Installing a pair of sway bars on your Chevy C10 will add stability and reduce body roll through hard turns and fast corners. Follow this step-by-step guide for a full walkthrough of how to install the QA1 sway bar kit on your classic C10.
Our truck is a 1970 C10, but the installation process should be the same for your 1967-1972 model. For 1960-1966 or 1973-1987 C10s, the installation will be similar with minor differences.
If you’re mounting a sway bar kit other than the QA1, use this guide along with the manufacturer’s provided instructions. Overall, the process is very similar.
Before you start your sway bar installation, there are a few things to consider:
- Is your C10 lowered? If it is, the length of mounting tabs you use in Step 10 of the Rear Sway Bar Installation is dependent on whether your rig is lowered. The longer tabs are for the stock height to a 4” drop. The shorter tabs are for anything lower than that. In this guide, we use the shorter tabs to accommodate the height of our vehicle.
- Does your truck have power steering? For those of you with aftermarket power steering, your gearbox may hang low. If that applies to your C10, you’ll need to use the mounting tabs to clear it.
- Did your C10 come equipped with factory sway bars? If your truck came with factory anti-roll bars, you’ll need to remove them first. Cut the stock rivets off and remove the factory mounts and bars before installing your new ones.
Sway Bar Installation
To simplify the installation process, you’ll want to keep your truck’s suspension loaded. You can do this with either a full lift or a set of tire ramps and wheel chocks. But, if your truck is lowered, performing the install unloaded on a set of jack stands is acceptable.
If you’re set on torquing the bolts under load, you can keep your rig on jack stands and use a floor jack to preload the suspension. Make sure not to lift your rig off the stands if you go this route.
- Jack and Jack Stands or Tire Ramps and Wheel Chocks
- Ratchet and SAE Socket Set
- Drill with ⅜” Bit
- SAE Wrench Set
- Grinder or Air Chisel
- Tape Measure
- Level or Pry Bar
Front Sway Bar Install
Step 1: Remove Rivets Next to Front Crossmember
Remove the rivets on the driver and passenger side next to the front crossmember.
Step 2: Install Brackets Using Existing Rivet Hole
Before you start, take note that the shorter side of the bracket is the front and the longer side is the rear. Align the rear bracket hole to the place where you cut the rivet from. The front bracket hole should match up with the pre-drilled hole on the lip.
Insert the supplied 1-¼” bolts into the bracket holes from the top and add a washer and nut to both bolts. Make sure to not tighten the nuts.
Step 3: Insert Mount Bolts
Add washers to two more 1-¼” bolts and slide them into the holes in the middle of the bracket from the top. These hanging bolts will be used later for the sway bar mounts.
Once you finish the first side, follow steps 1-3 again for the other side.
Step 4: Attach Bushings to Sway Bar
Grease the inside of the 1-⅜” bushings and slip them onto the sway bar.
Step 5: Attach Mounts to Bushings
Attach the mounts onto the bushings with the mount holes facing upward. Slide the bushings and mounts to align with the bolts hanging down from the brackets.
Step 6: Position Sway Bar in Place
Position the sway bar with the ends pointing upward. The mount holes should line up with the bolts hanging from the brackets.
Step 7: Attach Mounts to Brackets
Slide the bracket bolts into the mount holes and secure each of them with a washer and nut. Don’t tighten the nuts yet. Repeat this step on both sides.
Step 8: Assemble Sway Bar Links
Thread the nut onto the longer side of the stem and tighten it all the way down. This will be the top of the link. Add threadlocker to both sides of the stem and thread and tighten the Heim joints in place. Repeat this step for both links.
Step 9: Mount Brackets on Lower Control Arm (If Necessary)
If you’re using the QA1 suspension kit, the bracket is welded into the lower control arm. If you’re using the stock control arm, or have a different aftermarket kit, go ahead and mount the brackets on the lower control arm.
Step 10: Install Sway Bar Links
Put the longer spacers into the bottom Heim joint (one on each side) align them with the bracket on the control arm.
