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 Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car

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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5064
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car   Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:29 pm

I have one of the bigger rear sway bars (V92/9c1/SS) and the lower control arms, as well as the big front sway bar and I want to put them on my Caprice, which is an FE1 car with the nausea-ride option. I'm pretty sure the front bar will just swap right onto my car (I have year-old Moog sway bar links up there), but is there anything to look out for in the back? I was under the impression that the 9c1s had a thicker metal LCA because of the stabilizer bar bolted to them, but others have said the FE1 bars are the same thing and if there are holes punched through them then I can bolt the sway bar onto them and not have to replace the LCAs.

I still need to check my current LCAs for those holes, the other "heavy duty car" LCAs I have need the sway bar u-channel type mount brackets in them replaced (thanks for the tips Machine de Zine) because of rotted bolts stuck in them. So, either way I will have to buy them as well as new bolts.

Is there anything else I need to know about doing this? I'm not going for anything crazy aside from the fact I am putting Bilsteins 1104/0929 in the car. Just want it to handle better!

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Pooge



Posts : 1697
Join date : 2009-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car   Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:25 pm

The stock lowers on ss and 9c1 cars are nothing to write home about, just cheap stamped steal, more than likely rusted enough you would want aftermarket ones anyway...just my .02.

Doug

_________________
1996 Impala SS - 45K original miles - 5.3 LS swap - Brand new Bilsteins...WHAT A DIFFERENCE!
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5064
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car   Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:51 pm

They're actually not that old...replaced a few years ago but the sway bar mounts in them look original to the car they were on...






Last edited by Matt Trakker on Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Fishah



Posts : 1118
Join date : 2009-01-20
Age : 29
Location : Chicago, IL

PostSubject: Re: Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car   Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:17 pm

Get the aftermarket control arms dude. They were my absolute favorite suspension mod - even moreso than the swaybars. The difference in driving feel is remarkable.

www.umiperformance.com
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Machine-De-Zine



Posts : 512
Join date : 2010-11-16
Age : 59
Location : Wrentham

PostSubject: Re: Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car   Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:36 am

I have to agree with Doug and Bill, replace them!
Be aware that you will need to keep after the greasing of cylindrical E-S style urethane RCA bushings to prevent them from "groaning", no big hassle tho.
For a few bucks more you could upgrade to UMI's Roto-Joint Control arms.
http://www.umiperformance.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6_83&products_id=353
These are for an 83-02 F-body, but they are the same length and bushing dimensions, they only lack sway-bars mounts.
I believe he is ready to make these in a fixed length with sway-bar mounting posts added for our B&D bodies.
There are three styles of pivoting ends, Cylindrical Urethane, spherical steel rod-end and Roto-Joint, which is a Nylon sleeved adjustable wear compensated "rod-end".
The ends are also made in either fixed end (welded) or adjustable (screwed on with a jam nut to lock the length).
Ryan has asked the big forum crowd to weigh in on what length extended LCAs would be most desirable.
http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=259753
He also has a group buy in the works for a new B-body specific set of sway bars there.
http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=262084
Glenn
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5064
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car   Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:20 am

I don't really want to spend any money on this car aside from two front shocks since I already have the rears, this a a low to no buck issue for me, especially as it has 2.56, the rear end you have to replace to even do anything with, 305, etc.....the main concern is getting the Impala squared away this winter somehow as far as the worn camshaft is concerned and fixing the leather seat and bumpers in my truck. Wink As long as the stock items are concerned, I'd prob. be fine with using them if they are an improvement over what I have now...
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Machine-De-Zine



Posts : 512
Join date : 2010-11-16
Age : 59
Location : Wrentham

PostSubject: Re: Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car   Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:37 am

Matt Trakker wrote:
I don't really want to spend any money on this car aside from two front shocks since I already have the rears, this a a low to no buck issue for me, especially as it has 2.56, the rear end you have to replace to even do anything with, 305, etc.....the main concern is getting the Impala squared away this winter somehow as far as the worn camshaft is concerned and fixing the leather seat and bumpers in my truck. Wink As long as the stock items are concerned, I'd prob. be fine with using them if they are an improvement over what I have now...

