REVIEW: Adjustable Rear Swaybar manufactured by Australian company Whiteline for an AE86 Corolla. Finding more and more parts that are interchangeable between AE86 Corollas and my '81 Corona LE. (Currently preparing an AE86 disc brake LSD rear swap into my Corona, but thats another story)
Here's Whiteline's link: http://www.whiteline.com.au/product_..._number=BTR25Z
Well I finally shelled out the cash, (under $200 shipped) to George over at Raptor Racing ([email protected]
). SPOILER! I'm extremely satisfied with the experience, though to finish the setup I really need to invest in an LSD differential.
I sent George a heads up email before I sent the paypal payment to make sure he had what I needed (Whiteline BTR25Z). Sure enough he did, so I sent the funds his way and waited. Less than a week later the kit shows up at the house and goes in the trunk of the Corona so i can install it at work..... There it sat for a couple of days because school started so I had'nt been working much anymore. Had a free evening the one night so I popped it in at home.
The kit comes with a steroid abusing 20mm sway bar with several mounting holes to adjust stiffness, as well as the appropriate brackets, nuts, and bolts. The install was fairly straightforward, only a few slight issues. It turns out the D swaybar bushings that came with the kit were too small for the Corona's bushing cups/retainers (whatever you want to call them) and I wasn't just about to let it be all-sloppy and loose in there. I 'm guessing they would be the proper size for an AE86. My fix was to cut a few sections (approx. 2" lengths) of an old serpentine belt and lay them between the yellow bushing and curved retainer. This worked perfectly and took up all the necessary slop and left a tight finish.
Then I ran into the problem involving the chassis mounting brackets. These brackets are included because the method Whiteline uses to attach the swaybar to the chassis is different than Toyota's method. The bolt holes on these brackets did not coincide with the holes in the Corona's chassis. The AE86 Corolla's mounting holes must be spread differently.
Not to worry, there was plenty of extra material on these brackets to drill into. I took the originaly Toyota brackets that I had just removed and set them on top of the Whiteline pieces. I marked the center of each of 2 holes using a sharpie so that there would be enough material around each hole to be strong enough. I then got the punch out and made some dimples. I then drilled these holes out to the proper size, God knows what size it was. I've long since forgot. Started my holes with a small bit, something smaller than a 1/4" bit is good to start with. The final hole size is probably M10 or something around there, probably a 13/32" drill bit.
Oh, I FINALLY also ran into some issues getting the sway bar fully bolted up, but this was my own idiocy. The car was not sitting perfectly level as I had one side of the axle higher than the other. This was causing the sway bar to have preloaded tension and I didn't understand why it would not line up on both sides easily. DUH!
The car has MAJORLY less body roll on the street and highway when cornering at speed. The main goal I was shooting for was to stiffen up the rear end to improve the car's ability to drift as well as reduce body roll. I installed the swaybar at maximum tension from the start and it sure is tight. So tight that I don't doubt I could put it sideways on just about every entrance or exit ramp from the local highway, if I wanted to.
The car is much more predictable when attempting to begin a drift and requires little to no flick to begin, very contrary to the car's behavior prior. However, without LSD differential, it is still difficult to shift the drift's direction as the open differential causes unstable reactions. This effect could also be due to my driving style or other kinks the car has - not blaming the sway bar.
I highly recommend this kit if you are looking to improve your Corona's maneuverability!
Thanks for reading.