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Discussion Starter #1
So I thought I’d have a crack at making my own sway bar end links using rod ends. The stock style link with bolts and the rubber bushings leaves quite a bit of wiggle room, and not in a good way. My front end alignment has a significant amount of caster and that tends to make the sway bar to lower control arm connection very ****eyed, leaving large gaps when the end link bushings are snugged down. I have yet to drive the car with the new setup, so hopefully nothing breaks. ;)

Here is a parts break down:
  • 3/8” heim joints
  • 1/8” x 3/4” aluminum flat bar
  • 3/8” fine thread hardware and lock nuts
  • recycled washers from the OEM setup
For my suspension setup (yours may be different), the aluminum bar links have a 2” center to center hole distance. This allowed the sway bar end to sit relatively level to the ground with the suspension loaded. One thing that surprised me is when I removed the OEM style link and replaced it with this setup, the level of misalignment (sway bar end to LCA hole) is crazy huge. I have an original Ford sway bar that measures ~ 7/8” diameter (it might be 13/16”) and the sway bar frame bushings are pushed as far forward as possible, and its still way outta whack.

I’m hoping to test drive it in the next few days. I would like the car to respond to the modification with less sway, as I wanted to do this before going the route of a bigger diameter bar. I will post an update with the results. And as always, design feedback/discussion is welcome!


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I think you're going to get quite a bit of suspension movement before the sway bar reacts. Since the end links will move freely as the LCA moves up.
 

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I don’t quite follow the reason why... you think this will have more slop than the OEM setup?
Slop, no. Freedom of movement yes. As the lca comes up the arm can pivot on both ends due to the heim joints. You might get some resistance as the rod end pushes the sway bar but not as it was intentioned.
 

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As the lower control arm goes up (arrow on the right) the link ends (yellow circles) will swivel, pushing the sway bar horizontally (left arrow)
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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, gotchya now. That misalignment is going to promote sideways flex in the sway bar. Now if it’s more or less than the OEM setup I couldn’t say, maybe I should slap a camera down there and take it for a spin to see what happens when everything starts moving.

That misalignment was there with the original setup, but there is a bit more freedom of movement with the heims... how the heck can I fix that misalignment?
 

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Sorry, seems like a really bad idea (no offense intended, but I would strongly advise against what you have done). The stock link bolts are intended to provide compression/tension resistance with little side loading. What you have devised is a hinge that is going to react to try and push the lower control arm fore and aft or bend the sway bar as the sway bar ends go up and down. The sway bar is intended to work in torsion, not bending. The side to side "slop" between the bolt and the hole in the sway bar (or LCA) is pretty meaningless as the connection is not intended to resist a side to side load.
 

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I have to agree. A sway is a big spring, a torsion bar really. When one side is pushed up the other reacts by pushing down. Simplifying, but the springiness is so it doesn't immediately snap the first time you hit a pothole.
So when you jack up one lower arm you want to see the end of the sway bar rise with it. I think when you jack up your control arm all you will see is your linkage fold up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have to agree. A sway is a big spring, a torsion bar really. When one side is pushed up the other reacts by pushing down. Simplifying, but the springiness is so it doesn't immediately snap the first time you hit a pothole.
So when you jack up one lower arm you want to see the end of the sway bar rise with it. I think when you jack up your control arm all you will see is your linkage fold up.
Yeah, the more I stare at the pictures the more I worry about it pushing the bar sideways when the suspension compresses. I didn't think of jacking up one side to see what happens, I'll do that tonight and take a pic of the result.

I can't be the only one with a gross misalignment of the sway bar end and lower control arm... how do I fix that (without ruining my caster setting)?
 

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Looks like you could relocate the swaybar mount brackets a bit forward before interfering with the strut rods but I suspect the simple answer is you have an incorrect sway bar.
 

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Sorry, I do not have the dimensions as my car is a 66. However, looking at CJ Pony Parts on line and scaling off the screen, it looks like you may have a big block sway bar which has a different shape and appears the distance from the front of the bar to the link connections is greater... Maybe a vendor could measure for you.

 

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I applaud your ingenuity on this but agree with others that the main force at play with a sway bar is vertical, and this solution does not allow the bar to do it's job.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So if anyone can help me out with sway bar dimensions it would be greatly appreciated! My bar’s rough measurements are as follows:
A = 8”
B = 29”
C = 10”
D = 0.850“ (somewhere between 13/16” and 7/8”)

My sway bar seems to be more than 1” too narrow (end link hole to end link hole) and about 1 1/2” too long in the C dimension. Other than that it fits fine without any other interferences. I bought this from a school mate back nearly 20 years ago, he said it was from a GT Mustang, unfortunately I don’t recall what year. The stock end links have always been slanted back, never fully seating the bushings, and when I removed the stock links everything shot apart like the bar was being forced forward by the links. I’m guessing that bar is not for my year Mustang, hopefully someone can confirm with dimensions.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok, so I jacked the car up by the passenger LCA until the drivers side tire came off the ground... the end link angle moved from 35 degrees (from vertical) with the car on the ground to 51 degrees with the chassis all twisted like it was a rock crawler! I could still swivel both sides links, so they weren’t binding which is good. But the side under compression, it’s angle of misalignment, was worsening (as everyone expected). I’m gonna drive it to work tomorrow to see how it feels on the road, but I will be in search of a new sway bar that fits properly before I push it. Once I get those end links vertical it should be pretty sweet.

First pic is it level, second pic is it fully compressed.

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