Anti-roll bars – Setup

So this is a question that gets asked quite often; “How do I setup roll bars?”

The name of the game is to get the bars acting equal on both sides. Most bars are normally a little tweaked out the packet, and by adjusting the connecting links, this tweak can be compensated for. 

The method I use was originally described by David Junn (he of Tamiya USA fame), and whilst specifically this is for the Mi5 and Mi5evo, it’s pretty adaptable to all cars with adjustable connecting links.

First, mount the bar in the roll bar holders, but without tightening the any play grub screws, and leave it unconnected to the down links. Fit any side play collars now, and get the bar central in the mounts.

With the bar centred, now we need to see if it is free to move in the mounts. Lift the bar up, and see it drops freely under it’s own weight. If not, make sure that the brackets are lined up properly, and not skewed to the bar itself. Once the bar drops free in the brackets on it’s own, next step is to take out any excess play in the holders themselves

Lift the bar, and tighten one of the play grub screws to lock it in place. Slowly back off the grub screw until the bar drops under its own weight. Repeat for the other grub screw, and once it drops free, we can be happy that the play has been limited, but the bar is still able to do it’s job.

Hook up the drop links, making sure that both sides are the same length to start with. Put the car on a flat surface (I use 10mm droop blocks and a droop gauge), and set the droop so the suspension arms are in the same place each side.

Now, lift the right suspension arm up using the droop gauge, all the while tapping the left arm against the droop screw. When the left arm starts to lift (it will ‘tap’), note the number from the droop gauge under the right arm. Then repeat for the other side, and note down the lift number

What you want to do is adjust the drop links so that the arms lift equally side to side. If one arm lifts earlier than the other, you’ll want to adjust the drop link length to make it even.For example, if the right arm ‘lifts’ at 7 on the droop gauge, and the left arm ‘lifts’ at 9, then you want to either lengthen the left link, or shorten the right. And the opposite is true if right is more than left. Basically, the arm that lifts earlier is the one you want to shorten.

And that’s it. It sounds complicated whilst reading, and can be a bit confusing to figure out which link to adjust to start with, but take your time, and experiment a bit, and it’s pretty easy to get the hang of.