View Single Post
Old 09-15-2012, 10:35 PM   #490
VIR Specialist

JusticePete's Avatar
Drives: Camaro Justice
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 20,246
Sway Bars

Sway Bars
With these foundational elements (sub-frame inserts or full bushes and radius / tension inserts or bushes) in place your Camaro is ready for the final tuning element. Pedders Solution A 27mm front bar will reduce body lean and roll resulting in a more enjoyable drive for the vast majority of Camaro drivers. We call Solution A the Daily Driver. Driving down the highway and moderately sport speed turns there is less body lean and roll. Driven past 7/10s there is a noticeable increase in understeer. For the many Camaro owners upgrading the front bar with radius and sub-frame bush inserts are the ONLY modifications they will ever need or want.

For the more sporting Camaro driver a set of 27mm front and 32mm rear bars are the solution. This is our updated Solution B. Solution B creates a well balanced 5th Gen with a bias to oversteer. With the front bar set to full soft and the rear bar set to full hard your 5th Gen is track ready. You wanted oversteer. You got it now. In the rain, cold weather and snow these sway bar settings create a very loose car and must be driven with caution. Respect it. If your driving skills are not NASA or SCCA levels, tone the bars down. Set the front bar to full hard and the rear bar to full soft. As you grow comfortable with the new balance of your Camaro move the front bar a hole to the soft side. That is the beauty of Solution B. Solution B puts you in control of your setup from well balanced daily driver to track ready.

Pedders new Solution Z is the ultimate set of sways for a 5th Gen and that does include the ZL1 and 1LE.

We picked a photo of the ZL1 on track and matched to a photo in what we consider to be very similar conditions. At some point in time we'll get a ZL1, 1LE and a Fully Pedderised Camaro on track for direct comparisons with data. At this point, I can tell you from my personal driving experience in Z bar equipped ZL1s compared to OE ZL1s the picture is more accurate than you might think IMO.

The front bar is a 27mm three position adjustable bar and fits your 5th Gen with or without electric steering. The rear bar is 32mm FE4 / FE5 / FE6 style that mounts out board close to the knuckle with a drop link and is adjustable with three level of progressively harder bushes. In the hands of a professional driver a Solution Z set of bars on the 5th Gen Camaro is capable of performing like a race car, actually faster than many race cars with a street friendly ride. A fully Pedderised 5th Gen, a Camaro like the Pedders USA, LLC Camaro, is thisclose to a Perfect 10 with the Z Bars installed.

If your Camaro is a ZL1 Solution Z is a bolt an go upgrade. Your OE endlink will work with Pedders Z bars because GM upgraded the links for the ZL1.

If you Camaro is equipped with FE4 suspension, you'll want to select Solution Z with endlinks and drop links.

If your Camaro is equipped with FE3 suspension, you'll want to select a Solution Z conversion kit. This kit includes new ZL1 RLCA and endlinks to update your Camaro with a turn key solution.

The OEM endlinks are designed for OEM anticipated driving and the load created by the OEM sway bars. The front endlink is 10mm and the rear is 10mm with modest sized ball joints. The front endlink is mounted high up on the strut or a high roll center mount. Connecting the sway bar high up on the strut increases the efficiency of the bar. It helps the car roll or lean less. On the 1LE and ZL1 the sway bar connects to the endlink with a 12mm ball stud. For Pedders, this is a back to the future moment. We shipped our very first sway bars out with.... 12mm ball studs.

The FE3 rear sway bar mount geometry is not as efficient as the front design. The endlinks mount well in board on the lower control arm making it far from ideal. This is arguably the weakest design feature of the ZETA and ZETA II architecture. The Camaro delivers with a staggered wheel and tire package and bars almost identical in size but not in function. This configuration creates a solid driving experience until the vehicle is pushed passed 7/10s. (When we say 7/10s what we are referencing is the absolute capacity of a car. Race cars are driven at 10/10s. Driving that hard causes failures. You may see a race car being pushed to 11/10s for the last few laps of a close race. Racers spend most track time running in the 9/10s range.) The first rule of racing is to finish 1st, First you have to finish. Most automobile testing is done at 7/10s by OEMs. Of course there are exceptions. A Camaro at 7/10s is a very fast automobile. Press on past 7/10s and at this level of aggressive driving understeer becomes dominant. Continue to press the range and you can plow the North 40!

