Still giddy after our last road test on project Audi B7 S4, and the newer handling capabilities of our project vehicle, I left myself wondering if there was more we could get out of our project vehicle in the corners. As I mentioned in our first suspension project, Audi with their Quattro system, must position the engine forward of the front wheels in order to give the consumer their patented AWD system. In doing so, these cars are prone to understeering, an act that causes the front wheels to push forward instead of following the track intended by the driver in sharper turns. Not typically a concern for most drivers, but New England winters can create situations where understeer can be dangerous. To the rescue is 034 Motorsport's solid rear sway bar, something I have been told (by Javad Shadzi, owner of 034 Motorsport) will in and of itself transform the car and rid us of the understeering issue.
The one way to counteract understeer is introducing oversteer, the opposite reaction. A solid rear bar far stiffer and larger than the factory unit allows for less roll in the rear and stiffens the power transfer to the rear wheels, countering the action of understeer. Some features of the 034 rear bar include: - 100-125% Increased Sway Bar Rate (Over Stock RS4 Rear Sway Bar) - 25.4mm Diameter - Solid Spring Steel Construction - 2-Way Adjustable - Designed to be used in conjunction with the stock front sway bar Now, this bar is also 2-way adjustable which allows us to further dial in the stiffness we want. To complement the rear bar, 034 Motorsport offers adjustable helm joint rear sway bar links that allow for vehicles that have a lowered stance. Since our vehicle is not getting lowered at the moment, and the lightest setting will do, we opted to reuse the original link and the softest bar setting (the farthest slot on the bar).
The new 034 bar comes with poly bushings and beefy aluminum brackets with Zeus fittings that gives the installer the capability to lubricate the bushing without removing the assembly. After a quick replacement, we took the car out for a spin and used several tight highway on-ramps to test the performance and feel the difference. Everything was as advertised. No front squeal was present, even in corners where I could really dive into, trying to force the car to go under. Installation was very straight forward on Project B7 S4, and in an upcoming video, Gareth, one of our catalog managers, will walk you through the steps.
Mike is a former ASE Certified Technician and has over 10 years experience working on various European makes and models. This FCP veteran has been with us for almost 8 years and has worked very closely with our customers helping with technical advise and service. Mike is our Audi & VW catalog manager and is heading up the build out and restructuring the Audi & VW segments of the FCP Catalog. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org