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Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

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Old 01-02-2013, 09:56 PM   #1
dpk204
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Is a sway bar upgrade the best bang for buck upgrade to suspension?

Bavauto says it is and I want to know what you think. A local guy said he will put them on for $90 and I am strongly considering them if they give me a drastic improvement.

Also, if I get them, I don't think I will buy the upgraded endlinks.

What's your advice regarding the bavauto swaybar upgrade?
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:58 PM   #2
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Absolutely, TMS are great.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:30 PM   #3
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I am in the same shoes. Interested in what people say.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:10 AM   #4
serdar255
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Hands down it is the best handling mod you can do for the money.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:13 AM   #5
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Agreed, best bang for your buck upgrade. But you will only benefit from these if your struts and shocks are in check.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:18 AM   #6
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first upgrade i ever got. Hotchkis sways. amazing difference, though now if i were to go back in time id hold out for the ground control ones
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:18 PM   #7
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Through some searching I'm getting mixed reviews on whether or not I should replace the front and rear sways or just a front bar upgrade is sufficient.

I am leaning towards the Hotchkis bar or bars since I have a set of their springs waiting to go on.

TO THE OP - Not trying to jack your thread just trying to see if the rear bar is worth upgrading.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:16 AM   #8
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Will update in a couple days time.
I'm installing some uuc sways on my sedan right now. I hit a couple snags so the car is still out right now. But I presume I'll have it done soon.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:28 AM   #9
Russian172
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For 90$ you best bet if I got a deal like that I would be dieting on ramen noodles till next paycheck not that it would be necessary but I definatley agree with going for it
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by fire730 View Post
Through some searching I'm getting mixed reviews on whether or not I should replace the front and rear sways or just a front bar upgrade is sufficient.

I am leaning towards the Hotchkis bar or bars since I have a set of their springs waiting to go on.

TO THE OP - Not trying to jack your thread just trying to see if the rear bar is worth upgrading.
You my friend are either talkng to the wrong people or you really like your understeer! That huge bar change only on the front will make things worse. If you are going to change springs, do that first, feel what it's like and then consider other changes. Huge bars are a good stand alone change. I did this with 27/24 bars on OEM sport suspension. But, true suspension performance comes from proper springs and shocks. Then the sways can be used to tweak the fore/aft balance. When I went to PSS9 and then Sports and H&R sports, those huge bars were way too stiff. Went back to stock front and 21mm rear. In my opinion the UUC bar set is good as a stand alone change and would still be OK if springs and shocks are changed later. But the huge 27 or 30 mm front bars are radical dude! Kind of like 20" wheels!
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dpk204 View Post
Bavauto says it is and I want to know what you think. A local guy said he will put them on for $90 and I am strongly considering them if they give me a drastic improvement.

Also, if I get them, I don't think I will buy the upgraded endlinks.

What's your advice regarding the bavauto swaybar upgrade?
Which one? Doesn't Bavauto sell several? And you should either buy upgraded endlinks or fresh Lemfoerder endlinks with bigger sways.

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Originally Posted by serdar255 View Post
Hands down it is the best handling mod you can do for the money.
Do you have aftermarket sways?

I had Hotchkis, wouldn't do it again. They certainly give the car a more buttoned down feel, but they don't improve grip as much as you initially feel like they do. Also the endlinks wouldn't stay tight until I double nutted them with red loctite.

I have a 25/20 setup now from the Z4 M-Sport front/E46 convertible/Xi rear, all OEM parts, and it's a nice upgrade and I have no complaints.

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You my friend are either talkng to the wrong people or you really like your understeer! That huge bar change only on the front will make things worse. If you are going to change springs, do that first, feel what it's like and then consider other changes. Huge bars are a good stand alone change. I did this with 27/24 bars on OEM sport suspension. But, true suspension performance comes from proper springs and shocks. Then the sways can be used to tweak the fore/aft balance. When I went to PSS9 and then Sports and H&R sports, those huge bars were way too stiff. Went back to stock front and 21mm rear. In my opinion the UUC bar set is good as a stand alone change and would still be OK if springs and shocks are changed later. But the huge 27 or 30 mm front bars are radical dude! Kind of like 20" wheels!
Hotchkis bars are hollow- so 30mm isn't what you think it is. For the most part I do agree though.
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here today, gone tomm

