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Whiteline Automotive anti-sway bars
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:34 am    Post subject: Whiteline Automotive anti-sway bars Reply with quote

I'm pretty excited, I just recieved my Whiteline anti-sway bars today. They look great. The front came with new urethane bushings and new end links that replace the stock ones. The rear came with all of the necessary instalation hardware and is a complete bolt-on, no drilling necessary. I'm going to try to find time to install them today. I'll let you know how it goes.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am envious. So where did you get them? How much $$$? I *know* they will help. I want some too. But, I have to get other things done. All new hoses are my next biggie. Then tranny cooler. Then big brakes. Then suspension rebuild with new sway bars. Engine....it goes on.

Good for you. Do let us know, please. Also, pictures with problem areas, if you can. Oh boy, something else to tax my time....
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lilweasel
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I can't wait to hear back on how well it works out. (and of course pricing and where you got it)
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D Clymer
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a rear sway bar, I've always been worried that it will reduce rear suspension droop too much. This is already sorely lacking in a Vanagon. Any insight into this, anyone? Would a rear sway bar alter the rear articulation on bumpy terrain, or is the torsional stiffness of the bar low enough that it wouldn't change the lower travel?

David
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"DEPENDS." It depends on the thickness of the bar. The thicker the more it tends to influence such things. It is NOT designed for off road, which is what I think you are getting at. But, if both rear wheels go down then there is no influence. If one is up and the other down, well of course there is some inteaction. Just what it is, though, is beyond me.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before you slap those new bars on, could you take a picture of them, and the mounting brackets for the rear..... I have Addco bars on mine now, and I would like to see if yours mount the same..... Twisted Evil
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, it took me a bit longer to finish up than I had planned on, but here it is.

I had heard great things about the Whiteline sway bars in regards to other cars, but nothing about running them on a Vanagon, so I decided to give them a try. I ordered the bars directly from Whiteline off of their website. I received a confirmation that my order had been proccessed. After about a week, I called Whiteline to see if my bars had been shipped and when I might expect them to arrive. The person that I talked to (Wayne Vickery) was very friendly, but could not find my order. He took down my name, number and email and said that he would get right back to me after doing some research. About 1 hour later, I received an email saying that they were shipping my bars immediately and that they were sorry for the delay. The email stated that my bars would take 7-10 days to arrive. It actually took only 6 days.

Upon opening the very tattered boxes, I was nervous about missing parts, etc. I found everything to be intact and complete. After reading the instructions that came with the rear bar, everything looked very straight forward.

The front bar went on first. Here's a picture comparing the new 24mm bar with the stock, 19mm bar.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


My first concern with the front bar was obvious right away. The new bar was obviously made for a right hand drive Transporter as it has a dip on the right side for steering shaft clearance. As you can see in this photo, It made no difference on mine, there was plenty of clearance. but I have manual steering. I'm not sure if a van having power steering would be an issue or not.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Although it looks like the dip would be need for the hoses in that picture, that's not the case. Those hoses are actually about 6" away from the bar. Optical illusion I guess.

The new front bar came with new urethane bushings and new end links to replace the dog-bone shaped originals. This led to my second worry with the new front bar.

As can be seen in this picture, the clearance between the bar and the tie rod is VERY tight, but not touching. (Yes, I saw the torn steering rack boot)

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This picture is with the suspension at full droop and at full lock. I decided to procceed with the installation and see what things looked like with it on the ground.

I couldn't get a picture with the van at ride height (Too low), but there is much more clearance than in the previous picture. In fact, heres a picture of it with the suspension still at full droop but with the wheels pointed straight instead of turned. Clearance at ride height is even better than this.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I went for a drive with just the new front bar installed to compare the ride and handling with the stock bar and no rear bar. The ride was very much the same with maybe just a hint of extra road feel. The handling was much improved over the stock bar. the van felt much more predictable than before. There were no clearance issues either. Overall, very happy with the front bar.

On to the rear bar. Here's a picture of the rear bar so that you can see how it is set up.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


You can see that front of the bar has two brackets that bolt to the inner front control arm bolt and the rear of the bar has brackets that bolt to the lower shock mount bolts.

Now, this is where I ran into a little trouble. The way that you see the bar and brackets set up in the picture is exactly the way the instructions say to set it up (including the illustration). However, as you can see in the photo, although it is possible to bolt the shock brackets on the way that they describe, set up that way, the clearance to the control arms becomes zero. The bar actually rests on the control arms. Not only that, but on a lowered van, with the end link brackets pointing up, the van has very little travel before the end links would hit the frame rail.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Ignoring the given instructions, I proceeded to flip the shock mount brackets up-side-down and reinstall the end links. Not only does this provide the necessary clearances, it looks more like the way the bar was intended to be installed.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I ran into a similar issue with the front brackets. The instructions had illustrations showing the front brackets installed in such a way that it was impossible to install them. Flipping them around 180 degrees allowed perfect installation. I have no idea why the instructions would be written so "backwards" unless they were written while sitting on a backwards flushing toilet, they are Australian you know. Here's a photo showing the front brackets installed.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Other than the instructions, the only complaint that I have about the rear bar is that I wish that they had provided a longer shock mount bolt. The addition of the brackets makes the stock bolt just a little too short to get full thread engagement. It's not bad and it's an easy fix, but I feel that it should be provided. It also appears as though the end link bracket could be a bit shorter. I may redrill this bracket to raise it just a bit.

