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Old 12-13-2012, 08:49 PM
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Straight Front Axle sway bar

Has anyone installed a sway bar on a straight front axle in an old pickup?
I installed an S10 rear axle on my 36 Chevy pickup and found that I had a roll issue in hard turns, so I am installing the sway bar that came with it.
I am wandering if it would pay me to install a sway bar on the straight front axle and what sway bar set up would you suggest?

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Old 12-14-2012, 11:39 AM
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I've built a number of straight front axle cars, and never put a front swaybar on yet. The heaviest were a few Tri 5 gassers, and even they didn't exhibit body roll. Of course thesee were all parallel leaf springs, and you didn't mention if you went parallel or transverse.
If you went transverse, then you may want to go with a swaybar if the car sits up high, and is fairly heavy. Another option with transverse is to install coilover shocks to reduce body roll.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:46 PM
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If I am not mistaken mid fifties Chevy panel trucks had a front sway bar.

Brian
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
If I am not mistaken mid fifties Chevy panel trucks had a front sway bar.

Brian
I've pulled 4-5 axles from '55-'59 Chevy trucks to use in gasser projects, and never seen a swaybar yet.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:50 PM
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55-59 suburbans had a factory sway bar on the front axle
i guess they were too top heavy for ride comfort
panel trucks did not, gm didn't care about freight comfort

as for the 38, i have heard that if you need a sway bar add it to the front axle first
you don't want a rear sway bar with out a front sway bar
i'm just recalling this from my finite memory, not sure where i heard it
just one of those tidbits i stored
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post
55-59 suburbans had a factory sway bar on the front axle
i guess they were too top heavy for ride comfort
panel trucks did not, gm didn't care about freight comfort

as for the 38, i have heard that if you need a sway bar add it to the front axle first
you don't want a rear sway bar with out a front sway bar
i'm just recalling this from my finite memory, not sure where i heard it
just one of those tidbits i stored
I knew I had seen them there before. They had a funny two piece sheetmetal clamp like link as I remember.

Brian
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:20 AM
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Look, there's NO difference between putting a sway bar on a solid front axle and putting one on a rear axle. In fact, solid-axle 4WD trucks (1970s-80s Chevy, for example) typically came with front sway bars from the factory.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:16 AM
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Anybody have pictures of a factory swaybar on a '55-'59 Chevy or GMC truck? I'd sure like to see what they look like. Was this an option, since I've never seen one yet?
No swaybar here:



Or here:


Or here:


Or here:


I could go on and on, by searching the various posts at the '47-'59 Chevy truck forums for '55-'59 trucks, but is there even one example somebody can show me of a factory swaybar?

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Old 12-15-2012, 11:39 AM
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I have went looking too, but I know I have seen one in the past. It was on the Suburban not a pickup. In any event, putting on one would help the handling, it doesn't matter if they never had one, putting one on would help.

Brian
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:43 AM
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I wont argue if it helps, as I agree. I've just never seen one, and I've owned a few '55-'59, plus parted out many more than I owned.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:47 PM
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Wow I didnít expect all of these replies. Let me try to answer all of your comments.
1971BB427
Your gassers probably go in a straight line a ľ mile at a time. I drive my truck on the street. To answer your question I have parallel springs the same setup as factory. I have updated to Posies Super Sliders front and rear. The turn that I took that I discovered the roll issue was after I upgraded the front springs and before the rear. I am running a SBC. This issue may get better with the new springs on the rear.
Ogre
If you remember where you heard about installing the front sway bar first please post to this Thread.
1971BB427
I too would like to see a picture of a 50s sway bar. Not that I doubt it I just am interested.

chief36chevy
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:26 PM
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Chief,
My Austin occasionally sees the strip, but it's logged nearly 6,000 street miles this year, and many of them down winding country roads. It handles great in the corners, although it's not a Porsche.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:48 AM
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Sorry

Sorry I took one look at the picture by your name and ďass u me dĒ that it was strictly a dragster.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:46 AM
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I don't know about the earlier GM trucks, but my '75 GMC K25 has a factory HD front sway bar and there was also an optional factory rear sway bar. They were primarily to stop body roll when the truck was loaded. Mine is a camper special, so it has the HD anti-sway bar. With two straight axles these trucks can get quite a bit of bounce to one side if you hit a bump with both front and rear wheel on the same side.

I don't have the truck here right now to take a picture, but I think antisway bar mounting is fairly simple.

Bruce
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post


as for the 38, i have heard that if you need a sway bar add it to the front axle first
you don't want a rear sway bar with out a front sway bar
i'm just recalling this from my finite memory, not sure where i heard it
just one of those tidbits i stored
correct, a bar on the rear and no front bar will make the vehicle very twitchy, and tail happy.. making it want to switch ends, in a turn..
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