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How do you make the NSX oversteer?

3 November 2003
Chicago, IL
I have the CT adjustable sway bars, new NSX-R suspension and recent alignment at AOB...

the car still understeers, recently went to Gingerman and encountered some gross understeering around the tight turns...

I have set the front sway bar hard (front most hole)...and the rear sway bar soft (rear most hole)...

I have been told that is wrong...I was told to do it the other way...but I also was told that when the NSX was racing in its heyday...it had no rear bar...the front was very hard and the rear was very soft...any opinions????

I just read the DAL motorsports link on the NSX...very informative BTW...they also did not use a rear bar...interesting...
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Strengthen the bar on the end you want to get loose, so in your case reverse the setup you have. I would actually recommend just going to the middle holes first, as most after market bars tend to enlarge the rear more than the front as a % of stiffness.

The reason why many run a larger bar in front for racing is to prevent snap oversteer when something unpredictable happens around you. If you run a bigger front bar, you have to change the front camber with the Comptech offset bushings to get greater than negative 2 degrees to offset the increased push in the front. Or install bigger tires. Or both.:D

I would just go to the "middle" setting on your bars as the Type R setup has a small amount of push built in, then change your rear bar first. HTH.
Have you tried braking in the middle of a corner? ;) Try making your rear bar a little more stiff. If it's still not neutral enough for you then go up another hole. I write neutral b/c I don't think you really want your NSX to have chronic oversteer.

Come back and say if it helps.
You have the swaybars setup to do exactly what the car is doing:). Stiffen the rear bar ONE adjustment hole at a time, but BE CAREFUL. Oversteer is way harder to control then understeer.

Always make small changes and test.

Yes I have tried to brake using my left foot in the middle of the corner... it helps but I don't like to do it...

And I have tried the opposite setup before...soft in the front and stiff in the rear...didn't like it all...the car was all push....when I changed it its current position, then it felt alot better...

I will disconnect the bar in the rear...according to DAL and AOB...and see what happens...

When I first got the bars...they were set by Devin Pearce in the middle setting...not too bad...but again...still the car was pushing...

In my Nissan SE-R...I used to run open track events with NO front bar and a stiff rear bar...I also ran -2.8 degrees camber in the front...front drive car...but what a great setup...excellent balance with excellent rotation...around any turn...

thanks everyone for your help...I will let you know about disconnecting the rear bar...
mystican said:
thanks everyone for your help...I will let you know about disconnecting the rear bar...

I've run with my rear swaybar disconnected for the last year. It was the final adjustment made that seemed to help balance the car. I didn't completely remove my bar, just disconnected it at the links. That is easy enough to do at the track. It might feel a little strange with the amount of rear lean but you use that weight transfer to your advantage. It also takes my car about two laps at GingerMan to loose the understeer tendencies. I just assume it takes that long for my front tires to warm enough to work. BTW, I'm running 235/40 17 Front and 285/30 18 Rear Kuhmo V700.
As others said soften your front bar and stiffen your rear,but do it incrementaly.
Larry Bastanza said:
You have the swaybars setup to do exactly what the car is doing:). Stiffen the rear bar ONE adjustment hole at a time, but BE CAREFUL. Oversteer is way harder to control then understeer.

Always make small changes and test.


I need to figure this out too. My nsx, or maybe I should say nsx's tend to understeer than oversteer. Personally, I would feel more confident with my car oversteering than understeering. Having the front wheels that control the dircection of the car skidding on me doesn't feel right.

I guess I'm just used to my S2000's handling characteristics. If I just "think" oversteer it will.
In general terms understeer is safer than oversteer,because the average driver will lift and or brake when they feel uncomfortable at speed or in a turn(this worsens the tendency to spin if the car is already set to oversteer).It is generaly accepted that to correcting for oversteer is easier in a front engine than mid engine car,the reason being it is harder to stop the momentum of the rearend sliding when it has a proportionatly greater weight due to the engine out back.
Have to agree with Andrie. You can't make conclusion on a HPDE car based on a PURE RACE CAR. The shocks/springs/alignment/weight etc are completely different.

btw, I am in the same boat as you. I have the Type R susp. and noticed that the car understeers a bit too much. I am first adjusting tire pressures, and then I will stiffen up the rear. That should do the trick
Still haven't heard any alignment specs. IMO - the alignment is the place to start, because it has huge effects for very little money.

Tuning with swaybars is a good idea for a street car because it get's you additional spring rate when the car tries to lean, but not when it's just cruising. The comprimise is that it makes the suspension less independent, as something that upsets one wheel is going to have an effect on the wheel that is connected via the sway bar. Also - sway bars are HEAVY! Springs are much lighter comparitively. Sway bars are often the first place people look, but it should be the last. All IMO.

For reference - in my racecar the front spring rate is about 3 times the stock rate. The rear spring rate is about 5X stock. The shocks are OTS Konis, but will soon be shortened and revalved Konis. The alignment is aggressive, with moderate toe in in front and moderate toe out in back, and a ton of camber everywhere. Every bushing has been replaced with Poly. The sway bars are still stock, but the front one will soon be removed altogether.
On an independent suspension, often time the driving wheels will benefit more without swaybars. I've been saying this about 4 years ago and got slammed by mot of everyone on the board. However, if you don't have a good shock or good resource, changing setup for different tracks and driving style is easier to achieve by using a sway bar.

Ultimately, you want to setup a car that is comfortable and confidence aspiring for you to drive. I can setup my car the way I like it, and my fellow racer hated it. He think it is too nervous. It all depends where your confident level and skill is. I remember one of the guy who drove Pierre Kleinubing's car was utterly nervous, cause the car setup was really at the limit. Require you to be on the gas most of the time or it will loose control. And this was the word of another experienced race car driver.

Spring rate choice should be based on car weight and motion ratio. I don't know what Dave Hardy's race car is, but I sure hope is not an NSX.

Edit: saw the website on Dave Hardy's sig and realized he was talking about his Civic which make sense on the spring rate.
Yeah, my setup wasn't given as an example of how to setup an NSX, just as an illustration of how unimportant I think swaybars are. Nearly every parameter of my setup is pretty radical, except for the swaybars.

I totally agree that you will drive fastest in a car you are comfortable with. I consider my Civic to be pretty neautral, because I have a pretty aggressive driving style (throw it at the corner, punch it, and hang on). I had somebody else drive who was used to a tighter setup and he managed to spin 3 times in one run.