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Old 04-21-2011, 10:40 AM   #1
phenryiv1
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Default Eibach Swaybar kit: 2011 WRX. Notes, install, impressions

Edit: Mirrored this writup on my homepage: http://www.subaruaudio.net/my-wrx/sw...-and-endlinks/ /edit

Edit #2: See this thread for info on endlinks and endlink noises: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2210270

So after a lot of searching the forums about the correct swaybar application for the 2011 WRX and after exploring what brand/model of swaybar would give me the best bang for the buck, I wanted to post the results of my installation of the Eibach 7718.320 swaybar kit.

Background:

I do about 100 miles of commuting a day, with about 15 miles of it being similar to driving Summit Point's main circuit. I also plan to autoX about 4-6 times a year, at least for now. No likelihood of real track time in the forseeable future. While I might upgrade the endlinks later, for now I will be on stock endlinks. Car is on stock suspension, and I run Continental A/S tires on the stock wheels due to the changing weather in my region and the location of my work (top of a mountain). I have no plans (currently) to do suspension modifications beyond sway bars.

That being said, I wanted something that would control body roll in corners for daily use and occasional AutoX days, but is still quiet on daily drives.

Options:

Before purchasing the Eibach kit, I had been looking at Rallitek (street) and Whiteline adjustable swaybars for my '11 5DR. Between these 2 options, the cost differential was very minimal.

After some research, I found the Eibach bars that JSC Speed (a NASIOC vendor) sells. I found that there were few references to the Eibach kit, despite Eibach having a (generally) good reputation and despite the relatively low price and favorable specifications.

The bars were initially listed at 25mm fixed front, 22mm adjustable rear, but tubular. In reality, both the front and rear have 2 adjustment settings. The Eibachs were considerably cheaper than the other options, but there were no real in-depth reviews, either. I decided to roll the dice and try them out.

The Kit:

The 7718.320 kit was designed for the 08-10 STi, but after researching on here and other sites, I determined that the 08-10 STi front bar should be the correct fit for the '11 WRX. The rear bar remained unchanged from the WRX to the STi, of course. They include replacement bushings, bushing lubricant, and detailed (enough) instructions.

I ordered the kit through JSC Speed, a NASIOC vendor

(http://www.jscspeed.com/catalog/Suba...ubaru_STI.html)

I also ordered the Whiteline Rear Swaybar Support Brace (KBR15), which was also not "officially" listed at the time as fitting the 2011, but there was no real question as to the compatibility of the KBR15.

Parts arrived quickly, were packed appropriately, tracking info was provided promptly, and my invoicing was accurate. My only "complaint" at all was that upon opening the box, I could not find the endlinks that were pictured on the website. A quick call to JSC Speed and Eibach confirmed that that the JSC photo was just a stock photo of a generic F&R swaybar kit, and the description on Eibach's website clearly excludes endlinks. No big deal- the savings on the kit as a whole was still great enough to more than cover endlinks at a later date, and it isn't like I got screwed out of something that was promised to me.

The bars themselves were fairly heavy- so heavy that they seemed like they might be solid. Instead, they were just very thick-walled hollow tubing. The bars weighed 8 lb. and 5 lb, F&R.

As far as diameter differences, they were clearly much thicker than the stock bars. The pictures below don't even really do justice:





The finish on the bars was good. The paint or powdercoating was thick and uniform, and even my oafish handling of the bars during install did not screath through the paint.

The fit:

Fit was nearly perfect. The only reason that I say nearly was that the rear endlinks are pushed into a really extreme angle. I confirmed with Eibach that this was normal, and they described the resting endlink angle as being right where mine were, so I feel confident that I have it correct.

Oddly, the printing (part number, Eibach branding) on the rear bar was upside down when the bar was installed properly. Eibach tech support confirmed that the "hump" in the rear bar should face up, and when installed that way, the writing was upside down. I had not paid attentio to how I removed the stock bar, so when I installed the new one with writing right-side up, it hit the exhaust. I called tech support and they got me squared away.

The front bar went in with absolutely no issues.

The only real headach in the install was the fact that when I went to install the KBR15 braces, the 17mm nut was on there REALLY tight. It took some real work to get it loosened.

Some installed pics:





Anyway, the bars fit great and seem to be a great value for the cost. At under $300 for the pair, these are a great way to go for someone wanting adjustability, good street manners, and reduced body roll.

I'll post up more below about driving impressions later.

Edit:

Driving Impressions:

So I got the car out and busted a couple of quick figure 8s in a cul de sac in my development, then drove it on a twisty 8 mile loop with plenty of elevation changes. I take this road 3x a week to pick up my son from the sitter, so I am pretty familiar with it.

