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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK... I broke the bank and bought my wife a balenciaga bag.. whatever that is. I live by the rules of happy wife happy home.. anyways now she wants to buy me a sway bar set since she's so happy and I've been searching for so long. Will be ordering tomorrow so need all that I can get on recommendations.

H&r have good reviews but are the thinnest sway bars that you can buy.

Gmg heard good things they are thicker than the h&r but I've read some mixed reviews from the Porsche crowd.

Last afterfinding out that the b8 a4s4 sways will fit the hotchkis sways became an option. They are same thickness as gmg. Never heard a bad thing about this company.

So I'm leaning towards gmg. Lemme know your input guys!!!
 

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STaSIS - the only real choice ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
STaSIS - the only real choice ...
You tell me a place I can order just the arb and ill buy it. But I don't want to lower the car nor do I want to buy their suspension setup so it doesn't get listed cause its not purchasable
 

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I'd only get the H&R rear just because our S5's only need a rear bar to reduce the massive understeer during cornering...adding a front bar to our cars would be counterproductive IMO - we're trying to keep the rear wheels flat throughout the corner so that the front inside wheel can keep grip as well instead of lifting up and giving all the grip to the front outside wheel (which is basically what causes understeer as it loses grip). Adding a front bar as well would change the dynamics of the inside front wheel so that it will lift up because the balance on the other side (the outside front wheel) would be "pushed up" during the corner (albeit that the GMG/H&R front/rear set will reduce understeer more than stock, but just not as much as with a rear bar only). Hope that makes sense, lol. Could probably have worded that better...

Haven't really heard anything about Hotchkis but after a quick look I'm assuming you're talking about their rear sway made for the b7 rs4? It says the thickness is 29mm...that's even thicker than Stasis' O_O

EDIT: Or if you can convince GMG to sell you their rear sway by itself...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
bah i wrote a big long reply and it dissapeared.. okay quick recap.

some random handling gurus on some random forums that i happened upon emparted some knowledge. something about just getting 1 part of an aftermarket swaybar setup will overpower the stock bar in the other location. that the stiffness of a dual setup swaybar set are basically specifically made to balance each other out, and if adjustable, have settings so you can set it at the positions you want. dont know if this is true... i hope a suspension guru will chime in.

the hotchkis sways are the b8 s4/a4 setup not the b7 rs4. they are the same thickness as the GMG in the rear but again like the h&r have no stiffness information about the rear setup. they are willing to sell just the rear but questionable if whatever the % is if its going to be proper for the s5.

lastly with the h&r my main draw back is that the increase in thickness is so minimal, they have no posted % increase in rigidity. and with the minimal reviews ive read, they usually just seem they are satisfied with it, but not amazed.

I dont nkow another thing is GMG sways are made by eibach. supposedly they are really good with their sways? i didnt even know they made them, as i know knew them as a cheap option for lowering springs... anyways anymore information will be much appreciated.

im really leaning towards the GMG.. but a cheap rear only h&r seems like it would do what i wanted... but then i dont want to regret it later... AHHH i hate this... QQ
 

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Indeed, I was GOING to add in a part at the end of my post saying that the most idealistic setup would be a front and rear setup (lol @ hypocrisy) BUT it would need to be perfectly calibrated, which is something none of us has done probably. At that point, one would have to incorporate the other suspension parts as well as the bars in order to balance them out.

In that respect, the GMG setup might be the best choice because its front and rear bars are both adjustable (again, that's only if you have the means to calibrate the numerous aspects of both suspension and ARB parts to a perfect setup).

It's interesting to note though as to why Stasis, who's certified by Audi and a reputable company with clearly great R&D, would settle for a rear ARB instead of a whole setup. Maybe that's the reason they no longer sell their rear ARB individually? BUT then again the overwhelmingly positive feedback on its ARB says it's about as good as it can get.

'Tis confusing! Imma go sleep now...

And oh, didn't see the b8 s4/a4 setup on their website. Didn't look carefully either, though.
 

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In the world of suspension tuning, swaybars offer the LEAST amount of gain for the money. In order of effectiveness:

Tires > Alignment > Springs > Dampers > Brakes > Swaybars

And the tricky part of the whole equation is, swaybars are the ONLY component on the list that take away grip. Swaybars in essence, lock the two sides of the suspension and prevent it from moving independently, thus reducing overall grip of the system. While this is a gross simplification of the theory of grip, it is also all but universal.

Tires, of course, offer the biggest improvement on grip and handling because it's the ONLY thing coming in contact with the road. Obviously grippier the tire, the more traction/grip you have, the better the car handles. Alignment, or proper alignment, allows the tires to stay in contact with the ground during cornering. Springs, or the energy stored in the springs, keeps the tire in contact with the ground as the weight of the vehicle moves from one side to another in a dynamic state. Dampers control the movement of the springs therefore controls the rate that springs put force onto the tires to keep it on the ground. Brakes, while technically not part of the system, allows you to transfer weight from one end to the other, thus increase the grip on the front end when you use it.

Swaybar, on the other hand, prevents the springs from transmitting that force to the tires to keep it on the ground, therefore thicker swaybars actually take away grip. That's why, if you look at a general "handling" chart, it is almost always recommended to "stiffen" up the OPPOSITE axle to cure understeer or oversteer. It balances the car out by removing grip on the end that has it so both sides lose grip at the same rate.

So the effect of adding bigger swaybars will result in a SLOWER lap time because you simply won't have the same amount of grip through the turns. Typically, racers and successful autocrossers will use swaybar upgrades as the LAST thing to fine-tune the balance of the car. In fact there are multiple successful national club racers and autocrossers who will run without bars either up front or in the rear to achieve a more balanced chassis.

