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Old 05-12-2014, 10:27 AM   #1
NotYetLegend
 
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Sway Bar Help for 2012 SS

Hey guys, I'm scoping out my next suspension mod and was hoping to get a little input from people who have gone with aftermarket sway bars. Current suspension mods are a pretty short list and include:

1 - Pedders rear subframe bushing inserts
2 - Pedders extreme front radius rod bushing inserts
3 - BMR UCA bushing/mount replacements (very soon, installing before sway bar purchase)

I wanted to follow Justice Pete's advice on the upgrade path for these cars so I did bushings first. I am not totally sold on the front radius rod inserts (they helped a bit, at least it was an easy install) but the rear subframe inserts made a tremendous difference, added lots of confidence at the race track.

I track the car (NASA autocross and HPDE) and enjoy briskly driving the back roads of course, drag racing is not a consideration for me (tried it once and decided it would be REALLY fun with a REALLY fast car, but getting a '12 SS to that level would cost a fortune so maybe when I'm older... and richer...). I am classed for autocross as NXB and only have a point or two left before being bumped to NXA. I want to bump to NXA next year when I get coilovers on the car but for now I think sway bars are the wisest choice for the point or two I have left; also it is a relief to not be changing the ride height as with that you of course have to spend money on alignment, corner weighting, bushing tuning, likely an alignment "kit" of some sort, and etc etc etc, just swapping sways should be a simpler and cheaper process.

I contacted LSR regarding their bars (which seem to be highly regarded around here) because their site list a 2010-2011 kit and a separate 2012+ rear bar. I asked them why there was no 2012+ front/rear kit and they emailed me back saying it was because of the electric power steering on the 2012's prevents their 2010-2011 front bar from being compatible and they they are working on a new front bar at this time. I informed them that for 2012 only the ZL1 had EPS, the rest of the Camaro range not getting EPS until 2013, so we will see where that goes.... I like the idea of the hollow bars being lighter which is why I would like LSR's.

So in lieu of the LSR situation what other bars have people been happy with? The Eibach seems the cheapest but once you upgrade the mounts and endlinks it's the same as the rest. The Detroit Speed bars look pretty, real pretty. Pfadt is a no go and the Pedders bars are just downright confusing (Z bar this, ZL1 bar that, Z bar is THE BEST, unless you have a converted LCA and blah blah blah, whatever to all that). I want the bars to be adjustable and I don't ever plan on running slicks so they don't have to be racecar stiff. Any opinions on what would be the best company to go with?
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:09 PM   #2
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I agree that sway bars would be the best "bang-for-your-buck" upgrade in your situation. The BMR SB037 kit comes with a FE3 Style front bar (non-EPS), and FE4 Style rear bar that will work great with your configuration. It includes the polyurethane bushings and new mounting clamps, and the bars are 3-way adjustable on both front and rear. You could also use our front end links (ELK005) on the front, but would have to use factory-style end links on the rear bar.
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:00 PM   #3
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Thanks Keith. I looked at the suggested kit and read the install/setup doc as well. I'm surprised the motor gets jacked up for the front sway bar work but everyone does say that front bar is hard to thread in or out of there so maybe this just saves some of the frustration?

In regards to the front end links, ELK005, I see this note posted on the description for it, what does it mean?:


--> NOTE: compatible on 2012 models only when used with 2010/2011 style rear sway bars. * <--


Pretty lost on that as there is no * anywhere else in the description identifying that this note applies to ELK006 as opposed to ELK005 for instance (which would make sense) or anything else like that. Summit Racing's site lists 2012 in the ELK006 "Applications" list (beginning year = 2010, ending year = 2012) so this confuses me even more.

The fact that you can't simply upgrade just the sway bars themselves is confusing. On these cars the census seems to be that you need sway bars (2 pieces), upgraded/re-sized mounts (4 pieces), upgraded endlinks (4 pieces) and then BMR's roll mount stabilizers (2 pieces, rear only). Soooooo, that's like 12 freaking things, if that doesn't raise a BS flag what does? Does everyone that upgrades their sway bars actually buy a "kit" AND then all the extra stuff to make them not rip out of the subframe etc...? Maybe this area has gotten too much attention from the aftermarket over the last few years and has just arrived at a frankly silly answer to the OEM bars?

