1995 3000GT: Saner AWD Front Anti-sway Bar Installation

These instructions apply to a 1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4, but are easily transferable to any year of AWD 3000GT or Dodge Stealth.

Update March, 2006:
Mike Gerhard provided the following additional information and installation tips :

We recently installed a front Saner Sway bar in a '94 Stealth TT. We tried 
to use socket head bolts (tip from Jim Berry), however, they had yet to 
arrive so we struggled with the shipped bolts. We have another car to do 
and now have socket head bolts to try for that one. We also used the tip 
from Jim for lifting the control arm with a jack until the car just lifts 
off of the jack stand. We had a second jack stand in place for extra 
safety. We'd expand the tip to recommend installing the left frame member 
after applying torque to the left control arm pivot bolt.

We have an additional tip you may be interested in adding. Rather than 
drain and refill the transfer case, we used a transmission jack to support 
the transfer case, still attached to the drive shaft. We raised the jack up 
to the transfer case and set the saddle to the correct angle to keep the 
rear end of the transfer case elevated. After the transfer case was 
disconnected from the transmission, we lowered it about 6 inches, giving us 
enough room to remove the old sway bar and put the new sway bar in place. 
Holding up the new bar, we raised the transfer case and reattached it to 
the transmission. We then set about completing the installation of the sway 
bar. This saved us the PITA task of draining and refilling the transfer 
case. It worked great.
Mike also made the following comment:
One last note, in the step Reattach Transfer Case you list the torque spec 
for 91-93 as 61-65 ft*lbs and for 94+ as 18-22 ft*lbs. We are thinking that 
the 18-22 ft*lbs is for the fill plug (see next step) only. 18-22 ft*lbs 
was just past hand tight for the transfer case bolts. We tightened them to 
61 ft*lbs.
Erik's Note: I thought the same thing, but the service manual specifically says 18-22 ft*lbs for the 1994 and up models. If anyone has any more specific answer on this issue, please e-mail me, as I agree with Mike that it doesn't make sense to me. For reference, here is the diagram from the service manual:

Update January, 2004:
Jim Berry provided the following information and installation tips regarding the installation of the mounting brackets that bolt the anti-sway bar to the cross-member:

I found that using a bolt with a smaller head
presented less problems --- the parts store sold me
what they called a Japanese bolt which is simply a
bolt where the head is a nut/flange combination and
is a smaller diameter than the head of the bolts
supplied [ 14mm head I think ]. The larger diameter
head on the bolt is what causes the interference
 --- the best solution would be to use an allen 
head bolt if you can find the right size --- I think
that would eliminate all of the fitment problems
with the mounting brackets. It would also
eliminate the problem of getting a socket in the
restricted space around the bolt head --- the
Japanese bolt eliminates part of that problem.  
Jim Berry also provided the following tip for tightening the bolt on the control arm. If you choose to do this, please be very careful not to upset the car while you load that corner. If you're at all unsure of how to do this without damaging something or hurting someone, please take your car to a shop with a lift.

Another issue was the tightning of the control arm bolts
with the suspension compressed after getting everthing
installed --- I just left the car up on the stands and
used a jack to lift the hub assembly until the car just
lifted off the jack stand and then tightened the bolt I
repeated the process on the other side.  

The Procedure

Jack Up Car and Support Front End
  If you have active aero, you'll need to remove the center jacking point cover first. Then support the car on jackstands, making sure that the support point on  one side doesn't interfere with being able to unbolt the lower control arm on that side (I picked the driver's side).  As always, check to be absolutely sure that the car is supported securely and that it is not at all unstable while supported by the jack stands.  If it falls, it will squish you and you will probably not live to tell the tale.  Chock the rear wheels, too.


Remove Front Undercovers (or Active Aero)
  Remove the plastic tray(s) that cover the front underside of the engine bay.  These are held on by 10mm and 12mm bolts, all of which are easily accessible.  If you have active aero, you need only remove the outer 4 (2 on each side) 12mm bolts on the central metal support bar to remove the plastic aero dam.