HAVING SAID ALL THAT.

Swaybars are not without merit. Since Audi needs to build street cars that appeal to the masses, rather than race cars, they needed to provide a relatively soft suspension with soft springs and light dampers. The end result of trying to achieve moderate street comfort is significant body roll in corners. The best compromise, is to take away a moderately small amount of grip, and use swaybars to decrease the side to side motion known as "roll". This way the car will retain relative civility going straight, while giving up little grip for the sensation that it's "cornering on rails."

It's all a relative compromise. Since grippier tires with stiff sidewalls, or stiffer springs, or high rebound/compression dampers will affect ride comfort at all times, going straight or in a turn, for a street car it is not uncommon to NOT equip it with very stiff springs but use swaybars to compensate. So, for a street driven only car, it is actually not a bad idea to upgrade only the swaybars since you sacrifice none of the straight line comfort, while only giving up some moderate grip, which you will get some back by the swaybars acting as increased wheel rate through corners (the torsional stiffness of the swaybars ADD wheel rate to the outside wheel) plus it'll keep the body-roll to a minimum to create the added illusion that the car is "handling" well, as long as it's not being pushed to its traction limit (since cars with upgraded swaybars will have lower traction limit).

So, as long as you understand how swaybars work and its limitations, upgrading swaybars for a mostly street driven car actually has a lot of benefits and very little drawback. But from a standpoint of real performance applications, adding swaybars for "performance" is a bit of an oxymoron. At least, for performance, I'd add better tires, proper alignment, better springs/shocks, and maybe even better brakes before I move on to swaybars.

But since you mentioned that you have no plans on touching the other suspension components, I would just go with any sway bar that sounds good for you. All will be sufficient for stock suspension. Edit: for a street driven car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
basically from what you just wrote, sway bars dont help the car handle, it just helps change the characteristics of the manner in which the car handles with minimal negative effect on the traction break point. good summary?
 

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bfmtww, this is great, what a way with words. they should sticky your response.

basically, in lay terms, a sway serves to compress the springs on either side more equally when taking a corner, making the car stay flatter through the turn. the stiffer the bars, the flatter the car stays, but they do compromise handling to some degree, as the car will break away more easily and mid corner bumps will affect it more also. the reason why the stasis bar works well for people is that it helps the rear of this car rotate more easily due to less grip. not a bad deal with a car that has a tendency to understeer. you can still go with a set, as f/r adjustable ones like gmg will let you tune them to your taste.
 

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basically from what you just wrote, sway bars dont help the car handle, it just helps change the characteristics of the manner in which the car handles with minimal negative effect on the traction break point. good summary?
Basically, yes.


bfmtww, this is great, what a way with words. they should sticky your response.

basically, in lay terms, a sway serves to compress the springs on either side more equally when taking a corner, making the car stay flatter through the turn. the stiffer the bars, the flatter the car stays, but they do compromise handling to some degree, as the car will break away more easily and mid corner bumps will affect it more also. the reason why the stasis bar works well for people is that it helps the rear of this car rotate more easily due to less grip. not a bad deal with a car that has a tendency to understeer. you can still go with a set, as f/r adjustable ones like gmg will let you tune them to your taste.
Yes, definitely not a bad deal for a street driven car. If you're not going to the track, it really doesn't matter because you'll never effectively explore the absolute limits.



I'd like to add that when it comes to suspension tuning, it is a freakin' VOODOO art that I haven't even come close to scratching the surface.

The truth is, every single components I listed above, tires, alignment, springs, shocks, brake, and sways all work as a system with multiple variables that makes outcome UNPREDICTABLE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK update ordered gmg sway bar setup. Should be here on Tuesday night. Then I break out the wrenches and try to break my car!!! Ill let you guys know how it feels at the track. Btw I'm completely stock suspension so alot of people will probably appreciate the review since most with this setup have coils or springs.
 

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bhk1004, I think I responded to your post way back and mentioned GMG. I have had GMG on my 2008 S5 for a year now and if there was any mod that has wowed me the most it is my GMG sways. You will absolutely love the control you have in a weave and if you install with the more aggressive position in the rear you will love the way the car can behave like a rear wheel driven vehicle in a sharp turn. For the money best bang for the buck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
yah crisp reminded me of how you liked yours, he has a set sitting at home... so me being the copy cat i decided to get a set as well... worst case if i hate it atleast i have you 2 to blame..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I hate you all. Just wanted you guys to know. That is all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
right now I hate them and they are horrible. why? they are sitting at UPS and wont arrive at my door till tomorrow night. so till probably wednesday ill hate them.

but right now i hate all the people with stasis arb that are rubbing it in my face since I cant get one lol. oh wells...
 

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Well when you put on the GMG bars you can thank me that you didn't spend another K to have the same thing in a Stassis set up. It is a lot like buying at Lexus prices and driving a Nissan.
 

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right now I hate them and they are horrible. why? they are sitting at UPS and wont arrive at my door till tomorrow night. so till probably wednesday ill hate them.

but right now i hate all the people with stasis arb that are rubbing it in my face since I cant get one lol. oh wells...
It's the same as everything else... people think whatever they have is always the best because they obviously committed money or time to it and want to justify the money/time spent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Naw I'm not really mad at them. Personally I think the gmg both sways is a better setup and honestly my first choice but I'm the bang for buck kind of guy. And it doesn't get much better than the stasis from the reviews. And I'm not like a track warrior so it makes more sense for me. But the wife gifted it to me so I am happy. Can't wait to install it.
 
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