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Ditto on the tailpipes. When my last Grand Marquis bit the dust, I removed the only-6-month-old dual exhaust system for the next Panther I would buy.

But then I found a '77 Coupe DeVille for $100. The Panther tailpipes fit as though they were made for the car. Can't say the same for the H-pipe, with that trans crossmember made for the HUGE pellet catalyst.

But with some tweaking, I had a 2-1/4" dual system to let that 425 breathe!

I dont recall the Cadillac complaining about what vehicle the system was from...

When the Caddy gave up the ghost, I took the system off again. I think now I will adapt the tailpipes and Dynomaxes to my Caprice, as I was quoted $500 for a 2-1/4" cat-back with tailpipes from the same shop that built the used system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Well golly I do . . . It's hard to tell in the photo, but the end link is tilted towards the front of the car to fit in that slot. It was easy enough to loosen and rotate the muffler clamp-bushing assembly rearward to get the links to line up better to where I drilled the hole in the U-channel. (I'll have to take a separate picture of that).

 

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I found my next mod after I wrap my dash!!! not sure if it will make a big difference because i drive hard and have ALOT of stereo wight over the axle
 

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WOW! ALL this 'positive' enthusiasm, several years, after the orginal post!

I can't find my set of orginal pictures, to show how I made that 'slot' into a 'hole' like on the CV's frame gusset. The ONLY way to change out that gusset, (remove the Caprice, weld in the CV) is if the body is off the frame. BOTH gussets are IDENTICAL except for the 'slot/hole'

Anyway. I inserted a same thickness of metal, the same width at the 'slot', only the one end of the inserted piece of filler metal was rounded, so when it was welded into place there was a complete round hole, for the link bolt bushing to 'set' into.

I guess, being an 'old' '1960's-'70's Street Rodder, (before CNC/billet aliminum/complete parts catalogs) one just naturally took parts from other cars, either, made 'em (modified) fit or bolted the parts on. One back then, learned to have an 'eye' at how to tell if parts from one make of vehicle woul fit another make of vehicle decades older.

Anyway.

Sure wish someone would buy my wagon. CVic bar is already there! LOL '95 No Wood Wagon' in the for sale section. Boo-Coo pictures.

Now, it would be interisting to do a side by side comparison on a Auto-X course between two identical wagons, one with the pricer $$$ LCA's/front/rear swaybar kits, and one with a junk yard Crown Vic set up, to see if the more $$$ expencive set up is any better?
 

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i asked on the 1st page but never got a reply so ill ask again.if its stupid just say so.has anyone ever put a rear 9c1 bar on the rear of a caprice wagon?
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I think this is a better setup, personally.
 

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see i have a extra 9c1 bar laying around.figured i could put it to good use if someone could tell me how.
thanks for the info
 

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GONZO DID!!!! nhgonzo is his sign on..........
He did...along with the entire sedan rearend though.
Sorry for the late response.I do have the 9C1 sway bar in the wagon along with a sedan rear end,reason being is that the sedan rear is narrower just enough so that I can stuff a set of reverse off set wheels in the rear( yes the spring perches need to move outward but didn't ,yes the arms are a bit snugger because of the angle) to get the staggered look.During the winter I am going to attempt / fabricate a bracket so that I can add the 9C1 sway bar to my 96 RMW with some square tubing and .25 flat stock doesn't look hard the problem is the time.Tim from PA. I didn"t forget you OK.Tim from FL. I hope this helps.
 

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Here's my Crown Vic set up. These pics are of a mix of parts but I went back and got the entire set up from the Crown Vic, bar, endlinks and even the bushings, figured there was no harm in putting used rubber bushings in my car that has used rubebr bushings. The only parts that you need other than the junk parts are 2 pieces of flat steel stock and 2 3" muffler clamps. I welded the flat stock to the axel housing but not sure that's necessary.

Total cost? $25.





 

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I'm in the same boat as Gonzo I boxed the orginal control arms and bought urathane bushings.Also have the 1/4 flat stock just not enuff time to get it mocked up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I didn't even use any flat stock between the muffler clamp and the bushing, just bolted them together.
 

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I just can't see how with that much load under spirited driving, how the muffler clamps are strong enough to keep things in place on the axle???

