Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace... - Team Camaro Tech
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Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

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  #1  
Old Jul 8th, 12, 08:03 PM
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Default Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

Okay, I've been sitting on the parts for a while and decided to get the deed done. Read the directions and it seemed real straight forward and for the most part they are. What I'm going to try to do here is kinda like a suppliment to the provided directions. As well I have a couple points not covered that you don't want catching you off guard! Here are the instructions from Hotchkis;
http://www.hotchkis.net/_uploaded_files/1415.pdf

1 - The instructions and kit are for a coupe and if you have a convertible you will have to make some adjustments. Basically that means making some hardware so the part of the brace that bolts through into the back seat can be bolted on.

In the back seat a few inches above where the seat back bolts in is a crease or ridge that runs across the entire surface. After drilling for the brace from under the car that ridge gets in the way of the supplied washers. I modified some big fender washers to fit and by doing so it also captured the heads of the bolts so I didn't need to be in the car at the same time I was under it to tighten the bolts. Another issue with this mount location was the brace didn't fit flat against the mounting surface. I shimmed it with washers to resolve this but may go back and make a couple plates to replace the washers and the fender washers.

2 - Be aware you may have to take apart part of your exhaust and the brace and sway bar may get it the way of the muffler and exit pipes. I had to relocate one hanger (not stock) about an inch and that muffler is now very close to the drive shaft. They were centered nicely before, I'll have to work on that...

3 - The instructions say to jack the car up and support it so the weight of the car is on the suspension! Well not if you want to install the rear sway bar brace. The suspension has to be hanging under the car to gain clearence to put the brace in place. You will want the car on the suspension when tightening the sway bar down though!

4 - The instructions show and tell you how to mark the holes you need to drill. Well, they left out a hugh bit that will make your life easier and will keep you from drilling extra holes or having to hog out the holes you drilled! The brace has 2 oval holes they tell you to use to mark and drill. The brace is held on by a square u-bolt that you feed into the frame through one hole and out the other. Guess what? The holes you drill need to be matched up to the u-bolt as well as fit into the oval holes in the brace... I also found that to get the brace to fit against the floors (area where the rear seat back mounts) I had to drill the 4 holes and bolt the brace up tight before starting on the frame rail mounts. I would also recomend removing any undercoating your frame rails may have in the area the brace mounts.

It's too bad the brackets that come with the sway bar if you don't use a frame mount brace don't match the bolt holes on the brace. The bolts are welded to the bracket and it would have made a great backing plate for the brace with a little cutting.

All and all it was not really a hard install but it took a lot longer than I thought it should. I think most of the extra time was pondering the 4 items mentioned above. I still have to mount the sway bar but that won't take any time at all now that the brace is in and my exhaust is bolted back in place. Even if I find the sway bar to be more than I need for my front suspension I can take it off and the brace can stay providing additional structural support between the rear frame rails. Maybe my tires won't rub on the inside when I go through driveways sideways to keep the cross brace from scraping...
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  #2  
Old Jul 9th, 12, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

Another issue... I got my sway bar and mount brace seperately, this probably isn't an issue when you get the 2 pieces in a kit together. The sway bar connects to the brace with a dog bone. The bolts that come with the sway bar and dog bone do not fit the bracket on the brace. I'll either see if I can hog the holes out without removing the brace (not a lot of room up there) or find different bolts... This is taking way longer than expected to wrap this all up!

Side note: at this point in the provided instructions I find mention of having to have the exhaust moved, funny nothing is in the way now, the problem was in mounting the brace itself.
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Old Jul 9th, 12, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

Yeah, the body brace was a pain in the arse, especially with exhaust already installed on the car. I also did have an issue with my exhaust pipe interfering with the drop link(dog bone) .
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Old Jul 9th, 12, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

Well the rear frame mount brace was well worth the effort, I went to my favorite driveway for rubbung the tires on the inner fender and no rubbing. That tells me the suspension was not causing the rub but the car was twisting going through the driveway at an angle. Wonder if I could put 275's back there now?

All that's left is to find someplace to test out the effects of the sway bar, lots of right turn circular on-ramps, I may have to go find a few early some morning...
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Old Jul 9th, 12, 06:23 PM
Spicoli Spicoli is offline
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Default Re: Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

Thanks for all the info. DJD... This is and upgrade I plan on doing in the near future. This thread will help out alot.
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  #6  
Old Jul 9th, 12, 06:56 PM
toolfan toolfan is offline
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Default Re: Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

Interesting that you encountered all these issues, I purchased the entire TVS kit for my 67 coupe and had absolutely no issues at all installing the rear sway bar/brace. All the hardware was correct & fit perfect.
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Old Jul 9th, 12, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

Thanks Ben that's why I posted this stuff, it's an easy job when you know what's coming that wasn't disclosed... I would highly recomend the rear frame mount brace to any convertible owner even if they don't want the sway bar...
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Old Jul 9th, 12, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

Great write up, I'm literally doing this as we speak. Just paused for a bit to clean up the undercarriage a bit while I have everything out of here.
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Old Jul 9th, 12, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

Quote:
Originally Posted by toolfan View Post
Interesting that you encountered all these issues, I purchased the entire TVS kit for my 67 coupe and had absolutely no issues at all installing the rear sway bar/brace. All the hardware was correct & fit perfect.
As I said I think the kit is the trick to the bolt situation, is your '67 a convertible? I looked at my buddys torn apart '67 ragtop and his back seat wall is just like mine and would need the same mods. I don't think anything I ran into was major but for example if you marked the frame holes and drilled without checking the square u-bolt the holes could be too far apart... I even noticed they had drilled at least one oval hole in their instruction pictures...

I bought a used sway bar that came with hardware to mount the dogbone to the trunk wall, then like someone upgrading I bought the brace the dog bone bolts were all 3" long and there were no shorter bolts like the instructions said. The bolts I had were 1/2" and the shanks were larger dia than the threads. The holes for mounting the dogbone measured 7/16" with my calipers... At the point the brace was sandwiched tight between the frame rails the other mounting tabs would not go flat against the trunk wall. Hotchkis has run into frame rails that are further apart and told me mine was the first they ran across that the rails were closer together. They also said they never did a convertible before...

Bottom line I'm glad your install went straight forward, hopes are when others read this and undertake the same install everything goes good for them too! I'm the first to tell folks stuff doesn't always just bolt up as planned and sharing experiences is what this place is about.
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Old Jul 9th, 12, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

Hey Dennis -

I'm not familiar with this setup - but was wondering if that cross brace could be located correctly and then welded in vs. drilling/bolting? The Hotchkis instructions didn't seem to mention that possibility unless I missed it. Thoughts? Thanks.
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Old Jul 10th, 12, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

John post back how the install goes...

Al I don't see why the brace couldn't be welded in, the frame ends would be no problem at all just be careful of the fuel line. I don't weld so not sure about the back seat area, I'm sure it could be welded but it might be a bit more tricky...
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Old Jul 10th, 12, 03:26 PM
zman1969 zman1969 is offline
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Default Re: Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

pictures anyone? I'd like to see this setup please
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Old Jul 10th, 12, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

There are some nice pic's in Hotchkis Installation Instructions - - -
http://www.hotchkis.net/6769_camarof...sis_brace.html
Just download .pdf to view...
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Old Jul 10th, 12, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

The entire kit, each part is also sold seperate...

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Old Jul 11th, 12, 05:40 AM
zman1969 zman1969 is offline
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Default Re: Installing a Hotchkis rear sway bar and rear sway bar brace...

OK maybe I should of stated - Installed pics?
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