speedster front sway bar

My car has a 3/4" bar. I suspect most Speedsters will have the same. That's whats available.

After doing some research on my Spyder I built a 5/8" adjustable bar assembly based on a sketch by CarlosG. DannyP also built one for his Spyder that was similar, but simpler to build. My design requires machining work, but gets the bar out from below the axle. I have drawings and photos if you want to look at that. It will work on the Speedster as designed.

Speedsters were Porsche's sports car. It was intended to handle well not ride like a Cadillac.

Cushy ride = poor handling.

Well, you could try for a stock one from Bug City, either new or used:


Or maybe try SoCal Autoparts for a stock one and a lot less money.


 IIRC, the Stock bar diameter was 1/2" or less, depending on year, so that should be just fine - Also IIRC, Vintage Speedsters used to install stock VW bars on their cars - the car is lowered a bit so the bar got installed upside down for clearance with the bumper mounts.

Don Torrey posted:

Thanks Everyone. I have also been told that if I do the front sway bar i should also do a rear camber bar....  True?

Stan Galat posted:

If you have a swing axle car, PLEASE do the camber compensator whether you have a front sway bar or not.

A camber compensator will limit rear suspension travel, thus eliminating a lot of the "jacking effect" (and resultant roll overs) that happens to swingaxle cars when they get out of control in a corner. One of the first things an owner should spend money on, as well as making sure there is at least a stock anti-sway bar on the front.

Dan---do them BOTH!  Let that be the first two improvements you make for the sake of safety and drivability.   

Front Sway bar--from EMPI.  Model # depends on the make of your car.  About $80.                                                                                                                    

Rear Camber Compensator, CB Performance, about $80.00

Good luck!


Don didn't ask, but for everyone's review, here's the skinny on sway bars and camber compensators:

They do the opposite thing from each other.

An anti-sway bar keeps the vehicle from leaning away from the turn you're trying to make. When put on the front of a car, it promotes understeer—the tendency to "plow" in a turn.

The thicker the bar, the more it tends to do this.

Every passenger car made today is designed to understeer. If you're going too fast for the curve, understeer makes you get on the brake and, when you get on the brake, helps keep the car from spinning out.

Understeer, in reasonable doses, is good. Too much and you can't steer!

A sway bar on the back of a car promotes oversteer.

The opposite of understeer, oversteer makes the car want to spin out.

Racers say, "understeer is when your nose hits the wall, oversteer is when your ass hits the wall."

You see smaller diameter sway bars on the rear of cars than on the front so that the understeer effect from the thicker front bar can still be in effect.

Oversteer is seldom good. A very little bit can help a very skilled race driver make a faster line through the esses. But mainly race drivers want neutral handling.

The camber compensator is like the opposite of a sway bar. It limits downward travel of the swing axle to prevent (or mitigate) the "jacking" effect that makes this design so dangerous, but it also tends to promote "sway" or body roll in the rear of the car—the opposite of what a sway bar does.

This is good because it promotes understeer.


Because the camber compensator makes a Speedster tend toward understeer, a Speedster with a CC will need less of a front sway bar than would otherwise be recommended. 

Which is all a long way of telling Don: you're right to be skeptical of a 3/4-inch front bar. Look for something closer to a half inch or even 3/8 (I think maybe some stock Beetle bars are that small?), because the camber compensator will magnify its effect.



For what it's worth, the front sway bar VS put on my car is a half inch.

This has always felt just about right - the front of the car feels pretty flat through a corner and handling is mostly neutral.

Up to a point.

It's the rear you have to pay attention to - lots of attention. At its limits, the back starts to get 'squirrely' as the swing axle begins to tuck under. You can go just a tad harder if you want to slide the back a little to tighten your line, but push it past the magic point at all and you're asking for trouble.

Me, I don't want no trouble, here.

I seldom push this car much past about five tenths.


Hey David,

It was great following your adventures with your new wheels. Still hoping to do the Subi thing (I kept all your notes). Anyway, I grew up with the Speed Racer cartoon from the sixties. RacerX was his biggest competitor and his Brother ( Unknown to him) as his identity was kept a secret. Long explanation from Wikipedia:

“Racer X is a heroic, mysterious, flamboyant, selfless, sympathetic and often brooding soldier of fortune”. 

It goes on from there, but then it starts sounding less and less like me 

Keep em’ on the road!


I am running a Camber compensator in the rear and had a 3/4" anti-sway bar in the front. I removed the front bar and like the way the car drives better. I am running KYB gas shocks in the front which are stiff. If I were to go with oil shocks I would probably need the anti roll bar. Just my experience. We all have different takes, ideas and outcomes.

speedster conversion 96


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DannyP posted:

I agree with Ed. The ant-sway bar should prevent roll, that's all. Unfortunately, everything is a compromise. you'll get some extra spring rate with a bar, more the thicker it is.

My tack is to use the thinnest bar that works.

If both wheels go over a bump (or through a dip) at the same time, how does that affect spring rate? With a bar that isn't solidly anchored in the middle, I was under the impression that if both ends moved in the same direction at the same time then the bar isn't 'doing' anything. Do you know something I don't, Danny?

I've also heard that the faster VW slalom guys tended to like a little lighter front anti-sway bar (you could induce oversteer to slide around tight corners), where for higher speeds (road racing and highway driving)  the heavier 3/4" bar makes the car more stable/predictable. This is where an adjustable front bar would be handy- you could keep it on the softer side for around town while setting it stiffer for highway/high speed mountain driving. Too bad Whiteline no longer makes an adjustable front anti-sway bar for VW's... Al

PS- @Jimmy V.- Have you tried the car with softer shocks (stock replacement oil-filled) and a stock VW bar on the front? I'll bet you a beer you'll like it more than with the KYB's and no bar.

AL, you are correct, IF both wheels go over the same bump/dip at the same exact time. If the bump/dip is more or less on one side or nonexistent on the other, spring rate is increased on the bump/dip side. More often than not, the bumps that wheels see are independent of the other wheel on the same axle.

IMHO these cars are so light we don't need any more spring rate. But what the heck do I know?

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