My immediate impression was that it was quiet. There was no difference in noise between these and the stock bars, so essentially nothing from the suspension in terms of noise. It seemed to have less roll, particularly from the rear. The front has not really been tested, but I can say that on the figure 8s, the rear end seemed to stay planted better than when I have to make a short U turn or turn around in a parking lot.

On the road, the car definately had a little less lean in the rear, even under moderate driving. I have not really had the chance to see of it impacted the nose-dive factor in turns, but the next time I get on a good road without kids in the car, I will be giving that a shot. I'll report back those results, but I can't imagine that upping to the 25mm front bar could NOT have an impact on the tendency for the nose to lean in hard turns, particularly when braking. Not the impact that good springs would have on pitch, but some reduction in the 45* dip that happens in decellerating turns.

After about 60 miles of driving, the setup remains quiet, which is a good sign. I'll probably re-torque things in a couple of weeks, but if it stays quiet, this was clearly money well-spent.
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Last edited by phenryiv1; 02-01-2013 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:13 PM   #2
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Nice write up.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Oddly, the printing (part number, Eibach branding) on the rear bar was upside down when the bar was installed properly. Eibach tech support confirmed that the "hump" in the rear bar should face up, and when installed that way, the writing was upside down.
Thanks for the heads up. I'll be installing my Eibach this weekend. My parts have been patiently waiting in my living room for me to install them...
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:53 AM   #4
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Just a heads up but judging from your pic, your front bar is set at "soft". Just in case you feel it could use a bit more roll stiffness in the future.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:17 PM   #5
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Awesome write-up. For under $300 for a set, I think I'm sold. Been contemplating different bars quite a while. I'm going to track my car this Saturday at TWS, bone stock less some pads/fluid/lines. Going to see how it goes and then try some bars and compare. Hopefully have something good to add from a track perspective.

Thank you!
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turkleten View Post
Thanks for the heads up. I'll be installing my Eibach this weekend. My parts have been patiently waiting in my living room for me to install them...
Yeah, I had mine for about 2 months before I got around to installation. It was too cold to be wrenching on the car, and I was on my winter tire setup at that point (a set of 16" LGT wheels with A/S tires). I have since put A/S tires on my stock 17"s. I waited to get the car on proper tires, plus I wanted to do a real comparison of the handling stock v. with the bars.
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
Just a heads up but judging from your pic, your front bar is set at "soft". Just in case you feel it could use a bit more roll stiffness in the future.
I did put them both to soft, at least initially. I might go more firm if I get aftermarket endlinks, or if I decide to track the car more often. For now, the difference between stock and the "soft" setting is very noticable.
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewC View Post
Awesome write-up. For under $300 for a set, I think I'm sold. Been contemplating different bars quite a while. I'm going to track my car this Saturday at TWS, bone stock less some pads/fluid/lines. Going to see how it goes and then try some bars and compare. Hopefully have something good to add from a track perspective.

Thank you!
From spirited driving, I can tell you that the stock brakes were very easy to over drive. I had a family medical emergency a few weeks back (thankfully resolved) and had to rush to the aid of a family member because I could get there 10 minutes faster than police or fire/ambulance, and I found 2-3 places where the brakes just seemed inadequate to slow the car from speeds that it could attain all too easily. Oddly enough, the handling (before installing the swaybars) was not nearly the limiting factor that the brakes were.

I could not beat the Eibach setup for the price. If there are better bars out there, they don't seem to offer the bang for the buck that these provide.
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:31 PM   #9
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Thank you soo much for the write up. I've been thinking about these for about 4 months and I think this push me over the top.

Its funny that you mentioned the brakes as a limiting factor. I feel the brakes are a weak link too, but not as much as the mushy suspension. I can't even drive my car with 3 big passengers, because the ride is too soft. Anyway.....thanks for the write up.
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:15 AM   #10
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Okay so I just bumped myself up from a 04 Sti to a 11 wrx....and am running into the same issues:
- soft weak a$$ brakes
- Rolly soft suspension

Other than the swaybars which according to this write up...what else can I do to make the car handle and stop better....im still in the break in period but can imagine when I start opening her up...im going to run into issues.......

Thanks for the replies....
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phenryiv1 View Post
From spirited driving, I can tell you that the stock brakes were very easy to over drive. I had a family medical emergency a few weeks back (thankfully resolved) and had to rush to the aid of a family member because I could get there 10 minutes faster than police or fire/ambulance, and I found 2-3 places where the brakes just seemed inadequate to slow the car from speeds that it could attain all too easily. Oddly enough, the handling (before installing the swaybars) was not nearly the limiting factor that the brakes were.

I could not beat the Eibach setup for the price. If there are better bars out there, they don't seem to offer the bang for the buck that these provide.
I agree the stock brakes are terrible. I ran at TWS this weekend for the first time in this car and had ss lines/fluid and Hawk HP+ pads on board. The brakes held up GREAT but they were so good that the car nose-dived like a total animal. It was a pretty major handful under heavy braking.

