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2020 Onyx
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Discussion Starter · #221 ·
Pasting a reply from the group buy thread in case anyone is wondering - Yes the sway bar will fit all Gen 6 Outbacks, Wilderness, Base, etc.

The end-link, clamp, and sway bar bushing, rear lower control arm part numbers for wilderness and non-wilderness are the same on all Gen 6 Outbacks, all trims, all engines.

End-Link p/n 20470AN01A
sway bar bracket p/n 20416SG000
sway bar bushing p/n 20464AN01A
rear lower control arm p/n 20250XC02A


Aside from the approximately one inch higher lift in the Wilderness, there are no suspension geometry changes and it will fit all Gen 6 Outbacks.
 

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2021 OB Touring, 2011 OB Premium
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SilverOnyx, I was planning on staying with the OE endlinks when installing my Whiteline RSB. You had mentioned that the stock endlinks will have a slight angle to them. Is there any other issue you see in your testing, other than the slight angle, which would be a problem? (I understand that the induced angle "may" result in a shorter lifespan for the endlinks). Thanks!

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #224 ·
@TheGruben if I had a Wilderness I would do the sway bar upgrade if you want better on-road handling. The downside to a stiff rear sway bar, whether you have a Wilderness or other trim, is that on very broken or uneven terrain, especially at lower speeds, you will notice more side-to-side movement as the rear suspension tries harder to stay flat to the pavement. This means that the front suspension will do more "articulation" than the rear. But as I demonstrated in a static load test with a 10" ramp, the rear does articulate, so it's not as if the range of motion is so compromised.

@Bassman no issues other than that resting angle. I thought the bar worked remarkably well with the stock end-link in the soft position. It's the combo that was the original install and it felt fantastic.
 

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@Bassman no issues other than that resting angle. I thought the bar worked remarkably well with the stock end-link in the soft position. It's the combo that was the original install and it felt fantastic.
Thank you so much for the confirming info. I'll be using the soft position for our Outback.
 
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I was definitely serious about cutting the OEM link, that was until I saw how it was actually made. Then the idea went out the window.
I've already been in touch with WL to add their end links to my order and I have the email for the purchase. The only reason I'm going with the WL links is to correct the geometry. As said by someone above, my circumstances dictate that I get the most out of my car with the least amount of trouble possible so I want the WL links for that reason alone. My 2016 I picked up in February 2016 now has 162K on the clock and drive a little spirited at times. I've had zero trouble from this car and I'd like a similar experience with the new one. As much as I'd love to not spend the extra and keep the OEM part I feel like the RSB will be more trouble free and last much longer if I correct the geometry of the link and the WL links are the best way to do that to my knowledge.
If the OEM links would have had a simple steel tube for the control arm bolt I'd have cut them and made the spacer to relocate the link end with out hesitation but in light of how they are made that's not possible.
 

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Silveronyx, does WL supply grease for the new bushings? Is grease required for squeak free use or are the bushings made from something other than urethane?
 

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All ordered up. Now it’s time to impatiently wait.
 

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Discussion Starter · #229 · (Edited)
WL supplies grease and the bushings are urethane but with a special knurled inner surface to better retain the grease, at least in the universal bushing I got. The newly developed bushing that fits in the stock clamps I would hope has the same feature, but I haven't seen the new bushing yet. - edit - Whiteline has revealed the new bushings and they do have the knurling on the inside for grease retention.
 
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if the end-link is slightly canted towards the front of the car in the neutral position, any movement of the wheel up or down, which twists the sway bar, will pull the end-link towards the back of the car into a more neutral position before eventually being pulled to tilt backwards at maximum travel. What I haven't mentioned before is that in theory this makes a forward-canting end-link perhaps giving slightly more range of motion than one that starts out vertical and then ends up being pulled back. If you do get the Whiteline end-links, you can experiment by moving the end-link forward or back using the spacers to determine what works best for you. If someone else can comment on the geometry difference and how it would affect the sway bar it would be much appreciated.
Somewhat off topic but related: would this forward-leaning endlink = more range of motion also be true for the front end links? I'm trying to dial in my adjustable endlinks after a lift and was curious if this is would also be of benefit in the front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #231 ·
I think it only matters on the rear sway bar end-link because it's so short and the end-link angle changes a lot with travel. The front sway bar end-link is very long and doesn't change angle so much through-out the suspension travel. The main thing is to make sure that the front sway bar will not touch the steering tie-rod at full compression and the end-link will not touch the steering tie-rod at full extension. If you shorten the end-link it will bring the sway bar closer to the tie-rod at compression and if you lengthen the end-link it will bring the end-link closer to the tie-rod at extension. Some lift kits also relocate the sway bar mounting position to compensate for suspension geometry and to allow the stock-length end-link to function properly.

