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Discussion Starter #1
I installed an adjustable DNA rear sway bar and new toe links on my 2008 Lotus Elise SC. I purchased the sway bar from Inokinetics. Installation required drilling a hole in the lower rear wishbones, but that wasn't hard at all. In fact, the entire installation was reasonably straight forward. I spent as much time doing a DIY alignment with fish wire, as I did on the installation of the toe links and rear sway bar.

I am really impressed with the added stability around corners. I have a pretty good setup with Racetech struts, Ultradisk rotors, and Monolite wheels, all of which lowered my un-sprung weight by about 5 to 6 pounds in each corner. I'm using 350 psi springs in the front and 500 psi springs in the rear, and they work really well with this sway bar. The sway bar was not cheap (something like $800) but it converts the toelink to double-sheer (if you don't already have the track pack option that comes with a brace for your toe links), and it gives me a whole lot more confidence on corners.

I'm not Speedracer. I'm just driving spiritedly on canyon roads (no tracking), and I'm not interested in drifting or sliding all over the place. For me, this rear sway bar was a really great addition. It would be an exaggeration to say it completely transformed the car all by itself. But between the swaybar and all the other suspension modifications I made, it is a very noticeable difference even for an amateur driver like me. Definitely worth the money and the time to install in my opinion.
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Looks good! are you considering one day adding the front DNA adjustable swaybar? I do like that these swaybars comes with guidelines for the settings.
 

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Thanks for posting. Considering the front/rear spring rate is the same as what's set up for a street car without the rear bar, have you had a chance to see if the car is more apt to over-steer? I would think you'd want to lower the rear spring rate to offset the roll stiffness of the bar and help out the car's ride.
 

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I would be interested to see if this would work for the factory suspension oem owner (that's me) that wants to autocross his Elise but wants the ability to tune it in the future. Seems like DNA says it plays well with the factory front bar and factory settings. I would be also purchasing the front to complete the set.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys for the feedback. I forgot to mention I also have the adjustable DNA front sway bar. I got my struts and springs before I decided to splurge on the rear sway bar, so you are right ME73; my spring rates are for a car without the rear sway bar. I'm considering getting spring rates of 250 front and 350 rear, rather than the 350 front and 500 rear that I currently have. Glagola1, thanks for the advice on trail braking. A friend of mine who knows what he's talking about, warned me about the same thing. I'm an amateur driver, and as such I like how the car feels flat on corners. But as an amateur, I don't know what I don't know, so it's very possible I "majorly altered the balance of the car". That's the reason I love this forum. I get feedback from folks who know a lot more than I do. So Glagola1, are you recommending against the rear sway bar generally, or is the issue just a question of trade-offs between flat cornering versus potential for over-steer when trail braking?
 

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Thanks guys for the feedback. I forgot to mention I also have the adjustable DNA front sway bar. I got my struts and springs before I decided to splurge on the rear sway bar, so you are right ME73; my spring rates are for a car without the rear sway bar. I'm considering getting spring rates of 250 front and 350 rear, rather than the 350 front and 500 rear that I currently have. Glagola1, thanks for the advice on trail braking. A friend of mine who knows what he's talking about, warned me about the same thing. I'm an amateur driver, and as such I like how the car feels flat on corners. But as an amateur, I don't know what I don't know, so it's very possible I "majorly altered the balance of the car". That's the reason I love this forum. I get feedback from folks who know a lot more than I do. So Glagola1, are you recommending against the rear sway bar generally, or is the issue just a question of trade-offs between flat cornering versus potential for over-steer when trail braking?
It seems like you are using "flat cornering" as your metric for "better handling". These two sometimes do correlate, but they are far from equal. There's a reason why Lotus - world renown for their suspension expertise - set their cars up with a good bit of roll. You probably have the car so stiff that it'll snap from grip to no grip pretty suddenly. If you are always staying far from the limit then this isn't a big deal, but it will make driving on the limit very tricky if you ever do find yourself there.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I drive spiritedly but not at the limit. That said, as an amateur I only know I haven't reached the limits of the car's grip because I haven't spun out, not because I know where the limit is. You're correct Cyow5 that I was equating flat cornering with better handling, and I'm beginning to realize that's a misconception on my part. I think I may have made a mistake by adding the sway bar. Would reducing the spring rate on struts while retaining the rear sway bar reduce the tendency to oversteer?
 

