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Old 11-15-2000, 09:42 AM   #1
Mx5racer
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 2629
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Michigan
Thumbs up 2000 rear sway bar review

Well, I just bought a new wagon, and fortunately for me the rear sway bars are becoming available, so that was the first mod for the car. Here is the review:

Whiteline adjustable sway bar for 2000 legacy wagon. This bar is specific to 2000+ legacy's

Installation was pretty straight forward. I was told that the car needed to be on the ground to install the bar, but because of the bushing design on the 2000, it can be installed in the air. Tightening the nuts does not preload the end link bushings. Besides, the car needs at least one wheel off to get the old sway bar off. After a couple of years of rust, these end links are going to be impossible to remove (as I found out when trying to removing a broken set of the same design off of a Ford/Mazda; they really need an end cap to protect the hex nut. Hmm, I think I'll go get one!). Installation took a little over an hour.

Man what a difference it makes in the handling. My stock sway bar is just over 14mm (9/16"), while the new bar is 20 mm (13/16"). Considering the cross section area is the ratio of squares, the new bar is twice as stiff.

It is so nice to drive a balanced car. It is truly impressive how much bite the front tires now have now that they are not over burdened with carrying too much of the car's weight in a turn. Handling is much more crisp and steering response much more immediate. It is so nice!

The good: The car actually throttle steers now. Take your foot off of the gas, and the turn radius tightens very nicely. Its beautiful. At higher speeds (50 mph) on an on ramp, a mild steering correction is needed to keep the car on a constant radius. I could see how this could catch the unaware off guard, but the steering correction is mild and smooth. It is certainly much easier than a rear wheel drive car, and no where near as dangerous as a mid (or rear) engine car like the 1st generation Toyota MR2 (which scared the ***** out of me).

The bad: trade offs are very mild. It does not seem like the ultimate set up for a slalom, as repeated back and forth transitions can overload the rear and end up in a spin (you have to be driving pretty hard and swing back and forth several times to get the car to do this). I get the impression that I am getting some rear wheel spin on very tight 1st gear maneuvers. Not surprising with the stiff rear - I've seen RS2.5's lift the rear wheel with the sway. Ride comfort is not much changed from stock.

Test conditions: Base 2000 wagon. Sway bar set at middle position. Temperature: 36 degrees with wet roads from light snow. A good time to really play with the limits.

I'm in love. This car handles so nice, and is so much more fun to drive. Exactly what I was looking for. I'll probably bump up the stiffness an extra notch
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Old 11-15-2000, 10:06 AM   #2
DLC
out back
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Member#: 1964
Join Date: Jul 2000
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: 84XXX
Vehicle:
01 BH
Blue/Bronze

Post

Wagons rule!

Now if you had torque like me (~200+ ft/lbs), you could REALLY get that rear end loose
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Old 11-16-2000, 09:04 AM   #3
Mx5racer
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Member#: 2629
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Michigan
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Yeah, torque would be nice. If you have any extra, send some my way.

Someone showed me a post off of the Ford F150 Lightening bulletin board. It was by a teenager who had a new truck. He said that since he did not do any towing, he did not need the 450ft-lbs of torque. He wondered if he could remove the 450 pounds from his engine without having to pull the engine out of his truck.

Gotta love it.

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Old 11-16-2000, 10:32 AM   #4
DLC
out back
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Member#: 1964
Join Date: Jul 2000
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: 84XXX
Vehicle:
01 BH
Blue/Bronze

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Ford...

I'm sure it'd be faster without all that weight!
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Old 11-17-2000, 08:52 AM   #5
Mike2000GT
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Member#: 2709
Join Date: Oct 2000
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Media, PA
Vehicle:
2006 WRX Wagon
SGM

Talking

Paid a visit to Rallispec last night and picked up the Whiteline adjustable swaybar for my 2000GT. I understand that Subaru must put the stock sway bar on the car for the people who have no real concept of driving a car except gas=go/brake=stop... but for a GT version they really should consider the thicker bar.

I was really impressed with the difference from stock to the 18mm setting. The car was much flatter through the turns (if your familiar with Rt-38 south to the Ben Franklin bridge, you know what I mean) and I really felt like I had more control of the car. The roads were moderately wet (some sprinkles of rain) and the car still wanted to 'push'...

While under the car, Andy did mention that the suspension looked quite similar to the mitsubishi suspensions he's seen.

I'll prolly wait until after the winter to change the rate to 20mm, but I am still stoked at how much more fun the car is to drive.

Mike
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