Furthering my confusion LSR says (in their email back to me) that the bushing/mounts included with their sway bar kit is good for the street, but you have to upgrade to the billet mounts for the track. Seriously it says the following, "I would recommend the billet bracket & endlinks over the regular ones for anyone doing high performance driving. (required for autocross or open track)"

Why no option to just buy the kit with the billet mounts? Who spends this much cash on sway bars to not go to the track? Why do I now need to buy 18 parts to change out 2?

If anyone knows of an actual "kit" for the 2012 SS that is shipped with all the parts you need, no metal tearing out of holes, no buying a kit and then half of the parts again if you want to go to the track, don't even care about the price at this point, PLEASE let me know about your experience.
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:29 PM   #4
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I like my Hotchkis Sport sways, kit P/N 22112. I got them cheap at Maryland Speed. The kit comes with everything you'll need.

The rear bar is adjustable but the front is not.
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:49 PM   #5
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Being that you have a 2012, you don't have to worry about swapping the Rear LCA's as you already have the newer style. You can also re-use your stock endlinks so switching will just be something to consider if you want to upgrade.

BMR's SB037 will be a complete kit with nothing else required.

The DSE sway bars are very nice and one of the better balanced setups we have tested. They are what we run currently on the JDP Camaro that took fastest time of the weekend at the Camaro5fest Camarocross.

If you have any questions on either of these setups, feel free to give me a call and we can discuss in detail. We have hands on exerience with everything that you have mentioned and can get you dialed in with the right parts the first time.

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Last edited by JDP Sales; 05-12-2014 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotYetLegend View Post
Thanks Keith. I looked at the suggested kit and read the install/setup doc as well. I'm surprised the motor gets jacked up for the front sway bar work but everyone does say that front bar is hard to thread in or out of there so maybe this just saves some of the frustration?

In regards to the front end links, ELK005, I see this note posted on the description for it, what does it mean?:


--> NOTE: compatible on 2012 models only when used with 2010/2011 style rear sway bars. * <--


Pretty lost on that as there is no * anywhere else in the description identifying that this note applies to ELK006 as opposed to ELK005 for instance (which would make sense) or anything else like that. Summit Racing's site lists 2012 in the ELK006 "Applications" list (beginning year = 2010, ending year = 2012) so this confuses me even more.

The fact that you can't simply upgrade just the sway bars themselves is confusing. On these cars the census seems to be that you need sway bars (2 pieces), upgraded/re-sized mounts (4 pieces), upgraded endlinks (4 pieces) and then BMR's roll mount stabilizers (2 pieces, rear only). Soooooo, that's like 12 freaking things, if that doesn't raise a BS flag what does? Does everyone that upgrades their sway bars actually buy a "kit" AND then all the extra stuff to make them not rip out of the subframe etc...? Maybe this area has gotten too much attention from the aftermarket over the last few years and has just arrived at a frankly silly answer to the OEM bars?

Furthering my confusion LSR says (in their email back to me) that the bushing/mounts included with their sway bar kit is good for the street, but you have to upgrade to the billet mounts for the track. Seriously it says the following, "I would recommend the billet bracket & endlinks over the regular ones for anyone doing high performance driving. (required for autocross or open track)"

Why no option to just buy the kit with the billet mounts? Who spends this much cash on sway bars to not go to the track? Why do I now need to buy 18 parts to change out 2?

If anyone knows of an actual "kit" for the 2012 SS that is shipped with all the parts you need, no metal tearing out of holes, no buying a kit and then half of the parts again if you want to go to the track, don't even care about the price at this point, PLEASE let me know about your experience.
The 2012 is the hardest year to deal with sway bars!!! Mainly because the shape of the front sway bar didn't change yet, due to no Electric Power Steering (except for the ZL1 as you mentioned). However, along with the FE4 upgrade of the rear suspension, GM did upgrade the front sway bar end links. The actual thickness of the rod is a little bit thicker than they were in the earlier FE3 suspensions, and they also increased the size of the mounting studs from 10mm to 12mm. So, the SB016 front sway bar (which is included in the SB037 kit) will match up perfectly with the Front End Link Kit (ELK005), which both utilize the earlier 10mm studs and stud holes in the bar. However, if using the ELK005 on a 2012, you will have to do something about the larger mounting holes in the front strut where the end link mounts. So......you can either keep your factory front end links, and drill out the mounting holes in the sway bar itself to accommodate the larger studs. Or, get the ELK005 and maybe use a small 1mm spacer or something on the upper stud to take up the extra room in the mounting hole in the strut bracket. Unfortunately, we don't have any of those little spacers, but I would assume you should be able to find something that would work at a good hardware store. Clear as mud????
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:26 PM   #7
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Wow, thanks for clearing that up. Subtle differences I wasn't aware of. Very interesting. Well BMR it is! I'm sure the Hotchkis are top notch as well but I do want an adjustable front to satisfy my curiosity.

