How to Replace a 1998 Honda CR-V Rear Sway Bar

Written by tim petruccio
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How to Replace a 1998 Honda CR-V Rear Sway Bar
The sway bars on the CRV counterbalance the vehicle on rough roads, and keep the vehicle from rolling in sharp cornering conditions. (Offroad image by FotoWorx from Fotolia.com)

The CR-V was introduced in 1996 by Japanese automaker Honda. The 1998 Honda CR-V was developed with a 2.0-litre, inline 4-cylinder engine. The CR-V was offered with the option of 2-wheel, or all-wheel drive. The sway bar on the Honda CR-V is designed as an anti-roll device. As the vehicle enters a turn or a corner, the sway bar produces pressure on the suspension and the frame of the CR-V, in order to counteract the forces that cause the CR-V to sway or roll in a turn.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 2-ton or greater capacity jack
  • 2-jack stands
  • 2-vehicle ramps (replaces jack stands if available)
  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet and deep socket set
  • Open end wrench set
  • New sway bar
  • 2-new sway bar bushings
  • 2-new sway bar end links
  • 1-can PB Blaster or other aerosol penetrating spray
  • Hammer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Lift the rear of the CR-V, using a jack with a capacity of 2 tons or greater. Place jack stands beneath both ends of the rear suspension arms, directly behind the tires. The use of vehicle ramps to raise the rear of the CR-V will eliminate the need for the jack stands.

  2. 2

    Lay beneath the rear bumper of the CR-V, and slide your body into a position where you can see both of the sway bar bushings and their mounts. The sway bar bushings are located where the sway bar attaches to the chassis or frame of the CR-V. Spray the sway bar bushing mounts thoroughly, using PB Blaster or other penetrating spray. Also, spray both sway bar end links to assist in removing any rust that may hinder removal of the links. Let the penetrating spray sit for at least five minutes, before proceeding to the next step.

  3. 3

    Remove the sway bar link at one end of the sway bar, using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and a deep socket on one end. Use an open end wrench to turn the nut on the opposite end. Turn both the link bolt and the link nut counterclockwise in proportion to their position. Remove the nut from the sway bar link completely. Hammer the sway bar link up through the mounting holes and out of the sway bar completely. Repeat this step to complete the sway bar link removal of the second side of the CR-V.

  4. 4

    Roll the jack beneath the CR-V and raise it until it sits underneath the rear sway bar, in the middle of the bar. Do not raise the bar with the jack. The purpose of this step is to ensure that the sway bar does not fall upon you while you are performing the next few steps of this project.

  5. 5

    Remove the sway bar bushings from the sway bar, using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket to remove the mounting bolts. There are two sway bar bushing bolts on each sway bar bushing. Remove all four bolts. Remove the bushing from around the sway bar by hand.

  6. 6

    Slide the sway bar toward one side of the CR-V, so that the opposite side becomes free of the suspension arms. Drop the free side of the sway bar downward and slide the sway bar completely free of the CR-V. You can use the top of the jack to swivel the sway bar horizontally during this step, so that sliding the sway bar free of the rear of the vehicle becomes easier.

  7. 7

    Install the new sway bar up into a mock up position beneath the CR-V. Place a jack beneath the middle of the sway bar to hold it into position.

  8. 8

    Install new sway bar bushings around the sway bar. Install the bushings and the bushing hold down clips by installing the mounting bolts. Start the sway bar bushing mounting bolts into their holes, but do not tighten them. The sway bar bushing mounts should remain loose so that the sway bar can pivot in order to accept sway bar links.

  9. 9

    Install new sway bar links by sliding the links down through the top of the sway bar. Once the link is through the sway bar, insert the collar spacer, between the sway bar and the suspension knuckle. Slide the link through the collar, and then through the suspension arm. Tighten the nut on the opposite side of the link, using a 3/8-inch ratchet and deep socket. Hold the top of the link in place by using an open end wrench. Tighten the link fixture between 70 to 90 foot-pounds of torque.

  10. 10

    Tighten the sway bar bushing mount bolts between 90 to 110 foot-pounds of torque.

  11. 11

    Lower the vehicle only after you have double checked both the torque on the sway bar links, and the torque on the sway bar mount bushings.

Tips and warnings

  • Replacing both the sway bar links, as well as the sway bar mount bushings, will ensure that you are getting the optimal performance out of your new sway bar. The sway bar links and bushings are available through a Honda dealership, as well as an auto parts store.
  • Never lift a vehicle on uneven ground or a slope. Lifting a vehicle on uneven ground can cause jacks and jack stands to collapse. Failure to adhere to this warning could cause damage to the vehicle, personal injury, or even death if you are under the vehicle when it collapses.

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