New shocks / struts resulting in bouncy ride, can a rear sway bar fix this issue?

I replaced the shocks / struts on my base model civic for some “performance” oriented ones but am now experiencing a more bouncy ride than when I had the car completely stock.

I came across this form post of someone experience something very similar and he had solved his issue by installed a larger rear sway bar.

In the thread, he mentioned:

“I’ve just replaced the rear sway bar by a 19mm sway bar from an 02 RSX Base model.
The result is wow!
Car is not as bouncy as before!
I guess it’s because I’m running those shocks on OEM springs which is quite bouncy and the reason why it become much bouncier after the Tokicop HP replacement shocks was because the shock/stuts were too strong for the sway bar.”

In the text above, he mentions “shock/stuts were too strong for the sway bar”. Im curious has anyone ever heard of someone installing aftermarket shocks / struts but due to the small / stock rear sway bar… causing some kind of imbalance?

I’ve already installed new tires and have had an alignment so i’ve ruled these 2 issues out.

Year/miles on your Civic? Performance shocks/struts will usually result in a firmer/harder ride - is that what you mean by ‘bouncy’? I don’t see how a different sway bar would affect the ride, it comes into play on turns.


I’m not a suspension expert, but off the top of my head I’d say no. I used to drive a Jeep and would disconnect the front sway bar sometimes when going off road. Never noticed a difference in ride comfort. I did notice the body roll in turns with it disconnected, though.

Actually, you could test the theory by disconnecting the sway bar and going for a (non spirited) ride.

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I am a suspension expert so… Now you have a bouncy ride? Because you put performance shocks and struts on the car with no other changes… YES, you are going to get a bouncy ride. that’s how those things work.

By “new” tires… same size? Not ones with larger diameter wheels and lower profile sidewalls?

No, a rear sway bar is not going to fix this. Swaybars don’t affect bounce motions, they only affect roll motions.

A shorter stiffer tire will help the bounce but they will make the car ride firmer. Stiffer strut mounts at the front will also help the bounce… if such a product is available.

Edit: If you put performance coil-overs on the car, especially inexpensive ones, there is nothing you can do to fix this but remove them and replace them with more appropriate products for the way you drive.


Car is a 2014 civic lx.

By bouncy, I guess I mean the car is more floaty.

When I was completely stock with no changes except for some BF Goodrich performance tires, I felt like the car had so much grip on the ground. Very fun driving experience where it felt like I was glued to the ground.

Now with the new shocks / struts, I have the same (new) set of tires but there is definitely less grip and has this floaty feeling. The car seems to bounce up and down slightly higher than before as well. Last, the car can seems to wanger slightly left and right when trying to drive on a straight line. Not always though.

Those are two VERY different things… so does the car float over swells in the road or does it bounce over bumps… like speed bumps?

Is there any reason / explaination why the person on the website I linked above was about to solve his issue with a larger sway bar?

As far as tire size/ wheel size, they are not oversized and standard on this car (17")

Yes there is . That person may not have described his problem correctly or just putting on the sway bar made him think he solved a problem . Think Placebo .

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Also, by floatly, I guess I would describe it as less grip / feel that I am planted to the ground.

I’ve had these tires when the car was completely stock and felt solid. After the suspension chage (along with a new / same set of tires) I decently feel less planted to the ground whereas before, it felt like I was glued to the ground.

Strike my earlier comments. I read “bouncy” as “stiff”.

I could be oversimplifying here…

But you’ve put some “performance” struts on the car, which weren’t designed for the car, with no additional changes to the suspension. Adding a sway bar might “fix” the problem you’re experiencing…but I feel like it’d be kind of like the celebrity who just keeps getting “one more plastic surgery”. Eventually you’ll lose sight of what’s “normal”.

Or…you could got back and have either OEM or standard struts put on. Problem solved.

The internet is filled with bad information, especially about automobile suspensions…


Which is exactly what we told this poster when he put larger 18 inch wheels with low profile tires on this car and then complained about how it felt.

The Honda engineers spent a lot of time and money to get the car the best they could. The aftermarket isn’t as good, some guy on the internet isn’t as good, you aren’t as good, and even I don’t know as much as the Honda engineers know about their car.


Yes, but to be fair, the internet is filled with incredibly bad “information” about almost everything.
In a local forum earlier today, someone posted a pic of a box turtle that she had rescued from the middle of the road.
Two people “authoritatively” told her to toss that land-dwelling turtle into the river, thus assuring its death. :rage:

On a human note, nowadays the volume of bizarrely bogus “health” information online is so large as to endanger the health of multitudes who might think that anything they find online is valid.

How much grip do you need to drive down a straight road?

Some one could become an overnight millionaire if they could develop some kind of filter to know what is good or bad same thing for TV.

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Nowhere in this thread has wheel alignment been mentioned.
When struts are changed wheels should be re-aligned.
Do you have a printout of the alignment #s?

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Because someone who didn’t know what he was talking about told the guy to do it. Or because of what @VOLVO-V70 said – we have a tendency to apply a fix and then wishfully think that the fix made things better. Unless, of course, we have a mechanic do it in which case we think the lousy bum broke everything on the car. :wink:

You’ve given three different descriptions of what’s happening, and they all describe wildly different scenarios. I don’t think anyone can give you much solid advice at this point, because we can’t drive your car, and we can’t know what’s going on by what you’re saying.

I think your best option at this point is that you hopefully have a friend who knows about performance modifications on cars who can drive your car and tell you what it’s doing. Alternately:

“floaty” is what driving your grandpa’s 30 year old Buick feels like.

“not planted” feels like the steering wheel gets easier to turn the faster you go, and is usually caused by the car gaining lift. I would be very surprised if this were happening on your Honda.

“Bouncy” can either be strong up and down oscillations (usually caused by idiots cutting their springs as a cheap lowering kit, or blown shocks) or harsh bounces, which can be caused by performance suspension.

Plus, in all of this we know you have a Honda Civic, but we don’t know what year it is. And we don’t know what performance shocks you put in there. We also don’t know if you paired that with performance springs. I know you said “struts,” but you also specified “shocks.” So, what exactly was replaced, and what exactly (brand and model) was it replaced with? And what year Civic?

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This is the alignment after the suspension change. I am unsure why the caster changed though.

Thanks for the reply. It can be hard to describe as this is my only car and I dont have a real point of reference aside from the same car itself when I first bought it.

Out of the descriptions you wrote, I guess it would be floaty & bouncy but not to any extreme.

My car is a civic 2014 lx but with the HFP suspension installed. I know this suspension was not intended for my car but it was a perfect fit and I’ve read of other 8th/9th gen civic owners installing the sport model suspension on their base models. Usually they describe the car feeling firmer / more rigid but I feel the exact opposite, much softer.