Thats understandable.
Then just get the late style rear sway-bar attachment hardware, as it will work with those arms.
Also, it is an improvement over the earlier rust & breakage prone U-channel style.
The LCAs look pretty well rust-free, and even tho the rubber bushings are cracking, they are not so bad that they can't be re-used.
I would replace the front pivot bushings with the 1LE fabric-lined pieces though, if you do use the biggest OEM front sway-bar.
Watch your torque on pivot bolts into the front frame horns, as they are prone to stripping out the threads.
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5064
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car   Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:04 pm

I just took a look at the original arms that are in the car now, it appears they already have the mounting holes punched in them to accept sway bar hardware:






They really don't seem all that different than the arms I have loose from the car, I think I'm just going to buy some new bar mounting hardware, paint up the sway bar, and mount it to those arms so I don't have to bother pulling them off and swapping them and all that crap. I think it would save me time and money and get the car handling better more quickly...I figure the old design sway bar mounting stuff will be acceptable for my needs since it was the same stuff since at least the early 1970s, probably earlier? Plus, if down the road I decide to build up this car into something special, I'll still just be able to buy some improved design LCAs anyway.

Now, the front bar, that will just bolt right in, correct? Other than possibly needing rubber pieces for it replace, it's a direct swap?
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Machine-De-Zine



Posts : 512
Join date : 2010-11-16
Age : 59
Location : Wrentham

PostSubject: Re: Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car   Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:59 am

Check the tops of the LCAs for the two flattened areas with top holes, just like the two arms you have in the first photos.

If those flats and holes are there, you can just as easily buy the improved later model OEM hardware. (vertical thru-bolts)

If the holes are not there, then goop up the new U-channels with paint and rust preventative coatings to delay the inevitable rot!
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5064
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car   Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:52 pm

I checked when I took the pics- they don't appear to have the flats on the top of the arm like that later design arm. I plan on painting the pieces with some rust proof paint then putting grease on the parts after installation to help seal it all up.

Will probably order from RMS auto parts, but I will def. check around online to see if I can find the brackets cheaper. Seems that RMS doesn't have their discount code thingy anymore...they used to send me a newsletter with one.
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5064
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car   Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:26 pm

http://www.rmsautoparts.com/proddetail.php?prod=10191120

Ordered these, not super cheap, wound up being 30+ bucks w/shipping, but I'm saving gas driving around looking for the things I suppose... Very Happy
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5064
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car   Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:00 pm

Ok, so as of now I have:

The two mounting brackets to put in the lower control arms (the old u-channel type)

9c1 sway bar

Bilsteins for the back of the car (waiting on my fronts)

Quick change upper shock mount u-bolts

Now I just need to get some bolts to mount the u-channels and the bar itself. I noticed when looking at these mounts, that while the holes are tapped for mounting the bar to the mounts (it's a nut welded to them with what look like copper threads or something), the holes for mounting the mounts themselves to the LCAs are not. Does anyone know how these attach? I will need to study those other LCAs that I have and see if I can get the bolts out of them to inspect, but I have no vise to put them in... Mad

I'm going to grind/paint the bar tomorrow anyway so I have something done as far as this project. Front bar as well.
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5064
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car   Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:28 am

Finally got some of the thread-cutting bolts that go through the sides of the u-channel mounts, they are short with a tapered end that has grooves cut into the threads, as they get cranked through they sort of thread their way into the mount.

Just need to figure out what bolt actually attaches the sway bar to the mounts now. Hopefully that's just a Home Depot run item. I'm hoping to get this all together in time for the roundup in case I have to take this car instead of the old one!
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5064
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Adding rear bar (and bigger front bar) to an FE1 car   Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:03 pm

Got some 7/16 Grade 8 bolts/washers/lock washers just in case, we'll see what happens.
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