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Old 05-24-2011, 02:47 PM   #1
Inuyashas_Brother
 
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Question Do I really need sway bars?

A bit of background: I have installed new high performance tires and Im planning on getting lowered springs. I enjoy spirited driving but do not plan on autocrossing. I have been trying to educate myself on the issue of understeer and how sway bars work, and from what I found it seems that understeer is only a problem if you push your car past 7/10s which is going beyond spirited driving into autocrossing levels.

Therefore, for my driving style, it seems lowering springs, in addition to the grip from my new high performance tires, are enough to provide me the additional handling benefits, and a sway bar would add little to no benefit.

Is my analysis correct or did I miss something?

Thanks!
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:58 PM   #2
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So....do you really need any modifications?.....No, not really! But that's what we enjoy doing anyway. You will probably see a noticeable difference in handling (even on the street) with stiffer sway bars. Is it a necessity for street driving?.....No! Is it an enjoyable addition?.....Yes!
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:59 PM   #3
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No...I think you are right on the money with your analysis. Given your power level (and I'm not V-6 bashing) the stock suspension will handle it...the wheels and springs should suffice....if you wanted to do something else I'd say rear cradle bushing inserts and front radius bushing inserts...pretty simple install...pretty low cost as well.
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by blazzin1 View Post
So....do you really need any modifications?.....No, not really! But that's what we enjoy doing anyway. You will probably see a noticeable difference in handling (even on the street) with stiffer sway bars. Is it a necessity for street driving?.....No! Is it an enjoyable addition?.....Yes!
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:02 PM   #5
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That is a good question. I'm pondering the same thing.
After doing about 2 weeks of research/reading forums on this topic and calling a few vendors I'm coming to the conclusion that it's hard for me to explain to them exactly what kind of ride I'm looking for.
I want to reduce body roll (sways/harder springs), but don't want to overdo it.

In my opinion, from what you've posted, you have the right idea to start little by little.
Try the drop springs with your tires and see if it's enough.

I'm probably going to do springs and sways (front and back adjustable) and dial in the stiffness to my liking.
Lowering with springs will help, but in my case, I came from a Corvette C6 which was tightly suspended, and the Camaro is just too sloppy for me so I'm doing both.

Let us know how it turns out, and I will also report back in a few weeks once I get this stuff installed:
drop springs (Pfadt)
adjustable sways (not decided, I want adjustable and Pfadt only rear is adj)
sway bar end links (whichever sways I go with)
rear control arm mounting brace (BMR)

hope this helps, and good luck
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:30 PM   #6
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Thank you all for your input!


Quote:
Originally Posted by JEP View Post
I came from a Corvette C6 which was tightly suspended, and the Camaro is just too sloppy for me so I'm doing both.
Funny thing is my last car was a Celica GTS and even I find the Camaro's suspension spongy
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:50 AM   #7
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Foundation Foundation Foundation we feel the first step should be Rear sub fram inserts from Pedders. It will help the rear step out more than any other mod.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:01 PM   #8
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Rich is 100% correct. Start your 5th Gen mods with the foundational elements.

Sub-frame bushes or inserts
Radius Bushes or inserts

These are the components that make EVERYTHING else on your ZETA II 5th gen work better. Control the rear sub-frame to is how you control rear end step out -- the looseness you feel in the rear of your 5th Gen. Reducing unwanted castor changes with radius bushes or inserts improves your steering wheel feel. It becomes more precise or on center. Adding lowering coils, more RWHP or stickier tires or whatever only makes matter worse until you address the foundation.

Star with the foundation. A large number of 5th gen owners have found it is all they need to do. We'll others become addicted and suspension fever sets in
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inuyashas_Brother View Post

Therefore, for my driving style, it seems lowering springs, in addition to the grip from my new high performance tires, are enough to provide me the additional handling benefits, and a sway bar would add little to no benefit.

Is my analysis correct or did I miss something?

Thanks!
If I had one modification to do to a Camaro5, it would undoubtedly be a set of sway bars. Sway bars have an effect when ever there is a rolling moment on the vehicle, not only when the car is being driven aggressively. You will find more confidence in corners even before the tires start breaking away because the car wont roll and wallow into corners as much.

