After getting used to the car, we began making minor adjustments to the setup. We had a lot of oversteer on corner exit, that was sudden in it”s appearance. One place we felt the car needed adjustment was in the rear suspension, particularly the rear sway bar. The car came with the FRPP sway bars on both front and rear, but the rear is non-adjustable. We also wanted to future-proof the car with any modifications we do. With both of these requirements, we felt the obvious choice was the Whiteline BFR65Z 4-position Adjustable Rear Sway Bar, sourced from Vorshlag. This bar measures in with a 27mm diameter, compared to the FRPP’s 22mm. Included in the kit are adjustable end links, a huge plus for us. The front sway bar has Powergrid adjustable end links, and having the ability to dial out pre-load is very important to proper vehicle setup.
When removing the rear bar, we had to remove the rear wheels to get at the axle attachment points. The bar moved at least 3″ after one side was unbolted, a sure sign of pre-load. Once we had those bolts removed, we did a test learned from the pros over at Vorshlag. What is this magic test? We attempted to rotate the sway bar through its rotation. The bar was very hard to rotate – test failed -indicating pre-load in the system. Why is pre-load evil? Because it adds to the total spring rate in the system and in the rear can lead to snap oversteer – like what the car was exhibiting mid to late corner. Another benefit (yes, another) of the Whiteline bar? Space! The factory-style bar limits rear wheel space, restricted to 10″ in specific offsets. The Whiteline bar, with it”s flipped mounting, allows us to run up to 11″ under the stock fenders. Below is the FRPP bar, look how the mounting brings the tire close to the Avid 1 street wheels.
The Whiteline bar, on the opposite end of the spectrum, has room for days.
Installation was fairly easy. We found the factory chassis brackets needed a little tweaking to fit the Whiteline adjustable end link and spacer combo. Nothing a good pair of pliers couldn’t handle. We bolted up the axle brackets and bar next, which is a bit of a dance under the car, but nothing we couldn’t handle on our back. We hooked the bar up to the end links, then got all bolts finger tight. We put the car back on the ground and settled the suspension, then brought the axle brackets and upper end link bolts up to torque. We verified that the bar moved through it”s travel without any binding or interference, guaranteeing no pre-load from the brackets. We then played with the endlink lengths to dial out any pre-load. With our ride height and wheel/tire combo, all four end link positions are accessible while the car is on the ground. Choosing the last adjustment on the sway bar, we took the car for a drive on a favorite canyon road for initial feel, and it felt like a whole new car. No longer prone to snap oversteer, the car gently moves into slight oversteer in the corner, allowing for throttle steering. Perfect!
Next, we took the car to the SCCA Novice School, enlisting BTM-AutoSport”s Brett Madsen as our instructor. Brett”s skills behind the wheel helped us dial in the car using our new rear sway bar”s four point adjustment. We ended up with the bar at full soft, and the rear Koni Yellow adjustable shocks at full soft. The car is more neutral and a lot of fun to drive.