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ST Rear Sway Bar Impressions
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Thread: ST Rear Sway Bar Impressions

  1. #1
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    ST Rear Sway Bar Impressions

    I'm a new poster to the forum, so I thought I would start out by providing my impressions of a mod that many may be interested in, but few (to my knowledge) have tried.

    I purchased and installed an ST rear seat bar within the first month of driving the 500e. With front wheel drive cars, I always prefer the feeling of having the rear do it's share of work in cornering rather than making the fronts do everything. A rear sway bar upgrade has usually done the trick in past vehicles so I did some reasarch and picked up the ST rear bar.

    I took it to a shop to install because it actually required drilling into the chassis in order to mount the brackets, which put it beyond my DIY level. The drilling might make some people uncomfortable but I didn't have an issue with it.

    Ive been glad that I did this upgrade because it did help with the cornering feel a bit. The car is ever so slightly more willing to turn in easier, but the impact wasn't as drastic as some other cars I've had in the past. I could say that I was expecting more of an impact to handling, but I definitely would repeat this mod without hesitation. I think part of the mismatch in my expectation is because the tire setup in the 500e is intended for fuel economy, and obviously not for overly spirited driving. Also, the electric motor makes so much torque that breaking loose the front tires is incredibly easy compared to my previous cars.

    Does anybody else have any experiences with a rear sway bar on your 500e?

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    Keep an eye on the welds of the ST bar. They will eventually crack and or break. The multiple reports of the welds breaking made me look into other options. Due to abarth brackets being so over priced I resorted to designing custom rear brackets to accommodate an oem abarth torsion bar and the design can be tweaked to fit larger bars.

    I have the brackets going on the cnc this week so ill be able to see if they clear the stock wheels and aftermarkets 15x7's.

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    Member compu_85's Avatar
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    Can you post some pictures of your car? I'd read that the 500 Abarth sway bar doesn't fit the 500e do to the battery fouling the location where the links attach to the bar.

    -J
    2013 500e, 2014 ELR, 2018 Model 3.

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    Senior Member Fabio13's Avatar
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    I and others who have been on this forum for some years and with the ST Sway bar have had no issues. They will not crack and break. There was one bar in the earliest days that the owner said MAY have been cracked. There is only one hole on each side that needs to be drilled and it's pretty easy. You bolt the bar on with one bolt on each side and then drill though the other sway bar hole into the suspension arm. You don't even need to measure or mark the location, Comes with instructions. A set of plastic ramps helps to raise the car but isn't even necessary.
    2013 Fiat 500 Sport AT, Xpel Ultimate Clear Bra, 3M Crystalline Window Tint, Black top stripes, Black "500" (wide) side stripes. Fiat "500" Stainless door sills by Mopar. BlueTooth music streaming. OBDII BlueTooth Torque gauges streaming to smart phone. BF Goodrich Sport Comp II tires, STS rear sway bar, Euro+Drive NA 500 Tune, BMC reusable air filter and Spare Tyre with cover.

    Blast to drive! 25 years newer than last car!

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    Theoretically if there was some breakage, how would you be able to tell from the drivers' seat? What would the signs be?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabio13 View Post
    I and others who have been on this forum for some years and with the ST Sway bar have had no issues. They will not crack and break. There was one bar in the earliest days that the owner said MAY have been cracked. There is only one hole on each side that needs to be drilled and it's pretty easy. You bolt the bar on with one bolt on each side and then drill though the other sway bar hole into the suspension arm. You don't even need to measure or mark the location, Comes with instructions. A set of plastic ramps helps to raise the car but isn't even necessary.

    for someone who has been on this forum for years im surprised you have ignored the multiple reports of ST bars cracking and or breaking. There were reports of one cracking as recent as this year. I spoke with that owner and it had been repaired twice. Another owner on a different fiat forum had one break off on the pass side. He repaired it, broke on the drivers side. Another owner had one break off under warranty, 2 months after installing the replacement BOTH sides broke off.

    Mechanical basics 101 is you do NOT want a weld (a Chinese weld) being your pivot point on a torsion bar or a component that sees constant load cycling. It will fail. Its not a matter of if. Its a matter of when.
    Last edited by charrigan; 07-18-2017 at 07:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Immediately View Post
    Theoretically if there was some breakage, how would you be able to tell from the drivers' seat? What would the signs be?

    As far as driving feel you should be able to notice a broken weld because that component is no longer attached at both ends. Or you can simply inspect the welds for cracks.

    The only proper solution for a rear torsion bar on the 500e is either retrofitting an abarth bar and brackets or the DNA adjustable rear torsion bar.

    Sure the ST bar is inexpensive but its a poorly executed design with a major design flaw to keep costs down.

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    Be careful on uneven pavements (such as taking sharp right-hand turns up driveways, and driving over speed bumps on just the right-side or left-side tires). This creates an uneven load to the the rear suspension and the added rear sway bar negates the independence. Hence an uneven bump will load up the torque on the sway bar. I've experienced this with my 01 VW Golf TDI with the Autotech adjustable RSB. The end link bracket (aluminum) sheered off at the welds and also sheered at the bushing section. Luckily for me, Autotech is only 10 miles away and they were happy to give me a replacement.

    My suggestion is to take uneven pavements slowly and to broaden your angle of entry into driveways (your front spoiler will thank you as well). Because my wife probably won't adapt to carefully driving with consideration for an added RSB, I'll refrain from installing one on the 500e. To reduce understeer, I'll consider getting matching wheels widths when the tires wear out.

    IMG_0391.jpg
    Last edited by maximizese; 07-18-2017 at 12:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maximizese View Post

    To reduce understeer, I'll consider getting matching wheels widths when the tires wear out.
    just remove the hub pins and rotate the rears to the front.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charrigan View Post
    just remove the hub pins and rotate the rears to the front.
    That'll do. I'd want to try it out and take the car to the limit before having my wife drive it. Wheel spacers at the front would also reduce understeer, but I'm not doing that.

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