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Old 03-29-2012, 07:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Installing ADDCO front bar

Installing ADDCO front bar Friday afternoon and woukd like to know about any problems I may run into. I have read that it is easier to install from the pasenger side and use new nuts. I have also read about squeaking from the bushings, do I just grease them when installed? Any input is appreciated
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There is another option for the bar mounts....... You can use the stock rubber mounts. They are a little more pliable and therefore put a little give into the mounts.... but they don't squeak.

You can swap the mounts out easily after the bar is installed. You can start with either mount, greased or not and still not create a lot of extra work for yourself.

Let us know how this turns out....

Mike
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I let the pros do the front at the same time that they did the lowering springs. I added the grease fitting and they still squeaked a bit for a few weeks, but I haven't heard them since.

If you're going with the new sway bars for better handling, stick with the poly bushings - that's what they're for.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Done!

Went in with little trouble, used the parts supplied from ADDCO and no noise amazing difference in handling, Thanks Mike!
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Questions on the ADDCO Mounts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in AZ View Post
There is another option for the bar mounts....... You can use the stock rubber mounts. They are a little more pliable and therefore put a little give into the mounts.... but they don't squeak.

You can swap the mounts out easily after the bar is installed. You can start with either mount, greased or not and still not create a lot of extra work for yourself.

Let us know how this turns out....

Mike
I need to add grease fittings to my rear bar, it squeaks UNBELIEVABLY badly! Does anyone know if you can remove the mounts with the bar installed? Is is it in tension, where it could hurt you if you unbolt the mounts? Can they be drilled in place? Do you drill the poly all the way though to the bar as well? Thanks!
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
I need to add grease fittings to my rear bar, it squeaks UNBELIEVABLY badly! Does anyone know if you can remove the mounts with the bar installed? Is is it in tension, where it could hurt you if you unbolt the mounts? Can they be drilled in place? Do you drill the poly all the way though to the bar as well? Thanks!
The rear bar is not under tension, it's just tight.

Here's a recommendation on how to drill your rear grease fittings...

With everything installed and mounted up, you will need to have the truck on a lift or up in the air enough to get under the axle.
Use a 1/8" drill to put a hole in the mount brackets that cover the rubber mount. Pick the spot where the grease fitting needs to be. When the drill goes through the steel bracket, allow it to go into the rubber mount bushing to mark the spot. Take the brackets and rubber mounts off. Drill a 1/4" hole in the rubber mount using the 1/8" pilot hole so that the grease will go through the rubber mount to the bar. Drill and tap the steel brackets so that you can thread in the zero fittings. I like to use the 1/4 - 20 fittings. When you put it all back together, you should be in fine shape. Use a grease that is meant for poly bushings.

As for the squeaking issue..... I have similar issue with my SSR... I have tracked it down to the rear suspension control arms. It showed up after I did some degreasing on the rear suspension...... My own fault. I think the rubber mounts are giving up. I have bought several sets of BMR bars for my own use, but end up selling them before I can get them installed. Ya-hahahaha

Good luck,

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Old 11-24-2012, 10:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in AZ View Post
The rear bar is not under tension, it's just tight.

Here's a recommendation on how to drill your rear grease fittings...

With everything installed and mounted up, you will need to have the truck on a lift or up in the air enough to get under the axle.
Use a 1/8" drill to put a hole in the mount brackets that cover the rubber mount. Pick the spot where the grease fitting needs to be. When the drill goes through the steel bracket, allow it to go into the rubber mount bushing to mark the spot. Take the brackets and rubber mounts off. Drill a 1/4" hole in the rubber mount using the 1/8" pilot hole so that the grease will go through the rubber mount to the bar. Drill and tap the steel brackets so that you can thread in the zero fittings. I like to use the 1/4 - 20 fittings. When you put it all back together, you should be in fine shape. Use a grease that is meant for poly bushings.

As for the squeaking issue..... I have similar issue with my SSR... I have tracked it down to the rear suspension control arms. It showed up after I did some degreasing on the rear suspension...... My own fault. I think the rubber mounts are giving up. I have bought several sets of BMR bars for my own use, but end up selling them before I can get them installed. Ya-hahahaha

Good luck,

Mike
Thanks Mike, I don't think it's the rear suspension control arms as I had no noise until I had the ADDCO bars installed. My SSR only has 19K on it so maybe the rubber mounts just aren't old enough yet. I will run down and get a tap, I have the tap handle and the grease fittings. I will ask at NAPA about the type of grease to use. Thanks again...
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
Thanks Mike, I don't think it's the rear suspension control arms as I had no noise until I had the ADDCO bars installed. My SSR only has 19K on it so maybe the rubber mounts just aren't old enough yet. I will run down and get a tap, I have the tap handle and the grease fittings. I will ask at NAPA about the type of grease to use. Thanks again...
You're welcome. Please let me know how it turns out.

