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      12-14-2007, 02:42 PM   #1
E92Fan
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Arrow Review - Hartge Antiroll (sway) Bars on 335i

So after a few weeks waiting, I've finally got the Hartge antiroll bars installed by the guys at Birds. No pics of the install I'm afraid, as I forgot to charge the camera Although in saying that, there's bugger all to see really!

Hartge Antiroll Bars
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As standard, all 3 series cars use largely the same antiroll bars, regardless of spec or model. 26.5mm diameter at the front, 13mm at the back. BMW have deliberately setup the rear to be quite loose, so that the car has a natural tendancy to understeer when close to the limit. Having the back setup like this also helps the DTC/DSC system to maintain traction, given the lack of a limited slip diff. The MSport bars have a slightly different design to take into account the lower suspension setup, and as such might be a tad stiffer than the SE versions.

The Hartge antiroll bars are appreciably more substantial - 28mm on the front (approx) and 20mm on the rear. Installation took just over three hours - the installation of the rear bar requires the subframe and exhaust to be lowered slightly to provide access. Fortunately dropping the rear subframe doesn't alter the geometry of the rear wheels, so the alignment of the wheels is unaffected. The front is considerably easier, although the skid plate underneath takes ages to remove as there are so many little bolts.

The Hartge bars come with new polyurethene bushes and mount to the existing points, and are therefore undetectable to the eye unless a technician is specifically looking to see if they've been changed.

So what are the results of the installation? Well firstly, driving down the high street in Uxbridge there was absolutely no change detectable in the way the car was riding. It had the same compliancy, the same secondary ride, and even deliberately driving with one wheel on the ruts and bumps and the other on clearer road didn't show any undue stiffness in suspension.

Then I hit the A roads heading towards the motorway, and that's when I noticed that there was a massive difference in the lack of roll now experienced. The front-end bite is hugely increased, to the point where I initially thought I had cornered too hard too early. The sensation is a little odd and requires a bit of time to readjust, but now that I've driven about 300 miles since the installation, I can safely say that the cornering is so much more precise, with more control, absolutely zero push-on understeer, and it breeds much more confidence. The car feels completely alive, and I really do 'drive' my car now as opposed to the car driving me. It responds to every single steering input, and the previously 'dead' straight-ahead feel through the steering wheel has gone. It's not so alive that it's annoying though - the antiroll bars (along with the LSD) have transformed the car into a proper driving machine, without being twitchy and tiring.

However, like the LSD there is a BUT. Because the car rolls less, there is less subjective feel as to when the car is approaching its limits of adhesion. You have to be driving stupidly to breach the limits, but when you do you really see the benefits of the LSD and traction control! It's masses of fun now though, and once I've fully understood how the car now behaves, I'm sure I'll be able to monster windy country B-roads like never before.

It's a great upgrade and now only leaves me to upgrade the brakes to AP 6 pots (early next year I think). It's not too expensive either - about 800 fitted inc VAT (the antiroll bars, not the brakes!)

Out of the two upgrades though, I think it would be imperative to do the LSD first, before the antiroll bars, as the extra traction is needed to balance the increase in lattitudinal stiffness of the new bars. If I had the funds to do only one upgrade, it would be the LSD every time as it adds so much more driveability. The rollbars are really the icing on the cake for me.

Roll on the 'Ring next year!!!

Last edited by E92Fan; 12-14-2007 at 05:54 PM.
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      12-14-2007, 03:49 PM   #2
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Another excellent, informative post. Thanks.

D.
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      12-14-2007, 03:51 PM   #3
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Nice! I would useful to try a comparison with the H&R set, as they seem nearly identical.
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      12-14-2007, 03:52 PM   #4
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The H&R set and Hartge set are almost exactly identical - 27/28mm front, 20mm rear. Same mounts, same basic design, both use polyurethene bushes. To be honest, the differences would be so tiny as to render the comparison almost pointless.