If you have an adjustable end-link and want to truly optimize it, a 90 degree angle between the end-link and the imaginary line from the sway bar bushing center to the end of the sway bar would be ideal as long as there is no interference throughout the range of motion from full extension to full compression. Don't forget that as you turn the steering left or right it also moves the tie-rod in and out so when checking for interference you can't judge it just from a single static position. If the lift kit is designed to work with stock end-link length I would stick with that length.

 

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Discussion Starter · #234 ·
The group buy has ended and the group buy thread is locked. If there are any additional questions about the bar please ask them in this one. A set of custom urethane sway bar bushings to fit in the OE clamps are being flown to me for test fitment. These bushings will be included in the production set that all group buy members will receive. They have the same knurled inner surface designed to retain grease. The universal bushings that I used for the original test fitment have been perfect and have not squeaked at all, and Whiteline is making sure that each and every component is 100% before the kits are made.

Thanks to @Whiteline for bending over backwards to quickly support the Gen 6 Outback community and at such a high standard, @Duncan Heinz for setting this up in the first place and ongoing behind the scenes support to make this a success, and @Mamberly for helping with testing.

In more good news, @traildogck is in the process of developing a Stage 2 set of sway bar bushings that can be used to firm up the front sway bar, with priority to us Gen 6 owners.

 

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Looking forward to getting the 21 mm RSB in a couple of months. Will there be specific instructions on how to adjust the adjustable end links when they ship?

Also interested in PU bushings for front sway bar. I'm hoping that SilverOnxy will once again do beta testing to let us know how the affect handling & ride.
 
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Discussion Starter · #236 · (Edited)
Since the end-links are a pre-existing kit in stock and pre-packaged I'm presuming that it will simply arrive with generic instructions which you can preview here: https://www.whiteline.com.au/docs/install_guides/Z5370_Z5146.pdf

If you are at stock ride height then set the end-link at the shortest possible length while still preserving the 90 degree orientation. If you are using the recommended soft setting on the sway bar, then the golden sleeves will be placed on one side of the lower control arm end as depicted below, but if you're using the hard setting on the sway bar then one sleeve on each side. I used a rubber mallet to tap the center metal sleeve to one side, so that it sticks out on the side facing the back of the car.

After removing the stock sway bar end-links you can put them side by side with the Whiteline adjustable end-links to make sure you have the correct geometry. If you do find yourself with one of the end-links "backwards" all you need to do is move the center metal sleeve from one end of the end-link to the other.

While I didn't do it this way when I installed mine, I would go ahead and after making 100% sure you have the end-links configured correctly for both left and right sides, use locktite and secure the jam nuts to lock the end-link in the desired position before installation. Because of the back and forth movement of the sway bar the top of the end link will be subjected to frequent twisting force so unless both jam nuts are super secure they will eventually vibrate loose and you will hear a rattle. This is optional but you can put whatever strength of locktite you want on the entire length of the threads that run through the entire end-link's central support. This provides a secondary back-up to the jam nuts. But again, make 100% sure you know you have both end-links configured correctly before essentially gluing the threads.

