2004 Chevy Monte Carlo SS

July 2011 - Installing Energy Suspension Bushings
Front Sway Bar and End Link Bushings

Update - June 2012 - Even though what I did below with the end links WORKED, I was not 100% thrilled (I had some creaking in the front end).   I found that I actually had the CORRECT answer and FORGOT about it.   Thanks to this thread I recently re-found (that I even commented on BEFORE I did my sway links) on the MonteCarloForum.com I know have the CORRECT answer.   Energy Suspension does not list a kit that fits, but it turns out kit 9.8122r comes as close as you need!   If you cross ref it (and I did), it comes back to some compact cars (like the Ford Escort and some other stuff).   Oddly, this kit is so close to exact (and perfect enough I'm happy I switched mine, got rid of the creak), I'm surprise that the regular sway links you can buy at the local parts store does not cross ref between these compacts and the Monte (W-body) cars.   OH well.   If you are thinking of this mod, go for Energy Suspension 9.8122r and it's a regular install, no shimming required!

So I got the itch to want for poly sway bar bushings and end links on the Monte. Admittedly, the original rubber ones appear to be fine.   You can see a little cracking in the rubber bushings on the end links, but the rubber was FAR from dry rotted.

Before I start, YES, you can get Poly sway bar end link kits from ZZP (about $14+shipping) and I also saw some on RockAuto, but they all appear to be blue bushings.   Also, to my knowledge, I cannot find a Energy Suspension sway link ket for the 6th gen Monte (or other matching W-Body cars).   The first problem I had is I wanted all red bushings AND all Poly.   The local parts stores did NOT carry ANYTHING in Poly!! So, I got creative.   Energy Suspension sells kit 9.8105R that is JUST the bushings and the washers.   I did not want to rely on the factory bolt, nut and plastic spacer being re-usable, so I bought the cheapest sway link kits the store had to offer (happened to be Moog). Kits seen below (along with how I intend to use these parts).


The other bushings are the ones that attach to the subframe.   I used Energy Suspension kit 9.5164R.   Installation of these babies was a BREEZE!   The only down side was using dealing with limited clearance due to the brake lines around one bolt on both sides.   If I had racheting wrenches, it may have sped things up.

Here's a shot of the first install.   A couple things to notate, I did not like the dust covers Performance Energy had on the grease fittings.   I popped them off an replaced them with some of the extra brake caliper bleed screw covers I've collected from the junk yards.

I drove this setup for a day.   I found the steering felt a little loose.   I suspected it to be a problem with the sway bar end links.   First, I noticed the day I installed that end links, the center bushings did not look like they were compressed and making proper contact (but I was not 100% sure, so figured, just try it out).   I ended up measuring the thickness Energy Suspension bushings and comparing that to the thickness of the MOOG bushing that were intended for this hardware I used.   I found the MOOG bushings were bit thicker.   To compensate, I first tried two stainless steel washers as shims on both ends of the spacers (as seen in the pic below).   I found there was some improvement.   My end result that I am now completely happy with was placing two stainless steel washers on the out side of each washer for the bushings (total of eight shims per link kit).   The picture below is only showing the shims around the spacer (again, this was an earlier trial-and-error).   Again, to be done correctly is two shims on the outside of each bushing washer.

Since this is a street car, I only see limited results (again, keep in mind, the rubber bushings were not in too bad of a shape to begin with.    The results I have noticed is in high speed (60MPH or higher) lane shifts, the car's steering seems more solid and improved.   For the cost, I feel this is not just a worthwhile upgrade, but should be security you won't ever need to change these bushings again!!

2004 Monte Carlo SS Page

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