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This is a discussion on Need Sway bars.. What to get? within the Suspension & Wheels forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Originally Posted by Annihilator817 There's a lot of misinformation in here. An 03 WRX can improve a TON with stock ...

  1. #16
    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annihilator817 View Post
    There's a lot of misinformation in here. An 03 WRX can improve a TON with stock struts and springs with the addition of properly sized swaybars. And you absolutely 100% do NOT need to upgrade the endlinks to get the full performance of the bars.
    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    You have a 3G, which is setup quite differently from the OP's bugeye. The stock bugeye endlinks are 1/4" metal in in front, and PLASTIC in the rear. The rears are so wobbly, you can twist them with your bare hands. They will flex on every bump, and suffer a quick death. Upgrading the rear endlinks is not an option, it's mandatory.

    The fronts are slightly more robust, but they'll inevitably fail, so budget in new ones with the sway bars.

    Yes, thicker swaybars do improve turn-in response and induce more oversteer with an otherwise stock setup (at the slight sacrifice of ride quality), but the OP should buy adjustable bars to soften the swaybar stiffness once stiffer springs are installed.
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  3. #17
    Registered User Annihilator817's Avatar
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    Your post is likely misleading to the OP and others, so I will clarify.

    Upgrading enlinks ARE NOT NECESSARY to extract the full performance of the swaybars. You are merely saying that the aftermarket links are more robust.

    On the topic of the rear endlinks, despite the fact that I own a newer WRX, this isn't my first Subaru, far from it actually. I ran STOCK rear endlinks on every GD I've ever owned, for the better part of a decade, with some serious abuse, and never ONCE had a failure.
    Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annihilator817
    There's a lot of misinformation in here. An 03 WRX can improve a TON with stock struts and springs with the addition of properly sized swaybars. And you absolutely 100% do NOT need to upgrade the endlinks to get the full performance of the bars.
    The problem is that swaybars are meant to be a fine-tune modification. In an ideal world, you figure out the struts/springs, then you figure out the sways/endlinks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Annihilator817
    For example, the car will handle better with stock struts/springs and swaybars than it will on the cheap knockoff coilovers that everyone runs (BC Racing, Megan, etc).
    That's because the cheap C/O setups suck, not because you should do sways/endlinks before struts/springs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Annihilator817
    OP, what tires are you running and what are you using the car for? That's going to dictate quite a bit in what you want to do suspension wise.
    Tires are the most important factor in handling, as they are what keeps your car on the road.
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  5. #19
    Registered User Annihilator817's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ257 View Post
    The problem is that swaybars are meant to be a fine-tune modification. In an ideal world, you figure out the struts/springs, then you figure out the sways/endlinks.
    Swaybars are not a fine tuning instrument, they are a part of the suspension. They are probably the least adjustable part of the suspension, and are not fine tuning.

    Damper valving, spring rate, tire size, tire pressure, etc are fine tuning tools.

    If we are talking about currently available drop springs for struts, there is barely a spring rate improvement over stock, so they will do nothing to help such a fat pig of a car from rolling over onto it's side in a turn. If you run a stiffer spring, such as the rates available with most OTS coilovers, 99% of the time the car is oversprung for the tire choice.

    Swaybars will control roll, improve response, yet won't hurt compliance in real world situations.

    Quote Originally Posted by EJ257 View Post
    That's because the cheap C/O setups suck, not because you should do sways/endlinks before struts/springs.
    Actually, one of the cheapest coilover sets available for these cars is dirt cheap, and some of the most expensive are the worst. Price is not always synonymous with quality or performance.

    But back on topic.

    Again, the upgraded spring rates of coilovers are their downfall in the real world. People buy coilovers with 400+lb/in springs, and then run the car on bumpy surfaces. This will only cause the car to lack the compliance necessary to handle well on the surfaces that 99% of Subaru's will see (ie: the street).

    Swaybars are unique in that they will still allow the necessary compliance in the corners over bumps, whilst not overpowering tires.

    Quote Originally Posted by EJ257 View Post
    Tires are the most important factor in handling, as they are what keeps your car on the road.
    Another thing about upgrading your spring rates, you WILL need to upgrade the tires to match the rates. 400lb/in springs are going to overpower a sticky 225/45/17 EPST on these cars, making it handle worse. And on that note, if you aren't running EPST's, any thing you do to stiffen the car via spring rates and probably swaybars will make it worse.

    I'm not saying that tires aren't the largest improvement to handling, without a doubt they are. What I'm saying is that a properly sized swaybar upgrade will see more real world improvement than a spring and shock upgrade for the reasons I've listed above. Things aren't black and white. You have to balance EVERY part of the suspension, tires, etc to match one another....simply throwing parts at the car never works. I learned that one the hard way. I spent lots of money just to go slower.


