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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I installed the Hellwig 7745 sway bar on my 2018 (11/17) Z71 Colorado V6 4X4 CC LB.

The materials are good. The bar is a beefy 1" and the bolts, washers and brackets are thick. Stainless washers woud be nice. I gave every thing a few coats of Rustoleum truck bed and rubberized the tops of the frame brackets, bottoms of the frame clamp bars and insides of the axle clamps. I also rubberized the top of the spare tire heat shield where it contacts the frame.

I took two days after work to install it but with some tips and the right tools you could maske it go faster, and easier sans some errors I made.

I will tell you right now, because I cant wait to complain about it, the biggest PITA of the whole operation is the wheel well liner! Really? Yes! Why? Because its the only thing that gets in your way. It sits on top of the frame where you need to pass the top clamp bar thru so I had to use my Exacto knife to cut a hole there for clearance. Im really more PO'd about the cutting. A hatchet job I did, my brothers. A real horror show it was! At least not as good as it could have been done had I planned for it.

UPDATE: Also of note, the configuration as shown, with the left link rotated inside, will not clear the spare tire (OOPS!). This an issue on the 4X4s or ZR1 4X4s.
I called Hellwig and sent them pictures of my setup. They looked at it and didn't say I had anything incorrect.
What they are going to do is fabricate a link with a 1" offset instead of the 2". I will install and report.
UPDATE: I called and they sent me the collar clamps. They are two piece so I was able to install them in place.

So here are my tips for the job in some order of importance, or incompetence.

Loosely assemble everything before tightening anything.
This is a little challenging to do when the chassis brackets are loose.
I would recommend getting "staging" nuts for the frame bracket and link bolts because the kit nuts are lock nuts you don't want to be removing. With staging nuts you can snug everything up temporarily to see how parts line up and interact around the leaf springs, muffler and axle parts.

Remove the spare tire and heat shield for ease of access. Its very easy to do. The shield fasteners have removable centers to pull out. You can thank me later.

Check the parts kit for the 1" collar clamps. They were absent on mine and the instructions doesn't really mention them. Maybe they did, see next tip. The clamps are placed on the inside of the bar clamps to keep the bar from trading paint with other parts.

The instructions really suffer from a lack of clarity. Thats my nice description.
The only thing worse is a bad Chinese translation. Its not that the information isn't there, its the presentation and poor quality images make it a challenging study at any skill level. If you find furniture assembly instructions challenging, you gonna need help with this because even Chinese furniture instructions are berth than these.

See the torque specs at the bottom of the page but don't take them as absolute; use your own judgement. I found the only torque ranges that were adequate were for the axle clamp U-bolts. All the others are way too tight. I use good equipment and know how to set a torque wrench. I was bending the upper clevis and crushing the isolator before I ever got to torque. Why? the metal is soft, which is OK, so it bends and the bolts (most of them) have such fine thread that the leverage is too much. You're gonna be crushing this stuff way before you reach torque spec. For the trailing links I would tighten just until it doesn't jiggle in the brackets. Check periodically.

The left side link does not work in the orientation that is shown on the instructions.
I believe someone else had posted this tip earlier and I can confirm it. Fear not, the link only needs to be rotated to the other side of the sway bar.

One of my link halves, the female end, was cross-threadded. I don't know if it was my fault or not but I would closely inspect these parts for damaged threads and do some preventative chasing.

As previously mentioned by another poster, the bare steel bolts are known to rust quickly. I would paint them with something.

Grease is the word. The kit comes with two smallish tubes of clear grease. I like my tub of Red N Tacky. Be generous with it inside the bushings.

The plastic brake line standoff on the axle needed to be moved from the right end to left of the axle breather to make room for the bar clamp.

An impact driver is your best friend. The frame bracket bolt lock nuts are REALLY tight. Save your strength and zip them up with an impact driver. 3/4"

The sway bar's center diff clearance bend, or "hump" as I call it, has an offset angle. The bar will only work one way, but for reference, the hump is canted downward in the correct position.

The left sway bar arm, at the axle, has a small space to move in between the shock bracket and the brake line bracket. This location necessitates that the left clamp be placed (uncomfortably) close to the rubber brake hoses. I tried the clamps lower down on the bottom of the axle but that put the hump of the bar too close to the diff cover. The best option I could find was to space the clamp about 1/2" from the brake lines and watch frequently to see if the clamps move too close. I had to choose this over possibly impacting the diff cover.

I would plan on tightening everything in the order of from back to front.
How the frame brackets and links line up will determine final placement of the bar and clamps on the axle.

Things I wish I had done differently:
Used "staging" nuts. Nuts that arent lock nuts so i can remove them before assembly.
Used stainless washers (treated kit washers with Frog Lube instead).
Shrank a tube of shrink wrap over the nuts on the links.
Found square U-bolts to use on the frame brackets. Ive seen them but not the strength of the supplied bolts and not larger than 3/8" coarse.
UPDATE: I finally found some that might work, but at a really good hardware store, not you're average H Depot.

