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Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

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Old 04-30-2014, 10:29 AM   #1
willsbma
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Sway bar sizes vs. material/construction

Looking at sways for 99 sedan. Uuc seems to be the most popular. Eibach looks fairly priced for a set but the sizes all seem to be 27mm front/21mm rear. Hotchkis sells a 30mm front, considering the CSL bar is 30.8mm would this be the best one or does construction/material get a better rating even though it may be a smaller diameter?
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:02 PM   #2
ICONIKE46
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Hotchkis is the way to go. Just ordered mine and everyone can vouch for their quality/performance. I just made a thread about this the other day and had several PMs saying to go with hotchkis.

The second runner up would be the turner motorsports sways. I believe those see H&R built.


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Old 04-30-2014, 08:37 PM   #3
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If you wan to stay OEM, you can always get e46 m3 front and e46 iX rear and have them paired with poly bushings.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:28 PM   #4
hummer
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If you truely wish to discuss sway bars and handling, this is the wrong site to obtain info! All you'll get here is how good 27/21 bars are and "just go buy them" don't ask questions! If you enjoy your understeer, by all means do that! But, maybe you are different so I will comment.

If you detest understeer, talk to UUC or just upgrade the rear bar?
I found RDS 27/24 bars to offer balanced handling in my coupe. As a stand alone suspension change it was OK. But after getting serious about it and installing Bilstein/H&R these bars were way to stiff for me. So I went back to a stock front bar and H&R 21 rear bar - Nirvana!
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:09 AM   #5
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I was thinking of adding just a front hotchkis bar, will this make me understeer more? I have a staggered wheel setup that I feel makes it understeer anyway, and was hoping this would help, not worsen it.


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Old 05-09-2014, 06:38 AM   #6
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you will get more understeer on your current setup with a thicker front sway bar. Things you can do to offset its effect is run more static camber and caster. If you are genuinely understeering and feel it is holding you back then upgrade the rear sway bar. This wont ever be an issue at normal driving speeds. A good question to ask is pro vs con of solid or hollow bars. Some 30mm solids weight as much as 8kg. My old s13 used to come with a 22solid front and hollow 18rear. I assume hollow requires a larger diameter to get the same torsional resistance but reduces weight accordingly.

The reason stiffer front sway bars make understeer worse is because it limits suspension travel when weightshifted during cornering and thus the dynamic effects of the suspension geometry are limited. Camber increases with load/travel limiting this limits the dynamic camber and this less contact patch of the front outside wheel is maintained during cornering.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:19 AM   #7
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I already have the fsd shocks/prokit eibach springs installed, and just feel high speed changed in direction could be more stable. For example sometimes the dsc light goes on if I change lanes quickly, as the weight shifts. However it I steers so bad if I make a quick u-turn. To counter understeer in corners I guess I would just need to upgrade both and run the front softer than the rear?


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Old 05-09-2014, 11:49 AM   #8
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Oh yeah my staggerds are gone forever. Currently running 235-45 on 8" wheels all around. What you are describing is the result of understeer. When you crank the wheel, the car wants to roll. The shocks, springs and sways get into the act of limiting this roll. With understeering sways, the roll resistance is not balanced front to rear. A disproportionate amount of force is applied to the front which overloads the tires. The rear tires are under less load to the point where the lights start flashing. I believe that my shocks and springs are stiffer than yours. So, my stock front and 21 rear bars work for me. I would suggest UUC sways baby! Stop thinking about a 27 mm front bar! Street handling is about balance and agility not overpowering sways.
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