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Discussion Starter #1
I started looking at putting air bags on my car ( 53' studebaker coupe, 120 in wheel base, car weighs about 3200 lbs. ) Mustang
two front suspension. 8 in Ford rear.
Talking with Fatman they said I would not need a sway bar on the front at all?? I would think the car would not handel a curve with any secure feeling. They said put one on the rear if any at all.
I would like some opinions on this.
 

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hey wheel,
if you have a whole fbss air ride setup, you won't need the sway bar. I'm pretty sure the reason they told you that you wouldn't need it was because the valves stop air transfer between the airsprings, so you get less body roll. I took the sway bar out of my 64 fairlane because i wanted better side/side action. I'm sure you could keep the sway bar in if you wanted to, but that would limit the side to side motion if you were after that. Hope this helps, good luck!!

~Frank~
 

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Discussion Starter #4
air bags

Flame, thanks for the response I appreciate it. However, as Hemi said Im not looking for any " side to side " motion. Im looking for a cushy ride and decent handling in a curve.
Eliminating the sway bar on a air bag suspension is a concern of mine. Hopefully, there are people out there that will tell me how their air bag set up handles.
Thanks ...again
 

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Philippines Cowboy
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Much of what determines whether a car pushes or is loose in a corner depends on the ratio of roll stiffness, front to rear. Roll stiffness depends on both spring rates and the presence of a sway bar. The air bags usually have a much lower spring rate than the original steel springs. So, when you put an air bag on each and every corner, the effect of the front sway bar is accentuated and the car has a lot of push. That's why they want you to remove the front sway bar. Unfortunately, while this minimizes the push, it means you're going to have a lot of body roll while cornering. Actually, their suggestion can be self-defeating, as the increased roll might mean excessive camber change at the front and you end up with a lot of push, anyway. So, your hunch is correct. If you want the car to corner without excessive roll, you still need the front sway bar and a husky one at the rear, too.

But, wait a minute! You said you want a "cushy" ride along with the good handling. Sorry, you can't get there from here, unless you want to spend some really big bucks (and I mean REALLY big bucks) for an active suspension. . If you want to be competitive in SCCA slalom, you're going to have a ride that will shake the fillings from your teeth. If you want a "cushy" ride, keep your speed well below the posted maximum for all highway curves.

As for myself, I prefer a car that corners flat and my insurance has good dental coverage, so I'd stick with the Stude springs. But, to each his own.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
air bag on a mustang 2

Hi Billy,
Thanks for your reply. I may be asking too much out of the air bags? I would give some on the ride for decent handling. Im not planning on any road races..but it sure sounds fun ,just for giggles and .... What Im after is a secure feeling going into a 40 mph curve at say 45 or 50 mph without alot of body roll, tire screamin' etc. I understand there is a lot that goes into making a car handle. My thinking is to NOT have a sway would not be conductive to good handling.
I have a 1 1/4 inch front bar from a Trans Am but it will get into the side of the bag. I just got another front bar today thats 15/16 inch that may work. Ill have to check it out tomorrow.
Thanks..again for your help:thumbup:
 

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The general concensus is that if you valve your bags for independent control, that there is no air transfer, so you don't need a sway bar. But if one applies a little common sense to to that, A set of bags that are valved individually, are just like four coils. And with coils, people use a sway bar. So why not on bags ?
I would run a sway bar... and in fact do on my own truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
air bags on mustang 2

IAS,
Thanks for the reply. Yes, thats where I landed at on my thinking. Opposed to Fatman and Air Ride. I just dont see how a car would very well without one.
I tried a 1 1/4 in front bar from a Trans AM but its going to get into the bag. I got a 15/16 inch bar that will probably work but not without some reshaping on a press.
Hopefully, the rear bar will be easier to locate...if I need one? Ill see how the car handles without a rear bar first.
Im not looking to have road racer handling..just a secure feeling going into a curve without too much body roll.
Thanks
 
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