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Old 03-15-2017, 10:21 AM   #1
Ben_Yeaton
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Choosing front sway bar

I'm having some trouble choosing a front sway bar for my 68, despite searching through the site extensively as well as google images, etc. I notice several options that fit my truck and are in my budget, and have read a few installation issue threads, so I'm looking to get some feedback regarding what would be best for my truck.

Currently the truck has stock arms, 3" spindles, 2" springs trimmed a bit. Also has power steering (not sure if that creates any clearance issues on some designs). I know some of the designs are better for lowered applications via the shorter frame perches, etc. I also know I wont be spending over $200 on this which takes me away from of the really nice stuff like NoLimit/ Hotchkis/ etc. Here's a picture of how it sits for reference:



The options I see are stock style like this, with the bushing ends on the a-arms. Vendor would have to be ECE right, I'm not heading to a junk yard to pull one? Also does this stock style bar have any hang ups when used as low as I am? I did read one thread about an oddly shaped bar coming from ECE which deters me.



Next would be the End link style bars. First is the one POL sells. This style one uses L-brackets that need to be mounted to the front of the arm, not utilizing any of the existing holes. This seems popular, but mounting to the top of the arm must be slightly better right?



This bar is very similar, but it does use the factory hole in the a-arm. Seems very nice, but not sure if I'd have to use the tall frame perch? Seems as if there is no drop in the bar at all and it must be mounted flat.



The CPP bar looks near identical, and comes with both height perches, and looks to be solid. The shape is much more angular, making me think there might be issues with the steering clearance? There is an install article on hotrod where they use this style and they have to use the tall perches to get it to work. Not sure that's best?



Overall, just looking for real world install advice from you guys. Has anyone had success with any of these bars? The clear winner after the threads I HAVE read seems to be the stock style, but I'd like some confirmation due to not many guys being as low/ power steering clearance/ etc. Any info helps, thanks in advance!
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:24 AM   #2
GR8-68
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

Watching for feedback on this also as I am about to purchase my front swaybar
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:51 AM   #3
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

I use factory bars you couldn't pay me to mount that hokey end link with the tiny little bushings and rods, it all looks generic ? use the drop mounts if your concerned about clearance issues .
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:26 AM   #4
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

The bigger the the bar the better the performance. I always pull one from the local junkyard from a 1 ton 70s-80s truck. They are 1 1/4 inch diameter and make a world of difference in handling.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:31 AM   #5
Ben_Yeaton
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy old man View Post
I use factory bars you couldn't pay me to mount that hokey end link with the tiny little bushings and rods, it all looks generic ? use the drop mounts if your concerned about clearance issues .
Quote:
Originally Posted by leddzepp View Post
The bigger the the bar the better the performance. I always pull one from the local junkyard from a 1 ton 70s-80s truck. They are 1 1/4 inch diameter and make a world of difference in handling.
I understand the stock bars are robust enough, but like I stated in my post I'm not going to a yard to pull one. And I understand I will need to use whatever frame mounts work best for clearance. I'm not sure why the end links would be an issue? I could be mistaken but every performance sway bar I see on a "new" car has end links like that? Thanks for the opinions, appreciate it!
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:38 AM   #6
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

If you don't want to go to a yard buy one off the parts board here or Craigslist.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:43 AM   #7
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

The other method which is the cheapest if you need ground clearance such as for those concrete parking stops is to eliminate the frame bracket in picture 1 and mount the front of the bar directly to the frame, this is necessary when the A arms are level or close to level with the frame on very low trucks, this was the "trick" in the 80's on lowered trucks, still works today....
Look under your truck and see how far the A arms are in relation to the frame to see if it will work. You can get a used bar on the parts forum here too.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:48 AM   #8
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

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The other method which is the cheapest if you need ground clearance such as for those concrete parking stops is to eliminate the frame bracket in picture 1 and mount the front of the bar directly to the frame, this is necessary when the A arms are level or close to level with the frame on very low trucks, this was the "trick" in the 80's on lowered trucks, still works today....
Look under your truck and see how far the A arms are in relation to the frame to see if it will work. You can get a used bar on the parts forum here too.
Ya, I'd love to mount directly to frame if I can, pending clearance. That would be ideal for ground clearance. Every used bar I have found is upwards of $80 and would need all new bushings/ frame brackets, etc. I don't see the savings there for me. Thanks for the reply!
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:52 AM   #9
midniteblues
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

Thats a sweet looking truck you have there.

My opinion is you can't go wrong with a oe 1 1/4" bar.

I've never heard of fitment issuses with them but I'm not into bagging trucks either.

My BBC 67 with ece 4/6 drop and a 1 1/4" oe bar with poly bushings and the lower height mounts.
It handles awesome and it fit perfect makes a world of difference in the way it handles.

