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Old 03-04-2014, 07:14 PM   #1
azw131
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Default Which of these two sway bars will best suit my needs?

Before I begin, let me say that yes I have searched the forums and done a lot of research on this. I'm choosing between two sway bars, and would like to know which is the best route to take. A little about me and my car: It is a daily driver that will never see track use. All I am looking to do is eliminate some of the body roll and tighten things up a bit. I will be keeping my OEM front sway bar, and both the front and rear end links. This is both because I'm a college kid on a tight budget, and because for my needs I dont think I need any more than the rear sway bar. The first option I am looking into is the OEM STi rear sway. It is 19mm and would allow me to maintain a front sway bias. My concern is that it wont make a noticeable difference in daily driving. The second option I am looking at is the Epic Engineering 22mm rear sway bar. I am looking at this bar for a few reasons. First, it is one of the few aftermarket bars designed to be used with the OEM front sway bar, and safe for use with the stock endlinks. Secondly, it's fairly cheap. Finally, all the reviews I have found for it seem to be stellar. Having the 21mm stock bar in the front with the 22mm bar in the back should make my car fairly balanced, with just a very slight tendency towards oversteer. I think this is the set up I want to go with, but would like a few other opinions. Anyone care to chime in?
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:17 PM   #2
wrxmyers
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Good question, I'm in same boat and would like to know as well.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:41 PM   #3
jaboyd
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If you are simply trying to improve your DD driving then yes your approach will work.....but oem end links are not the best, so look for some used kartboys if you can't afford new. Actually if you can search and pickup a set of used 22mm front and rear sway bars (WL - 22mm, RCE - 25mm hollow) you would have one of the nicest DD sway bar setups for a GR.....very street able and well balanced.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:41 PM   #4
CopperTopNWOR
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For the newer body the 19mm is going to be a better option for you as a year round bar. The 22mm rear bar will make the car more prone to snap oversteer at times that may result in the car being more dangerous to drive in the winter. The 11-14 car prefers equal bar to a slight front bias on the bars. Depending on preferences buying a 20mm adjustable bar may make more sense than the 19mm STI bar. However, a 20mm adjustable will cost more. Also, when upgrading the rear bar you would be best advised to replace the end links as well. A 22mm rear bar will have a higher likelihood of breaking the stock rear end links.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:13 PM   #5
azw131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CopperTopNWOR View Post
For the newer body the 19mm is going to be a better option for you as a year round bar. The 22mm rear bar will make the car more prone to snap oversteer at times that may result in the car being more dangerous to drive in the winter. The 11-14 car prefers equal bar to a slight front bias on the bars. Depending on preferences buying a 20mm adjustable bar may make more sense than the 19mm STI bar. However, a 20mm adjustable will cost more. Also, when upgrading the rear bar you would be best advised to replace the end links as well. A 22mm rear bar will have a higher likelihood of breaking the stock rear end links.
The snap oversteer was something I was concerned about. I spoke with the manufacturer of the Epic bar and he said I'd be fine on my stock endlinks, but snap oversteer would be enough to deter me. I had figured it wouldn't be a big factor though, because it is only 1mm more than the front bar. I had also looked into the whiteline 20mm bar, but it's twice the cost as the STi bar and I don't think the difference in size would make twice the difference. Plus, the OEM bar is completely fine with the stock endlinks because the STi uses the same ones. Maybe the Sti bar is the best option after all.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:18 PM   #6
jaboyd
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Snap oversteer is caused by too large of a rear bar...everything you're looking at is relatively small. If you were thinking 24mm then yeah it could be a problem...but not for your choices.

What is your budget?

Excerpt from Cygnus:

2) 22mm front / 20mm rear 08+ or 24mm front / 22mm rear 02-07
This combination is going to work well on street driven cars. It is conservative enough that it will be comfortable on almost any surface, but it still adds enough stiffness that handling will be greatly improved. The fact that the front bar is slightly larger than the rear bar will keep the car's natural tendency to understeer more than equal sized bars would. This is a good combo for someone who wants stiffer swaybars, but is worried about added harshness or going too extreme.

3) 22mm front / 24mm rear 02-07
Here is another combo that only applies to 02-07 cars. It may seem like an odd combination, but it is a combination that has been proven in street tire autocross. I'd only recommend a combination like this for cars that are using stiff coilovers. The rear bar will help make the car rotate while the soft front bar will work in conjunction with stiffer springs to provide the best overall grip possible. This is an ideal setup for the intricate low speed turns in autocross.

4) 22mm front & rear 08+ or 24mm front & rear 02-07
This is my personal choice for the street and street tire autocross. The equal sized rear bar gives the car a more neutral feel. It really does a lot to counteract the car's tendency to understeer. I use this combination on my daily driver and with adjustable swaybars it can be set up to perform well on the street, track and autocross course.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:20 PM   #7
CopperTopNWOR
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I can only say that I had a 22mm adjustable bar on the rear of my 2011 and took I it off after two auto-x events because I couldn't keep the car under control in slaloms.

