Rare suspension: HO/HA group buy sway bars - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2016, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Rare suspension: HO/HA group buy sway bars

HO/HA group buy sway bars
If I can arrange for 8 more people ...1 3/8" solid front bar, 1 1/2" solid rear bar, mounting hardware for the front includes poly bushings and end links. The 1 3/8" solid is 40% stiffer than the larger, hollow, longer 1 7/16" Hotchkis front sway bar. The rear of course is crazy stiffer than any other rear bar. The Limo is neutral (at 8000 lbs.) but the sedan hot set up for these bars is FE1 springs (really), or for sky high great handling (See Porsche SUV's) any 9C1 or trailer tow springs. Bruce at Malibu Performance has sold his last in stock set but will produce a new run of 20 sets once he has a group purchase. Every limo owner I know back in the states (I'm in Switzerland) wants a set. Like myself these are people who use their 94-96 FWB Limo to haul their dogs around. My daughter Lisbeth about 4 years ago drove my limo around Virginia International Raceway as fast as the average time for a stock Impala SS. (Horsepower, monster brakes and unreal handling is the magic on 15X8.5's and 275/60-15 Firehawks!) Details on my 96 FWB Limo I posted a few days ago on the forum announcement. Easily the rarest limo in Zurich, SW. right now. So I need 8 more to sign up. He's trying to keep the price per set as close to $321.00 as new production allows. I'll know the exact price by next week. I'll respond to any technical questions asap.He's in Malibu so I'm 9 time zones away so delays will happen. Who's in?
PS (expanding on a PM) A long time ago Glenn @ Quickor Suspension made a 1 3/8" solid rear bar specifically made to balance the HO/HA 1 3/8" solid front bar. It was a lot softer than the 1 1/2" solid rear bar because it was thinner and longer (bent like a FE3 rear bar) and was really the largest rear bar for sedans for optimal handling, especially with SS or 9C1 springs or any stiffer ones. Various current 1 3/8" HOLLOW rear bars are now made which of course is even softer than the solid and easier to find a matching front bar. Counter intuitive as it may seem, the 1 1/2" rear bar only really works best with FE1 springs but a lot of folks really like using it with other stiffer set ups because it drastically reduces body roll and inclines the car to oversteer. Not optimal handling but fun it's own way especially if you like to easily break the rear loose in oversteer, GM has always avoided neutral or oversteering suspensions for corporate liability reasons. Funny coincidence department :FE1, 9C1, V92 FE3 OEM suspensions AND aftermarket ones from Hotchkis, Hellwig and many others all kept the delta GM mandated of slightly larger front bars than rear. At least in sway bars that inclined the suspension to understeer. On a base Caprice with no rear bar, just using the 1 1/16" front bar and with adding a 1 1/16" rear (from the FE3) will remove the bar induced part of the understeer and make the car more neutral. An OEM SS with a 1 3/16" front bar and adding an aftermarket ~1 1/4" rear bar does the same. Ironic that the aftermarket sway bar sets all preserve the 1/8" delta GM had and so even though they increased roll resistance, they kept the understeer. Only BMR broke the tradition with 1 1/4" fronts paired with the 1 1/2" rear, but they jumped the shark with a 1/4" delta so they took out the understeer and went way into oversteer. Combined with stiffer bushing control arms (required in the rear) and most guys stiffer springs,shocks, tires! Just too much oversteer. A neutral set up really is better for everything.

Last edited by scot; 08-13-2016 at 06:55 AM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Redundant but,

