If you’re reading this article, its because you either have an S2000 or want to learn what effects a sway bar has on your car. Its obviously no secret that you should upgrade to a larger sway bar, but thats not the ground breaking news you came here to read, is it? Yes its true, upgrading to a larger sway bar will do wonders for your cars handling. Sometimes though, it’s possible to go too big, not pair your front and rear sway bars correctly, or run the wrong tire compound to truly benefit from an upgrade sway bar. These things can actually have very negative result when it comes to your cars handling. Most aftermarket sway bars come “adjustable” allowing you to increase or decrease the stiffness of them. This is because no track is the same, no car set up is the same, and no driver style is the same. Because of this its not always best to assume that adding larger sway bars to your car will improve your lap times. Generally speaking running a larger rear sway bar will increase over steer, and running a larger front sway will increase under steer. This is because a larger sway bay will not allow the car to roll over as much, and not allowing it to roll will cause there to be more friction placed on the tires making it easier to under/oversteer. Depending on what tire compound you’re running can mitigate how much under/oversteer you get. Im only scratching the surface about variables when it comes to selecting the correct sway bar, but I just want to make sure people understand that it’s not always best to have the biggest. It’s all about what parts works best together.
Patrick is not the kind of person who just aimlessly adds parts to his car because it’s bigger, better, or it looks cool. He needs some sort of proof that doing an upgrade will actually increase the performance of the car. He believes that some mods aren’t necessary, and If we look at Patricks ethos… Track time>new parts, Less is more, keep it simple, there’s always time on the table, and take a track one turn at a time. This man doesn’t looks for aids to be the “easy button” for being faster around the track, he truly focuses on driver mod 100%. So for him, knowing that there are some fast people with s2000’s that still have a stock front sway bar, this convinced him to stay with the stock front sway bar. He figured he would just become a better driver for not needing the aid. He would go on to be pretty quick with the stock front sway bar, but there was always the unsettledness of the car. He had to really work hard to get the car to be quick, and often times there were many off’s because any slight error in input would cause the car to bite back. Patrick is no stranger to having an off or two, and quite honestly you need to be always be walking that fine line if you have any hopes of being quick.
For this blog post I wanted to try something a little different. Rather than ask Pat the questions and then type up his words for the review, I asked him to type up the review and how he feels about the front sway bar. Below are the words straight from the horse mouth (typed by Pat)
” “Just drive the car” “Adjust yourself, not the car” , just a few things I say to myself when it comes to HPDEs. I am always under the notion that we, the hobbyists, ain’t shit. We don’t really know as much as we think. Well I probably discount myself to an extent, maybe humble to ad nauseam. So that brings us to my s2000. For a whole year, I’ve been running oem sway bars on my s2000. Now the rule of thumb that most prescribed to is to have a thicker (stiffer) front sway when going square tire setup. The reason being is the s2000 chassis needs additional roll stiffness in the front to balance the car. S2000’s come with staggered tires from the factory so the lack of roll stiffness up front is countered by a smaller tire up front. So what is an s2000 like with stock sways and square setup?
Well let me tell you one thing: the car will not understeer. That’s probably the only positive. Overall, the car was very oversteer prone in all situations. Corner entry, mid corner, and exit were all very touchy. It caused my driving to be very cautious on entry, and to have a keen focus on being smooth with steering and throttle inputs on exit. Also, the toe curve on the rear of Ap1s won’t help this tendency, but that’s another topic. It was only when a local fast guy told me to stop playing and get a stiffer front sway bar. Within a week I bought an Eibach front sway bar. So far, I’ve done three track days on the new setup. In my opinion, it was a great improvement. The car definitely hasn’t lost its essence, it will still rotate easily and tend to oversteer before it will understeer. However, the car feels more stable. I can actually trail brake the car and get on throttle sooner without the car stepping out. The car is better, which means I can improve my times because I trust the car. Lastly, the car is forgiving. If I bring the car from rotation to an oversteer state by error, I can correct it. Before, the rear would come around quick, sometimes I couldn’t get a head of it. In the end, I would recommend stiffer front sway most of the time but there’s a caveat. For my driving ability and driving style, it really helped me. In the beginning, I felt I should focus on improving my driving before changing the car, but maybe doing both is better. If FunctionTheory has taught us anything, it would be half the battle is to discover what works for you. Everyone is different, and there is no hard and fast rules. There’s some people fast on stock sways, I am just not one of those guys. “
Back to me now. Like I stated above Patrick isn’t the kind of guy to just randomly throw parts at his car with out truly understanding what they will do for it. Its also embarrassing if you have a car with crazy amounts of modifications but then get beat by a relatively stock car. Its always better to work your way up to needing the upgraded parts and sort of earn them because your driver mod is improving and you’re working the old/OEM parts past their limits.