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Old 11-25-2012, 06:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in AZ View Post
You're welcome. Please let me know how it turns out.

Mike
I followed your process step by step yesterday and it worked great. After I greased them I went for a ride. The squeaks are about 70% less. Maybe it will get better with time. They didn't have 1/4-20 fittings, so I used 1/4-28, they worked fine. The right side was no fun getting back on laying on my back, but I got it. Just a note for anyone else, the nuts are one time use, if you pull them off you need new nuts or do what I did and go with a big washer and a lock washer and utilize the old nut. You don't want those puppies coming off. Thanks again!
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
I followed your process step by step yesterday and it worked great. After I greased them I went for a ride. The squeaks are about 70% less. Maybe it will get better with time. They didn't have 1/4-20 fittings, so I used 1/4-28, they worked fine. The right side was no fun getting back on laying on my back, but I got it. Just a note for anyone else, the nuts are one time use, if you pull them off you need new nuts or do what I did and go with a big washer and a lock washer and utilize the old nut. You don't want those puppies coming off. Thanks again!
You're right..... They are 1/4-28..... My bad. You can also get them in metric threads and pipe threads .

Glad yours is getting quiet. What grease did you use?

Mike
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in AZ View Post
You're right..... They are 1/4-28..... My bad. You can also get them in metric threads and pipe threads .

Glad yours is getting quiet. What grease did you use?

Mike
They recommended a NAPA chassis grease. It was light beige in color. He said it is used a lot in older cars for squeaks. Seemed to work o.k..
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCV View Post
Installing ADDCO front bar Friday afternoon and woukd like to know about any problems I may run into. I have read that it is easier to install from the pasenger side and use new nuts. I have also read about squeaking from the bushings, do I just grease them when installed? Any input is appreciated
Will be installing my Addco front bar from Mike next week. As for the recommendation to replace the nuts, does anyone know off the top of their head what size those nuts are? Where we keep our R, there are no close by hardware or auto parts stores, so want to prepurchase this hardware prior to removal of the old bar.

Thanks
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by river_rat View Post
Will be installing my Addco front bar from Mike next week. As for the recommendation to replace the nuts, does anyone know off the top of their head what size those nuts are? Where we keep our R, there are no close by hardware or auto parts stores, so want to prepurchase this hardware prior to removal of the old bar.

Thanks
I'll get the info for you today on the nuts. I believe they are 12mm nylon locknuts with a built-in washer. Kinda special from GM, I think. If I can get a crossover to AC Delco, I'll start stocking the nuts and offering them on my web site....

Mike
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Replaced my front bar with the Addco bar this morning. Below are a few tips and notes.

Notes/Tips:
The Addco bar does not have the collars that prevent lateral (sideways) movement that the OEM had. Hopefully this won't cause any issues but after greasing the poly bushings and tightening I can slide the bar laterally at least 1/2 inch in each direction. I just reused my old nuts on the end links for now and will try to locate similar flange lock nuts to replace eventually.

Additional tools needed
  • 21 mm wrench or socket (not included in a lot of sets) 13/16 will work but definitely a tight fit
  • 7 mm allen wrench (also not in some basic sets)
  • short socket extension (1 inch) or long swivel extension (not a universal joint) will allow easier access around the front lower A arm bolt for removing/tightening bushing bracket bolts with a normal 15 mm socket

Lastly, if you didn't pay attention to the direction of the sway bar as you cork screwed it out of its opening, the bar fits such that it dips downward in the center.

Last edited by river_rat; 12-05-2012 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Speeling, I mean spelling.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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When I was working with Polyethylene slide blocks in industrial applications we would lubricate the slides with spray graphite.

When I had the Addco bars installed last summer they were lubed with grahpite, I have never noticed any squeeks.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achias View Post
I let the pros do the front at the same time that they did the lowering springs. I added the grease fitting and they still squeaked a bit for a few weeks, but I haven't heard them since.

If you're going with the new sway bars for better handling, stick with the poly bushings - that's what they're for.
I agree if stock are more pliable that means they give and not hiding sway bar in position and then your not getting the full bang for your buck
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:44 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achias View Post
I let the pros do the front at the same time that they did the lowering springs. I added the grease fitting and they still squeaked a bit for a few weeks, but I haven't heard them since.