I think I might have a total of $45-50 into it that's the bar, bushings,paint and bolts. I pulled it from
From a p step van in a jy. Mine only had one rivit on each side of the frame stands to get out the rest was bolted in.
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:55 PM   #10
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

My '67 is just as low as your truck. im using a 70s one ton bar, poly bushings, and the ECE short brackets. No clearance issues at all with power steering/ drag link.
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Old 03-15-2017, 01:15 PM   #11
Ben_Yeaton
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

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My '67 is just as low as your truck. im using a 70s one ton bar, poly bushings, and the ECE short brackets. No clearance issues at all with power steering/ drag link.
That's great to know, thanks for the reply!
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Old 03-15-2017, 01:35 PM   #12
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

As long as I'm on this thread...
Make sure the front frame cross member is still tight, check each rivet by placing your finger where the crossmember attaches to the frame near the rivet and have someone shake the steering wheel left and right, if you feel movement replace the rivets with fine thread tight fitting bolts, 7/16 grade 8, I believe. You will loose a lot of sway bar effect with a loose crossmember and most of them are at least a little bit loose fitting since they are so old now.
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Old 03-15-2017, 01:42 PM   #13
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

Per request via PM.
ACDELCO 46G0527A sway bar bushings, set of 2 for $4.93 at rock auto. They are black urethane bushings for the stock sway bar. I think they have cheaper ones too, but those are the ones I used.
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Old 03-15-2017, 02:02 PM   #14
Ben_Yeaton
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

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Per request via PM.
ACDELCO 46G0527A sway bar bushings, set of 2 for $4.93 at rock auto. They are black urethane bushings for the stock sway bar. I think they have cheaper ones too, but those are the ones I used.
Appreciate that, thanks for the help!
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:02 PM   #15
Ben_Yeaton
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

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Originally Posted by randy500 View Post
Per request via PM.
ACDELCO 46G0527A sway bar bushings, set of 2 for $4.93 at rock auto. They are black urethane bushings for the stock sway bar. I think they have cheaper ones too, but those are the ones I used.
Randy here had a bar he sold me for a good price, and I just found the bushings at a local parts store for < $10. Should have the bar by the weekend and try to install. I'll post when I have an update. Thanks everyone.
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:06 PM   #16
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

I bought the CPP one with the links but have to replace my lower control arms before I can install it. The passenger side lower control arm is bent. I will let you know how it fits when I install it.

I currently have 2.5 drop spindles and 2" drop Belltech springs with Street Performer shocks on my 72 LWB.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:07 PM   #17
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

I just put a 1 1/4" stock bar on my Burban. It was $40 bucks at the wrecking yard pulled. Two of the straps were missing and one of the center ones was smashed. Trip to the parts store for two sets of 1 1/4" energy suspension bushings ($18.40 each). Removed the factory stands for the bushings and found that the sway bar hit when the front was aired out. So I modified the stands and bolted it up. $78.80 invested and the truck drives SO MUCH BETTER! I could have spent less if I went to the u-pull-it and gotten one with all the straps in good condition. I have pictures and more info on my Working Man's Burban thread page 8 about half way down. (The WMB link below) I believe you could run a bar without the bushing stands with a 4 or 6 inch drop.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:43 PM   #18
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

I put ECE on my truck. No regrets.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:55 AM   #19
Ben_Yeaton
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

Quote:
Originally Posted by HO455 View Post
I just put a 1 1/4" stock bar on my Burban. It was $40 bucks at the wrecking yard pulled. Two of the straps were missing and one of the center ones was smashed. Trip to the parts store for two sets of 1 1/4" energy suspension bushings ($18.40 each). Removed the factory stands for the bushings and found that the sway bar hit when the front was aired out. So I modified the stands and bolted it up. $78.80 invested and the truck drives SO MUCH BETTER! I could have spent less if I went to the u-pull-it and gotten one with all the straps in good condition. I have pictures and more info on my Working Man's Burban thread page 8 about half way down. (The WMB link below) I believe you could run a bar without the bushing stands with a 4 or 6 inch drop.
Very cool, thanks for the reply. I'll definitely try and mount it up without frame brackets and go from there.

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I put ECE on my truck. No regrets.
Good to know, especially since it's essentially a remake of the factory 1 1/4" bar. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:59 AM   #20
Ben_Yeaton
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

So randy500 sent me a stock bar with brackets for a good price, and I got new bushings locally for <$10. Received the bar on Saturday, cleaned it up a bit and installed Sunday morning. Just so happens it matches the rest of my suspension . Very happy I could mount directly to the frame as well as everything fitting easily. Also very happy with how it drives now.

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Old 03-20-2017, 12:16 PM   #21
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

Ninja edit.... found what I was looking for, great thread!

Last edited by Janz99; 03-20-2017 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:49 PM   #22
randy500
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

Here is what should be noted from this thread...

The frame bracket on the frame is not needed nor desired with any amount of spring drop. You see Ben said he had a little over 2" spring drop which makes the frame bracket not needed, his bar sits the proper distance from the frame to the control arms without the frame bracket.
He has increased clearance for curb style parking stops since the brackets now are gone and the bar sits above or near the lower edge of the front bumper.
He didn't have to remove the front crossmember rivet which can be a real pain.
Those kits shown in the first post suck compared to the way he mounted his bar...

Clean install, good job!
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:59 PM   #23
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

Ben_Yeaton - what diameter bar is the one you installed?
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:16 AM   #24
Ben_Yeaton
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

It's a stock 1 1/16" bar. I think the 1 1/4" bars that people speak of are pulled from 3/4 ton trucks. Either will work but obviously require the appropriate sized bushings. Otherwise; same shape and size.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:42 AM   #25
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Re: Choosing front sway bar

Ive been thinking about doing this for a while. My truck has 2" lowering springs, stock spindles.

I saw it mentioned that the stock truck bars are riveted in... Is that the case on all of them? I'd like to save a few bucks and find one in a pick-a-part, but not if I need to take anything other than hand tools with me.

Thanks!
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