Sway bars, Work or not???

Discussion in 'Technical' started by GOTTAGO, Jul 24, 2012.


    GOTTAGO New Member

    Hi all

    I always see on this Forum people talking about Aftermarket Sway-bars.
    Everybody wants them, Stillen, white-line, and others that are available.

    Are aftermarket set's really necessary???
    Have spoken to a lot of race drivers at lakeside race way including Martin Willams, Many of them have disconnected-removed there rear sway bars, They say It lets them have more feel of the car, and better in the corners, and is no compromise at all.
    Like to know if any others on here have tried this, like John at UAS or any other race drivers.:br:

    Thanks Guys
  2. Bsmit410

    Bsmit410 New Member

    Am also wondering the same thing
  3. Peter Black

    Peter Black Active Member

    They 'work' in that they do reduce roll but it's entirely another matter to work out if that is actually what you want to achieve and if so if swaybars are the way you want to achieve it.

    I've got Whiteline swaybars in my road car as they keep it flat in cornering without having to go to stiffer springs, in a race car you may want to go the other way, stiff springs to keep the car flat and lighter stock or even no sway bars so both sides of your suspension can move independently.
  4. beaver

    beaver southern zeds

    Not necessary

    at all for a road driven car.


    pretty much on the money .

    running stock on mine .
  6. foremannz

    foremannz New Member

    Yeah, I wonder about that in NZ because our back roads are crap, and with all the bumps, the anti sway bar could make both sides take the impact of the bumps from 1 side - taking out the anti sway bar might actually make the suspension work more independently. As for affects from standing start, the diff is pretty much mounted to the subframe and not a live axle, so removing the bar might not affect the rear suspension under acceleraction.
  7. 260DET

    260DET Active Member

    Yeh I talked with Martin about removing his rear ARB, he prefers the car with no rear bar as do I with avatar car. Less chance of snap oversteer on the track for a start.

    GOTTAGO New Member

    Good, looks like I,ll keep the stocky. Thanks guys
  9. boo5t

    boo5t Member

    I can speak from experience here i run pretty firm spring rates and noticed a very nice difference to stock. Car felt more planted in the corners for sure. Mind you I have been mixing the combo up between three different shock and spring combos ohlins, bilstein, zeal with a mix of progressive and non progressive springs and the sways on and off over the past 6 months. All the coilovers have had hard springs just so you know. I recommend them for sure... definitely the front one at minimum upgrade.... up to you depending on how you want the car to react if you will want a rear....mines adjustable to tune it a bit better so i have the rear on the soft setting...

    GOTTAGO New Member

    Thanks for that input mate.
  11. WYKKED

    WYKKED <b><font color=red>2 Much Trouble</font></b>

    I have coilovers with heavy springs and the car is very firm. I fitted a large aftermarket front bar and found that the car had improved turn in and better "bite", but I would not upgrade the rear bar because I don't want to effect the drive out of corners. I have seen photos of my car lifting the inside front wheel through corners and I'm sure that if it didn't have that "squat" in the rear end it would not have the traction it does.
  12. yellow300zx

    yellow300zx Pimpin Ain't Easy

    I got front and rear whitelines, love them, the back is no where NEAR the size of the front its just solid instead of hollow, they work well, I don't get snap oversteer or any other issues though. Makes the car feel nice and flat and I noticed an immediate difference from stock changing nothing else (in a good way)
  13. misszen

    misszen Red ones go faster!

    It all depends on how you like your car to respond!

    In a positive sense -

    yes - if you like it firm and direct

    no - if you like it flexible and possibly more maneouvable

    the negative sense

    No - it wont flex around a corner better

    Yes - but it can be sloppy and allow counterforces to seep more into the handling

    it is purely based on drivers preference

    whether it is physically better depends on other factors to the car such as (one example) coil spring length, size, winding, compression, type of material and whether there are mods such as raisers etc etc

    There is an optimal value of the car that will perform better than others but this is affected by drivers style and as stated - other factors

    The key to performance is balancing all of these for the total package - this is an artform in itself, (sometimes very contraversial) and debatable, but it can also be subject to proving by test results - i.e better track time results/ higher speed at a certain turning circle radius or better speed through witchs hats

    So the question you are asking will get many different debatable and contraversial responses here - but ultimately you will only be able to decide for yourself based on your preferences / style of driving and personal test results

    I prefer firmer myself so I would go for a solid bar (there are hollow ones) that has not been put on a mandrell (bent into shape - has more flex than one made in that shape) but this means it can slide more (lose grip) -but I prefer more direct control so to speak.


    misszens other half
  14. tassuperkart

    tassuperkart Its a lie I tell you!

    The effects of swaybar stiffness is most apparent with regards to bodyroll.
    However all is not as it seems!

    If you set your car up with stock springs, stock bars and just LOWER the ride height, the resulting bodyroll will reduce.... significantly.
    If you keep your ride height stock, swaybars stock and fit harder sprigs alone, the bodyroll will reduce.
    Swaybar stiffness directly influences individual corner spring rate. It has NO effect on end to end springing (nosedive and rear squatting) in a straight line.
    End to end changes in spring/roll rates directly affect fornt to rear weight transfer in corners tho!
    Associated with increased spring rate is a necessary REDUCTION in bump and INCREASE in extension dampening of the shocks or bouncing of the suspension/wheels, or body, or both can be a result and that always equalls loss of traction.

