H&R Sway Bar Kit - Page 3 - North American Motoring

H&R Sway Bar Kit

  #51  
Old 06-01-2018, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
You do realize I have a gen III.
The sway bar link mounts on the strut.
And yes there is an extreme angle during turns, hence
the ball joint at the ends.
Yes I do realize you have a Gen III. I was referring to the rear not the front. Sorry, I missed noting that, my bad. On the Gen II the angle difference between the top and bottom mounting locations was almost the limit of the ball joints. Just saying that an adjustable end link allowed for a better alignment between the two ends. Sorry, don’t know the specifics of the Gen III, but if it is similar to the Gen II this might be a consideration for choosing end links.
 

Last edited by Eddie07S; 09-23-2018 at 10:56 AM. Reason: Edit and typo
  #52  
Old 06-01-2018, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by trentiles View Post
M7 makes adjustable front links for Gen 3. Difference between the two is length.

https://www.m7tuning.com/gen-3-mini-...oper-10-510800

https://www.m7tuning.com/gen-3-mini-...oper-10-510700

$169 a piece!!

Luckily, my front bar is equal on both sides, so theres no preloading.
Ill see how the Moog hold up!!
I did spend the coin on rear NM links!!
 
  #53  
Old 06-09-2018, 12:16 PM
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New pics
Springs installed!!
 
  #54  
Old 08-28-2018, 05:41 AM
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I'm debating between Eibach and H&R bars. Already installed the JCW Pro coilovers.
The part # 33803-2 photo differs on the site from yours. Found your older post where you confirmed they're both solid..
Can you clarify "the circular bushing stop needs to be removed" on the rear? Does it just unscrew?
Your H&R's look more thought out than the Eibach's, with the adjustments but also the bushing stops. It's a shame the stop needs to be unscrewed, makes me think it shouldn't have been there in the first place.
Maybe a greased up thin washer between the stop and bushing might help?
 

Last edited by MikeMJCW; 08-28-2018 at 09:44 AM.
  #55  
Old 08-28-2018, 04:06 PM
J_L
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I've had my H&R bars in for about 4 months maybe. Few notes and answers to Mike's questions.

The H&R bars are solid, 27mm front, 25mm rear. Eibach are 28mm hollow front, and 23mm solid rear. Eibach front isn't adjustable, and according to the TUV certificate from their site, looks like the wall thickness is 4mm. I plugged all that into a sway bar calculator, and this is what I get:

Front stiffness vs stock 24mm hollow:
Eibach= 202%
H&R loose= 202%
H&R stiff= 223%

Rear stiffness vs stock 22mm hollow:
NM 22mm loose= 136%
NM 22mm stiff= 168%
Eibach 23mm loose= 163%
Eibach 23mm stiff= 200%
H&R 25mm loose= 227%
H&R 25mm stiff= 281%

So to me, Eibach doesn't seem like a great option. Yes both bars are upgraded, but totally in balance with the stock sizes. We do want at least a bit more stiffness in the rear. The H&R does that. However... I've found the H&R to be maybe too stiff, both front and rear. The drive, even in a straight line, is more rough. The bars are just really, really stiff, even on the softer settings. My next move is to try a more comfy coil over setup than what I have now (ST X, same as KW v1). Hopefully that makes the drive better, because I do love the way the car turns.

One thing I'm keeping an eye on, and want to do some testing behind the wheel with... I'm wondering if the big front bar is hurting or helping with the inside front tire lifting in turns. There have been times when I'm trying to get on the gas around a turn, and the road has a dip or something, and I get a lot of spin on inside tire. But on a more smooth turn, not sure. If anyone has wisdom in that area, let us know. Like, what size bars do Mini Challenge cars run? Or some other successful FWD race cars? And is that even applicable to the street, where our suspension is softer, and we have bumps and dips to deal with?

