Project Tundra, Getting More Cornering Power (and less stability control activation) with a Hellwig Adjustable Rear Antisway Bar

by Mike Kojima

If you have been following Project Tundra, you know we have been struggling with excessive activation of our truck's stability and traction control systems.  The improved power of our supercharged engine and additional traction of our larger tires have been driving the electronic nannys of the truck's OEM systems crazy.  We were hopeful that a new adjustable rear antisway bar from Hellwig would help.

The result of our mods up to now is that the electronics have been activating way below the trucks maximum limits.  This has been hampering the trucks limit handling performance with the electronics coming in way too soon in an effort to protect us from ourselves.  The result was pretty irritating and frustrating when trying to drive rapidly. Of course we could simply turn everything off but the systems would default back on with every key cycle.

The constant activation of the stability, traction and electronic LSD controls was also prematurely wearing out the trucks brakes.  Adding a real Auburn Gear limited slip, a Sequoia SUV front swaybar and adjusting the King Shocks had helped reduce the electronics activation considerably.  Anything that reduced body roll and limited the amount of steering wheel input raised the activation threshold. With the mods we had added the response to the OEM systems was coming nearly acceptable.

We figured a little more roll stiffness and an additional reduction in understeer would result in great integration with the OEM systems and really make the trucks handling a lot better by reducing understeer and improving the balance.  This would be good as the truck was getting pretty fun to drive!

To Read More about Project Tundra click here!

The Hellwig rear swaybar kit is very complete with everything you need to complete the install. All the components are powdercoated for corrosion resistance. The bushings are made of hard polyurethane.
The sway bar is three way adjustable by placing the endlinks into one of these three holes.  The inner holes are stiffer, the outers have less roll stiffness.  The powdercoating is thick and high quality.
The endlinks are adjustable as well to get the best angularity no matter how the bar is adjusted or how raised or lowered the truck might be within reason.
To install the Hellwig bar, we first removed the TRD bar we had originally installed.  The TRD bar was very high quality but we wanted something stiffer and the option to tune the bar's stiffness was pretty nice for our future plans.


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Monday, April 06, 2015 6:24 AM
Do you think we'll ever see some camburg suspension components on project tundra? I have the 2011 DC Rock Warrior, even in white and have been following along from the start. Have you guys taken it offered at all, or is it used mainly for hauling/towing?
Monday, April 06, 2015 9:42 AM
I'm having a difficulty understanding the logic where increasing the roll stiffness in the rear reduces understeer. I've always thought stiffening the front end gives more grip to the front tires thus reduces the understeer. I know that Ferrari 458 Italia, praised for it's phenomenal handling, has stiffer rear compared to the front. I've always wonder how that logic works.
Monday, April 06, 2015 11:01 AM
I've always liked the reasoning that pickups make the most useful sports cars. A true work on weekdays and race on weekends. If you ever run out of ideas on increasing the utility take a look at the Tundra Hino concept truck.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, April 06, 2015 11:12 AM
We didn't do Camberg because this is not nor ever will be an off road specific truck. It is mostly a work and tow truck and it's 4WD so it won't get stuck pulling trailers in a muddy paddock. Sure it goes off road sometimes but 95% of the time it's on road.
We checked out a Camberg set up on a friends Tundra and it has a lot of bump steer which was bothersome on the highway, although it was killer off road.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, April 06, 2015 11:14 AM
It is pretty common knowledge that increasing rear roll stiffness reduces understeer by transferring more weight and running a bigger slip angle on the outside rear tire.
Monday, April 06, 2015 11:30 AM
Thanks Mike, for your follow up. So the mod you made to this is to let the rear run bigger slip angle rather than increasing the front grip? May I ask why you choose this route for this Tundra? because it's 4WD that tends to push under? Sorry for my ignorance, but I'm really interested in the science behind the suspension and handling. BTW, I read all your "The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling" articles. They were great!!!
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, April 06, 2015 1:26 PM
It's because we increased the front grip as much as we could in previous articles. We limited roll, controlled body motion, added much wider tires, increased the front track and added as much negative camber and positive caster as adjustment would allow.
Monday, April 06, 2015 1:42 PM
Got it. I understand now. Also I found that combating the understeer by increasing the rear roll stiffness is well explained in your "The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling Part 3" article. Now it all makes sense. Thanks Mike!!
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 4:42 PM
Did you use the kit for standard height or the kit for lifted trucks?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 5:44 PM
standard height
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