Photos by: Rick Seitz
After We Reviewed the Colorado Last Year, We Discovered One Thing About it We Really Wanted to Change!
Last summer, we took a close look at the 2017 Chevy Colorado 4×4. There are a lot of things that can be said about this truck. For instance, it’s a great value as you can get behind the wheel of one for the low $20,000 range. It’s also got impressive towing and hauling capacities and is a great truck overall. The only thing that really just didn’t sit well with us about the truck was its lack of stability. We’re hoping to change that with Hellwig’s Rear Sway Bar Kit made specifically for the Chevy Colorado.
Reviewed and driven by Rick Seitz, he sums up why we’re installing a rear sway bar on this modest mule “this truck has one major flaw; handling. If you’re used to late-model performance vehicles, even third-gen F-bodies, you would say it falls short in this department. Sure, it’s a truck and it certainly isn’t designed for The Glen, but we’d like a bit more stability in anything we drive.”
So there you have it, the one complaint we had is the thing we’re fixing on the Colorado with the new rear sway bar. Although it fits both 2WD and 4WD vehicles, ours is a 4WD, as mentioned before. The Hellwig rear sway bar is made from heat-treated, solid Chromoly 1” steel construction. The design is intended to reduce body roll in normal conditions, and in situations where you may be towing or hauling something.
Included with the kit are the adjustable end links and the bar, plus everything you need for installation. This is not your average sway bar, as the arms have two holes in them so you can rate tune it to a specific driving style or load. It’s a direct bolt in design, so we didn’t have to do any drilling or welding to get it hooked up on our Colorado, which is great because we were ready to throw it on and see the results as soon as possible. Note that we’re only installing the rear sway bar because Hellwig found the front sway bar was actually pretty decent from the factory, and didn’t warrant designing an aftermarket one.
Two things to note about installation is that you need to set your parking brake and chock the wheels, and then you’ll need to keep the suspension loaded with the weight of the vehicle for installation and adjustment. If you raise the vehicle by the frame for the installation, it’s not the end of the world, it’ll just be a little harder; you will, however, have to load the suspension to adjust the bar after installation, no matter what.
At this point, the arms of the sway bar are rotated up so they’re parallel with the ground. After measuring straight up to the frame, the location of the frame plate is determined and installed. Once it’s confirmed that the clevis on the frame bracket is directly above the holes on the sway bar, the end link length is adjusted to keep the sway bar arms parallel to the ground. The end links should be offset towards the driver’s side, with the bolt heads facing inwards.
From here, it’s a matter of torquing the jam nut on the end link and torquing the bolts attaching it to the sway bar and frame bracket in place. Now it’s time to center the sway bar and torque the U-bolts, and double nut them. Attach the collar clamps on the inside of the D-bushings.
Our Impressions: The Hellwig bar definitely corrects the lack of rear stability in the Colorado. It is noticeably firmer, and body roll is gone. We will adjust it as we get some wheel time in, but even on the outermost setting, the change is incredible. As you can see in the two images above, the truck cornered very well, with all four tires planted firmly into the pavement, even at 30-35 mph.
After driving the Colorado with the Hellwig sway bar, we wee forced to wonder why this thing had ever left the factory without one…
Elizabeth is a hardcore horsepower enthusiast with unmatched intensity for making things faster and louder. She wakes up for power and performance and only sleeps to charge up for the next project that’s heading to the track. From autocross to drag racing, Elizabeth is there with you, so stay tuned for her unique perspective on horsepower news, builds, tech info, and installs — with her, it’ll never be boring!