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Old 08-02-2010, 03:12 PM   #1
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Adjustable sway bar setting for daily driver?

I will be ordering some adjustable sway bars but since I have no mechanical skills and won't have the ability to make sway bar adjustments myself what is the best adjustable sway bar setting to start with for a daily driver?

My thinking is start with the medium setting and ride that way until I need to take the car in for some other type of service and adjust to a different setting then.

I saw in a thread where one of the Pedders guru's suggested trying each setting for a few days and then decide which is best for you. Although this sounds like the best way to get the best feel for each setting it's not really practical for me.

I would have to take it to a shop and have this done each time and I really don't have the time or patience to do this. This is why I plan to have them adjusted to different settings when I bring it in for services which hopefully is far and few in between. Also if/when I make adjustment to my sway bars how does that affect my alignment? Would I need to do an alignment everytime I adjusted my sway bars?

So what is the best set it and forget it setting for sway bars for a daily driver that won't see any track time, just aggressive street driving, not menace to society street driving but spirited street driving indeed.

So give me your opinions about the adjustable sway bar settings from the professional stand point and from your experiences with your own sway bar settings and choices.

Thanks

Last edited by JProberts; 08-02-2010 at 04:08 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:15 PM   #2
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The ZETA II chasis rides so well I can't imagine an enthisiast feeling the ride would be in any way objectionable with the bars maxed out to full hard. If you are going to set it once and forget it -- full hard and be done with it.
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:23 PM   #3
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well what are your other suspension mods and what brand are you going with?
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:28 PM   #4
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well what are your other suspension mods and what brand are you going with?
Haven't made purchase yet but just going with lowering springs and sway bars. Looking at BMR, Hotchkis, Pedders and pfadt.
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:30 PM   #5
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The ZETA II chasis rides so well I can't imagine an enthisiast feeling the ride would be in any way objectionable with the bars maxed out to full hard. If you are going to set it once and forget it -- full hard and be done with it.
What about the alignment issue. Do you have to do an alignment with each sway bar adjustment or is the alignment mainly for when you do the lowering springs and initial sway bar install?
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:16 PM   #6
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Just be sure that you are getting sway bar links with your sway bars, as the stock ones may not hold up.

Pedders sway bars are sold with end links for this reason.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:26 PM   #7
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Just be sure that you are getting sway bar links with your sway bars, as the stock ones may not hold up.

Pedders sway bars are sold with end links for this reason.
Ok thats good to know....but do you have any answers or opinions that relate to my questions?
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:32 PM   #8
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I don't think you need to adjust the alignment and the change from medium just requires a few wrenches and about 5 mins. You could do it in your drive way. I would set it full hard and forget it.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:38 PM   #9
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No you do not need to change your alignment if you change your sway bar setting
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:44 PM   #10
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Ok thats good to know....but do you have any answers or opinions that relate to my questions?
lol, sorry,

I agree with what Pete said, if you want to set them once and forget it, just set them to full stiff. You won't be stiff enough to feel uncomfortable, and it will give you the biggest bang for the labor buck.

That said, it takes literally 2 minutes per bar to change it, so if you talk to the service station that does the install for you, ask them if you wanted to make a change how much they would charge. I'd guess they would say no charge if you wanted to re-adjust it and if they did charge i'd say $20 would be fair.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:45 PM   #11
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I don't think you need to adjust the alignment and the change from medium just requires a few wrenches and about 5 mins. You could do it in your drive way. I would set it full hard and forget it.
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No you do not need to change your alignment if you change your sway bar setting
Thanks guys
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:46 PM   #12
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lol, sorry,

I agree with what Pete said, if you want to set them once and forget it, just set them to full stiff. You won't be stiff enough to feel uncomfortable, and it will give you the biggest bang for the labor buck.

That said, it takes literally 2 minutes per bar to change it, so if you talk to the service station that does the install for you, ask them if you wanted to make a change how much they would charge. I'd guess they would say no charge if you wanted to re-adjust it and if they did charge i'd say $20 would be fair.
Thanks Rob
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JProberts View Post
I will be ordering some adjustable sway bars but since I have no mechanical skills and won't have the ability to make sway bar adjustments myself what is the best adjustable sway bar setting to start with for a daily driver?

My thinking is start with the medium setting and ride that way until I need to take the car in for some other type of service and adjust to a different setting then.

I saw in a thread where one of the Pedders guru's suggested trying each setting for a few days and then decide which is best for you. Although this sounds like the best way to get the best feel for each setting it's not really practical for me.

I would have to take it to a shop and have this done each time and I really don't have the time or patience to do this. This is why I plan to have them adjusted to different settings when I bring it in for services which hopefully is far and few in between. Also if/when I make adjustment to my sway bars how does that affect my alignment? Would I need to do an alignment everytime I adjusted my sway bars?

