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Old 05-16-2014, 01:05 PM   #1
j-san
 
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Suspension improvements at stock ride height

Hi everyone,

I have a 2010 5-door hatch that I recently inherited as my daily driver (wife got a new car so I get her Yaris). I'm really enjoying the small size and nimble handling of the Yaris, but I would like a slightly tighter handling car for a more sporty feel. From what I gather on YarisWorld, a rear swaybar and perhaps some stiffer struts/shocks would do the trick. I am currently running the OE 15" steel wheels with Bridgestone Potenza 185/60/15 tires that are going to be replaced this fall with snow tires (I live in MN). Come next spring, I plan to leave the snow tires on the 15" steels and buy a set of 16" alloys and wrap them with some 205/50/16 tires.

Anyways, I wish to keep the stock ride height on the Yaris. MN winters often involve a fair amount of snow so every inch of ground clearance I can get will help this little car get me around when the time comes. I've tried looking for stiffer springs at the factory height, but it seems all aftermarket springs with a stiffer rate result in the car being lowered some amount. I do not consider myself all that knowledgeable about cars, but I am led to understand that if you install stiffer struts/shocks, it is better to pair them with stiffer springs?

If I cannot have stiffer shocks/struts/springs installed and maintain the original ride height, then I would rather just remain stock there and get the rear sway bar. I plan to buy from MicroImage and I see a 19mm and 23mm bar is offered. Any recommendations on which would go better with the stock suspension?

Thanks.
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:20 PM   #2
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I run stock suspension on my supercharged 5 door and have a 19mm rear sway bar and 205 width, 16" rim, tires. The sway bar really helps, but I think that the tire width makes a huge difference as well with the handling, as I feel big difference when I switch back to 185's on 15's for the winter.
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Old 05-16-2014, 05:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input, CTScott. Unfortunately, MicroImage has neither the 19mm or 23mm sway bar in stock at this time. I found a TRD sway bar on TRDSparks. Seems the reviews on this unit are quite favorable. Apparently any sway bar in the rear makes a significant improvement over stock for handling.
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j-san View Post
Thanks for the input, CTScott. Unfortunately, MicroImage has neither the 19mm or 23mm sway bar in stock at this time. I found a TRD sway bar on TRDSparks. Seems the reviews on this unit are quite favorable. Apparently any sway bar in the rear makes a significant improvement over stock for handling.
The ultraracing ones that MI sells are really copies of the TRD one, so although it will cost you more it will yield the same effect. If you look through the for sale section on here I swear that there is a whiteline adjustable rear sway bar for sale and possibly a TRD one as well.
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:57 PM   #5
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Before spending the money, perhaps try the new wheels and tires first. I have the rr sway bar on my 09 and feel the wheels and tires mebbe your best bang for the buck. Once you have those you may find you are where you want to be and don't need the bar.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:27 PM   #6
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Before spending the money, perhaps try the new wheels and tires first. I have the rr sway bar on my 09 and feel the wheels and tires mebbe your best bang for the buck. Once you have those you may find you are where you want to be and don't need the bar.
I disagree 100%, the sway bar is by far the best upgrade to purchase on this car. I have a 2009 3 door HB and even though the 205/45R16 did improve the handling by leaps and bounds, the sway bar was a huge difference. No more floating effect on the highway, holds flat and straight. I lowered mine with Tanabe springs by 1.5", the ride over all is quite surprisingly nice. You don't have to lower it but the sway bar in my opinion is a must for stability.

Edit: Some go for exhaust, intake first then wheels, etc... but the ride still suffers.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:30 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input, everyone. Wheels and tires are definitely in the future, but I still got some tread left on the OE tires which ought to be fine till the winter. I didn't want to blow nearly $1k on wheels and tires now and have the steels sitting in my garage over the summer waiting for winter tires. Part of my honey-do list includes cleaning out the garage this summer and putting up some storage shelving.

The sway bar looks simple enough to install myself so I'll probably order that up in the near future. I do notice the Yaris can get a little squirrelly on the highway at higher speeds, so I hope the sway bar will help with that.

As for exhaust and intake parts, I really don't have plans to mess around with that. I feel the Yaris is pretty peppy given the amount of fuel it uses and don't want to lower the MPG any. From what I read, the intake and exhaust upgrades don't seem to net the gains I'd like to see for the amount spent.
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:33 AM   #8
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In my case I went from oem suspension, directly to 17" wheels, 205/40 series tires, tokico blues, tein springs and the rr sway. If I was doing it again, I would do one at a time and see how the car reacts to the change. Because I did it all at once I couldn't put a finger on that which makes the most difference.
BUT.. I do swap out the wheels and tires for winter, so the difference there I can pinpoint.


