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2020 Onyx
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Whiteline has responded to our request for a stiffer rear sway bar, and now it's here, in prototype/sample format for test fitment. The intent is to have a minimum run of 100 bars if there's enough interest. This Sample bar is 20mm solid, with selectable stiffness via two different endlink mounting holes. I will install it using the soft setting, which will still be approximately twice as stiff as the hollow 19mm OE bar. UPDATE: the Group Buy has ended Whiteline 6th Gen Outback 20mm Rear Sway Bar Group Buy

Update - Whiteline will provide bushings that fit into the OE clamps instead of the clamps depicted below and I am having a set sent to me for test fitment.

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I'm posting this before the installation to give people an opportunity to ask for observations in advance, or to give me advice. I have installed thicker rear sway bars in 2 other Subarus of my own with no issues. Will be using the OE endlinks. Whiteline has provided instructions that I will follow:

Special thanks to @Duncan Heinz for making this happen and @Mamberly who will help test it!
:love:
 

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2020 Onyx
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Installation is complete and sorry for the delay. Took a brief test drive as well. Instead of talking about the installation first, the results:
With very limited driving, the car feels 1000 pounds lighter, much less ponderous. Drives much more naturally, resists crosswinds better, turns with more urgency but never nervous. A rear sway bar increases front grip to prevent understeer, and in this case theory matches my limited impressions. The front turn-in is sharper but the rear doesn't feel loose at all. Feels like better grip both front and back with a better balance. While in theory the rear will be less independent and may ride rougher, I wasn't on broken pavement so can't say, but it felt good over things like manhole covers, reflectors.
Driving out along the coast because it's the weekend, tourists on mopeds slowed things down, but I tried to make space and drive with pace wherever I could, but it was limited.
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Removal of the OE bar - this is how it looks stock. First step is to loosen the endlink where it attaches to the bar.
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14mm socket or wrench will work, but it's on fairly tight. There is a 5mm hex recess in the end of the stud but you only need to use that when torqueing it afterwards.
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With the nut removed just push the threaded bolt out from the sway bar.
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You can remove the OE bracket 12mm bolts and the bar will come out.

It may seem like the exhaust is in the way but just turn and maneuver the bar and it can be pulled out the side without taking a wheel off or exhaust or anything. If my ramps were lower it would be more difficult.
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The Whiteline bar is nearly a perfect match to the OE bar.
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Installation will be in the next post.
This is from the 2019 Factory Service Manual - presuming torque values are the same.
Brackets (15) held by 12mm bolts torqued to 28 foot pounds [T2]
Endlinks (16) 14mm open end torqued to 24.3 foot pounds [T1] with 5mm hex center studs
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Installation photos were difficult to capture because of dirty hands but the description should be sufficient:
  • The bottom bolt of the endlinks do not need to be removed or loosened, but if you have trouble inserting the endlinks into the bar you can do this. I didn't need to, but I completely removed one of the endlinks to take measurements (not going to be given here unless someone wants them)
  • Maneuver the bar into approximate position the same way the old bar was removed.
  • Insert the end links into the soft hole in the bar (you can change to the hard setting in the future but start with the soft hole first). The soft hole is the one near the end of the bar, furthest from the pivot.
  • Loosely put the 14mm nut back on the endlink stud.
  • Take the provided grease and liberally fill the knurled bushings
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With the bar loosely centered, put the bushings on just outside of the stops. Put the Whiteline bracket over the bushing, (edit-the production bar will have new bushings that fit the OE brackets) and loosely put the OE bracket bolts back in.
Go back and just lightly snug the end link nuts, and lightly snug the bracket bolts. The non OE bracket works fine but the holes have a lot of play in them. The mount where the bracket attaches to has a slight contour at the top, so as the bracket gets lightly snugged it should move down some. I think it's important for the bracket to be on a flat surface when it's actually tightened. It's possible to pull the bracket down to the lowest position in order to fully tighten it but I chose to push it up as high as it could go while remaining on the flat part of the mount. You can see in the pictures below how it was positioned. After everything is snug then torque both upper and lower end-link bolts to 24.3 foot pounds, torque the bracket bolts to 28 foot pounds.

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22 Green Onyx Ordered May 28th. Built 7.21.21. Arrived Aug 4th
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Whiteline has responded to our request for a stiffer rear sway bar, and now it's here, in prototype/sample format for test fitment. The intent is to have a minimum run of 100 bars if there's enough interest. This Sample bar is 20mm solid, with selectable stiffness via two different endlink mounting holes. I will install it using the soft setting, which will still be approximately twice as stiff as the hollow 19mm OE bar.