If you're going with the new sway bars for better handling, stick with the poly bushings - that's what they're for.
I agree if stock are more pliable that means they give and not hiding sway bar in position and then your not getting the full bang for your buck does anyone know if they make a full set of poly bushings for the r
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:35 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hope you guys don't mind a little input from a newbie... but I've been a racer for many years, and have done probably a hundred suspension rebuilds with that in mind.

Poly bushings... yes! The increased regidity of the new bar is only part of the improvement, the increase density of the poly bushings is perhaps 40% of the reduction in sway you're trying to get.

Do they squeak? Yes, but not if they're done correctly. I've used the graphite spray before (good suggestion), but I much prefer the silicone based poly bushing lube that usually ships with them. If you check the performance isle of you local parts store you sould find it. Usually in a small red container similar to a 35mm film cartridge, but also in squeeze tubes. I'll post up some of the more common brands if you're interested. This lube keeps the bushings from drying out due to the moisture/drying cycles they'll see under your R. I have several on my race car that are tapped with fittings (purchased this way), but I've never had to add additional grease. Energy Suspension bushing are sold in Auto Zone and have the fittings already in place, including the mounting bracket and hardware. You'll need the diameter of the new bar to get the right ones.

Now.... here's the real secret to eliminating the sqeak. If you tighten suspension components with the car in a raised or supported position, the 1st thing they do when you set it down is to try to twist into the new postion (compressed and lowered). No matter how much grease you add, they will always be under load, and prone to squeakage (lol). If you have a pit (most don't) leave all joints loose, roll the car over it, then tighten up all the suspension components. I cheat. Raise one end, remove tires on both sides, then support the hubs from underneath (be careful not to damage the discs, covers, or ball joints). I usually use a jack or block on each wheel with a piece of wood on top to soften the contact point. Lower car carefully onto the wheel supports until it's sitting just as it would when the tires are installed. Now the suspension is compressed to normal, and the tires are out of the way, so you reach all of the nuts/bolts that need to be tightened. Also, it's a pain, but use a torque wrench if at all possible and follow Chevy's specs.

I promise you will have the best riding and quietest SSR around.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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abadssr, I just noticed your question about poly bushing kits for the SSR. Not sure, but I did quick check of the Energy Suspension website Energy Suspension Parts Dealer, Specializing in Energy Suspension Bushings Suspension Components. and although they don't list the SSR, they do list every version of the Trailblazer. I'm betting the GM guys could tell us which set would work for us.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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That's the way to go thaks for checking
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:32 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Snsitiv View Post
Hope you guys don't mind a little input from a newbie...
Hell no, everybody knows something I don't know.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:25 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snsitiv View Post
Hope you guys don't mind a little input from a newbie... but I've been a racer for many years, and have done probably a hundred suspension rebuilds with that in mind.

Poly bushings... yes! The increased regidity of the new bar is only part of the improvement, the increase density of the poly bushings is perhaps 40% of the reduction in sway you're trying to get.

Do they squeak? Yes, but not if they're done correctly. I've used the graphite spray before (good suggestion), but I much prefer the silicone based poly bushing lube that usually ships with them. If you check the performance isle of you local parts store you sould find it. Usually in a small red container similar to a 35mm film cartridge, but also in squeeze tubes. I'll post up some of the more common brands if you're interested. This lube keeps the bushings from drying out due to the moisture/drying cycles they'll see under your R. I have several on my race car that are tapped with fittings (purchased this way), but I've never had to add additional grease. Energy Suspension bushing are sold in Auto Zone and have the fittings already in place, including the mounting bracket and hardware. You'll need the diameter of the new bar to get the right ones.

Now.... here's the real secret to eliminating the sqeak. If you tighten suspension components with the car in a raised or supported position, the 1st thing they do when you set it down is to try to twist into the new postion (compressed and lowered). No matter how much grease you add, they will always be under load, and prone to squeakage (lol). If you have a pit (most don't) leave all joints loose, roll the car over it, then tighten up all the suspension components. I cheat. Raise one end, remove tires on both sides, then support the hubs from underneath (be careful not to damage the discs, covers, or ball joints). I usually use a jack or block on each wheel with a piece of wood on top to soften the contact point. Lower car carefully onto the wheel supports until it's sitting just as it would when the tires are installed. Now the suspension is compressed to normal, and the tires are out of the way, so you reach all of the nuts/bolts that need to be tightened. Also, it's a pain, but use a torque wrench if at all possible and follow Chevy's specs.

