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Motorsports & Track Forum
From Auto-X to Trackday to Racing and Professional Motorsports – this is the place to discuss making BMWs fast

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Old 03-11-2004, 11:35 AM   #1
mfino
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Any Recommended Sway Bars for Autocross

I'm trying to gather research on Sway Bars, as that will probably be my next upgrade. I'm curious as to what people have, the reason why you went with that product(was it size, weight etc), and if there are any advantages. I'm considering H&R, RD, Eibach, and UUC. Thanks.
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Old 03-11-2004, 12:45 PM   #2
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I'm running RD's 27 mm front sway bar. I run the stock class, so I am only allowed to swap out the front sway.

RD is about the biggest front sway bar that you can get.
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Old 03-11-2004, 02:55 PM   #3
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I bought UUC's, and will be installing them next week. I'll keep you posted...
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Old 03-11-2004, 04:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyZHP
I'm running RD's 27 mm front sway bar. I run the stock class, so I am only allowed to swap out the front sway.

RD is about the biggest front sway bar that you can get.
Andy,

Isn't that hurting your peformance? I would think that is increasing oversteer.
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Old 03-11-2004, 04:12 PM   #5
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Tim-

Going with a stiffer (I am sure that is not a word) bar in the rear would induce more oversteer.

Andy-

I am a fellow stocker though in DS.

Did you also consider the H&R front bar? How do you like the car with the larger front bar? This is likely the next thing that I will do. This and Konis. You are running Konis if I am not mistaken. Did you get the singles or the doubles? How do you like the Konis?

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Old 03-11-2004, 04:21 PM   #6
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whoops, i meant understeer.
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Old 03-11-2004, 05:48 PM   #7
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whoops, i meant understeer.
I figured. The rules for SCCA stock class competition dictate that the rear bar cannot be substituted or otherwise modified. However the front bar is not restricted. All the opinions that I have heard say that going to the largest front bar you can find is the right thing to do. I am not a suspension expert but I am guessing that this might be one of those modifications that dosen't feel faster but can be with the right driving technique.

SCCA stock rule cause folks to do odd things to their cars.

Take care,
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Old 03-12-2004, 08:01 AM   #8
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I've gathered the following Data for Swaybar Size (Non M3) but I would imagine it applies to all E46 models.

Manufacturer Front Rear
Stock 24 19
Eibach 27 21
H&R 27 21
UUC 25.4 23.8
RD 27 24
Dinan 24 22

There truly is a great write up on the UUC site in regards to sway bars. And I hope I am understanding this correctly. In comparison, Dinan retained the original diameter for the front, but beefed up the rear in hopes to correct understeer. If just running a 27 while retaining the stock 19 rear, to me, this would seem to really, really, understeer. (but what the hell do I know).

Since my car does not qualify for D stock, I can run both front and rear in the STS group. But the sizes, and options is what I'm having troubles understanding. I would like to buy sways, for the right reason, not just for having sway bars.

I think this thread will have great information. We should also start one for Shocks/Springs, as I already see interest in Koni's Running single / double etc.... Thanks
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Old 03-12-2004, 08:30 AM   #9
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Bimmerhaus is doing the Koni/H&R/H&R shock/spring/sways upgrade for me next week, then we have a local autoX next weekend. I shall report my findings at that time I'm doing front and rear H&Rs primarily because I don't care about the SCCA ratings, I only run in the local BMWCCA club AXs and can still be in DS with front and rear.
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Old 03-12-2004, 09:55 AM   #10
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mfino>" I would like to buy sways, for the right reason, not just for having sway bars."


me too, that is the only other suspension mod i have left to do and i am also not sure what is the best overall setup for street/autox
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Old 03-12-2004, 09:58 AM   #11
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It is my understanding that they key is having a balanced set of bars. Several companies simply increase the stock size by X % which would be increasing the stock tendancy to understeer. It would see that adding a larger bar with no upgrade to the rear would also do this. I would think that it might be better to downgrade the front bar in an attempt to balance the car.
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Old 03-12-2004, 10:12 AM   #12
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tim330>sorry for the dumb question, but what do you mean downgrade? getting a smaller front sway bar? or keepint the front stock and upgrading the rear?
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Old 03-12-2004, 11:52 AM   #13
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What Tim is saying is that our E46 already has a tendency to understeer from the factory setup. Reason being studies have shown that drivers (regular not race/track) tend to have more time to react in an understeering situation.

