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04 Matrix XRS 05 Pontiac Vibe
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Discussion Starter #1
Tl:dr, is the Progress bar worth an extra $100CAD over the TRD bar?

So I’m at my local Toyota dealer, getting the drain plug washer to do my oil change, and on a whim ask if the TRD sway bar for the matrix/vibe is available. It’s sounded like it was always the more expensive and rare option, vs the Progress bar that seems to be readily available from MWR. Turns out there’s one available in the eastern Canada warehouse, $225CAD plus tax. While that sounds expensive vs the $159USD Progress bar, the shipping (as of this post) brings it up to $250USD, or $329CAD. Is one dramatically better than the other? Are there other considerations to take into account?
 

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IMO, if you don’t drive the car hard or push through the corners, you’re going to be hard pressed to find significant benefit between the two. I would just pick the TRD bar if I were you and save the money.
 

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2006 Corolla XRS
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Think of it this way.

On a daily driver, the suspension from the factory has been tuned by the OEM.

When adding it subtracting suspension parts, it would throw it out of balance. On the flip side, this would help to a certain degree. Don't expect much unless you go into a more aggressive suspension upgrade.

This being said, it will improve over time when the suspension is balanced and counter balanced.

Struts, springs, tires, offsets, bushings, alignment will increase the cars ability to remain flat in turns. The trade off here is that it would be a firm ride and you may not like the feel, especially on a daily driver and pot hole riddled roads.

I would only get this if your intent is to redo the suspension with new lowering springs and struts or coil over suspension.

The matrix will benefit it from a lowered stance as it's a tall chassis and heavier.
 

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If you're going to do just one suspension mod on a FWD car it should be a bigger rear sway bar.

Any parts beyond that will certainly help, but decreasing understeer is the best thing you can do to a FWD car. It's actually a popular factory mod too. We used to have an 02 Accord coupe and it came with a 1mm bigger rear bar than the sedan. Lexus had a silversport package on the old RX300 back in the day that also came with a bigger rear sway bar.

I say get it and get the biggest one you can. I think progress and TRD are both 24mm. Ultra racing makes one that mounts to the bottom of the axle for even MOAR anti sway powers. They make it in 16 and 19mm.

Just watch out in winter, if you put tons of rear bar in you're going to slide the back end out in the snow easier. If you run snow tires then it won't be a problem.
 

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04 Matrix XRS 05 Pontiac Vibe
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the advice! It sounds like it would help my vibe, or at least be a good first step for when I turn the XRS into a weekend warrior track car 😁
 

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2006 Corolla XRS
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Thanks for all the advice! It sounds like it would help my vibe, or at least be a good first step for when I turn the XRS into a weekend warrior track car 😁
Maybe consider doing a larger diameter front sway bar and a larger diameter rear sway bar.

See how it handles and then change the geometry of the suspension.

I've seen many build threads and they do the opposite. Setup for power and then improve the suspension.

It's best to setup the handling before increasing power. It may be slower on speed, but in time attacks, you gain time in the turns as it's not sloppy.
 

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2005 Corolla XRS, K&N, R9k tune, MWR Short Shift, Tein/KYB, 205/50-16, serious bump in the back
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Rear sway bars:

Stock S and XRS 20mm
Whteline 22mm eBay $190
Progress 24mm MWR $159
TRD 24mm (not confirmed) ~$175
Focuz 26mm eBay $44
Megan unavailable

Funny how the largest costs the least and the smallest costs the most.
 

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2006 Corolla XRS
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Here's an example of what I mentioned earlier. This person did all the engine upgrades. Only one suspension upgrade mentioned. The stance is hideous and will not handle.

 

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Maybe consider doing a larger diameter front sway bar and a larger diameter rear sway bar.
The problem with a front bar is...

1. Not east to get one. I think only Megan makes one. Other than the TRD one that comes as part of a set. The whiteline one is for the Celica, and while it will fit, it's the same size as stock. Ultra racing makes one but I think it's smaller than stock.

2. Not easy to replace. Tossing in a rear bar is just that, jacking up the rear, pulling two big bolts, and tossing it in. The front bar you have to drop the front subframe. That's not easy, or cheap to have done. You're going to have to change out the bushings and possibly the end links as well.

I get where your concern is coming from, but as far as factory suspension specs, this is a Toyota, not an Alfa Romeo. Understeer is a far safer handling characteristic than oversteer, and if anything this car is tuned on the safe side. I think you can dial out a fair bit of understeer before it becomes anything of a concern.
 

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Rear sway bars:

Stock S and XRS 20mm
Whteline 22mm eBay $190
Progress 24mm MWR $159
TRD 24mm (not confirmed) ~$175
Focuz 26mm eBay $44
Megan unavailable

Funny how the largest costs the least and the smallest costs the most.
I think 26mm rear bar with no changes to the front might shift the balance a little much IMO.
What’s the dia. Of the front sway bar?
 
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