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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a search but had no luck. What year(s) f-body is the best donor for the sway bar and is there any other parts (from the donor car) I should get. I have at least 25 f-bodys to choose from and am only looking for a minor improvement through a low cost solution. Preciate the help. Thanks.
 

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76 or 77 to 81 Firebird TransAm is the best bet, but no matter what, the only F-body front bar that fits is from the 2nd generation, built 1970-1981.

Bar measures 1.25" diameter.

The bar does carry a downside--the bar's shape puts it closer to the pitman arm and the "arms" (end of bar that turn rearward) are shorter than the B-body version, which results in end-links not being vertical. The end links wear more quickly, and the tendency to wear the holes for the links in the lower control arms is accelerated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks

You answered my question and then some.
 

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My SS failed state inspection as BOTH of the topmost endlink bushings were gone! And both sides top washer had dished themselves to the shape of the bushing pocket. So, I got a set of urethane replacement bushings and washers but I just could not get the bushings to compress enough for the dam nut to start. I played the trouble off as the difference in squishness going from original rubber to urethane. After at least 3 hours, 7 bags of cement on each side of the hood and 3 vice grips I finally got everything crammed together.

During install I had noticed the angle of the bar was way off-angle but I figured it should and would get more parallel under weight. Wrong! The angle didn't change at all and it was totally jacked. It was easy to see why the top bushings had destructed themselves seeing the unequal pressure they carried.

Believe me this going somewhere. ;)

I had installed an F-body bar 10 years ago and the cliffs version is, "Bill's right." The angle is way different and requires an assembly that's 1 1/2" longer overall than stock. I was sweating bullets before I caught this thread wondering why my 2" oem sleeve length was wrong.

I viewed the apps in the catalog here (p.9);

http://www.energysuspension.com/assets/files/2010-energy-suspension-catalog.pdf

I see I'll have to go from my current 2" long 9.8213 length to a 3 9/16" sleeve style 9.8124.

BTW, I stole the link from yet ANOTHER of Bill's replies on another thread :D)

Other misc. findings;
1. Even after rotating the bar up 1 1/2 more inches there will still be 2" more rotation clearance before it contacts the frame.
2. Couple this with static "frame-to-bumpstop just touching" of ~1 1/8". It does not appear the bumpstop could compress much more than an additional 1/2-3/4" on top of that so I should not see trouble with the bar ever hitting the frame.

Bob out
 

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Why I don't recommend the F-body bar:

1. Note the worn areas identified by the red arrows--one arm is viewed from top, other is from bottom. This was a pair of LCA's that had used the F-bar for at least 8 years.

2. The second picture shows the cupped washer repair & reinforcement (by welding) that gets done on all control arms that I build.
 

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Bill, yep, a carbon copy of the worn holes on mine. Well, I got the 9.8124 installed - with a wrinkle. The good news is the end aligned much closer to parallel considering the 1 1/2" longer sleeve length. The bad news is the bolts do not have near enough overall extra thread length needed to get a nut started, which takes me back to exactly the same problem I had before. :(

As you state, the F-Body bar arms are 'shorter' than a B-Body which cocks the link angle over off-center, plus the -GB version of bushings I ordered (Graphite Black) appear to be even harder durometer than the Red bushings I was trying initially. These are two more compounding factors, on top of the rotational non-parallel issue, that are making this simple install so exasperating.

Anyway, I ended up taking a hacksaw to the sleeves and shortened them 1/2" which gave the added thread needed to finally get everything together. For the record (and search) this provided a net 1" longer endlink setup over stock.

This has sure been a bear considering such a small retrofit. I know I never had this kind of trouble with the initial mod 10 or 12 years ago, but that had to be because of just reusing the soft stock rubber bushings. For all the raves about the F-body bar I've never caught any of these documented (and apparently obvious) downside issues before coming across this thread. :confused:
 

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Bob, there is a way to properly use the F-bar, but it requires some fabrication work.

Combined with the information posted here, to provide a good anchor point for the clamps or anything else attached there, which would involve spacing the bar down about an inch AND rearward to the extent that the links from the control arms would then be vertical. The spacing DOWN is necessary to clear the pitman and idler arms.

I have pictures that I'll send you via e-mail that illustrate this, not sure I can post them here.

PM me with your current e-mail, not sure I have one that is functional right now.
 

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Bob, there is a way to properly use the F-bar, but it requires some fabrication work.

Combined with the information posted here, to provide a good anchor point for the clamps or anything else attached there, which would involve spacing the bar down about an inch AND rearward to the extent that the links from the control arms would then be vertical. The spacing DOWN is necessary to clear the pitman and idler arms.

I have pictures that I'll send you via e-mail that illustrate this, not sure I can post them here.
Bill, thanks for the pics. These best shows the down and rear relocation to match up the geometry better. I heard mention that the pitman arm is the limiting hardpoint for shifting any further rearward, but the endlink already has a much improved perpendicular lineup with the lower control arm.
 

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Good info.

Any chnace we might be able to get a better picute of the entire setup? I'd like to see the setup as a whole to get a better visual of where its located and why it was designed that way.

It almost looks as though whoever made it is using it an an extra anti-swaybar (sort of).
 
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