Herb Adams Sway Bar & J&M Control Arm Install Help - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 05:08 PM
Agoos SS
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Hello everyone,

I have Herb Adams HA front (with tie rods) and rear sway bars along with J&M extended rear control arms that I purchased a long time ago and for various reasons have not installed them on my 96 SS. I have been out of touch with the Impala scene for quite some time as I don't think this site was even in existence when I began modding my car which only has about 11,000 miles on it. I was able to find the old IGBA Tech web site regarding the installation of the front sway bar. It's been so long I do not remember how the mounting blocks and tie rods should be attatched to the car. If anyone has a picture of A HA front bar with the tie rods I would appreciate seeing it. The IGBA tech page also says the tapered holes in the front bar and lower mounting blocks are not quite deep enough for the tie rod ends to protrude enough to allow the cotter pin to be installed through the castle nut. It says to ream the hole with a tapering bit. Do you ream the sway bar and mounting blocks or just one and not the other? Next, the J&M control arms have what look like "standoffs" with thick "washers" welded on them that I think the rear sway bar is bolted too. Am I correct in my thinking and does the sway bar go directly against the "washers"? Also which is the top and bottom of the rear bar? Any pictures of the rear would be appreciated also.

Thanks for any assistance.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 11:47 PM
sonuvah
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I'm running same set up in back. Where are you in CA? I'm in Morro Bay. Glad to hook up and show you mine and help install if needed. Plan on all day for rear control arms and sway bar install.
John
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2004, 09:28 AM
Agoos SS
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Thanks for your reply John. I'm in "hot" Coalinga. Must be nice to be in Morro Bay. The rear seems to be a fairly staight forward operation while I'm still a little confused on the front with the mounting blocks and tie rods. I know you don't have the same front set up as I do. On the rear does the sway bar mount directly on those "stand-offs" on the control arms and does the sway bar go "flat" side up? There just doesn't seem to be enough mounting surface on he "stand-offs" with that big sway bar. I have everything for the install except for new grade 8 bolts for the rear sway bar. When I'm over your way some day I would like to check out your car.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2004, 10:26 PM
sonuvah
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Quote:
On the rear does the sway bar mount directly on those "stand-offs" on the control arms and does the sway bar go "flat" side up? There just doesn't seem to be enough mounting surface on he "stand-offs" with that big sway bar.
Yes, the swaybar mounts directly to the stand off posts. It's a good idea to put a nylon washer between the bar and the control arm at each bolt hole to prevent creaking later on. Add grease also. Also use two nylon "airplane" nuts with each bolt for secure locking. There's a lot of torque on these suckers and you don't want those to loosen up on you. Not quite sure what you mean by flat side up, but the side that is flush with the rest of the bar goes up.
Not quite sure about your questions with the front. I'd have to see your set up to offer any opinions. Got pics?
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2004, 11:51 PM
Agoos SS
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John, the side flush with the rest of the bar is what I was referring to, thanks. Also thanks for the tip regarding using a nylon washer between the sway bar and the control arms. I was going to use a lock washer with a nut and locktite. Your "airplane" nut or what I call a "nylock" nut without a lockwasher would be a better way to go you think? No, I do not have any photos at this time. I have all the parts in the garage waiting to do the install. Regarding the front, the mounting blocks and tie rods replace the end links that are typically used like on the stock set up. Anyone out there with any photos and or info on reaming out the holes would be appreciated. I'm also planning on putting on the heavy duty Bilstein shocks once I get the sway bars and control arms installed. Once the suspension mods are done I also have some T-84 headlights and Painless wiring kit that I also bought some years ago that need to get installed.
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-27-2004, 09:54 PM
SSmoothie
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I have the HA bars and sometime this weekend I'll see if I can get pics up for you.

Clay
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2004, 09:59 AM
elixir
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The J&M arms are only designed to use with a stock sway bar.

Using them with the HA bar will cause breakage of the arms. I have a set of J&M arms at the house that were snapped off this way.

Get rid of the J&M arms and get something better such as the BMR arms.

I was lucky cause mine broke while I was pulling into a parking lot so I was only doing 10 mph..

They do NOT have the additional bracing required to handle the excess stress the HA or HO bars will do to the arms.
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2004, 10:51 AM
Agoos SS
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Thanks Clay that would be a big help. I started on the rear end last night and hopefully should finish up this morning. I would also like to get started on the front bar as well. I'm still not quite sure exactly how the mounting blocks and tie rods are supposed to be mounted.

John
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2004, 10:03 PM
sonuvah
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Elixer: I've been running the J&M extended length control arms w/ HO swaybars front and rear for 2+ yrs now (30k) w/o breakage. I don't drive the car real hard, but have autocrossed, roadraced, and dragged at Vegas Nationals. No signs of cracks, etc. Where did yours fail?
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-29-2004, 10:13 AM
elixir
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Right behind where the sway bars mount.

When you do things that will twist the rear end it puts tremendous stress on the bars.(Such as going up a driveway from an angle like you would when entering a sloped entrance driveway from the street.)

Mine had no sign of stress you could see either. Broke right at the mounting hole of the sway bar and when I removed the thing you could see why.

When I originally posted about mine there were a number of people who had the same problem. Then I was told they were made for STOCK sway bars and are only marginally stronger then stock.

I called up BMR and talked to them and they went the same route originally and had them break. They have since reinforced the heck out of them and they told me they are NOT very likely to break.

My J&M arm snapped when I pulled into a gas station parking lot at about a 45degree angle to the road up the sloped driveway. I heard a snap just as I was pulling over the sidewalk. Didn't know what it was until I tried to backup and the tire started rubbing on the fender. I was really pissed when I figured out what happened.

I still use the J&M adjustable uppers but the lowers have been replaced with BMR extended arms.
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