    So, low ride height on stiff springs and heavy swaybars reduces bodyroll to virtually nothing but the result is reduced induced "mechanical" or chassis grip and increased reliance on tyre grip alone. Provided the ride height has not been reduced to a level where the changes in suspension geometry adversely affect roll center, this tends to produce a car that can be fast on a billiard table but prone to sudden loss of traction at either end in corners. On its day, very fast but very difficult to drive fast.
    Softer you go for a given ride height results in increased chassis grip but can also result in overheating of a particular tyre/corner.
    However, the car is usually more compliant over bumps, looses traction more progressivly and so easier to drive with better power traction overall despite being possibly slower outright!

    Now, alter ride height alone at one end? Or just spring rate at one end........??? And so it goe...on...and on..... and on......Confused yet? The vast majority of you will be Im sorry to say, and that includes me, despite the fact i have been researching/playing with this stuff for more years than i care to remember in pursuit of speed in my race cars!!!!

    Its totally a black art and despite all the theory in the world pointing to a particular setup, its NEVER that cut and dried. NOTHING is certain and one simple change can have significant effects, both positive and adverse on almost every other facet of the suspension setup!

    Now, all this is at the pointy end where the likes of UAS slotcars and really fast circuit guys like to play.

    Us mere mortals should pay a lot less attention to outright performance setup only useful on a race track which results in an evil riding, AND handling car on the road, in preferrence to a more compliant , BUT controlled ride, more like a rally car, with a resistance to bodyroll thats becomes largely a personal preferrence!!!!
    At the vast majority of speeds, there is little discernible difference in actual grip. Just a change in "feel" and that is more subjective than anything else!!!
    Crapping on about some change in "pointiness" and direction changes on a road car is just that, crap Im afraid to say. Dont be dazzled in racing science. You dont try to race an F1 thru a forrest track so its wise to avoid creating one by going insanely stiff, low and hard...!.

    With regards to Zeds, extreme low and very stiff in roll, spring and dampening is, rough and noisy in the car, very slow and easy to knock offline when turning and downright dangerous unless on very smooth hotmix at speed.
    Its as simple as that! Blahhhhhhhhhhhh...........!
  15. MagicMike

    MagicMike Moderator Staff Member

    As I said drunkenly in the shed to a few zedders, when asked about how my zed handles now being so low (dropped after swaybars, coilovers etc).

    On a smooth road it goes like it is on rails. On bumpy (read: public) roads, it still handles like it is on rails, but 4 of them, all going in different directions.
  16. 260DET

    260DET Active Member

    Raced it around a circuit like Lakeside, for example? Completely different setup requirements compared to a road car, no matter how fast you think you go on the road.

    Basically ARB's are used OE to control body roll, to keep the driver and passengers comfortable. Heavier aftermarket bars front and back increase this feeling but do nothing to improve actual roadholding. What they actually do is transfer load in a corner from the inside to the already heavily loaded outside tyres. Which can result in uncontrollable snap oversteer, the last thing you want anywhere.

    Been there, experienced that. Three times to be exact.
  17. 260DET

    260DET Active Member

    Words from the master, Carroll Smith " My own opinion is that on most road courses a rear anti-roll bar is a bad thing. Anti-roll bars transfer lateral load from the unladen tyre to the laden tyre ? exactly what we don?t want at the rear. I would much rather use enough spring to support the rear of the car."
  18. yellow300zx

    yellow300zx Pimpin Ain't Easy

    Aye so you only have the front on you said for this reason? But you said front and back cause it? Not making much sense if both cause it how come you said up earlier you prefer only to run the front like Martin (not having a go at you just seriously interested and want to know)
  19. yellow300zx

    yellow300zx Pimpin Ain't Easy

    Maybe that's why I haven't experienced the snap oversteer etc, since I'm running stock spring suspension rates (KYB shocks and king springs) with whiteline sway bars, so haven't got it dropped on its ass and or have extreme hard springs which is why I notice the nice difference and don't experience all the negatives also like you guys are mentioning.
  20. 260DET

    260DET Active Member

    Yeh I have a big front ARB, no rear, with heavier springs. The thing is with a powerful RWD car in a corner the rear tyres are using a lot of the available grip to accelerate the car so it works better to make the front take more of the cornering load in that situation. Body roll also has to be kept in check and as ARB's do that well it makes sense to have the front bear a lot of the anti roll load.

    That very simply is it. As far as Witeline et al promoting F and R ARB's, well they are in the business of selling stuff and within limits what they sell works while still retaining reasonable passenger comfort.

    Have a look at this video where I take a tight exit too fast and lose rear grip coming out of a corner. I'm still able to catch it because with no rear ARB there is no snap oversteer so there is time to correct. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRKSq9OC_fw&feature=g-upl

Share This Page