A few installation notes on the H&Rs... TV added another note about removing the collar. He found it's best to leave it on, and add a spacer under the bushing. The issue is that the big 25mm bar is quite close to the subframe in that stock bushing mount. So close that the collar rubs / binds against the subframe. So I made a spacer that moves the bar away from the subframe. 1/8" aluminum, 1.5" wide. Traced the bracket onto it, cut, drilled... works perfectly. It's also a must to add some washers. Otherwise the bushing is gripping the bar too tightly, and you have binding. See the video below. I ended up with a total of 5 washers in each rear bracket, and 1 in each front bracket. Last thing- although the H&R bushings so kindly have teflon tape embedded in it, I added Energy Suspension lube. I think that made a difference as well- bar rotates more freely, and drives less harsh.

You will need adjustable end-links in the rear, if your suspension is lowered. You need to make them shorter to avoid things bumping into each other back there. I used NM ones, works great, although there are no dust boots. Still feels tight and no squeaks after 2+ years in So Cal (very little rain, hah). On the front, I'm currently using Moog end links, which are beefy and great, but stock length only. I believe there is contact between the sway bar and steering tie rod. Going to look into that, and will probably get Way Motor Works front links in that case.

After saying all that... Not sure whether I recommend the H&R kit or not. Want to get a different suspension set installed, and will post my feelings then. Turns are great, everything else, not so much...

Video of the washer trick to reduce binding:



My home made spacer for rear bar bracket


Spacer and washers in place on rear bar. You can't see the collar because it's on the other side of bracket. But it's now about 1/8" away from the subframe.


Another angle of rear bar
 
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  #56  
Old 08-28-2018, 04:42 PM
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Thanks so much J L. that's a great review. I'm not a huge fan of "force fitting" aftermarket parts either, that's what led me to the JCW Pro coilover's. That H&R rear sway bar is acting more like a torsion beam.
Dealer here wants $718 to install the front bar, ($542 rear- that's a DIY) very expensive gamble. There's someone on this site that installed the Eibachs, would have to think he ran into similar issues.
 
  #57  
Old 08-28-2018, 04:47 PM
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Yowza! Mini of Valencia did the front for both TV and me for 2 hours of labor. A great deal. Probably took around 3 hours realistically. Agree that rear is a DIY, I did mine and it's not hard. Sounds like your dealer is a bit of a total ripoff... I'd think real hard about the front at that cost, haha. But yeah in about a month I should have new suspension in, and hopefully more clear feelings one way or the other.
 
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  #58  
Old 08-28-2018, 08:57 PM
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J_L pretty much covered it!!

I did pretty much the same thing. Though I cant get an answer from H&R USA as to why this is occurring, other than the bar was
designed for EU models. Hmmm, the rear subframe is the same part number between US and EU models.
H&R Germany keeps forwarding my emails to the USA distributor.

The collar can be moved, as there are 3 grubs, (blind set screws) around the collar. I first tried with the collars slid to the middle
where they wouldn't contact. Thought the bar moved laterally, that was with NM links (double him joints), The bar didn't move with the stock
links.
The bushing stop rubs on the subframe, as the bar sits on top of the subframe.
My theory, is the the bushings are of the wrong design, not enough meat on the bottom.
To confirm, our dealer charged us 2 hours for the front bar, if I remember it was around $360.


I run my bars loose on the front and stiff on the rear.
 
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  #59  
Old 09-23-2018, 08:28 AM
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Eibach F/R sway bars installed. Tech said it all went together fine. No squeaks, rattles or really anything negative, maybe a little front wheel lift off in a turn when you hit a bump, slightly stiffer ride. Much flatter in turns tho.
My thought now is I should've done these first before the coilovers.
 

Last edited by MikeMJCW; 09-29-2018 at 09:18 AM.
  #60  
Old 09-28-2018, 07:39 PM
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Everybody doubted me when I said the F56 needed front AND rear bars!!!
 
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  #61  
Old 09-29-2018, 09:23 AM
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I didn't doubt you!! It's so pricey (w/labor tho) and it seems that everyone's claiming only a rear bar is needed. I'm glad I did them both.
 
