I wrote up a whole post about my teardown and refurb of the front suspension. I left out, however, one crucial part of the front suspension, the part that comes off first and goes back on last: the swaybar.
Also called the "anti-roll bar" which is a far more descriptive name the swaybar counters body roll when a car is turning. So if you've ever ridden is some barge of a car and feel the whole thing roll to one side through a turn, swaybars minimize that feeling. They do so by essentially connecting the left wheel to the right wheel (front and rear separately). When turning, the body rolls outward, pushing down on the outside wheel and pulling up on the inside wheel. The swaybar counters those forces, keeping the car's body flat and it's weight more evenly distributed between left and right tires.
In addition to keeping the car level in turns (for that cool "sliding through corners" sports car look), swaybar stiffness changes how much a car over- or understeers when cornering. When turning, the inner wheels have less weight on them, so they lose grip. That weight is thrown to the outside wheel, but one tire can only grip so much. By keeping the car flat, both outer and inner tires can grip the road better. And by changing how much grip the front wheels have vs. the rear wheels, over- and understeer can be adjusted.
So, I'm all about making Webby a fun car to tear ass in. In that vein, I decided to upgrade her swaybars to something much stiffer and sportier. I called up Ireland Engineering and ordered a new set of swaybars, front and rear. They're a lot thicker and shorter than the stock bars, so they're much stiffer. Furthermore, all the bushings are urethane rather than rubber, so, again, stiffer feel when cornering. Here's my teardown of the stock front swaybar and rebuild with Ireland's fat one. It was a relatively painless install.
When I got this swaybar, I also ordered Ireland Engineering's rear swaybar. It's big and fat just like this one; they make a nice set. I'll install it later, after the car's up and running for a while. In the meantime, I'll have a very stiff front end and a really flexible rear.