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Sway Bar Tuning

    Tuning sway bars seems to be a black art. Some say to run no rear sway bar and some say to run the thickest sway bars possible. The definitive answer is "it depends". Thanks to modern aftermarket sway bars, they are easily adjustable at the track. They are usually much simpler to adjust as opposed to swapping out springs. Generally suspension tuning idealism is to adjust spring rates to remove sway then tune the rest with sway bars. It is preferred to soften sway bars first instead of stiffening. The softest sway bar possible is the preferred setup.

    As a result of stiff sway bars, a car may lift the inside tire mid corner. This is an apparent sign to soften the sway bar. This is inefficient simply because the inside tire can no longer perform as intended (either turn the car or drive the car forward). The outside tire, as a result, will tend to become overloaded. Therefore, both tires will not adhere to their fullest extent.

    Soft sway bars give a similar problem. The entire car will lean over and cause the outside tires to overload. As with anything, there is always a point where either side is simply too much.

    General Sway Bar Tuning Guidelines

    Stiffer Sway Bar

    Can lift inside tire/unloads inside tire
    Faster weight transfer (snap back)
    Potential for tires skipping or skipping over uneven/rough surfaces

    Softer Sway Bar

    Potential to overload the outside tire
    More body roll

    If your car exhibits one of the major "cons", you may want to go stiffer/softer accordingly.

    On top of this, if you are understeering/oversteering during a track day, here is a simple way to remember:

    Understeer: soften front or stiffen rear sway bar
    Oversteer: soften rear or stiffen front sway bar

    (stolen from: