Rear sway bar, yes or no?

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Autocross' started by AlanBDahl, May 12, 2014.

  1. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    I'm considering installing a rear sway bar on my car but I'm not 100% convinced I need it. For those of you who run street class and have installed a rear bar what do you think of it? What are the pluses and minuses?

    So far I'm pretty happy with my ST as-is with two exceptions, a little too much push in tight sections and a little slowness to react if there are too many slalom cones in a row. OTOH the car sticks like glue on sweepers and I don't want a rear bar to good that up.
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  3. k757

    k757 Active Member

    (GS guy) I'm not going the way of a RSB. Not worth having the rear end loose. If anything, a FSB to help keep the tires flat for reaching a quicker acceleration point after the car is leaning
    mongoose221 likes this.
  4. mongoose221

    mongoose221 Member

    Yeah Keith. Ian from cobb was asked about this on the other forum, he said they've been developing one, but bc we use a twist-beam, not independent rear, it winds up making the rear end really loose. Sure it's fun to drift hard, but even he says it's too much to control and they may scrap the project all together for now

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
    Smokin likes this.
  5. wash

    wash Active Member

    I'm going to add an Eibach bar to my next Tire Rack order. Its cheap and you can take it off if you don't like it.

    On a road course prepped car, it seems like the hot ticket may be Eibach rear bar and base Fiesta front bar to add roll stiffness at both ends.

    At the ST Octane Academy I drove a Focus ST with the FRPP spring package and lost the rear going in to the slalom. Every Fiesta I've driven has had way more rear grip than that. I doubt a rear bar will change that very much, especially with the way it already three-wheels totally stock.
  6. Mightymango

    Mightymango Active Member

    I have the rear bar and comparing mine to a stock one at the events around here (in the cold) it seems to rotate well. It does like to tripod a bit more then the stock one.

    I'm not 100% convinced that it is better. I was told I should try the front one, but being that myself and others that have driven my car says it turns well, I'm not sure if that would hurt or hinder.

    At the T&T this weekend I'm going to try to have a run with and without it if I have the time as it is a quick swap. I will already have all the gear to switch stuff around as I'm going to be tweaking my evo.
  7. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    I'm at the point now where I feel like I have a good handle on how to drive the car quickly. I can get good rotation through sharp transitions with mild lift-throttle oversteer. I think I'd like to find a little more turn in without lifting to get those extra tenths.

    The shock options are still a big question mark, so I'm looking at a rsb. I've never used sway bars to tune handling before, on my old STS Miata I just used crazy stiff springs and never felt the need to adjust the bars. I've always heard that sway bars should be the last step for tuning handling.

    Should I wait until I can get shocks on the car, or would I get good results with just a bar? Sorry for the noob question, but I drive better than I do car setup.
  8. Couldahadav8

    Couldahadav8 Active Member

    My plan was to go with adjustable rear shocks and maybe get a mild front swaybar. I think the most difficult aspect of driving the car for me so far has been the funky things that go along with tripodding.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    I agree with adjustable shocks being a better first step though ideally I'd like then at both ends. Has anyone come up with a source for adjustable shucks for either end of the car?
    Smokin likes this.
  10. wash

    wash Active Member

    Adding roll stiffness with a sway bar is usually better than adding it with heavy springs.

    For one it keeps your wheel rate low so your shocks can more effectively damp the suspension movement. It also does not effect ride quality nearly as much.

    Finding the right balance between spring rate and anti-sway bar stiffness is a key part needed to maximize your tire contact patch over less than perfectly smooth road surfaces.
  11. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    I agree! I always ran the softest springs I could and then the amount of shock needed to make them work at their best.

    But, my cars were as low as they could go and still have good suspension geometry, all the weight I could remove, especially high mounted weight and in front of the front axle and behind the rear axle......also the widest tires and wheels, offsets, etc, I could legally run, the most caster and camber that worked....

    Sway bars are a tuning aid on top of what else has been done correctly first but in many cases that is not possible due to the rules you run under and then sway bar(s) can take a higher priority.

    I do say a lot here, many stories yet I could tell but to keep it to the point for now, I have kicked arse on cars with a ton more power and more tire and many other mods simply because they had to stiff of springs.

    It ain't no use having all that expensive stuff if your tires to not maintain contact with the road:)
  12. Smokin

    Smokin Active Member

    A rear sway bar is not on my list. Since the Koni Yellow sport rear shocks appear to fit the Fiesta, I'm going that route. The only adjustment is rebound, so if you go to 1.5 stiff it would do everything a stiffer sway bar would do. Remember, the rear twist beam is 70% stiffer than the standard Fiesta.
  13. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    I think I will skip any sway bar changes except I have the race compound front bushings on order which will make the bar a bit more effective. I will also fab up some adjustable end links so I can ensure no preload on it when corner balancing and then hooking it back up, actually can just release any tension without disconnecting it.

    I have not picked spring rates yet, need fairly stiff as will be hauling two big dogs alot and driving on many race tracks but the car is quite a bit lighter than stock.....

    Thanks for the reminder the twist beam is so much stiffer than the base model cars.

    I still think we need more rear camber, just seems we should from my prior twist beam cars and all other track cars I have done, RWD, FWD, AWD....

    I need to find data on other twist beam cars as I have only ran one on a track a bit, mostly autocross.
  14. Mightymango

    Mightymango Active Member

    The lack of rear suspension adjust I think is huge in terms of the dialing in we can do for G-Street, maybe there will be some good choices for ST class later in the year if I decide to go that route.
  15. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    I have posted about getting shims made, need 10 sets to do so, now we have a vendor here that would make them....

    If that does not happen I am taking the rear knuckles to a machine shop and having them cut an angle on them.

    I also found I can get the rear knuckles for just $21.71 each so I might get two sets and have two different angles cut then I would have three choices.

    I will probably leave rear tow stock.

    I have been tempted to cut the axles near the mounting flanges for the knuckles, align and weld back up but that is a bit permanent though pretty easy and free for me.
  16. Mightymango

    Mightymango Active Member

    Would the shims be legal for stock/street class though?
  17. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    Not legal.
    Smokin likes this.
  18. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    Only to set it to stock if a part was bent I am afraid.

    I always end up with the wrong car in class but one of the top cars that is far faster than others would expect, I just make them do what I want and run whatever I have to run but that is just my way of doing things:)
  19. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    My experience with the FiST so far indicates it's the right car for the class. A fast FoST could change my mind but against the only one I've ran against so far the FiST is better and I've scored very well against my PAX class competition too. So maybe this time you bought the right car?
    Smokin and k757 like this.
  20. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    Which Koni yellows are you referring to? AFAIK Koni only makes Orange shocks for the ST at this point in time.
  21. Mightymango

    Mightymango Active Member

    Yeah, I didn't think so.

    As far as classing, I noticed nationally and locally the FiST is running faster raw times then almost every stock class, I only had one B Street and one E Street run faster then I did at the last event. PAX the FiST is a dream.
    Smokin likes this.

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