The TRD axleback makes the car seem zippier! love mine. I had an AFE intake on it for a while but I had issues with it.. The car didn't like to slow down from highway speeds when I lifted off the throttle, not sure if it was just so much extra air or something but at times the revs did not want to come down. And the intake sound from that particular intake didn't do anything for me...
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SKurj View Post
In my case I went from oem suspension, directly to 17" wheels, 205/40 series tires, tokico blues, tein springs and the rr sway. If I was doing it again, I would do one at a time and see how the car reacts to the change. Because I did it all at once I couldn't put a finger on that which makes the most difference.
BUT.. I do swap out the wheels and tires for winter, so the difference there I can pinpoint.


The TRD axleback makes the car seem zippier! love mine. I had an AFE intake on it for a while but I had issues with it.. The car didn't like to slow down from highway speeds when I lifted off the throttle, not sure if it was just so much extra air or something but at times the revs did not want to come down. And the intake sound from that particular intake didn't do anything for me...
Ah, yes that would explain a lot. I did wheels/tires, lowered next and the sway bar last. All 2 weeks apart from each other and the sway bar I noticed a lot right away on the back roads here then on the highway with no squirrelly feeling any longer.
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Old 05-17-2014, 01:27 PM   #10
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Ah, yes that would explain a lot. I did wheels/tires, lowered next and the sway bar last. All 2 weeks apart from each other and the sway bar I noticed a lot right away on the back roads here then on the highway with no squirrelly feeling any longer.
Sway bar first ...makes a huge improvement then lower last wheels , this way u spend from less to more ...my suggestion lower and sway bar at same time .
I did sway last but if i have know how much it makes a diff i would have done it first.
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Old 05-17-2014, 04:06 PM   #11
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Sway bar first ...makes a huge improvement then lower last wheels , this way u spend from less to more ...my suggestion lower and sway bar at same time .
I did sway last but if i have know how much it makes a diff i would have done it first.


I agree, I did it *ss backwards. End result though is I love it and so far I do everything cash even the purchase of my car!
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Old 05-17-2014, 05:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j-san View Post
Thanks for the input, CTScott. Unfortunately, MicroImage has neither the 19mm or 23mm sway bar in stock at this time. I found a TRD sway bar on TRDSparks. Seems the reviews on this unit are quite favorable. Apparently any sway bar in the rear makes a significant improvement over stock for handling.
I highly recommend the TRD sway bar. It was one of my first mods. The design is impeccable, as it fits snugly up inside the concave indentation of the rear axle assembly. It also installs in just a few minutes...




I live in a rural area where I need all the ground clearance I can get, and the TRD rear sway bar doesn't hang down to compromise it like the other bars do.

I also spaced out my front wheels 5mm and the rears 10mm for a slightly wider stance, and installed wider 15x7 alloy wheels with wider 195/60 Bridgestone Potenza tires. This particular wheel/tire combination is the same as the stock wheel diameter, and so retains the factory accuracy of the speedometer and odometer.



It handles like a slot car.
Greg

Last edited by tooter; 05-17-2014 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 05-17-2014, 05:23 PM   #13
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I highly recommend the TRD sway bar. It was one of my first mods. The design is impeccable, as it fits snugly up inside the concave indentation of the rear axle assembly. It also installs in just a few minutes...




I live in a rural area where I need all the ground clearance I can get, and the TRD rear sway bar doesn't hang down to compromise it like the other bars do.

Greg
Same reason I picked the TRD. No one had them in stock, you can find them on ebay for $165 (+-) plus shipping, got mine including shipping $200.00.
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Old 05-17-2014, 05:30 PM   #14
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Same reason I picked the TRD. No one had them in stock, you can find them on ebay for $165 (+-) plus shipping, got mine including shipping $200.00.
Yup... I got mine off of ebay , too.

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Old 05-17-2014, 10:19 PM   #15
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Thanks for the photos, Tooter. It does look very tidy and simple to do. Probably have to remove the rear wheels for better access, but it appears the shock bolts are reused in addition to an extra pair of bolts anterior to them.
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:22 AM   #16
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No, you don't even need to remove the rear wheels. The bar literally just takes a few minutes to install. It's the easiest mod that has the most effect on handling.
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:47 AM   #17
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I agree, the rear sway bar is a must for better handling! I also have the GT-Spec Rear Sway Link Brace, and tanabe front strut bar, and both of those won't mess with your ride height. There are other brands available of these on microimage (if you find it cheaper elsewhere they may even price match, and they're a vendor here.)
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:04 AM   #18
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I also spaced out my front wheels 5mm and the rears 10mm for a slightly wider stance, and installed wider 15x7 alloy wheels with wider 195/60 Bridgestone Potenza tires. This particular wheel/tire combination is the same as the stock wheel diameter, and so retains the factory accuracy of the speedometer and odometer.



It handles like a slot car.
Greg[/QUOTE]


What kind of wheels are those, I like how they look. I've been looking at getting something around the se size when the tires I have now are worn down.


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