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Old 02-04-2010, 09:38 AM   #1
robertway

 
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Pfadt-ening things up Phase 1: Sway Bars

I have had Pfadt's front and rear sport sway bars sitting in my garage since before Christmas and finally decided I would put them on now instead of waiting for their coilovers to arrive and do both at the same time (the coilovers have taken a little longer than expected to ship but mama always said patience is a virtue). I wanted to do both in one shot but at least this way I'd get to see what impact just the sway had on the car.

First I had to get her up in the air so I propped her up on two sets of 6-ton jack stands and put the front tires under the car for a little added safety.


I will say that the front factory bar was a BITCH to try and get out, it may be a bit easier on a lift where you have full view under the car but after about ten minutes I said frig it... where's my 12 amp DeWalt sawzall. I cut is almost all the way through with the sawzall and then finished the last little bit off with a dremel cutting wheel as I didn't want the DeWalt breaking through the whole bar and then me slashing a belt.


The stock bar leaves much to be desired vs the Pfadt front bar...


The Pfadt front bar went in really easy, the only tip I would have here is to not put the clamps around the bushings until after the bar is in place, the clamp kinda snags a few things on the way in. After the clamps were on I bolted them down after having slid them to their forward most position in the slotted clamps, I moved them as far forward as possible as this is the direction the horizontal forces are going to have on the clamp and I did not want the clamps nuts alone be responsible for keeping the bar from shifting forward even though I would guess it will find its "happy place" eventually anyway, 15ft/lbs does the trick as per Pfadt's install doc. The passenger side nuts were easy to get to from above but the driver's side required a pivot attachment at the end of the extender on my torque wrench. The link nuts went on really easy as well, just get them tightened down snug with a couple of wrenches (one to keep the bolt from spinning and the other to tighten the nut) and finish em' off with the torque wrench at 22ft/lbs.



Here is the rear "bar" in place... leaves a little to be desired...


Next to each other there is no comparison, the stock bar looks like someone accidentally left a double-ended crowbar bolted to the suspension...


The rear bar goes in very easy as well, the only bit of a pain is getting to the clamp bolts because the garbage cans, I mean the mufflers are a little bit in the way so I used a pivot attachment on my ratchet again, like the front, the clamps are torqued to 15ft/lbs and the link nuts at 22ft/lbs as per Pfadt (I attacked the end links in the middle sway bar hole as a starting point, there are three positions with the hole closest to the bars rotational axis being the stiffest and most aggressive)... and same as the fronts, I slid the clamps to their most upper/rearward position as that is where the forces on the clamp look to want it to go anyway. (Could be wrong here though, I'll wait for someone to chime in and tell me if it matters at all...)


Now for how she rides..... before the bars and at stock ride height I would throw the car from side to side traveling down the road and you could see all the body roll just looking out the front window. Taking sharp corners really hard I could feel the inside rear wheel wanting to come up and the front outside just getting the majority of the car's weight thrown on it. I went out this morning for the first short test drive and immediately noticed much less body roll although there is still a bit that can be noticed out the front window but I am banking on the coilovers and lowering the car about 1.5" will take care of that. The MOST noticeable thing for me is how much more the car wants to "sit down" in the rear. I am Jersey and the temps are in the 30's right now so I was not able to REALLY push it as the tires just aren't hooking up all that great. Even though this morning's test drive was only a few miles the sway bars made the stock setup feel like you were driving a mini-van with how much body roll there was.

Now all I need is Phase 2 to kick in when the coilovers arrive... ehem... cough... coil..ehem..overs.... dammit there I go again...

I just want to thank Brandon Wright at IPS Motorsports, if anyone is in the market for sway bars or really anything else Brandon is a great resource to have and he is very willing to spend some time on the phone with you to explain things and steer you in the right direction based on your goals for the car and IPS's pricing will not disappoint so give him a call.