Add a washer to the supplied bolt and slide it through the bracket and joint holes. Secure the other end of the bolt with a washer and a nut.
Step 11: Attach Link to Sway Bar with Top Sway Bar Mount
Swing the top of the link up to align with the end of the sway bar. Slide the longer side of the top sway bar mount through the Heim joint end. Push the shorter side of the mount into the end of the sway bar and secure it in place with a washer and nut.
Step 12: Fasten Link to Sway Bar Mount
Add the shorter spacer to the longer side of the mount and fasten it in place with a washer and nut.
Once this step is complete, repeat steps 10-12 for the other side.
Step 13: Tighten All Bolts
Tighten down all the loose nuts and bolts on the sway bar, mounts, and brackets, and torque them to spec.
Rear Sway Bar Install
Step 1: Mount Rear Brackets in Place
Bolt the L-shaped bracket onto the passenger side of the pre-drilled metal bar above the rear axle. Don’t tighten the nut all the way.
Step 2: Make Bracket Parallel to C10 Body
Hold the passenger-side bracket in place as if it were tightened and use a level or pry bar to make the bracket parallel to the side of your C10’s body.
Step 3: Mark Bracket Hole for Drilling
Make a mark on the metal bar where the hole at the top of the bracket sits and move it out of the way again.
Step 4: Drill Hole on Mark
Drill a ⅜” hole where the mark is and add a bolt from the bottom up.
Step 5: Tighten Bolts on Bracket
Tighten the bolts down and torque them to spec.
When you complete this step for the passenger side, follow steps 1-5 again with the straight bracket on the driver side.
Step 6: Attach Bushings and Mounts to Sway Bar
Grease the bushings, put them onto the sway bar, and press the mounts in place on the bushings.
Step 7: Attach Sway Bar to Axle
Put the driver-side U-bolt onto the axle facing down and slide the bracket onto the U-bolts. The curved side of the bracket should line up with the axle.
Align the sway bar mount holes to the U-bolt ends and secure them in place with a washer and nut on each U-bolt arm. Don’t tighten the nuts all the way yet.
Repeat this step for the passenger side.
Step 8: Adjust Brackets and Tighten U-Bolt Mounts
Once you attach the brackets to the U-bolts, space them 2-¼” from the flange on the differential. Tighten down the nuts holding the mounts to the U-bolts.
Step 9: Install Sway Bar Link Mounts
Slide the shorter, thicker side of the mount into the sway bar end, and fasten it with a washer and nut.
Step 10: Install Mounting Tabs to Brackets
Attach the first tab to the inner-left side of the bracket using a bolt, nut, and washers on the outside and inside of the bracket. This is the bracket we drilled the hole for in Step 1.
Mount the second tab to the inner right side of the bracket using a bolt, nut, and washers on the outside and inside of the bracket. Tighten all four bolts in place.
Repeat steps 9 and 10 on the other side.
Step 11: Assemble Sway Bar Links
Add threadlocker to the threads and screw the link ends all the way into the link body. The side with the cut line is the bottom of the link and uses a reverse thread for the Heim joint. Repeat for the second link assembly.
Step 12: Attach Links to Sway Bar
Shift the sway bar ends to be level with the ground and slide the bottom end of the link onto the sway bar mount.
Add the smaller spacer to the mount, pop on a washer, and tighten in place with a nut.
Step 13: Insert Spacers
Insert the larger spacers into the top Heim joint of the link.
Step 14: Attach Link to Bracket
Swing the link up to the bottom holes of the mounting tabs. Then, slide the supplied bolt through the link end and the bottom of the mounting tabs on the bracket.
Add a washer and nut and tighten the link in place.
Complete steps 12-14 for the other side
Step 15: Tighten Jam Nuts on End Links
Tighten the jam nuts on your end links, lower your truck, and hit the road.
Complete Your C10 Suspension Rebuild
If new sway bars are the first upgrade you’re making to your C10’s stock suspension, there’s plenty more you can do! Check out our list of C10 suspension mods for inspiration and guidance on your next project.
This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.