Sway Bars and daily driving
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This is a discussion on Sway Bars and daily driving within the Suspension & Wheels forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I have a question. In regards to the suspension. So many people on here say that sway bars are such ...

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    Registered User Cyoplasm's Avatar
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    Sway Bars and daily driving

    I have a question. In regards to the suspension. So many people on here say that sway bars are such a great mod, but a couple experienced friends of mine (one an EVO guy, and the other a RWD drifter) both have told me without hesitation that they're a waste of money unless I'm going to track the car, and that coilovers will cut most of the body roll necessary for daily driving. What I'm taking from all the opinions though is, it's not a matter of what's "better" per say, but what is your preference? To cut body roll means to cut some comfort and if you're daily driving only, how often is your car going to be in a predicamit where it needs aftermarket sway bars at the sacrifice of comfort which you want all the time? My justification would be the same as a firearms enthusiast on carrying daily. In Az we have the most liberal gun laws so keep it in mind here.

    Maybe not the best illistration but you carry a gun for protection. You don't use it, and in most cases hope you don't have to, but will if prompted to.
    Sway bars, depening on your daily drive will most likely not be used to it's full extent, but I would argue that like the pros of carrying a firearm, I'd feel much safer knowing that if I needed to call upon that performance at a moments notice, the car would handle with extreme precision and response perhaps saving my, or a passengers life.

    Understanding what exactly the sway bar is meant to do for a car, and where you put your larger size sway bar, and how that can significantly increase/decrease oversteer/understeer are things to consider of course..... but maybe sway bars are not an absolute necessary mod for daily drivers. Maybe the stock sway bars are sufficient enough? If cutting body roll is the main objective, then would coilovers or a Strut/spring combo be more optimal?
    Price on coils can be about double or triple or potentially even more than that of sway bars but most of us plan on, or have lowered our cars already. In this case, are sway bars redundant?

    I'm on the fence about buying them. I feel like when one reputable board member recommends something or a certain setup (Koni yellows/RCE black springs), then that becomes the overall general concensous of the entire forum's population. I understand everyone has their own opinions, like my friends, but with so many people here raving about them, I'd be lying if i said I wasn't curious to see how my car would handle with them installed.

    I guess what I'm asking is, other than "it makes a huge handling difference", and "it's the best bang for buck mod", how would YOU justify installing sway bars for daily driving purposes with the above mentioned in mind.
    The separation, is in the preparation.-Russell C Wilson-

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    Do you want opinions or not. Makes it seem like you will only listen to certain people. I mean I understand where you are coming from.

    Absolutely sways on a daily driver are worth it and totally justifiable - even just for going to work or store or whatever. When designed, selected and installed properly they really do flatten out body roll. I have seen many in the crowd and many "experts" NOT recommend coilovers, but rarely do I see people recommend against sway bars. And rarely, if ever, do I see people say "ah piss........I shouldn't have bought sways". My personal opinion I like the Whiteline adjustables. My car really is night and day different.



    "The seperation, is in the preperation."(?) Pretty sure he says The separation, is in the preparation. Just saying.
    Last edited by Oilypablo; 06-17-2014 at 07:45 PM.

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    Registered User Cyoplasm's Avatar
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    Sway Bars and daily driving

    Nice catch lol will edit
    Go Hawks
    As far as the post, yes I will only listen to certain peoples opinion. Just like you and anyone else would.
    If I wasn't ready to hear all opinions I wouldn't come to the Internet for answers.
    Thanks for the contribution.
    Whiteline seems to be a popular brand.


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    Last edited by Cyoplasm; 06-17-2014 at 07:49 PM.
    The separation, is in the preparation.-Russell C Wilson-

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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    I could make an argument about NOT justifying any modifications on a daily driver. The car as it is from the factory should be sufficiently safe to drive on most public roads, and generally you will never get back the money you put into modifying a car.. not to mention that many mods will make the car less reliable to drive.



