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Do you plan to add a rear sway bar?

  • Yes

    Votes: 11 37.9%
  • No

    Votes: 10 34.5%
  • Not sure yet

    Votes: 8 27.6%

  • Total voters
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Discussion Starter #1
This will be my first Ford and not sure about how the compatibility would be with other Fusion models. Anyone plan to install a stiffer aftermarket one? I did on my Audi A4 and it helped a world with body roll.
 

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Probably won't myself, just because the ride quality is a bit more important to me long-term than body roll is, but I don't 100% know for sure... Suppose it depends on how many mods come up down the road! If I end up doing a tune, exhaust, maybe a customer twin-intercooler setup, then it may be worth it.
 

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To me, it is the biggest boost in ride quality because Ford puts sooooooo much under-steer into their cars when stock. Before I started making changes to my Mustang's suspension, my Focus (with the upgraded rear bar) felt more comfortable in corners than the Mustang. Worst effect I've had from doing it was squeaky bushings in my Focus that did eventually stop squeaking.
 

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You have a whole new set of things to worry about with the full electronic suspension.
Don't think anyone knows how it will react to even just a rear bar change.

It's a shame you have to take half the car apart to do a front bar in a fusion, as
I'm a huge proponent of monster sway bars and milder springs for street use and
would love to do both bars on my fusion.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You have a whole new set of things to worry about with the full electronic suspension.
Don't think anyone knows how it will react to even just a rear bar change.

It's a shame you have to take half the car apart to do a front bar in a fusion, as
I'm a huge proponent of monster sway bars and milder springs for street use and
would love to do both bars on my fusion.
True. I'm not so worried about the front bar (yet). I'll have to ask that guy on here who is a Ford tech who also owns a sport to be the pioneer on that. :)
 

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True. I'm not so worried about the front bar (yet). I'll have to ask that guy on here who is a Ford tech who also owns a sport to be the pioneer on that. :)
I tried to find a front bar for my 2.0 AWD (even tried to have one custom made). None of the typical Fusion suppliers (even Steeda, that does current rear bar) will make one. The problem is, the entire steering rack would have to come out and even then half the suspension might have to come apart. I suspect the sport will be even worse due to size of engine and electronics on struts, etc....

There is an extended flat surface on the end of 2.0 sway bar, which one could possibly drill another hole (in place) and move end link closer to bar (about 1 inch, which would be significant). Not sure if bar is strong enough to last over the long haul with added load. Adding urethane bushing on frame mount and swapping to better end links should help too. Modding the stock front bar and adding bushings/links seemed like the only feasible path, after looking at what is needed to come apart to swap the front bar.
 

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Well a front bar that encourages more understeer in a transverse platform that's already understeer oriented doesn't seem as necessary anyway so maybe the complicated design isn't that big a deal? Unless you go too stiff in the back, maybe. I have the weakest understanding of automotive tuning.
 

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These are just my opinions based on experience I have over the years autocrossing. They may not apply well to the Fusion Sport, which is why testing would be of obvious importance.


Personally, I would leave the front swaybar alone at this point. Stiffening the front would most likely just add to potential for understeer especially if nothing is done to the rear. I do believe that a stiffer rear swaybar would make the car more neutral and would be worth considering. Steeda appears to have one that might work.


Now, the first modification for improved handling would be ditching the OEM tires.


My 2 cents.
 

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These are just my opinions based on experience I have over the years autocrossing. They may not apply well to the Fusion Sport, which is why testing would be of obvious importance.


Personally, I would leave the front swaybar alone at this point. Stiffening the front would most likely just add to potential for understeer especially if nothing is done to the rear. I do believe that a stiffer rear swaybar would make the car more neutral and would be worth considering. Steeda appears to have one that might work.


Now, the first modification for improved handling would be ditching the OEM tires.


