After we installed the coilovers on Moto1, we immediately noticed the improvement in handling overall. However, we also knew that the stock rear swaybar wasn’t up to the task. So we contacted our friends at Progress to discuss some swaybar upgrades for the WRX. Jeff at Progress suggested that we treat the front and rear swaybars as suspension tuning devices and use whatever combination of bars that allows us to dial in the car to our driving preferences. We thought this was good advice.
So we grabbed the front and rear bars and set out to install only the Progress rear adjustable bar for now, and see how the car behaves. Meanwhile, we just set the front bar next to the car, figuring we will look into installing it after we have seen what the car will do without it.
To get the rear bar installation started, we had to begin by removing the stock bar. So we sprayed the stock bar with our trusty P’Blaster and started unbolting everything. For the most part, this is a typical removal and reinstall, except that Progress supplies their own reinforced swaybar mounting brackets. So once you remove the stock bar, you have to remove the OE stamped steel ‘stand-offs’ as well. This process is really just a matter of a few extra bolts, except that the charcoal canister is mounted in that area as well, and it makes it a ton easier to remove the bolts that hold it in place to give you better access to everything else.
Progress Sway Bars PN: 62.2312
Once you bolt the brackets in, and get ready to pop the bar in, you have to grease the polyurethane bushings with the supplied grease to ensure quiet and reliable operation. So we slathered the sticky stuff on there generously then popped the bushings onto the bar. At this point we just had to tighten the main mounting bolts and connect the endlinks to the bar, selecting the center adjustment holes as a starting point. A small dab of blue ThreeBond threadlocker on each of the endlink bolts was added as a safety measure.
At this point we lowered the car to the ground and looked everything over one last time before heading out for a test drive. Once out on the road, the car felt exactly the same. Until we hit a turn. Then things got exciting. The car already handled quite well, but with the rear bar on the car, the car actually wanted to turn. The body stayed level and the way the car behaved inspired more confidence. In fact, the car was able to take anything we could throw at it on the street. So the next step is a track day so we can really dial in the suspension and the rear swaybar, then make a decision on where to go from there. Keep an eye out for some more feedback once we get the car on the track.