Energy Suspension BushingsBecause our power has increased tremendously as we added the turbo system with more and more boost in our series, we had been noticing more and more deflection in our front suspension under power.
On the dynojet we noticed that our wheels would flex forward about 1.5 inches under load. While speed shifting, observers told us our wheels seemed to jump forward about three inches!
Even though our JWT motor mounts had eliminated about 40 percent of our previously terrible wheel hop, we still had some minor vibration through the wheels while doing burnouts. Our wheels were still hopping a little.
When accelerating hard out of tight turns, our torquey engine was beginning to make the car torque steer. We figured much of this torque steer was caused by toe-change induced by the flexing of the lower control arm bushings.
Energy replaced our lower control arm, steering rack, rear links, and shift isolator rod with its own proprietary hard polyurethane.
The polyurethane was much harder than the gushy stock rubber bits. The lower control arm bushings were the most critical; the deflection of the soft, gushy rubber was the main reason for the wheels' up-and- down hopping and fore-and-aft motion. The monkey motion was also contributing to torque steer. The stock bushings are so soft, we recommend the Energy replacements for just about any performance application.
We also changed our ball joints, tie rod ends, steering rack boots and axles using Moog ball joint and Genuine Nissan for the other parts. Before we installed our bushings into our links and lower control arms with a hydraulic press, we had everything powdercoated gloss black to give the underneath of the car a fresh new look.
The Energy bushings are a direct press-in replacement for the stock Nissan bushings. The bushings made a big difference. Not only did they reduce wheel hop but they eliminated the wheel fore-and-aft movement.
Torque steer out of turns decreased about 50 percent and straight-line torque steer was eliminated. Shifting feel was also improved slightly. The car had a more direct steering feel with less mushyness.
Surprisingly, the car rode better as well. We theorize it's because the urethane bushings have less stickshion than the stock rubber bushings so the suspension can respond better to small bumps. There was more vibration through the steering wheels and more road noise in the cabin, but this wasn't an issue; it was barely worse than stock and much better than full race metal bushings.
The Energy bushings are a good bang-for-the-buck modification, especially with the car making healthy power.
Anti-Sway BarsWhat suspension build up would be complete without a set of performance anti-sway bars? The anti-sway bar's, or sway bar or anti-roll bar as it's also known, main job is to reduce body roll under cornering. This keeps the tire's tread flatter on the road so they can produce more grip. By limiting the amount of roll, sway bars can also make your car a lot more responsive to steering input because they allow the car to change directions before it starts to lean.
Sway bars also can be used to help balance car handling by reducing under- or oversteer. They do this by altering the amount of weight distribution under roll. By reducing roll on one end of a car more than another with a larger sway bar, the amount of weight transfer to the outside tire on that end of the car is increased. This causes a bigger slip angle of the tire on that corner of the car, therefore making that corner of the car slide out sooner.
A car that understeers (front end slides out first in hard cornering) can be balanced by a stiffer rear sway bar. A car that oversteers (rear end slides out first) can benefit from a stiffer front bar. Most cars are designed to understeer by the factory because it's safest for inexperienced drivers.