Finally, as a side note, based on some commentary on this forum and some things I already know about handling, this may be a sweet mod but do you really want it?
A stiff suspension isn't for everyone and every driving style. Without lean into a corner, the outer wheels don't have as much weight on them to give traction where its needed. Over or under steer may occur in extreme cornering when a wheel looses traction in a turn and skids. An overly stiff suspension is more likely to experience this. Many folks say this bar is an excellent improvement over the stock handling; just know what the potential trade-off is. When I have been seconds away from disaster, it was controlled braking and body roll that enabled me to make the move that saved my butt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Here's some more pics. One is the left link offset as per the instructions.
The clip is the replacement for the spare tire heat shield in case you destroy yours.
 

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I installed the same kit with good results. My biggest recommendation is to use the outer softer setting. It is too much with an empty truck or not towing.

As for the rest I agree the instructions could be clearer. I passed that along to their rep when he was in since I am a vendor for their parts. Sometime it helps most time not but I tried.

I replaced the frame bolts and Por15 the plates and frame.

I too flipped the eye on one side at first too.

After a year I love it. Not any real over or under steer issues as on my truck it is pretty neutral. It feels a little closer to my ZQ8 feel. There is less roll on the rear. Ride is the same.

I would not recommend this if you are going to do serious rock climbing as it will limit suspension travel. Great for road or dirt driving.

It is not a part for everyone but if you want better road driving I recommend it. Not a part I would put on a ZR2.

Nice write up
 

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Here's some more pics. One is the left link offset as per the instructions.
The clip is the replacement for the spare heat shield in case you destroy yours.

Thanks for the pictures and write up. This is what helps the most when attempting something like this rather than just words. Am considering adding this myself since the rear of our trucks seems a little wild at times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
If you don't have a 4X4, you may not have the left side link offset issue like I do.
 
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Sorry I did not really look deep into the photos the other day. Been studying for my HAM radio test. Passed.

https://static.summitracing.com/global/images/instructions/hel-7745.pdf

I had a similar alighment issue. But it was just spacing.

I put the bar on and had to loosen the u bolts on the Axle to move the mounts. I attached the links and moved the mounts and bar to better alight it.

Sorry it was a year ago but I do remember I had a similar gap. Brake lines are close but if everything is bolted down they should not hit. The links on both sides will have enough give they should both bolt on correctly on the correct sides.

Sorry but my truck is in for the tranny so I do not have it here for photos for reference.

I also had to make no cuts or mods. Things were tight but I just bolted it on. I never took the spare out to make sure my spacing on it was right.

I wish I was there to see it first hand as It makes it easier.

If I get my truck back this week as expected I can give better details.

I don’t remember taking photos. But I may drop by the dealer. and if it is outside I can take some photos.

I will get back if I can get some more info on mine that may help.
 

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If you don't have a 4X4, you may not have the left side ling offset issue like I do.
Thanks for that detail. I see what you mean about it in your pictures and wondered about that. Most appreciated since your pictures are during install rather than after the fact.
Your pictures and write up is all anyone should now need.
 

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Nice write up...Antarctica ? Hmm, truck looks spotless, guess you don’t get to drive it much, lol.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
C'mon you guys. As for stretching out the bar, i could try it and it may work but i dont want to stress the bushes. I am working with Hellwig on a solution for the 4X4s. It is a known issue but they dont get much input from the consumer. All that s needed is a different spacing for the left link.
 
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C'mon you guys. As for stretching out the bar, i could try it and it may work but i dont want to stress the bushes. I am working with Hellwig on a solution for the 4X4s. It is a known issue but they dont get much input from the consumer. All that s needed is a different spacing for the left link.
Sent you a PM. Let me know you got it. :smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks for the input! Im not the only one with experience around here.
Hyper,
It appears the only real difference between yours and mine is yours is spaced more to the left, closing the gap.
Your setup works, but I like the way my bar has more clearance from the left shock mount and the right link from the muffler.
I feel like my bar is more centered for clearance and at this point, I want to try to keep it that way.
Lets wait and see if Hellwig comes thru with a 1" offset left link for me.
Update: yes they sent me a 1" offset, what I asked for.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Hot diggity dog wirh awesome sauce! Lookie what I got today! One of these should work!
Actually only one of these wil work.
 

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Hot diggity dog wirh awesome sauce! Lookie what I got today! One of these should work!
Actually only one of these wil work.

wow. . that was quick. good to know that company is responsive if a part is required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Crappers! I was working on a write up on my fone then poof, it was all gone.
Long story short, Im going with the straight link. But Ill have to cut about an inch of thread and chop about 4" off the top B4 i can use it. hell wig got it out pretty quick. I expect they didn't have time to do all the match-up, just send off some approximate links from the parts bin. But work with what we have I shall.
Also discovered I had canted my left chassis mount. I remember a few dead frozen seals I had couldn't avoid. Is this going to happen often?
 
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