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459 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
anyone have any ideas on cost,local so-cal shops, and inputs on maybe just to go the cheap route on heat treating the stock front sway bar for a lil more tensile strength?

just up late and thinking up ideas 1/2 asleep... but,
1) cost efficiency
2)weight and no-headaches on adjustability issues
3)easier to find upgrade bushings for stock sizes
4) for the hell of it...mainly to compliment/compensate for characteristic changes from upgraded stiffer rear sway bar.
 

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Mufasa in Training
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33,194 Posts
I'm not seeing those benefits, especially since it's not like a sway bar is that much more expensive. Your call, tho.
 

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12,259 Posts
I think it's a horrible idea. You may actually weaken the bar if you don't know what your doing. I'm not a metalurgist but I think it'd be very difficult to control this process to achieve desired results. For a one-off part you might spend just as much if not more money to get the bar heat treated than if you just bought a thicker sway bar off the shelf (nevermind the time and effort). Sway bars are cheap. Replacement bushings are also cheap, readily available, and easy to manufacture yourself if they become difficult to source. You might be able to make the sway bar a few % more stiff by changing the material properties but it is much easier from a tuning and manufacturing perspective to use the same material and just change the diameter. Plus the oem sway bars do not have multiple adjustment holes. Almost all aftermarket sway bars are adjustable. Now if you've got a stack of oem sway bars sitting on the floor doing nothing and you're looking for ways to create a cheater rear sway bar for some stock racing class (SCCA auto-x allows upgraded front sway bars in stock) and you like to experiment by all means go for it. The worst thing that could happen is the bar might fracture when fully (over) loaded in the middle of a high speed corner resulting in a sudden loss of roll stiffness.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
well... there's doin it, and doin it right. heat trating can have tensile strngth if professionally done. like heat forging. the other extreme is freezing it...which bill send me a site that can do these projects...some large parts go as low as $35-50. which i think i might do. i've heard mazda already using these technology like cryogenic treating or shot- peening the gears.
 

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I'm glad that you weren't thinking about heating up your sway bar with the old flame wrench to stiffen it up! I haven't had anything sent out to be strengthened using commercially available processes so I can't give you a cost estimate but there is usually a minimum service fee which may be upwards of $75. The more parts you do (a set of pistons, gears, connecting rods, and a crank) the cheaper per unit cost. For just one big, bulky item like a sway bar it might be costly depending on the treatment method. All this effort for an unknown outcome. You'd certainly be a trail blazer. An adjustable Racing Beat front sway bar can be purchased from Goodwin Racing for $99 and is a known quantity. On a related note, a friend of mine built chassis' for Team Lexus. He said that Penske Racing can cryogenically treat entire chassis after welding in roll cages to relieve stress and strengthen the cars but it is very expensive. If I recall correctly it was more than $30,000 per car to do this.
 
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