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Are there any other common sway bar upgrade options for my 78 280z you guys know about besides what i found below? Maybe upgrades from different makes/models?

 

If so, has anyone gathered up and posted thickness, hollow/solid, or even spring rate information comparisons between them?

 

Suspension Techniques set 52100 -  Diameter F/R 1.125/.825 -  cold formed solid steel 

MSA set - diameter F/R 1/.825  - solid steel, but doesnt mention cold formed.

Addco diameter F/R 1/.825 cold rolled solid steel 

 

 

I also dont remember seeing any info about being adjustable either.

 

 

I just went through this research process for my Miata last winter and I seem to be not having the same luck with finding established information... 

 

 

BTW slightly related, I LOVE the Koni' yellows I upgraded to on the Miata and wished Koni made them for the Z (or still made them).

Edited by glitched

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DP Racing sells 1" front and 5/8" rear tubular adjustable anti-roll bars with rod end links.  The ST kit 52095 kit is the preferred kit for a lowered S30.  It  has 1" front and 3/4" rear non-adjustable solid bars.  I sell either of those kits.

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Order from johnc and Betamotorsport.com. His stuff is great every time and he gives great customer support. I've tried a few times to save a few bucks by going to a variety of suppliers but I always wind up losing money because other folks stuff often doesn't work. If you are serious, just one-stop shop with him. He knows his stuff and is competitively priced.

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Would it make sense to use the 280 front bar and the 240 rear bar?

 

From a handling perspective its better to run more spring and less bar.  Anti-roll bars reduce the independence if an independent suspension and make the car less compliant over one wheel bumps.  That being said, if, like most street cars, you're running soft shocks and springs then bigger bars add a level of roll stiffness that car is missing.

 

So, to answer your question I need to know what shocks you're running, what spring rates, and what you intend to do with the car.

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Open track days and weekend cruiser.  Previous owner installed fresh set of Tokico red and blues. I'm assuming he used the 280 springs and not the 240 springs, that makes them F/R 185/200 right? They are relatively new so it's hard to justify pulling them out and replacing them. Also, I have some nice sticky rubber as well. 

 

Some background; I've raced 240sx's on some cheap megan coilovers with no sway bar upgrades for years. I now also have a Miata with Koni yellows, stock springs, FCM bumpstops, and a big front sway bar  setup for autocross. I much prefer the Miata's setup over what i had on the 240. Not to mention I had SO many headaches with the adjustability of the megans (spring perches either coming loose and adjusting themselves or seizing up and not moving at all, but thats another story.)

 

SO naturally i'm comparing the Z to these cars, and I'm looking for more on-rails like handling like the miata's setup. But really just want to optimize what I've got. I may/probably will circle back to upgrading the springs or struts again in a couple of years, but don't want to have to revisit the sway bars.

Edited by glitched

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Look for part number 5022 on the springs.  That's the number for the Tokico HP 280Z springs.  The S30 chassis will never have the turn-in that the Miata has but you can match it in grip.  Because of the slow turn-in we tend to run the rear a bit looser to help the car rotate.  You can run the 280Z front anti-roll bar and the 240Z rear anti-roll bar with the springs rates listed.  Later, when you upgrade your springs and shocks, you can go to the smaller front bar.

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So I'm about to make large orders from both Summit Racing and MSA, and I figured it's a great time to save on shipping sway bars. Summit carries Suspension Techniques, which as mentioned are a thicker in the front. I'll be running stock class at autocross this season, but have a set of s13 coilovers I plan on installing afterwards. I had the coilovers on my 83 previously and with the included springs I saw no need for thicker sway bars.  Of course the newer stock springs could benefit much more from the thicker sway bars, but would the thicker front induce more understeer than the smaller MSA?

 

Because of the potentially increased understeer, and being better suited to stiffer coilovers, (and $120 cost savings) I'm thinking MSA may be the way to go.

 

Is my logic flawed?

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There is no right or wrong answer.  Don't buy the sway bar to save shipping-make it a separate issue based on how your car drives.  If your z lacks camber plates, your adhesion limit will come from lack of camber and a stiff front bar will make this worse.  Honestly, the rear bar doesn't do much.  I did an autocross a few years ago and I did one run without rear sway and one with sway-I ran the same time, but my inside rear tire was always spinning.  Before I had camber plates, I tried the same thing with a stock swaybar and a 1" swaybar.  The 1" swaybar caused more low-speed pushing (understeer, ie: you want to turn and the car keeps going straight) around turns, the stock bar was better.  But, with the stock bar I FELT more out of control because I was sliding all over my stock vinyl seats because of all the body roll.  I felt out of control, but the car went faster with the stock bar.  Don't worry about your bars until you have race tires, race seat/harness, coilovers and camber plates.  Then worry about the bar.  One more thing:  until you get an LSD, don't run a rear bar-it keeps you from getting the power to the ground coming out of turns (it makes inside tire spin WORSE).

 

If you decide to do your own thing and insist on getting swaybars, try to get the one for the rear that mounts behind the differential.  The one that mounts in front of the diff tends to conflict with your exhaust and your driveshaft.  I can't remember which is which any more.

