Tech Article Title Author Date
A6/Allroad Swaybar Upgrade Mark Fankhauser 2002

One of the biggest complaints I hear about the A6/allroad is the soft suspension and the handling leaves many of us a little disappointed in the twisties. For those looking to firm up the A6/allroad in the corners, replacing the stock 15mm bar with a 18mm bar is a nice improvement that won't break the bank. It reduces understeer and gives the A6/allroad a more neutral feeling. 

Q: Will my dealer know if I install the bar and are there any warranty issues?
A: The dealer will probably never notice since they probably will never drive your car in a spirited manner & if they do, you should find a different dealer! I highly doubt that this will impact your warranty since this in an OE part from the A6 with the PSK option. However, with AOA and some dealers, you never know - please read the disclaimer below and check with your dealer.

Note: Some people have had their dealers install this bar for them. Charges have varied but might be a great option if you don't want to try this yourself.

Q: How hard is it to do and how long will this take?
A: If you have any mechanical ability, the install should not be much of a problem. The access to the pivot bolts is the most difficult thing - just be patient. Installation takes about 1.5 hours and goes faster with someone else giving a hand.

Q: Is this reversible?
A: Yes. Just replace the 15mm bar & bushings. 

Disclaimer: (not to scare anyone but to cover my butt)
You assume all responsibility for any and all results obtained by following this FAQ. 
You do so at your own risk. 
You are solely responsible for any damages financial or material. 
Read all directions before attempting the procedure.

Tools needed:
- 13 mm deep socket
- 10" socket extension
- socket driver
- 13 mm open/box end wrench (2 if you only have a shallow 13 mm socket)
- 16 mm open/box end wrench (you'll need 2)
- Work lamp or flashlight

Another person to help makes the install go faster and easier with the raising/lowering of the exhaust and on the removal/installation of the pivot bolts. It is also a good safety idea when working under a car on ramps to have someone around in case the car drops on your melon. 

Parts needed:
- 18mm stabilizer bar - Part # 4B0-511-409-F
- Mounting bushings (2 are needed) - Part # 4B0-511-327
- 2 10mm nylon threaded nuts (16mm heads)
- Heavy-duty automotive grease
- Blue threadlock (medium duty)

I ordered the parts, which were in stock, from Clair Parts. The bar was $89.80 and the bushings were $3.57 each. Total with shipping was $106.43. My local dealer quoted $115 for the bar alone and would have had to order the parts.

Step 1 - Raise the car
I used a set of Rhino Ramps and set the suspension on Level 4. For the A6 guys, it might be a little tighter fit so jack stands might be nice to get a little more clearance. If you are fortunate enough to have access to a lift, by all means use it! Just remember to lock the suspension before raising the car. If you are using a lift, the install might be easier if you remove one or both of the rear wheels. 

Step 2 - Lower the exhaust
This can be done by first loosening 8 bolts using a 13mm socket and extension. There are 4 bolts located in the center of the car by the resonator and 2 by each muffler. After the bolts are loosened, completely remove the 4 center bolts first, then remove the bolts by each muffler. This is where your buddy helps by holding the exhaust stable and keep it from dropping on you while you remove the muffler bolts. Lower the exhaust and let the cross-arm rest on a box or other support.

Step 3 - Remove the 15mm stabilizer bar
Remove the 2 outer pivot bolts (one on each side) using 2 16mm open/box end wrenches. I had my friend hold one wrench on the nut while I loosened the bolt. Since the space here is pretty tight & I could only get about 1/4 turn per try. At this point I was able to remove the nuts but could not get the bolts out yet.

Next remove the bushings & U shaped bushing brackets (they are the yellow nuts/bolts in the pic below) by using a 13mm open/box end wrench and 13mm deep socket. You'll need a deep socket since the bolt sticks out just enough so you can't quite get a shallow socket on. You can use 2 13mm open/box end wrenches but the socket is a little quicker.

Once the bushings & brackets are removed, there is enough play in the bar to wiggle out the bolts and remove the bar. It takes a little work and pressure, but it isn't too difficult.

Bar comparison pic

Close up of bars. Note bushings & U bracket

Step 4 - Install bar
Apply threadlock to the bolts and insert them through the stabilizer bar and raise the bar in place. I had to lower the exhaust a little more for this part. Installation will also take a little wiggling to get the bolts through the pivot point. Since the nuts are nylon threaded, they should be replaced. Get the 2 new nuts you bought and tighten the nuts so they are snug but will still allow the bar to be raised/lowered without much effort. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN!

Next install the bushings & U brackets. Make sure you clean the bushings of all mold release (the white powdery stuff-you can see it in the pic above) with a little water. Slap a little grease on the inside of the bushings. Since the bushings are split on the flat end, they and the U bracket can be simply snapped over the bar. Evenly tighten the bolts with the bushings and U brackets in place. Per the Bentley Manual, the bushing bolts are specified to be tightened to 25 Nm. Now tighten the bar end bolts to 50Nm and you're almost done!

Step 5 - Raise exhaust
It is best to loosely install all 8 bolts first to make sure the exhaust is centered correctly, then securely tighten the center bolts, then the muffler bolts.

Step 6 - Seek out some twisties & enjoy your new ride!


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