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

Tony Hoffman tfh400036 at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 23 23:59:31 EST 2005

This is an interesting thread. I'll start with what I know from experience.
If you remove the front bar on a 1987 4000Q, or a 1991 VW Fox, the car gets real tail happy. If you add a rear bar to a 1975 Comet, it gets real tail-happy. 
Generally speaking, if you stiffen up one end of the car, you create more of a one-tire load, which makes that end break away earlier. For instance, you switch the front bar from a 5000(22mm IIRC) to the 4.2V8 bar (26mm IIRC). The front end no longer "gives" as much, and the outside tire is getting more of a load. Therefore, you are relying on the traction of that one tire more, which makes that end slide. I don't know about the suspension adjusting itself or what the discussion is there, but it is designed to move throughout it's range, so it seems a moot point for extreme cornering.  
BTW, the 3.6 V8's have a 24mm swabar on the front, so it's still an upgrade from the 5000/200.
Anyhow, I'd stiffen up the rear, either with springs or a swaybar. The front bar on a '85-87 4000 is pretty easy to put on other cars. The advantage of a swaybar is the adjustability, ease of removal if it isn't what you want.
Tony Hoffman

Alex Kowalski <akowalsk at comcast.net> wrote:
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.

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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