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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just completed my DIY install of the H&R rear sway bar on my 2010 S5.
Thanks to John and the good folks at AWE and H&R I got a great deal and the part(s) arrived very quickly.

A little background...I was a pretty serious AFM/WERA motorcycle racer at one point and did almost all of my own work (save for motor or suspension rebuilds). I got pretty good at turning a wrench on bikes. And did a fair amount of DIY on my previous ride to haul bikes (a Pickup). I've tried to be a good reader/contributor to forums and will aim to do so here. I tried to scour A5OC, AudiWorld, and AudiZine before getting underway, but alas there was no definitive DIY thread.

Now that I'm tracking the S5 I figured it was time to wrench on it for the quick upgrade bits (suspension first) I want to add. Holy sh!t is working on a small sports coupe a different world. I will try to make this post as much a cautionary tale as a DIY howto, and help to ensure others don't make the same mistakes I did. My hope is that total S5 DIY newbs like me learn from the issues I encountered and others can post some guidance to add to it. Sorry there are no pics. I just completed the job in my garage (~1am PT) so there wasn't enough light for good ones.

Here we go.

Parts
H&R Rear Sway - 2010 B8 S5

Consumables
PB Blaster or other penetrant
WD40
Blue Loctite

Tools Required
Patience
Rhino Ramp or similar for front wheels.
Jack stands + decent jack to raise rear end.
1/2" and or 3/8" socket driver
17mm + impact driver for wheels
Patience
16mm socket for main sway bar bolts
16 mm box wrench for main sway bar nuts
locking/vise grips if one the 16mm options doesn't work for you
10mm (XZN aka triple square aka cheesehead socket)
Torque Wrench - I read another DIY that said torque everything (not lugs) to 42 ft/lbs.
Patience

...Luckily I was fulled tooled up so none of the above were an issue.

Steps
I wanted to try to use the ramps to make life as easy as possible.
I tried by first backing the car onto the ramps. But quickly found the ramps killed my clearance on both sides and of course...And duh, this job needs to be done with the rear wheels off :wall:

I then tried to get the car to pull forward onto the ramps however (not sure if others have had this issue). The grade of the ramps were such that they hits the lower lip of the front fascia, so the car in effect just pushes the ramps and the tires can never bite onto the ramps.

Ultimately, against what I've read about the car needing to be level, since I only had two jack stands, I proceeded with simply raising the rear end and using the jack stands at the frame. Of course even this made more difficult by my heavy duty jack being meant for pickup trucks, so its starting lift point was too high to get under the S5. I remedied this by starting the lift on one side with the OEM jack, then lifting the other side fully (with the small extra clearance) installing a jack stand, then moving back to the other side and completing the lift and sliding in the 2nd jack stand.

Once the car is up...D'OH!!! I forgot to loosen my lugs.
Back down on both sides, loosen, back up again :wall:

Then I pulled the wheels and oddly my passenger side rear was a bit rusted on. (it's a used car I just bought in Feb). Hit it with a bit of penetrant and all was good.

Once the wheels were off I started removing the bolts.
At first I started removing the lower link bolt rather than the upper bolt that goes directly into the sway bar. With one bolt out I ended up just pulling them both, then working on the upper bolt and nut separately. Once those were done, I pulled out the XZN bolts. These were the easiest part of the whole stinking deal.

With the bar now disconnected I examined how to remove the bar without dropping the exhaust. Without providing too much detail, this proved to be a royal PITA for me. As I read that "you can definitely do this without dropping the exhaust." However after about 30 minutes of screwing with the thing and getting it stuck every which way...an epiphany...Pull the damn bushing brackets off dummy. :wall: (<-that's #3 if you're scoring at home).

SIDE NOTE: If anyone has any tips or recommended reads on dropping the S5 exhaust, please send my way. Is there a wrench or pliers that makes it easier to remove the stays from the rubber grommets?

Once I pulled the bushing brackets sure enough the OEM sway came right out.

I then set out to install the H&R, and it was a bit tricky as it's stiffer, thicker and I didn't want to muck other parts too badly shimmying it in. After about 20 minutes I was able to fashion it into place.

Next shot the rubber bushings and the oem brackets with a small bit of WD40 to get them seated together.

Once the part was ready to be attached I starting working the bolts back in with a spot of Blue Loctite. With everything just a bit past finger tight I lined up the bar took some quick measures to make sure everything was seated properly, then torqued everything down. The hardest part of this was reattaching the main sway bar bolt/nut as there's really no way to get a socket in between the shock and sway, or behind the bar. You either need two 16mm box wrenches/spanners or a vice grips...I usually hate using these to secure nuts as they tend to chew stuff up, but oh well. With spanners it takes a while, but worth it.

