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Old 04-15-2018, 02:11 PM   #1  
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Help choosing sway bars.

Well I'm getting close to finishing up my car I would want it to handle the best possible so would like am opinion on my last parts I need I'm gonna list my current setup.
Hotckiss sfc
Bmr watts link
konis yellows all around
sportline drop springs
adjustable lower control arms
rlca brackets
Front wonder bar
now I'm stuck on deciding what sway bars to use. Right now I have stocksway bars and would like to use the sway bars that would work best with my system car is mainly a street car. Any pointers on which bars to go with id appreciate. Or anything I should change on my setup so works best with certain sway bars.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:14 PM   #2  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

These cars tend to react well with a large front bar, find a factory 36mm one. The matching factory rear will be 24mm, but you may find a bit more grip with a smaller one. Factory bars are pretty common and cheap so you can try a couple different ones.

Sportlines are rather soft and not a very good spring for anything more than looks.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:28 PM   #3  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

I wouldn't mind swapping out springs for something that would function better. I was also looking into ST sway bar kit especially since they are so cheap for the kit.
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:12 PM   #4  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

Many aftermarket bars simply don't fit well and are inferior to the factory ones, so be aware of what you buy
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:45 PM   #5  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

That is good to know thank you for the heads up. So it's best if I look for some iroc sway bars then.
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:59 PM   #6  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

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Originally Posted by SiCkRs View Post
That is good to know thank you for the heads up. So it's best if I look for some iroc sway bars then.
Ws6 cars for the large bars . Nothing wrong with the factory ones and a quick clean and coat of paint and they will look good as new.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:01 PM   #7  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

Yeah that's what I was thinking of doing if I didn't replace them with different bars. Just sanding them and painting them and installing new poly bushings all around.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:19 AM   #8  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

There are 2 main train of thought here:
big springs small bars and small springs big bars.

Generally, you don't go both.

I personally like stiffer springs with softer bars, and softer sidewalls (given the choice of typically stiff or stiffer sidewalls...), but I'm typically in the minority, that's more of a 'race car' setup and less of a street car. As far as I'm concerned that prevents much compromise WRT to braking.

Typically the "ultimate handling" street car setup will have softer springs and stiffer sway bars, it feels a little bit better over bumpy roads but still gives very flat handling in turns.

The "best" setup depends on for what. The great big fat front bars that became popluar on our cars was mostly the result of AutoX rules which in the stock class allowed any front sway bar you wanted, so even aftermarket solid 36's started showing up. It upset the handling balance (overly stiff front tends to understeer but it's safe) but it was what was allowed.

My $.02- get the spring rates where you want them, then get the front bar where you want it and then adjust the rear bar size for your f/r tire stagger, the proportionately bigger the rear tires the bigger rear bar you're going to want. Finally fine tune with poly vs rubber sway bar bushings. There's the whole range of stock sway bars available if you shop around, there's almost no reason to consider aftermarket unless you can't find something.

My favorite setup on these cars is with 950-1000# front springs, ~225# rear, a 32mm solid front and I believe I usually ran a 19 or 21mm rear, often with rubber rear bushings. This was in a car with a very stiff chassis. I believe that the 34mm hollow front bar would work similarly but I've never managed to get my hands on one even though they're fairly common (I've worked on a number of cars with them, just never found a used one, everyone advertises the 36 hollow, I think most people don't think they'll get anything for a 34mm)

My current car doesn't have subframe connectors and little other stiffening, so that one has stock springs, 36mm front and 24 or 25mm rear, but that is with a big difference F/R tire sizes (265/40-17F, 305/35-18R). I haven't firmly decided what I want to do with this one since it is intended to handle well on the street but go fast in a straight line. It may end up with an aftermarket drag style rear bar.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:23 AM   #9  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

83 Crossfire TA
I am running 285/35-18 nitro 555r at all four corners 36mm front bar 24mm rear bar, qa1 coilovers 325# rear 500# front. Haven’t driven the car. It is how the parts arrived so my thought is try it and see I am still 8 months or so from driveable. Is it worth trying or should I order some different springs. Looking for multi purpose road course, auto-x and street. The only bushings left in the car are swaybar everything else is spherical bearings.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:53 AM   #10  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

Most 3rd gens react well to and run best with a 36mm WS6 hollow bar.

