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Old 11-19-2011, 10:12 PM   #1
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Default Sway bar setup?

Ok so I understand the theory of sway bars, and the way they are supposed to act on the car. I know they are ment to rise to the same height when you lift the other side.

Here's where I'm stuck. How high should the arm lift when you raise the opposite side? And how do you even it out so both sides act the same? I played around with a bunch of things on the sway bars trying to get them the same, but I couldn't get them equal, or even see how you adjust each side.

Car is a Sakura XI

Any help would be great.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by wollow86 View Post
Ok so I understand the theory of sway bars, and the way they are supposed to act on the car. I know they are ment to rise to the same height when you lift the other side.

Here's where I'm stuck. How high should the arm lift when you raise the opposite side? And how do you even it out so both sides act the same? I played around with a bunch of things on the sway bars trying to get them the same, but I couldn't get them equal, or even see how you adjust each side.

Car is a Sakura XI

Any help would be great.
Think of a sway bar as a spring that is trying to equalize the other two springs. The stiffer the sway bar the closer the arms will say to the same height. The softer the sway bar the further apart the arms will be from the same height. If the sway bar didn't flex at all the arms would always stay at the same height. You don't really want that. If you hit a bump with one wheel, you don't want the other wheel to come off the ground. You want them both to stay in contact with the ground, even if the ground is uneven The sway bar has to flex to allow this. The sway bars job is to try and keep the body from rolling -- it pushes back against body roll and tries to keep the chassis flat. Stiffer sway bar = less body roll.
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:04 AM   #3
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Ok cool. But how do you make them act equal on both sides. Ie: when you lift the right arm all the way, and the left arm moves say, 1cm, how do you make it so when you lift the left arm all the way, the right arm lifts 1cm? So both sides act the same. I'm just picking a number in this case as an example, not an actual mersurement.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:37 AM   #4
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Ok cool. But how do you make them act equal on both sides. Ie: when you lift the right arm all the way, and the left arm moves say, 1cm, how do you make it so when you lift the left arm all the way, the right arm lifts 1cm? So both sides act the same. I'm just picking a number in this case as an example, not an actual mersurement.
You wouldn't be able to do that unless the sway bars were infinitely stiff. Even if you could do it, it would make the car handle very badly.

As the previous poster said, the swaybar is like a sideways spring, it absorbs energy as it resists roll. It is a tuning aid, choose one to suit your handling needs, not because it has an extreme action you can see on the bench.

PS set the drop-links to equal lengths with the mounting point at the same point on the bar, and the bar itself mounted centrally, and that will ensure the bar is acting equally left and right.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:14 AM   #5
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Ok cool. But how do you make them act equal on both sides. Ie: when you lift the right arm all the way, and the left arm moves say, 1cm, how do you make it so when you lift the left arm all the way, the right arm lifts 1cm? So both sides act the same. I'm just picking a number in this case as an example, not an actual mersurement.
from memory, i think i used to check them without the springs and shocks on?

and also, if they are the bent wire type, take them off and lay them on your set up board, if there's any gaps along their length it's tweaked.

loved my old xray t1 adjustable blade type, that was brilliant
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:49 AM   #6
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If the car is setup properly, you should have the following happen (numbers hypothetical):
Put the car on a stand
Lift right arm 1cm, left arm lifts 5mm, release, both should drop to normal
Lift left arm 1cm, right arm lifts 5mm, release, both should drop to normal
In other words, if you move both arms the same distance, the other arm should move the same distance. The car should react symmetrically.

If that's not happening, i.e., they car isn't acting symmetrically, I'd start checking things. Make sure the sway bar itself isn't tweaked. Make sure the sway bar mounts are letting it rotate properly.. I'd also remove the sway bar and check springs, arms, camber links, drive shafts, etc. for binding. Take the shocks off and try the sway bar test above again, maybe your shocks/springs aren't reacting the same and need to be rebuilt.
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