FE4 moves the mounting points out board and close to the knuckle. This change is a HUGE plus for the 5th Gen. The FE5 and FE6 are even better using a 28mm solid bar from the factory. Well done Chevrolet! The move to the FE4, 4 & 6 suspensions allowed Pedders to develop the Z bar. It is a 32mm solid, just like the factory bar.

Old Style Inboard Mount

New FE4 / FE5 / FE6 Style

There are several solutions to this, but before we go there allow us to explain our philosophy on sway bars as the final tuning element to a suspension. Everything starts with foundational bushes. We have to have a stable foundation before we change or tweak anything in the suspension. That is why we always start with the weakest foundational bushes first. After the bushes come the coils and dampers. Now that the suspension is solid from the foundational level on up, we can tune with sway bars. Adding sway bars before any other key component is the same as placing a Band-Aid over a bleeding artery. It might look better. It might even feel better, but the foundational issues are still there.

Not all sway bars are created equal. At Pedders we expect a sway bar to be made of high quality spring steel. We expect the bars to be heat treated after they are bent to restore the spring in spring steel with maximum function. That means a Pedders bar made of the same diameter steel with many times be stronger than a brand-x bar made of the same material.

There is a fine line between R & D testing and having fun with our fleet. We cross it constantly because it is the best way to develop product for our enthusiast clients. It is one thing to test drive a vehicle for a day or two. It is a very different experience to live with a vehicle month after month. We believe it is the only way to understand your Camaro driving experience.

We have determined in our testing and daily driving that a 27mm front bar 428020-27A is correct for the Camaro in a variety of configurations. When a car starts to slide, the first action of most drivers will be to ease of the gas and / or get on the brakes. If you are in an understeer mode, as speed is reduced the slide will reduce. Lifting off the gas or hitting the brakes does not cause any dramatic reaction when in understeer mode. This is why mass produced vehicles are designed to understeer. It is what drivers are most accustomed too. It is the safe and conservative path. If you want to change your sway bars you have to ask yourself what you want to accomplish.

The vast majority of Camaro owners would be changing bars to reduce body lean and improve turn in. Keep in mind that driving a Camaro past 7/10s means you are making extremely high speed maneuvers. Many Camaro owners will never experience factory understeer -- because they don't push that hard when they drive. That doesn't mean they would not have a superior driving experience with a larger diameter front bar. A larger diameter front bar will greatly reduce the lean you feel on the highway or in a turn. It will improve turn in to a point, but when it goes into understeer, it will be worse than with the factory bar. Up to that point, it will provide a very rewarding driving experience. This 27mm front bar has three adjustment positions to allow you to vary your setup. Camaro Solution A Pedders 27mm front bar that ships with urethane D Bushes, Brackets and a Pair of OEM Quiet Adjustable Endlinks.

For the more aggressive enthusiast Camaro owners, those that want a rewarding driving experience and a reduction in actual understeer Pedders Solution B will be the answer. In this configuration, the front bar is 27mm 428020-27A and the rear bar is 32mm 429020-32A. The transition from slight understeer to slight oversteer will be predictable based on the velocity of the vehicle. The faster the vehicle travels, the faster the vehicle will enter oversteer in a turn. This setup requires the driver to know the difference between understeer and oversteer as well as how to react to both. You have to know when you can lift and when you cannot lift or things will get worse fast. Both bars are adjustable. Start out with the rear bar set to full soft and the front bar to full hard. Work through the adjustment range until you are comfortable with your setup. We encourage ALL Camaro owners to take a performance driving class to learn how to safely operate a high performance vehicle. Camaro Solution B includes 27mm front bar, 32mm rear bar, Urethane D bushes and OEM Quiet Adjustable endlinks.

