Sway Bar Disclaimer/Maintenance
Sway Bar Disclaimer
Karcepts Sway Bars are designed for race purposes. Only solid, low friction polymer bearings are utilized in our sway bar kits. No rubber or soft polyurethane is used. Endlink construction is steel on steel (with only a Teflon liner between the ball and race of our endlinks). Additionally, Karcepts Sway Bars are of a 3-piece design, comprised of a NASCAR/Speedway style splined center section, with mating splined aluminum sway bar arms. Karcepts Sway Bars are also capable of stiffness levels far greater than OE, and almost always greater than any other aftermarket bar available. The above factors are why racers choose our products; however, if Karcepts Sway Bars are utilized for daily driving, additional NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) may be observed. Karcepts, Inc. tries to its fullest extent to minimize NVH as much as possible, even with such a rigid design. Few customers have ever claimed our bars add unwanted vibration or harshness. However, in some cases, noises have been reported. In general, most clicks, knocks, clanks, and squeaks can still be eliminated with proper maintenance.
Sway Bar Maintenance
Below are maintenance procedures that may be helpful in resolving any undesired sway bar noises:
1. Verify everything is tight and installed exactly as specified in the Karcepts Installation Instructions. With such a solid design, any loose part can make all kinds of clatter. If the clamp collars have any gap between them and the mount bushings, the bar can shift side to side and make some sounds. Additionally, all torque specifications must be followed, especially on the sway bar arms and clamp collars. You must obtain the properly sized torque wrench(es) and hex bit socket(s) to install and maintain your Karcepts Sway Bar Kit.
2. The most common noise issue on a 3-piece bar is at the splined connections between the steel center section and the aluminum sway bar arms. The noise can sound like a metallic clicking, often confused with endlink noise. Other times it can make a knocking or clanking noise, so it is always best to address the splined connections first. Some bars and arms never encounter the issue, others may show up one time and need addressed, and yet a few may require a constant maintenance schedule. To eliminate sounds caused from the splined connections, loosen the sway bar clamping bolts, slide the arms off of the center section, rotate the center section within the mounts 60-90 degrees, re-lubricate the splines of the sway bar arms with a liberal amount of anti-seize, then re-install the arms onto the center section and torque bolts to the proper Karcepts supplied torque specifications.
3. For a creak or squeak type noise, apply a NLGI #2 lithium grease on the surfaces between the mount bushings and center section. Some Karcepts Sway Bar Mounts include grease fittings to make this task easier. WD-40 and PTFE sprays are not recommended on the sway bar mount bushings. If a squeak is still prevalent, try spraying the spherical endlink connections with lube to see if the noise goes away. An endlink squeak would be a rare instance on a Karcepts Sway Bar, but it may be possible.
4. If driving slowly over a bumpy surface and some clatter is observed, that may likely be attributed to a small amount of endlink play. In most instances you can run the sway bar with endlink play for a long time and there will be no ill effects (other than possible sounds at low speeds). Endlink play is something that can develop over time. Endlinks ordinarily are going to be a wear item, especially when running stiff sway bar settings. Endlink wear can also be magnified if racing in classes that mandate soft factory springs. Karcepts, Inc. has spec'ed out the endlinks in all applications to achieve the greatest life possible, but endlink life will vary based on customer use. In general, you should be able to get at least 2 race seasons out of a set of supplied Karcepts Endlinks. However, extreme applications may require endlink replacement once a year. It is best to physically remove and inspect endlinks to determine if play has built up between the ball and race of an endlink. It may also be possible to spray the spherical connections with lube. If noises subside immediately, then endlink play is most likely the contributing factor.