I'd be really interested in your report back regarding braking nose-dive and improvement in turn-in. I've never tracked an AWD car before, and it just felt like it was so difficult to get the car to rotate. I'm thinkin a set of sways would have a major improvement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmaster View Post
Okay so I just bumped myself up from a 04 Sti to a 11 wrx....and am running into the same issues:
- soft weak a$$ brakes
- Rolly soft suspension

Other than the swaybars which according to this write up...what else can I do to make the car handle and stop better....im still in the break in period but can imagine when I start opening her up...im going to run into issues.......

Thanks for the replies....
I'm running HP+ pads right now and they're a little aggressive for the street (pretty noisy), but they were a very noticeable improvement. I'd consider some sort of simple pad upgrade at least.
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:08 PM   #12
phenryiv1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmaster View Post
Okay so I just bumped myself up from a 04 Sti to a 11 wrx....and am running into the same issues:
- soft weak a$$ brakes
- Rolly soft suspension

Other than the swaybars which according to this write up...what else can I do to make the car handle and stop better....im still in the break in period but can imagine when I start opening her up...im going to run into issues.......

Thanks for the replies....
I have purchased some performance friction PFC Z-rated pads for street/track duty. According to what I have read, they are a good all-around pad for daily use and some track duty, including autoX use. I hope to install them shortly.

I also plan to get the Grimmspeed master cylinder brace next week. It supposedly helps a lot with pedal feel. After that, SS lines and a good fluid will be all that I can do short of caliper swapping, which I don't really want to get into just yet.
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phenryiv1 View Post
I also plan to get the Grimmspeed master cylinder brace next week. It supposedly helps a lot with pedal feel.
Link to this? I could definitely use that.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewC View Post
Link to this? I could definitely use that.
http://www.jscspeed.com/catalog/Suba...ubaru_WRX.html
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:54 AM   #15
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Not to take this off-topic, but here are 2 threads about the GrimmSpeed MC Brace:

On an '09:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...php?t=2142325&

On an '11:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...php?p=34010223
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:55 AM   #16
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Does the Whiteline Rear Swaybar Support Brace merely reinforce the stock mounts or does it also make the rear sway bar act stiffer? Also, now that you've had the bars on for a few weeks, how do you still feel about them?
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lickitysplitwrx View Post
Does the Whiteline Rear Swaybar Support Brace merely reinforce the stock mounts or does it also make the rear sway bar act stiffer? Also, now that you've had the bars on for a few weeks, how do you still feel about them?
I've read on another forum that although it's not necessary, it would be nice to have. The stock mounts are "flimsy at best" and by adding a support brace would eliminate most movement of the subframe thus increasing the performance of the rear sway bar.

I have the link to the thread. I've PMed you since I think it's against the rules to link to another forum.

I can't wait for mine to arrive in a few days! In my opinion, it's one of the economical 'investment' for performance, strength and reliability.

From Whiteline.com.au:
Quote:
Key Feature and Benefit
Rear sway bar mount support brace increases the stiffness of the rear sway bar mounting bracket & reduce the likelihood of bending or cracking of the OE mount due to the increased loads placed upon it
I'll keep this thread posted on my handling. I'm installing coilovers (either 8k fr/6k rear or 10k fr/8k rear... I need opinions), Eibach rear sway bar and Kartboy endlinks on the stock 08 2.5i tomorrow. The whiteline support brace needs to wait till the weekend to arrive and be installed... Since I can't add power to it like the sti, it doesn't mean I can't handle similarly like one! (By the way, perrin lightweight crank pulley is going in tomorrow too!)
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:00 PM   #18
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Thanks for the write up. I've had my 2011 WRX 4dr for a couple of months now, and Subaru needs to make it drive less like a 10 yr old Buick.
I did the same research you did... and cross referenced the fit of WRX and STI sway bars for '10, and '11 and came to the same conclusion that the rear bars are the same, and an '10 STI front bar should fit an '11 WRX.
Installed mine last night.... Yes, the Eibach 7718.320 kit fits on a Sedan. It was a pain to snake the rear bar into place, and had to lower the exhaust a little to install, then re-hung the exhaust.
I've read a lot of people are putting these on Foresters too! Ha!
Eibach... great product... You're really missing market share by not widening the fitment range.
Now I just need the damping rates fixed so it doesn't ride like a boat! Saving for coilovers.

Driving Today... Under-steer has disappeared. It turns so much faster, I almost hit the inside curb instead of the outside one! Big improvement.

Big Thanks to my awesome wife for helping me install my sway bars... She's #1!

