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Hellwig minor hell

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Raylo, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Mar 14, 2012 at 2:09 PM
    #1
    Raylo

    Raylo [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I ordered a Hellwig rear sway bar to help my on-road handling since that is where I do 99% of my driving. The bar is really a nice piece... but the directions and hardware are crapola. Directions have you placing the square u bolts on the frame first but that is pointless because you can't tell where they need to be until the bar in placed on the axle. And of course the directions don't tell you where they go. Then there are 20 nuts for a total of 12 end connections. 8 of the nuts are "deformed" lock nuts and the directions tell you where to use 4 of them. But no clue where the other 4 should go. If you use the other 4 locknuts on the frame u-bolts you are into a long frustrating time driving them up... trust me. Directions are also somewhat generic in that several end link pics are provided saying follow this one "if that is in your kit". Also nonsense about what color your washers are, even though they only gave you one color.

    OK, this is not rocket science and it is reasonably obvious where the major parts go and harware is available just about anywhere. But the crappy instructions and hardware turned what should have been a 90 minute job into... I dunno yet. It got dark yesterday before I could finish. Why can't aftermarket parts come with proper directions and hardware? I think that is a question that will never be answered....
     
  2. Mar 14, 2012 at 2:19 PM
    #2
    OH-MAN

    OH-MAN Well-Known Member

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    Is the rear of your truck lifted?
    When I had it on my 09 2 wheel drive, stock was fine. After it had a 2" AAL installed it made it impossible to work due to the length of the end links.
    In previous installs on other trucks you can move it around on the axel to help but I could not due to brake lines and other brackets in the way.

    I agree the instructions suck, mount the bar on the axel then see where the arms end up to mount the endlinks.
     
  3. Mar 14, 2012 at 2:23 PM
    #3
    badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    Lubricate the deformed nuts with any light lubricant and it will be way easier. I'd like to see picks if you can! Also curious to hear how you like the effect of the bar. My guess is that the deformed nuts are used wherever you are compressing rubber bushings. That allows for a secure installation without over compressing the bushings. So many things come with poor instructions and I don't get why. You only have to do it once and then run off copies :rolleyes:
     
  4. Mar 15, 2012 at 7:20 AM
    #4
    Raylo

    Raylo [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes, 4 of the locknuts are specified for the endlinks to hold the bushings in place. The other 4 can go either on the frame u-bolts or the axle u-bolts but directions don't say. One would think both sets of u-bolts should be done up the same way but not possible with the hardware provided.

    Then there is one picture of the axle u-bolts fastened with 2 nuts per side with one nut being a jam nut. But then the other picture of the axle u-bolt shows only one nut per side as if it were a lock nut.

    Then there are the "z-brackets" that are assymetrical and the directions and pictures don't say which way to attach them. Since the overall length is the same either way they are attached it may not matter. But why then not at least say that... or why not just make them symmetrical in the first place?

    As I said, crappy instructions and hardware. There is really no excuse since they had to design and test fit the bar. How hard would it have been to document the process? I am an engineer and this sort of stuff really bothers me.

    I'll try a little lube on the deformed lock nuts. I need to remove one of the frame u-bolts to relocate it and I hope these crappy nuts don't mees up the threads too bad.

    I'll try to get some pics, especially of where the frame u-bolts end up being placed.
     
  5. Mar 16, 2012 at 7:46 AM
    #5
    Raylo

    Raylo [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Finished the install last evening. First I have to say the bar makes a marked difference. Truck corners much flatter and more securely. It really puts some sport into the Sport and should have been standard equipment. For reference I am not lifted and have stock (not TSB) rear springs.

    Here are a few pics, all of the passenger side since that was the hardest. For orientation all this is behind the rear axle.

    Frame u-bolt placed just in front of where the bed bolts to the frame.
    [​IMG]


    Note the z-bracket that is fastened to the inside leg of the u-bolt reaches forward in the direction of the sway bar.
    [​IMG]

    View from the bottom. I used some blue Loctite on the axle u-bolt nuts and used some of the extras as jam nuts. I may remove them and just put on a lock washer with one nut. I also plan to get my grinder with a cut-off wheel and lop off the u-bolt and end link ends.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Mar 16, 2012 at 10:19 AM
    #6
    badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the pics! I've been considering this mod myself. From the pics you have supplied it appears it would work fine on my truck as well. I would suggest you not use lock washers, nut instead use either more deformed nuts or Nylock nuts. The deformed nuts provide a higher strength lock, but are not needed for this really. They are usually used where both heat and vibration are an issue.
     
