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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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Re: Highway Tracking & Oversteer

Jackmpg said:
Hi Guillermo,
What would you think of putting Koni's back there?
Thanks and nice job, Jack
As far as I know, there are no aftermarket shocks available for the Insight, let alone Konis. Do you know something we don't?
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Re: Highway Tracking & Oversteer

Jackmpg said:
Hi Guillermo,
Read your thread and I have a question you can answer. Stock Insight toe-in is set to zero for mpg. So when on highway with side winds the little car want's to bounce all over the road. What effect does your rear stabilizer have on this?
The rear sway bar does not affect straight line behaviour. Unless one of the rear tires hits a bump then it's transfered to the other side so it's felt more. By the way, my front alignment is currently at 1/16" toe out for better "turn-in responce" at the expence of straight line instability :twisted:
Really it's not that bad, ask Opal, she has the same set up.
Honestly with street tires wider then the original 165 mm the side winds are not noticed anymore.

Jackmpg said:
Would there be oversteer maintaining a constant highway speed, say, of 80 mph?
Oversteer is only experienced at the limit of cornering traction and only when slowing down in a corner. So always slow down BEFORE turning, and not in corners.... LOL

Jackmpg said:
What would you think of putting Koni's back there?
No need to upgrade the dampers unless you also upgrade the springs.

Jackmpg said:
Do they make a slightly less stiff bar for street use, the link I went to only provided one part number.
You mean does anyone make a torsion bar for an 1900 lb car that fits an Insight? No they don't .
But you can always make your own out of 1" square tube. If you use cheap mild steel instead of heat treated high strength steel it will not be so stiff and it will cost under $20 including buying 8 grade 8 bolts and lock nuts.
 

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Thanks All

Thanks for the info,
I have used koni's in the past with good results(heavy turns). Yes, would have to do a little work to determine lenth, travel, mounting and such. Am considering tossing some mpg's to improve handling and drivability. Changes you suggest sound like the way to go. Am considering these changes (sway bar included). Thanks again, Jack
 

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I'm reviving an interesting old thread. I want to have a fabricator build a rear sway bar for my Insight and would like the base the design on the successful (but perhaps too stiff) Shine Racing SRS from a Jetta. The links to the images above are all dead. Does anyone have pics of this bar installed on an Insight or better yet, installation photos from Guillermo or anyone else who did this mod?

Thanks,

Joel
 
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