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At a Crossroads: Chariot GT Strut Replacement

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Probationary Member
Jun 13, 2021
Houston, Texas
Howdy Tuners,

First, please excuse my newness to this chassis. I hope to share this unique car with my Mitsu fam while leveraging your advice — but by all means, if these questions are too entry-level, please skip to the next thread in the forum.

For those patient enough to meet me where I'm at, here's the story in a nutshell:

The Base Chariot/Expo/LRV uses the same KYB AGX 734005 as the 1G/2G/GVR4.

THE PROBLEM: The Chariot GT uses the same style strut with a mounting tab for the sway bar on the strut housing. Both the struts and the sway bar are unique to the GT and no longer available. Aftermarket DSM/GVR4 struts do not have the tab on the strut housing.
THE BRIGHT SIDE: Base Chariot models have sway bars that mount to the lower control arm — and the GT shares the Base lower control arm! The sway bar bushings and brackets are also the same across Chariot models.
THE BAD NEWS: Base sway bar end links are turned at 90 degrees, so I can't just slap Base end links onto the GT bar and lower control arm.
THE POSSIBLE SOLUTION: I ordered 1999 Honda Civic Si sway bar end links, as well as Subaru Forester end links to attempt to attach the GT bar to the Base mounts on the lower control arm. I imagine there's a reason why Mitsubishi chose to mount the sway bar to the strut housing instead of the lower control arm, but at this point, my choices are compromised geometry or no sway bar at all. The car has the sway bar disconnected at the moment while I wait for test parts to arrive, and the clanging is driving me crazy. Welding a tab onto the gas strut is a possible solution, except I don't know any welders locally who would take the job, and that would cost me hundreds in disassembly/reassembly. Special end links with the GT bar would be my ideal solution at this point, with removing the bar altogether the last resort.

I've thought about fitting a sway bar from a Base model, but I'd need to find one from an AWD car, which will be difficult.

A friend also suggested looking into cartridge-style struts that I could have someone safely weld tabs onto. What DSM or GVR4 aftermarket struts are cartridge-style?

Ideas welcome.

I'm based in Texas but currently on assignment in Tennessee.

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Don't forget to account for motion ratio. The ratio of the strut is essentially 1 whereas the motion ratio of the sway bar mount on the LCA looks to be closer to 0.5, meaning that the sway bar would be half as effective or twice as soft after the change. I'm assuming that this is probably not what you want.

Many coilovers are multiple pieces. The bottom of the universal strut threads into a vehicle-specific knuckle mount. If you wanted to go down that route you could take the knucle mount off of the strut and have a sway bar mounting tab welded onto it. Much less risk than welding directly to a strut.
Looking at the pictures, it almost looks like you could weld a tab on the A arm, closer to the end of the sway bar and use a 1g sway bar link, like this.
Neverending Sway Bar Nightmare Update: well, small sway bar links weren't the answer. What we needed were 114mm sway bar links -the only ones we could find locally were 152mm links for a Ford Fusion, and they were too long. Unfortunately, we ran out of time, so we had to run the Ford links until the Whiteline links arrive next week. At full lock, the end link contacts the tie rod, which makes a pretty ugly sound. On the bright side, having a sway bar again is pretty nice, and the AGXS really give a lot of high-frequency feedback through the steering wheel. The Whiteline KLC141 end links adjust from 110mm-135mm, so with some luck, they'll be exactly what we need to connect the GT bar to the Base mount. *might* decide to fabricate some tabs to mount the GT bar to the strut like it's supposed to go, but at this point I've spent several hundred dollars in lift time just trying to find an answer, so think I'm going to call it good.
FWIW, the Whiteline KLC141 end links were the ticket to get the sway bar hooked to the control arm. The OEM solution would have been to fit Evo III struts that have the tab on the side. (oops!)

Still searching for a rear shock option. This will almost certainly require fabrication, unfortunately.

Springs: sounds like DSM springs have a decent shot at fitting up front using stock tophats, but can't confirm. No word on rear.

AGXs doing great 2000 miles in. No clanging or clanking from the sway bar with the Whiteline end links. Car handles great, if not just a touch softly sprung. High-frequency feedback from AGXs jacked to 4, but several panic stops to avoid the night critters of rural Tennessee make me hesitate to soften them up.

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