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Stiffer Front Sway Bar - pointless?

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Old 09-17-2006, 05:29 PM
vano
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Stiffer Front Sway Bar - pointless?

Almost everyone I know and read about that has gone with an aftermarket sway bar, only got stiffer rear sway bar keeping the front stock. This is pretty much a no brainer, since it helps the car rotate better, especially with the lack of camber up front.

I am not in the same boat though since I have helix camber plates.

04 MC with SS+
15x7 Slipstreams
Helix camber plates and arms (-2 degrees up front and -1 in the rear, 1/16 toe out up front, zero in rear)

With this setup the car is still a tiny bit pushy, but with engine braking becomes very nicely controllable with throttle . With the settings as they are, adding an RSB only will most likely make the car a bit tail happy. Originally my plan was to up the camber up front to 2.25front and 1.5 rear and put the RSB on. Now I am thinking it might make more sense to keep the alignment as is, maintaining the near neutral balance, and slap on both front and rear bars. The purpose of the bars would not be to change the balance of the car but rather cut down on the body movement to keep more of the tire on the ground.

Can anyone that has experience with using front and rear sway bars successfully in STS or STX comment? Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 09-17-2006, 07:22 PM
JustGo4It_
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If I had to guess I would say your push is caused by too much grip on your rear wheels. What sort of tires and pressures are you running? In the stock class world we are running on average of 10 lbs higher in the rear.
 
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Old 09-18-2006, 06:49 AM
vano
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Just to clarify, my goal is not to get rid of the slight understeer, its to get the car to corner flatter and keep more tire on the ground. Sway bars seem like the way to go to accomplish that, but I haven't heard of too many people running sways front and rear. Most people that get the rear bar are doing so to get the car to rotate and don't have camber up front.

I am running R-Comps right now, but planning on switching back to streets (Azenis 615) once these tire are worn.

RA1s 225/45/15
36 up front
40 in rear

Basically, I want less of this:

 
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:51 AM
JustGo4It_
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In that picture weight has transfered to your right front tire. While sway bars are used for tuning I really think you should look at going to a higher rate front spring. This will limit weight transfer to the front keeping the car flatter. I can't recommend any rates because I haven't experimented in that area.
 
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Old 09-18-2006, 01:00 PM
vano
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Originally Posted by JustGo4It_ View Post
In that picture weight has transfered to your right front tire. While sway bars are used for tuning I really think you should look at going to a higher rate front spring. This will limit weight transfer to the front keeping the car flatter. I can't recommend any rates because I haven't experimented in that area.
Yeah, I agree that stiffer srings and shocks will be needed at some point if I were to start seriously playin in the STS class. I have been eyeing the Leda setup from Webb, but $2000 + install is a bit above my price range at this time. Definitely way more expensive than $400 set of sways...
 
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:05 PM
OasisT
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I'd vote for just swapping the rear bar. In ST class, you want a softer setup. Maybe not STOCK soft, but, close to it. Trust me, you don't want a huge front bar with street tires. If/when you feel like spending $550 or so, you would also heavily benefit with some Rota Slipstream 15x7.5's(special order) too I'd bet. :-)
 
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Old 09-19-2006, 05:26 AM
vano
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Originally Posted by OasisT View Post
I'd vote for just swapping the rear bar. In ST class, you want a softer setup. Maybe not STOCK soft, but, close to it. Trust me, you don't want a huge front bar with street tires. If/when you feel like spending $550 or so, you would also heavily benefit with some Rota Slipstream 15x7.5's(special order) too I'd bet. :-)
When you say Soft, do you mean soft specific to the front sway bar? What about the rest of the suspension setup? Does stiffening up the shocks and springs substantially give a whole lot of gain?

I am running 15x7 Slips, i was considering putting 205/50/15 615s on there. Your suggestion to go with 15x7.5 confuses me - is this because to be competitive you need to run 225/50/15s? The 7 inch wheel would still fit this, though the sidewall strength would be somewhat compromised and the contact patch will be a bit smaller.
 
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JustGo4It_ View Post
In that picture weight has transfered to your right front tire. While sway bars are used for tuning I really think you should look at going to a higher rate front spring. This will limit weight transfer to the front keeping the car flatter. I can't recommend any rates because I haven't experimented in that area.
exactly what I was gonna say, I personally like the back to have movement because if the alignment is set just right its extremely easy to control in the mini.. perhaps not so grippy tires in the back as well so you wont plant down as much?
 
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:32 AM
vano
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
exactly what I was gonna say, I personally like the back to have movement because if the alignment is set just right its extremely easy to control in the mini.. perhaps not so grippy tires in the back as well so you wont plant down as much?
Infidels!!!

Here is another picture on a different day during a steady state left hand turn, ground is pretty flat, i am not braking or accelerating. Take that!! The body motion is not massive, but its definitely there. (this is on 225/45/15 R-comps and 2 degrees of camber up front, so pretty high g loads compared to a stock mini)

 
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:20 PM
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Boy am I glad that you took credit for that cone.

I too considered the Leda's but went ahead with the FSDs. From what I have read, people have moved to a softer front (smaller bar) in H-Stock in order to keep the tires on the ground to minimize the wheel spin while coming out of a corner. These are comments based on a H-Stock/G-Stock thought process.

With STS, I would probably look at a coilover setup to work with the great camber plates you have on the car. There seem to be a couple of SA setups going for less than the Ledas or other DAs.
 
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by RicardoV View Post
From what I have read, people have moved to a softer front (smaller bar) in H-Stock in order to keep the tires on the ground to minimize the wheel spin while coming out of a corner. These are comments based on a H-Stock/G-Stock thought process.
And because you can change the front swaybar in stock classes, but not the rear swaybar.
 
