How to Enhance Handling in a Subaru Legacy Outback with Sway Bar Upgrades?

As Subaru Legacy Outback owners, you’re likely no stranger to the joy of driving this versatile vehicle. With its adept handling capabilities and strong performance, it’s a standout in its class. However, like any car enthusiast, you may find yourselves seeking ways to improve your driving experience even further. One of the most effective ways to enhance your Outback’s handling is by upgrading the sway bars.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of upgrading the sway bars on your Subaru Legacy Outback, discussing everything from why this upgrade is beneficial, how to select the right sway bars, and the installation process.

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Why Upgrade Your Sway Bars?

Before diving into the intricacies of sway bar upgrades, it’s crucial to understand why this upgrade is worth considering. In a Subaru Legacy Outback, the sway bars contribute significantly to the vehicle’s handling, particularly when navigating sharp turns or uneven terrain.

Sway bars, also known as stabilizer bars or anti-roll bars, work by resisting torsional forces when your vehicle corners. They reduce body roll, keeping your car flat and stable during turns, and greatly improving the overall balance and stability of your vehicle.

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Upgrading your sway bars can offer a range of benefits, from enhanced steering precision and improved cornering to increased stability at high speeds. A sway bar upgrade can make your Subaru Legacy Outback feel more agile and responsive, offering a noticeable improvement in overall handling.

Selecting the Right Sway Bars

Choosing the right sway bars for your Subaru Legacy Outback is essential to ensure they deliver the desired improvement. The selection process largely depends on your driving style and the conditions you typically drive in.

Generally, thicker sway bars offer better roll resistance and thus improved handling. However, they may also make the ride a bit stiffer. On the other hand, thinner sway bars will preserve more of the original ride comfort but will provide less roll resistance.

For daily driving, a mild upgrade (a slightly thicker sway bar than your current one) would be more than sufficient, while for more spirited driving or off-roading, a more substantial upgrade might be a better choice.

Remember that an upgrade doesn’t necessarily mean going for the biggest and thickest sway bar available. It’s about finding the right balance between improved handling and maintaining ride comfort.

Installation Process

While the installation of sway bars may seem intimidating, with the right tools and a bit of patience, it’s a task that can be accomplished in your own garage.

First, you’ll need to lift your Subaru Legacy Outback and secure it on jack stands. This will give you the required space to work. Next, you’ll need to remove the old sway bars. This process may vary slightly depending on the model year of your Outback, but it generally involves removing the bolts attaching the sway bar to the vehicle’s suspension components.

Once your old sway bars are removed, you can now install the new ones. Keep in mind that it’s often easier to install the new sway bars with the help of a second person.

Ensure everything is securely attached and tightened before lowering your vehicle off the jack stands.

Post-Installation Considerations

After successfully installing your new sway bars, there are a few things you should keep in mind. It’s recommended to take your Subaru Legacy Outback for an alignment check after any significant suspension work. This ensures that everything is in proper alignment, providing optimal handling and minimizing tire wear.

In addition, it’s also a good idea to take your Outback for a test drive, starting slowly and gradually increasing the speed and intensity of your maneuvers. This will allow you to get a feel for the new handling characteristics and ensure everything is working as expected.

Remember, each sway bar upgrade will feel different, and it may take some time to adjust to the new handling characteristics of your Subaru Legacy Outback. But, with some patience and careful attention, you’ll soon be enjoying an improved driving experience.

Keep in mind that while sway bar upgrades are a great way to enhance handling, they are not the only modification that can improve your Outback’s performance. Other upgrades, such as improved suspension components or performance tires, can also make a significant difference.

In conclusion, upgrading the sway bars in your Subaru Legacy Outback is a great way to enhance handling and overall performance. Whether you’re looking for improved cornering, increased stability, or just a more responsive ride, a sway bar upgrade is a worthwhile investment that will bring you even more enjoyment from your Outback’s driving experience.

Maintenance and Longevity of Upgraded Sway Bars

After you’ve gone through the effort of upgrading your sway bars on your Subaru Legacy Outback, you’ll want to ensure that they last and continue to perform at their peak. As with any component of your vehicle, sway bars require regular maintenance to ensure their longevity and optimum performance.

After the installation process, make sure to check the sway bars routinely, particularly after long drives or trips over rough terrain. Look for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracking or bending. These could indicate that the sway bars are under too much strain and may need to be replaced or adjusted.

Another aspect to consider is the bushings that hold the sway bars in place. These can wear out over time, affecting the effectiveness of your sway bars. If you notice any unusual noises, such as clunking or rattling, when turning or driving over bumps, it may indicate that the bushings need to be replaced.

Lastly, remember that balance is key. Too much stiffness can negatively impact the comfort of your ride, while too little can compromise handling. Therefore, it’s essential to strike a balance between enhancing handling and maintaining ride comfort. Regular check-ups and adjustments can help maintain this balance, so your Subaru Legacy Outback continues to offer an exceptional driving experience.


Enhancing the handling of your Subaru Legacy Outback with sway bar upgrades is a highly effective way of improving your overall driving experience. By understanding the role of sway bars and how they contribute to your vehicle’s performance, you can make an informed decision about the right upgrades to suit your driving style and needs.

Whether you are a daily commuter looking for better stability and control, or an off-roading enthusiast in search of a more responsive ride, sway bar upgrades can offer significant benefits. However, remember that balance is key. It’s important to find the right balance between improved handling and comfort, to ensure a satisfying ride quality.

Installation doesn’t have to be a daunting task, and with the right tools and a bit of patience, you can accomplish it in your own garage. Moreover, regular maintenance and upkeep will ensure the longevity of your sway bars, keeping your Subaru Legacy Outback performing at its best.

In your pursuit of enhanced handling, remember that other modifications like upgraded suspension components or performance tires can also contribute to your vehicle’s performance. So, don’t stop at sway bars; explore the various ways to make your Subaru Legacy Outback the best it can be.

In conclusion, a sway bar upgrade is a worthy investment that not only enhances your driving experience but also adds to the joy of owning and driving a Subaru Legacy Outback. Happy driving!