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bolt in subframe connectors or sway bars?

This is a discussion on bolt in subframe connectors or sway bars? within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; I have koni shocks/strano springs.. they work great. if i was to spend $500 or less.. what would be the ...

  1. #1
    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    bolt in subframe connectors or sway bars?

    I have koni shocks/strano springs.. they work great.


    if i was to spend $500 or less.. what would be the best install for the money [or any combination]:

    *Front Sway Bar
    *Rear Sway Bar
    *Bolt in SFC

  2. #2
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    2000 Trans Am

    What are you using the car for and what are your current mods? I know everyone swears by sfc's but I have ran them in the past and probably wont do it again. If you're going with a straight line car I would just disconnect the front swaybar (I completely removed mine) and get a set of lower control arms and relocation brackets. You'll have a good amount of money left over to get yourself on a good tire. Then figure out what the car needs from there. Im not saying its the best way, just how I would go about things.

    If your going another direction with the car, I cant help ya much.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Like above said, if you are going more for handling, the sway bars will improve that. I went with LCAs, SFCs, TA, relocation brackets, and PHB first. I don't think I will be changing out my sway bars personally. My car handles pretty good with the above mods and sitting on Strano/Koni's.

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    SFC ftw they make the car feel more solid.

    If you have t tops and you put your hand on the t-top where it meets the a piller while driving you can feel how much the car moves in terms of flex.

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    For $500 you can have the best of both worlds.
    1.) UMI 3-pt SFC's = $300

    2.) Strano hollow front sway bars = $200

    The stock rear SS sway bar is sufficient for now and some people even like keeping it that way. The front sway bar will have more of an improvement than the rear bar. I also recommend getting the front bar before or at the same time as a stiffer rear bar. If you increase the rear bar first the car will be more loose than stock in the corners, which is usually not the way you want to go unless you are drifting or want to setup for drag racing.

    Later you could always get a strano hollow rear bar adjustable or not to make the car a little more balanced. In addition adding an UMI driveshaft safety loop would tie both sides of the car together even more than the 3-pt SFC's.

    Fair warning, that my recommendations are definietely skewed towards handling not straight line drag racing.
    02 Camaro SS, 35th Anniversary Limited Edition #1021, 6-speed, T-Tops, 345HP SLP option, CME, 3.73's, J&M LCA's, UMI 3-pt SFC's, Strano springs, KONI SA's, Strano 35mm front sway bar, Hellwig adjustable rear sway bar, Hawk HPS, UMI adjustable PHB. Autocross: 17x11 ZR1's with 315 35 17 Nitto NT05

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    thank you for all the replies...

    Yes, my car has T-Tops.

    Current suspension mods include:
    *Strano Springs
    *Koni Shocks (the cheaper ones that the front adjust on car, rear adjust off car)
    *UMI Adjustable Panhard Bar (bought it to recenter rear end)
    *UMI Shock Tower Brace


    The car is used for spirited street driving only. I dont really care about its performance down a track because our local track is lousy and only an 1/8mi anyway.. I'm a better driver in the corners than I am @ a drag strip..


    So, KCC455 thats kind of what i was thinking because then i can stiffen up the car with the SFC's and then a stiff front sway bar...

    i expected that the front sway bar would improve handling more than a rear sway bar..

    The bushings probably matter a bit also..

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    Auto Painter RyanJM's Avatar
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    If.you do sway bars do both they are meant to be used toghter, adding just larger front would upset the balance of the car. Your cor would want to lean more in the rear than front. Sway bars will make the car a lot more fun but I would do.both at once.
    I have BMR springs with AGX's UMI adj panhard,lca's and the spohn front and rear sway bat set and ride and handling is great. I have just sfc's left to install.
    1998 Trans Am 85k miles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
    thank you for all the replies...

    Yes, my car has T-Tops.

    Current suspension mods include:
    *Strano Springs
    *Koni Shocks (the cheaper ones that the front adjust on car, rear adjust off car)
    *UMI Adjustable Panhard Bar (bought it to recenter rear end)
    *UMI Shock Tower Brace


    The car is used for spirited street driving only. I dont really care about its performance down a track because our local track is lousy and only an 1/8mi anyway.. I'm a better driver in the corners than I am @ a drag strip..


    So, KCC455 thats kind of what i was thinking because then i can stiffen up the car with the SFC's and then a stiff front sway bar...

    i expected that the front sway bar would improve handling more than a rear sway bar..

    The bushings probably matter a bit also..
    The 4th gen f-bodies tend to be loose in the rear, so adding a stiffer front sway bar can change that behavior. For your setup with Strano springs and Koni's the Strano hollow bar, which is softer than a 35mm solid bar should noticeably improve the handling. My personal opinion if I had to choose between the SFC's and rear sway bar I would get the UMI 3-pt SFC's first. Then later if the car is understeering and the rear is not loose you can get a hollow Strano bar. A good friend has the front Strano sway bar and Ground Control lowering springs with the stock rear sway bar as his car was looser than he liked with a stiffer rear sway bar. Sometimes it comes down to how you like the car to drive.

  9. #9
    I would recommend sway bars first, they will add more improvement to the vehicle as well as be more noticeable. Sway bars would add a great touch to the Koni shocks and your springs as well. For $500 we can get you a sway bar kit and bolt in SFC's

    Sway bars- $319.99

    Bolt in SFC's- $174.99

    If you have any questions please ask. Thank you!

    Ryan

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    Umi makes great stuff

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    Member xmarkx's Avatar
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    umi stuff is awesome tough. you can't ever go wrong with any of their pieces. I've never read a complaint about any of their pieces for our cars
    (umi) k-mbr (w/ poly mounts), upper non adj. A arms, lower adj. A arms, front sway bar, 3 point SFC, TA relo (w/ poly mount), TA, drag bar.