View attachment 521132
I'm posting this before the installation to give people an opportunity to ask for observations in advance, or to give me advice. I have installed thicker rear sway bars in 2 other Subarus of my own with no issues. Will be using the OE endlinks. Whiteline has provided instructions that I will follow:

Special thanks to @Duncan Heinz for making this happen and @Mamberly who will help test it!
:love:
Is a est price mentioned?
 

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2021 OB Touring, 2011 OB Premium
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I'll jump right on this when it is available. Does anyone know if Whiteline would like any "beta" testers? I'd do it in a heartbeat.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is a est price mentioned?
No estimated pricing given to me yet and remember it's only a sample/test piece and the final product might be slightly different. As mentioned in another thread it's possible that we have a group buy with special pricing. If they need to revise something then maybe one of the other volunteers can test V2? The reason why Whiteline is letting me test the bar is that Duncan put a bug in their ear, they saw that my posts are detailed and easy to follow, I take pictures, and I'm just a regular guy not a mechanic. They want to know if a regular guy can put the bar on with no issues, and get accurate reliable information on any fitment issues (I bought a caliper just in case) before they begin a production run.

It was raining earlier today and it's still pretty windy but I'll start by removing the OE endlinks, brackets, bar, making measurements and taking photos of the differences and put the info in the 2nd post above.

There is a concern that the OE endlinks may not survive long with a stiffer bar especially when used at the firmest setting - when people autocross Subarus with stiff rear bars sometimes the OE endlinks bend or break, but since I haven't measured the OE endlink yet Whiteline doesn't know which one should be used. Some of their kits include upgraded endlinks. In the other Subarus that I've put stiffer rear bars on, I've only used OE endlinks and they never bent or broke on me, but I wasn't doing autocross which puts extreme loads on a sway bar. Will probably have more info and photos in an hour or two.
 

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Not to mention if someone tries to do some off road. If the stiffer position on the bar is used in off road situations that put a ton more stress on the bar, too. I can see factory link giving up quickly, or at least squirting out the bushings on the links.
This may be a non-issue, but I wonder about how strong the mounting points are and if there are any possibilities of deforming the mount points or pulling the bolts out of the body due to the stronger bar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is taking a lot longer than I thought because in the process of taking photos and measurements and dirty hands and not wanting to get my camera greasy there's been a lot of glove changing and hand washing. The old bar is out and I'm taking photos comparing it to the new bar along with the hardware differences.

Regarding off road strength - if the off-road is low speed then it should be no issue. It's when there's high dynamic forces that it might need augmentation - so high speed off road would definitely need beefing up of a lot of things, including the sway bar mounts. Once I'm done with the install I will have a week to put the bar through a bunch of on-road driving including the drive I took earlier, no high speed off road, but normal dynamic forces of spirited driving but not autocross level. After that @Mamberly and I will do a back to back road tests of our Onyx's with and without the whiteline rear bar. I'm only going to use the soft setting.

It may be another hour or two before I put up all the photos in the 2nd post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It should fit a Legacy just fine but wait for Whiteline to give the official application guide. Yes I am using the stock springs and struts - updated the second and third posts! The install was successful with no issues, I think the bar is ready for prime time. For better tarmac handling I would recommend it as-is however I will be driving it over the next week and after that @Mamberly and I will take turns driving it on a more demanding highly curved road to see if there's any hint of oversteer. Stability control won't be defeated so in essence we will be testing the envelope of performance with a stiffer rear bar and if the stability control can cope with it. So far so good, and given the experience that other generation Outbacks have with stiffer rear sway bars I don't think there's any reason to doubt that this one will perform just as well for the Gen 6.

On a Gen 5 the recommended bar is 19mm but it only has one mounting hole. The Whiteline Gen 6 bar is 20mm but the "soft" hole is 10mm further from the pivot than the OE bar, so this extra leverage reduces the stiffness down to an acceptable level. It also has a "hard" hole which is 10mm closer to the pivot than the OE bar.
 

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Nice write-up. I am definitely in to purchase and early test. I am currently testing several Perrin Performance parts and would gladly add this to the list. I will couple it to Cobb Adjustable Endlinks. Not looking for a free one, I’ll pay. Let us know when we can order it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Do you have pictures of the cobb end links? I took measurements of the stock end link do you want them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
The rear endlinks for the Outback are unique and not shared with the Legacy, Ascent, or anything else. I'm pretty sure an adjustable would fit but I prefer fixed length. Just noticed that the Cobb ones are made specifically for the Gen 6 Outback. Hmm!



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