There were many choices in rear bars, you should get a few and try out and see what works best for you: 18mm, 21mm, 23mm, 24mm. 4th gens came with a 19mm bar that you can bolt on also.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:34 PM   #11  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

Why would you want drag radials on the front of your car or even the rear of a car you want to handle?
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:16 PM   #12  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul_huryk View Post
Most 3rd gens react well to and run best with a 36mm WS6 hollow bar.
V8, or 34mm for V6

I have front 36mm & #850; rear is 19mm & #250 w/12 bolt.

I would ditch anything Hotchkis - IMO.
Koni yellow for the struts only. Strut mounts?? Front Weight Jacks give adjust-ability. Ext ball joints w/rear Watts.
HyperCoil springs (Eibach will do).
Rear Coilovers - new tech is showing up here, have adjust-ability (needed w/Watts), and the old yeller rears are not up to par (not terrible).

What rear do you have w/ 6.0 LSA?
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:00 PM   #13  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Import View Post
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I am running 285/35-18 nitro 555r at all four corners 36mm front bar 24mm rear bar, qa1 coilovers 325# rear 500# front. Haven’t driven the car. It is how the parts arrived so my thought is try it and see I am still 8 months or so from driveable. Is it worth trying or should I order some different springs. Looking for multi purpose road course, auto-x and street. The only bushings left in the car are swaybar everything else is spherical bearings.
Front coil over spring rates are diffrent, the springs are mounted further out and do not need to be as high a rate to react the same. OTOH, the rear spring mounts pretty close to the stock location and that seems like a crazy high spring rate. These cars get to be a handfull to tune if you try anything much stiffer than the equivalent of about 200# or so in the rear.

If you think you have the spring rates right I'd probably be talking to people about the rear rate... OTOH, if you can't return them or something then try them. I've never heard of a 350# rear spring on these cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by obeymybird View Post
Why would you want drag radials on the front of your car or even the rear of a car you want to handle?
That depends on the drag radial. Nitto 555r's are about the best street tire out there as far as I'm concerned and right now, if I was going to build one of our cars to handle on 15" rims I'd run 275/50-15 nitto's on all 4 (and I've considered actually doing it, giving them the correct '80's corner carver look).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TEDSgrad View Post
V8, or 34mm for V6

I have front 36mm & #850; rear is 19mm & #250 w/12 bolt.

I would ditch anything Hotchkis - IMO.
Koni yellow for the struts only. Strut mounts?? Front Weight Jacks give adjust-ability. Ext ball joints w/rear Watts.
HyperCoil springs (Eibach will do).
Rear Coilovers - new tech is showing up here, have adjust-ability (needed w/Watts), and the old yeller rears are not up to par (not terrible).

What rear do you have w/ 6.0 LSA?
What's with the rear coil overs and new tech? What watts link?

The old school serious autoxer's answer to rear socks was to run koni yellows from a t-bird, their valving seems to work better than the 3rd gen valving at any kind of reasonable speed. I've had OK luck with 4th gen yellows, but I've never actually checked if they're a different PN then the 3rd gen, I just had a set and tried them.

What shocks are you recommending back there?
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:46 PM   #14  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

OP mentioned it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiCkRs View Post
Bmr watts link
I have heard of racers going as high as #500 in rear. Of course, the motion rate is worked out with the front. If I recall correctly, DSE has #275 with their JRi's (yup, just checked). That's the unlimited recommendation. Of course, I have lowered the rear RC which necessitates an increased rear spring rate (plus a 12 bolt). I was skeptical too, but am very happy with #250 and a 19mm bar.

For the rest of us, I recommend RideTech HQ 6110 (a single) - they have a million mile warranty and are rebuild-able/re-valve-able. They are made to be inverted - check the adjustment ****! They use Hypercoil springs.
Also, Viking has a line through UMI which is a little cheaper/lesser quality, but still very good (AFCO as well - 3860PTCZ). All of these recommendations are for a 2" drop! Be careful to match the following metrics:

Stock is 16" range, collapsed 13", extended 19.5", 12" spring height.
DSE Jri: 14" range, 12", 17", 12" sh
RideTech: 14", 11.34", 16.5", 12" sh
AFCO: 14.4", 12.18", 18.08", 12-14"

Having a shock valved for your particular car is the best! Coil-overs really have about 3/4" adjust-ability to stay within optimal operating range, so get the metrics right the first time. Not sure if UMI's Viking line has these metrics or if they go by the stock height - make sure! Maybe UMI can add their metrics to the list?.