Detailed Active Aero removal instructions can be found here.


Remove Downpipe
  You did remember to soak those nuts and bolts with penetrating oil last night, didn't you?  If not, all is not lost - just make sure you let them soak for at least 15 minutes.  There are two 19mm nuts (36ft*lbs) on the flanges for the front and rear oxygen sensor housings and the bolts that connect the downpipe to the catalytic converter are 17mm (36 ft*lbs).  They may take upwards of 100ft*lbs to break loose if you've never removed them.  Use the cheater bar if you need to.  There is one exhaust hanger for the downpipe and that bolt is a 12mm bolt (9 ft* lbs) and should come off easily.


Remove Right and Left Frame Members
  You'll need to remove the left and right frame  members to give yourself room to access the anti-sway bar bushing brackets.  There are numerous 14mm bolts (43-51 ft*lbs) (left member pictured) that are basically all in plain sight.  There are also two 12mm bolts that attach the clutch vacuum assist tank (double round tube shaped thingy near front passenger side) to the right member.  You'll need to remove those two bolts, too, but you don't have to remove the clutch vacuum assist reservoir. And one more thing... there are two plastic fasteners that attach the left member to the cover for the left side of the engine.  Use your stubby screwdriver to "unscrew" them and then pull them out.


Support Driveshaft
  Since you'll be removing the transfer case, you need to support the front end of the driveshaft so as not to put unnecessary stress on the universal joint.  You can use string, rope, a jackstand, or anything else that's safe, so long as the driveshaft is supported.  I used two bungee cords as shown in the picture and attached them to various non-moving parts under the car.  This worked great for me.


Drain Transfer Case Fluid
  You need to drain the transfer case fluid before you remove the transfer case, lest you let transfer fluid leak all over your floor from the output shaft housing.  This is a 17mm drainplug (22 ft* lbs) and you MUST use a new crush washer (gasket) when reinstalling it.


Remove Transfer Case
  There are five 17mm ('91-'93: 61-65ft*lbs  '94+: 18-22ft*lbs) bolts that attach the transfer case to the transaxle.  You can see four of them with their red heads in the picture.  The fifth one is above and to the right of the rightmost red one.  Once you remove these bolts, insert a large screwdriver or prybar between the transfer case and the transaxle.  Gently pry the transfer case toward the driver's side.  Once you break it loose, it should slide off the transaxle output shaft with little resistance.  Remove the front end first, rotate the front downward, and then slide the transfer case off of the rear driveshaft.  Be careful not to drop the transfer case on your head :-)  It's heavier than I first thought.  Also, there will be some oil left in the splines of the rear driveshaft, so put a paper towel or rag under there to catch the oil.


Unbolt Stock Anti-Sway Bar Endlinks
  Using a 14mm wrench or socket on the nut and a 14mm open-end wrench to hold the other end, unbolt the end links from the stock anti-sway bar.  Should be very easy.


Unbolt Stock Anti-Sway Bar Bushing Brackets
  Using a 14mm socket, unbolt the brackets that fasten the stock anti-sway bar to the rear crossmember.  There are two 14mm bolts (29ft*lbs) on each bracket.  This, also, should be very easy.  At this point, the stock anti-sway bar is completely detached from the car.


Unbolt Control Arm
  In order to get clearance to get the new anti-sway bar in position, you'll need to unbolt the inboard side of the lower control arm on one side.  I picked the driver's side, and you don't need to remove the wheel as I did.  The front of the lower control arm is anchored by a 17mm bolt/nut (78 ft*lbs) that extends through the bushing in the lower middle of the second picture.  You'll need to get a wrench on the head of the bolt to stabilize it and then crank away on the nut to get it off.  The rear of the control arm is anchored by two 17mm bolts (72-87 ft*lbs for the big one and 65ft*lbs for the smaller one) and two 14mm nuts (29ft*lbs).  The manual says that the two 14mm nuts are not reusable, but since they have a lock washer, you can probably get away with just using some Lock-Tite in a pinch.  Once the control arm is unbolted, it will rotate downward, and you need to put something under it to support it so that you don't stress the ball joint.  I used a jackstand as you can see in both pictures.

