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Old 12-16-2007, 09:15 AM
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Panhard bar with leaf spring suspension

Rodders,

My truckrod is a 55 Chevy shortbox stepside 3100, sbc motor, manual trans. Front suspension is a TCI MII design, lowered 6". Rear suspension is a new TCI leaf spring setup, lowered 6". I want the truck to handle well as an "every weekend" cruiser, and I live in an area with relatively smooth but twisty rural roads. I'd like the truck to handle really well on the twisty's. Question: would adding a panhard bar (with Heim joints at each end) along the centerline of the rear axle be a wise move to help eliminate any side-to-side sway of the leaf suspension?

Thanks in advance.
Antny

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Old 12-16-2007, 09:25 AM
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I think your best bet would be to add a good quality anti roll bar.This will help stop body roll in the twistys which is probably more of a problem than side to side movement of the rear end. You should also add one on the front if you dont already have one.
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:24 AM
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IIRC, I've seen them on factory cars, so it isn't unheard of.
I'd make the bar as long as possible and bush the ends with rubber instead of heim joints, to prevent binding.


A better choice for a lateral control with leaf springs is a watts link, as it allows no lateral movement throughout the suspension travel.

Here is a pic I found on the 'net.



The links can either be on the housing or frame.

Later, mikey


BTW, my dad's name is Antny,(Anthony) too When he moved to Ca he shortened it up even further to Tony.

I was born in Brooklyn, it's been a long time since I been back.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:43 AM
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A panhard or watts link won't make any appreciable difference on a parallel leaf suspension unless you used shackles to drop it. Even then, the difference will hardly be noticable. A watts link is capable of providing precise suspension control but the cost compared to a panhard just isn't worth it unless you are going for the ultimate in handling. Use up all the other handling devices first. Rubber bushing deflection is the worst offender. Poly bushings will creak and groan in a short period of time. Nylon is the best for street usage, or steel or heim joints for all out control. ANTI ROLL BARS, Tire offsets and backspacing, proper spring rates, tuned damping, ride height, alignment both front, rear, and to each other will get you what you desire.
.. Performance suspensions and stock suspensions for that matter are built on compromises. Over the years, these compromises have been worked to a fairtheewell. So, building a suspension the works with itself is a not a mystery. Read up on what works and apply it to what you have.
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerrodsmike
IIRC, I've seen them on factory cars, so it isn't unheard of.
I'd make the bar as long as possible and bush the ends with rubber instead of heim joints, to prevent binding.


A better choice for a lateral control with leaf springs is a watts link, as it allows no lateral movement throughout the suspension travel.

Here is a pic I found on the 'net.



The links can either be on the housing or frame.

Later, mikey


BTW, my dad's name is Antny,(Anthony) too When he moved to Ca he shortened it up even further to Tony.

I was born in Brooklyn, it's been a long time since I been back.
Funny, I was born in California (Alhambra), raised in da Bronx!

I have anti-roll bars on the front and rear. The rear shackles are short, and all the bushings are new nylon. Rear end is from an S10 Xtreme (narrow), bed will be tubbed mildly due to wide (15x10 rims) rear tires. Am I OK with what I already have? Am I trying to overdo this?

Antny
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:06 PM
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I think you would be much happy with ANTI ROLL BARS,I don't think the pan-hard bar will make the difference you are looking for.Hope this helps you. sorry posted this a little late.
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:17 PM
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If you already have hard bushings , short shackles, sway bars and are tubbing that truck...if you really feel the need for a lateral control, I would not use a panhard bar...there is already alot of lateral control in what you have, and to add a panhard bar to all of that would cause a suspension bind. Add to that the fact that you will wind up with a short panhard bar, and it would probably make it handle worse.

With all of that you are still experiencing rear end movement?

I'd do a watts link or nothing.

Later,
Mikey
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Old 12-16-2007, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntnyL
Funny, I was born in California (Alhambra), raised in da Bronx!

I have anti-roll bars on the front and rear. The rear shackles are short, and all the bushings are new nylon. Rear end is from an S10 Xtreme (narrow), bed will be tubbed mildly due to wide (15x10 rims) rear tires. Am I OK with what I already have? Am I trying to overdo this?

Antny
I think you will be Ok with what you have....anything more would just be over kill.
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Old 12-16-2007, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Highrise
I think you will be Ok with what you have....anything more would just be over kill.
OK, thanks Henry....and others. With the chassis complete, it's onto the body work then!

Antny
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Old 12-21-2007, 08:37 AM
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I've been reading a good suspension book by a guy by the name of Bob Bolles. I don't think too many people realize that leaf spring offer a fair amount of roll resistance and do not need a rear roll bar while just the opposite is true on a coil sprung rear axle. Keep in mind with a panhard the rear axle must follow the arc of the panhard which wll cause binding at some point. The bushings on the leafs must have enough compliance to accomodate this otherwise you can start to tear parts up. You can also increase the density of the front bushings in the leafs to increase or decrease roll resistance. Putting in stiffer front bushings will not only add to increase roll resistance but will also act like a panhard or watts linkage in reducing side deflection. Panhard bars also react to rear axle torque and have an effect on roll resitance. lots going on with a panhard that people just don't realize.
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