I promise you will have the best riding and quietest SSR around.
When you say squeeze tubes, do you mean by hand or for a grease gun? I would buy some for a grease gun, but I'm not taking them off again to lube since I now have grease fittings installed. One other note, mine only squeak when it's cold, so if you live in a warm climate year round, you probably wouldn't notice it much. Also when I purchased my ADDCO bars, they told me to use the factory front bushings so I did. regards...
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:04 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Is a front end alignment recommended after this install?
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:05 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Shadowman... Mobil 1 / 12.5 oz. (354.369 g.) wheel bearings, chassis, suspension, universal joints synthetic grease Part Number: 110566 would be my suggestion. Avalible of the shelf at any Auto Zone dealer and probably a lot of others.

bgetz... Not if the only thing you are replacing is the sway bar. Bolts to frame faily rigid, but on flexble links to the control arms and should not change adjustment.

Stock bushings on an aftermarket bar? First time I've heard of that. Not saying you can't, in many cases they will work fine, but in most the aftermarket bar is larger in diameter so the bushing will bind or be impossibly hard to get into proper position. Was the bar you installed the same diameter as the stock one?
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:25 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snsitiv View Post
Shadowman... Mobil 1 / 12.5 oz. (354.369 g.) wheel bearings, chassis, suspension, universal joints synthetic grease Part Number: 110566 would be my suggestion. Avalible of the shelf at any Auto Zone dealer and probably a lot of others.

bgetz... Not if the only thing you are replacing is the sway bar. Bolts to frame faily rigid, but on flexble links to the control arms and should not change adjustment.

Stock bushings on an aftermarket bar? First time I've heard of that. Not saying you can't, in many cases they will work fine, but in most the aftermarket bar is larger in diameter so the bushing will bind or be impossibly hard to get into proper position. Was the bar you installed the same diameter as the stock one?
Yes, same diameter, but stronger/stiffer. At the time I bought them, Addco recommended I use the factory bushings in the front. That was a year plus ago, so maybe now they provide different front bushings or a different bar. The back came with the split poly bushings.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:20 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Shadowman... you've given me a new project over the holiday weekend. I'm going to crawl under Blue for a while and look over the sway bars. Generally, aftermarket bars are larger diameter for additional stiffness (less sway) and hollow to save on weight. We all know the R could go on a serious diet. It might be time to work with some pals to engineer a better replacement.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:16 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snsitiv View Post
Shadowman... you've given me a new project over the holiday weekend. I'm going to crawl under Blue for a while and look over the sway bars. Generally, aftermarket bars are larger diameter for additional stiffness (less sway) and hollow to save on weight. We all know the R could go on a serious diet. It might be time to work with some pals to engineer a better replacement.
There are two manufacturers of aftermarket sway bars. ADDCO and Hotchkiss. The ADDCO is a solid bar and the Hotchkiss is hollow. The OEM bar is hollow also.

If you are planning to re-engineer a new bar, I recommend you start with a Hotchkiss bar and go from there.

As far as weight goes..... the SSR (at 5,000 pounds) will probably not have a noticeable difference by adding 4 pounds to the weight of the vehicle. Personally, I would be more concerned about reducing the unsprung weight.

Mike
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Last edited by Mike in AZ; 12-17-2012 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:33 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Thanks Mike. I was aware of the Hotchkiss bar, but have not researched it in dept as yet. The ADDCO will be one I'll consider as well. I plan on modifying my suspension in the next few months, and this made me want to take a closer look at some options. It wouldn't be the first time I've manufactured a one-off sway bar to meet my needs. Where weight is concened, every ounce counts in breaking, acceleration, even gas milage, not just cornering. Remember, a 1% reduction in weight translates roughly the same as a 1% gain in horsepower, and usually is significantly cheaper (this from a guy that races a Honda with a pwr/wgt ratio better than a Z06). I'll say that your chasis stiffening add-ons will certainly be part of the upgrades though.

Messsing with unsprung weight has advantages in a competition vehicle, but sometimes the compromise is not worth it on a street car. I'll be using Blue primarily as an occasional driver and tow vehilce for the race car. I'll be resisting the urge to affect breaking or ride quality.

BTW: Does anybody know the OD on these two bars? My guess would be the truck needs a 1 to 1 1/8" OD hollow hardened steel bar (3/16 wall) with poly bushings and good set of end-links. I'll have to check the radius and off-set of all the bars necessary curves before I could be sure though.
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Last edited by Blue Voodoo; 12-17-2012 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:09 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I was surprised that Addco did not include any grease for the poly bushings, so I just used some of the GM Special Lubricant that I have for my Tahoe driveshaft. It is a PTFE filled non melting grease so should be fine. I greased the bushings when I installed the bar a few weeks back and no squeaks. Got my new tires installed today so had some fun in the corners on the way home. What a difference in cornering over the OEM bar. Wishin' I was still in Colorado so I could be having some fun up Rist or Clear Crk canyons. Oh wait, it is wintertime up there. Strike that thought......
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