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Old 09-15-2014, 10:19 AM   #1
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Default How to set sway bar tweak

Ok so I decided to check the sway bar tweak on my cars for the first time. I've been doing everything else, so I figured this needed to be done too. All of my suspension components are slop free, but fall freely and quickly under their own weight on the car stand (no shocks attached). With the sway bar attached , one side is lifted, the other comes up about 10mm. When I lift the other side ( side that went up), the opposite side doesn't move at all. Again I've checked freedom of movement of the suspension.

I know this is somewhat normal, so my question is, how do you set sway bar tweak? I have a VBC if this helps as I know different manufacturers attach sway bars differently.

Thanks in advance
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:15 AM   #2
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Before I install sway bars, I do 2 things to check if they are good enough to install on the car.

1st is to check on flat surface if sway bar is perfectly flat (can be bent in packaging or storage)
2nd is to see if angles of how the bars are bent are exactly identical (use protractor)

Doing this almost ensures that the bars will rise in similar fashion on both sides, with very minor adjustments needed.
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Old 09-15-2014, 12:28 PM   #3
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That info helps some, but you didnt explain how to do those minor adjustments if they are still needed.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:29 PM   #4
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Also to note since most swaybars are attached with the collars and set screws that the location of the collar attachment is the same on both sides.

Most run the swaybar link as vertical as possible.

As far as adjustment certain cars (AE TC4-6, etc...) have the ability to adjust the link length either with a hex driver or by removing a ballcup and adjustnig the length and re-installing. To do it the second way is most likely a lot of trial and error but it might be the only way. If the inks are solid then you may not be able to adjust it at all.

The way I do it is take the shocks off the car. Check that the arms are free and fall under their own weight with no load. Then attach swaybar. Also note that the attachment of the bar in the center to the chassis must be free. The swaybar should be free to rotate as well as slide left to right in the mount (if only a tiny jiggle). If the swaybar is clamped down in the center it is basically actin as an add-on spring and not a swaybar...

Flip the chassis upside down in your hands and using your thumbs push up on one arm at a time one side at a time (do fronts, then do rears after fronts are setup)... When you push one side up the other will lift to a certain point. When you lift the opposite side it will lift a bit as well. The key is to balance the lift left/right. With the adjustment style setups (AE) use the 2mm hex wrench to shorten and lengthen the links until lifting the arms on the left and right raises the opposite arm the same amount. Repeat on the rear. If the bars will not match up or the optimal setup is one link full short and one full long the bar itself is probably not flat or has some weird manufacturing tweak in it. At this point for the cost of a new bar it's probably worth replacing it.
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AM03GT View Post
Also to note since most swaybars are attached with the collars and set screws that the location of the collar attachment is the same on both sides.

Most run the swaybar link as vertical as possible.

As far as adjustment certain cars (AE TC4-6, etc...) have the ability to adjust the link length either with a hex driver or by removing a ballcup and adjustnig the length and re-installing. To do it the second way is most likely a lot of trial and error but it might be the only way. If the inks are solid then you may not be able to adjust it at all.

The way I do it is take the shocks off the car. Check that the arms are free and fall under their own weight with no load. Then attach swaybar. Also note that the attachment of the bar in the center to the chassis must be free. The swaybar should be free to rotate as well as slide left to right in the mount (if only a tiny jiggle). If the swaybar is clamped down in the center it is basically actin as an add-on spring and not a swaybar...

Flip the chassis upside down in your hands and using your thumbs push up on one arm at a time one side at a time (do fronts, then do rears after fronts are setup)... When you push one side up the other will lift to a certain point. When you lift the opposite side it will lift a bit as well. The key is to balance the lift left/right. With the adjustment style setups (AE) use the 2mm hex wrench to shorten and lengthen the links until lifting the arms on the left and right raises the opposite arm the same amount. Repeat on the rear. If the bars will not match up or the optimal setup is one link full short and one full long the bar itself is probably not flat or has some weird manufacturing tweak in it. At this point for the cost of a new bar it's probably worth replacing it.
+1 this is how I do mine on my xray as well.
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:14 PM   #6
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After you set the swaybar, do you generally clamp it down after? Always wondered how tight it should be clamped
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:17 PM   #7
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No. The sway bars need to be able to move freely at all times.

I disconnect my sway bars and let them fall under their own weight. I tighten the set screws down until they either slow the sway bar down when it falls or stops it. Then back it off until it falls free again. You want little slop but they need to move freely.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odin544 View Post
No. The sway bars need to be able to move freely at all times.

I disconnect my sway bars and let them fall under their own weight. I tighten the set screws down until they either slow the sway bar down when it falls or stops it. Then back it off until it falls free again. You want little slop but they need to move freely.
exactly, the set screws are to hold the bar down and prevent it moving around in the holder, not to clamp it down.
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:45 PM   #9
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www.thard.co.uk/anti-roll-bars-setup/

HiH
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:57 AM   #10
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Thats the info I was looking for. Thanks!
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:18 AM   #11
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I agree with everything said here. There is one more thing I want to add that is left over from my oval days. Most/many of the on road cars come with fixed length connections to the sway bar (i.e., only way to change the sway bar rate it to replace the swaybar). I use the connectors that the sway bar passes through so you can adjust the effective length of the sway bar (thus its stiffness) by just loosening the screw moving the connector in or out and retightening. Then you measure how much of the sway bar extends beyond the connector and add that measurement to your setup sheet. Quick and very easy way to fine tune you car.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:21 AM   #12
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The VBC comes with those and has a spot on the set up sheet for it already.
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
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The VBC comes with those and has a spot on the set up sheet for it already.
Great, would you send the part number? I'm having a hard time finding those with metric set screws.
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