Last edited by E92Fan; 12-14-2007 at 04:56 PM.
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      12-14-2007, 04:02 PM   #5
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Never tried a car with modded antiroll bars, but I'd really like to since everyone seems to like the cars handling better afterwards.
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      12-14-2007, 04:43 PM   #6
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great review. I didnt even know hartge had sway bars till now.
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      12-14-2007, 05:07 PM   #7
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Nicely reviewed and summed up Tony.

Quote:
E92Fan
It's a great upgrade and now only leaves me to upgrade the brakes to AP 6 pots (early next year I think). It's not too expensive either - about 800 fitted inc VAT.
I take it that's all round?
Good price if so.
Is it Birds again? I might think about this myself what with the added BHP and torque,safety over aesthetics might rule, and the quad exhaust might go on the back burner.

Tony, are you considering any form of MPG enhancement mod ,or do you find the mods to date give you added efficiency, thereby negating the need for the fuel saving mod with of course the bonus of added BHP?
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      12-14-2007, 05:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotcoupe View Post
Nicely reviewed and summed up Tony.

I take it that's all round?
Good price if so.
Is it Birds again? I might think about this myself what with the added BHP and torque,safety over aesthetics might rule, and the quad exhaust might go on the back burner.

Tony, are you considering any form of MPG enhancement mod ,or do you find the mods to date give you added efficiency, thereby negating the need for the fuel saving mod with of course the bonus of added BHP?
That is all round, and yes Birds again.

I think for you with your remap, safety over aesthetics would be more prudent, with the LSD top of the list. The exhaust looks good, but won't do much for the sound as it's a diesel.

I have thought about the MPG enhancement mod, but being completely truthful, I am 200% sure that I have extracted MORE out of my car by doing the LSD alone than by going for a remap or Procede box. Like most other people, I like fast cars, I like speed and I like the feel of having unburstable power under my right foot. However, I crave handling, balance and controllability even more than speed, as ultimately on a back road blast, a well-sorted car will out-point an over-powered but below-par-handling car (Cayman S vs 335i/d for instance). Now that my car really does handle spectacularly well with the addition of the rollbars, my next mod will be to get it stop better repeatedly under heavy braking. Given that a lot of the miles are put on at high speeds in Germany, this seems like a good thing. Don't get me wrong - the standard 335 brakes are good in isolation, but after two or three highish-speed stops, they're completely shot until they cool off.

After the brakes, I'll think about the MPG enhancement, as it will be the last mechanical thing I do.
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      12-14-2007, 05:36 PM   #9
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[quote]E92Fan Quote:
Quote:
That is all round, and yes Birds again.
Thanks for the confirmation,I was looking at Brembo's, but they are silly money

Quote:
I think for you with your remap, safety over aesthetics would be more prudent, with the LSD top of the list. The exhaust looks good, but won't do much for the sound as it's a diesel.
Agreed on the exhaust note,it was only really an aesthetic mod,but safety rules.The LSD is one step too far,I have no intention of hitting the 'ring' and its loadsamoney for the diesel

Quote:
I have thought about the MPG enhancement mod, but being completely truthful, I am 200% sure that I have extracted MORE out of my car by doing the LSD alone than by going for a remap or Procede box.
Fair enough, sounds a very reasonable arguement, and yes, you are very probably correct.

Quote:
Like most other people, I like fast cars, I like speed and I like the feel of having unburstable power under my right foot. However, I crave handling, balance and controllability even more than speed, as ultimately on a back road blast, a well-sorted car will out-point an over-powered but below-par-handling car (Cayman S vs 335i/d for instance).
Are you sure Tony,I had read somewhere that this is not the case