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:30 PM
vano
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Originally Posted by RicardoV View Post
Boy am I glad that you took credit for that cone.
Did I say "i am not braking or accelerating"?? I meant "my co-driver Ricardo is not braking or accelerating".

Those Leda based coilovers from Webb do look nice, but I have a feeling I might be doing FSDs a year from now too.
 
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:45 AM
JustGo4It_
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Forget the FSD's they are non adjustable, Get the KONI Sports you can set the stiffness with them.
 
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Old 09-22-2006, 11:26 AM
vano
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I was speaking to a driver that is very competitive in HS in his cooper. He told me he tried the Koni Sports and HATED them. He has since gone back to stock SS+ shocks. Per from GRM seems to do very well on a set of FSDs. This leads me to believe that the FSDs hold their own in stock class. Ideally I would rather have something with bump and rebound adjustability, but FSDs will be a good backup choice.
 
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Old 09-22-2006, 04:23 PM
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Hmmmmm..... How many drivers at Nat's are running FSD's? Why did he hate them? What's to hate? You set them as stiff or soft as you want them.
 
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Old 09-22-2006, 07:11 PM
vano
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Originally Posted by JustGo4It_ View Post
Hmmmmm..... How many drivers at Nat's are running FSD's?
I don't know, haven't been keeping count. How many drivers running Sports have tried FSDs back to back with sports and confimed that the sports are much faster?
 
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:55 PM
JustGo4It_
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The key to any suspension setup is adjust-ability. Anything else is a compromise.
 
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:12 PM
Grassroots Garage
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Having ajustability is just one more thing to keep you from learning how to drive the car. Instead of improving your driving, your thinking about if the settings you used are working for you. Unless your a pro level driver, keep adjustable stuff to a minimum. The reason why you can run a different bar in the front (in hs/gs) is because if you go larger = MORE push, and softer = more roll, so there is no real advantage. Find a set of tires you like, get the pressures to do the most for you, or move to stx and get a rear bar and springs. I recommend H-sport for both, The stock shocks, believe it or not, or pretty darn good.
--Dan
 
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:14 PM
Grassroots Garage
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oh! and I won a local championship driving cvt cooper demos from the dealer with no mods at all... It can be done!
 
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Old 09-23-2006, 04:47 AM
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Since my name was brought up, I won 2 of the 3 National Tours that were won this year in HS on FSDs (against cars on uber-Konis, Ledas,etc)...but I'm not sure if they'd be a good choice for STS with a lowered suspension. I'd start working on a shorter front strut to retain travel and lower the car.
My road racing S was pretty darn happy with 550F GC coil overs/camber plates/H&R rear "sport" springs, big rear bar and the stock front bar. Koni Sports all around....but I can't say that it would have been much faster than if you just added the camber to the front.

My thinking is that the Cooper has only one real flaw off the bat, and that's a lack of negative camber in the front. Fix that first, see how the car does. Go from there.

BTW: Jack Burns and I are the only drivers on FSDs at a national level in HS. Woody at the TR has them on the front of his GS car, with my DAs on the rear.
 
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Old 09-23-2006, 04:47 AM
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when I had H sport springs and Koni yellows I could make the back come around very fast.... I dialed it out.... the ride was very harsh IMO so I wanted something a little more "sophisticated"...... I put on PSS9s which gave me the ride I wanted but I had body roll that I was not used to.... the H sport/Koni was very flat..... I added the front sway bar to get rid of the roll and now I am pretty happy.... the car will push if pushed but I prefer that to the rear coming around....

I was watching a show on "Speed" where they said the trend in Nascar is to set the car up for the track and make the driver adapt.... this is F1 methodology... as opposed to the driver feedback determining the set up..... drivers are not reliable in knowing what is actually fast vs what is fast..... fr my car I prefer what feels fast as I am not racing anyone and want to enjoy my car...my way.
 
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Old 09-23-2006, 06:55 AM
vano
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Originally Posted by GRMPer View Post
Since my name was brought up, I won 2 of the 3 National Tours that were won this year in HS on FSDs (against cars on uber-Konis, Ledas,etc)...
Thats what I'm talking about, it is questionable whether the adjustable shocks have that much of an advantage over FSDs. Per, you have proven that if there is an advantage, it is small enough that the driver and the rest of the car setup will still determine the winner.

The goal of this thread, before we got sidetracked with FSD vs Sport, was that I am pretty happy with the way my MC handles with just camber plates, but I have been noticing a bit more body roll. I was wondering if a front and rear sway bar would be a relatively inexpensive and easy fix for this. What I am hearing is that it probably won't be, since the stiffer front bar will make the car push, even with a stiffer rear on.

So I will probably stay with the stock suspension for a year, wait till the stock shocks start getting tired, and then replace them with aftermarket ones. I am looking at the Leda coilover setup from Webb or something similar as a no compromise option. But, if I don't have the big bucks for that, I will keep the FSDs in my back pocket as a good compromise setup.

By the way, it is good to see some back and forth going on. The Racing and Competition forums have been really dead these days.
 
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Old 09-23-2006, 07:02 AM
vano
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Originally Posted by Grassroots Garage View Post
Having ajustability is just one more thing to keep you from learning how to drive the car. Instead of improving your driving, your thinking about if the settings you used are working for you.
--Dan
That is a good point as well. Even if I had some coilovers, it would probably take me years to figure out how to dial them in just right for each event. Its not like I will be on a scale once a month doing corner weighing, nor do I have a lot of patience for test and tune - I don't even have a garage. So a solid, proven, minimally adjustable suspension might be a good halfway point between a crazy coilover set and just FSDs.
 
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