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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone installed a single sway bar on their FWD Volvo? I have a base 850, which doesn't have factory bars, but have upgraded with Eibach progressive springs and Koni FSDs. Ride is good, handling good, but I would like to reduce the little bit of roll that I still get. There are some vintage Volvo owners that maintain that they have had the best results running a sway bar in the front but not rear. Seems that with a FWD car, installing a rear bar (but no front) would decrease roll and understeer and improve motive grip to the front (not to mention cutting costs by half). Has anybody tried (or researched) this?
 

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Sway bars keep the body flat when turning by taking some of the force that is exerted on the outside position and transferring it to the inside. Mfrs add front bars but not rears to base cars in an effort to keep them safe by inducing understeer in panic situations, thereby minimizing loss of control. Adding a rear bar only will cause wild oversteer instead. If you like finishing your turns going backwards, go for it. Best to upgrade in pairs, and by similar increments over stock for each, front and rear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sway bars keep the body flat when turning by taking some of the force that is exerted on the outside position and transferring it to the inside. Mfrs add front bars but not rears to base cars in an effort to keep them safe by inducing understeer in panic situations, thereby minimizing loss of control. Adding a rear bar only will cause wild oversteer instead. If you like finishing your turns going backwards, go for it. Best to upgrade in pairs, and by similar increments over stock for each, front and rear.
Stock is no sways and understeer, which I want to eliminate (along with the little bit of roll that is left on turn-in). Having a front bar reduces motive traction (keeping the front tires stuck when accelerating through/out of a turn) and promotes understeer. Why would having one bar (unless it was super-stiff) cause wild oversteer? Are you just guessing at that?
 

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You have a front bar, pretty sure they all do. If you don't, someone removed it along the line for whatever reason
If you add a pair of IPD bars front and rear, it will transform the handling of your 850.
If you add a front bar only, it will understeer even more, then it could snap oversteer
If you add a rear bar with no front bar, it could become very unsafe with wild oversteer all at the wrong time
(and this is in the wrong forum to get any answers)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The base models had no bars, while all the other models had both front and rear. With the other suspension mods it is already pretty buttoned down, just would like to shift the bias toward neutral/oversteer and maybe reel in some of the little bit of roll that occurs on turn-in. Thought a small rear bar might accomplish both of these. Also with the wider wheels & tires and top-notch shocks and springs overall grip is tremendous and I don't expect that oversteer would be "wild" or unpredictable unless it was a very stiff bar with no front, but that's why I am asking if anyone had experience with it.
Which forum should I be in, 850 specifically?
 

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On my T5 I did use an IPD 22mm after market sway on the back with the stock
front for a while. That might be what you are looking for since it did cause the back
end to rotate faster. Later I added the IPD front (it just took a couple weekends to do
all the work -- thats why I ran with just the IPD rear for a while). But I would not use
the rear without a front. IPD also made a special run of thicker rear bars that
sometimes come up for sale used. This thread has some info on all of that:

http://volvospeed.com/vs_forum/topi...-up-with-stock-front-on-850r-autocross-setup/

I have the 1995 Volvo 850 brochure (from when we purchased our 95 wagon) and it indicates front
and rear sway bars on all models. (However, I thought some wagons did not have rear).

Specifications page says:

Front: 20mm base; 21 mm sport suspension or Nivomat suspension.
Rear: 19.5mm base; 20mm sport suspension or Nivomat

They did not sell a lot of the sport suspensions :)

Are you sure you don't have the front? I would think it would handle poorly without it.

In this image the link with the blue bushings connects the roll bar (lower) to the
strut. Note the stock part does not have blue bushings and is not as thick. If you
have this part you have a front sway bar; if not, I think it is missing and was removed:

 
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