Suspension Tuning and Sway Bars
Probably one of the most overlooked upgrades for your vehicle’s suspension are the sway bars. Why? Most of the time it’s a case of just not knowing. To most, springs and struts, coilovers or air ride is the extent of upgrading suspension parts. However, every component of your suspension system potentially can be upgraded. Even if it’s not readily available through the major aftermarket sources.
What Does My Sway Bar Do?
WHY SHOULD I CHANGE IT?
The sway bars responsibility goes beyond just taming body roll. It connects the left suspension components with the right through a torsional spring force. What does that mean? It means that the spring force of the sway bar essentially adds to the suspension spring rates when speeding through a corner. This in turn keeps the vehicle flatter and because of that we can now carry more speed into and out of a corner with the same amount of grip.
Dial it in
While most mass produced sway bars are somewhat one size fits all(model specific that is).. some have adjustments that you can make. This allows you to dial in the torsional load to your track, favorite highway on/off ramp or even a little more comfort for your daily drive. But what exactly are you changing when you change the sway bar adjustments? You’re changing the bars effective spring rate to dial in the amount of oversteer or understeer depending on your specific application, and needs. This allows the inside tires to carry more load, and thus more grip; And lateral grip is something we all want more of. THAT’s confidence in a corner.
Bigger isn’t always better.
Despite what they might tell you. bigger doesn’t mean better. Too strong of torsional force can actually have a negative effect on your handling. that’s not something you want to find out midway into a corner. Sway bars come in many sizes and configurations. Adjustable, non adjustable, solid, and hollow. So which one is right for you? Really that comes down to what your suspension setup needs, and your preference of solid or hollow. If weight isn’t a concern than solid might be the way to go. But if your vehicle is in desperate need of a diet, you might consider a hollow sway bar.
So what else can I do?
First, if your unsure of what improvements or upgrades you can do to your suspension contact the pros at Rezmoto. We’ll help guide you or inform you of upgrade possibilities for your vehicle. Whether it’s for your OEM+ daily driver, weekend warrior, or track car. We can help you get the right parts and fine tune it.
For most of the performance VW and Audi scene the array of suspension parts is almost endless. From the often ignored suspension bushings to mounts and alignments. Your suspension works on geometry. Soft factory bushings are designed to deflect and hide noise, vibration and harshness. We call it NVH. When your suspension bushings flex this causes unwanted geometry changes in your suspension, and in your alignment settings. Not so good in the Apex of a corner.
To prevent this, your suspension bushings can be replaced with solid or denser mounts depending on how serious you want to throw your car around corners. Often factory bushings have voids to allow the bushing to be flexible. That’s great for mom’s soccer van, but not for going around Homestead Speedway or during a hill climb. That’s where a denser, void free mount or a solid mount comes in. These mounts rid your suspension components of unwanted flex and alignment changes while increasing accuracy and confidence in the corner. Predictable cornering every time.
Stress bars and chassis stiffening are other areas to consider as well. These simple and often inexpensive methods help to tighten heavy load areas of the vehicle preventing unwanted alignment changes and suspension geometry changes. These options are as simple as a stress bar all the way up to a full roll cage. How far do you want to go?