Whiteline anti roll bar review

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Whiteline anti roll bar review

I decided to do a Whiteline anti roll bar review after some before and after testing and here is my review/comparison.

We purchased a Whiteline anti roll bar through www.awesome-gti.co.uk. The BWR19Z adjustable swaybar version. We tested with a normal everyday hatchback. A front wheel drive turbo diesel Volkswagen Polo.

The test car

  • 2004 Polo 9N chassis
  • 1.4 TDI (BNM engine code)
  • Kerb weight 1258 kg
  • Horsepower is a whopping 73 bhp.
  • Standard shock absorbers, with Apexi lowering springs (-40mm).
  • There was only about 12kg of fuel in the car (approx 2 gal) for the tests, and the fuel tank is mid-mounted.
  • Tyres were crappy budget ditch-finders 205/55R16, made by A-One (whoever that is) with approx 3mm of tread on all tires.

General review / TLDR

The rear anti roll bar makes the car handle much better, and it is much more fun to drive. The Whiteline anti roll bar is great value and in some cases is half the price of competitor products. I cannot think that a different sway bar could be twice as good for twice the money.

Handling

Fantastic, brilliant, amazing, superb. The car had some serious understeer problems in its standard form, made worse once I lowered the suspension. Now however the car whips around corners so much faster and on the limit has a hint of understeer then a neutral slide if you go really fast.

Cornering grip was tested by doing circles around a roundabout with increasing speed: Before the swaybar was installed the car would maintain grip until 21mph before beginning to run wide with understeer. After the ARB was fitted the car was able to maintain 27.5 miles per hour before understeer would cause the car to run wide.

Lift-off oversteer is a concern in the wet so I have to be careful there, but only on the hard setting. On soft/medium there is very little liftoff oversteer. In the dry there is plenty of grip even when lifting off mid-corner – just a little bit of a wobble before the grip catches and you carry on through the corner.

Product review

The bar itself is a shaped powdercoated steel bar with a flattened blade-shape on either end with 3 holes for adjustment. Adjustment can be done in around 3 minutes with two 17mm sockets, without having to jack up the car which is fantastic!
The fitting kit gave everything needed, with plenty of grease for the rubbers/bushings, and no special tools were needed, just a few normal spanners and an allen key. The fitting guide was a little misleading but it was straightforward to figure out. If you need some help you can view my Whiteline anti roll bar fitting guide video.

Comfort

The lowered springs on the car made the ride rather bouncy, as the standard shock absorbers were still in place. Adding the rear ARB reduced the amount of bounce and made the car more stable at speed. I’m not sure that increase damping is part of an ARB’s purpose, but in this case it improved the damping of the car’s suspension.
On soft and medium settings, there was no detrimental impact to the ride, however on the firm setting there was a noticeable change when travelling over rough surfaces. Potholes cause the rear end to “crash” and the whole car is jarred by hitting a bump.
Harder settings also produce more tyre squeal – particularly on smooth surfaces like car parks. This will be made worse by my cheap tyres I expect.
Surprisingly, having the car full of large people doesn’t cause any noticeable change to the comfort.
I’ve kept the swaybar on it’s hardest setting and it’s easy to live with.

Summary

A great value product, straightforward to fit and adds a lot of fun to the handling of the car. Well worth the price of the Whiteline anti roll bar kit!

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