Below is configured for the driver's side end-link with the two golden sleeves facing the back of the car (soft setting) and the top of the end-link bolt pointing towards the center of the sway bar:
Gas Auto part Bicycle part Tool Plastic

Below is configured for the passenger side end-link with the two golden sleeves facing the back of the car (soft setting) and the top of the end-link bolt pointing towards the center of the sway bar:
Gas Bicycle part Composite material Auto part Plastic


If you have a spacer style lift kit that does not use spacers for the sway bar bushing brackets, Cobb has instructions to use the exact same adjustable end-links - jump to step 12: 941800 - Outback XT Lift Kit - Customer Support Center - Confluence
  • If you are only doing the sway bars or sway bars and end-links, a re-alignment is NOT necessary.
  • If you have a pre-existing lift kit and your car was already aligned, you won't need to do a re-alignment by doing the sway bars or sway bars and end-links.
  • An alignment is necessary if you install a lift kit or new struts but this is not related to the sway bar and end-links.
If you have a lift kit that relocates the sway bar bushing brackets with spacers then use the end-link in the short configuration as this changes the geometry to work with stock length end-links. Cobb chose to include adjustable end-links in their kits instead of relocating the sway bar bushing bracket.

Once you guys get your kits, please ask any remaining questions before installation - make sure you have all the tools you need and understand what's involved. It's really simple but for some people this is their first time doing something like this - no dumb questions - ask anything and everything that isn't crystal clear. The entire installation should take no more than an hour if you're prepared. Anyone else with words of wisdom please feel free to chime in. I happen to be the guy that @Whiteline generously let test their kit but I'm not a mechanic - just a regular guy with normal hand tools.

You will need for the sway bar end-links and brackets:

12mm sockets (I used one short and one deep socket) for the sway bar bushing brackets
5mm hex key socket for the upper end-link stud
14mm wrench for the upper end-link nut
14mm socket for the OE lower end-link nut and bolt going through the lower control-arm
torque wrench that can do 20-30 foot pounds
17mm socket for Whiteline's replacement lower control-arm bolt and nut which are bigger than the OE 14mm. (unless in the final kit they have us re-use the OE ones which I think would work just fine)

To lock-down the jam nuts on the adjustable end links:

Blue Loctite (not included) to be applied to the jam nut and optionally the entire thread running through the end-link.
17mm open end wrench for the jam nut
18mm open end or an adjustable wrench for the end-link central body
 

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Discussion Starter · #238 ·
I'll do my best to do a list of steps but as many others have installed sway bars and end-links before, if someone thinks my order of operations could be improved please provide feedback and I'll edit it. This is just based on my personal experience:

Before removing your stock sway bar, test fit the bolt of the end-link to the desired hole in the sway bar. I have found that sometimes the inner hole of a sway bar needs to be smoothened if there are burrs or the paint on the sway bar has made the hole slightly small. A round file can smoothen it if necessary, or sandpaper wrapped on a stick or whatever you have.

Automotive tire Rectangle Table Font Office supplies


If you are installing the Whiteline adjustable end-links, go ahead and adjust them and lock-tite the jam nuts as described earlier Whiteline solid 20mm rear sway bar test fitment for...

Optional: Put the rear tires on ramp stands for easier access.

Transmission in park, parking brakes on, and chock your front tires to prevent rolling.

Review the original sway bar installation post Whiteline solid 20mm rear sway bar test fitment for...

OE Sway bar removal steps:
  1. Remove 14mm nut holding the top of the OE end-link to the sway bar. If it spins then you'll need to use a 5mm hex in the end of the stud.
  2. If you are replacing your end-links then remove the 14mm nut and bolt in the lower control arm that holds the bottom of the OE end-link.
  3. Push the stud at the top end-links out of the OE sway bar ends.
  4. Remove the 12mm bolts holding the sway bar brackets. I used a deep socket for the top one and a regular socket for the bottom one.
  5. Maneuver the loose sway bar out from under the car.
  6. Remove the OE brackets for re-use with the Whiteline bushings. The old bushings can simply be left on the bar.
Whiteline Sway bar installation steps:
  1. If you are putting in new end-links, install them into the lower control arm with the bolt all the way through but the nut only finger tight. Pay attention to where the golden sleeves are - for the soft setting you want both golden sleeves facing the rear of the car. The top stud of the end-link should be pointing inwards.
  2. Maneuver the Whiteline sway bar into position - it's a flat bar so there is no up or down, but if there's writing on the bar you probably want it right side up.
  3. Insert the studs of both end-links all the way into the desired sway bar holes and attach the nuts finger tight. The studs pivot with some resistance so feel free to move things around as needed.
  4. Using the supplied grease, uniformly fill all of the knurled inner surface of the Whiteline bushings with a thick coat.
  5. Spread the bushing and slip it over the sway bar, on the outside of the stops, noting how they will be oriented against the mounting surface, with the slit facing down as this is how the OE bushing was oriented on my car.
  6. Noting the arrows pointing up on the OE clamp, push them over the Whiteline bushings and secure them to the car with the 12mm bolts, finger tight. Optional, put blue locktite over the bolt threads immediately before insertion.
  7. Inspect everything to make sure all parts are positioned correctly before final torque-down.
  8. Torque everything:
    1. Bushing clamps to 28 foot pounds
    2. Top and bottom of end-link 24.3 foot pounds
I could use some help here at the very last torque step - here is how I did it but it's probably not best practice and could use some advice.
I used a 5mm hex attached to my torque wrench for the top end-link, holding the nut with an open-end wrench and turning the nut and stud until it clicked.
An alternative is to use the hex to secure the stud and use a 14mm crows-foot at 90 degrees to the torque wrench.
In previous sway bar installs before the Whiteline, I have just done it without using a torque wrench, just using my own judgement and have never had an issue, but when giving instructions to other people, that's just not good enough. Because this was a test fitment of a prototype I did it by the book as best I could but realistically based on past experience even if you don't have a torque wrench you should be able to install this with no problems if you have good judgement.