    So what you're left with is fun factor. It's highly doubtful that you will ever use the car's full potential on the street though.. if you're pushing the car to the point that suspension modifications would make a real difference, you're likely already breaking the law.


    As far as people saying just get coilovers for a daily driven car. I would say that's the complete opposite of what I would want to do. Stiff coilovers are HORRIBLE on the street, where as stiff swaybars do very little to decrease the ride comfort. I wouldn't consider running coilovers unless you're planning on racing the car on a track.. or maybe if your local roads are very very smooth. When I had coilovers on my car every bump would send a shooting pain through my back, and if I hit a bump while cornering hard the tires would leave the pavement and the car would skip sideways. With softer springs, aftermarket struts, and front and rear swaybars the ride is MUCH smoother, while still remaining flat in the corners, and the way the car behaves under hard cornering is very predictable.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyoplasm View Post
    As far as the post, yes I will only listen to certain peoples opinion. Just like you and anyone else would.
    If I wasn't ready to hear all opinions I wouldn't come to the Internet for answers.
    These two statements aren't compatible. The statement in your original post regarding coilovers saving one's life isn't something I'd have uttered in public but it's done now too. Anyway:

    The advantage to a coilover setup is that in theory you can do away with sway bars entirely, particularly for a gravel setup (this is done routinely). The disadvantages, though, are absolutely massive when you reach the point of a coilover setup that won't "need" sways at all, so to me it's not even worth considering.

    The advantage to sways is that they are easier to live with, easier to maintain, less expensive, and if done correctly they are almost "free" in the sense that they won't cost too much comfort or too much predictability, at the expense only of some independence -- independence that you are unlikely to use to its full extent on a road car anyway. However if you get them wrong they can cause undesirable handling, and/or a "darty" car that "hunts" around.

    The trick to a good setup is not to install or buy as "much" as you can but rather the opposite, to install or buy as little as possible. The narrowest sways, the lowest spring rates, the lowest damping rates, the slowest steering etc. you can get away with. No more. (Note that I didn't say any less either though). All you need is what you need for any particular application. More than that will at best only add expense, at worse it will cause other issues. Too much sway on one end takes away independence and takes away grip. Too high a spring rate takes away grip. And so on. There's a limit beyond which the increase won't help your particular application. What that limit is, is up to you. I suggest going to a local autox or meet and asking for rides in cars similar to yours.
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    I'm looking at sways as I become more involved in autocross. Seems like the best bang for you buck for a daily driver/weekend crosser. good post guys!

    Curious on some opinions as far as autocrossing goes & size.

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    Registered User Cyoplasm's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply and spring rate is something I need to look further into it sounds like. Furthermore it seems the way I worded the OP is pretty subjective. My apologies as my goal was not to start an argument. I didn't realize that the spring strut combo could provide significantly better comfort than a coil setup.
    I should've done further research. It just seems like when the topic of "what suspension should I buy" on a day to day basis comes up, I haven't learned much more than the brands I should buy. It comes up so often that board members are tired of answering the same question day to day and yet, there aren't specifics like these in the stickies I've read.
    For the record: hearing and listening are two different things, and my "saving a life" comment was in reference to sways, not coilovers. I'll forgive you though because you lift. 😉


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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    If you're going to autox the car, suspension will bump you up one or more classes.

    Otherwise I do think you'd be best off asking for rides but keep in mind harshness isn't easy to live with day in, day out, and coil overs aren't always set-and-forget. They may need more frequent maintenance than a less severe setup.

    If you do go coil over you might pay for extra quality; look for a TÜV approval for example. However I'd consider minimal changes, done individually, with a conventional setup instead and I'd stop when enough is enough. I think you're more likely to end up with something livable.

    The reason specifics are somewhat rare is that tastes, needs, and product availability all vary.

    Have you considered asking 2-3 site vendors for recommendations? It's vital you're honest about your intentions for the car, needs, and tolerances firstly with yourself, and then with them.

