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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I had been looking for a 24mm bar for my Alfetta sedan, but a couple fell through and the others available didn't have end link bushings. This made them a no go for me as I don't have a vise or press right now and can't access one during the pandemic. So, I bought a 27mm bar from @slowcreek who had been telling me for a long time they were great and his already had end links on the bar (rubber).

My summary impressions: Feels like it reduces roll by about 40% and puts it into the realm of "normal" sporting cars without ruining the character of the Alfa handling. It eliminated the car from "hopping" off the bump stop on really sharp 90 degree turns. I was worried about understeer, but it seems to handle basically the same with a lot less roll. Maybe it understeers a bit more at the limit, but that might have just been me going faster and trying to find faults instead of just driving normally. In either case, a little drop throttle or power oversteer erases it as before I made the change.

Downsides? The other worry was ride qualtiy, but I couldn't find a big penalty. I didn't have a lot of rough roads to try, so just ran over the botz dots on the lane dividers with one wheel and to me, I feel maybe a 15% harshness increase. On some farm roads with a lot of uneven bumps that could increase, but for now, it seems like barely a change. The real test will be some canyon runs over rougher backroads - hope to get back to that soon.

Bottom line: I would recommend the 27mm bar without worry.


swaybar.JPG
 

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I ran a bigger bar in my GT for a while, and did experience tearing of metal around the mounts.
Nice to hear you like the feel, but do keep an eye on that.
 

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Yup, when installing a larger dia bar on the Milano as well, you have to weld in the reinforcing brackets.
 

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Even with the bone stock sway bars and rubber bushings, I managed to tear both the front mounts in the unibody and the rear mounts on the deDion during the year that I raced my GT in the 70's. But I didn't break a driveshaft donut.
 

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That's amazing. No broken donuts?

I wonder if I'm at an advantage having the 1" rear sway bar also.
The load is spread out on 2 bars versus one. I guess peakay and me are the guinea pigs, eh?

We'll have to keep an eye on those mounting areas. I have poly bushings everywhere on the car except lower control arm location. Andy at Performatek supplied them. Not a squeak or harsh ride, unlike other cars I've used them on. Pretty sure these poly bushings have come quite a ways since the old days when one compound was used for every application.
 

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both (F&R) mounts are known failure points... mostly due to hard use on the track (and track like use).. these mount failures are not due to the springs or bushings... they are due to the loads fed into them. as tomhennehka points out, even with stock components, these mounts failed on his race car. high loads fed into them = sheet metal tearing.
these dedion chassis are fairly lightly built and flexible (be advised alfas not alone here) and with today's modern sticky tires, higher loads then originally planned for are fed into the chassis and this makes these mounts even more vulnerable. in fact, if you plan to race one of these (and you should), it is imperative that you reinforce the sheetmetal structure in the engine bay.. keeps the car together and dramatically improves handling and braking.
if you are a street driver... mostly adhering to socially acceptable levels of driving on the public roads, these mounts are secure. if you are susceptible to banging the crap out of your car (not that that is a bad thing), keep an eye on them, fwiw, i (performatek.com) do sell reinforcement kits for the front mounts (welding rquired) and they do a good job of keeping the sheet metal there from tearing.... in the mean time, just give a quick look from time to time.

as to the swaybars and handling...first, sway bars do increase roll resistance... which is a good thing for handling. but, unlike springs, they only get involved when the car rolls/leans. one side of car goes up, one side goes down and the bar twists.... the steel resists twisting and thereby resists - and limits the car's roll. if both wheels hit a bump, i.e go up and down at the same time, there is no twist and therefore, no action on suspension. so, they do impart roll resistance w little or no impact on ride comfort.
as to the handling thang... these cars were designed when the general philosophy was soft suspension and lots of wheel travel.... resulting in lots of roll - which tends to just destroy camber control. ideally, you want to keep suspension changes balanced (F&R) to keep handling balanced. however, these cars are so soft in roll, that anything you can do to increase roll resistance will be beneficial - even if the change seems unbalanced. put on a big front bar... the car will have more grip... add a rear bar, gets better still. and repeat.
frankly, if all you are doing is driving around, you will probably never notice and balance issues. if you push the car they will be noticeable but generally controllable, just not optimum..

also, would agree w peakay - sway bars are relatively inexpensive, easy to install and make a noticeable (in a good way) difference to the car's performance.

and lastly, tomsperow.... yes that front bar fits both sedan and GT.
andy
 

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The only thing I found with stiffer sway bars is that if you put them on a FWD car, the inside tire will tend to lift a little more in a turn, and if in the rain, that tire will have more of a tendency to spin on the wet pavement if heavy throttle is used. Don't ask, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
if you are a street driver... mostly adhering to socially acceptable levels of driving on the public roads, these mounts are secure. if you are susceptible to banging the crap out of your car (not that that is a bad thing), keep an eye on them.
Whoops, I might be calling you for reinforcements soon then. I pretty much drive it like I just stole a vintage IT car out of someone's trailer and the fuzz is chasing me. And I have drugs in the car.