Pedders has put together a track ready sway bar package. The front bar remains at 27mm, but the rear bar increases in diameter to 32mm and mounts out board close to the knuckle with a drop link. The larger rear bar and new mounting points allow you to adjust in the amount of oversteer you desire. Between the front and rear bar adjustments you can create a very loose and very fast track ready Camaro. Make no mistake about it; this is an aggressive setup that ships with a disclaimer. The disclaimer makes clear that while your Camaro feels glued to the road at stupid fast speeds and you think can deny the laws of physics you would be wrong and solely responsible for your own safety. We do want you to send us your Podium Finish Pictures. Pedders USA, LLC has no interest in your damaged Camaro from a stupid fast high-speed street incident. We told you before you bought the Z bars they would perform exceptionally well for SCCA and NASA qualified drivers for TRACK USE. You and you alone must know your driving limits. Camaro Solution Zs includes 27mm front bar, 32mm rear bar, D Bushes that use OEM Brackets for strength and depending on the year of you Camaro may also include OE ZL1 RLCA, Droplinks and OE Quiet Endlinks.

The first step in upgrading sway bar function is to improve the endlink. Pedders OEM Quiet Adjustable Endlinks are more robust than the OEM endlinks. They also use a ball bearing based high efficiency ball-joint that delivers OEM quiet with spherical efficiency. The solution is to increase the bar diameters. The question is how much should we increase them and for which type of driver?

Pedders sway bars are made of solid stock. We choose to use solid stock for consistency in production. In a hollow bar, the thickness of the wall determines the strength of the tube. Anything less than a perfect bend reduces the strength of a hollow bar more than the same imperfection would in a solid bar. Solid stock is far more forgiving of less than perfect bends consistently delivering superior strength. The weight savings of a hollow bar becomes less and less significant as you study the application of material. First the weight is not unsprung so five or ten pounds does not radically alter the function of the suspension. It is not spinning mass as would be a brake rotor or tire and wheel so the weight doesn't not radically alter the function of the brakes. It is weight placed very low in the vehicle creating a very slight shift in vertical CG, but that too is of little significance. In the end, a 27mm solid bar is stronger than a 27mm hollow bar with a slight weight disadvantage. (There is much confusion on the subject of solid vs. hollow bars. One of the best discussions from independent sources is available on the BMW forum. BMW Thread. The second post by Matt M. has the most comprehensive information.) It is our view that in volume production for a street enthusiast vehicle a solid sway bar will be the most consistent solution. Pedders provides the informed and educated Camaro owner with three sway bar solutions to match your driving skills and style that not only include the standard mounting hardware, but also include adjustable double ball joint endlinks to deliver the best possible driving experience.

With the foundational components are in place you will find Pedders Camaro adjustable bars to be a significant improvement to your OEM bars. The center adjustment position delivers 27mm front bar performance. Each position you move toward the firmer setting, toward the sway bar mounting D bush will increase the sway bar rate 1mm. The same is true moving away from the D bush toward the softest setting. With this range of adjustment built into both the front and rear bars and Pedders range of bars you should be able to adjust them to match your specific Camaro setup requirements. Keep in mind, that buying sway bars BEFORE you have installed EP1200 or 1201 Sub-Frame Inserts or Bushes along with at least the EP6578 Radius Bush Inserts is a mistake. You'll never enjoy the full benefit of the bars until you do. Many who follow this advice will find they don't need a sway bar upgrade. The weakest elements in the Camaro are the Sub-Frame and radius Bushes -- not sway bars. Build a solid foundation using Pedders bushes, dampers and coils and then use sway bars as the final tuning element.