So what is the best set it and forget it setting for sway bars for a daily driver that won't see any track time, just aggressive street driving, not menace to society street driving but spirited street driving indeed.

So give me your opinions about the adjustable sway bar settings from the professional stand point and from your experiences with your own sway bar settings and choices.

Thanks
Here is my .02 and it may only be worth just that.

I say if you have no intention of adjusting your sway bars, have you thought about say Pfadt's balance bar? This is a great solution for those users whom as you described have no ability or desire to adjust the suspension, yet still gain a great level of performance.



Or if you are set on adjustable sways (which that is no issue) I would consider placing the rear end links in the middle holes here is a nice chart of Pfadt sway bar anti roll levels which may help you understand how to better set your sways bars, this may be similar for other vendors however I can not confirm.




Hope this may help, good luck and if you have any questions on products or pricing please let me know.

Regards
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:10 AM   #14
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i have the Pfadt sport suspension kit, and i couldn't be happier with how it handles and looks now.

if your looking for best bang for the buck, BMR is the way to go. if your looking for an all out race proven high quality suspension, Pedder's is the way to go. I believe Pfadt is that happy medium that is very high quality, but is budget friendly.

those are the only 3 i would buy suspension from, but it is up to you to decide which is right for you.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:44 AM   #15
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Here is my .02 and it may only be worth just that.

I say if you have no intention of adjusting your sway bars, have you thought about say Pfadt's balance bar? This is a great solution for those users whom as you described have no ability or desire to adjust the suspension, yet still gain a great level of performance.



Or if you are set on adjustable sways (which that is no issue) I would consider placing the rear end links in the middle holes here is a nice chart of Pfadt sway bar anti roll levels which may help you understand how to better set your sways bars, this may be similar for other vendors however I can not confirm.




Hope this may help, good luck and if you have any questions on products or pricing please let me know.

Regards

Wow this is spot on! As you can see in the above chart, we have swaybar solutions for all performance goals: from set it and forget it (rear balance bar), to the full-on race bars that are used on real race Camaros. I won't repeat the info above, but for the cost, and your goals, it sounds like you will be interested in the Rear Balance Bar, or the Sport Bars wit the rear bar on the middle setting.

Thanks Brandon!
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:54 AM   #16
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What about the alignment issue. Do you have to do an alignment with each sway bar adjustment or is the alignment mainly for when you do the lowering springs and initial sway bar install?
No you do not need an alignment when you change sway bar settings. What is commonly overlooked when changing sway bar settings are the nuts. The nuts used on sway bar endlinks usually have a certain amount of quench (resistance) designed in. The quench is intended to prevent the nut from coming loose. A Nyloc nut may be used for the same reason. Each time you remove a fastener of this style you lose some of the quench. Put another way, the nut may come loose if it is not replaced. Most people do not replace these nuts. I can tell you I don't always replace them on my own car under the assumption that I'll be changing it again becaue of what I do for a living. That doesn't make it right. Changing the nuts when you change settings is really cheap insurance, especially if it may be the final adjustment.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:35 AM   #17
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We run ours on full stiff and ride quality is only minimally effected. I actually prefer the feel of the car on the stiff setting because it gives you a better sense of control without altering the ride quality. That being said even our softest setting is 2x the rate of the OE bars and makes a world of difference in the way the car handles.

Changing the rates is a very simple procedure but I can understand if you don't have the facilities to do it yourself. If you do and are just not sure of your capabilities, I will explain the procedure in a nutshell. All you need our drive-on ramps or a jack with stands (ramps are much faster, I like the Race Ramps), 15mm wrench and 6mm Allen wrench. Once the car is safely supported, loosen the nuts on the swaybar end links (It may require the Allen wrench to prevent the stud from spinning while you loosen the nut). Once both end links are unbolted you simply rotate the bar until the end links line up with the holes you intend to use. Insert the end link, tighten the nuts and lower the car. It could easily be done front and rear in 30-45 minutes with ramps.
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:43 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the feedback guys. I had not considered the rear balance bar only. What do you think would be the the major difference between the rear balance bar alone as opposed to the full sway bar kit?

It may be that the rear balance bar is all I really need but would like to know what handling improvements I may miss out on if I did rear balance bar only.

If it only costs me $50 bucks more to get the full sway bar kit than it may be worth it if the performance is much better and may be worth it in the long run to have FandR sway bar kit. But for my goals it sounds like the rear balance bar may be all I need. Just want to get rid of the body roll feeling in turns and fight the oversteer off.

Thanks again guys for all you help. Goes a long way in making these decisions I really know nothing about. Man I learn more and more about this stuff with every post it seems....good thing I guess.... but man it makes the decisions harder.

Props to everyone here!
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:05 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by JProberts View Post
Thanks for all the feedback guys. I had not considered the rear balance bar only. What do you think would be the the major difference between the rear balance bar alone as opposed to the full sway bar kit?