  7. Mar 24, 2012 at 11:25 PM
    #7
    Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    Satoshi with FJ badge, factory cruise, factory intermittent wipers, Redline Tuning hood-lift struts, Hellwig Swaybar, Rosen DVD-Nav
    Nice to see Hellwig hasn't changed :D

    Seriously though... I put one of their bars on my '03 Tundra and installation was a similar process of "Okay, I have a box of TinkerToys and I need to make it look like a swaybar installation"
    But I do notice the nice powdercoat on the bar. Mine was black. Wrapped in plastic, and it was oily... and the paint flaked off at the slightest touch.

    But performance? What a difference. Many times I'd be heading into a turn and a passenger would get wide-eyed until we were halfway through and they realized that it was not a problem.
    These bars are a pain in the ass, but they WORK!
     
  8. Mar 24, 2012 at 11:39 PM
    #8
    BAMFTACO

    BAMFTACO Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice

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    Is havening a rear sway bar that be of a difference
     
  9. Mar 25, 2012 at 5:15 AM
    #9
    Raylo

    Raylo [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes.

     
  10. Mar 25, 2012 at 5:22 AM
    #10
    Raylo

    Raylo [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. My otrher car is a Z28 Camaro so am used to flat cornering. This bar doesn't turn the Tacoma into a Z28 but it lets it be all that it can be.

    Not sure what to think of Hellwig. The kit seems well engineered. Love the powder coated bar and the size seems to provide the correct handling balance. But how much trouble would it have been to include clear directions and proper hardware? Not the most difficult job I have ever taken on by a long shot but it was more difficult than it needed to be.

     
  11. Mar 25, 2012 at 7:57 AM
    #11
    OH-MAN

    OH-MAN Well-Known Member

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    When I installed the helwig on my Lightning I did away with all the frame mount U-bolt and S- shaped bracket.
    I just drilled a hole in the frame rail bottom and bolted it directly to the frame rail.
    Not sure if it would line uo on the tacoma or if the frame is boxed there or not.
    Might be and if it is it would be hard to get inside to put the rubber and nut there.
     
  12. Mar 25, 2012 at 11:15 AM
    #12
    Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    The Addco bar requires drilling a 5/8" hole in the frame for the link, so drilling the frame is certainly an option if the bar lines up.

    What I'm curious about is since the frame is a "C"-channel at the point the Hellwig mount clamps, what is preventing the inside lip of the frame from collapsing?
     
  13. Mar 25, 2012 at 12:02 PM
    #13
    badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    That concerns me too. Mainly I'm thinking about the possibility of stress cracking over time. A reinforcing plate on the frame would be cheap insurance.
     
  14. Mar 25, 2012 at 12:25 PM
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    Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    Plate, or a sleeve over the U-bolt to prevent it from overcompressing the frame.

    But honestly, it's behind the axle, so other than the rear spring perch it's not a highly stressed area of the frame (look at some of the clusterfucks that a lot of C-Notches end up being)... and whether clamped in a U-bolt putting pressure on the frame, or drilled and having the link bolt directly stressing only the bottom lip of the frame...
    Neither design is really ideal from an engineering perspective.

    What I might do is go with the Hellwig, but make a spacer like this:

    [​IMG]

    Basic steel tubing and a 1/4" plate "wing" cut to the distance between the top and bottom of the frame.
    Cut it for a tight fit and allow the U-Bolt to compress the frame lips onto it... that area is now fully boxed.
    Maybe some JB-Weld or a single tack weld once it's installed to keep it from spinning out.
     
  15. Mar 25, 2012 at 7:50 PM
    #15
    sonocotaco

    sonocotaco Well-Known Member

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    I had a Hellwig installed at a tire shop and they used double nuts on the axle brackets and on the bottom of the rod that connects to the swaybar end.
     
  16. Mar 25, 2012 at 8:11 PM
    #16
    rpking

    rpking Well-Known Member

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    cool write up I might try one of these, my only concern is would it work with a 2' AAL it looks like it would due to all the rod ends and hardware have plenty of threads on them.
     
  17. Mar 26, 2012 at 5:29 AM
    #17
    Raylo

    Raylo [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Actually the ones that came with my kit were just double barrel tubes with one tube taking the u-bolt and the other empty tube rotated into the c-channel space to brace it as the tab in the below picture would do. So you really don't need to make them.

     
  18. Mar 26, 2012 at 5:54 AM
    #18
    OH-MAN

    OH-MAN Well-Known Member

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    I could not make it work with a 2" AAL.
    it needed longer rods to reach properly and I did not want to make them so I removed it.
     
  19. Mar 26, 2012 at 5:16 PM
    #19
    Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    Oh good... so it's not stressing the frame rails.




    Ordered :D
     
  20. Apr 4, 2012 at 7:35 PM
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    cmoschip

    cmoschip Well-Known Member

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    Curious as to what you paid and who you ordered the bar from?
     
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