I have to admit that when Hellwig sales and marketing director Mike Hallmark suggested a sway bar for my 2500 Silverado HD, it seemed a bit odd to me, like putting a kickstand on a tank.
“If you don’t love the way your truck drives after you put it on, you can punch me in the mouth,” he said.
Well, I’ve never been a brawler, but he seemed confident enough about what a rear sway bar would do for my truck, I took him up on his offer. For installation, we turned to our friends at Go Big Truck Performance in Ventura, Calif., a company that specializes in truck modifications and suspension.
Now, the instructions for the Hellwig bar say you’re supposed to mount it with the truck on the ground, with the suspension loaded. We didn’t do it that way. The Go Big shop has lifts, so we used them, which is half of the reason I went to them in the first place. The other half is that I didn’t want to do the job. If you do use a lift, it is important to lower the truck to the ground before tightening up all the hardware so the bar rides right.
It’s not because the job is overly difficult. I’d rate it a 1 on a scale of up to five wrenches in terms of difficulty. It is a job for which you could use a buddy to help. Go Big put two mechanics on the job, and it went quickly.
Hellwig offers two kits for the 2005 Silverado 2500: one for stock exhaust. One for larger aftermarket exhaust. Because my truck has a Banks exhaust system on it, we opted for the latter.
I have to say, the big hulking sway bar has to thread through a pretty tight series of spaces to fit the truck, but it fits and doesn’t hit, rub or chafe any of the other pieces on the rear suspension.
As I drove the truck home, I left the cruise on at 70 mph and drove through an exit ramp that I normally slow down for, and I have to say that Kinsfather was right. The truck felt buttoned down and more connected to the road, and we set it to the softest setting. I’m going to tighten it up some more to control body roll even more.
So, call me a believer now. I have an HD pickup with a rear sway bar, a modification I probably wouldn’t have thought about doing, but now I’m glad I did. The truck drives better and I don’t have to take a swing at anybody.