Get the 19mm rear bar or get a pair of bars and go 24F/22R.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:25 PM   #8
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24/22 is a great DD setup but it is more on the aggressive side, IMO. If you drive in rain or snow this can be a little edgy.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:35 PM   #9
mitch808
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These all apply well to 02-07 WRX/STi's. Not necessarily the newer body styles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaboyd View Post
Snap oversteer is caused by too large of a rear bar...everything you're looking at is relatively small. If you were thinking 24mm then yeah it could be a problem...but not for your choices.

What is your budget?

Excerpt from Cygnus:

2) 22mm front / 20mm rear 08+ or 24mm front / 22mm rear 02-07
This combination is going to work well on street driven cars. It is conservative enough that it will be comfortable on almost any surface, but it still adds enough stiffness that handling will be greatly improved. The fact that the front bar is slightly larger than the rear bar will keep the car's natural tendency to understeer more than equal sized bars would. This is a good combo for someone who wants stiffer swaybars, but is worried about added harshness or going too extreme.

3) 22mm front / 24mm rear 02-07
Here is another combo that only applies to 02-07 cars. It may seem like an odd combination, but it is a combination that has been proven in street tire autocross. I'd only recommend a combination like this for cars that are using stiff coilovers. The rear bar will help make the car rotate while the soft front bar will work in conjunction with stiffer springs to provide the best overall grip possible. This is an ideal setup for the intricate low speed turns in autocross.

4) 22mm front & rear 08+ or 24mm front & rear 02-07
This is my personal choice for the street and street tire autocross. The equal sized rear bar gives the car a more neutral feel. It really does a lot to counteract the car's tendency to understeer. I use this combination on my daily driver and with adjustable swaybars it can be set up to perform well on the street, track and autocross course.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:36 PM   #10
azw131
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So what's the consensus here, the STi bar is the better and safer choice?
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:09 PM   #11
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:54 PM   #12
azw131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaboyd View Post
I'm looking to only install a rear bar.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:09 PM   #13
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i recently installed the 19mm STi rear sway bar on my wife's 2012 impreza sport, which is fully stock otherwise. while it made a pretty nice improvement, i was still fairly underwhelmed. though, it is fine for her needs. granted, if you're on a tight budget it makes a lot of sense to go this route since it is so cost effective, but it may leave you wanting more.

FWIW, i am running a whiteline adj 22mm rear sway bar set to soft (21mm), whiteline support bars, rallitek endlinks f/r, and my 08's stock 20mm front bar. while i plan to eventually run 22mm F/R, this setup feels good to me as is. my car is only a daily driver. i have yet to experience any snap oversteer issues, even in winter.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:16 PM   #14
azw131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isotopesope View Post
i recently installed the 19mm STi rear sway bar on my wife's 2012 impreza sport, which is fully stock otherwise. while it made a pretty nice improvement, i was still fairly underwhelmed. though, it is fine for her needs. granted, if you're on a tight budget it makes a lot of sense to go this route since it is so cost effective, but it may leave you wanting more.

FWIW, i am running a whiteline adj 22mm rear sway bar set to soft (21mm), whiteline support bars, rallitek endlinks f/r, and my 08's stock 20mm front bar. while i plan to eventually run 22mm F/R, this setup feels good to me as is. my car is only a daily driver. i have yet to experience any snap oversteer issues, even in winter.
That's useful information. It's so tough to figure out what the right route is here. Realistically, I know going front and rear upgrade would make the most sense, but budget wise it just isn't an option for me. Moreover, it isn't worth $400 for me to tighten things up, because they feel almost fine as they are. Maybe I'll go with the Whiteline 20mm rear bar, the only thing is, I have to figure out if the extra 1mm size is worth the $100 price premium over the STi bar

Last edited by azw131; 03-05-2014 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:27 PM   #15
jaboyd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azw131 View Post
I'm looking to only install a rear bar.
One of the main reasons for installing bigger bars is to offset the front camber loss when cornering....it is one of the major causes of understeer. Stiffening the rear will help turn-in feel and reduce rear roll but you"ll then start to have more push (oversteer). Making a partial change (only upgrading the rear) isn't nearly as beneficial as a matched set to balance the car's handling, IMO. If you don't have the money then save a little longer....you might find a good used set that would work fine.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:37 PM   #16
azw131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaboyd View Post
One of the main reasons for installing bigger bars is to offset the front camber loss when cornering....it is one of the major causes of understeer. Stiffening the rear will help turn-in feel and reduce rear roll but you"ll then start to have more push (oversteer). Making a partial change (only upgrading the rear) isn't nearly as beneficial as a matched set to balance the car's handling, IMO. If you don't have the money then save a little longer....you might find a good used set that would work fine.
I've decided I'm going to wait like you suggest.
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