L8ton Racing Sway Bars: Review, installation and pictures.
So you're thinking about getting a L8ton Racing sway bar.
Don't know which one to get?
Just want more opinions?
Don't know how to install it?
Want to see pictures and videos?
Then you came to the right place.
We have my own review of both bars, installation procedure, pictures and a video. What else could you ask for?
I installed a 9/16" sway bar on my XX today (well, yesterday seeing as it's past midnight) and MustangGH is getting a nice little track set up around his house. It has a little bit of everything (except jumps and sand) and let me tell you something. The sway bar made a world of difference.
I rode the track with the stock sway bar, then rode it again with the 9/16" sway bar, then hopped on MustangGH's XX and rode it with the 11/16" sway bar.
The stock one did alright but couldn't make a few of the tight turns. Then in the grass circle track I had to hold back to second gear because I'd hook in the corners and lift the inside tires a little.
The 9/16" bar did wonderful. Hooked all the tight turns with no problems. (Front tire grip permitting. Can't turn too good when all the weight is shifted to the back and your front tires are on a smooth rock) Then got out on the circle track and was able to run it in third gear and kept all four tires down and even kicked the back end out a little. I actually ended up sliding too much in a corner going too fast and slid into and through a cluster of tree branches sideways. The ride itself felt like the stock bar (going over transitions and off camber drops) but it would let you turn sharper and corner better.
The 11/16" bar was way too stiff for my liking. Right off the bat there is a drop into a big ditch/small creek that you hit running alongside it so you drop in on the left tires first. Going over this on the stock and 9/16" the IRS did its thing and it was smooth going down in. The 11/16" holds the rear so stiff at first it felt like the ATV was going to roll over dropping off in it. Then around the rocky areas it just felt like a hard tail. Lots of side to side bouncing. BUT on the circle track it would slide out farther with less effort and it feels like it turns a lot sharper in the tight turns. I feel that this is where the 11/16" is going to be desired. Flat track racing, lots of really tight turns, and places like that where you will want more control over the rear end and need a tight turning radius.
All in all here is what I've concluded from my first impressions. (Subject to change with more ride time, but first impressions mean everything.)
Stock - Decent, but if you do anything more than putt around this will not do.
9/16" - Keeps the flexibility of the stock bar but lets you feel more in control of the machine, shortens your turning radius and helps keep your inside tires down in turns, and allows you to slide better. Will be great for XC racing, tight trails, technical trails, general purpose.
11/16" - Rougher riding, loses some IRS travel, slides a lot easier, turns sharper than the 9/16" bar and essentially turns your XX into a solid axle with tons of ground clearance. Will be great for dirt road racing, asphalt tracks, motocross (maybe?).
Again, these are my first impressions and may change. And these are just my personal opinions on them. You may see it differently.
The installation of these is very simple. You can do it with the ATV sitting on the ground no problem.
You will only need 7 things to do this with too.
1. WD40, PB Blaster, JB80 or some form of lubricant/penetrating oil. (Not needed if you haven't ridden yet)
2./3. 2x 14mm combo wrenches. (ratcheting wrenches will save you a ton of time)
4. 1x 12mm wrench. (ratcheting wrenches will save you a ton of time)
5. The tube of grease supplied by L8ton racing.
6. Your new sway bar.
7. Camera to take pictures to share with everyone.
Time to install: 10-40 minutes (depends on mechanical skill level, tools available and any problems that may occur.)
To start off use the WD40 with the straw to twist around the frame and spray the back side of the bolts that hold the sway bar brackets to the frame. Mud dirt water and sand get up inside that part of the frame and get on the bolts making them really hard to back out. (One of mine was still difficult to turn out even after spraying with the WD)
Then take your 2x 14mm wrenches to remove the nut on the end link (goes from sway bar to lower control arm). Put the open end of one wrench on the link side of the sway bar, and the box end on the nut. Remember you are looking at the bolt backwards so don't turn it the wrong way. Once the nut is off slide the end links bolt out of the sway bar and rotate it off to the side.
Once you have both of them loose, grab the 12mm wrench (A ratchet could be used here to save time) and remove the bracket bolts that you sprayed with WD earlier. On the exhaust side of the ATV the bottom bolt holds your parking brake cable bracket as well. Note how it is positioned so you can put it back later.
After you remove all 4 bracket bolts and the sway bar is loose from the frame and control arms fish the bar out of the frame. (I found it easiest to take it out the left side of the quad.)
Then take your new sway bar and put some grease on the bar where the bushings will sit. (between the flange and the bend)
Here is the fun part. The easiest way I've found to install the bushing is to have someone hold the sway bar, clamp it in a vice (with non marring jaws, you don't want to mess up the finish on your new bar) or hold it with your feet and spread the bushing open as much as you can and slip it over the flattened end of the bar. Then slide it down the bar, around the corner and stop there. With it in the corner you will have the bushing spread pretty far open and have gaps on the ends. Put a little grease in the gaps and some in the split. Then slide it on around to where it butts up against the flange, rotate and slide it back and forth to spread the grease out in the bushing. Repeat for the other side.
Fish the bar in through the frame just like you took the old one out, grab your new brackets and put them on the bushings (taking the time to make sure you put the L8ton Racing logo facing up so everyone can see it and be jealous) and put your 4 12mm bolts back in and your parking brake cable back on the lower bolt of the right side. DO NOT TIGHTEN THE BOLTS YET.
Now slip the end links back into the new sway bar and put the nuts on. Go ahead and tighten the nuts on these (make sure to use both wrenches so the bolt wonít spin.)
Now that everything is hooked up you can tighten the rest of the bolts.
Remember to take pictures as much as possible.
Now you're done! Your new sway bar is installed and ready to go. Grab your helmet and hit a trail to enjoy your not very hard work and your awesome new sway bar.
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