Silvia: Sway Bars and Seat Time

In some of my past Yahoo Auctions parts trolling, I stumbled across a super rare set of ARC Pipe-Stabilizers (sway bars) with their adjustable endlinks. These things are big, hollow, and adjustable for stiffness. Doesn’t get much better in terms of s-chassis sway bars. Google says the stock sway bars are 24 or 25mm front and 15, 17, or 21mm rear. The ARC sways are 31.5mm front and 27mm rear. That’s a big difference. For those wondering, this ARC is Auto Refine Corp. not Abbey Road Company, the famous maker of high end cooling products. Here’s some comparison pics with the stock bars.






Install was a piece of cake and I aimed to set them in the “middle” range. The back is easy with it’s three holes of adjustability, but the front is a clamp style endlink which makes them virtually infinitely adjustable. I set them 35mm off the tip of the bar. Those up on their physics should realize the further the endlink is positioned toward the end of the sway bar the softer it will be. The suspension has a larger lever arm so it can generate more torque to act on the bar.


The car felt pretty good before the sway bars, but it had some body roll and a lot of camber wear on the tires (I’m thinking due to suspension compression under load). I was hoping the new bars would help keep the car flatter and tire wear more even.

The real test for the bars and what kind of difference they made would be on the track. I put my tires at the usual pressures (3.8bar rear to start since no compressor at the track) and tried to keep all other variables constant.

Right off the bat, the change was really noticeable, but I had forgotten I put the bars in so I was confused for a second. Haha. It was like ice out there. The rear had no traction. I pulled back in the pits and dropped the tires down to 3.4bar and went back out. That made a huge difference in traction and was soon skidding around like never before. The new stiffness was helpful on transitions and I was pleased to see the tires wearing more evenly across the tread like over 3/4 contact patch instead of about half. Here’s a video of the day.


This was my third time out with the turbo engine. The second was kind of a wash – literally – as it rained pretty hard. It was good practice using the foot brake to control slides but otherwise no real reason to take any video. I’m having fun documenting this car’s “build” which has really turned a build of me as a driver. I started with a NA Silvia with the basics and have been upgrading here and there when my driving is ready for an upgrade. I think I did three or four track days with the NA engine and now three with the turbo engine. Loving every minute of it. This is exactly why I bought this car!


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