    (bmr) tunnel brace, adj. rod end LCA , adj. rod end PHB, sportlines w/ hose mod, bilsteins

    19x12,19x10 spyders 335/30 275/35 NTO5's

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UMI Performance View Post
    I would recommend sway bars first, they will add more improvement to the vehicle as well as be more noticeable. Sway bars would add a great touch to the Koni shocks and your springs as well. For $500 we can get you a sway bar kit and bolt in SFC's

    Sway bars- $319.99

    Bolt in SFC's- $174.99

    If you have any questions please ask. Thank you!

    Ryan
    thanks! will consider it over the next couple months. maybe an xmas present to myself.


    my adjustable PH Bar and shock tower brace were both UMI... seemed to be good quality stuff

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    Member Blue28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
    I have koni shocks/strano springs.. they work great.


    if i was to spend $500 or less.. what would be the best install for the money [or any combination]:

    *Front Sway Bar
    *Rear Sway Bar
    *Bolt in SFC
    IMO, get a set of Strano's (hollow) sway bars for $390.

  14. #14
    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue28 View Post
    IMO, get a set of Strano's (hollow) sway bars for $390.
    1) Is there a significant difference between 2 point and 3 point SFC's?

    2) What is the advantage of the strano sway bars?
    Last edited by mammoth713; 10-26-2010 at 10:50 PM.

  15. #15
    Member xmarkx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
    1) Is there a significant difference between 2 point and 3 point SFC's?

    2) What is the advantage of the strano sway bars?
    if you don't tie 3 points together with a tunnel mount TA or a tunnel brace than your not going to get the 100% advantage from the 3 points. so if you don't plan on using either one get 2 points.

    Strano bars are super light because they're hollow. everyone else's sway bars are solid and alot heavier. I personaly trust a solid bar more than a hollow but that's just my own close minded opinion.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
    1) Is there a significant difference between 2 point and 3 point SFC's?
    Like mentioned in the post above, if you are running or planning on running a short tunnel mounted torque arm the 3-point SFC's help to reduce stress on the floor and they take the load. For a street car and most drag applications the 2-point set up will be just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
    2) What is the advantage of the strano sway bars?
    The Strano sway bars are hollow making them lighter. The main difference will be weight and price, solid steel is less expensive so we can manufacture the sway bars out of solid for less money. The UMI solid bars are CNC bent using chromoly steel, we also offer them powder coated in red or black. Our powder coat process is very precise, items are sand blasted and we use a high gloss exterior powder. If you decide to go with the Strano bars we can sell them as well.

    Hope that helps!
    Ryan

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    Member Blue28's Avatar
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    If adding weight isn't a issue and/or cost is, then get a set of solid sway bars.
    I would still highly consider Strano sway bars since he designed them with Koni SA's and his lowering springs in mind, plus his price is really good for hollow bars.
    If you plan on keep your for a long time I'd go ahead an get some 2 point weld in SFC, not bolt in which can't stiffen the chassis as effectively as a set of welded in SFC can. If you don't plan on keeping it very long, IMO cross the SFC's off you list.

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UMI Performance
    Like mentioned in the post above, if you are running or planning on running a short tunnel mounted torque arm the 3-point SFC's help to reduce stress on the floor and they take the load. For a street car and most drag applications the 2-point set up will be just fine.
    yeah, I wasnt planning on running a "short tunnel ...torque arm" or the driveshaft safety loop thing.

    do the 2 point bolt in SFC's stiffen up the car noticeably even though its literally just a bar bolting the back and front together?


    Quote Originally Posted by Blue28 View Post
    If adding weight isn't a issue and/or cost is, then get a set of solid sway bars.
    I would still highly consider Strano sway bars since he designed them with Koni SA's and his lowering springs in mind, plus his price is really good for hollow bars.
    If you plan on keep your for a long time I'd go ahead an get some 2 point weld in SFC, not bolt in which can't stiffen the chassis as effectively as a set of welded in SFC can. If you don't plan on keeping it very long, IMO cross the SFC's off you list.

    adding weight isnt an issue, this car is my summer DD.. i mainly cruise around curvy back country roads, take it to the 1/8 mi track once a year in fall..

    thats about it.

    as far as weld vs bolt in SFC's, i didnt want to get into modding the car that extensively because then i cant really reverse a welded in one..

    SO, I guess its a question of do Bolt in 2-point SFC's really improve handling or not really?




    as a side note, how hard is a front sway bar/ 2 point SFC's to install on a car with minor rust on the bottom?

  19. #19
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
    yeah, I wasnt planning on running a "short tunnel ...torque arm" or the driveshaft safety loop thing.

    do the 2 point bolt in SFC's stiffen up the car noticeably even though its literally just a bar bolting the back and front together?





    adding weight isnt an issue, this car is my summer DD.. i mainly cruise around curvy back country roads, take it to the 1/8 mi track once a year in fall..

    thats about it.

    as far as weld vs bolt in SFC's, i didnt want to get into modding the car that extensively because then i cant really reverse a welded in one..

    SO, I guess its a question of do Bolt in 2-point SFC's really improve handling or not really?




    as a side note, how hard is a front sway bar/ 2 point SFC's to install on a car with minor rust on the bottom?
    Get them welded. Do it once, and do it right. There is no need to ever remove them once they are installed. That's my opinion. Take it for what it is worth. And to answer your other question, yes, you will notice a difference with 2 pts installed. They dramatically stiffen up the chassis. After getting all of my suspension mods installed, when I get hit second the ass end of my car doesn't get squirly anymore. It hooks, and it goes straight as an arrow.
    It's on jackstands.

  20. #20
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    i had to pull my SFCs out the other day .......glad they were bolt ins

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