And... Has anyone seen how much those panthers lean in the corners? Aren't they also lighter than our cars? So how is their stock bar going to be an upgrade? I mean, sure, it's better for us than NO bar... But would those that really want these cars to handle be better suited to a Set of Hotchkis bars designed for our vehicles? Or maybe just an upgraded panther bar? Or is this design that much superior to ours that it'll make a HUGE difference?

Don't get me wrong, I REALLY want this to work for me! :)

I just want to make sure it's the right thing to do, too. ;)
 

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The design really is better, Bill. I agree, though, that the stock Panther bar probably isn't ideal for real spirited driving. The aftermarket ones should be more than adequate though. I drove a Marauder when it was brand new and it cornered pretty much dead flat and the aftermarket bars are even bigger than that had.

As far as the muffler clamps holding up it looks like so far so good. The thing that makes this design no superior is that the load on the exle tubes is purely vertical. Only under extreme articulation will there be any compoenent of force trying to spin the clamps on the tubes. Think about how much vertical force gets transferred through the 3/8ths or 1/2" diameter endlinks on a front bar (a lot more than the rear will see for sure). That said I'd at least use 1/2" diameter leaf spring u-bolts since they're cheap enough anyway.

The issue with the Hotchkis bar is not that it doesnt function but that it was designed for wagons is that its still based on the GM design which dates back to the A-body of 1964 (or maybe even older in other platforms?). Bolting the bar to the LCA's works but putting all those loads through 2 pairs of bushings and the long lever of the LCA's into a somewhat flimsy mounting point on the frame just isn't a great way to get it done. The Panther bar puts the load directly through the endlink into the frame and endlinks and bar bushings can be stiff poly without causing binding unlike poly control arm bushings.
 

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When you begin to modify your car for better handling, the system only becomes as good as the weakest link, and the weakest link keeps changing as you continue to modify. When you correct one thing, another needs attention. Change the sway bar, you need better tires, change the tires, you find the control arm bushings are sloppy. Change them, and maybe the arms themselves need strengthening. Get that done, and now you put poly bushings in the end links. Now you're happy, the car corners so much better, and you start playing more, taking off ramps faster, and you're congratulating yourself on how much you saved with the Ford bar. Of course, you like to show a couple of your friends how good it corners too.
What you don't realise, is that the considerable extra weight of the wagon is putting a side load force on that poor triangle brace that is just there to brace the rear crossmember to the frame. What will be the consequences? Will it kink the frame? Crack the rear crossmember? The cost to repair that, would be considerable. It would mean dropping the rearend out, the exhaust, and anything else to weld it back up.
What you call an antiquated system, actually works well, and if you think the points the control arms bolt to are weak, what is your thought on that poor little brace you want to bolt to?
There is just no substitute for doing things right the first time. I understand that we all want to save money, and get maximum benefit for minimum investment, but lets think these things through. We're talking about cars here that will be hauling wives and children on the street. Two places we should not be cutting corners is in brakes and suspension. A failure here could cost limb or life. If you engine or trans fails, you coast to the side of the road. Brakes or suspension failure could put you off the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I can attest to the sturdiness of the U-channel cross brace that I drilled into for the end link attachment point. It is beefy. I did move mine from that triangular slotted corner brace just to be extra sure, but it sure seems solid.

Think about the front bar attaching point for the bushings. There are four relatively small bolts holding the bushing plate to the frame. The muffler clamps appear to be far stronger than those bolts so I would judge that the attachment of the anti-sway bar to the axle is substantial. I've checked mine and it has not rotated or shifted whatsoever. I don't baby this car in the turns, and it gets a good workout as a wagon. The rear end links are also rock solid, and sit as close to perpendicular as my eyeballs can tell.

I still think the ideal setup is as on my '80 Cordoba; the anti-sway bar is bolted to the unibody subframe above and behind the axle - less unsprung weight. The end links then attach to the same steel plate that mounts the axles and shocks to the springs. This setup is kind of the reverse of that; anti-sway bar mounted on axle and end links attach to frame. Maybe that's a different approach somebody could investigate. But rear sway bars from the Volare/Aspen/Cordoba body years are rare. The ones from the full-size Cordoba are more plentiful, and they mount the same way. The only real work is building something to attach to the axle, so that end links can be bolted on.

I'll see if I can scan a diagram from the FSM.
 
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