Adding a stiffer front bar will induce even more understeer. Hence, the ideal approach is to stiffen up the rear bar while leaving the front as it is, until you find a neutral handling setup. Ideal that is.

Also, bear in mind that a thicker bar do not necessarrily imply a stiffer setup. The material of the bar has to be taken into account. Afterall, different material has different stress/strain properties. Note that some bars are hollow as well.
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Old 03-12-2004, 03:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Paddle.Shift
Note that some bars are hollow as well.
Great Point. In my ignorance, I was thinking all sways were tubular, but does anyone know which manufacturers produce them Solid vs. Hollow? Thanks again.
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Old 03-15-2004, 12:40 AM   #15
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I'm runnin the uuc sways... i love em.. let me dial out all the understeer and and even put in a lil oversteer... after a lil tinkerin i've got my car handeling perfectly.. all setup for SCCA DSP class...

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Old 03-15-2004, 10:03 AM   #16
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Just curious on what tire setup are you running with. Is this a staggered setup as well? That would definitely help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiral Prophet
I'm runnin the uuc sways... i love em.. let me dial out all the understeer and and even put in a lil oversteer... after a lil tinkerin i've got my car handeling perfectly.. all setup for SCCA DSP class...

~T|/\/\
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:23 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Great Point. In my ignorance, I was thinking all sways were tubular, but does anyone know which manufacturers produce them Solid vs. Hollow? Thanks again.
Pardon the late reply. Forgot to subscribe to this thread.

Yes, I believe most antiroll bars today should be tubular. Then again the differences in the internal diameter do make a different. I am just being as theoretical as possible. I've got the so called "Racing Dynamics" bars and frankly, it felt very heavy compared to the other bars I handled before, hence my suspicion that it's not that tubular.

Whatever it is, get a set of bars that fit your budget and your liking. Understeer/Oversteer issues can be fine-tuned through other variables.
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:51 AM   #18
mfino
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Thanks. I think I have narrowed my choices down to RD and UUC. You are correct in saying I could always handle the understeer/oversteer issues throught other variables. I'll try and see whcih are the lightest and go from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Paddle.Shift
Pardon the late reply. Forgot to subscribe to this thread.

Yes, I believe most antiroll bars today should be tubular. Then again the differences in the internal diameter do make a different. I am just being as theoretical as possible. I've got the so called "Racing Dynamics" bars and frankly, it felt very heavy compared to the other bars I handled before, hence my suspicion that it's not that tubular.

Whatever it is, get a set of bars that fit your budget and your liking. Understeer/Oversteer issues can be fine-tuned through other variables.
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Old 03-15-2004, 12:44 PM   #19
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hey guys, i don't know exactly when and how much, but Hotchiks(don't know if spelled right) is bringing sways for our cars. i know a lot of their products are/have been track tested for other cars, might be worth looking at. but they are still in development
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Old 03-16-2004, 10:59 AM   #20
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Andy,

Isn't that hurting your peformance? I would think that is increasing oversteer.
Hey Tim, sorry for the late response, I too forgot to subscribe to this thread and just now saw all of the replies.

I purchased my Konis and RD front sway and installed them at the same time. I originally set the front bar to full stiff, but the car's front end pushed like a dozer in the corners (major understeer). I then set the bar to full soft and it helped the understeer quite a bit. I've also made a couple adjustments to my shocks and am running 265 wide tires all the way around, which has helped to eliminate [some of] the understeer. The car is feeling very neutral now, however I do notice a little understeer at corner exit.

The larger front sway bar has seemed to really reduce the body roll up front... but then again a lot of that could be from the stiff settings I have on my Konis. My car has no to very little body roll now, which has really helped improve my auto-x times.

My first auto-x of the season with my new setup helped me to get a 1st place finish in B Stock!!
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