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Greg is on vacation so I don't want to bother him, but I want imediate gratification. I've looked at posts but I'm not sure a front swaybar will clear the bumper supports. Some say it might. some say modify the bumper mounts, some say mount the swaybay upside down? Any advice out there? Gracias.

Ricardo

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I first tried installing the bar upside down and it sometimes hit things like speed bumps.

If you want to install it right side up, you will need to modify the bumper brackets. When I had my brackets modified I replaced the bar that bolts to the beam with an angle because the bar lost support at the bottom.

Here is a thread about my sway bar installation:

https://www.speedsterowners.co...way-bar-capitulation

Last edited by Michael McKelvey

A front anti-sway bar is an absolute necessity! A fiberglass bumper is not.

A fiberglass bumper is worthless. It's only purpose is to make the Speedster look "correct".  I like the look, but it is just a look. The mount is more substantial than the bumper, but still not of much value. The modified mount (shown by others) is a Rube Goldberg contraption. The Speedster I built in 1980 had this mount and I used it. It can easily be pushed from side to side and damage the bodywork in a .25mph (estimate) bump.

A few months back I built a mount for driving lights that could be easily adapted for the bumper mounts. It is anchored, horizontally, at the mid point between the two mounts to eliminate any side movement. It is a much cleaner installation than the "factory" mount.

https://www.speedsterowners.co...%20LIGHT%20MOUNT.pdf

@calmotion the pic with the sway bar is not my car but a file photo I use to demonstrate the sway bar relation to the modified bracket. I'm not sure what mfg sway bar is in that pic. I had an Empi 3/4 inch that did not have a rise as tall as the one pictured.

@R Thorpe as @DannyP mentioned  there is quite a bit of rotation in the sway bar from when you install it with the car's wheels/tires off the ground (sway bar will be MUCH lower than bumper bracket) to when you lower the car and compress the suspension. The sway bar will rotate upwards several inches and come in contact with (and rest against) the bumper bracket. Also, I'm guessing that heating a sway bar enough to bend it would alter the torque characteristics of the bar (I'm not a metallurgist, but that would be my guess).

FWIW, if you have a swing-axle rear, I believe a sway bar will NOT be nearly as effective as a camber-compensator.

Last edited by MusbJim

@R Thorpe, I think the brackets are made more flimsy by modifying them and leaving the bar that attaches to the beam.  That is why I replace the bar with an angle.  I think my brackets are now stronger than they were before modification.

When I had my sway bar upside down the problem was aggravated by the fact I had drop spindles.  I have since replaced the drop spindles with standard ones.

@R Thorpe, I think the brackets are made more flimsy by modifying them and leaving the bar that attaches to the beam.  That is why I replace the bar with an angle.  I think my brackets are now stronger than they were before modification.

When I had my sway bar upside down the problem was aggravated by the fact I had drop spindles.  I have since replaced the drop spindles with standard ones.

picture 😀

I had a 3/4" diameter front anti sway bar on my Fiber fab speedster when I bought the car and it was riding up against the bumper bracket and actually holding the front of the car up to the ride height it had. I removed the bar with intention of re-installing it in an inverted position or to modify the bumper bracket. While  deciding how to proceed I have been driving the Speedster for the least 3 years and have never missed having a front bar. I have a rear camber compensator and think it helps with swing axle tuck. Our cars tend to over steer more than understeer so the deletion of my front bar has made my car handle better and more neutral in balance. I have my front ride height adjusted fairly low and have Koni Classic red adjustable shocks on all four corners. I have the fronts adjusted at 50% and it is plenty stiff and I have very little body roll. If a pan based car has the suspension setup too stiff the body becomes the 5th factor in suspension tuning variables. The pan and body twists and flexes. I learned this years ago in my road racing and auto cross days. An old timer schooled me on setting up cars for improved handling. If all four corners are so stiff they barely move then the car body itself will have to flex more in hard cornering. This can also be adjusted by the addition of roll cages and other body stiffening remedies. So it is may be better to set the suspension to a stiffness level that allows enough movement to keep the body and pan from being what has to give. I hope that makes sense. If we miss the ideal suspension stiffness and allowed movement point we can wind up in a tail chasing situation in more than one way if you get my meaning.

All said try your car with and without the front bar. In my case I never missed mine and have no plans of replacing it. I have a nice balance of handling and smooth ride.

Happy Thanksgiving. I am blessed in so many ways and am grateful to God and Country for the life I have.

I totally agree about chassis flex and chasing your tail with too stiff suspension, Jimmy.

A front anti-sway bar INCREASES understeer, which is important on Speedsters.

A factory 12mm bar helps keep the front end flatter. IMHO the 3/4" bar is too much stiffness in a lighter-than-stock Beetle chassis.

In the early 70s, there was a 5/8" aftermarket bar available which was a nice compromise for street handling. That's why I built a 5/8" custom bar for my Spyder. It works great. Too bad they aren't available any more.

Just to jump in with more of the same:

It's a swing-axle car. Please don't ever forget that. Your biggest problem is not body roll, it's snap oversteer-- especially if the engine is heavier than stock (and if it's a Subaru or a T1 built on an AL case, it's heavier).

If I had a swing-axle car (and I haven't since 2002), I'd bolt on a good camber compensator, some limit-straps, or both-- and just run the stock 1/2" VW bar in the front, if I ran anything at all.

A swing-axle car is not likely to be a canyon racer (if you want that, get IRS) and a 3/4 bar will just make it ride like a log-wagon.

Danny p comment is exactly where I was going to comment. The stock sway bar works Great with a set of koni or Bilstein shocks. Remember it’s the whole package. Frt and rear working together. I found using a lowered sway bar in 5/8 works great. We have reworked many frt bumper brackets but recently on Noel’s speedster I used a early sway bar and it cleared his bumper brackets. Also keep in mine these cars are all lowered in the rear which helps in the handling.

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