i spend it while i can, if i run out i'll swallow all my meds

Last edited by Grande D; 01-07-2013 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:20 PM   #12
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How can bigger sways be too much?
My inner front wheel almost has lift when cornering at limit and I have substantial understeer and sub par turn in.
I have h and r race and koni yellows.
How could sways be overkill?
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:05 AM   #13
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IMHO just slapping on bigger sway bars is not the proper way to upgrade a suspension; they are meant more for tuning. It also depends on what you want to build your suspension for. You must consider that the front/rear springs and front/rear sway bars coupled together create the weight transfer balance side to side which is why the first suspension upgrade you should consider are springs. They act on the car 100% of the time allowing the car to maintain control during braking, acceleration, cornering, etc. Generally: a higher spring rate for smooth courses/roads and a lower spring rate for rougher courses/roads or for the person who doesn't want to feel a lot of road disturbances. If your happy with the springs and balance of your ride but feel it is rolling (left to right/right to left) too much then you could consider sway bars. The sway bars affect roll and individual tire bump. For too much roll you could stiffen your springs further but then you may have other issues with turn in/out etc. or you could adjust your sway bars. Generally: for smoother faster courses/roads you want more spring than bar and vice versa. Finally, the shocks control how we manage the rate of which the weight of the car transfers and the feel of the car. The shocks also control the energy of the springs and sway bars as the car moves around.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by peytonracer4 View Post
How can bigger sways be too much?
My inner front wheel almost has lift when cornering at limit and I have substantial understeer and sub par turn in.
I have h and r race and koni yellows.
How could sways be overkill?
A huge front bar is what causes the understeer and piss poor turn in! What size bars do you have? I have Bilstein sports, H&R race on my 330ci, the 27/24 bars had good balance as a stand alone change but add too much stiffness when used with these shocks/springs. Suppleness and agility are my goals for a street car. So, I went for similar balance with stock front 23.5? front and 21mm rear bars. Neutral handling is the goal here but not so stiff that it bounces around! Too stiff a front bar will limit power application coming out of corners. Had this problem with stock suspension, lights flashing all the time. Only time they flash now is when the snows are on!
People contemplating sways need to study up and know what the heck they're doing before buying any old set of bars. It's like people that think huge wheels are tires are the way too better handling, NOT!
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:37 AM   #15
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Understeer occurs as you meet and pass the limit of adheasion of your tires. Before that (for a street car) you are likely just trying to limit body roll. If you aren't on a track or trying to run your car to 10/10ths on the street,Uuc,HR,turner bars,all will be fine. I prefer UUC myself,and definatly replacing the Links. The added stress the bar will see make quick work of aging oem links. When your car clicks over light hits or speed bumps its time for another pair.

sent from my ATARI sc1224
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:41 PM   #16
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Well I think I've chose wisely. I got them because I needed to reduce body roll to help stabilize transitions and also to decrease understeer. The uuc bars are adjustable so I hope to make my car as neutral as possible with maybe a slight hint of oversteer. Hopefully this will provide me with better turn in feel.
This is mainly for autocross/track. For street I just want them for reduced body roll. I never drive 10/10 on the street.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:54 PM   #17
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A larger front sway bar (in my case hotchkis) will do just just fine for a 330. If I had a 325 I would probably upgrade the rear bar to a 330 or something. FYI most race teams run either a stock sway bar in the back or no rear sway bar at all.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:28 PM   #18
Grande D
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Originally Posted by peytonracer4 View Post
How can bigger sways be too much?
My inner front wheel almost has lift when cornering at limit and I have substantial understeer and sub par turn in.
I have h and r race and koni yellows.
How could sways be overkill?
Is this a joke? Wheel lift can be a sign of too much sway bar. The Hotchkis increased my last ZHPs wheel lifting tendencies.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:49 PM   #19
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You my friend are either talkng to the wrong people or you really like your understeer! That huge bar change only on the front will make things worse.
You asked where I heard this and someone mentioned it in this thread now.

Quote:
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A larger front sway bar (in my case hotchkis) will do just just fine for a 330. If I had a 325 I would probably upgrade the rear bar to a 330 or something. FYI most race teams run either a stock sway bar in the back or no rear sway bar at all.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:29 PM   #20
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Is this a joke? Wheel lift can be a sign of too much sway bar. The Hotchkis increased my last ZHPs wheel lifting tendencies.
Maybe I don't have wheel lift but I do have pretty significant body roll.
I just drove with my new sways. I have winter tires on so I can't comment on the grip but the handling characteristics are greatly changed. For the better.
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