.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:06 PM   #15  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

As for new tech, here's some Ron Sutton text on RideTech:
The Quick Answers:
JRI is the best racing shock. In my experience JRI racing shocks provide more tire grip than any other shock made. The only two cons are price & that they need to be rebuilt with seals sooner. That’s a minor thing when winning performance is the goal. The Ridetech shocks provide the best grip of what I consider to be street shocks. The level of grip, while greater than any other street shock I have experienced, is not in the same league as JRI race shock grip. One is a race shock & the other is a street shock. Unless something damages the shock, the Ridetechs will not need to be rebuilt with new seals for a long, long time.

Both are very tunable & responsive to tuning changes.
Both can be valved with “linear/digressive”, “digressive/linear” & “high-zero-number” valving curves. Those traits are key to achieving the secret sauce valving I do to achieve the most grip possible from the shocks. The JRI shocks will accept significantly stiffer “high-zero-number” valving while still being responsive & maintaining grip. With the JRI shocks, we can tie the front end down longer … for longer corners. This is not an issue for autocross, but does come into play for road courses. For this reason, I supply Ridetech Triple Adjustable shocks (with my special valving) standard on my AutoX-Star front suspensions. For my Track-Star front suspensions, JRI double adjustable shocks (with my special valving) are standard.

When I first started exploring the PT scene, I saw that Ridetech was very popular and didn't really know why, as I had not heard of them in the racing world I came from. Over the last year, I've gotten to look at a lot of shock valving curves from almost all of the PT Shock manufacturers. After some dyno testing & revalving Ridetech shocks of our own, the picture got clear. There are many factors that define the actual real world handling & ride characteristics of a shock. The dyno curve is one of them. It’s an important one, but just one of several factors.

The factors that matter most to the ride & handling are:
1. Piston design - defines the valving curves possible, responsiveness,
2. Piston seal & friction - self explanatory
3. Bleed valving - controls the initial shock responsiveness control
4. Valving control – in most cases a stack of special shims that deflect & define the oil flow through the piston
5. Adjustability range - To tune or adjust for very different situations like track & street
6. Rebound & compression bleed over - how much does one adjustment affect the other valving
7. Body & overall shock design – affects how it manages the pressure, control & responsiveness
8. Stiction (from piston seal & shock bore surface) = pressure required to get the shock to initially respond
9. Internal rod/shaft pressure - affects initial shock responsiveness

I’m sure I left some things out, but you get the idea. Items 1, 2, 3, 4 play the biggest role in the valving curve. Items 5 & 6 define the range & accuracy of tuning. Items 7-9 define how well the shock can keep the tire gripping the asphalt over irregular surfaces.

Other things matter too, like ...
• Is it rebuildable?
• Is it revalvable?
• Parts availability?
• Tech support?
• Customer service?
• Warranty?
• Return/repair policy?
• And lastly initial purchase price & TCO ... total cost of operation.

What I learned about the Ridetech shock … and I hope I’m not sharing any of their trade secrets … are:

a. By running larger bleed valve orifices
b. Combined with stiffer main valving from the piston & shim stack
c. Inside an extremely well designed shock
d. Provides the best balance of ride comfort over irregular surfaces & bumps … and handling control with heavy cars in cornering situations.

Other perks or benefits of their design are:
e. Wide range of effective adjustability
f. Very low pressure bleed over
g. Fully rebuildable
h. Easy to revalve for different curves

I have experienced good parts availability, tech support & customer service. Since I don’t own a set of Ridetech shocks on a street car, I can not personally vouch for the million mile warranty or their return/repair policy … but I hear great things from their customers. Where the rubber meets the road for most guys is initial purchase price. I am super impressed with how much shock you get for your money. In my opinion, the Ridetech shocks are the best shock in their price range by far. Nothing that costs the same as the Ridetech shocks can compare to the quality & performance of this shock. It is a heck of a value.

Most people … not all … but most, do not look at TCO (Total Cost of Operation). They should, but don’t always think past getting their baby running. When we factor in the million mile warranty and you realize you won’t ever need to replace these shocks. After years of use, if the shocks fail, just have Ridetech rebuild them. So the initial cost is the total cost … well … wow.

