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Review: Hotchkis Sway Bars- Ms3


Ok, so we all know that I finally managed to get that BRILLIANT purchase installed. The install itself was a LOT of fun..... I owe Erik big for the assist on that one. But this isn't about the install, this is about the parts themselves.

AMAZING difference. The car is a LOT more neutral on turn in, with a lot less push on the front end. The back is also a LOT cleaner and more planted, as the suspension shift that causes the car to want to over-rotate is gone. She just sticks now. I hammered a few clovers on my way home, and there was none of that spooky suspension unload under trail braking. Not to say she's a lot more prone to understeer, because that's what the FSB took care of. It rotates a LOT better than it did before, and it's a LOT more predictable. I do believe that once I get the Rotas and the Direzzas on it, it will be quite a bit better. I've driven almost solely FWD cars, and while the MINI is still ahead, this car is getting a LOT closer to that level, which is mindblowing considering the limited modification I made to the car. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants an immediate and serious improvement to the car. Even on stock shocks and springs, and fucked-ass stock tires, it's truly unbelieveable what these did to the car.

The only drawbacks I can see-

1. the suspension clunks on uneven surfaces now. This really doesn't bother me, and it's supposed to go away once the suspension settles and everything gets situated in its new home.

2. Steering effort on slow speed turn ins seems to be higher. I attribute this to the front tires being forced to work a lot harder due to the lack of lateral suspension flex. This also does not bother me.

As for the parts themselves? Top notch. The red paint/powdercoat looks trick, so that makes me happy. The braces used to bolt the bar to the car are also very high quality, and feature grease points so you can regrease the bushing w/o having to tear the damn thing out again. Considering what it took to get them in, I am VERY relieved to see this. The ends on them are VERY beefy, and aren't pressed shit like I've heard from other companies. The FSB is a hollow tube design, and it does not offer alternate mounting points. This isn't bad, because any stiffer and it would blow apart the front end. The rear on the other hand, is a WHOLE other animal. It's a solid piece of of bar, and has two mounting points for the endlinks. Both were a direct fit, and I didn't have to fight the endlinks to get them back in.

Instructions? Clear enough. Really, it's simple. It's just a matter of fighting with the subframe cradle. The pictures on themselves are sketchy at best, as we had to refer to the internet on several occasions to see what the hell we were doing. Other than that, it was pretty self explanatory. No mention was made that the front cradle would twist, but mebbe it wasn't s'posed to.

The only other thing I can think of is that Hotchkis wasn't kind enough to send me a sticker with the sways. I spend a pile of $$$ and you can't send me a sticker? I like stickers. Maybe I'll ask Hotchkis about this.