It may be that the rear balance bar is all I really need but would like to know what handling improvements I may miss out on if I did rear balance bar only.

If it only costs me $50 bucks more to get the full sway bar kit than it may be worth it if the performance is much better and may be worth it in the long run to have FandR sway bar kit. But for my goals it sounds like the rear balance bar may be all I need. Just want to get rid of the body roll feeling in turns and fight the oversteer off.

Thanks again guys for all you help. Goes a long way in making these decisions I really know nothing about. Man I learn more and more about this stuff with every post it seems....good thing I guess.... but man it makes the decisions harder.

Props to everyone here!
The Pfadt Balance sway bar is definitely an improvement over stock but obviously not as dramatic as the Sport adjustable front and rears. Its a good middle of the road option and will save you about $200.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:55 PM   #20
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When purchasing sway bars you will want to get a solid picture of value for your money.

To give you the best improvement you will want to go with both front and rear bars. I would also say that any sway bar you bought you should be told if it's solid or hollow, and it's bar size. This will allow you to estimate the amount the new bar is as stiff to the OE bars (not stiffer).

The Camaro comes from the factory with an understeer issue by design, (pushes in the corner), replacing the bars with a similar offset from to rear will help roll but not the understeer that you want to fix.

Also keep in mind that you will likely need to replace the sway bar links on any of the bars that are in the upper end stiffness wise, the lower end bars (you can tell from the price) are typically not strong enough to warrant the end links.

So when deciding what is the best bars for your car, you should want not only both bars to have an increased effectiveness over the stock bars, but the rear needs to have a larger increase in the stiffness over the OE bars.

Pedders sells the Solution B for 599, it includes both front and rear 27mm solid bars, as well as all 4 end links and a warranty that allows you to push your car, and even track your car and not void your warranty.

Your not going to find a better value in sway bars than Pedders.
We have these in stock and ready to ship tomorrow.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:42 AM   #21
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Thanks for all the feedback guys. I had not considered the rear balance bar only. What do you think would be the the major difference between the rear balance bar alone as opposed to the full sway bar kit?

It may be that the rear balance bar is all I really need but would like to know what handling improvements I may miss out on if I did rear balance bar only.

If it only costs me $50 bucks more to get the full sway bar kit than it may be worth it if the performance is much better and may be worth it in the long run to have FandR sway bar kit. But for my goals it sounds like the rear balance bar may be all I need. Just want to get rid of the body roll feeling in turns and fight the oversteer off.

Thanks again guys for all you help. Goes a long way in making these decisions I really know nothing about. Man I learn more and more about this stuff with every post it seems....good thing I guess.... but man it makes the decisions harder.

Props to everyone here!
What Chase said is correct, the balance bar looks like it could be a great option for your Camaro goal of reducing the factory understeer for more performance driving. But, with that said, the Sport Bars are going to reduce front AND rear body roll, AND it will eliminate the understeer to your taste, due to the rear being adjustable.

You can see the relative stiffness values of all the bars, including stock sway bars, in the chart that Brandon posted (rear) and the one I have below (front). We already did the math for everyone to show the relative differences. Compare the OE front, and Balance Bar rear, to the Sport Bar Front and all three positions of the Sport Bar Rear. This is the info you need.

You know you can rely on the Sport Sway bar performance, a set of these and ONLY the Pfadt lowering springs WON the Camaro5fest autocross street tire class, where only Camaros competed will all types of suspension. See for yourself how much body roll they reduce in the video below!


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Old 08-04-2010, 11:28 AM   #22
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The Camaro in pre production form before it was full dialed in ran the Nurburing faster than some great car made by Porsche and Lotus. In the hands of a good driver, the Camaro doesn't NEED anything to clock a good run. That is why when Pedders does bench mark testing we always have the same driver run the OE car and the modified car on the same track back to back. Suspension does win anything the driver does.

In your original post you indicate you want to do spirited street driving. A larger rear bar will alter the amount of understeer you experience with your Camaro by tightening the rear suspension. The Camaro as delivered from the showroom floor understeers when driven hard. This is a direct result of the larger rear tires, wider rear track and a weight bias to the front of the car. It is the front of the car that in daily driving leads many Camaro owners to feel they need to reduce lean and roll. The interesting thing is MOST Camaro drivers do NOT complain about the understeer. That is because the car handles so well as delivered they never turn corners fast enough to experience the understeer. Adding a larger bar in the rear will reduce understeer but do very little to reduce the front end lean and roll that is the 'problem' most Camaro owners want to address.