I have revalved many Ridetech shocks with my “secret sauce” valving to achieve what I call “Autox Valving” & "Mean AutoX Valving". On Lance Hamilton’s 85 Monte Carlo SS Shocks with “Autox Valving”, we can tune the valving to be a good AutoX performer … kicking butt on an amazing list of C6 Vettes, WRX’s & other cars … and the wide adjustability range allows the shocks to be adjusted back to great street ride. In other cars we have shocks with “Mean Autox Valving” we make the “zero-number” rebound valving higher for competition purposes and the ride can be adjusted back to “pretty good” for the street, but not as well as Ridetech is famous for. This second version is for cars that see less street time & are more concerned with winning events. I was blown away at how well these shocks perform on the autocross track with my “secret sauce” mean race valving.

Do I feel Ridetech are the best shocks available at any price? No. I hope I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, but there are a true racing shocks out there that are going to perform better on track, autocross or road course. High end racing shocks cost more ... often a lot more ... and in higher levels of competition where winning competitive events is king, these racing shocks will be a better choice for racing or all out track & competitive event performance. I feel Ridetech shocks are best at providing a balance of street ride, handling & durability … and occasional AutoX or track day. They offer the closest handling to a race shock without having a race shock.

A couple years ago, I contacted Ron and he contacted RideTech about making a strut for our cars. There was a problem with the bracket around the time for SEMA, and it never happened. I was going to have him valve both strut and coil-overs together, but since the strut didn't happen, and my crappy QA1's leaked, I bought the RideTech's on my own.
I've heard rumors of a strut, but it has never materialized, to date.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:50 PM   #16  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

Phil Smith went #500 on the rear with a crazy strong custom front sway bar:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rdGenA/SRacer View Post
Thanks. I made a huge number of changes based on working with Ron Sutton this winter. Fixed some horrible factory geometry issues. Way bigger front bar. Lots more rear spring. FYI I went from 175 rear springs to 500. No change in front springs. Car is so much more fun to drive and tires last so much longer. I am very excited about the Runoffs in Daytona this year. Looking for at least a podium. I basically picked up 1.5 seconds everywhere I went. Doesn't sound like much but that is a huge amount. We are now in the mix at every race. SO SO Happy with everything. Remember it is not about the parts that you bolt on the car it is about how the suspension works. Unless you really know what you are doing be very careful changing what the factory did.
https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/susp...ther-scca.html
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:06 PM   #17  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

I really enjoy these threads. My build is sort of stalled at the moment however I'm big on collecting parts and like squeezing everything into place when the time (and money) affords.
Question: How does one go about determining the best spring rate? While I went purely for aesthetics with my Intrax drop (2"?) springs , I have no idea what the spring rate is or how to determine it. I do however have old data from a four corner scale I did on the old chassis. I would suspect that the new chassis is not too terribly different. (Old being an 86 IROC-Z and the new being an 86 Sport Coupe.)
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:28 PM   #18  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

I will be looking for some ws6 sway bars around I'm sure it shouldn't be too hard to find around. As for springs id have to do some more research in which work best. I do kinda want to keep my car lower especially since I got a aluminum ls based engine. I'm planning on running 285s upfront and have 345 in the rear as of now.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:24 PM   #19  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skinny z View Post
Question: How does one go about determining the best spring rate?
Disclaimer: I am no guru.
I do learn from a lot of people, and out on track.

Answer: Trial and error.

Car and it's weight distribution, how you like to brake, personal driving style/preference and spring/bar combo that you've chosen. As 83 Crossfire TA said: "There are 2 main train of thought here:
big springs small bars and small springs big bars."

Too big a bar and you lock-up independent wheel movement - not good. Normally, what one decides on the front, you go opposite on rear (generally). Roll axis plays a role as well, AND what we are trying to control is the diagonal weight transfer - inside front & outside rear and outside front & inside rear to obtain maximal contact patch.

I was skeptical but now am a believer in higher rear spring rate and smaller bar (fixed axle). After that, then I had to figure out the front. Normally, you maximize front grip, then match rear (front is limiting). Keeping the inside rear planted was tricky so upping the rear rate helped w/lowering rear RC, and good RideTech's.

Phil Smith was using custom front bars with varying rates of something like (off the top of my head), #1200-1400 and #1800-2000 rate. I don't know how that computes to the 36mm bar, but it is much stiffer. He did this with Ron Sutton, so don't try this yourself. He used custom valved JRi's with softer fr springs. Over my head and mind boggling, but the results speak for themselves.

