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Author Topic: SWAY BAR POSITION ISSUE  (Read 3041 times)
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mike67gt
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« on: November 05, 2016, 09:11:01 PM »

Hi All,

I have a 67 mustang GT. The car and it goes down the road straight as an arrow and it has the same tires on it when it was restored (20 years ago) and the tires still look new. My question and concern is the sway bar is not centered . Specifically, when looking down into the engine compartment, you can see on the passenger side that the sway bar is about 1/4" away from the strut rod bracket and on the drivers side, it's about an 1" away (see photos). I adjusted the position of the sway bar so that it was centered but it quickly returned back to it's original position. I should  mention here, that it's a 7/8 sway bar (original I believe for a GT) with polyurethane bushings that have been greased as per the instructions. I mention this because, with the bushings having been greased, the sway bar may have moved back to it's original position much easier than it would have otherwise. I also want to mention that the radiator support "crossmember", is somewhat banged up, but It appears to be mostly cosmetic.  But, as you probably know, crossmember is welded to the strut rod brackets, which is part of the front suspension. So, I don't know if this has any bearing on the sway bar issue, but I did want to mention it, in case there is a connection. I'm going to be replacing the banged up crossmember and if there is a connection with it causing the sway bar to be not centered, it would be good to know. Any help with these issues would be greatly appreciated . Thanks mike



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« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 09:12:50 PM by mike67gt » Logged
corbins
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2016, 04:43:02 AM »

Do you know the cars history? Has it ever been wrecked? I would doubt it a frame related issue, but it may be the sway bar itself...they're pretty hard to bend though, but I have seen it happen on a heavy suspension hit back in the day.

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stickshift
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2016, 05:10:59 AM »

This is pretty typical. Leave it all alone.

The only thing that keeps the bar centered is how the end links load it. The design off the chassis clamp lets the bar move left and right as needed. Where is sits at rest is where it needs to be.

On my cars I haven't seen it move left and right much but that also has to do with loading it left or right.

My 67 GT500 bar has the notch very well center which I interpret as the interference happening when the car is equally loaded. It might even just be when the car is on a lift with the front suspension hanging at full travel and the engine running?

Race cars normally get weighed with portable truck scales under each tire individually. The idea is to adjust the suspension for the actual loading on each tire. That same thought effects the loading on the anti-sway bar as well but the design of the suspension lets the bar adjust itself left to right.

Look at the wear marks on the bar where it clamps to the chassis. Measure the length of the wear pattern. Compare that with the width of the bushing. How much difference is there?

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Bob Gaines
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2016, 09:13:54 AM »

This is pretty typical. Leave it all alone.

The only thing that keeps the bar centered is how the end links load it. The design off the chassis clamp lets the bar move left and right as needed. Where is sits at rest is where it needs to be.

On my cars I haven't seen it move left and right much but that also has to do with loading it left or right.

My 67 GT500 bar has the notch very well center which I interpret as the interference happening when the car is equally loaded. It might even just be when the car is on a lift with the front suspension hanging at full travel and the engine running?

Race cars normally get weighed with portable truck scales under each tire individually. The idea is to adjust the suspension for the actual loading on each tire. That same thought effects the loading on the anti-sway bar as well but the design of the suspension lets the bar adjust itself left to right.

Look at the wear marks on the bar where it clamps to the chassis. Measure the length of the wear pattern. Compare that with the width of the bushing. How much difference is there?
For those reading ,yes that notch results from the sway bar coming into contact with the harmonic balancer while it is turning . The mark of the Zorro -I mean big block.  Hysterical  This does not happen typically happen with smallblocks. The notch is a 67/68 phenomenon with the 15/16 competition suspension bar . In 69 the sway bar shape was changed slightly to eliminate the contact.  The notch will happen sometimes if you lift your car and let the suspension hang while the engine is running or if you go over a extreme bump to cause the suspension to go through full travel while driving  Shocked . If you lift your car the suspension should be blocked with a piece of wood or metal brace to keep the the suspension from hanging . This "hanging"can destroy upper shock bushing,strut rod bushings , damage sway bar and balancer on a big block.There is a diagram in the shop manual (control arm section) on how to fabricate a metal brace if you don't use  piece of 2x4 x7inchs wood.   Same advice applies to 65-70 Smiley

« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 09:15:56 AM by Bob Gaines » Logged

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stickshift
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2016, 01:14:39 PM »

Well Zorro makes the sign of the "Z". The 67 428 makes the sign of the "u".

Funny though, I never saw a balancer or a crank pulley that showed signs of this contact?

Incidentally, the bell house has the reputation of needing to fit itself to the starter gear teeth too.

I suppose if this bar is being restored for Concourse it should be bare metal where the contact is made.



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« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 01:34:01 PM by stickshift » Logged
Bob Gaines
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2016, 01:55:22 PM »

Well Zorro makes the sign of the "Z". The 67 428 makes the sign of the "u".

Funny though, I never saw a balancer or a crank pulley that showed signs of this contact?

Incidentally, the bell house has the reputation of needing to fit itself to the starter gear teeth too.

I suppose if this bar is being restored for Concourse it should be bare metal where the contact is made.
Nope,because typically the factory and dealer lifted the car the correct way and so it didn't happen  Wink

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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2016, 02:15:48 PM »

^^^ so back-in-the-day the dealer would insert this brace whenever they put a BB Mustang or Cougar up on the lift?

