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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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I just installed a rear sway bar on my MINI Cooper S. In auto-x conditions, lifting a rear wheel is perfectly fine because the rear swaybar causes it's load to be transfered to the front wheels which are driving the car. Lifting a front wheel will just cause it to spin (no limited slip diff) and you'll loose time.

The reason manufacturers make cars understeer fromt he factory is that on street driving (or even high speed track), the rear end will get unsettled and if your off throttle or need to brake. You get oversteer (rear end comes around). On an auto-x track, you just keep your foot planted and the car goes around the corner much faster. You can't do this when somebody's in front of you.

Guillermo, does the rear swaybar make the car neutral in the corners or does it have a tendency to over/understeer?
 
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