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I have a stock 2010 acura tsx. I dont know what the official term is (maybe body sway) but i would like to reduce the amount of swaying it does as im going through turns, especially at higher speeds. Its that feeling of your head bobbing from side to side as your whipping through turns (and what makes me dizzy if i keep it up long enough).

I had a 96 acura integra before that i put an aftermarket strut bar in the front. Not sure how much that helped but my teggy hugged the road and i could whip through turns quickly with very little sway. I realize that the tsx is higher up and i cant expect it to handle like an integra but what can i do to reduce the swaying? Do i replace the front or rear strut bar or something else?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You are very close to answering your own question:

... what can i do to reduce the swaying?

What you're looking for is an upgraded sway bar. This is "... usually a torsion spring that resists body roll motions." This is in contrast to a strut bar "... designed to reduce ... strut tower flex by tying two parallel strut towers together."

In general, if your goal is to reduce body roll, one of the cheapest ways to do so is to upgrade the sway bar(s). Strut tower bars will have a much more limited effect and should usually be considered after upgrading tires, sway bars, struts and springs (i.e., much later).

Caveat: increasing the roll stiffness will change your under/oversteering biases. Specifically, a stiffer bar in the front generally increases understeer. Likewise, a stiffer rear will increase oversteer. That said, I had a 97 Integra some time back and installed an adjustable rear sway bar. I adored its steering responsiveness in the summer but also managed to scare myself several times in the winter....

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you mean you dont fishtail on purpose? That's my favorite part about driving in the winter :) (at least when it snows). –  n00b Dec 3 '12 at 3:59
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Not on the road, no, not since I had a drop-throttle oversteer tank-slapper in my old Mustang. That said, in the WRX, I enjoy a snowy empty parking lot more than is strictly legal. –  Bob Cross Dec 3 '12 at 12:38
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Upgraded swaybars are the single best bang for the buck improvement you can make on a car's handling. –  Brian Knoblauch Dec 3 '12 at 14:08
    
Would you guys recommend upgrading the end-links while I am at it or is the difference from upgraded end-links negligible? –  n00b Dec 3 '12 at 20:14
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@Droid, my advice is to only change one variable at a time. The nice thing about suspension work is that you can do it incrementally. Frankly, I would suggest that end links should be much later on your list unless there's a great combo sale. It is, as always, up to you. –  Bob Cross Dec 4 '12 at 1:49

Strut bars go towards chassis rigidity. Thicker anti-sway bars will help keep the car more level during turning.

But what would help even more is an upgraded suspension. Springs, shocks and lowering the car will help. Keep in mind that having a less tight fitting seat contributes to the feeling of sloppy handling, whether or not the car actually handles worse/better.

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Nick is correct that you could start from the springs / struts first and upgrade sway bars if / when necessary. Unfortunately, a good setup will require a serious investment (as in four digits instead of three). Personally, I compromise by purchasing adjustable sway bars first. I can dial them back as I pick up better struts / springs / tires. –  Bob Cross Dec 4 '12 at 1:53

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