And where should the 2x4x7 inch wooden be inserted?

Thanks!

- Phillip

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67_1183
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2016, 02:56:46 PM »

From the shop manual.



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Bob Gaines
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2016, 03:05:48 PM »

^^^ so back-in-the-day the dealer would insert this brace whenever they put a BB Mustang or Cougar up on the lift?

And where should the 2x4x7 inch wooden be inserted?

Thanks!

- Phillip
No. It was supposed to be done on vehicles regardless of engine so that undue stress was not put on the strut rod bushings and upper shock bushings.That has to due with the weight of the suspension and the leverage tension that the hanging suspension creates. It does not have to due with engine size. The engine size has to do with 67 and 68 big block Shelby's and regular Mustangs WITH competition suspension which meant they had the special 15/16 sway bar. The contact mark happened if the BB engine was running when in full hanging position because it would many times touch the balancer in that position. If the engine was running and balancer turning it would grind a mark into the metal bar.  I am not sure about Cougar application and the 15/16 sway bar usage because I didn't study them as much. In the real world lazyness happened or brace wasn't thought necessary and wasn't used .  The Ford tool was metal . Instructions and illustrations to make are listed in the shop manual in the lower control arm area. If you use a wooden block you wedge it between the frame rail and the upper control arm -see illustration in the shop manual .

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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2016, 03:50:06 PM »

Thanks 67_1183 for posting the pic from the shop manual.

And thanks for all the great info Bob  Chug a Lug

The "Heavy-Duty Suspension/Performance Handling Package" was a part of the XR7-G Cougar Package (dual exhaust too), regardless of engine - so even G's with the F code 302 2v got them.

The power steering pump crapped out on my 390 powered G while on a back road headed to Carlisle a few years ago.

When a mechanic sitting in my Cougar started it while it was up on a lift (so that a second mechanic could inspect the pump and hoses while the steering wheel was being turned) the harmonic balancer rubbed on the sway bar as you describe.

- Phillip



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stickshift
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2016, 06:13:48 AM »

Thanks 67_1183 for posting the pic from the shop manual.

And thanks for all the great info Bob  Chug a Lug

The "Heavy-Duty Suspension/Performance Handling Package" was a part of the XR7-G Cougar Package (dual exhaust too), regardless of engine - so even G's with the F code 302 2v got them.

The power steering pump crapped out on my 390 powered G while on a back road headed to Carlisle a few years ago.

When a mechanic sitting in my Cougar started it while it was up on a lift (so that a second mechanic could inspect the pump and hoses while the steering wheel was being turned) the harmonic balancer rubbed on the sway bar as you describe.

- Phillip



A mechanic would need to be familiar with this issue. A you kidding?

Simplest thing to do is shim between the chassis and the clamp enough to keep the bar from rubbing the balancer. 69's have a shim there.

Although the shop manual did recommend the support, is not using one really an issue? I think that was just more of a WARANTY issue when new? I wouldn't loose sleep over hanging the front suspension by the shocks.

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corbins
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2016, 06:23:01 AM »

The 68.5 CJ cars also had that spacer plate to shim the sway bar down.

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ed meyer
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2016, 08:38:30 AM »

never seen a shim on any 69 sway bar brackets .

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Bob Gaines
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2016, 08:41:08 AM »

A mechanic would need to be familiar with this issue. A you kidding?

Simplest thing to do is shim between the chassis and the clamp enough to keep the bar from rubbing the balancer. 69's have a shim there.

Although the shop manual did recommend the support, is not using one really an issue? I think that was just more of a WARANTY issue when new? I wouldn't loose sleep over hanging the front suspension by the shocks.
The simplest thing to do on a 67 is first to check to see if you have the correct end link kit. The 67 competition suspension is supposed to have the longer tube spacer like a 68-70 endlink. If you order a endlink kit out of a catalog or auto parts store you will get a endlink kit like any regular 65-67 Mustang would have which is much shorter.  The longer tube on the end link kicks down the angle of the swaybar in the front. The longer tube doesn't eliminate the problem (as the correct factory setup proves ) but the incorrect shorter tube aggravates the swaybar clearance problem. 69's didn't have a separate spacer. You are confusing a 69 with a 68 KR that did have a separate spacer. The reason a spacer was not needed in 69/70 is that the sway bar was redesigned a different shape to eliminate the problem. Letting the suspension hang is more a problem for the older more fragile strut rod and upper shock rubber bushings . It is a gamble every time you do it . It may not crack this time but next time it may. It is tough trying to replace cracked bushings. If you don't care if the rubber cracks then it is not a issue if you do care then it is. I don't know how many times I have seen restored cars with expensive original Ford or Koni shocks and the rubber is cracked and protruding out of the upper shock . It is highly visible in the engine compartment.The strut rod bushing not so much but still visible.  

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mike67gt
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2016, 09:28:23 AM »

Thanks all for the input regarding my sway bar. I have a few questions and a comment. No, the car has never been wrecked..  "The only thing that keeps the bar centered is how the end links load it." Is it possible to effect the way the end links load the sway bar to get it more centered? Would new or a different size end links change the resting position of the sway bar. What is the likelihood of the sway bar itself being the problem, such as it being bent? When I had the car on a lift and the suspension hanging down, I recall the sway bar eyelet on the drivers side was at an odd angle and it was pulled quite a bit away from the bushing. The passenger side was not at all like that. mike

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