Sway Bar Sizing - Chevelle Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions & more.

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 20, 4:55 PM Thread Starter
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Dave
 
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Sway Bar Sizing

On Chevelles, I've always used a 1.25 front and stock 7/8 rear with boxed lower arms and been happy with how they handled. My '68 Caprice has a stock 15/16 front bar, and no rear bar. I'm looking at adding a 1" rear bar from UMI, it comes with spacers for the lower control arms in place of boxing, which '65-'70 B bodies never had. Will I have a handling issue with both bars being almost the same size? I eventually want to add their 1 1/8 front bar, but not right now.
Thanks.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 20, 6:06 PM
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Eric
 
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Re: Sway Bar Sizing

No, you should see a marked improvement. I prefer boxed lowers but there are a lot of cars just running the spacers.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 20, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sway Bar Sizing

Thanks. B body rear lowers are tapered towards the front, this spacer looks to be solid aluminum, and taps in with a hammer to fill the gap, and has holes thru it for the bolts. B bodies with factory rear bars just have a tube that the bolts go thru, no boxing or any other support, so the spacer is a step up.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 20, 8:39 AM
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Re: Sway Bar Sizing

If you're just doing normal driving, this will be fine. If you're doing any type of spirited driving, don't put a larger bar on the rear. These rear bars aren't the greatest and reduce the flexibility of the rear suspension. Too big of a bar and you'll be pulling the inside tire on a hard turn reducing grip.

I put a Hellwig solid 1 5/16" front sway bar on my car and love it. Yes it weighs 30lbs but my car is flat as a pancake around HARD turns, as in 4 wheel drift. I have an unknown aftermarket bar on the rear (bought from friend) and feel it works for normal driving but I can easily break the rear loose in any hard turn due to the bar not allowing both tires to grip. I have yet to pull the bar and see how the car handles. Will be autocrossing this weekend and hope to try with and without.

I would highly recommend getting the rear arms boxed or going with solid rears. I ran stock arms in the rear with poly bushings and thought it was good. THEN installed solid rears, night and day difference. Before the car felt "alive" you could feel the rear squirming around under acceleration like you were riding a horse. I didn't know any better. Installed the rear solid arms and it's like going from horseback to a harley, rear is solid, planted, and you can almost take your hands off the wheel during a launch, aside from lighting up the rear tires.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Dave
 
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Re: Sway Bar Sizing

This is a cruiser that I'm trying to stabilize a little, and cut out some of the wallow. I'm also looking at some Bilstein shocks, but have been held back by the $500 price tag for a car that I put 600 miles on last year.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 11:39 PM
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Re: Sway Bar Sizing

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSuper Dave View Post
I'm also looking at some Bilstein shocks, but have been held back by the $500 price tag for a car that I put 600 miles on last year.
Sometimes good enough to get the job done is better than too expensive...
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 11:47 PM
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Re: Sway Bar Sizing

I would buy the larger front bar first and hold off on the rear. I think you'll enjoy the better handling now instead of later. The front does a lot more for you than the rear ever will.

Like Jeff said, a weak front bar and stiff rear will lift the rear tire and you'll lose your ass much faster and unpredictably. She'll just come around on you with little warning.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 20, 8:23 AM
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Re: Sway Bar Sizing

I'm running cheaper Gas-A-Justs on my car and really like them. They're firm enough to keep the car in control but gives a really nice ride when cruising. And that's saying a lot riding on 40 series tires.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 20, 5:17 PM
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Re: Sway Bar Sizing

Dave, IMO you need a 1.25" front bar. rear bar is optional. Chevelles are quite front heavy and need the additional roll stiffness provided by a big front bar. Chevelles are light in the rear and really don't need a rear bar. too much roll stiffness in the rear will result in a car with oversteer, tail-happy. As noted above, the rear will lose traction with very little warning. My own car, a 70 with hot 406, 200-4R, 373 12 bolt didn't have a rear bar. I bought the brackets that weld into the lower arms and installed a rear bar I found in a wrecking yard. In my personal opinion the factory rear bar setup is poor, it basically adds a binding factor to the rear suspension. If you really, really want a rear bar I'd recommend one of the type that clamp on to the axle housing and mount the ends to the frame, similar to how the front bar is mounted. These are available from all the usual suspect vendors. UMI is known good. HR parts and stuff is also known good.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 20, 8:10 PM Thread Starter
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Dave
 
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Re: Sway Bar Sizing

All this, and the input from a couple of other sources lead me to think that the larger front bar and better shocks all the way around are the way to go. Thanks to all.
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It is a rare man who can count his own blessings and not mistake them for personal achievements.
"SSuper Dave" Palmer
A.C.E.S. #1483 TC #32 Gold
1970 El Camino Custom, 350/300, needs paint, rust free Arizona car
1968 Caprice coupe, Ash Gold/Ivy Gold, 327/300hp, rally wheels, disc brakes, buckets, console, am/fm and tach dash, tilt and a/c.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 20, 4:24 PM
 
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Re: Sway Bar Sizing

Thanks for the UMI shout outs everyone. Adding rear bar in general tends to loosen (helps the car rotate) when pushed to the limit. When just cruising or general driving, the rear bar simply helps the car feel much better.

Any questions about UMI stuff lemme know.

ramey
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