I also want to thank Aaron Pfadt from Pfadt Racing who has offered insight and guidance into the Camaro's suspension and helped me make some informed decisions given the suspension goals I have for the car. Having direct access to the head of the company goes a long way in understanding the car how to get the most out of it whether you are a hardcore track racer or just an aggressive street driving enthusiast like myself, Aaron's got you covered.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:55 AM   #2
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I'm in the same boat. Though with all the sh1tty weather we're having and the lack of an alignment shop that can think outside the box with me, I am prob gonna wait for the CO's before doing the bars. That may change if the weather does.... I prob should go and at least open the box for a look.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:34 AM   #3
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I'll be getting sway bars, don't know which brand yet but I've been considering pfadt. Glad to see you can notice a difference. I wont be going with anything that will drop the car, but I've been hoping for some 'just' sway bar installs.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyTSquared View Post
I'll be getting sway bars, don't know which brand yet but I've been considering pfadt. Glad to see you can notice a difference. I wont be going with anything that will drop the car, but I've been hoping for some 'just' sway bar installs.
Tommy, before you make a decision what bars to go with, I would at least reach out to both Brandon at IPS as well as Aaron at Pfadt Racing to discuss the Pfadt bars and the engineering that went into them. If you decide to go with another vendor at least you'll be armed with more information before you decide. Good luck....
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:43 AM   #5
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Dejavu

You got a better workspace than I did. lol

Very cool pics. How bout some before and afters?
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypurone View Post
I'm in the same boat. Though with all the sh1tty weather we're having and the lack of an alignment shop that can think outside the box with me, I am prob gonna wait for the CO's before doing the bars. That may change if the weather does.... I prob should go and at least open the box for a look.
I'm having alignment issues now. Dealer wanted 370.00
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Dejavu

You got a better workspace than I did. lol

Very cool pics. How bout some before and afters?
With just the sways the before/after wouldn't show anything, I'll do some before/after when I drop her with the coilovers...

Quote:
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I'm having alignment issues now. Dealer wanted 370.00
370 bucks, my dealer quoted me 90 bucks for an alignment on the car, this calls for a....


C'mon PQ, you're a DIYer now, get out some strings and a laser level and align her yourself
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:56 AM   #8
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thanks for the great write-up/pics robertway. I had the Pfadt Sport Sway Bars installed by East Coast Supercharging. I too felt an immediate improvement in handling and cornering.

I'll be following your coil over mod with interest as that's on my summer list, after I upgrade my 2LT brakes to the the SS Brembos.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PQ View Post
I'm having alignment issues now. Dealer wanted 370.00
That is because they will most likely be farming it out to an alignment shop and marking it up. Go straight to the source and cut out the middle man.

What kind of alignment issues are we talking about here? Wear, pulling, crooked steering wheel? Have you lowered your car? Changing bars will not change alignment settings...
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypurone View Post
That is because they will most likely be farming it out to an alignment shop and marking it up. Go straight to the source and cut out the middle man.

What kind of alignment issues are we talking about here? Wear, pulling, crooked steering wheel? Have you lowered your car? Changing bars will not change alignment settings...
PQ installed the Pfadt Sways and drop springs (http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63322), he tackled the task as a first time DIYer and came out the other side unscathed while providing us with some good info and entertainment along the way ....
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:01 AM   #11
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Looks great, and it is interesting to see the factory bar cut like that, insightful.



Regards
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:13 AM   #12
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I ALMOST cut my OEM front sways also! What a bitxx to get out. I found by removing the passenger wheel and turning it to 1 side, I could get the bar out. It did take a bit of work - car was only jacked up on 1 side, then the other. - with a jack stand. The Pdaft front sway was easy to get in, even though I first put it in upside down! And the logo was on upside down - which is why I attempted the install the wrong way at first.

Good job!

I'm looking at their coilovers next - I won't attempt that install!
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:16 AM   #13
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What is the diameter of the stock bar vs pfadt?
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:27 PM   #14
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Just purchased the Pfadt sway bars from IPS
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:57 PM   #15
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robertway,

Thank you for posting this up. It is very helpful for people in the community to have resources like this to turn to. This also illustrates how easy the process is, relatively speaking. Thanks again!
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