2012 and On FE4 / FE5 Sway Bars

The Camaro SS FE4 suspension moves the rear sway bar endlink / drop link mounting close to the knuckle to increase efficiency. The stock bars are now solid 23mm front and 24mm rear. The ZL1 runs 25mm solid front bars and 28mm solid rear bars. Chevrolet moved from hollow to solid bars for strength and durability. They did well, very well

Pedders exists to take Modern Muscle to the next level and we have a particular affinity for the 5th Gen Camaro. Our FE4 / FE5 sway bars are solid. The front is 27mm and adjustable. The rears are 32mm. Our bar sets are sold with high efficiency OEM quiet front end-links and fixed position drop- links. How do they perform, do you really need to ask? The owner of this Camaro is a law enforcement professional with countless hours of driver training. His professional opinion -- 'Holy shit, man! The front HOOKED not even CLOSE to breaking traction and the back end stayed right with it. I mean....when the car turns, it TURNS.'

Our FE4 / 5 rear sway bars can be retro fit to any 5th Gen Camaro. The new Camaro rear lower control arms have the 'old' style close to the differential endlink mounting tabs and the 'new' close to the knuckle mounting hole. This is a smart choice by Chevrolet as one common part number can be used on all versions of the 5th Gen Camaro. The new OE lower rear control arms are inexpensive.

Why did Chevrolet make the change in rear sway bar geometry and size? To make the 5th Gen handle better. From day one of the 5th Gen the bias of the car has been heavy on understeer. This is a function of weight distribution, wheel base, track, wheel and tire size and of course sway bar strength. The FE4 addresses both with improved rear sway bar geometry and sway bar strength. The old bars were hollow. The new bars are solid, the material is stronger. The old bars were almost the same diameter (strength) front and rear. The new FE4 rear bar is 1mm larger than the front. It doesn't sound like much, but coupled with the increase in efficiency of the new outboard mounting position it is a big difference. The FE4 Camaro is far more balanced that the FE3 SS. It is more neutral and handles better in the corners.

The new FE5 ZL1 takes this all on steroids. The front bar goes up in size to 25mm and the rear bar a huge jump to 28mm. Talk about balance from the factory

At Pedders, even great isn't good enough. We set the rear camber to half the front camber or even less at -0.50 . The on track results were excellent. We feel we had a ZL1 two years ago with our Pedders USA Camaro. Now, there is a ZL1 so we have been hard at work with our partners at Lingenfelter on the L/28. The L/28 running Pedders new FE4 / FE5 / ZL1 sway bars is considerably faster than the ZL1 or a Z06 and we trailed a hioghly modified well driven ZR1 by just under a second at Eagle Canyon.

Here is the new rear bar complete with Pedders drop-link.

The new 32mm bar takes up space, but there are ZERO clearance issues.

Development is never ending at Peders. It is in our company DNA and our clients consistently ask for more. We are just like them. More is better.

#1 The efficiency of the rear droplink is dependent on the drop link orientation to the lower control arm. If the droplink is not straight up and down it impairs the efficiency of operation.

#2 The Pedders rear Z style bar is adjustable in function though the bushes on the droplinks. Inserting one softer bush per side to replace the supplied high durometer bushes softens the bar a bit. Two soften it more. If the change in pairs of bushes is too great you can change only one side.

#3 Pedders Z style drop links can be adjusted in height to account for variation in ride height due to corner weighting.

#4 We have sold pallets of our new style bars. We received some negative feedback from clients looking to run larger than 11" wide rear wheels or Corvette rear wheels with drag radials. We listen to our clients and swapped out a few of the Z bars to inboard 32mm bars and links. We have not revised the Pedders Z style bar to fit up to 11.5 wide rears and the Vette wheel and drag radial.

Clearance at full droop is the key. At normal ride height increases. This shows the clearance of the most popular drag rear wheel and tire setup.

#5 The only Z style rear sway bar that can accommodate Pedders Supercar Remote Reservoirs are Pedders Z style bars.

Last edited by JusticePete; 12-18-2012 at 11:09 PM.
JusticePete is offline   Reply With Quote