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Discussion Starter #1
I have a '04 330Xi that I've lowered using Bilstein Sport Struts and shocks and H&R springs. The Question; been reading alot in regards to front swaybar pre-loading and from what I've read, lowering the car adds pre-loading to the front swaybar + that I should remove the pre-loading to get the best handling on the car..... Found some Adjustable Swaybar links @ TMS (not on website yet, but confirmed they have have them this morning)..... IS this a worthwhile investment? Will I notice the difference and finally, how do I go about setting up the adjustable links to remove the pre-loading while maintaining equal corner weighting to the front tires. HOw can I check corner weights without a costly Corner Balancing......

Anyone know of a shop in the Toronto/GTA that does corner balancing (not sure if necessary) and cost(s)?
 

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i believe the only way you would have preload in your sway bars, or to achieve preload, would be to wedge the car. the left side v. the right side of the car having different spring setups or attitudes, as the sway bar works only to control weight distribution on the car from left to right and front to back. lowering the car evenly would have no effect on sway bar preload. if you wanted preload, i would surmise adjusting endlinks asymmetrically would give you that effect. i am no suspension expert, to the experts out there, please correct me if i am wrong.

i know of no way to corner balance a car without scales.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the response. From what I understand (again; track-day guys help out), the lowering process will add pre-load to both front wheels (likely evenly), but since the sway bar link lengths are fixed, the lower height will add pre-load to the sway bar, something you want to avoid........... was hoping that if it's determined I should get adjustable links, then I could adjust without corner balancing the car (not tracking; just want the best handling I can get from my setup).......
 

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I have had sway bar issues...
I put on new HR front and rear Sway bars and didnt put on aftermarket sway bar links..
Basically now i'm having link issues of course. When I return to the car I will be replacing them fixing the issues for good.. I will just put my car in the air and put the new ones on and hope everything is fine. I know your suppose to put it on a lift in the air keepin pressure on the suspension system
 

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the sway bars are mounted in a rubber or urethane bushing, which allows them to torsionally move freely but keeping them securely fastened to the car. lowering would just move like ends of the bar into a like position. if you detach the endlinks but leave the bar mounted to the car, you can spin the bar in its busings; mimicking the movement of the bar up and down about it axis.

the only time the sway bar comes into play is corning; the force on one side of the bar is greater than the opposite side. raising or lowering the car should have no effect on sway bars.
 

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adjustable endlinks are just used to return the stabilizer bar to the original geometry after the car is lowered. Usually the horizontal part of the bar (viewed from the side of the car), should be parallel with the ground when static. This would allow the bar to exert equal amount of force when its going up or down.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks folks. I will check to see it there is pre-loading present and then determine the next step.....
 

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the sway bars are mounted in a rubber or urethane bushing, which allows them to torsionally move freely but keeping them securely fastened to the car. lowering would just move like ends of the bar into a like position. if you detach the endlinks but leave the bar mounted to the car, you can spin the bar in its busings; mimicking the movement of the bar up and down about it axis.

the only time the sway bar comes into play is corning; the force on one side of the bar is greater than the opposite side. raising or lowering the car should have no effect on sway bars.
+1

You can't load both sides of the sway bar equally - it'll just pivot in its bushings. If one side is loaded down, the other side is loaded up (that is, the sway bar is pulling down on the other side of the car).

If your sway bar is loaded while at rest, something else is probably wrong with your suspension.

When at rest, the sway bar end links need to be approximately perpendicular to the ends of the sway bar. If the car is lowered, this will no longer be the case... it's not loaded, both sides are sitting at an equal (but wrong) unloaded angle. If you shorten the sway bar end links, you can return the sway bar to its original position where the end links are perpendicular to the bar.
 

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Lowering the car does not create preload any more than the stock height. Preload could be removed or increase by adjustable sway links. As with race cars that are set up for specific track needs. In a street car which sees different passenger and cargo loads, the preload is always there!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks folks!! I'll take a quick check and see how much the lowering has altered the positioning of the swaybar and links. Just trying to ensure the $$ spent on the suspension enhancements (including ACS Strut brace) are keeping as much rubber to the pavement as possible... Xi's have larger sway bars 23.5mm in front and rear 21mm than std 3 series, so I don't think larger swaybars is the answer (plus try to find one for an Xi; none that I've seen). I'm running about -2.5 camber as a result of the lowering. Was considering KMAC Camber plates to return to factory, but that would reduce cornering capabilities in return for longer tire wear.... Thoughts?
 
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