Results...
Once I reinstalled the wheels and dropped the car I went for a quick shakedown spin around some nearby hills. OMFG, already a noticeable difference in handing behavior. Well worth the time and money spent. As the car feels more planted yet lively with not nearly as much heaviness on initial turn in.

Lessons to be Learned
- Need to figure out how to get the ramps to jive with the OEM front end
- Figure out a better way to attack the main bolt/nut from the sway bar
- How to drop the OEM exhaust

It was fun gettin my first DIY under my belt on the S5. But as you can tell, I made a LOT of rookie mistakes. Also, should there be anyone out there who can provide some tips/tricks to ensure others don't make the same mistakes or if anyone has some guidance for my lessons learned, I'm all ears!

I've got the front sway as well and would like to tackle that install in the near future. Along with my AWE S-Flo arriving in a few days time. After that I'll likely be doing AWE touring exhaust and H&R sport coilovers.

All for now.
:moped:
 

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Congratulations Gyges!

You may also want to add the Alu Kruez to your list of handling mods. Well worth it over and above the Fr/Rr sways plus it's an easy DIY.

Do you have the Sport Rear Diff or the Audi Drive Select (ADS) on your 2010? Your coil over choice indicates that you do not have ADS.

I whole heartedly agree with your opinion of what the rear sway does. When you add the front sway, install it on the softer setting if the H&R front comes with a softer (hole furthest from the [cross] bar itself) and a firmer (hole closest to the [cross] bar itself) setting.

Enjoy. You will become a giggly as the rest of us every time you drive your car :)

My 2010 S5 got the ECode Tuning Fr/Rr sways and end links plus the Alu Kruez, AWE Resonated DP Track Exhaust, and the H&R OE Sport springs. At the track it is amazing.
 

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gyges_1 nice write up and well done. Like you I received my H&R Front/Rear Sway Bars this passed Friday night and installed them Saturday morning. Agreed these cars are crammed with small spaces. After almost 8 years of staying away from modding sports cars and wakeboarding instead working on this car defiantly put a smile on my face and a sense of accomplishment.

Solution to your drive up ramp problem. Get a 3' or 4' section of 2x6 from your local lumber yard. Cut 3x (20 degree angles) \-----\ \-----\. Place the cut 2x6's in front of your Rhino Ramps and drive on up. You should have the clearance with the car up on the 2x6's first. I haven't had to do this with my S5 yet. For some reason I have the clearance right now??? However, with my Z28's and Vettes it was the only way I could get them up on the ramps when dropped. Even when using lifts we would either drive the car up on 1' sections of 2x6 blocks or 2 people would have to lift each fender well to get clearance for the lift arm under the frame.

Not sure how I was able to do do it but I didn't take the rear wheels off either. 1/2" drive swivel socket and 1/2" drive swivel attachment achieved this.

I cant confirm on the 2010 model but the 2013 exhaust hangers mounts are bolted underneath the trunk area. Instead of messing with the rubber grommets I just dropped the whole assembly by unbolting it.

BTW the front sway bar is much much easier to install and will take you less than half the time verses the rear.

Not highjacking but before any ask here's my impression of the Sway Bars. With H&R Front (softer setting) / Rear Sway Bars the car is more neutral and predictable. Its more my style of driving coming from strictly high hp/tq rear wheel sports cars. I like when the rear end is warning me it wants to break loose before doing so. Much more controllable driving style for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Congratulations Gyges!

You may also want to add the Alu Kruez to your list of handling mods...

Do you have the Sport Rear Diff or the Audi Drive Select (ADS) on your 2010? Your coil over choice indicates that you do not have ADS.

...When you add the front sway, install it on the softer setting if the H&R front comes with a softer (hole furthest from the [cross] bar itself) and a firmer (hole closest to the [cross] bar itself) setting.
Thanks Smokey...I'm definitely looking at the Alu Kruez and will be dropping the front sway in on the softer setting. Just like bikes, the first thing to get sorted is suspension and handling. It seems like the sways/stabilizers/coilovers gets you pretty far along the path.

But a total Newb question for you...how do I tell if I have ADS or the Sport Diff?


...Like you I received my H&R Front/Rear Sway Bars this passed Friday night and installed them Saturday morning. Agreed these cars are crammed with small spaces. After almost 8 years of staying away from modding sports cars...

Solution to your drive up ramp problem. Get a 3' or 4' section of 2x6 from your local lumber yard. Cut 3x (20 degree angles) \-----\ \-----\. Place the cut 2x6's in front of your Rhino Ramps and drive on up. You should have the clearance with the car up on the 2x6's first...

