Adventures in HYBRIDing: Rear swaybar install on an 89 DX

A long time ago I bought a 'hardly used' suspension techniques rear sway bar for my Civic. But because it had some missing and damaged hardware, I never just slapped it on. However, another reason to procrastinate, was that my car has never had a rear sway bar. Thus my custom exhaust was bent without a sway bar to dictate where it should go. Sure enough, in test fitting, it was clear that the sway bar and exhaust pipe going over the lower control arm wanted to occupy the same space. Lets go to the pictures and see how I can am trying to get around this.

I knew my exhaust would need to be lengthened to clear the sway bar. Here is a nice picture of my driveway and my exhaust before cutting.

$6 of clamps and pipe from the autoparts store. Cut it by hand with a hacksaw. Added about 2" to the length.

From the looks of the end link on the top, I know why he was selling it. Rear end collision, I'd say! Old link was bent and twisted, so I junked it. I bought new links from Grainger which are working great. I chose studded links to eliminate the bearing spacers needed in the old design.

Unfortunately 2" wasn't enough of an extension. Notice the space between the rod welded to the exhaust piping and the sway bar (click for a closer look). The rod is my exhaust hanger. I can't even stick my finger inbetween them. Of course the exhaust bangs into the swaybar whenever I accelerate. Another exhaust extension seems like a good answer, but I will start running into trouble farther upstream. A simple hack would be to cut off that hanger and move it. A better answer would be a properly designed mandrel bent exhaust. But I really need a cheap, less than $20 solution right now. I need to get it on the lift and take a good look.

...days later...

There is no cheap quick fix. I'm going to have to replace the exhaust. Even though I am getting used to the constant banging, its still very annoying, and somewhat embarassing. But damn the car handles great. More on the handling in the next update.

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