    Example: I dislike harsh rides. I like flat but am only willing to go so far with harshness. Your limits will be different.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Registered User Cyoplasm's Avatar
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    Right, and I love a comfortable ride. It will be a factor but like the previous poster mentioned I would like to add some of that fun factor that a lowered car can bring. I'm glad I asked because my question no longer seems to be if sways are worth it, but are coils worth it.


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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    That is the better question to ask in my view, yes.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Registered User SKI.WRX's Avatar
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    Both SD_Gr and Mainframe have great points. My friend has an 03 wagon with Feal 441 coilovers valved for gravel with 3k springs with both sways disconnected. My car has 2002 WRX springs and V7 STI JDM adjustable struts with no front sway. We both frequently drive each others cars and we both agree that my car is a much better DD but his is so damn fun to toss around with remarkably little body roll. However, like the others have said you hit an uneven joint in the road and the car skips sideways when pushing it even moderately (This is very common on most of the canyon roads where I live since the floods in September destroyed sections of almost all of them). Also, his coils will need a rebuild every couple years where my struts can be rebuilt but should only require it every 80-100,000 miles. My opinion is also that coils are not for a DD and sways are a much better option, unless you love gravel like my friend and I, in which case take them off haha.
    Last edited by SKI.WRX; 06-17-2014 at 11:59 PM.

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    Registered User Cyoplasm's Avatar
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    I can get the Koni/Rce combo for almost the exact price as a set of Stance coils.
    I'll probably get flamed for saying this but, so far what i've seen here when it comes to this combo isn't low enough for my preference. I like the adjustability and rebuild factor just as much as I like ride comfort.
    I don't mean to sound like I want a "stance car" with stupid offset/camber, that isn't my preference, but being barely lower than factory ride height isn't either.
    Like you said, I need to hit up the meets and take a ride to further my research and study spring rate before I decide. I don't plan on trashing or selling my factory suspension anyway so I'm willing to take some risk as far as dollars spent and comfort quality. Weather and roads are a non-factor where I live, and on my daily drive.
    The separation, is in the preparation.-Russell C Wilson-

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    Registered User Fender137's Avatar
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    I was looking to get the Fortune Auto's 500's with the Swift spring's option. I hear nothing but good things about these coilover's. They are also rebuildable, You can customize the coilover to your preferences as well as spring rates to suit you're need's. These coilover's are also built and assembled in the US which is another plus. From what I hear these are the best bang for buck coilover option for under $1,100-$1600 depending how you build your coilover. Might be worth checking out.

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    I recently picked up an Eibach Sway Bar Kit "Front Adjustable 25mm/Rear Adjustable 22mm" and end links for my daily driver and I'm definitely looking forward to having them installed to minimize body roll (hopefully what that really means is that I don't going flying left and right in my seat every time I take a turn).

    I plan on going hard rear, soft front per all the reviews I've read, but is there anything I need to worry about as far as driving the car differently? Someone said I could go up on 2 wheels if I corner too hard with aftermarket sway bars. Sounds ridiculous, but...
    Not so much anymore.

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    Resident Jackass ShiftingLanes's Avatar
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    Let me start off by saying I think this is an excellent conversation to have on this forum and in general. Lots of good info already.

    I think you need to also look at what each option does to the car. On one hand, you have the coils which will flatten out the body roll by making the ride harsher as a consequence of making the suspension setup overall stiffer. On the other, you have the sways (and endlinks if you go this route. they need to be replaced) which will flatten the body roll without making the ride much harsher as this option applies more pressure on the outward lying wheel in a corner. IMO, it comes down to ride comfort. One option will keep it relatively similar to your current comfort level (sways) and the other will make it a stiffer experience (coils).

    For me, I wanted the ride comfort as I daily my car. Sways all the way.

    And FWIW, people telling you that sways are useless unless you track a car really shouldn't be giving out advice that doesn't make sense. Sways can be set up to reduce or give more under/over steer in certain ways, which can be viewed as highly relevant in daily driving in certain scenarios.
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