How do I Create the Handling Balance that is Best for Me?

Obviously, TLLTD and body roll will both be affected by changes to springs and anti-sway bars. So understanding the effects of multiple changes can get confusing. Fortunately, knowledgeable tuners (such as SPS) have access to basic chassis dynamic calculation software that allows the simulation of various spring and sway bar configurations upon the Saturn chassis.

One of the things that we have learned through experience – and through simulation – is that the installation of a stiffer front sway bar may not be best for many situations. One reason for this is that while the use of a stiffer front bar effectively further reduces body roll, it also increases front TLLTD, inducing more understeer. It also can reduce front traction while accelerating and turning – already a problem thanks to a lack of a limited slip differential. For these reasons, at team scR we run a STOCK front anti-sway bar…a fact that seems to contradict the cornering power of our car until you understand the relationships above.

A few calculations showing the effects of anti-sway bars changes upon a Saturn SC2 with stock springs is shown below. (Roll Gain measures degrees of body roll per g of cornering load. Lower numbers represent less body roll.)

Anti-Sway Bar Roll Gain (deg/g)
% Front TLLTD
Stock front, stock rear 4.5
63.4
Stock front, 16.5mm rear
4.2
59.7
25mm solid front, 16.5mm rear
3.97
62.1
Stock front, 16.5mm rear adj. set on hardest setting
4.06
58.0

Summary

Hopefully this information will allow you take the next steps toward transforming your daily driver in to a canyon-carving g-machine. Small, well planned steps might just take you to the finish line faster than you thought possible…