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Rear sway bar installed on Insight - it works!

12598 Views 23 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  JoelR
After a lot of research, I finally figured out how to install a sway bar on my Insight. The closest thing off the shelf that fits is the Shine SRS rear sway bar made for VW A4 Golf/Jetta/New Beetle (99 - ??)
http://www.srsvw.com/parts/partdetail.asp?pid=57

Shine SRS rear swaybar
$195 MSRP
Internal axle-beam mounting
materials: "The bar has an OD of 1.125" and 0.250" wall thickness, TIG welded 4130 chrome-moly steel. CNC machined, Jig built, Normalized and heat treated. Bar weighs 6.5 pounds and uses USA made grade 8 3\8 inch hardware. 32 inches OAL. All bars are powdercoated."
specs: approx 359.2 lbs/ft calculated deflection
install tips: requires drilling 8 holes in axle beam with 3/8" cobalt drill
It does require modifying it by cutting the top protusions with a dremel tool so it will fit in the Insight twist beam rear suspension.

http://www.insightracing.ca/gallery/mods/june4_5_179

Installling it is much more time consuming and difficult then it looks but it's worth it. It took me 5 hours and the purchase of a 3/8" cobalt drill is essential. It also requires drilling blindly very close to brake lines :shock:

http://www.insightracing.ca/gallery/mods/june4_5_335
Since this photo was taken I have covered the brake lines with a protective sheath to make sure the brake lines to rub and wear on the nuts.

Here are instructions on how to install the SRS rear sway bar (on a VW keep that in mind):
http://www.srsvw.com/infocenter/install/docs/a2swaybar.pdf

Here are better instructions with photos from a similar manufacturer (but since the bolts are further apart from each other, this one will likely not fit the Insight.)
http://www.o-bars.com/install-sway.html

Does it work?
YES, this is the stiffest sway bar available for VW golfs and jettas that weigh over 3,000 lbs so it works specially well on my 1880 lb Insight :twisted:
I just finished installing it last friday so I have used it for only 2 club autoslaloms so far. The sway bar stiffens the rear during hard corners so much that there is instant "lift throttle oversteer" on demand when driving at the limit. 8)
This is the fastest way to drive a FWD car and finally for the first time my Insight 3 wheels with 1 tire high in the air like all the best handling FWD cars!

http://www.insightracing.ca/gallery/2005-06-4-5/june4_5_326

For more information on how sway bars work read this:
http://www.stealthtdi.com/SwayBars.html

To see and feel my Insight handle at an autoslalom come to the Southern Ontario Insight meet near Toronto on June 12.
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2929
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Interesting, but a bit puzzling. I guess I have a hard time seeing how lifting one wheel clear of the pavement is going to improve cornering. Instead of rubber meeting road in four places, it's meeting in three. Even if those three have the same total force, it's hard to see how you get a net benefit. Think of wide vs narrow tires...

Second, if you do lift your front wheel (in a FWD car) off the pavement, don't you lose traction, just like spinning one wheel on ice?
 

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OK, I think I see that you can select the bars to have either front or back off the ground. I guess I shouldn't have been looking at the pictures :)

"The rear inner tire that is in the air of a great handling FWD car is useless during extreme cornering anyways."

Yeah, that's what I thought. But wouldn't it be better to have a weight transfer onto that wheel, so it would be useful?

Of course it's all pretty academic for me these days. My cornering is limited by when the dog starts sliding. Of course, I suppose I could always line the hatchback floor with velcro :)
 
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