: Sway bar end link angles
After reading the post about the torque settings on the sway bar end links, I started wondering if mine is installed correctly? What is the correct installation angles for the sway bar? When I ordered mine from PST, I got two different sets of end link hardware plus I got another set from somewhere else; all different lenghts. I choose a set I thought would not interfere with anything else. That part seems to be ok in that is doesn't hit anything, but I don't know if it's at the proper adjustment. Overall, What is the correct installation procedures for the sway bar?
May 24th, 00, 03:28 PM
I'm not shure there is an absolutely correct way. I'll give you MY ideas and you can select what works for you.
First, the factory probably did a good job of designing the sway bar links, so I'd try and match any aftermarket links to what Chevrolet origonally put on the car.
Second, if there is a good reason to change from the dimensions of the factory links, do it, otherwise modify the aftermarket links to match the factory stuff.
Why change length? Perhaps using a stock length of link on a lowered car would put the sway bar at too great an angle to the end links. Maybe the dropped center of the swaybar is rotated enough that it could hit the vibration damper on the engine. If the end link is too long, it might hit the upper ball joint nut, or subframe around the spring pocket.
I would not go crazy shortining the link, as it will develop too much angle as the suspension travels up and down and create fore/aft or left right pull on the sway bar and may wear the bushings faster. Also, you want the bar to be twisted in corners, not pulled side to side.
In properly designed race cars the sway bar links are very long, over a foot. Usually these bars are adjustable along the bars arm, the long end links makes this possible without undue stress on the bar or linkage. This helps the bar to function more predictably.
In tightening the end links, you want to squash the bushings as much as you can without causing damage to it during operation. How much that is, I don't know. The more squash you get the stiffer the bar is going to act. Quite a bit of sway bar stiffness can be lost in the links, especially if they are stock rubber and not very tight.
I have used the bolt tightness to tune the handling. If I get too much front stiffness, I back the nuts off about three turns each side. It can make a small difference in the front rear balance. A greater difference is achieved by swapping stock rubber bushings two at a time on each side to soften the front bar. This can be done to some rear bars too.
The GM manual calls for 8 foot pounds on the end link nut. I think the stock nut is 5/16", I think most aftermarket links have 3/8" bolts in them, a 3/8" bolt of average strength should not be torqued over 35 ft lbs or it would be damaged. So this puts our torque range between 8lbs min, and 35 lbs max.
I usually tighten the links by hand and watch the bushings swell a little, if they swell to the diamiter of the washers I feel I'm pretty close. It's probably about 10 to 15 ft lbs.
You can improve a stock bars (stock bushings) performance a lot by stuffing something around the bar in the frame mounts to compress the rubber more, and adding some washers under the nuts and tightening them.
The older I get, the faster I was!
[This message has been edited by davidpozzi (edited 05-24-2000).]
May 25th, 00, 01:40 AM
I just installed a 1 1/8" Global West bar. David is right on. The end link spacer is 2 3/4" long, same as stock. Due to the larger bar, the frame brackets hit the lip by the coil spring. I chose to notch the frame for clearance rather than cut and shorten the bracket. When evrything was installed, I noticed the end links at a slight angle towards the outside with the tops ending approximately under the upper balljoint stud ( which I had to grind down a little to fit the nut on ). Has anyone else bought the GW bar? Did it come with instuctions? I called several times and have not gotten a repsonse from Doug. It's a nice bar. In the ideal world, I would like to bar width about 1 1/2" narrower to position the ends between the balljoint stud and the frame! This would also put the end links vertical.
Thanks for the info, maybe this will help more. I am running polyurethane bushings for all mounting points on the sway bar. This is a 1" PST bar that seems to have really helped, but I'm trying to optimize it. With the car sitting on the ground, should the end links be striaght back i.e. parallel to the ground, or should they slope up or down towards/away from the balljoint? Hope that clarifies my question.
May 25th, 00, 05:36 PM
Would optimum bar performance be achieved when there are right angles between the bar, bolt, and lower A-arm at ride height? Excessive angularity (pointing up or down) would seem to shorten the lever arm (stiffer bar), put undue stress on all components, and lower the clearances around other components.
Click here to see see my car and hear 5-speeds. http://www.geocities.com/casanoc
May 25th, 00, 05:55 PM
I think the stock bar had the ends straight with the arms. So it must have been intended to be installed and run with the arms parallel to the ground. If the aftermarket bar were intended to be at an angle different from flat it would have it's ends (eyes) angled. In any case you should want the ends where the grommets seat on the bar to be square to them so you don't overstress or split the bushings.
Now, the stock bar is made for a normal ride height Camaro, so if it were lowered, the ends would need to be bent to stay square with the bushings. (in a perfect world).
Rick, is your new bar the same width as the old one eye to eye? It might be possible to bend the arms cold but I couldn't guarantee it. I'll have to ponder it a while. You could move it front to rear by modifying the frame bracket or drill new holes in the frame. I reinforced my frame holes in anticipation of a heavy bar. They have been known to fail on the second gen Firebirds that used very large bars.
I'd like to see the end links veritcal, not angled. There might be room to re drill the hole in the A frame farther out. I'll have to look at mine. The thing I can't check is weather there would be a clearance problem if it was moved, my car is apart, and I have a 69 that is assembled, but has a racing spindle and Airheart brakes.
I'm not saying having the links angled won't work. On the street or even on the track you probably wouldn't notice. But I certanly wouldn't design one that way from scratch.
You might see shortened life of bushings or something.
The older I get, the faster I was!
May 26th, 00, 02:15 AM
I suspect the GW bar is wider than stock but since I've done the swap I can't tell. There was another post by a person who hasn't installed the GW bar. If your reading, can you take a measurement? Sorry I don't know the name as I am in the middle of this post! I'll see if I can redrill the control arm. However, when I put a rear bar in my GMC truck, the Addco instructions said that +/- about 15 degrees was OK. Also, as I think about this, my car is on jack stands so the angle may diminish when I lower it. Have to check. Anyway, if we can get the measurement ( other bars too ), it would be interesting and useful for those who follow ( and us ).
May 26th, 00, 11:19 AM
For shure you want things straightest when the car is on it's wheels.
The older I get, the faster I was!