 

Back before the miata and the S2000, I was often FTOD (fast time of day) with a worn-out, totally stock 240z with the only modification of dedicated autocross tires (195/60/14).  Tires is your number one upgrade!  I had stock bar in front with worn-out endlink bushings.  My competition was a totally tricked out and stripped VW rabbit and an Eagle Talon turbo, both of which were on race tires too.

Edited by RebekahsZ

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There is no right or wrong answer.  Don't buy the sway bar to save shipping-make it a separate issue based on how your car drives.  If your z lacks camber plates, your adhesion limit will come from lack of camber and a stiff front bar will make this worse.  Honestly, the rear bar doesn't do much.  I did an autocross a few years ago and I did one run without rear sway and one with sway-I ran the same time, but my inside rear tire was always spinning.  Before I had camber plates, I tried the same thing with a stock swaybar and a 1" swaybar.  The 1" swaybar caused more low-speed pushing (understeer, ie: you want to turn and the car keeps going straight) around turns, the stock bar was better.  But, with the stock bar I FELT more out of control because I was sliding all over my stock vinyl seats because of all the body roll.  I felt out of control, but the car went faster with the stock bar.  Don't worry about your bars until you have race tires, race seat/harness, coilovers and camber plates.  Then worry about the bar.  One more thing:  until you get an LSD, don't run a rear bar-it keeps you from getting the power to the ground coming out of turns (it makes inside tire spin WORSE).

 

If you decide to do your own thing and insist on getting swaybars, try to get the one for the rear that mounts behind the differential.  The one that mounts in front of the diff tends to conflict with your exhaust and your driveshaft.  I can't remember which is which any more.

 

Back before the miata and the S2000, I was often FTOD (fast time of day) with a worn-out, totally stock 240z with the only modification of dedicated autocross tires (195/60/14).  Tires is your number one upgrade!  I had stock bar in front with worn-out endlink bushings.  My competition was a totally tricked out and stripped VW rabbit and an Eagle Talon turbo, both of which were on race tires too.

 

 

Well this season I'll be racing in E-stock, so no camber plates or LSD. I have new springs, Tokico blues and new bushings, and will be running r-comps. I only made it to one event last year and it was damp out, so of course with  little traction, it's hard to gauge how severe the body roll was. After autocross I plan adapting the the S13 coilvers that I had in my S130 along with camber plates, installing the OBX LSD and much more including an L28 swap.

 

The car is a 77 with the front mounted sway bar. When I bought it the left sway bar mount had been snapped off by a rogue rock on the road, which also left nice dents in the front x member and floor pan. I welded it back in, but couldn't get at the part of the mount tucked up into the bulkhead, so it's probably got some flex to it now. I can probably do a better job of the repair now that the car is in the shop on 24" stands, as opposed to in my driveway in the dark the night before the race :P

 

I did a quick search on converting to a rear sway bar, but nothing came up. It doesn't seem like there would be anything to it though. Can I just order a 240Z rear bar and some generic mounts to weld to the rear diff mount? Seems like it would clean things up nicely at the rear of the car .

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The 240 kit won't work on a 280 because the differential (r180 vs r200) if different therfor the rear bar will be different. Fronts should be the same.

 

Damn!  And I've been installing the 240Z kit on the back of 280Zs for 10+ years in error. 

 

Guys, the ST 240Z anti-roll bar kit is pretty much ideal for any street driven S30.  It fits on the 240, 260, and 280 and the rear bar installation is a better design then the stock bar setup, especially for a lowered S30.  The kit comes complete with everything you need for the install.

 

Here's a pic of the ST rear bar installed in a 240Z with a R200, CVs, MM LCAs, MM brakes, BM strut kit, etc.  The new ST bars are black or dark gray, not green.

 

RearSusp-51.jpg

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Damn!  And I've been installing the 240Z kit on the back of 280Zs for 10+ years in error. 

 

Guys, the ST 240Z anti-roll bar kit is pretty much ideal for any street driven S30.  It fits on the 240, 260, and 280 and the rear bar installation is a better design then the stock bar setup, especially for a lowered S30.  The kit comes complete with everything you need for the install.

 

Here's a pic of the ST rear bar installed in a 240Z with a R200, CVs, MM LCAs, MM brakes, BM strut kit, etc.  The new ST bars are black or dark gray, not green. 

 

I'd like to do this setup. So the sway bar mounts on the diff mount are included in the ST kit?  I noticed the ST front sway bars for the 240Z is 1" as opposed to the 1 1/8" for the 280Z. I assume this is due to added weight of the later car, so would the 1 1/8" front bar and 240Z rear bar be better combo than using the 1" front bar?

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Excellent, so I'm thinking I'll grab the 240Z front and rear combo (unless anyone thinks the larger 1 1/8" bar will beneficial). If it doesn't come with the mounts than I can always order one of these: http://www.energysuspension.com/universal-products/sway-bar-bushings.html

 

For the 240Z rear bar swap, do the end links use the same pickup points on the control arms or do new holes have to be drilled? 

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The kit comes complete with everything you need for the install.

 

What about this sentence don't you understand?

 

I will give you one tip, for the front bar mounts on the frame, put a washer between the "U" shaped clamp and the frame when you bolt things up to keep from binding the bar when you tighten the 8mm bolts.

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