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Old 02-03-2003, 03:32 AM   #1
SJwrx
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Default Educate me about swaybars...

What is the deal with swaybars and how they are 20, 21 and/or 22...what does that mean? why are some adjustable? Is a swaybar for a WRX worth it (aftermarket)?

Rich

Anything you wanna add to the list of Q's would be good.
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Old 02-03-2003, 03:38 AM   #2
azdan
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Yes, some are adjustable and some aren't. They usually come with a range like 18-22mm. They are used to stiffen up the rear or front end. I basically makes the car more rigid. The stock one that comes with any Impreza is usually too small for performance handling. Unless you're planning on racing or auto-xing there's no need to get one. If you do race or auto-x, adjustable is better. You can adjust it to you tastes. You can also start off small and increase size as you get used to the feel of the upgraded bar. The rear is usually what people get first. Start of with it at the 18mm setting then increase it if you want more oversteer. Hope this helps...
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Old 02-03-2003, 02:48 PM   #3
Chuck H
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The 20, 21, 22 number is the diameter of the bar in millimeters. Thicker bars are stiffer, assuming that they're made of the same material.

The way the bars adjust is by having multiple mounting holes for the end links. The farther out the end link is, the more leverage it has on the bar and the "smaller" (softer) the bar will feel. Moving the link inward gives it less leverage and makes the bar "larger" (stiffer).

The adjustable bars don't really change size, but the equivalent stiffness, and effect is similar to using different sized bars.

In general, stiffer bars reduce body roll on one end of the car, which generally causes that end to slide more. So if the car understeers, adding a stiffer rear bar will make the rear roll less and shift the balance towards neutral, or oversteer if you go too big. Adding a bigger front bar to a car that already understeers will only make it worse.
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Old 02-03-2003, 02:59 PM   #4
mbiker97
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Also the actual stiffness of a sway bar is a function of the radius squared. So a 22mm bar is ~21% stiffer than a similar 20mm bar. Look up the functions for twist through a rod in a mechanical engineering book if you want the actual formula.

Adjustable sway bars are the way to go so that you can get the handling properties that you want. I personally have a Cusco 20(?)mm front bar and a Cusco adj. rear bar set at 24mm. Great neutral handling for a small price with good ride quality also.

Aftermarket endlinks also help because the aluminum is stiffer than the plastic stock links so the flex from the link is eliminated.

Seth
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Old 02-03-2003, 03:53 PM   #5
SJwrx
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Wow, thanks guys. Thats just what I wanted to know. I have heard about guys breaking sways (or endlinks) because they are to aggressive... is that true? If it is, why is that?

Rich
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Old 02-03-2003, 05:20 PM   #6
mbiker97
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The bar or link could fail because more torque is put trough the bar or endlink than it can take. Just buy good brands and all will be fine (Whiteline, Cusco, Kartboy)

Seth
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Old 02-03-2003, 05:25 PM   #7
Eric SS
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I would presonally recommend getting an adjustable one and after putting it on, go into a parking lot or something and test out the different settings and test out how the car reacts in emergency situations (emergency lane change and stuff like that)

Start with the lowest setting and work your way up to the stiffer settings if you want

Eric
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Old 02-03-2003, 06:07 PM   #8
Zola
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In addition to what you read here, searching the Suspension, Brakes, Rims & Tires forum for "swaybar" will unearth enough material to keep you reading for hours.
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Old 02-03-2003, 07:17 PM   #9
Zman
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Default So how much difference?

For normal street/hwy and some fun on weekends in the twisties, how much difference does the bigger bar make?

I've seen conflicting posts about adding too much oversteer? I wouldn't mind a bit stiffer suspension on my wagon (stock now), but as a noob to suspension parts, it is difficult to sort through what applies to race/auto-x, and what is worth it for the average street/fun driving.

I gather a sedan bar and endlinks (rear only) are a fairly common change to the wagons. Opinions? I'm not into track days or auto -x - are these mods still worth it?
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Old 02-03-2003, 07:37 PM   #10
Eric SS
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I noticed quite a bit of difference going from the stock rear bar to the 22mm (I have the adjustable set to 22mm) bar. It went from heavy understeer to pretty neutral for my driving style, although it still understeers a tad if you get into a corner a little hot. But everyone drives different. It will be different for you

Eric
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Old 02-04-2003, 01:50 AM   #11
Zola
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But Eric, isn't a 22mm bar for your RS a much bigger upgrade in size than it would be for a WRX owner?

RS stock = (13? can't recall) to 22mm
WRX = 20mm going to 22mm
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Old 02-04-2003, 11:21 AM   #12
Eric SS
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zola Rex
But Eric, isn't a 22mm bar for your RS a much bigger upgrade in size than it would be for a WRX owner?

RS stock = (13? can't recall) to 22mm
WRX = 20mm going to 22mm
Yes, it is a bigger difference (13 to 22) but I'm just pointing out that you can tell a difference.
I know the new generation RS was bigger than my stock one but are you sure it is 20mm?

Eric
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Old 02-04-2003, 06:54 PM   #13
Prairie Dawg
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Quote:
Originally posted by SJwrx
Wow, thanks guys. Thats just what I wanted to know. I have heard about guys breaking sways (or endlinks) because they are to aggressive... is that true? If it is, why is that?

Rich
I haven't heard of anyone breaking a sway bar, but I have heard of people breaking the rear sway bar mounts. It is highly recommend that one swaps out their stock sway bar mounts for one of the heavy duty variety (Whiteline, Perrin, etc.) if you upgrade to a 24mm or larger sway bar


Zman...I have a 20mm sedan sway bar, Kartboy endlinks, and a Whiteline rear strut brace on my wagon. In my opinion, the 20mm sway bar should be a factory option for the performance minded buyer. It has eliminated the understeer, and added little if any harshness. I would recommend this upgrade to any and all wagon owners.
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Old 02-05-2003, 06:15 PM   #14
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I would recommend the Perrin sway bar. The Perrin bar comes with it's own upgraded brackets and a 3-way adjustable 22mm bar. Along with that, get aftermarket endlinks. I went with whitelines (there was a good deal on them at the time) Not sure what the difference would be between end links though.
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Old 02-05-2003, 07:02 PM   #15
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The Whiteline end links are more compliant than the Kartboy, or Perrin ones...as they are in effect, a spring. The Kartboy end links use linear bushings, whereas the Perrin end links use a spherical bushing. Kartboy says they experimented with spherical bushings and discovered that they wore out quickly when exposed to the elements...as they would be on a street-driven vehicle. Therefore, they do not use them on their end links. Perrin argues that their setup is better. You have to decide for yourself which to buy. A Kartboy rep posted on the subject a few months back. Do a search, and you may find the thread...
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Old 02-06-2003, 12:11 AM   #16
SJwrx
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Quote:
Originally posted by Prairie Dawg
Kartboy says they experimented with spherical bushings and discovered that they wore out quickly when exposed to the elements...
Thats exactly what I thought. So I thinkthey are out of the question. I have a sedan and am planning (within 2 years) to have DMS50's on it w/ STi strut tops. What would work well with those and for me now?

Rich
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Old 02-06-2003, 10:40 AM   #17
Prairie Dawg
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I don't think you can go wrong with an adjustable rear sway on a sedan. I'd go ahead and get the end links, too. I know a bunch of guys put aftermarket front sways on, too. But, not being the owner of a sedan, and driving one only once, I'm not in a position to make recommendations on the front end. I have heard several people say they removed their solid front end links after a short while because of the harshness. But again, I have no personal experience with solid front links.

You have to understand that just about anything you do to improve the handling of an automobile adds some harshness to the ride. It's up to you to determine how much harshness you're willing to put up with on a daily basis.

Best of luck to you...
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Old 02-08-2003, 01:48 AM   #18
Genner
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I heard that Whiteline's endlinks break is that true? Would it be better to get the solid ones by cusco, MRT or perin?
Also how is the performance with the 22-24-26mm adjustable rear swaybar?
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