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Rear sway bar
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av8shunmeckaneck
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Joined: July 26, 2013
Posts: 124
Location: Pasadena
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:38 pm    Post subject: Rear sway bar Reply with quote

I'm sure this has been covered a few times but figured I'd write about my experience with fitting a sway bar.

I've been driving Thingaru in the twisties a lot lately to do some tuning and testing the mods I've done to fix the cooling problem. The handling, not just in the canyons, is sketchy at best. Body roll in the corners feels like I'm going slide off the seat and the rear floats quite a bit. Sort of feels like the rear is tucking under.

I started some research last night and settled on using an Empi 3/4" sway bar up front and probably make a custom one for the rear later. I went to SoCalImports to pick up a front bar but luckily i talked to the employee there that has a Thing. His suggestion confirmed what I hadn't given much weight to in my decision but had read about in the little research I did. The consensus is, if you only do one sway bar, put it where the weight is. One bar only on the rear of most cars (front engine), or only the front of our rear engine VWs, will cause the weight to transfer incorrectly and have a pretty bad push in corners.

I ended up with a late model Beetle 3/4" rear sway bar. Initially wasn't going to go this direction because of having to cut the gussets off of the rear torsion housing. Guess I'll fab something up to replace the gussets later on.

I installed the bar this evening and OMG! Not exactly 'on rails' but a 1000% improvement. It doesn't float around at highway speeds and get pushed around by semis as much anymore. Seems to have gotten rid of the shimmy too which makes me think my theory may have been right (short of). Based on feel and experience I thought the shimmy may actually be buffeting. I think the sway bar is preventing enough body sway that was allowing the buffeting to happen. Just an idea but I haven't driven it enough yet to say for sure. I only did a quick pass on then off the fwy. Maybe a couple of miles with hardly any other vehicles on the road.

I'll update some more after taking it up the canyon tomorrow.

Pic of how much of the gusset had to be removed so the sway bar doesn't hang low below the pan.
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mondshine
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Joined: October 27, 2006
Posts: 2423
Location: The World's Motor Capital
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:56 am    Post subject: Re: Rear sway bar Reply with quote

When you have time, please post a photo of the completed installation.
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74 Thing
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Joined: September 02, 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: Rear sway bar Reply with quote

Did you completely remove the front?

Mine handles pretty well. I run the stock front sized sway bar with urethane Bugpack bushings, and a rear IRS sway bar, and Koni reds all around.
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av8shunmeckaneck
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Joined: July 26, 2013
Posts: 124
Location: Pasadena
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Rear sway bar Reply with quote

As requested, photos of completed install. BTW, just thinking of using the cutoff wheel under the car is making me feel itchy all over.

Definitely planning to do the front at some point.

Jusy got back from canyon carving dnd its definitely better all over. The shimmy isn't completely gone but almost undetectable.
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