Really good addition: Pro-Touring F-Body Performance front frame brace, Dave gave us a price reduction @ $65.00 cheap and a flat $10.00 ship fee. Makes a solid front 1 3/8" sway bar a sway bar instead of a very impressive looking front frame rail bender.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scot View Post
Only BMR broke the tradition with 1 1/4" fronts paired with the 1 1/2" rear, but they jumped the shark with a 1/4" delta so they took out the understeer and went way into oversteer.
Pretty sure it actually was Herb Adams first. He introduced the 1 1/2" bars to pair with his 1 5/16" bars back on the box b-body's. Still have his old suspension pamphlet from back then.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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You are right, it was Adams who invented oversteer for these B-, and A-body cars. I have the Herb Adams H-O racing parts catalog from God knows what year but a 64 GTO is on the cover and mentions an 84 Trans Am. It does list everything up to 1 3/8" solid front sway bars to the 1 1/2" solid rear. He did also recommend his 480 lbs. front springs and the Trams-Am steering box for the A-bodies; and his HopStop boxed RLCA's for all A +B bodies.
My quote "GM has always avoided neutral or oversteering suspensions for corporate liability reasons. Funny coincidence department :FE1, 9C1, V92 FE3 OEM suspensions AND aftermarket ones from Hotchkis, Hellwig and many others all kept the delta GM mandated of slightly larger front bars than rear."..
.. is about oem cars and the aftermarket responses. Working for Pontiac led Adams to a grey and somewhat unique status as oem and aftermarket trickster and guru.
"Only BMR broke the tradition with 1 1/4" fronts paired with the 1 1/2" rear, but they jumped the shark with a 1/4" delta so they took out the understeer and went way into oversteer."...was in reference to the "jump the shark" extreme of 1 1/4" front, even more oversteer inducing than Adam's 1 5/16" and 1 3/8" front bars with 1 3/8 + 1 1/2 rears.


So to be clear about all the current aftermarket, IF, big IF but if Bruce @ Malibu will again produce the 1 3/8 F + 1 1/2 R bars; that will be unique in sets with less oversteer than BMR. BMR still uses a maximum 1 1/4" F with it's mega rear, making them the oversteer champ. Every other aftermarket producer has a delta in stiffness between F+R bars inclining toward understeer. Previously I've confused the current reality with references to products from Quickor Suspension and HO, among others long out of business.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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A blast from the past

In the 9/92 issue of Car Craft . Ken Crocie of H-O racing put his brutally used and abused 1964 GTO crammed full of parts from the H-O Racing parts catalog against a new ZR-1 Corvette. Yeah, I know magazine lies, trust no one, but in the very unique GTO the slalom speed recorded higher than the then new ZR-1; overall handling on the road course too...the fun part for a B-body owner is an ancient, not so different A-body with 154 lbs. rear springs and boxed RLCA's and a weirdly bent 1 3/8" solid rear bar (deliberately not the 1 1/2 rear ) and 480 lbs front springs the 1 3/8" solid front sway bar. I quote "It's one of the few totally neutral cars we've ever sampled..." Compare it to B-body oem 444 lbs. front springs and 154 lbs. rear springs. Just a data item for the assertion that equal diameter solid sway bars F+R, especially with OEM springs, does incline toward neutral handling. (or equal diameter hollow sway bars F+R) Mix parts from different aftermarket sets is > IMHO.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 05:09 PM
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Just noticed Belltech offers solid front and rear bars at 1 1/4" Rear looks almost flat except for added space around the center section.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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It only took 60 years!

Finally same diameter F+R aftermarket sway bars. New to me, 1st time I've seen it. 1 1/4" solids. All I had to do was emigrate! What a car the 1955 Bel Air (and all later GM sedans) could have been.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 06:58 PM
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Here's the rear one. Looks better than the one in the f/r kit.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/b.../model/caprice
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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Have IQ's....

From post #1 of this thread.

" On a base Caprice with no rear bar, just using the 1 1/16" front bar and with adding a 1 1/16" rear (from the FE3) will remove the bar induced part of the understeer and make the car more neutral. An OEM SS with a 1 3/16" front bar and adding an aftermarket ~1 1/4" rear bar does the same."

Everything old is new again. While the F+R 1 1/4" solid bars cost ~$529 they do have poly bushing up front. Here's the El Cheapo alternative that would be very similar in performance. The oem solid 1 3/16" front bar for a very few dollars as junk (Some kind forum member would give them away most times) In fact poly bushings for that bar are mega cheap. Then spend $65.00 + $10.00 shipping for the Pro-Touring F-Body front frame brace and the 1 3/16" solid will function just as a 1 1/4" solid. Probably only a few dollars for a junk 1 1/4" which exist for F+R too. And you'll have the frame brace and poly bushings and equivalent performing sway bars all for about $450. less than the Belltech 1 1/4" set without the frame brace.
With real kindness and in humility, including myself...In homage to Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley ... "Have IQ's dropped drastically since I've been away?"
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Dead

No one is willing to manufacture these solid 1 3/8 + 1 1/2 bars. So you're limited to what's out there now. Lot's of great combinations even some just for those who hate welding.
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