My 2 cents.
Be interesting to know if sport has larger bars than non-sport.
I like big bars on both ends, as I love sharp turn-in under normal
driving, more than I care about neutral handling near 10/10th's.
I would almost never modifying front bar only of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
These are just my opinions based on experience I have over the years autocrossing. They may not apply well to the Fusion Sport, which is why testing would be of obvious importance.


Personally, I would leave the front swaybar alone at this point. Stiffening the front would most likely just add to potential for understeer especially if nothing is done to the rear. I do believe that a stiffer rear swaybar would make the car more neutral and would be worth considering. Steeda appears to have one that might work.


Now, the first modification for improved handling would be ditching the OEM tires.


My 2 cents.
+1 on ditching the OEM tires.

Also, my understanding leads me to believe that a larger front bar would also potentially add more understeer.

So we have a possible Steeda option. Any others out there?

Below is the blurb from Steedas site, which leads me to more questions. How much thicker is the Steeda than the OEM bar? Is the OEM bar solid or hollow?

Enhance the handling response and balance of your 2013-2016 Fusion with Steeda's Street Rear Sway Bar.
Steeda's Street Rear Sway Bar for the 2013 & newer Fusion is 30% stiffer than the factory rear sway bar and is a direct bolt on replacement for both 2 wheel drive and all wheel drive models.
After bolting on this sway bar you will notice reduced understeer and better overall handling response and balance. It is a 1 inch solid bar manufactured using CNC bending equipment with superior billet steel welded ends, not crushed ends which are prone to breaking over time.
Our rear sway bar comes in a silver powdercoat finish and includes greasable polyurethane bushings and zinc plated brackets.
 

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You guys are right on about figuring out the size of the stock swaybars. For obvious reasons, there is no reason to spend money if the Steeda bar is not any stiffer. I might put my car up on the lift this weekend if I have time and get out the calipers to measure the rear swaybar. Just the way it drives, I cannot see doing the front swaybar, but that does not mean I am right. I agree that on the street a stiff set up often feels great, but it might be less than optimal in the typical autocross setting. I didn't buy the car to autocross, but I am tempted to autocross it because I believe it would be better than anyone would guess. If the front end is too stiff, autocrossing the car would be miserable. Of course, if you never plan to autocross then that is a moot point.


I believe that the shocks have a lot more potential than is being tapped with the stock programming. If there was a way to fool the system into giving us a sport+ mode, it would be nice. I need to look into how the system sends messages to the dampers and whether there might be a way to do a jms pedalmax-like chip in between to modify the system to be stiffer than normal. It would be particularly cool if you could do this separately for each corner. I would prefer an approach that left the stock computer tune out of the equation.
 

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I believe that the shocks have a lot more potential than is being tapped with the stock programming. If there was a way to fool the system into giving us a sport+ mode, it would be nice.
I realize that Ford had to keep the price realistic on the Fusion Sport, but being able to adjust the suspension more would have been a welcome option. I had a Mercedes ML 500 with an air suspension that had comfort, normal, and sport modes, and even this additional flexibility made a difference. I left it in normal most of the time, but sport was great when you hit an empty back road (too stiff for every day driving IMO), and comfort mode would smooth out a crappy road surface impressively.
 

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You guys are right on about figuring out the size of the stock swaybars. For obvious reasons, there is no reason to spend money if the Steeda bar is not any stiffer. I might put my car up on the lift this weekend if I have time and get out the calipers to measure the rear swaybar. Just the way it drives, I cannot see doing the front swaybar, but that does not mean I am right. I agree that on the street a stiff set up often feels great, but it might be less than optimal in the typical autocross setting. I didn't buy the car to autocross, but I am tempted to autocross it because I believe it would be better than anyone would guess. If the front end is too stiff, autocrossing the car would be miserable. Of course, if you never plan to autocross then that is a moot point.


