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Discussion Starter #1
Today I discovered that my rear sway bar is BROKE! I know that I saw posts about this here or on the NAISSO mailing list but I can't find them now. I apparently don't know which term to search for since I have looked at 100's of sway bar posts and haven't found anything related to this problem. Anyway the bar broke on the driver's side right next to the rear bolt.

Are these bars warrantied for life?
 
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Discussion Starter #2
-There have been a few that broke in this fashion. You don't need to find those posts, just call Hotchkis and they'll arrange a replacement at no cost.

-Jay
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I believe the only thing you need to do is ship them the smaller of the 2 pieces of the sway bar as proof of it breaking and they should ship a replacement to you. I'd call them beforehand to be sure.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Do you have any idea how/why it broke? Were you driving it hard, or did you just notice it out of the blue?
 
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Discussion Starter #5
No hard driving...I was under the car trying to find a rattle when I grabbed the sway bar for leverage and felt it move. Upon further inspection I found that it was completely broke in half at the bolt hole and was being supported by the washer. Even worse one of the bolts is frozen to the Hotchkis LCA. It took quite a bit of work to get the other 3 out but one of them won't budge. :(
 
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Discussion Starter #6
I have been checking out my new Hotchkiss rear bar and it is smooth and appears to be hollow. The attachement points are solid stock welded to the hollow bar. Most other bars are one piece forged steel so it should be interesting to see how this one holds up. Since it is smooth my guess it that its made of mild steel tubing which may or may not be up to the job.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I spoke to a guy who had the same happen to him on his bar. He contacted Hotchkis and, 'long story short, I believe Hotchkis is looking into the fact that some of their bars can't stand the stress put on them when some guys who go up driveways go at an angle.

If you notice whenever lowered rides go up on driveways do it at an angle as to not scrape the bottom of the ride on the driveway. You'll notice that one wheel (in the rear) is pressed in as the otherone hangs down, well apparently this stress at the bolt holes is too much in some instances and that's why they break there. From what this guy told me Hotchkis is working on a new bar that will deal w/ this issue. Again, this is what this guy told me about this. I'll send him a PM to see if he wants too elaborate more on this.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I just got off the phone with Hotchkis and they are going to send me a new bar. All they want from me is a digital photo of the bar.

He basically told me the same thing as POSSEZED stated and explained to me that the design had been changed to what AllenIDOXLR8 described. The new bars have billet ends welded to the tubing. Also, the new bar is bigger in diameter since it is now hollow to keep the same rating.

The customer service sounds good so far....we'll see how long it takes to get a new one.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
By any chance, did they mention when the design was changed? I just picked mine up a month ago.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Originally posted by Thump:
By any chance, did they mention when the design was changed? I just picked mine up a month ago.
I just got mine off ebay a few weeks ago and they're waiting for me at home. I'm curious about this too!
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Since the old bar is made from a single piece vs the new bar having the ends welded on it should be apparent when you see the bar as to which design it is. I will take a picture of mine whenever it arrives. I haven't been told when it is going to ship so who knows when that will be though. I know that the end of year sale that Tom Frederico did took 2 months or so for everyone's parts to get shipped from Hotchkis, so who knows how long this will take.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
I believe that the Hotchkiss bar change occurred in late December '03 or January '04. If you remember, Tom Frederico had a GP "sale" on Hotchkiss products at the end of last year and there was a delay of several weeks in getting the bars shipped. This delay happened because Hotchkiss was re-designing the bars to address the breakage problems.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Originally posted by dld9c1:
Since the old bar is made from a single piece vs the new bar having the ends welded on it should be apparent when you see the bar as to which design it is. I will take a picture of mine whenever it arrives.
Sweet. I will check mine and also post a picture.
Originally posted by LeadSSled:
Tom Frederico had a GP "sale" on Hotchkiss products at the end of last year and there was a delay of several weeks in getting the bars shipped. This delay happened because Hotchkiss was re-designing the bars to address the breakage problems.
Then I should have the new one. I also bought mine from Tom F. on the GP. I guess I ordered at the right time, because my bars/lcas were ready to be picked up at Hotchkis less than a week after I ordered. I am still loving the improvements the bars give.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Hotchkis is good on their word! I received my new sway bar today. :D
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Okay.....I am glad I am not the only one this has happened to.

My rear bar broke on the driver's side at the second bolt hole.

Is there a specific person to talk to at Hotchkis about this problem?
What is their number?

Thanks.

P.S. No hard driving on mine. Spirited, yes. Angled driveway at home...yes.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
The bar on my '94 wagon just broke at the second hole on the passenger side. Hotchkis asked me to send a digital picture of the broken bar to them and they would replace.
David
 
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Discussion Starter #17
I broke mine going up on the Texas Motor Speedway, at the cup race this year. Mine appeared to have been broken part way through, for some time. I contacted John Whatley at Hotchkis, and he sent me a new one. No questions asked, and I didn't have to send the broken piece or a photo. The new one is a different design, looks very similiar to the stock bar, much thicker, and much thicker mounting flanges. HTH contact him at: [email protected]
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Bob:

I just now took a picture and emailed it to him. I'm a bit nervous about the bar on my other wagon. I need to get under the car and look at its bar.

David
 
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Discussion Starter #19
I received my replacement bar on Thursday and put it in this morning. The mounting "ears" on the bar are about 33% thicker than the original bar that broke. Plus the bar does not dip down low "tailhook fashion" like the original. Definitely an improvement. I emailed and asked if they will sell me a replacement rear bar separately.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
I seem to be noticing now, that almost every time I back out of a angled driveway, I hear a pop coming from the rear left side. I've only looked under the car briefly from behind. Sway bar looks to be intact, but I have to get under it and really check.
Anyone have these symptoms before their bar broke?
 
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