Last edited by Midway; 05-10-2011 at 08:52 PM. Reason: Adding Driving Impressions
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lickitysplitwrx View Post
Does the Whiteline Rear Swaybar Support Brace merely reinforce the stock mounts or does it also make the rear sway bar act stiffer?
The post 2 above pretty much sums it up- not necessary, but for $40-45, worth throwing on there, just in case it DOES help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lickitysplitwrx View Post
[N]ow that you've had the bars on for a few weeks, how do you still feel about them?
I really like the handling improvement. I mean, REALLY. Daily driving on them is a huge improvement over stock.

If I have any complaint, I think that the sways might be making a small rattling noise where the stock endlink has a little play in the mounting holes. This only happens when I hit a significant bump- not over expansion joints, speed bumps, etc.- just certain potholes and pavement defects.

I know that I am getting a rattling, but it may have been there before I mounted the sways. I never really drove with the windows down before a few weeks ago- it got warm enough to have the windows down right around when I put on the sways.

I got back under there and shook and pulled. The only movement was a very, very slight movement where the endlinks pass through the ends of the bars. I need to check to see if I can tighten them further.

The noise is really not bad. My wife is really picky about any NVH that is added when I mod a car, and she said that she could not hear it when I mentioned it.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phenryiv1 View Post
I need to check to see if I can tighten them further.
I'll let you know if mine loosen up. I noticed after I removed the stock sway bars, there are allen head key recesses in the ends of the stock end links.

I used a box end wrench and the allen key together like a pair of pliers to tighten them up real good.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:44 PM   #21
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When I got my 11 WRX, i was surprised by how soft the car ride for a sporty sedan. But it's comfortable and quiet considering i used to own 2 Evos. A good all rounded daily driver.
The brakes really need improvement, both pedal feel and repeated high spped stopping.
When to the track a couple times, the brake is going to give up first even I have more aggresive pad (HP+) but will just consider buying race pad and swap in/out every time go to track. Rotor and caliper are not up to capacity on repeated stop.
Even the ride is soft but the handling is pretty decent on the track. But just hate the ESP keep cutting power when started to slide during exit, switch it off and it was faster aroud the track.
My next upgrade would be the rear Eibach sway bar to reduce understeer.
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:40 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midway View Post
I'll let you know if mine loosen up. I noticed after I removed the stock sway bars, there are allen head key recesses in the ends of the stock end links.

I used a box end wrench and the allen key together like a pair of pliers to tighten them up real good.
Have you developed any clunking or thunking? I cannot figure out what the cause is. No movement when I get under the car and shake the crap out of the bar, no movement at the endlinks, no movement at the mounts. It is absent at highway speeds (even speeds over 35 MPH), but the noise under 35 is quite irritating.

I checked the full length of the bars and there are no places where it is coming in contact with other parts of the car.

It is almost as if the struts are underdamping on certain bumps, but I don't remember the car doing this before installing the swaybars.

Last edited by phenryiv1; 06-09-2011 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:18 AM   #23
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Does the noise exist when going thru bump/even road at low speed? It didn't have it after install and have after a while?
My expereince is all aftermarket bar come with stiffer urethane bushing and frequent lubrication is required.
Had in on my intergra and evo every time change to aftermarket sway bar.
The noise is more of a squeaking...
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:16 PM   #24
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I'd like to hear if you can get this small problem resolved. Keep us updated.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:07 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skers View Post
I'd like to hear if you can get this small problem resolved. Keep us updated.
Good news on that front.

I got the car back up on ramps and did some more investigating on Saturday. I had been trying to move the bars from under the car (think of a bench press position) and it did nto dawn on me that if the mounts were tight, I was NEVER going to get the bars to move by testing it that way.

I then focused on the endlinks. I used an allen key to hold the endlink bolt steady and used a box end wrench and a ratcheting wrench to try to tighten down the nuts on the endlinks, but I could not get enough force on the wrench to really move the nut to tighten it.

I decided that I needed to get a socket and a longer wrench on there but I wante dto be sure that the endlink bolt was not spinning with the nut. I used a Sharpie to mark the 6 o'clock position on the bolt and then used my socket wrench. I turned 90* and checked the bolt position. It had not moved, which was good news. If I got 90* of movement in the nut and no movement in the bolt, I was clearly doing something to tighten things up. I don't know the proper torque spec, but I had to use the good-n-tight method. I tightened down all 4 corners that way and went for a test drive.

That was it. I got at least an additional half-turn out of the nut on the swaybar end of the endlinks on both F&R of the car. I had been trying to not over-tighten on the initial install, but that was the cause of 90%+ of the noise.

After tightening up the nuts, things are tighter in transition turns and much, much quieter. I will probably have to periodically re-tighten them, but it only takes about 15 minutes to do all 4 corners. All in all, this was too much overthinking and not enough wrench-turning.

In the end, I now like the Eibach bars even more. Turns are tighter and with the noise all but eliminated, I am very happy once again.
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