Quote:
Now that my car really does handle spectacularly well with the addition of the rollbars, my next mod will be to get it stop better repeatedly under heavy braking. Given that a lot of the miles are put on at high speeds in Germany, this seems like a good thing. Don't get me wrong - the standard 335 brakes are good in isolation, but after two or three highish-speed stops, they're completely shot until they cool off.
Unfortunately,my journeys recently have involved a lot of parking - M25 - M1 - M40/42, so I have not had a good opportunity to test the new BHP and see how it improves the MPG .but the brakes would certainly benefit from an upgrade.
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      12-14-2007, 05:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotcoupe View Post
Quote:
E92Fan Quote:


Thanks for the confirmation,I was looking at Brembo's, but they are silly money
I thought you were asking about the antiroll bars, which were £800 fully fitted. The brakes are like £2000 !!!!
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      12-14-2007, 06:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
E92Fan Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotcoupe
Quote:
E92Fan Quote:
Thanks for the confirmation,I was looking at Brembo's, but they are silly money
I thought you were asking about the antiroll bars, which were 800 fully fitted. The brakes are like 2000 !!!!
Thought the figure was low,how dumb am I, please don't answer that I'll
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      12-14-2007, 06:14 PM   #12
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Nice review mate.

To be fair though I would spend my cash on some proper 6 pot brakes before the LSD or roll bars. The E92 brakes are a leap forward from the E46 but even so I believe that decent stoppers are the fastest mod available .....
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      12-14-2007, 06:16 PM   #13
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Good subjective report Tony.

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      12-14-2007, 06:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Diesel View Post
Nice review mate.

To be fair though I would spend my cash on some proper 6 pot brakes before the LSD or roll bars. The E92 brakes are a leap forward from the E46 but even so I believe that decent stoppers are the fastest mod available .....
I agree entirely that especially under track circumstances, good brakes give the most time gains. However, I do believe that for normal road use the 335 brakes are more than adequate, and for more spirited drivers there is the option of a pad change to something more robust in compound (Pagid fast road pads for instance).

I want 6-pots because of two things - there are occasions when a vehicle will pull out in front of me on the autobahn when I'm doing over 130mph, and I'll wreck my brakes as they are now (even though I have uprated pads) after three or four occurances. Secondly, they'll be a godsend on around the 'Ring. However I have until April next year before I go to the 'Ring in this car, so I prioritised the LSD first, and the rollbars were a bit of an afterthought and impulse purchase (but I'm glad I did)
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      12-14-2007, 06:33 PM   #15
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Its a tricky one - proper race brakes are a nightmare on the street. A balance is required.

The stock brakes are pretty good for normal driving but under serious load scare the shit out of me .....
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      12-14-2007, 06:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Evil Diesel Its a tricky one - proper race brakes are a nightmare on the street. A balance is required.

The stock brakes are pretty good for normal driving but under serious load scare the shit out of me .....
Agreed,the arses of cars loom large far too quickly!
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      12-14-2007, 06:41 PM   #17
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Even more so this week.
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      12-14-2007, 06:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Diesel View Post
Its a tricky one - proper race brakes are a nightmare on the street. A balance is required.

The stock brakes are pretty good for normal driving but under serious load scare the shit out of me .....
I agree - race brakes are awful for normal driving. However, the AP Racing 6pots are very good, because the calipers aren't too stiff to modulate well under light loads, and you can specify different sorts of pads depending on your driving conditions.
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      12-15-2007, 02:07 PM   #19
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Another great write up Tony, keep um coming
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      04-01-2009, 07:49 AM   #20
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Tony -

What about fitting the M3 ARB's and their more rigid mounts? Are they compatible?

M3 front = 26.5mm
M3 rear = 20mm

I notice BMW have different part number for ARBs with the same diameter??? on E90/E91 regular models. They show the same between some models, indicating the same bar will fit both models. Then for m sport variants of the said models, they have same diameter ARBs with different part numbers...

Is this due to different geometries or materials? thus meaning the diameter itself is useless as an indicator between models?
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      04-01-2009, 07:58 AM   #21
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Another good review!!! Tony strikes again!
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      04-01-2009, 09:05 AM   #22
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Great review.
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