My setup is very similar to TxZHP and SpeedDemon's with AST 4200s and 550/650 springs, with the H&R 30mm (M3) bar up front full stiff and the H&R 21mm bar in the rear full soft. Thinking more spring and no bar in the rear for next year. At least, this is what I run during the summer, I'm finding stock ZHP works best during the winter. (when we're offroading half the time!)
Some feedback on swaybars and soft springs:
- Swaybars actually account for a rather larger percentage of overall roll resistance, especially when talking near-stock spring rates up front.
- The will make the suspension less independent, so a lot of rear bar isn't desired
- They will limit roll while affecting ride comfort less than stiffer springs, so that's why such a large percentage of roll resistance is provided through bars from the factory
Right now I'm running the stock rear bar and the H&R 30mm M3 bar up front on full stiff, on my stock springs and ZHP dampers and 225 snow tires. When I had the 21mm bar on full stiff in the rear, I'd say the handling felt a little "goofy", but with the 30mm still in on full stiff and stock rear, it helps limit roll without overloading the tires, at least in normal commuting driving. I haven't pushed this setup, since there's about 14" of snow on the ground here. =] I can definitely feel turn-in and weight transfer is happening a lot faster than with a smaller bar, but it doesn't seem to be overloading the tires.
The main advantages of the Hotchkis bars is the rear bar will be a bit stiffer, and they're hollow, and so lighter, vs the H&R. Lighter won't matter much if you're not racing.
The H&R 30mm M3 bar is (AFAIK) the stiffest generally available (as in, not crazy motorsports version) front bar, and fits the non-M just fine, though I'm told the rear H&R M3 bar does not fit the non-M.
If you'd like an upgrade from the KW, I'd highly recommend the AST 4100s, they're a high quality damper that will help make relatively stiff springs much more reasonable on the road, but if this is still mainly a street car, here's the setup I'd recommend:
AST 4100s, Vorshlag camber plates, 400/550 spring rates, 30mm H&R bar front, stock rear.
I'm not sure I'd go below 550 for rear spring rate, as the stock springs are progressive from like 350-650.