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Thread: WTB: Aftermarket Front Sway Bar

  1. #11
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    Honest question: why do you want such a big/stuff bar?


    His: 2005 330 ZHP Imola Red - 1995 NA Miata
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  2. #12
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    May 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephenkirsh View Post
    Honest question: why do you want such a big/stuff bar?
    A couple reasons:

    1) To minimize camber loss in the front. A bunch of the E36 M3 guys are saying that a larger front ARB will decrease understeer, contrary to what usually happens when you increase roll stiffness in the front. Apparently, this is due to the crappy camber curve and soft spring rates our cars have, so under hard cornering you go very positive. It seems the E46 does this as well, resulting in significantly more wear on the outside of the tire than inside. I'm not sure which is the more dominant trait - lower camber loss for more grip, or higher roll stiffness for less grip. But given the current setup of higher rear spring rates/large front ARBs of some of the E46 M3 guys I want to say that front grip is still reduced overall, even with less camber loss.

    2) A better match with the spring rates I will run next year. Most coilover sets come terribly sprung, and to be honest I'm not sure why. Most, if not all stock cars are sprung such that the ride frequencies are higher in the rear, compared to the front. This is because the rear of the car goes over a bump after the front, so it must have a faster settling time to catch up - and most coilovers come sprung the opposite way. As such I just bought 900 lbs rear springs, and will swap out the 550 lbs springs that came with the kit. As the rear springs are significantly stiffer than it was before, the larger front ARB is there to balance out the roll stiffness distribution front to rear.
    2004 BMW 330CI ZHP (well, technically ZAM)


  3. #13
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    Dec 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by t.er View Post
    A couple reasons:

    1) To minimize camber loss in the front. A bunch of the E36 M3 guys are saying that a larger front ARB will decrease understeer, contrary to what usually happens when you increase roll stiffness in the front. Apparently, this is due to the crappy camber curve and soft spring rates our cars have, so under hard cornering you go very positive. It seems the E46 does this as well, resulting in significantly more wear on the outside of the tire than inside. I'm not sure which is the more dominant trait - lower camber loss for more grip, or higher roll stiffness for less grip. But given the current setup of higher rear spring rates/large front ARBs of some of the E46 M3 guys I want to say that front grip is still reduced overall, even with less camber loss.
    Thanks for sharing that, I'll be setting my front bar to the stiffest setting now. I was still getting excessive wear on the outer edge despite running crazy caster and good camber. My front springs are only 170 lbs.
    330i Base | Mysticblau | Slicktop | 6MT

  4. #14
    anyone else look at that Eibach sway bar linked? Never see the adjustment holes in a vertical orientation. How would that effect stiffness?

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMBBS View Post
    anyone else look at that Eibach sway bar linked? Never see the adjustment holes in a vertical orientation. How would that effect stiffness?
    It is a bit of an odd design, but hard to say since it depends on what the angle of the droplink is relative to the line from the hole to the bushing centres. It seems like with the stamped end of the bar, the holes can only be oriented along the bar or across it as shown, perhaps with that droplink angle you have a larger lever arm length with the holes across the bar? Hard to say without a pic of it in the car.

    Btw that pic on BW is not a great one, the one for the E46s look something more like this which makes a lot more sense.
    2004 BMW 330CI ZHP (well, technically ZAM)


  6. #16
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    Feb 2019
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    I'm running a 26mm M3 bar with Hotchkis Endlinks and a 20mm (??) Xi rear bar. Good enough for me on the street and it didn't cost much.

    I read in order to net a benefit of a big 30mm front bar you really need to run a crapload of neg front camber, like -3 or more.

    As for rear bars, without a LSD, you lose grip going larger.

    I ran the large Hotchkis bars on my old car. It snapped the mounting tabs on both front coilovers (D2's). It was fun and all but too much for a street car. If I parked on a curb or uneven surface the rear tire would stay up in the air. It had very little travel but was fun to slide around.

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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatguy_JZ View Post
    I'm running a 26mm M3 bar with Hotchkis Endlinks and a 20mm (??) Xi rear bar. Good enough for me on the street and it didn't cost much.

    I read in order to net a benefit of a big 30mm front bar you really need to run a crapload of neg front camber, like -3 or more.

    As for rear bars, without a LSD, you lose grip going larger.

    I ran the large Hotchkis bars on my old car. It snapped the mounting tabs on both front coilovers (D2's). It was fun and all but too much for a street car. If I parked on a curb or uneven surface the rear tire would stay up in the air. It had very little travel but was fun to slide around.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
    Yeah, I was using the ride harmonizer spreadsheet from Fat Cat Motorsports and ran some numbers which resulted in the springs and front ARB I wanted, and others had a similar setup with good results - though that was on the M3. If I find that the car has too much understeer for my liking, I'll step up to a larger rear ARB from the XIs, and hopefully that combo with the adjustable front allows me to dial in a balance that I like.

    Currently I'm at -2.5 deg camber in the front, I'm thinking of increasing it to -3.0 deg but perhaps I should borrow my friend's pyrometer to set camber based off temps.

    Also hahahahaha about the rear tire, that's pretty crazy. Luckily, the tabs on my GC coils are fairly stout - in fact, the whole strut body is steel and seemed to have fairly significant wall thickness. They're pretty heavy, but at least I shouldn't have to worry about the tabs breaking off.

    Actually what I am worried about is the bushing mounts, it seems to be somewhat a common issue where the weld studs pull through the thin sheet metal on the chassis when you upgrade to larger bars. I'm thinking of taking some 1/8" steel plate and epoxying them to prevent stud pullout like so:

    2004 BMW 330CI ZHP (well, technically ZAM)


  8. #18
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    Nov 2016
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    ^ absolutely

    Hotchkis uses aluminum plates for the same effect. They also completely sidestep the goofy tab mount in the rear.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by t.er View Post

    Actually what I am worried about is the bushing mounts, it seems to be somewhat a common issue where the weld studs pull through the thin sheet metal on the chassis when you upgrade to larger bars. I'm thinking of taking some 1/8" steel plate and epoxying them to prevent stud pullout like so:
    Just had this happen to me (Still on stock suspension except delrin bushings)

    Upgraded to Hotchkis front and rear

    Didn't pull the trigger on coilovers fast enough and ripped them out on both sides up front

    So now i get to weld a plate to the bottom of the mounts to fix it and order some damn bc coils

    Also really like that fat cat spreadsheet. Have played with it wayyy too much trying to decide what #coils i wanna get
    2003 ZHP Sedan - 3.0 6 Spd Manual Trans - Alpine White on Light Beige
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 73Duster440 View Post
    Just had this happen to me (Still on stock suspension except delrin bushings)

    Upgraded to Hotchkis front and rear

    Didn't pull the trigger on coilovers fast enough and ripped them out on both sides up front

    So now i get to weld a plate to the bottom of the mounts to fix it and order some damn bc coils

    Also really like that fat cat spreadsheet. Have played with it wayyy too much trying to decide what #coils i wanna get
    I'm sorry to hear that! This only reinforces my belief in the reinforcements (ha) and I don't think I'll run the new bar until it's in. I will fab up a couple plates, in the meantime I picked this up to use to glue the plates on:

    2004 BMW 330CI ZHP (well, technically ZAM)


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