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I grabbed a b6 S4 front sway bar in the yard. I noticed when I got back that the ends were slightly different. Don’t know if anybody has had any experience with suspension upgrades. I’ve already done ST coilovers and C5 A6 uprights and lower control arms. Still feels like the front end needs a little more help.
 

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2004 B5.5 Variant 1.8T
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You'll have to pull yours out and lay them side by side to know for sure. You'll need B6 A4 sway bar links as they are threaded.

Throw up a pic?

If they don't work, the B5.5 Wagon is a 27mm sway.
 

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I think the bolt just threads into the end of the bar instead of going through, so the links are the same. Benefit would be much less lean on turns, but it would increase understeer too. For daily driving it would feel great, but if you push the car, it will plow more.
 

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2004 B5.5 Variant 1.8T
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23,730 Posts
I think the bolt just threads into the end of the bar instead of going through, so the links are the same. Benefit would be much less lean on turns, but it would increase understeer too. For daily driving it would feel great, but if you push the car, it will plow more.
On my B6 A4, the bolt threaded into the sway link. It was a captive nut in the bushing. Same for S4
sbl.JPG
 

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I think the bolt just threads into the end of the bar instead of going through, so the links are the same. Benefit would be much less lean on turns, but it would increase understeer too. For daily driving it would feel great, but if you push the car, it will plow more.
PZ, I don't grasp the dynamics here, can you explain why this is...? My experience suggest the opposite. Low speed driving with cooler tires and more continuous contact with the road serface causes more understeer. Higher speeds with increased throttle response, warm tires and more air beneath the front mitigates understeer; but I use a rear bar preventing the rear half of the chassis from rolling or rotating independently of the front. I have, however, been driving FWD ATQs for so long (the Silver Beast turns 16 this month) that my standard for a well behaved chassis is a bit skewed.
 

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Sway bars (actually anti-sway bars) actually decrease traction on the axle they are used on. The downward force on the outside wheel is transferred to the spring on the inside wheel, keeping the car more level, but decreasing traction of the inside wheel during a turn. You can see this on many VW when the rear inside wheel is actually off the ground. You are selectively adding spring rate to the outside wheel on turns, overloading the tire slightly and allowing that portion of the car to rotate easier.

Very few people (not counting most B5 Passat owners) drive their car hard enough to notice this. Manufacturers set up the cars to understeer on purpose, as it's considered safer for the average driver than oversteer. Adding a rear bar counters understeer as it decreases the rear traction and increases front traction, making the tires follow the direction they are pointed in. The worst handling Passat is a FWD V6 Tip sedan. The extra weight in the front causes much more understeer. A rear sway bar would make a world of difference in handling. When I swapped my V6/Tip to the 1.8T/6sp, I cut nearly 200lbs off the nose and the handling improved drastically. I have a stock front bar and a 1be rear bar (marginal upgrade) and springs that are roughly 50% stiffer up front and 100% stiffer for the back.

I still had too much body roll for my preferences, but ride and handling were great. I wanted to upgrade sway bars next and added a 26mm RS6 rear bar (vs 16 or 17mm 1be bar) and tried to add a 35mm front bar (vs 28? mm front bar). The new front bar hung too low, so I went without it. With the rear bar upgraded, I could take turns and on-ramps faster than ever before. The problem was that now, I could feel the back end getting loose if I slowed the car while turning (downshifting or braking) on dry ground. That was how my 1st Passat died, look up trailing throttle oversteer, it's a major problem on FWD cars that are driven hard.

Stiffer springs have the same effect. If you change the ratio of the spring rate front to back, you influence the rotation of the car. The advantage of sway bars over stiffer springs is that they ride slightly better on certain types of road conditions.

For my wife, she wanted less body roll (sway) than her Golf had. When we bought it (Oct 2004), she got out of the car after driving home from the dealer and asked if I could put sway bars on it. I installed GTI front springs and Eibach rears. This lowered the car 1.25". Then I added a GRI front sway bar and a Neuspeed adjustable rear bar, set on medium (my FWD Passat was set to firm). Now her car stays very flat in turns until it is pushed harder, where due to the soft springs, it gets unstable. Ride is much like stock (which was never great). She is quite happy, as she likes driving fast, but does not push the car hard. The car is balanced, as turn in is quicker, but there is no oversteer in dry or wet conditions.
 
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