Rear sway bar worth installing?

Discussion in 'The whoa and the sway.' started by Mike Trom, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. simon1243

    simon1243 Got Torque?

    whats this shimming business your talking about? Ive never heard of this before, please explain as i will soon be putting a rear bar on my boattail.
  2. BadBrad

    BadBrad Got 4-speed?

    The shims are used to center the bar between the control arms. Sometimes the bar is narrower than the distance between the control arms. If you don't shim you can bend and/or preload the control arms.
  3. sharkmonkey

    sharkmonkey Give me something to hit!

    Okay so I've read through this but I have to ask a question. Is there really a noticeable difference by changing the front sway bar from my current 1" to a 1 1/4" bar? I just aquired one in a trade but the rubber pieces are shot. Where would I get the rubber from?

  4. simon1243

    simon1243 Got Torque?

    you should be able to get one from any local parts place.
  5. Bill Smith

    Bill Smith Well-Known Member

    Okay Mike you have had the new stuff on all summer, how did it handle???
    Was there a big difference in cornering??
  6. Ol' Yeller

    Ol' Yeller Guest

    I have a '65 Skylark that I added a Quickor 1 1/4" front and 1 1/8' rear sway bar to as well as boxed rear control arms. My '65 also has a 355 posi , 7" rally wheels, disc brakes, all new rubber bushings and front end parts, and a quick ratio steering box. It corners like it is on rails.

    I do not "race my car but I do have a recent story to tell. I was bringing "Ol' Yeller" home from storage last week. The freeway ends at a must exit lane (left side) that winds around a sharp curve on-ramp that goes to another freeway. I had to get in the left lane to exit and there was this guy in a newer (90's) Lincoln that tried to speed up to cut me off. I changed lanes in front of him (with plenty of room) and he began tailgating me all the way to the big curve despite many opportunities to go around me. The curve is posted at 25 MPH and has those roadsigns that show a semi with one set of wheels coming off the ground, very sharp. I went into the curve at 40 MPH and when I hit the apex I was going 45. I then accellerated onto the freeway. I watched in my rearview as he tailed me around 3/4 of the turn and at the apex he bit it and spun out. My car stayed flat all the way through the turn with very little body lean at all. Once he got his car going back in the right direction, he didn't tailgate me anymore. Sway bars are great but they must be properly sized front and rear to control understeer or oversteer. That is why I bought mine from a dealer who gave great set-up advice.
  7. bobc455

    bobc455 Well-Known Member

    I just took the rear sway bar off my car and it is staying off!

    I have the boxed rear arms from HR Parts n Stuff (I can't recommend these guys highly enough). I love the arms. However the sway bar was making the rearend too tight, going over bumps felt like going over potholes (bang crash). Now that the sway bar is off it rides MUCH nicer over the bumps. I might have some other problem in the way my car is set up (I don't see how, but who knows).

    I don't care about cornering- I like accelerating and being comfortable, pulling .97 lateral G's is irrelevant to me. But I gotta say that even without the rear bar, I hardly notice a difference in body roll.

    -Bob Cunningham
  8. gusszgs

    gusszgs Well-Known Member

    Bob, was your sway bar the type that bolts to the control arms?
  9. Mike Trom

    Mike Trom Ugg

    True, but I was only able to put 400 miles on the car this summer and those were just enjoyable top down cruise miles, nothing to really test the sway bar. It does seem to stay flatter on turns now.

    Sorry, no realy "performance" data that I can give you...

    I will be pulling the rear differential out this winter for a rebuild, replacing the springs, shocks, brakes and upper control arm bushings while I am at it.

  10. bobc455

    bobc455 Well-Known Member

    Yes. I don't remember whether I got it from PST or from year one/addco.

    BTW I have had rear sway bars before without this issue. Someone told me that it is the combination of polyurethane plus the sway bar that made things too stiff.

    -Bob C.
  11. I have installed ADDCO sway bars on several cars including 67 Le Mans, 78 Buick Le Sabre, 79 Buick Estate Wagon, 84 Regal, and 86 Olds wagon. In every case, I've noticed a better handling condition and never experienced a rougher ride. Only when one tire drops in a hole would the sway bar impact the ride quality.
    I replaced the stock 1" front bar and no rear bar on my 68 GS 400 with complete Factory Road Ralley Suspension this year: 1 1/4" front, boxed control arms and 1" rear. I did this while upgrading to disc brakes and also did a '+1' wheel and tire upgrade to 15" rims and 60 series tires. This car now sticks to road. I had the previous owner drive it to a car show and he was impressed. It was worth all the effort and searching for parts.
    As someone stated, if you do install larger sway bars, they must be done together. If you only install one end, you will introduce either under steer or oversteer. The components must complement each other.
  12. Oh, I forgot, I used stock type bushings on this upgrade to maintain ride quality. I thought about using polygraphic type bushings but was talked out of it by a Buick restorer (and BCA member) here in Marietta. He said it would ride real rough and I wouldn't like it. I also replaced the springs with ralley spec so that may have contributed to handling improvement.
    On the other hand, I installed ADDCO on my 99 Crown Vic using poly busings with no loss in ride quality. Thos bushings are only on hangers and end links, not on control arms.
  13. Mike Trom

    Mike Trom Ugg

    Where did you get your springs from? Do you have a part number and contact?

  14. I bought the springs and bushings, ball joints, etc. thru Then and Now Automotive in Marietta, GA. Search for their web site thenandnowauto. They do anything from repairs to complete restorations and their work is first rate. (Mark Reeves, owner, is well known for his Motion GSX)

    Dave Walker is the parts guy there. He's a ex Buick parts person and knows his parts and where to get them. He has his own web site: Atlanta Buick

    I've learned a lot from Mark Dave and others there at Then and Now Auto.
  15. drspencer

    drspencer Well-Known Member

    Excuse my ignorance, but where do they shims go, between the rear sway bar and the control arm?
  16. gm4life

    gm4life if you let up you loose

    my 70 skylark has all poly bushiung front and reat also 1 1/4 front bar 1 rear bar and hadles very well and most people whoo ride in cannot believe how staright it track and how hard it corners and stays flat even when turns are bumpy it doesnt dance sideways.... my other car is a 94 roadmaster my second one the first one i put all plice package sway bars good shocks and was never happy with the results the second one has a full hotckis page sway bars springs shocks and it rides great no more boaty bouncing from the front end and goes through corners flat so flat most of my buddy grab the o **** handles when i drive her into a corner and they cannot believe we didnot slide of the road after the corner and the cold sweat is gone they look over at me and say HOLY **** MAN this car is like a vette :beer my answer is yes gat a complete matched set from a good sus co and you will be happy the road master now has 180k and needs a front end and rear bushing over haul i will go with all poly helps with hard cornering esp in heavy cars my only draw back with the poly is when going real slow over speed bumps you get a little squeaking from the bushing i never hear it at road speeds over bumps

    hope this helps :TU:
  17. Phil

    Phil It really *is* a 350...

    I've gone without a rear swaybar since I got my car in 89, I'd never go back. It handles smoother in the turns, it's predictable with a heavy foot, and it doesn't have that pickup-truck ride some folks talk about. The biggest difference is that mine bolts to the frame and not the lower control arms. I thought there'd be some harshness in the ride with the ball-end links and the poly bushings but it's smooth.

    Another thing that contributed greatly to my ride quality is the upper control arms. I put in UMI upper control arms with the ball-ends and solid bushings and it rides so much better . I've also got variable rate rear springs from a 79 LeMans in my car as well.

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