BADASS of New England

An automobile club for the enthusiast who enjoys the last of the big GM cars. The rear wheel drive B and D bodys. Chevrolet Impala SS, Caprice, 9C1, Buick Roadmaster, Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, Cadillac Fleetwood
 
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 School me on: Swaybars

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Pooge



Posts : 1698
Join date : 2009-03-24

PostSubject: School me on: Swaybars   Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:34 pm

So I have done a bit of research, but I want to hear about it from people I know...Upgrading swaybars, preferably an inexpensive upgrade from stock.

I am running a completely stock suspension, sway bars will be my first modification

Thanks,

Doug
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PostSubject: Re: School me on: Swaybars   Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:50 pm

The first things to understand about swaybars is that bigger is not always better. Hotchkis makes what I consider to be the best middle of the road bars.
The rear is the big area where you can get in trouble. The less flex in the bar means more wear and tear on the stock LCAs. I have seen back in my 5.0 mustang days a lower control arm ripped in two because the bar was too big for a stock suspension. The frons are more forgiving because it is bushed instead of direct bolt on.

Crovo can elaberate more on this when he chimes in, but I would if I was going bigger like the hotchkis bars, I would box the LCAs at minimum, or go with an aftermarket square/rectangle style tubular LCAs.
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bammax



Posts : 2301
Join date : 2009-02-22
Age : 35
Location : Mansfield, Ma

PostSubject: Re: School me on: Swaybars   Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:04 pm

I've seen pics of guys snapping aftermarket rear arms with the beefy sway bars on daily drivers. Supposedly everyone that had a problem was making tight corners up angled driveways. The cars just aren't quite designed for any kind of side load to be put through the rear. That's why some guys stick with stock arms and sway bars since they have more flex and are more forgiving.
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iceman3201



Posts : 641
Join date : 2009-02-12
Age : 70
Location : south portland maine

PostSubject: school me on : swaybars   Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:20 pm

when i got my roadie it didnt even have a sway bar on it. so i went to pape chevy. and they ordered me one. i believe it was for a caprice. now should i change my lower control arms? i want to do the lowers with the umi ones. i hadnt planed on doing the uppers. confused
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http://iceman3201@maine.rr.com
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PostSubject: Re: School me on: Swaybars   Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:28 pm

iceman3201 wrote:
when i got my roadie it didnt even have a sway bar on it. so i went to pape chevy. and they ordered me one. i believe it was for a caprice. now should i change my lower control arms? i want to do the lowers with the umi ones. i hadnt planed on doing the uppers. confused
Stock sway bars and most aftermarket are fine with stock LCAs. I am talking bars that are over an inch in diameter and the cars are cornered moderate to hard alot. You are ok Ron. No worries.
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toomanytoyz
Club President


Posts : 6870
Join date : 2009-01-20
Age : 40
Location : East Hampstead, NH USA

PostSubject: Re: School me on: Swaybars   Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:30 pm

Yeah, for anything more than stock bars, upgrading at least the rear LCA's is a MUST!!!! I like my UMI Performance ones. Big and beefy and cheap. Smile

I like the Hotchkis bars. The car definately has a lot less body roll than stock, but handling still leans more towards understeer. But it is a LOT closer to nuetral handling than the stock bars. I think they are perfect for a dail with occaisional track use.

Some guys really like the big HO/HA bar and an F-body front bar though. Supposedly that is THE nuetral ticket, even leaning towards oversteer. I have yet to drive one that way. I think Fishah has that baseball bat/roadkill catcher on his car. Maybe he could chime in? He seems to get that silly TBI car all kinds of opposite lock on the AutoX... Wink

_________________
Bill "The Verb" Crovo - Resident Car Slut & Unicorn Hunter

A Toasted Marshmallow, A Long German, A Lame Suburban and expensive dreams...
Missing all my previous B's, D's and V... Sad
American Ricer
www.badassofne.net
"Ooooh! Look! Something shiny!"
NO MORE UNICORNS!!!!!

LOWER IT!!! Wink
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Pooge



Posts : 1698
Join date : 2009-03-24

PostSubject: Re: School me on: Swaybars   Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:18 pm

I have read up about the F-body bar, can I get more info on the HO/HA bars? Not even sure what they are or who makes them.