We actually installed this sway bar a few months back, but we wanted to give it a fair amount of time to really see how much of the improvements were real vs just placebo. However since the car is his daily, almost immediately he could notice a difference just during his routine drive to and from work. As he stated above, the car is much more controllable, and much more forgiving. Upon his first track event, the results were overwhelming. Driving the car to its limit was no longer as frightening, and he could actually enjoy driving it more. He even spent less time going off, I think in the total of three track days he had done, he only went off once. Patrick is now left asking himself why it took him so long to finally upgrade this sway bar.
AP1 users beware! upgrading to a larger front sway bar can cause the upper control arm pockets to rip out, this is exacerbated even more when you run R compound tires. There are companies that make weld in gusset kits to remedy this issue. As for Patrick, he hasn’t done any of this yet, but he is still on a “street” tire. For now he will just be keeping a close eye on it, and he does have every intention of eventually getting a gusset kit.
Now on to the install process. This was probably one of the easiest parts I have ever helped install on a car. Honestly I didn’t even help, I just took pictures. The only help pat really needed was a second set of hands to hold the new sway bar up to get the bolts started, and thats where Ever jumped in.
This is the “unboxing” you get a hollow 32mm sway bar, D bushings, grease, stickers, and instructions.
Its surprisingly lighter than the OEM one.
Rigby is always down to hang out in the garage.
Start off by breaking loose the lugs, and jacking up the car. Its easiest if you have two jacks. Start off by using one on the side of the car to get the front high enough off the ground so you can fit a jack under the front of the car. Then jack up from there, and place on jack stands.
Don’t forget to read the instructions. Naw its really easy and self explanatory.
Remove both front wheels.
Inspect where your tire is rubbing on the fender liner
There is some plastic valence that needs to be removed to fully gain access to the front sway bar.
The difference between when humans are bored and animals are is. We get to keep our minds stimulated from useless data being absorbed through our eyes. While the dog just patently sits there knowing he’s bored, but without any way to stop it. There is much to be a learned from this. Rigby is truly happy just to be involved, and Ever probably wishes he was somewhere else. Are we truly bored, or just desensitized.
You can see the plastic valence that needs to be removed
Next will be disconnecting the end links. You dont have to remove them from the Lower Control Arm, just simply disconnect the sway bar from them.
Now disconnect the end link on the other side.
Next unbolt the X2 bolts per D bracket and the sway bar will fall right off.
Here is the comparison between the OEM and the Eibach Sway bar
Make sure to use the supplied grease to lube the new D bushings, this will prevent the rubber bushings from developing a squeak as the suspension cycles.
Slide the OEM brackets over the D bushings.
Have a friend help hold the bar in position so you can manually thread the bolts into the brackets.
Im not even sure what he’s looking at, you can’t actually see the sway bar.
Now reinstall the plastic valence.
Thats its, you’re all done. Literally removing 6 nuts/bolts and the sway bar just comes right off. It’s that easy.
Im not sure what they are looking at either, It’s just a stock F20c.
Installing a front sway bar on an s2000 doesn’t really warrant a HOW TO, but the main point of the post was to explain briefly how sway bars can affect your cars handling, and how much of an effect it can have on your s2000. In Pats case, this made the car much more stable and predictable. It made it much easier to drive without fear of crossing the line and ending up off track. Too many times people focus on increasing the speed or power of their car to increase lap times. This is just a bandaid, and means that you will most likely just go off track at 100+mph rather than 60+ mph because you’re not actually improving your driving skill, but rather just increasing speed at which you are traveling into corners, still lacking the seat time you need to accurately navigate the turn. As you can tell from Patricks review above, he is truly in tune with his car and can understand exactly how this sway bar can improve his lap times. Im not saying that you shouldn’t get this for you’re car. Clearly this part is very helpful in decreasing your lap times, and over all driving experience. Just be aware of what modifications you’re doing to your car, and truly understand what they are going to do for you, before you just go all out and buy the biggest and the best. Seat time trumps all! you’ll never be fast with out it.
Thanks for reading this install and review of the Eibach 32mm hollow sway bar for the s2000. I feel like this is a very important article to read, and there is a lot of great information packed into it. This is all valuable info that can help you gain knowledge about taking your car on track. Please keep in mind that Patrick is also still running an OEM AP2 rear sway bar. Again not everyones recipe will benefit your driving style, but it’s nice to know what people have so that you know it’s possible to be quick with or without certain parts. If someone else can do it, then so can you. It just might take you more practice, because after all we are all human and share the same basic skill sets. Whats sets us apart is how well we hone them.
As always please feel free to share this article or any parts of it you enjoy. This will help spread the theory of function to everyone out there, and together we can help develop new enthusiasts that understand you dont need a fully built car to take to the track. You can enjoy tracking your car even if its relatively stock. Remember im always here to help! I would love to answer any questions you might have about this article or any others. Feel free to Email me at Billy@functiontheory.com, DM me on instagram @Functiontheory, or simply comment on this post below. I WILL RESPOND, and i truly appreciate all the feedback and interactions with fellow enthusiasts.