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Sway bar information
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Post: #1
08-16-2009 04:28 PM

This excellent writeup was provided by Phunhaus of JDMuniverse.com

Sway Bars for 1996-2000 EK Civic Chasis


One of the best ways to improve your handling in newer chasis Civics is to add sway bars. The availability of interchangeable factory sizes and aftermarket support make the task much easier while giving the end user numerous choices. There are some basic principles to understand and some new parts needed with the addition of sway bars, but the pay off for your research and work is a new understanding of your vehicle's suspension and hopefully more fun in driving it.

Sway bars, commonly called anti-roll bars and anti-sway bars, affect your vehicle dynamics far more than the usual bolt-on strut bars or chasis reinforcement bars. Those bars are passive meaning they are bolted into place and don't move; forces act upon them and they resist given the materials involved in their construction. Sway bars are an active part of your suspension, or more accurately reactive. Once a sway bar is bolted to your lower control arm (LCA) it counteracts vertical movement and thusly counters body-roll (or sway). Imagine a sway bar as a huge spring that pushes down on your LCA. As the LCA tries to go up with body roll (the weight of the body rolling to the outside will compress the shock or strut and in a sense make the movement of the LCA go up relative to the body) the sway bar pushes it back down to the pavement. The basic idea of the bar as a spring will help you understand that it is reacting to the suspension movement and countering that movement with force. The amount of force or resistance to body roll is deterined by the diameter of the sway bar. Thicker sway bars will exert more force on the LCA given the same amount of input. Basically speaking, the thicker the sway bar, the less roll. All of that force does come at a price, however, and will be discussed further as rear chasis reinforcement. For further, more techincal explanations of sway bars, please click here.

Before you go running out and bolting up any sway bar, you should first do some research and "size up" the sway bar you'll need. Remember, the size of the sway bar determines the force applied to your suspension so you should first decide on the sizes for front and rear and then buy the corresponding components. For cars with stiff springs, a small sway bar may not have much of an effect because there is so little movement in the LCAs to begin with, but cars with soft springs won't want to rely solely on thick sway bars as the suspension will not complement itself. That being stated cars with stiff, or race suspension, will get the biggest benefit of thicker bars and street car owners hoping to tighten up their suspension an get away wih smaller sway bars. Bigger will not always be better for every application, and the size difference between available front and rear sway bars will affect vehicle handling dynamics. Front wheel drive cars will have a tendency to understeer from the factory. The understeer can be countered by having a larger sway bar in the back, or in the event of using small sway bars, having a small sway bar in the back and no sway bar in the front. Be careful with the amount of sway bar you're using because too much sway bar in the back compared to the front will cause oversteer and sometimes snap oversteer. Arbitrarily changing or adding sway bars can make a vehicle dangerous to operate as there will be less stable turning - you'll either have too little (under) steering and have to slow down for turns, or too much (over) steering and either have the back end come around first or turn straight into the curb. For cars wishing to keep the understeering nature of their cars but hoping to tighten up the suspension can use a combination like Si factory sway bars front and rear. For more nuetral handling, and EX front bar (which is smaller than the Si front) can be paired with the Si rear to bring more balance to the under and oversteering effects. Likewise, a front Si bar with a rear Integra GSR or Type R (or even Civic Type R) will be more like "neutral" handling but that much tighter. Keeping the balance between sway bar sizes will keep the balance of the car the way you intend. Having hem proportionately larger on either end will give you your handling characteristics while the overall sizes will determine how responsive (tight) the suspension will be. Sizing the sway bars is the primary importance when considering adding sway bars. Once you have decided how you want the car to react it will then be time to select components based upon available factory (or aftermarket) sized sways and their compatibility to Civic LCAs.

Let's get down to the facts of parts swapping so after you've done you research on sway bar sizes, you'll know exactly what parts you'll need to complete your suspension changes. Not all EK chasis Civics came with sway bars - if they did this would be irrelevent. There are some EK Civic chasis donor parts that you will need to source for those Civics not equipped with factory sway bars. For the front, both EX and HX Civics came with similar LCAs that accept sway bars, while the Civic Type R and Si (EM1 SiR in Canada) have a unique style. The Civic Type R and Civic Si front sway bars only work with the Civic Type R or Si LCAs. The LCA are thicker than all other EK Civic LCAs at the strut fork, so the fork will also need to be changed out. Swapping these parts over to any other EK Civic will instantly give you a front sway bar. All the provisions for the mounting brackets are on all EK Civics so there is no custom drilling and tapping. All other sway bar styles will fall under the Civic EX and HX LCAs. Those include, of course, the Civic EX and HX sway bars, but also the 1994-2001 DC2 Integra front sway bars. The styles of endlinks and end mounting styles are different, but the common factor is the EX and HX LCAs are required.

Front Lower Control Arm compatibility:

Civic EX and HX front LCAs should be used when adding or upgrading to:
- 1992-1995 Civic Si
- 1992-2000 Civic EX
- 1994-1997 del Sol DOHC
- 1996-2000 Civic HX
- 1994-2001 Integra LS
- 1994-2001 Intagra GSR
- 1996-2001 Integra Type R

Civic Si front LCAs* should be used when adding or upgrading to:
- 1999-2000 Civic Si
- 1997-2000 Civic Type R
If you already have an EX/HX LCA and would like to upgrade to the Civic Si or Civic Type R front bar, you can do so using Integra Type R endlinks documented below.

*Civic Si front shock forks need to be used as well when upgrading to the Civic Si/Civic Type R front lower control arms.


Front Endlink compaibilty:
Please note, aftermarket bushing kits should be purchased for the following endlink kits given the sway being added/upgraded to.