After driving 100 miles or a week or whatever, double check to make sure nothing has loosened. I have never had anything come loose on a sway bar install except for the universal brackets that had two elongated holes so it slipped enough to make a click sound. By re-using the OE clamps this will not be an issue. The new bushings designed for the OE clamps are on their way to me.
 

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SlverOnyx

I would like to suggest 1 thing. Here is a link to an article on bushing grease.


It may seem like a small thing but from experience, using the proper grease on the bushing can solve a lot of unwanted squeaking of the suspension system, especially from the sway bar, which attribute to a lot of the squeaking.

I use Prothane Bushing grease, when I bought the from front sway bar bushing from CKE SSP he supplied Prothane Bushing Grease with the bushings. I did not use the grease instead I used a silicone base grease I have used before. I drove my Outback about 5 miles and noticed suspension noises when going over speed bumps and the rough road. I replaced the grease with the Prothane, which by the way is a very sticky and almost impossible to get off your hands. Re-drove the same route and had no suspension noise.

This is only a suggestion but it was an interesting comparison of the various greases that are available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #240 · (Edited)
Yes that's a good article and it may well be that using grease other than the one supplied by Whiteline will work very well but I used their grease (wouldn't make sense to "test" it with someone else's grease) and haven't had squeaking in the couple months I've had it on. I am thinking that the knurled inner surface of the bushings will retain grease longer than smooth bore bushings.

When I installed @traildogck 's smooth bore sway bar bushings (85 durometer) I greased them heavily with the thick and tacky silicone stuff he provided and it still squeaked after a couple of months, thus the new 2.0 version he's creating with grease channels.

Contrary to almost all other urethane sway bar bushing manufacturers, Whiteline uses a white lithium grease with moly. As depicted in that article, Whiteline grease is dark in color because of the moly but the packet I received was filled with grease that resembled vaseline in appearance - a milky translucent grease, not as stiff tacky and thick as the silicone based grease that @traildogck provides. So the new Whiteline grease is formulated differently than the one in the article. Not sure what that new formulation consists of. Here's Whiteline's article about their grease: Whiteline Bushing Lubrication Edit: I am told that this new Whiteline grease is now Silicone base with PTFE.

Gold Material property Beige Font Metal


So while everyone is free to use whatever grease they think is best, the one Whiteline provided has been squeak free and if it ever squeaks I will update the thread. For my front sway bar bushings (OE) even though they are normally not greased at all, I put Krytox 207 fluorocarbon grease which again isn't as stiff and tacky as @traildogck Silicone sway bar grease and it hasn't squeaked.


Krytox also makes a formula with Moly in it, but it's even more expensive and it would be cheaper to buy moly powder and add it yourself, or even add moly powder to silicone grease.

I'm not sure if @traildogck sells grease packets separately but if you want the sticky silicone stuff from Amazon Amazon.com: Prothane Grease, Super, Silicone/PTFE, 1/2 oz Packet, Polyurethane/Rubber Bushings, Set of 3, red (19-1750) : Automotive
 
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