Technical Documents

Why Fit Bigger Sway Bars?

The fitting of larger sway bars (rear and in general) has two main effects, vehicle balance in terms of understeer and oversteer, and increased roll resistance. Both of these can provide increased overall grip levels that can be achieved by the vehicle.

As most factory vehicles are biased towards understeer, fitting of the larger rear sway bar will help in providing a more neutral characteristic in the handling at the limit. This is due to the increase in roll stiffness at the rear, which loads the rear wheels more unevenly and provides slightly less grip at the rear than previous.

Whiteline WRX front swaybar

At first this may sound sacrificial, however, as the rear end is resisting more of the roll, the front end resists less in proportion, leaving the front wheels more evenly loaded, therefore more available front end grip. In the end an increase in overall grip can be achieved by balancing the vehicle. A WRX or other front torque biased all wheel drive vehicle will benefit even more due to combined front end steering/traction demand.

Another effect of introducing larger rear bars is that the roll stiffness is increased, and chassis roll is reduced, this also reduces the effects of “roll camber”. Roll camber is the variation in the wheel/tyre camber setting due to chassis roll, and during cornering usually results in the outside wheels gaining positive camber.

By increasing the roll stiffness and reducing roll camber effect, the wheel/tyre stays closer to its wheel alignment setting or optimal setting. This can increase the overall cornering grip available, as the wheel/tyre does not lose as much negative camber at the limit.

The balance (and grip increase) of the car could also be achieved by reducing the front sway bar stiffness, however its roll stiffness would be reduced and roll camber would suffer. This would lead to large amounts of positive camber being gained on the outside wheels/tyres when cornering. This would result in a wheel/tyre that would not be at its optimal camber setting at the limit of handling.

This could be remedied with large amounts of static camber to counter act the positive camber gain, however the resulting tyre wear, and straight-line handling effects would suffer.

So without reducing comfort, a Sway bar will make your suspension system and tyres perform better, making the car more responsive while delivering more grip. Fitting a new Swaybar offers all round improvements in handling, tyre wear, comfort, safety and even load carrying. Its the best dollar for dollar handling improvement you can make!

MRT use and recommend Whiteline Sway bars and use the finest grade spring steel, are powder coated and supplied with high performance polyurethane mounting bushes in a DIY kit form, ready to simply bolt on.
Contact us now on or call us for more information on how to improve your car.

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