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Old 12-16-2006, 05:15 PM   #1
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Which is better? Rear sway or strut bar?

Hey Ive been gettin pretty tired of my SE hopping over bumps at higher speeds. The rear end loves to kick out on those and it's pretty bad above 70+mph on turns esp. My question is which would be the better investment-an eibach sway bar for the rear end or a strut tower bar that would go in my trunk. Im just guessing the sway would be better, but Im looking for some experience in this area.
The fron end isnt too bad. Also anyone seen a rear link setup? Its not a sway bar it goes in the center of the subframe...hard to describe.

Anyway thanks for your input ahead of time and let me know which is the best handling for my $$.


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Old 12-16-2006, 06:11 PM   #2
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If anyone's ever gone from I-294 to I-94 northbound in chicago-land, you know what this guy is talking about. I'd be interested in the answer too.

Do you have a factory sway bar? I think it was an option in 2001...?
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Old 12-16-2006, 06:57 PM   #3
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stiffening your rear suspension will encourage oversteer, not the other way around. What shape are your dampers in? Last time I had trouble oversteering on a bend at an expansion joint the rear struts in my Neon were dead.

I havent seen whatever you're referencing there as a rear link. Sound like a toe bar? I've seen something called a toe bar on other cars before, never on a Focus though.

I havent driven anywhere near Chicago before, but the general advise stands. To just reduce understeer, you need to soften the rear suspension and/or pump a few more PSI into the rear tires. If you stiffen the FRONT, you wont really oversteer less, just ALSO understeer.
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Old 12-16-2006, 08:49 PM   #4
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I wouldn't call what I'm talking about (and what I think GZetec is referring to) under/oversteer... Its more like the car is a chick with a large rump shakin it like theres no tomorrow. It really only happens after you hit a bump while you're going fast, and it drives me nuts. I can see my rear passengers heads goin backnforth like friggn bobbleheads for a half mile after the bump, and thats in a wagon with the factory built-up rear suspension.
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Old 12-16-2006, 10:12 PM   #5
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High tire pressures and/or overly stiff springs can create that kind of problem too! If you have stock springs try reducing the air pressure a little at a time. Sway bars are not the answer to you problem. What kind of shocks are you using?
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Old 12-16-2006, 10:58 PM   #6
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Well, don't mean to thread jack, but i've got stock shocks right now that make the motion happen. I'm looking to upgrade to the Eibach Pro-Kit Plus next year, hopefully that will solve all my problems and then some

On a side note, I did a real quick dynamic analysis of the shocks and springs on my car (2002 wagon) and my dads 2005 sedan... In comparison it looks almost like the 2002's were designed to do this crazy rocking back and forth thing, at least on the wagons. The lateral loads can oscillate between the left and right shocks that mount to the chassis in the center of the car () and the springs that are mounted not-quite-vertically. In the 2005, the shocks and springs both mounted vertically, so no major lateral oscillation or rocking motion on the axis of the chassis (comparatively). But I might be completely wrong, and I don't remember considering the location of the sway bar endlinks.
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:13 PM   #7
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I agree on checking the shocks. I would say get a rear strut bar first. From What I hear it does make a "seat of the pants" difference. Then I would look into getting front and rear Eidach sways to keep the car more " balanced".
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:22 PM   #8
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when i got the front strut it really stiffened up the feel on the bumpy freeway. Before i installed the svt rear sway (no sway before) the back end didnt bump around. Maybe you can try removing the sway you have on.
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Old 12-17-2006, 11:48 AM   #9
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yeah i have stock suspension and illinipo is talkin about exactly what i mean. It hope over bumps on turns and it gets wild, sometimes gotten close to out of control. thanks for all the input. my suspension is in great shape, i'm looking into getting the eibach pro kit as well, and hopefulll they make a bolt on rear sway bar, without drilling. thanks everyone! keep them coming!
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Old 12-17-2006, 03:26 PM   #10
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sounds more like bad shocks or struts , strut bar won't make much of a differance.
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