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Discussion Starter #1
Just put on a solid X-secion front sway bar from NorthWind Engineering. All I can say is SUUUHHHWWWWWEEEET! Man the car handles soooo much better. Best $250 I ever spent on it. Really cures the ass-end-happiness of the Viper.

Transient handling is a real pleasure, turn-in and slaloming is crisp as can be. That was to be expected, but what I'm really pleased about is how it neutralized the front-rear lateral load carrying balance during steady state cornering. The car just does not want to snap around near as hard as it used to.

I have been planning to put on some Eibach Pro-Kit variable rate springs too, but now I'm wondering. The stiffer front springs may well neutralize the benefits I just gained with the sway bar. Compression of the inside front will be harder for the bar to affect with the stiffer spring.

Those springs will lower the CG one inch and of course that's a good thing. I suppose I can always yank 'em off and go back to stock springs and the big front bar. I'm thinking maybe soft springs and big front bar is the way to go.

Any thoughts?
 

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Mind sending me a pic of the install? Based on your review i may be inclined to test it out for myself.
 

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Eric, you'll have to be a pioneer for us- on the 'circle track'. So years later when(and if) the thought crosses my mind, I can look up what happened to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Par & onerareviper - I knew I should've taken pics and I didn't do it! Damn damn damn.

I can tell you how to do it though, pretty easy IF you have a two-jaw puller on hand. Not to worry though, it's only about a $30 item at the auto parts store and should be quite useful around the garage in the future.

1.) Put the front end up on jack stands and allow both sides of the suspension to go into full droop. Remove wheels.

2.) Sway bar rotates in two rubber bushings that are bolted to the frame. Loosen but do not remove these four bolts.

3.) Sway bar is connected to the lower control arm via a jointed tie rod. Remove the nut that connects this tie rod to the lower control arm ... Do this for both sides of the car.

4.) The tie rod ends will NOT slip free of their holes in the lower control arms since they are of a beveled press fit construction. This is where you need the puller device. Put the threaded center pin of the puller onto the end of the tie rod and place the jaws over the lower control arm. Give the puller a couple turns with a wrench and the tie rod end should pop free quite easily.

5.) Now that the sway bar and tie rods are disconnected from the suspension, remove the four bolts holding the bushings to the frame.

6.) Use the puller to remove the tie rod from it's connection to the end of the sway bar. Remove bar by sliding it out through the wheel well.

7.) Place old bar on the ground and lay your new bar on top of it. This is for adjusting the bushing collar positions on the new bar so that it will be centered on the car. Loosen the allen screws on the collars and slide them along the bar so that they match the positions of the factory collars. Tighten them down.

8.) Pre-grease your NEW urethane bushings and slip them onto the bar. Place the new metal brackets over the bushings and you're ready to install the new bar back onto the car following steps 1->6 in reverse order. Tighten bushing frame bolts to 50 ft-lb and sway bar tie-rod end nuts to 20 inch-lb.

This whole deal took me about 2.5 hrs including a huge "FUCK YOU!" and a run to Auto Zone when I discovered I needed special tool CT1106 (two jaw puller). All in all a quite easy job and I would recommend doing it yourself.

Now go forth, haul ass, carve those corners and enjoy your more balanced viper. /images/graemlins/supergrin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #6
HP said:
Eric, you'll have to be a pioneer for us- on the 'circle track'. So years later when(and if) the thought crosses my mind, I can look up what happened to you.
??? Sorry for being dense ... "look up what happened to me"? God I hope you don't think my little sway bar mod is going to do me in. /images/graemlins/supergrin.gif
 

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I found a pic of the bar itself. 1 1/8 diameter. What is the stock OEM diameter? I assume the bends are in the same locations/angles, right?

[image]http://www.viperclub.org/Northwind/images/15.jpg[/image]
 

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Has anyone tried a tower mount strut under the hood? Does anyone sell this item? I know I've seen them on race only Viper GTS and Comp. Coupes, but never a street-legal car.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
onerareviper said:
I found a pic of the bar itself. 1 1/8 diameter. What is the stock OEM diameter? I assume the bends are in the same locations/angles, right?

[image]http://www.viperclub.org/Northwind/images/15.jpg[/image]
Yeah that looks like it. The bends and angles are substantially the same (very minor differences) and I think the OE bar is the same diameter ... only it's hollow. Feels extremely flimsy compared to the NorthWind bar ... Dare I even say it reminds one of a "piece of shit"? Certainly the factory bushings were classic pieces of shit. Mine had 11k miles on them and they looked sacked. All ovaled out and chewed up ... hideous things that should definitely be replaced with urethane.
 

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Hollow? WTF! Why would DC skimp on such and important item that effects handeling too such a large degree?

From my understanding, OEM bushing are usually rubber for noise reasons (urethane bushings can squeek). So those being POS is somewhat understandable, but a weak hollow sway bar?

I assume there are bushing where the sway bar connects to the suspension peices. I assume these are rubber as well. Is that accurate, and if so, can they be replaced with urethane?

Here's what I found:

http://www.roeracing.com/index.html?token=2113443054-434930540-2140414321&A=42&B=Parts%20%26%20Upgrades

** Click on Dodge Viper, and the Suspension upgrades.

P.S. - For $13.95, might as well replace the rear sway bar mounts as well....
 

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What about the stabilizer bar end links and bushings? Does the kit come with stronger ones? Usually the end links are the worst part of a sway bar system.

This winter I am going to make my own ends..just like this set up on my 69 Camaro..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
onerareviper said:
Hollow? WTF! Why would DC skimp on such and important item that effects handeling too such a large degree?

From my understanding, OEM bushing are usually rubber for noise reasons (urethane bushings can squeek). So those being POS is somewhat understandable, but a weak hollow sway bar?
The torsional stiffness of the bar is the factor that affects handling. Dodge clearly made the bar hollow not just out of cheapness but in consideration for how that lower-stiffness bar impacted the car's handling. But I can't really understand that either ... I find no downside whatsoever to the much stiffer front bar. In street driving mode I don't find that it makes the car's ride feel any harsher than stock. Maybe just a teeny little bit and only when going over uneven pavement where one front tire hits a bump and the other one doesn't. In that situation you feel the whole front end react a little instead of just one corner, but this is a very slight effect. In spirited driving the handling is so much improved that I can't see why they opted for the softer bar.

I assume there are bushing where the sway bar connects to the suspension peices. I assume these are rubber as well. Is that accurate, and if so, can they be replaced with urethane?
No the sway bar end bolts directly to the control arm link. The flex is taken care of by the double ball joints in the control link.

Here's what I found:

P.S. - For $13.95, might as well replace the rear sway bar mounts as well....
Yeah, no reason why you shouldn't replace the rear bushings as well. BTW the front bushings from NorthWind have grease fittings in them. Pretty cool.

As far as the rear bar ... I'm not even sure the viper needs or should have one.
 

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Eric:

Could weight be a factor in Dodge's choice of hollow v solid? I'm curious to know the approximate difference in weight between the 2. Is it significant?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah it is significant. I can't imagine why you'd sacrifice functional weight that would affect handling though. I think they were trying for a more windbreaker-friendly ride. Bill Lundeen must've complained about his hemmorhoids.
 
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