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Old 09-25-2005, 08:06 PM
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How thick is too thick?

How thick is too thick of a front sway bar for a daily driver '78 Monte Carlo? I have been clearing out a ton of stuff from my garage. I kept the front bar from my old '79 Monte (3/4"), the bar from the '81 Regal frame donor car (1"), and the factory one for my '78 (7/8") is still on the car. Which one do I use to get the best cornering and best ride quality from this car? Whichever one I use can't give me a too stiff of a ride that the wife won't ride with me. And, I like to drive the twisty roads hard, so no marshmallow suspensions for me. Will that extra 1/8" make a big difference either way? Any thoughts?


In a while, Chet.

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Old 09-25-2005, 08:09 PM
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The thicker, the better....A thicker bar won't harshen the ride, will just make it lean less in corners.
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Old 09-25-2005, 09:04 PM
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O.K. But now how about Poly bushings on a stock bar? Is that going to stiffen it at all either?

In a while, Chet.
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Old 09-25-2005, 09:20 PM
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Marginally, but not much {if at all} The basic function of the bar is to not allow one side of the car to depress the spring, while the other extends, like in a corner when the weight shifts to the outside tire. The thickness of the bar will have little impact if both wheels are hitting a bump at the same time, like a dip in the road, speedbump, etc. You may notice a little when only one wheel hits a pothole, but probly not enough to worry about. Go with the biggest bar you have, I had a 1 1\8 bar on 79 lemans with poly bushings, the ride was exelent, no harshness. While your at it swap the rear bushings for poly as well. You won't regret it.
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Old 09-25-2005, 09:24 PM
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Sounds like I may have to shop the wrecking yard for a thicker bar yet.

Thanks, Chet.
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Old 09-26-2005, 08:38 AM
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O ya, don't forget to add a rear bar as well. look at monte SS, or the grand lemans or higher end cutlass. Alot of these had the real thick bars. If you've got good HP, boxing the rear control arms will do wonders for getting the car of the line too.
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Old 09-26-2005, 09:50 AM
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If you're going to go play with the SCCA guys at an autocross, you definitely need another bar at the rear. Don't forget to disconnect the front bar at the dragstrip. (While you could completely remove it and save the weight, the important thing is to at least disconnect it, so the load difference between right rear and left rear tires won't be so great during launch.)
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Old 09-26-2005, 02:49 PM
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It's already got a bar at the rear. I'm not sure how thick it is (haven't had time to look at it yet), but I just plan on the occasional hard push through my old stomping grounds. I love the twisty roads. Otherwise, it'll just be a sharp daily driver.

Thanks, Chet.
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Old 09-27-2005, 01:27 AM
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Adding a thicker front bar without adding a thicker rear bar can increase the tendency to understeer. However, you might be able to counter the understeer with an appropriate application of throttle.

Disclaimer: the throttle trick does not apply to wrong-wheel-drive vehicles.
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Old 09-28-2005, 11:46 PM
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You can also keep the small factory anti-roll bar and swap to B-body brakes/spindles. You will get 12" rotors insted of the 1.5" ones you have now and you will also raise the roll center above ground (factory they are below ground ). This will improve handling and be less noticable when you hit a pot hole...only downside is cost.
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