So go with stock endlinks for now and try to find adjustable links when I lower it? Makes sense to me. Thanks guys
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:54 AM   #8
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Not a problem, glad you were able to decipher my rant of confusion!!! Throw in the fact that the 2012 Convertibles did not get FE4 Suspension yet, and the V-6's don't have FE4 either, it's gets really hard to keep track of which cars have what suspension on them, especially for the 2012 model year!!!
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:15 AM   #9
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Yikes, that is extremely confusing. I will order up the BMR kit with the intent of drilling out the bar ends to 12mm (should be easy enough). When I do lower it I'll look for adjustable links that are 12mm so they bolt right on. Will go ahead and order the BMR reinforcement plates for the rear mounts as well for the piece of mind. Thanks again Keith for taking the time to help me out.
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:45 AM   #10
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Yikes, that is extremely confusing. I will order up the BMR kit with the intent of drilling out the bar ends to 12mm (should be easy enough). When I do lower it I'll look for adjustable links that are 12mm so they bolt right on. Will go ahead and order the BMR reinforcement plates for the rear mounts as well for the piece of mind. Thanks again Keith for taking the time to help me out.
Sounds good, but you don't need those reinforcement plates (ELK009), those are for FE3 Rear Suspensions only!!!
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotYetLegend View Post
Yikes, that is extremely confusing. I will order up the BMR kit with the intent of drilling out the bar ends to 12mm (should be easy enough). When I do lower it I'll look for adjustable links that are 12mm so they bolt right on. Will go ahead and order the BMR reinforcement plates for the rear mounts as well for the piece of mind. Thanks again Keith for taking the time to help me out.
You should not have to drill the ends of the sway bars with SB037. Every 2012 that I have seen has the 10mm endlink studs, but some say that the later-year 2012's have 12mm studs.

Go out to your car with a 10mm and 12mm open head wrench and slide it over the exposed end of the stud on the endlink to see for sure and report back. If it's 12mm you can just go with SB039.

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Old 05-13-2014, 04:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JDP Tyler View Post
You should not have to drill the ends of the sway bars with SB037. Every 2012 that I have seen has the 10mm endlink studs, but some say that the later-year 2012's have 12mm studs.

Go out to your car with a 10mm and 12mm open head wrench and slide it over the exposed end of the stud on the endlink to see for sure and report back. If it's 12mm you can just go with SB039.

Best regards,

Tyler
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The only issue I would see with this is the front bar in the SB039 kit is bent differently to accommodate the electric power steering, which the OP doesn't have. It may still fit in there fine, but I would prefer to eliminate the extra bends in the bar if they aren't needed. Just my .02 cents.
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:08 PM   #13
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The only issue I would see with this is the front bar in the SB039 kit is bent differently to accommodate the electric power steering, which the OP doesn't have. It may still fit in there fine, but I would to eliminate the extra bends in the bar if they aren't needed. Just my .02 cents.
It will fit, we have done it in the past. I would still rather have a couple extra bends in the bar than have to drill out the holes and mess up the powdercoat and have potential rust issues.

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Old 05-14-2014, 09:30 AM   #14
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Alright, will check if I have 10mm or 12mm as soon as possible. Should be able to check when I get home this afternoon no problem (as long as it stops pouring...). My guess is that if early 2012's have 10mm mine will have 10mm, there are other things on my car that seem to indicate some 2011-ness like the existing threaded holes for the OEM strut tower brace and the fact that my fog lights have the old style bulbs (according to CamaroDIY). Just a hunch however. Thanks again for all the help and it's a relief to hear that I don't need the sway bar reinforcement brackets, not that they are expensive or tricky to install, it's just nice to know they are not at-risk.
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