sway bar / balancer clearance
not sure if i should post this here or in the engine forum, but here we go.. I recently did an engine swap changing from a small block 355 to a small block 406. while the engine was out i made some other changes including adding a 1 1/4" solid front sway bar. in hind sight, this may have been a mistake and I'm now concerned on a couple levels. one concern is the frame mount bushings and bolts. i've hear the horror stories of these heavy sway bars ripping the bolts out of the frame. the next concern is clearance between the sway bar and the harmonic balancer. with the 350, this would not have been an issue, but due to the fact that the small block 400 is externally balanced, it requires a larger balancer. i have the engine sitting in place but have not fired it as I'm still working out a few other issues. as it sits right now, there is very little clearance between the bottom of the harmonic balancer and the top of the sway bar. a couple millimeters at best.
my question is; how much clearance do you think i should need? how much up and down travel will the sway bar have? my fear is that with the front suspension unloaded on a hard launch, causing the sway bar to rise slightly as it does when i jack the car up by the frame, and the engine at wide open throttle & high RPM, the 2 parts meeting would be catastrophic. the same would go for driving over bumps or having the tires on un-even surfaces from side to side.
I'll be very interested to hear your thoughts. especially if anyone has had a similar issue.