I cant confirm on the 2010 model but the 2013 exhaust hangers mounts are bolted underneath the trunk area. Instead of messing with the rubber grommets I just dropped the whole assembly by unbolting it.

BTW the front sway bar is much much easier to install and will take you less than half the time verses the rear.
Thanks Wallace.
Nice work on your install and glad to hear that the front is a bit easier.
It appears that theres more remove/reinstall bolts but the parts are more accessible.

I also like your comment on the neutral handling with the font sway on the softer setting. Balance and neutrality is what I also want in my suspension. No surprises = smooth, smooth = fast.

:cheers:
 

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Great set up.

I found the best way to drop the exhaust was to actually remove the two bolts that hold each carrier to the chassis. I did mark the outline of the brackets on the chassis before removing, which made alignment easy when I re-installed.

I had the front on ramps, like you did and the back on stands. It is a bit of a pain, and would be so much easier if you could find someone with a lift.
 

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gyges_1

ADS answer. Within MMI if equipped you can choose Comfort/Auto/Dynamic/Individual modes.

Without MMI if equipped just above left side A/C controls on you should see Comfort/Auto/Dynamic/Individual modes.

Sports Diff. On Audi USA webs site near the bottom right hand side click see more contact options, click email Audi Support. File out the form giving your Vin# and ask what the vehicle was equipped with from the factory. They'll email you a list within 24hrs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A quick follow up to the original post.
I installed the front sway bar a few days ago.

The DIY installation of the front is markedly easier than the rear.
Without over simplifying...

1.) Remove the air/noise diffuser via a few triple square bolts and dzus fasteners
2.) Remove the four sway bar bushing bolts
3.) Remove the two main (one each side) mount bolts.

Reverse the process...installing the new bar on (personal preference and interwebs concensus ) softer/outmost setting.

With both front and rear sways installed the car feels very balanced, neutral and predictable. Now if I could only find a way to run at least one day at AudiFest in Sonoma!!!
 

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There’s so little facts on the H&R so here it is: I ordered the H&R front and rear swaybars, they arrived yesterday and I had time to fit the rear only today and took it for a test drive. HUGE DIFFERENCE. It’s hugely improved the bad body roll that I was wanting to correct and has completely removed the under steer. The car obviously now has oversteer characteristics since it’s only the rear H&R fitted at this stage. I’ll fit the front over the next few days and report back on the final result but I’m optimistic after feeling the initial result and am expecting it to tighten up the body roll even further and neutralise the new oversteer for a perfect ride.

Happy to say that ride comfort has significantly improved from the fact that while the car is still just as soft over bumps with no degrading of ride quality, it also no longer throws me sideways when cornering.

By the way, who said that installation is easy? It’s not, it’s a frustrating pain in the ass trying to fit a longer swaybar with pretensionsed endlinks through suspension parts and in to place. At one point I thought I wouldn’t be able to get it in to place, but it’s possible, just gotta fiddle with it. (This would not be a problem if you had aftermarket end links that could still swivel post-tensioning)

I also love the bushes that are obviously way improved over factory and that the H&R do not require regular lubricating.

To respond to any doubts over the thickness of the H&R bars, we all know that thickness on its own is not an indicator of swaybar tightness. I’ve compared the H&R rear swaybar with the factory rear swaybar and the H&R is thicker by a little but SIGNIFICANTLY heavier. This is obviously due to the differences in structural (solid vs hollow)/material differences between the two bars. So yes, the H&R rear bar is much tighter than stock and more than counters the under steer. So far very happy with the initial result. Will update again after the full install!

One last thing: if I had my time again I would have ordered the aftermarket end links also instead of reusing the stock ones. This would have greatly simplified the installation (mentioned above) and after seeing the stock bushes and the role they play in the setup, I can see how bad they are compared to aftermarket. This all comes down the freedom of movement, although longevity is another benefit.


View attachment 181033
 

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Yep, front bar fitted set to the softer outer setting. Front bar installation is a piece of cake. Handles amazingly. Body roll completely neutralised. Comfort is great. The oversteer that was present after only the rear bar was installed is now neutralised. Would recommend.

Just remember that if you’re installing these and using the factory end-links, you need to torque them up with the weight of the car on the wheels hence require ramps/lift, not a jack / jack stands. This does not apply if you use the aftermarket end-links. I assume that this is because the aftermarket end-links can still swivel their position after tensioning, the factory ones cannot.

Hope this helps for anyone thinking of installing sway bars. I personally think that the understeer and body roll on our B8s is their worst aspect. If you‘re into cars and you have a B8 then you can’t live without these.
 
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