Re-assembly Note: The service manual indicates that the 17mm through bolt/nut that anchors the front of the control arm must be only temporarily tightened when the car is suspended in the air.  The final tightening must take place with the car "on the ground in an unladen condition."

Installation Note: Some would consider this step optional. In fact, the service manual indicates that the removal of the control arm is not necessary to replace the stock anti-sway bar.  I fought with this @#$% thing for at least 4 hours trying to maneuver the stock bar every which way I could in an attempt to get it off.  I eventually did find a way to get it off without unbolting the control arm, but in retrospect, it's not the safest thing to do and I'm not even going to describe it because I'm convinced that there is no way the bigger, bulkier Saner bar will fit back in without unbolting the lower control arm.  It's not that hard to complete this step; get over it and just unbolt the @#$% thing and you'll be much less frustrated.


Remove Stock Anti-Sway Bar
  With the control arm unbolted, this should be extremely easy. Just rotate it as necessary and pull it out.


Lubricate New Polyurethane Anti-Sway Bar Bushings
  Saner provides bushing lube - put a light coating on the inner surface of the new bushings.


Install Bushings On Saner Anti-Sway Bar
  Put the new bushings onto the Saner anti-sway bar; their position doesn't have to be exact as the lube will allow them to slide along the bar as you get it into its final position.


Maneuver Saner Anti-Sway Bar Into Position and Support It
  Much the same way as you removed the stock bar, maneuver the Saner bar back into position. Hold it out of the way in preparation for the next step. I found the most convenient way to support it was to thread the lower bushing bracket bolt in about 1/2" and then rest the bar on the bolt.


Reattach Inboard Side of Control Arm
  Reattach the mounting bolts for the lower control arm. Remember not to fully tighten the front through-bolt until the car is back on the ground.


Test-fit Bushing Brackets
  Wrap the bushing brackets around the bushings, slip the spacer under the bracket and maneuver the upper bolts so that you can thread them in 3/8".  Once the upper bolts are threaded in, try to line up the lower bolt holes.  If by some miracle they line up on your car then you can skip the next couple of steps.  If you're like me and everyone else I've talked to, you get to have some fun now.  I found that my brackets needed to be rotated counter-clockwise to make the lower bolt holes have a prayer of lining up.  That meant that the upper right of the lower bolt holes needed to be enlarged.  Take the bushing brackets off the car and over to your workbench.


Remember Which Way the Brackets Need To Be Enlarged
  Stare at the bushing brackets that will make the next 2 hours of your life a living Hell. Realize you forgot which edge to enlarge. Swear. Get back under car, groan, and then mount brackets again. Get the bright idea to mark the edge that needs enlarging with a marking pen before removing brackets.


Enlarge Holes With Dremel
  The lower hole was enlarged toward the bar and to the right.  The upper hole was enlarged only slightly toward the bar.  The spacer was not modified and the brackets were not mirror-images (they were identically modified).


Cut Groove For Bolt Head With Dremel
  This will help keep the bolts from binding so badly when you secure the brackets.


Swear; Remove Metal Splinters
  That cutting bit will leave metal splinters everywhere. Some of these are bound to find their way into your hands.  Remove them.


Test Fit Bushing Brackets and Spacers Again
  Realize that the brackets still don't fit.  Get out the thesaurus to learn some synonyms for the swear-words you've been using.   They're getting old.


Repeat Bracket Modification Steps If They Don't Fit
  This is what my brackets looked like when I was done with them.


Swear Some More
  Realize that you accidentally cross-threaded the lower bushing bracket bolt hole while attempting to test-fit the bushing brackets.


Re-tap the Bolt Hole (10mmx1.25)
  Thank the wonderful Team3s members who helped you keep your sanity during this extremely troubling time.  (Thanks, Damon!)