My #850 fronts are soft within the stiff category, if that makes sense (w/LS). They are a compromise to go with the increased rear rates. I have 2" drop spindles (saved #2 over stock), ext ball joints, and very light weight wheel assemblies (FSL, 2 pc 13" rotors, alum hubs, tubular a-arms, stock 16" Formula wheels). I might have the highest fr RC around, which allows for more front travel.

For those of us with LSx, it makes a whole bunch of sense to have front weight jacks w/rear coil-overs. Ride height adjustment after swap is crucial, and you should never give up adjust-ability.

SiCkRs - 285/345 is a lot of stagger. Purists want foursquare. Maybe 20-30 difference? Not 60. As Paul said, 36mm fits the bill nicely. #850 - 1000 for the front is ballpark. Higher front rate normally means lower rear rate. You just have to play around w/attention to inside rear. Xtra springs and bars are required, and no big cost after all the mods, already. If lowering, ext ball joints and rear PHBB axle side should be considered.

Dean has some text of rates and bars starting at post #8: https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/susp...-bilstein.html

Johnny Import - #500 front is pretty soft. If your fr RC is stock, you'll be below ground with RC on the brakes. And #325 on the rear is not necessarily bad, but with 24mm it is locked-up.
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:27 PM   #20  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TEDSgrad View Post
Answer: Trial and error.
That makes it difficult.
Then again I'm hardly an avid road racer (or any kind of racer it seems these days) and the time to experiment isn't something I can get involved with presently.
Still, it's good to get some insights into what's being done and perhaps when the days arrive when I can indulge in experimentation, I'll be better equipped to do so.
I do know, thanks to these threads, that during the next round of "maintenance", I'll go the extended ball joint and PHB relocation route. Those seem to be no-brainers. Possibly Koni yellows too depending on whether I take a road course bent in the build or continue with drag racing. Or, my preference, is to have a little from column A and a little from column B.

Last edited by skinny z; 04-19-2018 at 09:31 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 10:13 AM   #21  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skinny z View Post
I do know, thanks to these threads, that during the next round of "maintenance", I'll go the extended ball joint and PHB relocation route. Those seem to be no-brainers. Possibly Koni yellows too
Yes, and strut mounts, too - are "no-brainers" (assuming SFC's).

Trial and error is the only way to refine. You can get in the ballpark before hand, though. That's why I think the 36mm w/#850-1k for the front, 22mm or less w/#225+ on the rear (assuming PHBB=lower RC). This is for most of us V8 guys. Don't think of road race vs street. What works for RR will work well for street (minus ride height, stiff shocks, brake pad material, slicks, more aggressive camber, etc.).
Going drag is like changing genders No advice, only humor.

There is even software to help refine things/envision changes once you are in the "ballpark." http://performancetrends.com/rc.htm
So one can get down to 2 or three sets of bars (rear) and springs, but then it is still trial and error to refine for personal preference and individual car. Most everyone would gain valuable insight by just switching them out and getting a seat of the pants feel for what happens when you change/swap. Personal experience is a great teacher, and the bars themselves are cheap at the JY.

So, SFC's, ext BJ's and PHBB, Koni Yellow struts w/mounts, and a couple sets of bars (rear) and springs will provide lots of fun and experience. And it's completely do-able for most folks (cost and know-how). It gets you out there having fun and learning.
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Old Yesterday, 07:28 PM   #22  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

TEDSgrad, you're one of those people that I wish you were local to me, I'd have a MUCH more serious car and I'd bet that I'd get more **** done. (says the one with the partial tubular K, tubular arms, all the parts to do front and rear weight jacks without enough of a plan yet, mostly finished custom front drop spindles (I just don't like extended ball joints...))


That said (and admitting that i haven't had time to read and assimilate everything you wrote), I was trying to answer the question as written, stockish setup with stockish geometry.

I like you can run stiffer rear because I have a lowered rear roll center also and almost always have much larger rear tires on (currently 305/35-18's on the r, 265/40-17 F), but answering what I would run on this setup doesn't help the original question.

I'll probably post more when I absorb the rest of what you wrote.
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Old Yesterday, 11:37 PM   #23  
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Re: Help choosing sway bars.

From recalling other replies of yours, Mark, you seem to have a pretty good handle on suspension issues - you're not giving yourself enough credit.

If you're up for head scratching, but good reading (good to bookmark):
The Grip
https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/susp...2307-grip.html
The Grip, Part 2
https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/susp...p-part-ii.html
The Grip, Part 3
https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/susp...iii-shock.html
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