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  #1  
Old 06-07-2014, 10:55 AM
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Default heavy duty sway bar help

I have a 1960 bird convert. I'm having trouble after the installation of the heavy duty sway bar on the front end. Once the bar was installed it was hitting the body toward the control arm, the sway bar link comes out to far.
Across the front it appears that the inside of the bar is not wide enough.
I am not familiar with the mechanics of the car I am trying to relate the problem as best I can based on what the mechanic told me.
I will try to get pictures.
I hope someone can help.

Last edited by jandjinfla : 06-07-2014 at 11:03 AM. Reason: sway bar link is OK
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:11 AM
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Default heavy duty sway bar 1960 bird convt

Update
There is no problem with the sway bar link.
According to the mechanic it is a clearance issue.
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:56 PM
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Sway bars, even heavy bars, are supposed to fit properly. Mine do. If they don't fit right, send them back. - Dave
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:18 AM
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Default heavy duty sway bar 1960 bird convt

Here are the pix that were taken of this heavy duty sway bar that Joe is having put on the front.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg photo 1.jpg (20.7 KB, 164 views)
File Type: jpg photo 2.jpg (31.7 KB, 129 views)
File Type: jpg photo 3.jpg (22.4 KB, 126 views)
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'59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
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http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

Last edited by YellowRose : 06-14-2014 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 06-09-2014, 05:23 PM
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Ray called me today regarding this job. It seems that the owner went to a popular tire store dealer, and that is who installed and took pictures:


After straightening the pictures, right away I can see paint chipping on the front sub frame.



Here is the 'standard' shim, installed.



If higher shims are added, this problem will go away.

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Old 06-14-2014, 03:19 PM
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Smile 60 T-Bird Front Sway Bar Installed

Many thanks to Ray and Dave.
What a great web site and source for help and information.

I was told one extra 1/4 inch spacer on each side did the trick. I will get the car back early next week. Hopefully it's fine now.
A word to the wise, if you are ordering a sway bar find out where your supplier is getting it from and what company made it. Apparently the one I ordered was a knock-off. Time and labor could have been saved not to mention the cost to re-paint the scraps on the frame.


Joe
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:22 PM
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Joe, I must take issue with this notion of a 'knockoff'. I have no love for any sway bar company BUT Ford never made heavy sway bars for Squarebirds.

As far as I am concerned, all aftermarket companies fashioned their sway bars after the original Ford bar. I seriously doubt they would have copied a competitor's bar when they had the original as a standard.

So, after all the boasting I have yet to find one aftermarket bar is any better than another.

As soon as I rotated your pictures and saw your installation, I knew the installer wasn't familiar with adding shims for clearance and that's exactly what I told Ray Clark when he called me regarding this installation. You can see from the time on my posted pictures, that I did I say to shim the bar.

I bought two bars in the past from Lance Herrington at Thunderbirds Southwest. Both of them required shims to fit correctly. So, what you have is not unique. The mistake was to hire a tire dealer to do the work. The proof here is, the same mechanic that said this bar has a clearance issue, is the same guy who will miraculously find plenty of clearance. A 'learning curve' is involved, and your man never did this before.

All in all, I'm glad someone saw the light and now your bar fits. properly. - Dave
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:47 AM
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Smile 1960 T-Bird Sway Bar

Dave,
Thanks again for your help, adding the shims was right on the money and I was able to fix the problem immediately. This has been a real learning experience for me.

The car has a continental kit, do you recommend a sway bar for the rear? Is it a hard or easy installation provided I have the right mechanic to do it?

Joe
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Old 06-15-2014, 02:19 PM
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Happy Father's day, Joe.
The automotive industry has made constant improvements over fifty years. Some ideas stood the test of time (and millions of cars) and some have not. For example: Would you put your family in a car without seat belts and drive for hours on an interstate hwy? Back in the day everyone did. I won't use bias ply tires. All the cars on today's roads have radial tires and that is what I drive among.

In general I always ask myself, "What do modern cars use?"
Everyone seems to be very happy with their performance and longevity. Most modern cars feature the exact same components but differ by brands. Even though our classics were not designed by today's standards, they can be upgraded in most areas.

Modern cars have front and rear sway bars. Do you like the way your daily driver feels on exit ramp curves? Adding both sway bars will produce the kind of performance as a modern car of the same weight. I drive my classic, so I use the bars.

Please find a good suspension mechanic. We have a shop around my house called, John-R Spring. The name describes their work, if you already know that John-R is a road. They are always busy doing cars and trucks. I saw a beautiful white Squarebird there one time, getting new front bushings and coil springs. They also install air bag suspension, sway bars, leaf springs, etc., for car, truck, trailer & bus. Check out their local services.

This is the type of place you should look for. Pep Boys aren't equipped. These guys do this kind of work every day and their prices are more reasonable than Detroit Spring. If you had brought your parts to this place, there would have been no problem because they do thousands of car suspensions.

I hope this helps and it gives you a better idea of what is out there. - Dave
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Old 06-15-2014, 06:14 PM
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Default 1960 T- Bird Sway Bar

Hi Dave, A Happy Fathers Day to you also.
I read between the lines of your last reply to my question.
I will investigate installing a rear sway bar and find someone competent to do the work.
If I lived in Michigan I would be happy to have it installed there but I am retired and live in Florida but Ray gave me a lead on a shop that does restoration work in my area.
I bought this car and it was supposed to be completely done, a retired show car completed in the early 2000s.
Beautiful on the outside but nothing but problems mechanically.
I have been reading as many of the threads in the forum as I can each day to understand some of the problems and solutions the owners are facing with these cars. I craved this car since I was 17 years old. I have a few more mechanical issues with the car to overcome, possible transmission rebuild, wheel alignment and balance, power steering box, timing, and maybe one more oil or fluid leak. With people like you and Ray on this web site, I'll get her done.
Joe
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