Civic EX and HX sway bar endlinks should be used when adding:
- 1992-1995 Civic Si
- 1992-2000 Civic EX
- 1994-1997 del Sol DOHC
- 1996-2000 Civic HX
- 1994-2001 Integra LS
- 1994-2001 Integra GSR
The EX and HX endlinks are vertical bolts with bushings that come straight down through the sway bar and then through the LCA. The holes for both go horizontally, parallel to the ground.

[Image: 1.jpg]



Integra Type R sway bar endlinks should be used then adding or upgrading to:
- 1996-2001 Integra Type R
The Integra Type R endlinks are a half vertical bolt to goes through the LCA, but also a horizontal end to go through the sway bar. The hole for the sway bar is perpendicular to the ground while the hole for the LCA will still be horizontal, parallel to the ground.

[Image: 3.jpg]


Civic Si sway bar endlinks should be used when adding or upgrading to:
- 1999-2000 Civic Si
- 1997-2000 Civic Type R
The Civic Si endlinks are both horizontal ends connected by a vertical rod. The holes for both the sway bar and and he LCA are vertical, both perpendicular to the ground.

[Image: 5.jpg]

Now even though it would seem that the clear choice for front LCAs would rest with the thicker and arguably beefier Civic Si/Type R style, those styles are not compatible with aftermarket traction systems. Radius arms like those fron Comp Engineering, MB Products, Z10, and Lakewood are not compatible with the Si/Type R style and require DX/CX/LX/EX/HX LCAs. Of those, the only ones that are also compatible with front sway bars are the EX and HX leaving those arms the preferred arms. They also accept more styles of endlinks giving the driver the ability to swap to many different sizes depending on road/track conditions or the ability to experiment with different sizes to achieve the optimal balance of over and understeer. Here are Civic EX lower control arms with a Civic EX front sway bar and an MB Products traction bar system. Please note how the mounting nut from the EX/HX arms is missing from the stamped Si/Civic Type R versions.

[Image: 7.jpg]

The only EK Civics that came with rear sway bars are the Civic Type R and the Civic Si, although all EK Civics have the same LCAs and thusly all accept a rear sway. The Si sway bar endlinks need to be used in conjunction with any factory and most aftermarket sway bars. To make it easy, even the DC2 Integra sway bars will require the Si endlinks, available at any Honda dealer.

[Image: 8.jpg]

When adding a rear sway to a US market Civic, anything over the size of the Si rear sway should have suitable "subframe" reinforcement. The factory Civic Type R which runs a larger-than-Si sway bar has factory bracing to prevent rear suspension damage. The price of a large sway bar's benefit manifests as the sway bar is counteracting the LCA, the sway bar twists. As it twists, the sway bar exerts force upon the subframe and tries to pull itself away from the car. Without any reinforcement for a larger bar, the sway bar will pull itself away from the car on extreme movements and possibly tear away its mounts from the rear subframe. If you are planning on a larger-than-Si rear sway (including the Civic Type R and all DC2 Integra), please consider reinforcement options from Beaks or A-Spec-Racing.

Compatible factory sway bar sizing:

Front:
1992-1995 Civic Si: 21mm
1992-1995 Civic EX: 21mm
1994-1997 del Sol DOHC: 24mm
1996-2000 Civic EX: 22mm
1996-2000 Civic HX: 22mm
1999-2000 Civic Si: 26mm
1997-2000 Civic Type R: 26mm
1994-2001 Integra LS: 22mm
1994-2001 Integra GSR: 24mm
1996-2001 Integra Type R: 24mm

Rear:
1992-1995 Civic EX: 13mm
1994-1997 del Sol DOHC: 15mm
1999-2000 Civic Si: 13mm
1997-2000 Civic Type R: 22mm
1994-1999 Integra LS: 13mm
2000-2001 Integra LS: 14mm
1994-2001 Integra GSR: 14mm
1996-2001 Integra Type R: 23mm (JDM) 22mm (USDM)

I (boosted ej8) personally used this thread when choosing my rear swaybar
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Post: #2
08-16-2009 04:48 PM

Way to be Daniel! I remember lurking this thread last year some time when I was
trying to figure out what chassis I could take a sway bar from to fit the EJ...
Jackie-O Wrote:My house is home to the illusive, yet powerful, Nom Noms. He will eat your babbys. His eyes are like laser beams, his claws are sharp talons. He slaps like a pimp and makes dogs run in fear.
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Post: #3
08-16-2009 05:12 PM

so many threads with great info popping up.
I like this new direction, was there a MOD meeting
or something on aim.
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Post: #4
08-16-2009 05:14 PM

maaaayyyybe ninja
Jackie-O Wrote:My house is home to the illusive, yet powerful, Nom Noms. He will eat your babbys. His eyes are like laser beams, his claws are sharp talons. He slaps like a pimp and makes dogs run in fear.
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I'd rather punish it than polish it.
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Post: #5
08-16-2009 05:28 PM

don't ask questions roy just go with it ninja
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Post: #6
08-16-2009 06:06 PM

Lol!
aye aye captain
ninja
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I'd rather punish it than polish it.
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Post: #7
08-16-2009 07:03 PM

haha good because the ban hammer would of been dropped =)
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Post: #8
08-16-2009 07:36 PM

nice info.. personally i use 22/26mm
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Post: #9
08-17-2009 02:57 AM

good thread
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Sup bro?
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Post: #10
08-23-2011 01:18 PM

What would be a good sway bar setup for the front of my ex ej8? Keep the oem sway bar or go aftermarket? I am interested in the traction bar. I was terribly loose driving around the dragon (US HWY 129) last weeked. Just looking for some suggestions.
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