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Old 05-17-2007, 04:54 PM   #1
volkl23
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Default What should I get first? Springs or Swaybars?

After getting a TBE finally installed, my next goal is to make my car more competent in the handling department. I am getting more and more into AutoXing, but my car IS still a daily driver. Alas, I can't go insane with the setup.

I'm at a crossroads now on whether to install springs or swaybars first. For springs, I was thinking of going with the Prodrives and Sways, Whiteline 24-26mm fronts and 24 adjustable rears. What do you guys think I should do first? I've been reading and reading about how aggressive sways (I guess 24-26 isn't TOO aggressive) and stock springs don't mix well. But how sways is pretty much the best bang-for-your buck upgrade you can get. Will the my sway setup clash with my stock springs?

If the answer is yes, perhaps I should go with springs first then?

What do you guys all think?
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:10 PM   #2
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i would say do sway bars first. that will help a lot with autox.

Shane
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:25 AM   #3
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swaybars first. best bang for the buck performance improvement.
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Old 05-18-2007, 02:11 AM   #4
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spring first, sway bar for 'fine tune' later. The reason is you want to reduce the body roll first to improve the handling of the car instead of band aid over-steer with big rear sway bar. But then you will also need struts with the new spring.
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Old 05-18-2007, 02:37 AM   #5
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There are a vast number of issues that arise when you replace springs. Swaybars give you better handling with almost no drawbacks.
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Old 05-18-2007, 07:47 AM   #6
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Yeah, I'm doing sways first. Sways do far more to reduce roll than increasing the spring rate. I was actually thinking shocks, then sways, then springs.
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:02 AM   #7
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+1 for sways: what a difference for ~$300. I have the same whiteline setup that you're considering. Go for it!
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXBob View Post
spring first, sway bar for 'fine tune' later. The reason is you want to reduce the body roll first to improve the handling of the car instead of band aid over-steer with big rear sway bar. But then you will also need struts with the new spring.
Sway bars reduce body roll far more than any spring suitable for the stock strut will.

Sways should definitely be your first suspension mod.

Tony
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:48 AM   #9
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Get some whiteline sways and kartboy endlinks.
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:54 AM   #10
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I did everything at once (just recently). Whiteline adjustables front and rear with kartboy endlinks + kybagx and prodrives. Car handles awesome now - body roll is pretty much gone. I'm running the middle setting on the rear swaybar (think it's 24mm) and the soft setting on the front one plus setting #2 on the agx's. This is currently just for the street - looking forward to playing with these at autox.

nhulr what do you mean about "vast number of issues" from replacing springs? I'm assuming you mean when you JUST replace springs without changing the struts/etc?
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leadfoot77 View Post
I did everything at once (just recently). Whiteline adjustables front and rear with kartboy endlinks + kybagx and prodrives. Car handles awesome now - body roll is pretty much gone. I'm running the middle setting on the rear swaybar (think it's 24mm) and the soft setting on the front one plus setting #2 on the agx's. This is currently just for the street - looking forward to playing with these at autox.

nhulr what do you mean about "vast number of issues" from replacing springs? I'm assuming you mean when you JUST replace springs without changing the struts/etc?
Nhluhr is talking more about the resultant suspension geometry changes.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:39 AM   #12
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sway bar first

then...

tires...

then....

springs/struts

then.... alk / lower arm bars etc

one thing at a time so you can grasp the changes
and be certain you like em

Jamie
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn in Concepts View Post
Nhluhr is talking more about the resultant suspension geometry changes.
and more

-puts you in a bad place on the camber curve so when you roll, the outer loaded tire goes too positive
-roll center gets pushed low which will likely increase roll in spite of higher springrates
-lowered front roll center means sluggish turn-in due to high yaw damping and also increased rear TLLTD
-struts run out of bump travel which will lead to difficult-to-diagnose and stubborn-to-tune-out understeer on hard turns
-different lowering front-to-rear (common to all aftermarket springs except STI) screws with the car's aerodynamics
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhluhr View Post
and more

-puts you in a bad place on the camber curve so when you roll, the outer loaded tire goes too positive
-roll center gets pushed low which will likely increase roll in spite of higher springrates
-lowered front roll center means sluggish turn-in due to high yaw damping and also increased rear TLLTD
-struts run out of bump travel which will lead to difficult-to-diagnose and stubborn-to-tune-out understeer on hard turns
-different lowering front-to-rear (common to all aftermarket springs except STI) screws with the car's aerodynamics
I think you just confused 80% of the people in this thread.

Tony
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhluhr View Post
and more

-puts you in a bad place on the camber curve so when you roll, the outer loaded tire goes too positive
-roll center gets pushed low which will likely increase roll in spite of higher springrates
-lowered front roll center means sluggish turn-in due to high yaw damping and also increased rear TLLTD
-struts run out of bump travel which will lead to difficult-to-diagnose and stubborn-to-tune-out understeer on hard turns
-different lowering front-to-rear (common to all aftermarket springs except STI) screws with the car's aerodynamics
I'll have to do some research to figure out what those things mean exactly... (edit: or to put it more plainly - what TIC said )

but it sounds like your recommending that we stick with the stock springs/struts? Also, I'm assuming that most of these effects are only significant mainly in a racing environment like autox or track? In which case the optimal solution is probably coilovers or something with a lot of built-in adjustability so you can fine tune the suspension?
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:38 AM   #16
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oh sorry: TLLTD stands for Tire Lateral Load Transfer Distribution as in, front to rear... so the rears bear more of the total weight transfer when the front rollcenter gets lowered more than the rear rollcenter.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:31 AM   #17
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Another reason to do sways first:

If you find yourself liking autox, you may end up ditching the springs to buy fancier stuff, but you can probably keep the sways no matter what you do.

john
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Old 05-18-2007, 04:35 PM   #18
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For + $300 you can buy a pair of sway bars.
How about buying take off springs from an STI for $75, $350 for AGX, sale the stock suspension for $100 for the cost of the group N top hat. Then later throw in the front sway bar. Pretty good set up for the money compared to the sway bars set up.
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Old 05-18-2007, 05:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXBob View Post
For + $300 you can buy a pair of sway bars.
How about buying take off springs from an STI for $75, $350 for AGX, sale the stock suspension for $100 for the cost of the group N top hat. Then later throw in the front sway bar. Pretty good set up for the money compared to the sway bars set up.
Have you ever even rode in a WRX with a sway bar upgrade? COBB sway bar kit was the best mod I ever did to my 02 WRX (RIP).
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve1221 View Post
Have you ever even rode in a WRX with a sway bar upgrade? COBB sway bar kit was the best mod I ever did to my 02 WRX (RIP).
Cobb sway bars are best in my book, because I have them. I also have the AGX and the STI springs, and before that I have Cusco sway bars with stock springs and struts. The sway bars give you over steer, does not reduce body roll has much as one might think, and when the suspension compressed, the rear sway bar gives you snap oversteer while the front still slides. If I set the AGX to the lowest setting, set the rear sway bar to max or middle setting, the car will over steer, but road holding decreased. The most confident handling is when the strut is set to high, and the rear sway bar setting to low. The most handling change comes from adjusting the struts, sway bars are limited in size and adjustments.
I used to be in the sway bar camp too, but if I have to do it again, spring and struts first, my 02.
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