Sway bars appear to be very simple parts. Let’s face it, they’re either solid or hollow bars with a roughly 90-degree bend at each end. Installation is generally a pretty simple process as well. But when it comes to how your car handles, these simple-looking bars play as much of a role as any other part in the suspension.
We wanted to put this to the test on a First-Gen Camaro. The installation of the rear bar alone could have stood on its own as a story because it is a little more involved than some other cars, but we also wanted to hit the track to see just how well these new bars would work.
We got together with the folks over at Hotchkis Performance and arranged for shop time to get some bars installed. We chose their PN 2207 Performance Sway Bar Set which consisted of the 1 1/8-inch hollow bar for the front and the 7/8-inch hollow bar for the rear. Even with the extra work involved with the rear bar, we managed to complete both ends in about four hours. Then the fun began. We took the Camaro out to a slalom course and ran some times and wore in some tires, but even with as much fun as that was, we knew that to get a more real-world feel we had to hit the track. Our opportunity came with the Hotchkis/Baer/Yokohama Track Day out at Buttonwillow track. The Camaro’s suspension performed well with the only causality being the power steering system (a problem we’ll solve later). By the end of the day we felt the time and money was well invested.