  #62  
Old 09-29-2018, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
Everybody doubted me when I said the F56 needed front AND rear bars!!!
Originally Posted by MikeMJCW View Post
I didn't doubt you!! It's so pricey (w/labor tho) and it seems that everyone's claiming only a rear bar is needed. I'm glad I did them both.
Nice!

This also works for the Gen I and Gen II MINIs (see my signature). However, as MikeMJCW notes “...it seems that everyone’s claiming only a rear bar is needed”. It is tough to fight conventional wisdom and what supposedly “expert” people say. You doubt yourself when you think “how can ‘everybody’ not have it quite right” and “do I have it wrong”. I have had people tell me that, on a FWD vehicle, you need to put in the largest RSB and the smallest FSB you can find to make them handle right. But then you only need to look at the LAP Motors IMSA Gen III JCW race cars to see what the Pro’s do to get the most out of these cars; larger front and rear sway bars.

Have fun and motor on.
 
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  #63  
Old 01-11-2019, 01:52 PM
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Well, after about 6 months with the H&R bars, I decided to remove them. I think they are just too stiff, for me at least. In a straight line, the car would bounce and shake over any imperfections in the road. And although it cornered well, it also bounced and shook throughout turns on canyon roads. They did reduce body roll, but not as much as I expected. Though I think what is giving me the most roll is my tires- they are 16". Maybe with good 17s or 18s it would be super flat. But then that would be certainly too rough a ride for me. Additionally, the front bar made the inside wheel spin more when coming out of turns. And for sure it's hard to get any power down when going through a dip on the streets, especially in the rain. The right situation for these bars may be the track, with the rest of the suspension and tires very stiff- LSD would help too. Dunno.

I did the work myself- couldn't bear the idea of paying a shop to take me back to zero. It wasn't hard at all. Possibly easier than the rear, though more time-consuming to do little things like removing the washer reservoir support. Followed the instructions on Newtis link above. My big piece of advice- I left the engine mount in place, only loosened the screws. And left the control arms in place and attached to knuckles. So the subframe lowered about 6 inches, but stayed totally aligned. The steering gear - there is a big bold warning about not bonking it in those instructions. Not an issue. With engine mount in place, it came straight out. There is plenty of free area in the bulkhead for it to come out cleanly. Also, despite the instructions, I saw no need to replace the steering gear gasket. Raised and lowered the subframe with a cheap Harbor Freight transmission jack, though a floor jack should be fine too. The front subframe seems to have alignment pins with the body, so in theory a wheel alignment isn't needed. But the rear doesn't have pins, so for sure needs alignment. So just get the whole thing done.

So I put my stock Sports Suspension bar back in. Supposedly, it's thicker than the regular bar if you order the SS option. I was thinking that was BS, because they all use the same 24mm bushings. But then realized maybe the outer dimension is the same, but wall is thicker. If someone with a non-SS bar can mic the thickness of the flat part, where the hole for the end link is, that would be awesome. On my bar, I get 5.8mm, so wall thickness of about 2.9mm. I took the opportunity to remove the stock rubber bushings (knife, then dremmel with scotch-brite style wheel), and add Energy Suspension bushings, generic 24mm size. Fit was good. Replaced their zerk fitting with a 90-degree one. Looks like easy access should I need to grease them in the future (they sell Energy Suspension grease in a tub as well). Also added a set of Whiteline lateral locks to keep the bar from sliding side-to-side. I did make a spacer out of 1/8" flat aluminum so the lateral locks don't rub on the subframe.

The rear- I switched out to a nice red VIP 23mm bar. At least they call it 23mm... I mic'd it, and it's more like 22.2mm, and some of that is the paint / powder coat. So that was disappointing. Almost put my NM bar back on instead. But the VIP is about .1 or .2 thicker. And the arms are slightly shorter. So yeah it's a little bit stiffer than the NM. Very little. It is well made, and I'd recommend it over the NM just for the slight extra stiffness. Comes with Energy Suspension bushings, which again, you could re-grease pretty easily, so that's an advantage too. Toying with the idea of drilling new holes to shorten the arms further. Decided to wait until more experience with it at current stiffness. Or until I get bored.

