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Old 11-21-2007, 12:06 PM   #1
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Default sway bar preferences

Just wondering what everyone uses for sways. I was looking at the jackson racings, H&R, and flying miata and wanted to know what others think. thanks
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:18 PM   #2
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They're all pretty much the same in terms of material, build quality, and length of arm from bar centerline to link mounting point. The differentiating factor in sway-bar design in thickness. For a solid bar, it's just outer diameter, for a hollow bar it's OD and wall thickness.

What's your setup look like? Springs, shocks, alignment, etc. And what are your goals? Subdued daily driver? Canyon-carver and AutoX weekend warrior?
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:28 PM   #3
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I run GC 450/375 with bilsteins, corner weighted and Lanny's alignment with a 1.75* camber up front and 2.0 in the rear.

I use the Racing Beat hollow front bar, solid rear, and front sway bar brace with heim joints to kill pre-load. I picked up 1 second at Hallett with the sway bar install. The car is easier to drive now too, and I get much better tire wear at the track.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:34 PM   #4
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RB hollow or nothing at all
the brace made a difference as well
im not sure about hustlers heim joints, i want to look into those myself
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:34 PM   #5
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i'm using a hollow RB bar in front and a stock bar in the rear. Gearhead's links on both with 9kg/6kg Flex. Feels almost like stock in terms of neutral behavior except much stiffer. Maybe a bit more understeer. Breakaway is also very controlled and easily reigned in.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whaaamx5 View Post
RB hollow or nothing at all
the brace made a difference as well
im not sure about hustlers heim joints, i want to look into those myself
I weigh 190lb, which is a pretty significant load on one side. It helped taking a little load out of the passenger side, but was already pretty good from the corner weighting.

Everyone wants to sell you 4 heim joints, you only need 2.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:50 PM   #7
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currently i have illuminas with the matched springs all the way around. i am in the thought process of switching those out for 8-way kyb agx's. not sure what springs to go with, but i have some hand me down tien springs i might use. i was once told that the hollow bars tend to put a little more stress on the shock mounts while the solids tend to absorb it better and put less stress on the shocks, but on the down side weigh more. but it seems like the majority use the racing beats anyways so they have to be good.
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:01 PM   #8
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anytime you stiffen anything it puts more stress on the car, hollow or not, stiffer springs, braces, etc. but sway bars alone you have nothing to worry about unless your car is already falling apart
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:08 PM   #9
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with my tein 7/6 rates I use an RB hollow 1.25" front bar on "soft" and no rear bar. and my car magically doesn't push.
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:32 PM   #10
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i was thinking about going with koni race shocks with GCs...is it over kill to go with 400/700? This is a track only car that sees asphalt once in a while for weekend cruises and what not.
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:37 PM   #11
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Unless they're dead, do NOT remove those Illuminas in favor of AGXs. The Illuminas are a better shock.

I don't know what spring rates the Illuminas came with, but the Teins are a bit weak in my opinion relative to the drop. If you're looking for springs, my recommendation would be a set of the current-design FM springs, along with a set of 46mm linear bumpstops from FatCat Motorsports: http://www.fatcatmotorsports.com/FCM...lumina.htm#M10

This combination (with Bilsteins and NB mounts) is what I am running on my car. It gives a surprisingly good ride- a bit tiresome on wavy roads (like northbound I5 just south of LA) but is actually better than stock on things like potholes, train tracks, etc. The stiffer spring and more compliant bumpstop seem to do a good job of preventing the suspension from harshly bottoming out when you hit something big.

Actually, with the shocks that I have I wish I'd have gone a bit stiffer on the spring rate, like a set of 450/350s. With the Tokicos however I think this would be too much. The FM springs at 318/233 would be a great choice for that shock.


Sway bars... Lots of opinions here. The general rule is that all else being equal, increasing the bar stiffness on one end of the car (front or rear) will cause that end to grip less in turns. Obviously this effect is relative to the springs that are on the car, as they too will change the front/rear bias of the vehicle. In fact, I'd consider springs to be the primary setup tool, and sway bars to be more of a fine-tuning adjustment.

Initially, I installed a set of solid aftermarket bars- 7/8" front and 5/8" rear. Pretty much the "standard" combo from JR, FM, etc. This combination does not retain the same handling characteristics as stock- the rear bar stiffened by a greater amount than the front bar, relative to the stock setup. This caused my vehicle to be far too tail-happy, and I spun it several times- the last of which involved a tree. The RB setup is somewhat better in that the front bar is 15/16, so it's not going to be as oversteer-biased as the others.

After some experimentation I decided to stay with the 7/8" front bar, but I removed the rear bar altogether. This actually biases the car a good deal further towards understeer than stock, but since I have a turbo and a Torsen LSD, I consider this to be desirable. I can steer the back end with the throttle if I want to, or coast through turns at neutral throttle and not have to worry about spinning.

A comparable setup would have been to install a hollow front bar and use the stock rear bar. This would retain similar bias while decreasing body roll overall. But since I'm cheap and I already had the solid front bar, that's where I stopped. I'd suggest you try this first- purchase a Racing Beat tubular front, and leave the rear stock. See how you like it. Want more oversteer? Install a RB solid rear bar. Want more understeer? Disconnect and remove one of the two end links on the rear.

I'm going to give a plug here for FatCat, since the owner, Shaikh (pronounced like Shake) is a friend of mine and had done some really great research on NA/NB suspension setup. He's of the "try something new and observe the results" school of thought, and some of his suggestions, while seemingly inconsistent with conventional "wisdom", work. Spend some time playing with his interactive suspension calculator: http://www.fatcatmotorsports.com/FCM_MSDS_v7_6.xls then give him a call and chat for a while. Even if he doesn't get to sell you a set of re-valved Bilsteins, he'll offer you some good advice as to how to set up the car for your particular tastes. Tell him I sent you. No, I don't get kick-backs.

Last edited by Joe Perez; 11-21-2007 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:41 PM   #12
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I'm running Racing Beat front/rear sway bars,I also plan on getting the heavy duty sway bar mounts soon.
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