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There has been some great discussion about springs and suspension lately. My question is this... Apart from the weight savings, why go with a hollow sway bar on the front? Wont the spring rate of the hollow bar be less than a solid bar of the same diameter? I picked up a Hotchkis 1 1/8" bar when they were on sale on ebay a while ago, but have read a thread or two suggesting that 1 1/8" is more than enough. Comments??
 

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Weight is the only savings.
A 1 1/8" hollow bar is about equal to a 1" solid bar.
A 1" solid or 1 1/8" hollow bar is more than enough if you have stiffer than stock springs.
The mounting material and end bushings have a big effect on rate delivered to the wheel.
David
 

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there are millions of factory vehicles running around with hollow sway bars- granted, they tend to be fwd cars- but if the big auto makers think they are fine for even that kind of usage (think of liability and warranty concerns), i think a good quality aftermarket one that's properly installed should be good enough for a non-daily driver.
 

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Originally posted by davidpozzi:

A 1 1/8" hollow bar is about equal to a 1" solid bar.
It can be. It depends on material used.

Trust me, the calculations aren't any fun when comparing two bars made out of different materials.

Good luck with your sway bar choice!

Joe
 

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posted by novaderrick "but if the big auto makers think they are fine for even that kind of usage (think of liability and warranty concerns), i think a good quality aftermarket one that's properly installed should be good enough for a non-daily driver."

i have seen stock and non stock hollow bars break. usually the ones i see are stock. they are usually less than 1" diameter, and are on the front or the rear of fwd.
they are usually only about 4 or 5 years old. i think the manufacturers are mostly just trying to save money and reduce weight.

i agree that for a non daily driver they should be fine, but i'd still replace them every five years, just to be sure.
you cant see the rust on the inside, nor can you controll it.
sorry. i just dont like hollow ones. one broken swaybar is too many, and i've seen at least twenty (in a five year period) working in an alignment shop above the mason-dixon line.
 

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I would try to make sure any bar I bought was made out of heat treated crome molly. It is a fine grained tougher material, more resistant to cracking.
Some bars are made of cheaper stuff and that's dangerous.
Stiffer springs take some of the load off the bar too.
David
 

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I don't know what the effective roll resistance of the Hotchkis bar is, but I can tell you that it flat works. I used this piece along with their springs, and the car works extremely well. No rear bar, not needed. Good stuff.

Mark
 

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I'd try a 1 inch solid bar or the Hotchkis hollow bar.
I've seen people put on bars only with stock springs and a 1" solid bar works well.
With stock suspension geometry adding a front bar will increase cornering power because when the car rolls less, the front tires lean out less.

If the front suspension were more perfect, like a car with the Guldstrand mod, then adding a larger bar size would increase understeer and need to be balanced by adding more rear bar or spring.
David
 

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David, I thought I had it all figured out until you said
"If the front suspension were more perfect, like a car with the Guldstrand mod, then adding a larger bar size would increase understeer and need to be balanced by adding more rear bar or spring."

I matched my front Hotchkis 1907F's with their 2407C's, and did the Guldstrand mod. Add to that my 1" front bar and I figured the steering would be just about right. Will the Hotchkis front and rears compliment themselves with the increased sway bar and help negate understeer? With the rate of the Hotchkis leafs, I'm hoping it'll take care of itself. I can live with a tiny bit of over or understeer but I don't want the contact patch of the fronts to be affected.
 

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HwyStarJoe: I think the setup that you have with the 1" front bar should work pretty well. If it is true that a 1 1/8" hollow bar has the same basic roll resistance as a 1" solid, then the system should be very well balanced. With my full Hotchkis setup, the car is very neutral, with a slight understeer depending upon how I enter a turn. It is very controllable, and when exiting a turn I feel very confident with the grip on the rear, it hooks better than I would have thought. To reiterate, I have the front and rear springs, and the front hollow sway bar, no rear bar. I also have the Gulstrand mod, with tubular uppers (and about 6 degress of caster!).

I would try the setup as you have it now, if it is not perfect it will still be close enough to gauge what you should do next. If anything, I would guess that a bit more front bar will be all you'll need.
 
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