Pedders advocates a single larger front bar as it will reduce the lean and roll MOST Camaro owners want to 'fix'. Up to the point of inducing understeer the larger front bar will actually improve turn in. Once underteer starts, the larger front bar will actually increase understeer. That isn't relevant to most Camaro owners. They want less roll on the twisty, less roll on a highway lane change and less roll on the exit ramp. In these less than understeer threshold situations a larger front bar is the answer. In short for a daily driver the larger front bar will deliver a more rewarding driving experience.

If you want more than that a two bar setup is the way to go. If you intend to race or autocross my answer for the best bar to meet your needs would be very different. It is why we offer a Competition solution. Setting up a race car is one thing. Building a daily driver that makes you smile in an aggressive corner here and there, zipping through the twisties at semi legal speeds is very much another. For the later we should be talking about a single larger front bar or a matched set of bars.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:23 PM   #23
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What Chase said is correct, the balance bar looks like it could be a great option for your Camaro goal of reducing the factory understeer for more performance driving. But, with that said, the Sport Bars are going to reduce front AND rear body roll, AND it will eliminate the understeer to your taste, due to the rear being adjustable.

You can see the relative stiffness values of all the bars, including stock sway bars, in the chart that Brandon posted (rear) and the one I have below (front). We already did the math for everyone to show the relative differences. Compare the OE front, and Balance Bar rear, to the Sport Bar Front and all three positions of the Sport Bar Rear. This is the info you need.

You know you can rely on the Sport Sway bar performance, a set of these and ONLY the Pfadt lowering springs WON the Camaro5fest autocross street tire class, where only Camaros competed will all types of suspension. See for yourself how much body roll they reduce in the video below!


Quote:
Originally Posted by JusticePete View Post
The Camaro in pre production form before it was full dialed in ran the Nurburing faster than some great car made by Porsche and Lotus. In the hands of a good driver, the Camaro doesn't NEED anything to clock a good run. That is why when Pedders does bench mark testing we always have the same driver run the OE car and the modified car on the same track back to back. Suspension does win anything the driver does.

In your original post you indicate you want to do spirited street driving. A larger rear bar will alter the amount of understeer you experience with your Camaro by tightening the rear suspension. The Camaro as delivered from the showroom floor understeers when driven hard. This is a direct result of the larger rear tires, wider rear track and a weight bias to the front of the car. It is the front of the car that in daily driving leads many Camaro owners to feel they need to reduce lean and roll. The interesting thing is MOST Camaro drivers do NOT complain about the understeer. That is because the car handles so well as delivered they never turn corners fast enough to experience the understeer. Adding a larger bar in the rear will reduce understeer but do very little to reduce the front end lean and roll that is the 'problem' most Camaro owners want to address.

Pedders advocates a single larger front bar as it will reduce the lean and roll MOST Camaro owners want to 'fix'. Up to the point of inducing understeer the larger front bar will actually improve turn in. Once underteer starts, the larger front bar will actually increase understeer. That isn't relevant to most Camaro owners. They want less roll on the twisty, less roll on a highway lane change and less roll on the exit ramp. In these less than understeer threshold situations a larger front bar is the answer. In short for a daily driver the larger front bar will deliver a more rewarding driving experience.

If you want more than that a two bar setup is the way to go. If you intend to race or autocross my answer for the best bar to meet your needs would be very different. It is why we offer a Competition solution. Setting up a race car is one thing. Building a daily driver that makes you smile in an aggressive corner here and there, zipping through the twisties at semi legal speeds is very much another. For the later we should be talking about a single larger front bar or a matched set of bars.
Great information guys! This has been a great thread for someone like me that only wants improvement on a daily driver and not all the bells and whistles needed for racing. I hope others are learning just as much as I am from this thread.

Thanks
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:37 PM   #24
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Great information guys! This has been a great thread for someone like me that only wants improvement on a daily driver and not all the bells and whistles needed for racing. I hope others are learning just as much as I am from this thread.

Thanks
You are welcome. Feel free to call any Pedders Dealer or my office with any technical questions. 248.522.8021
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:45 AM   #25
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It's really very simple. Understeer is much simpler to cope with for the inexperienced driver and is purposely built into this platform from the factory. If you want the best handling possible you need to start with a neutral handling car, one that is not biased toward understeer or oversteer. To neutralize the understeer in this platform, the car needs the rear roll stiffness increased roughly 100% or 2x the rear bar rate. Keep in mind that all this does is put the car as neutral as possible without increasing "overall" roll stiffness. If you want to increase overall roll stiffness (to decrease overall body roll) both bars are necessary.

There are a lot of options out there along with a lot of opinions. There is also tons of data, video, and pictures from various manufacturers. Our swaybar rates and sizes were determined through a combination of calculations and hours of testing. You can bolt our rear swaybar on by itself on the softest setting and neutralize your understeer. Combine it with the front bar and you begin increasing overall roll stiffness. Because the bars are adjustable, they are very adaptive to whatever your level of driving may be.
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