As you increase the amount of mechanical grip you have by installing stickier tires, your car will actually exhibit more body roll than it already does since your limits are now higher. Aftermarket sway bars don't have a huge effect on ride quality but make the car feel much tighter and in control than the stock bars. You don't need to be pushing the car past reasonable street limits to notice a big difference in sway bar packages.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. We feel that sways make these cars feel so much more confident without compromises in ride quality that they're a must do for our personal cars.

--
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:20 PM   #10
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I think the stock sways are more of a limiting factor than the stock tires. I definitely feel body roll way before I think my tires are going to give loose. And grippier tires and springs won't fix understeer although the springs will help with weight transfer.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:14 PM   #11
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If you set a fence post in Jello does it make any difference if the fence post is made of pot metal or titanium? It doesn't. No matter what the fence post material they will shake like Santa's belly.

The same is true on your 5th Gens. Every 5th Gen has rear end step out and significant dynamic caster changes the moment it rolls off the assembly line.

Add bigger bars -- rear end step out becomes more pronounced.
Add stickier tires -- rear end step out becomes more pronounced.
Add more RWHP -- rear end step out becomes more pronounced.

Notice the pattern? While the IRS sub-frame bushes are far from Jello, they are deeply voided for control of Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH). It was a benchmark for the new 5th Gen -- Library Quite. Quiet is perceived as quality. The efforts to makes the 5th Gen as quiet as the target resulted in some loss in handling qualities. No matter what you driving style, no matter what your level of modification the lowest hanging fruit on a 5th Gen is found in the sub-frame and radius bushes.

Virtually every 5th Gen suspension company makes replacement bushes, braces or bars for the IRS. Why? Because they know as we do it is the single most important upgrade you can make to a 5th Gen. If you already have sway installed, you will notice your 5th Gen drive much better with sub-frame bushes or inserts installed. Have a better than OE tire and wheel package -- you will notice your 5th Gen drive much better with sub-frame bushes or inserts installed. Increased your RWHP -- you will notice your 5th Gen drive much better with sub-frame bushes or inserts installed.

Start with the sub-frame and radius bushes. Create a robust foundation. All your additional mods will work better because you did it the right way. You started with the foundation. You can read all about it in the Book on 5th Gen Suspension.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazzin1 View Post
So....do you really need any modifications?.....No, not really! But that's what we enjoy doing anyway. You will probably see a noticeable difference in handling (even on the street) with stiffer sway bars. Is it a necessity for street driving?.....No! Is it an enjoyable addition?.....Yes!
Do you need them? No. Will you realize a significant improvement in handling on the street? Yes.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inuyashas_Brother View Post
I have been trying to educate myself on the issue of understeer and how sway bars work, and from what I found it seems that understeer is only a problem if you push your car past 7/10s which is going beyond spirited driving into autocrossing levels.
Inuyashas_Brother, take a look at a video we did a while ago, in regards to your exact quest for knowledge! This video was a procedure we went through to dial in the correct sway bar rates for the Camaro chassis. As you can see, sway bars are what will control the understeer/oversteer balance most effectively. This video is pretty straight forward to illustrate the example you are looking for, it is a simple 200ft skidpad,and involves steady-state cornering where no transitional forces are acting on the car. Its a pretty cool test to see how to change balance towards something more performance oreinted! Check it out

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Old 05-25-2011, 05:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inuyashas_Brother View Post
A bit of background: I have installed new high performance tires and Im planning on getting lowered springs. I enjoy spirited driving but do not plan on autocrossing. I have been trying to educate myself on the issue of understeer and how sway bars work, and from what I found it seems that understeer is only a problem if you push your car past 7/10s which is going beyond spirited driving into autocrossing levels.

Therefore, for my driving style, it seems lowering springs, in addition to the grip from my new high performance tires, are enough to provide me the additional handling benefits, and a sway bar would add little to no benefit.

Is my analysis correct or did I miss something?

Thanks!
Maybe I misunderstood your post. Can I ask a few questions to gain clarity?

What is it you are not satisfied with as far as the handling of your Camaro?
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