I believe that the shocks have a lot more potential than is being tapped with the stock programming. If there was a way to fool the system into giving us a sport+ mode, it would be nice. I need to look into how the system sends messages to the dampers and whether there might be a way to do a jms pedalmax-like chip in between to modify the system to be stiffer than normal. It would be particularly cool if you could do this separately for each corner. I would prefer an approach that left the stock computer tune out of the equation.
No plans to autocross for me, and if I did, it would be the EVO anyway

I realize that Ford had to keep the price realistic on the Fusion Sport, but being able to adjust the suspension more would have been a welcome option. I had a Mercedes ML 500 with an air suspension that had comfort, normal, and sport modes, and even this additional flexibility made a difference. I left it in normal most of the time, but sport was great when you hit an empty back road (too stiff for every day driving IMO), and comfort mode would smooth out a crappy road surface impressively.
Agree and had said just that in a previous post. Would be nice if it could be set to "cooshie" until you get a certain rate of turn-in (lat accel) and then have it go instantaneously solid for a split second until the chassis recovers, then go back to medium for couple more seconds and then back to comfy.

Not sure what the range are on the stock struts, but it will be interesting to see how these get tuned in the next couple of years and what the aftermarket comes up with. It could mask a lot of the porkiness very well on the street without compromising ride at all if done right.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well I finally stuck the calipers on the factory Sport rear bar tonight.

For those metric fans out there, she measured 23.25mm
For those who like inches, she measured .915"
Measurements were taken from the near one of the brackets that mount the bar to the subframe.

Steeda's bar is 1" or 25.4mm.

Not sure if the stock bar is solid or hollow though. Not sure what the thickness is on the "non-sport" bars either. Anyone out there who has replaced their stock bar with the Steeda feel like cutting their stock bar in half to see if it is solid or hollow?
 

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I got the rear sway bar and strut tower brace installed last week. I've had a few runs with it now:

1. In normal mode it's quite easy to feel the difference. There's a tad less roll in corners and a bit more impact harshness on bumps. Overall, though, a positive change.
2. In sport mode it's even more subtle. I think it understeers when loaded hard just a bit less, but it doesn't change body roll a lot in sport mode. I'd love to see new programming for the suspension so it would stiffen up the outside shocks more in hard loading.

Overall at ~$350 installed, I'm fairly happy with it. Better tires and lighter wheels would be the next change. No programming until I give Ford a chance to step up...
 

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I have the Steeda Front Strut tower brace installed, and the Steeda Rear Swaybar as well.

I don't think the Strut tower brace does much. I did this first and drove it for a week or so. IMO it's mounted too close to the firewall to be worth it. I figured can't hurt though, looks nice. lol

The Rear Sway Bar is what I noticed a good difference with. Car feels a **** of a lot stiffer when driving at high speeds and changing lanes.

Lowering the car would be the ultimate improvement to handling, however NY is not fun in terms of bumps and potholes. A state like Florida is a different story though
 

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I had a chance to test this out on bombed out backroads pavement over the last couple of days. I think it's a pretty good compromise, if I want more impact harshness I can drive the GTO, for these roads being able to keep the wheels on the ground is more beneficial than no body roll. I was able to get some drop throttle oversteer in tight turns, hobbled a bit by the sludgy transmission behavior. And on throttle is oversteer but not terrible, especially once you get to the second 1/2 of a turn-can actually get a bit sideways in poor grip. I'm happy.
 

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Well I finally stuck the calipers on the factory Sport rear bar tonight.

For those metric fans out there, she measured 23.25mm
For those who like inches, she measured .915"
Measurements were taken from the near one of the brackets that mount the bar to the subframe.

Steeda's bar is 1" or 25.4mm.

Not sure if the stock bar is solid or hollow though. Not sure what the thickness is on the "non-sport" bars either. Anyone out there who has replaced their stock bar with the Steeda feel like cutting their stock bar in half to see if it is solid or hollow?
Even beyond that. If there was a material upgrade, Steeda could be the exact same dimensions,
and still be stiffer.
 
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