recheck that everything will fit together nicely.

I don't think it matters which end you do first, although you do need to know the upper nut is torqued to 32 ftlbs and the lower nut to 41 ftlbs according to the FSM. If you removed the two bolts holding the upper nut mounting plate/tang then they get torqued to 49 ftlbs. It's easiest if you can get the flats of the endlink stud in a convenient orientation for your crescent wrench. I found you could use the socket to rotate the flats until the wrench fit nicely. Torque to spec. When done, things should look a little like (driver side)




Hope that helps someone!
 

·
09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Stillen Installation Instructions

A little lightweight, but readable though missing all the torque info (see post above). Stillen endlinks have 9/16" nuts (socket) and 5/8 stud (wrench) flats. For the sake of $5 it would've been nice for them to throw in new bushings to completely round out the kit--I think most would happily pay that on top of the $250.
 

·
09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
So....been doing a little digging...I think the 'custom Stillen' rear sway endlinks are actually just stock 350/370/G35/M35 rear endlinks. Anyone have one handy they can measure? Looking for centre to centre distance of the two balljoints (within 1/4" accuracy is fine!)

EDIT: called Moog...very helpful people tech desk 18003258886 option 2 for suspension...given as 4.31" ctr-ctr

EDIT2: Winner Winner! Just measured the Stillen supplied links and they match! So Moog K750044 will work as replacement/upgrades to their part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,579 Posts
If you look closely at the stock Nissan sway bar, and the Racingline bar, they are built alike. The Stillen is "new and improved".

Here is why the Stillen bar is different: From Stillen's webpage...

Due to poor design many Nissan Altima owners have found themselves needing to replace their factory sway bar. After a close examination, the STILLEN R&D team learned why - the design of the sway bar is not allowing the suspension to twist the sway bar. Instead, the suspension compresses the bar up into the wheel well. This is causing the sway bar to bend in the middle rather than twist as it should. After seeing this, the STILLEN R&D team quickly began making prototypes until we got the perfect design that applies torsional load from the suspension travel to the center of the sway bar in a twisting fashion as it should.

This is the reason the Racingline bar broke, where it broke.
 

·
09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
How does it compare to racingline?
Good question, but right now I don't know. Had some battery issues on the weekend so haven't really had a chance yet to throw it around a few curves yet. Definitely happy to have a bar back on the car though! Will report back after I've had a chance to 'break it in'.
 

·
09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
How does it compare to racingline?
Not as stiff, but it's still better than stock....and far less likely to break than either of those, if Stillen really re-engineered it right. I give it a B+
 

·
In Soviet Canuckistan
Joined
·
632 Posts
So....been doing a little digging...I think the 'custom Stillen' rear sway endlinks are actually just stock 350/370/G35/M35 rear endlinks. Anyone have one handy they can measure? Looking for centre to centre distance of the two balljoints (within 1/4" accuracy is fine!)

EDIT: called Moog...very helpful people tech desk 18003258886 option 2 for suspension...given as 4.31" ctr-ctr

EDIT2: Winner Winner! Just measured the Stillen supplied links and they match! So Moog K750044 will work as replacement/upgrades to their part.
Sorry to revive a dead thread, but I needed to replace the Stillen rear sway bar end links after I brought in my Altima to have it aligned, only for the tech to discover my rear end links are broken at the bolts on each side of the sway bar. The sway bar itself is still good, but the end links need to be replaced.

I bought this very rear sway bar and end links when it first came out a few years ago, and it's been great! Although last year, I started to notice my handling was off. At first, I thought it was my tires, only to discover that the rear ones have cupped very badly, on both sides. My thought was that my alignment was off, plus, those tires were at the end of their life, and were shitty Fuzion tires to begin with. Swapped out my summer set to my winter set, got an alignment, and carried on with my life. That was last November 2017.

Fast forward to the last two weeks, purchased new tires, and was wanting to get an alignment again, because new tires.

I tried to go through Stillen to see if they can send me replacement end links, but I couldn't get a response from them back, which was weird.

Then I found this thread, and you pretty much saved my bacon!

RockAuto and Moog, saves again!

Thank you!! :D
 

·
09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Sorry to revive a dead thread, but I needed to replace the Stillen rear sway bar end links after I brought in my Altima to have it aligned, only for the tech to discover my rear end links are broken at the bolts on each side of the sway bar. The sway bar itself is still good, but the end links need to be replaced.

...

I tried to go through Stillen to see if they can send me replacement end links, but I couldn't get a response from them back, which was weird.

Then I found this thread, and you pretty much saved my bacon!

RockAuto and Moog, saves again!

Thank you!! :D
Glad you found this useful, and thanks for letting us know. I'll be keeping a tighter eye on my own endlinks now ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Glad you found this useful, and thanks for letting us know. I'll be keeping a tighter eye on my own endlinks now ;)
So... Some years later, what do you think about the Stillen end links? Are they worthy or cheap as the OEM ones?
I'm asking because yesterday I installed the Stillen Rear Sway Bar but without the links, because I jave the moog ones and look way better but I know they may not be the correct ones. I'm thinking about either buy the Moog that you found or the provided Stillen ones.
 

·
09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I just looked at mine a few weeks back (new rotors and pads time). They were in perfect condition.

BTW you shouldn't be using the original part with the new sway bar...they have different rotational angles between the ball joints...I had pics in my post but the old forum ate them at some point, but the OEM are like 70' or so off wrt top/bottom and the Stillen parts are 90'...essentially they reworked the sway system to behave more like the 350Z (as their endlinks are 350Z parts).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
You are totally right, they are different, I just didn't want to use the Stillen ones because they are mich thinner than the Moogs, but I can give them a try now that I know they worked for you, it doesn't have any sense to spend on new links without using the ones I already have with the new sway bar.

Here is a pic comparing the OEM Moog with Stillen
 

Attachments

·
09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Well coming from a guy who managed to snap his Racingline swaybar...which was much thicker than the Stillen...I'm still going on the Stillen bar and endlinks...no issues.

BTW love the artistic addition of the acorn in the lower left...perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I've got the Stillen bar on order for my '07 Altima 3.5 SE 6-speed (the last year for the V6 / manual trans combo). I snapped the OEM bar at around 200K, and it broke right where other blogs said it would - right at the mounting bushing. I just removed (and kept) the offending pieces, and noticed that there was a crack at the same point on the other side. It definitely was bending, not twisting as it should. Now at 280K I'm replacing some worn out parts for the first time (it hadn't cost me anything previously, just oil, gas, rubber). After deciding to keep the car as a 2nd driver, it's getting new springs, shocks, front control arms (the car is otherwise still mint - no rust yet).

Looking at the picture of the end links, the Stillen ones are likely stronger (even though thinner) as they look to be welded steel, whereas the Moog one looks like cast iron or pot metal. I'd stick with the Stillen end links.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top