With the addition of both new bars, the van is transformed. Not only is handling much more precise and predictable, but the ride is actually BETTER than before. How can this be you say? Previously, with just the stock front bar, traversing uneven road surfaces where one wheel will dip into a low spot in the road, the van would do sort of a side to side "wobble". Now this could be construed as a shock issue and in many cases it just might be. However, in my van, (which has good shocks on it) the addition of the new bars totally eliminates this "wobble". The reaction of the body to the road surface is almost nonexistent.

I am very pleased with these bars. They would make a great addition to any Vanagon. These bars were more pricey than the Addcos but most of that was due to the shipping cost. The fact that the Whiteline bars come with all new hardware including the urethane bushings makes the added cost worth it to me.
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Last edited by Christopher Schimke on Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we have stocked the Vanagon (and bus) Whiteline Bars for 7 years, to save on shipping charges from Australia FWIW.

John
Aircooled.Net Inc.
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's really good to know, Thanks. I emailed Whiteline about US dealers and got no response, so I assumed that there weren't any (for the Vanagon that is). Maybe it just got lost in the shuffle.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They do list a Master Distributer for the US on their website, too, btw.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, so I'm an idiot.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

loogy wrote:
OK, so I'm an idiot.

NO. But, when I get mine, hopefully, I'll get them a bit more quickly more locally.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

there are other "advantages" to dealing with a VW specific vendor. In our case, we upgrade the kit hardware in many cases so they properly "fit" the car. Whiteline bars ( in some cases) are designed for RHD cars, for obvious reasons. We have had some models made to specifically fit LHD or Both RHD and LHD to avoid issues. Other kits are not "complete", and we have had to source components to keep in stock to ship with the kits to avoid installation delays and hassles.

we see this situation constantly with swaybars, or ignition products for example. The factory instructions suck, so we provide our own to go with them since the factory ones are so inadequate. Of course we then get accused of being expensive. And then if we do not share them with someone that bought them from a parts-whore we are jerks Evil or Very Mad

I think it's worth noting that it's in your best interests (long term) to keep the VW hobby alive by giving business to VW specific vendors first, if at all possible. If everyone buys their stuff at JEGS, Summit, or "other" you'll be in for a rude awakening trying to buy regular vanagon stuff there when the VW Sources go out of business because everyone was shopping at the big price whore outlets. Just look at the big picture.

John
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just as a comparison, I took some pictures of the Addco sway bars I have on my van before I installed them. They use the stock front "dog bone" thing, and I like the way they atached in the rear better than the whiteline setup... Don't worry John.... I got them from a VW vendor... Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you post those pictures so I can see how the Addco's mount?
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me to! Pictures please! TIA
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope this does not come off as a rant. BUT, our family had a German Car Repair biz for nearly a half century. During that time we developed relations with several vendors. We basically had a group of preferred vendors. I go to those vendors first, even today. Aside from them, we knew of others and used them from time to time. But, we stayed with our core providers, typically. They knew that and provided us with a lot of value added. Some vendors do add value. No question. Others not. It is up to the buyer to decide what value he places in a particular vendor. If a vendor provides a lot of value, they will stay in businees. If not, then not. The market determines who stays and who doesn't. I have seen this time and time again. The market is shifting constantly and those that stay up with the times and trends survive. Those that do not, are not around. I think it is pretty simple. End of rant....

Keep having fun,
Walt....
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok... here are some pictures of the Addco bars I took before the install.. I still have to find the install pictures.. I took them with plans to post a how too on a website somewhere... I did make a few changes to the suggested setup.... The fronts are 25mm and the rears are 22mm

Here are both bars...
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The fronts use a new bushing at the frame that bolts in just like stock
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


At the outer end, you use the stock end link with the late model bushing, and a realy big bolt with a nylok nut...
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I adde two extra washers that they did not call for..
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the rears.... Very Happy They sit quite a bit higher than the Whitelines, and I think the install on both front and rear is a lot cleaner on the Addco's

These end links attach with a bolt to the inside of the trailing arm right behind the shock. The end of the bar ends up about 1/2 inch below the trailing arm...
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


the bracket in the rear of the bar uses a "U" bolt through the crossmember and another bracket to very securely mount. The flat side of the bushing mount sits level with the crossmember in front of the tranny...
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


If it looks confusing, I will hopefully find the disk with the rest of the pictures, and then I can post all of them and give you the full install...
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