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I'm starting to get swayed by the rear sway bar mod- sorry, bad pun. Anyhow, is this something I'm going to benefit from? I do not plan to race this car in anyway, other than down the Interstate 10 in Los Angeles (Man , I'm full of jokes). What are your professional thoughts on this modification for someone who plans to use their car a little less than daily, and how much drilling into the frame rail is necessary? Are any sway bar kits better than others?
 

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I'm not a suspension expert by any means but my comments are this. Leaf springs act completely different then coil springs. Leaf springs provide some anti roll while coil springs don't. As a result, generally speaking, you don't need as much if any rear roll bar on a leaf suspension while you need it on a coil sprung suspension. From observations from past posts on this subject from guys who race, they do not use a rear bar because it'll cause the car to snap around un- predictably. Even swapping out the front bushings on the leafs will have an effect on roll. I'd suggest reading up on the subject before doing any changes.
 

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Save your money and time by not installing one. Even driving moderatley quickly around bends the rear bar will probably induce more oversteer than you like the feel of.
 

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Leave the rear sway bar off and invest the money in some subframe connectors. The subframe connectors will help to tie the front and rear of the car together.

Tim
 

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Save your money and time by not installing one. Even driving moderatley quickly around bends the rear bar will probably induce more oversteer than you like the feel of.
Amen to this! My car had BAD oversteer, it was scary. I took Shaun's advice and removed my rear sway bar. It solved the problem and the handling is mich more predictable now.
 

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I second what everyone else has said so far. Stay away from the sway bar. The very first thing you should do is a good subframe connector. Stiffening everything up front to back will make a huge difference. if you are serious about making the car a corner carver that is comfortable for the street you will need to spend some serious money but you can do a number of things in stages as the time & money allows. After the subframe connectors I would go with larger wheels & tires, GW or Opentracker UCA & LCA and Opentracker spring perches. These are straight bolt in changes. For the rear there are lots of choices in springs and you just need to find what you want for feel, look & performance. If you want to go whole hog think about a Panhard bar or Watts link. Personally I prefer the Panhard bar. In my 65 I used Flex-a-form composite spring & a Maier Racing adjustable Panhard bar, plus of course a good set of shocks all around. All of these changes will allow you to bring the car back to stock if that is important to you. The only welding is the sub-frame connectors and the Panhard bar. Hope this helps. But no matter what stay away from the sway bar unless you like the feel of sudden oversteer.
 

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This is the thing most people seem to ignore. No one can answer this question except you, and can't even help you with it without knowing a lot more about the car and your wants and needs.
The need for any suspension component upgrade depends on your car setup, what you plan to do with it, how you like it to handle, and generally whether it needs it or not. Money isn't really an issue, because decent bars can be found for very affordable prices. I have a rear bar on my stang. I also have 700lb/in front coils with a larger front bar. Without the rear bar, my car understeers terribly. With it it handles flat and neutral as can be. Certainly there are other ways of acheiving similar results, but my point is that you just can't make a blanket statement about something like this.
 

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Sway bars are a tuning device...

My setup and driving style do not need a rear sway bar.
 

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As you've probably concluded, you won't be needing
a rear sway bar. Particularly on a 65/66. A sway
bar is nothing more than a selective spring- it
selectively adds/subtracts spring rate when the
car is in turns. The rear of the Mustang is very
light. Consequently, it is very sensitive to tuning.
Even swapping shocks has a massive effect
on the rear of a 65/66.
Stiffen with subframes and get your front end to
work correctly first and THEN fool with the rear
of the car.
Jim - 700# springs in the front of a 65/66?
You're kidding right? It wouldn't even move.
(Probably isn't too comfortable either)
The real reason you need a rear bar is because
the front end isn't working well- you need to
stiffen it with a rear bar to get the car
to be neutral because the front isn't working.
Ask me how I know....

ex-Global West GM
1991-1994
 

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2bav8 said:
Sway bars are a tuning device...
Correct you are. Some people want to put giant-ass stab. bars on a car, instead of putting enough spring rate in.

I'll add my 2 cents of experience about a rear bar on the vintage cars. My 68 Cougar has an aftermarket 1" front bar, with a pair of the generic "620" front springs, and stock rear leafs, also Konis at all 4 corners. We never got around to installing the 3/4" rear bar that came with the package deal I bought many years back.

With this combo (shocks set at 2 on the front, 1 on the rear), and slightly larger rear tires than front (225 and 245/45/18), the car tends to have very mild understeer, decent for street driving. As the car handles now, I have no desire to install the rear bar, unless I was maybe going to try doing an autocross, and wanted oversteer. For the street, I can't see it being a benefit. However, if I was to go with much stiffer front springs, and maybe a larger front bar again, then the rear bar might make sense. And yes, I do have subframe connectors welded in.


cheers
Ed N.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I guess my next question would be is whether or not the 1-inch bar is far superior than the stock bar- for regular driving purposes. Again, I'm not racing this car- I just want something with great drivability.
 

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Keep in mind that as you increase the front bar diameter, you are adding roll stiffness to that end of the vehicle. So if you're understeering
right now, an increase in front bar diameter will increase the understeering condition.
 

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Riverside66 said:
I guess my next question would be is whether or not the 1-inch bar is far superior than the stock bar- for regular driving purposes. Again, I'm not racing this car- I just want something with great drivability.
Yes, a 15/16" or 1" front sway bar is far superior to the stock 5/8" bar for street driving.
The handling with a stock sway bar is so sloppy during avoidance maneuvers, that I consider it downright dangerous. I was able to find a front 15/16" bar from a Ford Granada to fit my '68 Cougar for about $12 in the junkyard.

I currently have a 5/8" Stam Bar rear adjustable sway bar on my '68 and have found out that it balances the car very well with the 15/16" front bar, KYB's and stock springs. The adjustable feature of the rear bar allows you to fine tune it's stiffness. Mine is set more at about the middle point of it's setting. The 5/8" rear bar is the smallest of 3 sizes that Stam Bar makes and I would definitely not go any larger for street use. Permanent mods during installation include drilling two holes through the rear frame rail on each side of the car.
 
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