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Rear anti-sway bar install on GT

 
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Old 22 Jul 2003, 02:34 pm
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Default Rear anti-sway bar install on GT

The reason that I'm writing this note is to share the experience that I've had with the addition of the stock rear anti-sway bar to my 2003 GT. It makes such a significant improvement in handling that I want to share the experience. Bottom line is: I strongly encourage this addition to the car.

My recommendation may only add fuel to the controversy of its not being installed by the factory in the first place. I've read most of the rear sway bar threads on several forums, and decided that I would just add the stock rear sway bar to my 2003 GT at my cost. Wyckoff Chrysler sells the complete kit over the net for $163. I didn't think that it was worth the mental anguish and hassle of fighting with Chrysler over this on an warranty basis. The $163 is not a large expense relative to the cost of many mods as far as I am concerned (just my opinion).

I made the decision to add the bar because I was not quite satisfied with the handling of the car. The ride was great, but in medium speed corners, turn in was vague and steering corrections were required to maintain a smooth line. It just didn't inspire me to corner quickly at all. Additionally, I noticed what I consider excessive sway in the car when it was loaded with 3 or 4 people.

I have some experience with the tuning of handling, and I was actually concerned that the addition of the rear bar might cause an increase in understeer, or push, and make matters worse. That was not the case. The addition of the stock rear sway bar transforms the handling of the car. It is now fun to throw it into turns - no more mid corner steering corrections are required, and you can actually add power mid corner and accelerate out of the turn. The tires have come into play as a limiting factor in cornering speed - which was definitely not the case before. Now I'm not talking about race-track cornering or extreme street driving, but just some normal enthusiastic cornering fun. There is a very small ride penalty for this handling improvement, but it is undoubtedly the best trade off for a performance improvement that I have ever made.

Installation is easy and straight forward, but it is not for the inexperienced mechanic. There is a tricky bit to deal with where the bar attaches to the rear of the twist-beam axle. Additionally, the Wyckoff kit does not come with 2 nuts required to attach the bar to the axle - and the chrylser parts chart does not show these parts. The 2 extra nuts required are 10 mm x 1.5 thread. A person with some mechanical skill can figure out the installation by taking a quick look under a car that already has the bar. Others should just let their dealer do it. I did the job on mine without jacking up the car or removing a wheel.

Once again, the bottom line to this story is that you should add the stock rear sway bar to the 2003 GT to make the car handle up to its potential. It's a shame that Chrysler left it off. It's up to you whether the cost issue is worth the fight with Chrysler of not.
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Old 23 Jul 2003, 09:08 pm
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Quote:
quote:....the addition of the rear bar might cause an increase in understeer, or push, and make matters worse.
I would disagree with this statement. Adding a Mismatched or Larger diameter rear bar may induce dangerous oversteer. Dialing in some Understeer is usually favored by car manufactorers because the car is still controllable and handling is predictable (i.e. limit product liability)for the majority of drivers. That being said, since the existing front bar is the same diameter for all years of PT's, adding the stock rear bar would make it a properly matched set.
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Old 24 Jul 2003, 12:24 am
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Sci-Fi

Adding a Mismatched or Larger diameter rear bar may induce dangerous oversteer.
There are nothing dangerous by simply going with a larger bar. Increasing the diameter a bit will reduce understeer, bringing a more neutral steering condition. It's not black/white, only understeer or oversteer. I'm opting for neutral . . . less understeer. True, too, going more than 1/4-inch larger (than OEM) diameter rear bar, while retaining the OEM front bar, goes beyond neutral, into oversteer, and beyond.


Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Sci-Fi
. . . since the existing front bar is the same diameter for all years of PT's, adding the stock rear bar would make it a properly matched set.
Actually, doing this still would create, as you stated . . . "some Understeer is usually favored by car manufactorers ". Installing OEM simply gives you back the control that DC decided you no longer needed.

Good job, JohnM. It's amazing the potential our cars have, and I agree with you on the personal satisfaction and performance-gain-for-the-buck that the addition of the bar adds to us antisway-deprived GT owners. However, for increased performance, control, and more neutral steering, you still need to go beyond the OEM bar. With sway bars, a little bigger diameter yields big results.

Anyone personally have the Addco sway bars??
http://www.ptcruiserlinks.com/forum/...?TOPIC_ID=3088


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Old 24 Jul 2003, 01:26 am
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John...if you get a chance and have the means could you post a pic of the location of the two nuts that you mentioned?

thanks
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Old 24 Jul 2003, 02:21 am
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Im sold. Darn you guys. I cant read this website anymore. My wallet cant handle it [8)]
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Old 24 Jul 2003, 03:22 pm
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PT2NV - I don't doubt that going to larger sway bars will improve the handling further, but there will also be a trade-off to ride comfort. The addition of the stock rear bar is the perfect compromise of performance and comfort for my purposes. One other *possible* side effect of larger-than-stock sways is the potential to put more stress on the mounting points than they were designed for, *potentially* causing the mounts to tear. This is a problem with E-30 and E-36 (3-series) BMW's - cars with which I have more experience. I have no idea that this would be a problem for the PTCruiser - but something to study.

Cal Cruzer - The two nuts are just 10mm x 1.5 thread (grade 8) hex nuts that I bought at Lowes. The particular one's that I bought take a 17mm wrench. I feel like there must have been special fastners for this from the factory (when they installed the bars), because it is very difficult to hold this nut while fastening the sway bar to the axle (due to tight tolerences). I wondered if the factory nuts may have been on clips, or have even been welded on. I used contact cement to glue the nuts to the back of the mounting plate, and this way, I was able to get the threads started without holding the nut. The parts list or diagrams at the dealership did not show what nuts (or special fasteners) to use. I hope this helps!
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Old 24 Jul 2003, 03:30 pm
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Cal Cruzer - I see that I didn't answer the question you asked. You want to see the location of the mounting (nuts), not the nuts themselves. The sway bar mounts to the back side of the rear twist-beam axle. The mounting points are on plates that are welded to the axle just outside of the spring perches. You'll see the hole for the mounting bolt easily when looking under the car from the rear.
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Old 24 Jul 2003, 04:51 pm
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Oh...outboard of the perch, I was looking for something inboard. I will look again. Thanks John.
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Old 24 Jul 2003, 05:01 pm
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Thanks John. Greatly appreciate you sharing your findings with us all.
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Old 24 Jul 2003, 05:03 pm
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Okay, I was just looking at the diagram on the Wyckoff site. Is it the nut for the bolt at the top of the droplink?
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