12mm socket and wrench
9/16" socket and wrench
Energy Suspension Front Sway Bar Bushing Kit (part no. 8.5130)
3/8" x 4" long Grade 8 bolt (quantity 2)
3/8" x 1/2" steel spacer (quantity 2)
30 minutes to 3 hours (depending upon your skill level & luck)
This was addressed in 2006 & 2008 with DIY threads posted in this forum section, links below. While there is excellent information there, a new DIY is needed as Energy now sells an xB bushing replacement kit -- which still needs tweaks, read on.
Feel free to peruse the two linked threads, as very valuable information is there and I won't repeat all the detail found in those threads.
I just finished the bushing swap this weekend, so I have fresh, first-hand knowledge of the procedure using Energy's xB kit. Note
: there are two versions of the kit, 8.5130G and 8.5130R. Energy states that the kits are identical except that with the "G" kit, the bushings are black
, graphite impregnated and self-lubricating. The "R" kit includes red
bushings, but they are not self-lubricating. The cost is the same. I selected the "G" kit.
I will be brief and let the attached pictures speak for themselves, but two notes about the kit.
1) The included bolt size is too long. It is a 4.5" bolt and a 4" bolt is required. I tried, but there was no way the 4.5" bolt was going to get past the axle shaft with the bushings installed. And, if you installed it with the nut on top, the end could/would hit the axle shaft on bumps. If you purchase a 3/8" x 4" bolt with the same thread, you can use the included nuts. (The original bolt was just about 4", too.)
2) The 3/4" steel spacer is too long (I'm pretty sure). I tried to make it work with the 4" bolt, but couldn't get everything lined up and past the axle shaft (as with the 4.5" bolt). Plus, the new urethane bushings and steel washers are thicker than the originals, so it seems that only a 1/2" spacer is required for a similar setup. That's what I used, 3/8" x 1/2" long spacers.
With those two modifications to the kit, everything fit perfectly and installed smoothly on my 62,000 mile 2004 xB. If you read and re-read the prior DIY threads on this swap, plus the Amazon and Energy website reviews, you will find comments that confirm both the 4" bolt and less than a 3/4" spacer recommendations.
Now for the results. Below are a generic before
shot with an actual after
shot. Energy bushing kit for xB pictures are also included.
As mentioned by everyone that has done the urethane replacement, the results are excellent. No more jiggles up front and better handling. The xB handles like a new car, maybe better. (Well worth the $30 in parts.)