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Installed Whiteline BHR93 Rear Sway Bar/review

20067 Views 41 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  razercruze15
I picked up a Whiteline BHR93 Rear sway bar, which is for 3/2011 and newer Cruzes and installed it on my 2012 2LT this weekend. I hadn't seen any threads about this sway bar yet, only the version for older Cruzes that mounts in the traditional way with links and bushings and is adjustable.

The BHR93 is not adjustable and mounts to the bottom of the axle where the spring locator is. The spring locator is removed and replaced with a machined aluminum locator that is threaded for the bolts to bolt the bar across the rear end. The directions specified to unbolt the bottom of the rear shock to drop the suspension, remove the springs, replace the locators, then reinstall everything.

I was able to do it simply by lifting the rear end, punching out the old locators, pulling the new ones in through the rubber pad with the bolts, then mounting up the bar. It was a piece of cake and took around 45 minutes only because we were taking our time. No suspension removal required.

The bar itself was painted silver and looked like it was good quality. The flat parts on the ends that were mounted had some rough machining marks, but I doubt it will mean anything to the performance of the bar. It's a very trick piece that runs right along the torsion beam to increase the rear suspension rigidity.

Unfortunately it out-stabilizes the front by a small amount, and now I feel like I need to install the BHF93 27mm front sway bar to fix it. It's not urgent, however, as I have not had any traction issues on hard corners despite the rain. I just want it to feel a bit more balanced and planted in the front. It's just too bad the front sway bar requires dropping the subframe to remove and replace.

Performance of the rear is definitely awesome now. It's very firm and planted and all the body roll/chassis twisting that bothered me is now gone. I haven't installed the rear tower brace or anything else yet, and I'm not sure I need to.

Pics to come later.
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Hey just checking up on how soon you may have pictures of your sway bar install. I'm purchasing one in the near future. I also have a few questions about how you managed to do it without removal of the suspension.

Unfortunately I did not take pictures during the install. I planned to take pictures of it installed, but don't have access to the garage I used to use anymore so I've only got some phone pics from on the ground. There didn't seem to be much interest so I never updated the thread.

I can definitely answer any questions, though.
I wanted to avoid removing the lower shock bolts and dropping the suspension, so we started by trying spring compressors to take out the springs. They weren't able to compress them enough even with the suspension unloaded to remove them.

The next step we tried was punching out the locator with the spring still in place and the suspension still unloaded. We used an impact socket (so it had thick walls) that was the perfect size to fit into the locator hole. It punched out fine, but we had to relocate the spring when we put in the new locator as it had moved slightly.

The other side, we lowered the tire onto the ramp and completely loaded it. Punching out the locator was easy and the spring was under tension and did not move. Inserting the new locator was easier.

Once the new locators were in, we used the bolts in the kit to pull them in by hand by threading them in and pulling while rotating. We wanted to make sure the locators were pulled entirely into the hole and not at an angle. Once we were sure they were inserted into the hole correctly, we pulled them in by tightening the bolts over washers larger than the hole until they did not move.

Then we took out the bolts and swapped the washers for the sway bar. Hand tightened as tight as possible with a 12" breaker bar, and I was off.
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IG you haven't put lowering systems on your car like prokit or coilovers, I wouldn't do the front yet. Doing the front, on top of being a pain, can also create snap oversteer in hard corners and that's when the results get expensive.
Well, the oversteer is already a little snappy after installing the rear bar. I'm not sure why installing lowering springs would lessen that with the front bar. I've got the 2LT with the sport suspension and the spring rate is already pretty stiff relative to the base suspension and other similar cars.

It's my understanding the sway bar increases the cornering spring rate for the outside and also stabilizes the car. Increasing the spring rate with lowering springs or coilovers should further increase the understeer leading to snappy oversteer with an upgraded front sway bar, shouldn't it?

In the photos you can see the new spring locator from above, the sway bar running under the torsion beam, and the bolt for the sway bar. I'm a little sad the paint cracked and is peeling where it was bolted, but I don't think it's going to be a problem.

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I'm not sure of the physics of it, but 1) I believe any lowering kit will still be stiffer than your sport suspension. 2) I have seen several guys install front bars after rear and end up having their cars whipped off the road because their understeer bit in and turned to oversteer in a split second.
That's a fair point. Are you talking about Cruzes specifically or other cars? The Whiteline front bar is a small increase in size from 25.4->27mm. It's not a large change at all, although a change in bar alloy/geometry might make it more effective as well.
The last one was a maxda3 but I've heard of various cars having similar results. You can handle it but gotta find the limit to know.
Definitely. I'd be wary of letting the girlfriend drive it. She already expressed much discontent at the modified handling with the rear bar installed.
upgrade your struts/shocks. Get a set of Bilsteins, and forget about bandaid solutions like sway bars etc. The worst snake oil are strut tower bars and the ilk. $200 down the drain.
I think sway bars are a little more important than you give them credit for. If it weren't for the large size of the stock front bar, the car would handle like crap.

I can't speak with authority for the improvement that replacing the shocks/struts or upgrading the springs does to improve the handling, but I can say the rear sway bar fixed my largest complaint about the handling.

BTW, you don't need coilovers. Just get the struts/shocks. Stock springs are fine.
I was looking at simply replacing the shocks with Bilsteins when the time comes to replace the OEM ones, but the B8's (for the sport suspension) run around $700 for a set. I could get the entire B14 kit (coilovers) for $770, so why not spend the extra $70 to get some tune-ability in the suspension as well?
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I have built a completely adjustable suspension for my track car, a 1974 Datsun 260Z, and can tell you it is not something you want for daily street driven car. And the more adjustability you put into it the more you will be chasing your tail trying to get it right. The stock Cruze (mines an ECO manual) handles really well. The chassis is pretty stiff and the rear end (of the ECO) is pretty lively especially for a FWD which they usually tune in absurd amounts of understeer.

My Z is put on scales and corner weighted and aligned several times a year. The more adjustments you have the more you have to play with it.

Here a lap at High Plains Raceway.

If this is what you have in mind lets do it!
Not quite what I have in mind, but it looks exciting!

I drive the car on highways frequently with lots of curves. I don't speed unless passing, but I like to maintain speed on the twisties. The rear sway bar seemed like the easiest way to improve the feel that I felt was lacking the most in the Cruze, and it worked. Now I see other shortcomings in the suspension highlighted, and I feel like I should improve them, too.

I appreciate all the conversation in the thread, it's very interesting and important to me to learn what all is involved and how it all works. It's hard to know what's lacking in the Cruze chassis besides what I can feel in daily driving since I have little experience with cars. I analyze most of what's going on from a physics standpoint, and things can function far differently than they appear to someone who is lacking the real world experience.

I understood that installing the rear sway bar could lead to potential oversteer and losing control of the rear end, and I took that risk when I installed it. I have had absolutely zero issues even pushing it in cold weather (below 32 is considered cold here) and in the rain, although I still hold some care from the years I spent only driving a motorcycle in San Diego. It probably also helps I got some significantly better tires to replace the OEM ContiProContacts, (Toyo Proxes 4 Plus) and they've been nothing but great for feel, handling, and traction.

Edit: I forgot to mention I had replaced the stock plastic front sway bar links with metal Moog links and removed the stock crap rubber bushings and replaced them with the blue thermoplastic moog bushings, lubricated with silicone lube. I think I'm getting about as much performance out of the front bar as possible without replacing it.
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