Test-thread the Bolts
  Test that you can get all 4 bolts into the holes, being extra careful not to cross-thread them. Wow! They actually fit!


Tighten Upper Bracket Bolts
  I found that once the lower bolts were partially threaded I could no longer get a socket on the head of the upper bolts because the bracket came too close to the head of the bolt.  Thus I removed the lower bolts and proceeded to fully tighten the upper bolts to 29ft*lbs.  


Thread Lower Bracket Bolts
  Being extremely careful not to cross-thread the lower bolt holes, thread the lower bolts in 1/2" or so by hand or by gently turning a wrench.  This should not take more than a few foot-lbs.  If there is more resistance, back the bolt out and try again.  Even if you're frustrated, you do NOT want to cross thread a bolt at this point.  If you need to (I did), use a small prybar to push the bracket to the side so there is little tension on the bolt as you allow it to catch the first few threads.


Tighten Lower Bracket Bolts
  Carefully tighten the lower bolts to 29ft*lbs.


Jump Up and Down For Joy!
  It's all downhill from here! Admire your work.


Attach Anti-Sway Bar Endlinks
  Using your allen wrench and a 17mm socket or wrench, tighten the nuts on the endlinks to 29ft*lbs.


Reattach Transfer Case
  Note: If your transaxle output shaft shows any signs of rust or if the lube on the shaft doesn't seem to be able to do its job anymore, you'll want to put a light layer of grease on the shaft before you put the transfer case back on. Use a grease that's compatible with the existing lube or if you're not sure, clean off the shaft and the receiving shaft of the transfer case and then re-lube them. I used a high-quality lithium-based high-temperature grease I got at the local auto-parts store. If you've had the transfer case off for more than a few days, you might want to spread some transfer oil onto the splines of the rear driveshaft to make sure that is well-lubricated as well.

Align the transfer case with the rear drive shaft and slide them together. Then rotate the assembly upward and slide the transfer case onto the transaxle output shaft.  You may need to rotate the driveshaft or the wheels at this point to get the splines to line up.  Tighten all 5 bolts down to spec:   ('91-'93: 61-65ft*lbs  '94+: 18-22ft*lbs).


Fill the Transfer Case with Fluid
  Remove the fill plug and pump fluid into the transfer case.   Use a 75W85 GL4 Gear Oil or your favorite 75W85 synthetic (I prefer BG Synchroshift or Redline MTL/MT90).  On the second generation transfer case ('94+), fill the case until oil weeps out of the fill hole.  This takes about .6-.7qt and the car should be level when you do this (temporarily jack up the rear of the car for this step and support it with jackstands).  Then tighten the fill plug to 18-22 ft*lbs after you have replaced the crush washer (gasket) with a new one.


Install Left and Right Frame Members
  Bolt them up just like you took them off. All the 14mm bolts are spec'd at 43-51 ft-lbs.


Install Downpipe
  Replace all three gaskets that connect the downpipe to the other parts of the exhaust.  If your gaskets are at all old or brittle, they stand a good chance of leaking if you reuse them.  Slide the pipe up on the studs from the oxygen sensor housings just like you took it off.  Tighten the 19mm nuts and 17mm bolts to 36 ft*lbs.


Install Front Active Aero
  Reverse of how you took it off. Pretty easy, considering what you've been through.


Lower Car to Ground


Put Car on Blocks Or Lift
  Gotta keep the car's weight on the wheels for the next step.


Tighten Lower Control Arm Bolt To Spec
  Remember that bolt on the control arm that you partially tightened?  Well, now you need to tighten it to 78ft*lbs.  Have fun getting to it :-) I snugged it up, and carefully drove to a local exhaust shop, where they let me put the car up on the lift and fully tighten the bolt.


Tell that @#$% Anti-Sway Bar Who's Boss
  That's right, YOU are. Now go find some twisty roads and see how your car doesn't lean so much anymore.


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Last Modified Sat Mar 18 2006 15:30:52 Pacific Standard Time