Better check that metal regularly! For those who have cracked it, where does it start? I assume outboad of the mounts?
 

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heres what i can tell you

a well worn but NICE alfetta coupe it slopped around the corners like a pig in mud, to bring it up to "safe and fun" what i did was take low mile GTV6 springs, t-bars, and sway bar, in fact the whole set off my low mile gtv6 and slotted them all into that lil fetta, while i put used race gear under my 6, the fetta with the 4cyl and now all gtv6 gear is perfection, it feels like new and like an alfa should, its just shy of "harsh" while the gtv6 feels closer to track prepped and is actualy harsh at times

so imo sway alone is a waste you really should do ALL of the springs too
 

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A 27mm anti roll bar is 2.27 times stiffer/higher in spring rate, than the factory 22mm anti roll bar.
That is a massive increase in rate, especially when keeping the 'to soft' standard torsion bars.
The greater the ARB stiffness VS the actual car supporting spring's (TB in this case, obs) rate, the less independant the suspension becomes.
Uneven road surfaces will highlight this. Wet roads can have the tyres slipping on bumpy surfaces more easily.
 

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In theory maybe.
In my experience, and I do have a 25mm rear bar, the car exhibits nothing but better road manners in all conditions and still has quite a smooth ride.
 

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It's been documented many times here and elsewhere, the problem with the Alfetta roll is not roll stiffness, it's the roll centers. The front roll centre is way way too low, which is why the car 'knells' as it turns. A stiffer roll bar does counter that but it's fighting the underlying issue, not resolving it.

The better fix is extended uprights via a knuckle riser or similar. Are these legal in the US though? I've only ever done it to cars in Australia, a GT and a GTV6, but the difference is huge. In fact on the GT we ended up removing the front sway car completely, it did run 30mm torsion bars though! Maybe that had something to do with it ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
OK, so I took the car out again Saturday to get out of the house and gave it another run. Due to the quarantine situation, there was nobody on the roads and I was able to really grab the car by the scruff of the neck and drove till I was tired of driving. Really fun.

Here are my impressions: still largely the same. The extra roll stiffness seems to help keep the cars front end in its happy place more often due to much less roll resulting in more initial grip. Maybe at the absolute limit at higher speeds I get some front end wash out, but I think I'm carrying overall higher speeds at this point due to the bar and at the upper MPH/high load turns I might still be getting enough lean to ruin the camber situation. However, the feel of the front tires on this car is incredible and when it goes there, its very evident and a split second lift of the throttle sorts the grip and I can get right back on the go pedal.

It sill doesn't give me the total front grip I would like though. The DeDion rear on these has SO much grip if I could get better initial turn in the car would be really on rails as the back is unflappable. My next moves are to relocate the battery to the trunk and dial in the front-end alignment with perhaps some added negatve camber. Hopefully that gets me close enough to where I want to be with it.

On the ride quality, I did seek out rough roads and was able to find some construction areas this time around. I drove the opposite of how I would normally and actually drove into the rougher areas of the road, even aimed for some potholes! It defitely fet more affected by the bar in these conditions, but never to the point where it was unbearable. In these conditions it feels like a more stiffly sprung car (which it is), but again, not crazy stiff.

I'm just sharing my impressions for others' reference -- I'm not suggesting a sway bar change is better than a complete suspension overhaul or rengineering of rolls centers. However, for a modest cost and a couple hours of install time it seems to be a worthwhile mod that has made a positive difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Any known source for knuckle risers like that?
Would be interested to know this as well. I've also heard "long shank" ball joints have been used, but in looking at fron suspension diagrams its unclear to me how either of these would be implemented to positive effect.
 

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Move the battery and get an alignment like we talked about. Doing the alignment, even after all the stuff I've done on my car, was a real transformation.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Move the battery and get an alignment like we talked about. Doing the alignment, even after all the stuff I've done on my car, was a real transformation.
I'm on it! Waiting for parts to arirve for the battery relo and then off to my alignment shop (assuming they are open).
 

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Make sure they'll let you sit in the car while doing the alignment.
 
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