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I drive spiritedly but not at the limit. That said, as an amateur I only know I haven't reached the limits of the car's grip because I haven't spun out, not because I know where the limit is. You're correct Cyow5 that I was equating flat cornering with better handling, and I'm beginning to realize that's a misconception on my part. I think I may have made a mistake by adding the sway bar. Would reducing the spring rate on struts while retaining the rear sway bar reduce the tendency to oversteer?
I wouldn't freak out too much, but I also probably wouldn't try to push the car too hard, especially in wet or cold. But I would seriously consider lowering the rear spring rate.

The best thing you can do is learn how your car behaves at the limit in an environment in which it's safe to explore. PCA puts on driver's skills days that are an excellent way to get a feel for the car. Autocross, as long as it's in a very open space, is also a good place to learn.
 

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SergeLotus - when you purchased the DNA front/rear swaybars did DNA provide a tuning guide ? Looks like you have the rear DNA bar set at the softest setting, how about the front DNA bar?
 

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I drive spiritedly but not at the limit. That said, as an amateur I only know I haven't reached the limits of the car's grip because I haven't spun out, not because I know where the limit is. You're correct Cyow5 that I was equating flat cornering with better handling, and I'm beginning to realize that's a misconception on my part. I think I may have made a mistake by adding the sway bar. Would reducing the spring rate on struts while retaining the rear sway bar reduce the tendency to oversteer?
I agree with @me73 - nothing to freak out about. The hard part with saying “I’m only going 7/10” is you have to know where “10” really is. Otherwise, you might’ve been 9.5/10 and never knew it. I have the body shop receipts to prove it... A track day will always be the official answer, but I’d be lying if I said spirited mountain drives didn’t teach me a whole lot, too. The risk is massively higher though - nothing like zero runoff and then a ticket if you wreck. Track days are far more forgiving, haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great feedback guys. I really appreciate it! Goelise, yes, I did get a tuning guide from Inokinetics and I set both the front and rear sway bars at their softest settings. Based on the feedback here, I think the first thing I'm going to do is get on a skid pad (Virginia International Raceway is not too far from here), so I can get a better sense of the limits of the car, understanding that the limits can change with changes in tire pressure, road conditions, etc, so actions that may not cause a spin out on one day could easily cause one on another day. Regardless, after I get a little more experience, if I think my current driving is too close to the edge, I will probably lower the spring rates to start. If I then feel like I'm still too close to the edge I may remove the rear sway bar and just keep the rear brace that keeps the toe links in a double-shear state. Again, I very much appreciate the everybody's input and patience with me. Hopefully my experience with help other novices on this web site.
 

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Skidpad a great idea. I’ve done the VIR one a few times. Basic, but all ya need.

This is the first time I have heard of a rear sway bar on an Elise.

Most everyone looking to improve handling starts stiffening things up. I did. Eventually I realized I had just about no idea what I was doing. My set up worked well enough but if I really wanted to improve I needed some professional help. For the car’s set up, and my skills.

Can’t help but think of a favorite quote of Colin: “If you make it adjustable, they will do it wrong”
 

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Here is a closeup of the DNA rear toe links ends:


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Guys,
We developed the settings for these swaybars with a professional Ride & Handling Engineer, David Thilenius. See more about our testing: HERE. I along with many other fast amateur drivers (see video above) have vetted this set-up on track and street. Trail braking is beautiful along with the balance and compliance of the car. Our set-up was preferred over a much more expensive Ohlins TTX-shod Elise...


 
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