    So if you go back to my post, my question about "what will the car be used for, and what tires are you running" are really the only two factors in determining what the OP should be looking at for swaybars.
    Last edited by Annihilator817; 11-22-2012 at 01:28 PM.
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  6. #20
    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annihilator817
    Swaybars are not a fine tuning instrument, they are a part of the suspension. They are probably the least adjustable part of the suspension, and are not fine tuning.
    Swaybar size should be matched to the springs/dampers, which is why I used the "fine tune" comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Annihilator817
    Actually, one of the cheapest coilover sets available for these cars is dirt cheap, and some of the most expensive are the worst. Price is not always synonymous with quality or performance.
    I would expect one of the cheapest coilover sets to be dirt cheap

    Price doesn't always equal quality, but it can be a ballpark indicator. BC, Megan Racing, ISC, and all the other ~$1000 32-way adjustable coilover setups are garbage compared to a quality strut/spring setup. TiC talks about this a bit:
    Cheap coilovers and droop - NASIOC

    When you start looking at the decent coilover setups (e.g., RCE, AST/TiC, etc.), they tend to be significantly more than the BC/MR/ISC variants. Just because I decide to create a coilover setup and slap a $2500 price tag on it, doesn't make them good, but shops that use quality components and do proper R&D to spec out a setup will cost more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Annihilator817
    Again, the upgraded spring rates of coilovers are their downfall in the real world. People buy coilovers with 400+lb/in springs, and then run the car on bumpy surfaces. This will only cause the car to lack the compliance necessary to handle well on the surfaces that 99% of Subaru's will see (ie: the street).
    You can buy a spring with too high of a rate, and decrease the utility of a vehicle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Annihilator817
    Another thing about upgrading your spring rates, you WILL need to upgrade the tires to match the rates. 400lb/in springs are going to overpower a sticky 225/45/17 EPST on these cars, making it handle worse. And on that note, if you aren't running EPST's, any thing you do to stiffen the car via spring rates and probably swaybars will make it worse.

    I'm not saying that tires aren't the largest improvement to handling, without a doubt they are. What I'm saying is that a properly sized swaybar upgrade will see more real world improvement than a spring and shock upgrade for the reasons I've listed above. Things aren't black and white. You have to balance EVERY part of the suspension, tires, etc to match one another....simply throwing parts at the car never works. I learned that one the hard way. I spent lots of money just to go slower.


    So if you go back to my post, my question about "what will the car be used for, and what tires are you running" are really the only two factors in determining what the OP should be looking at for swaybars.
    We agree that tires are the #1 upgrade for handling, because that's what connects the car to the road (not $$$$ worth of mods). It's easy to start pissing in the wind by throwing money at mods when you don't address the two most important factors of handling, that being tires/alignment.

    I'm not saying struts/springs should be done before sways/endlinks. I'm of the philosophy that you do rough correction of roll with struts/springs, and you fine-tune with sways. Springs increase roll resistance, as well as stiffen the ride. If you plan to keep the stock springs, your swaybar need is different than if you decide to go the route of say Koni Yellows / RCE springs. The nice part about adjustable sways is that you can modify the stiffness of your swaybars. Too much swaybar and not enough spring is not a proper way to do it (the suspension is a system).
    Last edited by EJ257; 11-22-2012 at 05:02 PM.
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  7. #21
    Registered User thescreensavers's Avatar
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    So if I am buying RCE Blacks/Yellows with either Bilstein or Konis, how do I match sway bars for optimal handling?
    2013 WRB WRX Hatchback
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  8. #22
    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thescreensavers
    So if I am buying RCE Blacks/Yellows with either Bilstein or Konis, how do I match sway bars for optimal handling?
    There's no exact answer to your question. With that setup, if I were in your shoes, I would go with a Whiteline 24 F / 22 R setup, which can be bumped up to 26 F / 24 R, if desired.

    I would start with the 24/22 configuration, and go to a local Auto-X meet. By doing this, you can push your car to the limit in a controlled environment, and can see if your car is lacking on the swaybar front. Test/tune events are great because you typically get more runs in than a regular sanctioned event, and the goal of it is to adjust settings and see how it reacts. You may prefer the handling characteristics of a 26/22, 24/24, 26/20, 26/22, 24/20, etc. setup.
    Last edited by EJ257; 11-22-2012 at 05:59 PM.
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  9. #23
    Registered User Annihilator817's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thescreensavers View Post
    So if I am buying RCE Blacks/Yellows with either Bilstein or Konis, how do I match sway bars for optimal handling?
    With more spring, you usually want less bar and vice versa.

    To answer your question, ask yourself what the car is doing that you don't like, and then you can hypothesize what parts you may be able to add, adjust, etc to get the car to do what you want.


    If your car is stock, you won't want to exceed 22mm in the front, or 25mm in the rear. 22mm/F and 25mm/R is the sweetspot on stock sprung GD. Any bigger.in the front and you're going to get wheelspin. Any smaller in the rear, and the car won't rotate as easily. The GD's really respond well to big rear bars.

    If its not a GD, disregard my bar size recommendation. The GD and GR couldn't be more different when it comes to how the respond to bars.
    Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.

  10. #24
    Registered User thescreensavers's Avatar
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    ^ its in my Sig its a GR 2013

    I came from a G35 with much firmer springs(F314 R427) and do not like the softer/floaty feeling of the stock WRX. So I was looking at RCE Blacks with Koni or Bilstines. Then to further improve handling buy a bar that will pair up good with the springs.

    I could also buy the Bars first with my OEM setup but I think to fix the softer/floatier feeling is to change springs/shocks first.

    I have not Autoxed yet which I will want to do stock so I can get a feel of the OEM setup before I change anything. I haven't pushed the car yet so I cant really tell what I don't like going around a corner.
    2013 WRB WRX Hatchback
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