Type 44 Swaybar Questions..or: Listing Like A Spanish Galleon

Alex Kowalski akowalsk at comcast.net
Wed Feb 23 15:25:41 EST 2005

With apologies to Sting...

A while back there was a thread on Type 44 swaybar replacement, with some suggestions that a bigger swaybar from a V8 would be a worthwhile idea for the front end to tame understeer.

In a galaxy far, far in the Archives, there was a long discussion on Type 44 swaybars, front and rear, and the most sanguine advice seems to be that upgrading the roll stiffness of the car is best done by increasing the front swaybar size and going to linear-rate springs at the rear.  Some people had managed to get an S4 swaybar to fit on the back of a Type 44, by "fabricating some brackets" and so forth.

Some of the parts and techniques referenced in that thread were already NLA in 2003, so I'd like to try to bring this up to date:

Type 44 Listers, what do you recommend to improve the handling of the car and reduce understeer at this point in time, with parts that are still available?  Bigger front bar/stiffer springs all around?  No changes to the swaybar except new bushings, and then stiffer springs all around?  

I realize that suspension tuning is a complex subject with a lot of variables, so I'll tell you what I'm after to help direct the discussion.  I have a bone-stock '87 5KCSTQ with relatively low miles, good struts and shocks, and the bushings aren't bad, but they are getting old.  I want to make some provisions now for upgrades that I will do in the not-too-distant future.  I would like to make the car a little more neutral, reduce the ride height slightly, but I don't want a bone-jarring, twitchy autocross-only type vehicle.   I plan to upgrade to 16" wheels and tires by the end of the year, probably to A4 wheels, and I'd like to adjust the suspension to take advantage of a little more tire.  

Any thoughts?

Alex Kowalski
'87 5KCSTQ

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