Last thing I did was replace all front LCA bushings with Powerflex- adjustable camber ones at that. Although I didn't remove LCAs for the front bar job, I knew I'd need an alignment anyway, didn't want to do that twice. Will post at some point separately about that project.

Thanks all!
 

Last edited by J_L; 01-15-2019 at 09:41 AM.
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  #64  
Old 01-11-2019, 02:26 PM
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Great write up/feedback. Bummer it didnt work out for you. A least you have NM to fall back on.

I have those Powerflex camber bushings sitting on my workbench. How hard was the install?
 
  #65  
Old 01-11-2019, 02:38 PM
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Sorry to hear that, at least you didn't have to eat all that labor $$. The Eibach's are stiffer than stock but I wouldn't say annoyingly so, they do transmit more road info (for better or worse).
Have you driven a F56 with Eibach's? If your ever around MA check mine out, curious what your impression would be.
 
  #66  
Old 01-11-2019, 03:18 PM
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Yeah the bushings sat on my bench for 6 months too, haha. Install was easy. I'll post up full info at some point. Hardest part was finding a shop to press out the old bushings. Went to a place called Under Car Inc- there are a few around So Cal. For sure needs to be an automotive machine shop. A regular mechanic won't be able to do it. $25 each / $100 out the door. Ride has a little more vibration, but isn't more harsh. Camber is near 2 deg. now. Tires moved a lot further out, even at the top. Just trimmed wheel liners, hopefully that fixes the rubbing. Recommended mod.

No I haven't driven a car with the Eibach bars. By the calculators I found online, the front bar rate works out to the exact same as H&R. And rear is softer. But it very well could be different than what I came up with. Sure, will hit you up if ever I'm there!
 
  #67  
Old 01-11-2019, 03:50 PM
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J_L Also sorry to hear about your experience. It is somewhat surprising as I have none of that. I also run 16” wheels with RFTs. So you would think that I would be bouncing all over the place. However, the wheels stay planted and the car is solid. But I will say that at slow speeds, going over the wonderful NE pot holes, it is noticeably stiff. In higher speed corners, it is go-kart flat and pretty tolerant of bumps (even over the curbing at Watkins Glen). The car feels very secure. I know this is a Gen II to Gen III comparison, but I would think the cars would be somewhat similar. I do have the JCW strut tower brace, but I have read that it more for looks, although, with it installed I have noticed a bit less front end shake. Don’t know whether that would make a difference or not.

Enjoying the change back.
Motor on and Have Fun!
 
  #68  
Old 01-11-2019, 04:11 PM
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Thanks Eddie. Yeah could be very different from gen 2 to 3. Not just the bar thickness, but if they are hollow, wall thickness, and arm length. And then depends on the rest of the setup as well of course. So who knows. But I like how it drives now. I think the last piece of my suspension puzzle is firmer 16" tires, or going to 17" of some kind.

Oh and I neglected to say- as I think I mentioned earlier, I switched out my suspension for KW Street Comfort, in an effort to tame the harsh ride I was getting with ST X (same as KW V1) combined with the H&R bars. It did help, but I still didn't like what the bars were doing. But now back to SS front and VIP rear, the KW SC is a great fit. Happy with this whole system.
 
  #69  
Old 01-15-2019, 08:25 AM
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I might be interested in the bars! I would probably sell the rear though as I like my 25mm NM bar. Unless is the H&R one stiffer?
 
  #70  
Old 01-15-2019, 09:36 AM
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Actually, I found a buyer already! Will update my post.

But yes, the H&R rear is stiffer than NM 25mm. H&R is solid, and the NM is hollow. Does anyone know how thick the wall of the 25mm is? I'd love to put it in my calculator to check the stiffness vs. other bars.
 
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