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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was inspired by NGrownToNale ‘s installation of a crown vic sway bar (you should read that post first if you haven't already), and since I wanted to improve the handling of my wagon without spending the hundreds and hundreds of dollars on Hotchkis bars and new LCR’s, it seemed like my kind of mod. I dropped a slightly larger SS/9C1 bar in the front, and since I don’t have access to any sort of welding, this is what I came up with for the rear.

Contrary to what you would think, the police crown vic’s do NOT have the largest rear sway bar within the crown vic lineup. They do have the stiffest rear springs though, so I guess the thinking is that the stiffer springs compensate for the thinner bar. The thickest bar came on the civilian vic’s and grand marquis’ that were ordered with a “Handling and Performance Package”, as well as the Marauder. This bar is 21mm or 13/16”. Super beefy? No, but certainly a lot thicker than nothing. Since the odds of finding one of these bars in a junkyard ain’t great, I just ordered a new one from Ford, shipped to my door for $52. It comes with rubber bushings, but they don’t work for this approach, so I got some 13/16 bushings from Energy Suspension. End links I had to play around, the stock vic length ones are too long, so after some measuring I got some Energy end links that have a center section of 2-3/8”. Now as far as attaching the bushings to the axle, I used exhaust clamps. Our axle is 3” in diameter, so I just got 3” exhaust clamps (I ordered these from summit, which have 3/8” u-bolt and are stainless steel, less fancy ones would probably work). I didn’t use the flat part, just the u-bolt and the nuts, because as it turns out the u-bolt fits exactly in the holes in the sway bar bushing bracket. Since the bushings can't sit directly against the curved surface of the axle, I got two pieces of 2” wide steel bar, and drilled 7/16” holes in them to match the u-bolt and brackets so that the actual bushing had something to sit on. So then I put the u-bolt over the top of the axle with the threaded parts pointing down (spread them as far apart on the sway bar as possible), slipped my little drilled steel bars over the ubolt, then slipped the sway bar bracket, bushing and bar over the steel bar and bolted it into place (nice and tight here). For the end links, I ended up attaching them at a different point than Tonale, simply because the ends of my bar ended up in a different place then his, for whatever reason. There is some sort of cross brace that goes across the car right there, so I drilled 5/8” holes and dropped in the end links. Voila!

So my total cost for a front bar bought used from this forum plus everything I described above was about $175, which is a lot less than the $600 or so you would be out with a Hotchkis setup. I am sure the Hotckis gear will give you better handling, but for my daily driving needs this works great, I just tossed the car around some windy country roads and it was an amazing difference. The axle bushings didn’t move either- they may be more likely to move than if they were welded on, but I didn’t notice and significant movement.

If anyone is interested, I could post pictures, but my wife currently is on vacation and has the camera (it is beyond me why she didn’t want to stick around for wagonfest)


Sway Bar: Ford YW7Z-5A772-CA
End Links: Energy Suspension 9.8125
Bushings: Energy Suspension 9.5157
3” exhaust clamps: Summit SUM-G4730
¼” x 2” x 5” steel bar (www.onlinemetals.com if you can’t find it locally)

[ 07-30-2007, 08:49 PM: Message edited by: RoadMattster ]
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's a pretty good solution. The stresses are all on the frame and the axle tube, leaving the LCAs alone. That's kind of the reverse mounting of the setup on my Cordoba; the sway bar bushings are bolted to the rear frame rails, and the end links attach to the shock mounting pad at the axle/spring pack. That way the weight of the sway bar is on the body, not the axle directly.

Oh, I see you've indicated the stock C.V. end links are too long.

But this looks like a great setup. Matt, thanks for your effort!

[ 07-30-2007, 11:10 AM: Message edited by: Moparman ]
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Matt showed me this setup at WagonFest 2007 and it looks VERY nice. The bends in the bars line up very well with the B-body undercarriage. The way it anchors to the axle and frame is strong enough and avoids the problems you run into with mounting them to the lower control arms. Nice job!
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey Joel- thanks for the good words, it was good to see you again.

Well those three pics sum it up pretty well- I have gone over uneven dirt roads, and taken curves to at tire squealing speeds, and nothing seems to have moved really.

As far as figuring out where to drill the hole for the end link, I installed the clamps onto the axle first, positioned it so that it clears everything and so that the end of the swaybar is parallel to the ground, then just looked up through the hole in the end of the swaybar, and drilled the hole at that spot. It worked out nicely where it ended up, because at that point the diagonal brace is overlapping the bigger cross brace, so I drilled the hole through two layers of metal, making it even stronger. Based on TOnales pictures though, I suspect that the end links may end up in different places depending on the car (I am not sure why).

Also, HERE is a good place to get the actual swaybar.

Here is a closeup of the clamp assembly and metal bar....





[ 07-30-2007, 08:58 PM: Message edited by: RoadMattster ]
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yup- the Crown Vic endlinks were almost an inch longer. The way I figured out what length I needed, was I installed the clamps and bar to the axle, then rotated the bar until the ends of the bar were parallel to the surface of the frame brace, then just measured the distance between the frame surface and bar end.

I know muscle car era Mopars were notable for their superior handling- my first car was a 69 Valiant 2-door with a 273- not the fastest thing out there but still dear to my heart.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Am I missing something? By connecting the endlinks to the frame, doesn't that setup another "arm" of the suspension - a 3rd link after the UCA and LCA? Shouldn't swaybar endlinks always connect from one side of the suspension to the other - and not to the frame or body? It seems like hooking up a swaybar this way would screw up suspension geometry, maybe causing more deflection in the control arm bushings to compensate for this change in geometry. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Because the links allow for to aft movement there is no bind.
A stand alone bar such as this is a good thing for the control arms as they are left alone to do their job of locating the axle.

I do have a couple of concerns with this particular setup.
I do feel the flat plate alone against the housing will give in time allowing the whole assembly to loosen up.

Also have you jacked up one side of the car.
It may be an illusion but it appears to me the sway bar would run into the axle tube at any large angle difference between axle and frame.

Good job though.
While you guys are trying to hunt down bars to adapt to the rear, don't overlook the front of some cars.
Gery
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think it will add some stress to the axle tube itself as well, and I believe the part of the frame on the Crown Vics that the endlinks connect to have experienced some cracking in police cars.
Next time I'm at the RCMP post garage, I'll ask them again.
 
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