If I hang onto this car (which it looks like since I wont sell it for less than $5,000) I would like to feel a bit less of the "Big Boat Sway". I am only concerned with a stiffer feel corning in normal/spirited driving. I have no intentions of autocross or racing of any sort, I just want to make my car feel a few hundred pounds lighter in corners.

I do not want to go the route of new arms or anything, and for the most part I am pretty happy with how the car handles for it's weight, but wanted to find out if there was a cost effective sway bar (along the lines of the F-body setup) that would just give me a little more comfort in the corners.

Maybe that will help give you guys a better idea of what I am thinking. Thanks for what you guys have mentioned so far!


Doug
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toomanytoyz
Club President


Posts : 6870
Join date : 2009-01-20
Age : 40
Location : East Hampstead, NH USA

PostSubject: Re: School me on: Swaybars   Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:59 pm

Anything that will make a noticable difference in helping you through the corners will require a rear arm upgrade. Hell, even just doing those will help a lot! The stock stamped pieces are SCARY. Wink

_________________
Bill "The Verb" Crovo - Resident Car Slut & Unicorn Hunter

A Toasted Marshmallow, A Long German, A Lame Suburban and expensive dreams...
Missing all my previous B's, D's and V... Sad
American Ricer
www.badassofne.net
"Ooooh! Look! Something shiny!"
NO MORE UNICORNS!!!!!

LOWER IT!!! Wink
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http://impalass.uniquekind.net/
Pooge



Posts : 1698
Join date : 2009-03-24

PostSubject: Re: School me on: Swaybars   Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:07 pm

toomanytoyz wrote:
Anything that will make a noticable difference in helping you through the corners will require a rear arm upgrade. Hell, even just doing those will help a lot! The stock stamped pieces are SCARY. Wink

DAMN Bill, that is exactly NOT what I wanted to hear! Mad Oh well, I guess I will keep my eyes open for a used set of rear arms before I consider the swaybar thing...Suck Ass!

Thanks for the info, I guess I will have to invest a bit more in the weight loss and handling game!

Doug
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: School me on: Swaybars   Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:48 pm

I've gotta find something for my car, it has no rear bar. I put Bilsteins and variable rate springs in there, it already handles night and day better, but there's still something missing and it feels weird, a combo of stiff and bouncy from time to time.

I know the 77-96 frame and suspension was derived from the 71-76 cars, but I don't really know what carries over. I've been searching for a rear bar that fits my car. I've heard of people actually putting the FWD E-body (Eldo/Toro) sway bars on the RWD cars like mine because it was a bolt in but thicker.
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bammax



Posts : 2301
Join date : 2009-02-22
Age : 35
Location : Mansfield, Ma

PostSubject: Re: School me on: Swaybars   Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:33 pm

I remember asking someone at the raceday about the super low haniging rear bar and they said it's not really for daily drivers. I couldn't imagine it clearing a speedbump.
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Fishah



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

PostSubject: Re: School me on: Swaybars   Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:42 am

Ok.


Any aftermarket bar period requies aftermarket LCA's. You will rip factory arms apart even with a Hotchkis bar. Like Crovo said, UMI's are the best bang for the buck.

The ONLY after market arms I've ever seen snap are the old style tubular BMR bars.

The F-Body front bar doesn't fit quite right on our cars. The angle is f'd up.

I have BMR bars front and rear on my car. They are too big. Maybe they would be alright with stock springs......

But with Vogtland springs they create downright dangerous oversteer. Also, it's absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to put power down to the ground with the BMR rear bar.

I would reccomend Hotchkis Bars front and rear with UMI lower control arms. That's your best bet for handling, control and price.
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mean ss



Posts : 648
Join date : 2009-02-25
Age : 58
Location : Nashua NH.

PostSubject: Re: School me on: Swaybars   Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:11 am

their are only 2 brands that I would use for control arms, the Global west or the currie but thats me Cool

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/GLS-TBC-12/?image=large

http://www.currieenterprises.com/CESTORE/currectrac.aspx
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