24 February 2010|
Photos by www.globalperformanceparts.com
With all the advanced suspensions and electronic controls being pumped out by the OEMs, you might wonder why an upgrade is required. For example, the new Subaru STi may handle great out of the box and leave owners with nothing to be desired. However, Whiteline has proved that as they added more of their suspension components to the STi, it was faster around the track than a vehicle with almost 200 extra horsepower!
In our case, we wanted to update the aging suspension parts on our Project GT-R. Even though much of the suspension had been upgraded, many of the original bushings, links and arms were dated and needed to be replaced. When we took a close look at the sway bar system, we noticed there were some crusty old blue bars in there, worn bushings and even when new, the end-links on the GT-R are still like toothpicks. We want to go fast and doing so meant that the whole sway bar and end-link setup was going to be replaced.
We turned to Whiteline for this task since they have many rare applications that could not be found elsewhere. Unlike some of the Japanese aftermarket companies, suspension is all Whiteline does. What proved impossible to find elsewhere were the R32 GT-R sway bar end-links #KLC008 front and #KLC009 rear. These adjustable billet end-links feature pillow-ball ends and are anodized to resist corrosion. The end-link is the sway bars’ final connection to the chassis, and the flimsy stock units were definitely the weakest link and prevented the bars from eliminating more roll in the body. After we went to install them however, we realized, they were not going to work with the ‘blue bars’ that were already on the car. It looked like Whiteline would have to come to the rescue to provide and all-in-one solution.
Whiteline has hundreds of sway bars for different cars. The bonus is that they are all adjustable to further tune the pre-load in-bar to tweak handling. For the BNR32, Whiteline offers two different thicknesses 22mm and the full race 24mm up front. We decided to go with the well-rounded 22mm bar #BNF27Z because the 24mm is simply not practical for the street. In the rear, we have the 24mm bar, the BNR26XZ which will keep the back end cornering flat to put the power down early in the corner. The thicker sway bars will allow the car to corner flatter and tie the suspension on either side of the car together. The reduction in roll reduces energy loss and keeps tires on both sides involved for improved grip.
Both the spherical end-links and sway bar kits were supplied with ample instructions and hardware. Included in every package is all of the required hardware and, of course, high quality urethane bushings. The urethane bushings are made out of a higher Durometer rating (stiffer) to improved handling, direct feel and will outlast OE rubber bushings by a huge margin. The install at CAN-Alignment was straightforward as the fairly simple Skyline suspension is easy to work on. Owner of CAN-Alignment, Scott Murfin says these cars benefit in a huge way with thicker sway bars and more importantly, new beefy end-links as opposed to the tiny OE parts, which are the weakest link!
The proof came through driving the GT-R. The connection to the road was substantially improved. There was less dead-zone and wallowing, where the car doesn’t react as fast as you might want. The turn-in was improved to laser-sharp with the reduced body roll and the weight transfer was excellent in those fast chicanes. It displayed no tendency to understeer and the oversteer was more reserved for “on-demand”, when you put the power down.
Consider Whiteline your source for everything suspension, except for coilovers. A quick view of its catalogue lists every popular tuner platform imaginable from here to Australia. It offers loads of suspension arms, camber kits and springs to suit your needs in addition to strut tower bars and chassis braces for improved stiffness. Because it is located close to Japan, Whiteline obtains new JDM models before we have seen them, allowing it to stay one step ahead of the competition.
Sway Bars & End-Links
Alignment & Corner Balancing