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Re: Sway Bars

Ned wrote: "I was thinking of getting swaybars...  where can i find

Why are you thinking of getting swaybars?  Are you taking your type3 to
the track?  Are you aware that the type3 front end integrates an
internal anti-sway system?  Are you sure you want to shift the
compromise/balance between interdependence and independence of left and
right suspension travel settled on by VW engineers?

Remember, VW didn't spend lots of its shareholders money on designing
and producing the much more expensive type3 front end just for
kicks--the type1 front end, to whom the aftermarket sway bars are
primarily marketed, is a much less robust piece of equipment.

I'd think twice, and then think some more before I decided to second
guess the pros.  The VW engineers designed a whole suspension package,
while the guys selling sway bars are not responsible for how your car
drives once their product is installed.  Their first priority is to sell
you the sway bar, whereas VW's first priority was to sell a whole car.
There's a big difference there.  Now, YOU are responsible for the whole

I'm not suggesting that the consequences of adding a sway bar are dire.
However, the consequences may not be so good, either.  You give up one
thing (independence) to get another (linkapß÷­ the trade may not be
in your favor, depending on the kind of driving you do.  Usually there
are other things to do that don't involve a trade-off, mechanically
speaking--e.g. getting new tires.  Do you have really good tires
already?  If not, I'd put my money into some high quality tires before I
started messing around with adding more anti-sway.  I'm assuming that
your front end is in tip-top shape (i.e. ball joints and tie-rod ends
tight, rods straight, bearings in spec, etc.).

Whenever I get the urge to spend some money on some new modification, I
ask myself: 'Eric, when did you last change the oil, check the trans
fluid, set the valves?  When did you last replace the points &
condensor, check the high-tension wires and coil, set the timing?  Any
rust starting anywhere?  How are those brake lines?  [Come on, you could
go with stainless steel!  ;  )  Reliable braking beats less sway any
day!!]  Bleed 'em down recently?  When did you check/replace the fuel
lines, its connections, and all of those crucial little grommets to
protect the lines where they pass through sheet metal.'  A little sway
when cornering hard is much easier to tolerate knowing that your car is
less likely to turn into a ball of flames.  :  )  Seriously.  The list
of questions I ask myself varies, but it rarely gets longer; because I
usually remember some more pressing issue I need to take care of before
I get much further.  Maybe you're more on top of the little things than
I am; but then you could always start building your next engine ....

Eric Forsman '73 Square
Baltimore, MD

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