Torsion bars or sway bar

qkcuda

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I recently returned from Carlisle, logging 800 miles on the round trip. I noticed that the car has considerable body lean when negotiating those long on ramps. The car is a 66 Charger with a 361 and factory air. The suspension consists of stock torsion bars with the stock front sway bar. The shocks are new and it has new 17 inch wheels and tires. The car rides great and handled severe bumps really well. My first thought is that it needs stiffer torsion bars to control the body roll, but then I got thinking maybe a larger front sway bar might do the trick without affecting the ride. I am not looking for a recipe for a 4000 pound corner carver, I just want to make the car more stable in the corners.

Wash rear.jpg
 

Don Frelier

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You might try some polyurethane front sway bar links and mounts with the bar you have.
Be warned getting the mounts on the bar is no easy task.
Also how are the rear shackle bushings and front spring bushing?
It's not easy to fit a rear sway bar on these cars.
 

qkcuda

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I don't recall noticing any issues with the rear leaf bushings when working under the car, but I will have another look. You are right that there is not a lot of room in the back. I learned that when trying to fit the new fuel tank. The front sway bar bushings looked like they had been replaced, but they are stock rubber ones. I actually have a set of urethane bushings left over from another project, I'll have to see if they would fit.
 

Don Frelier

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The end links should fit.
But the mounts are not easy David and I did one set with hand tools and another by cutting and welding.
Welding is much much easier...
I have some custom springs in the rear of mine and they are quite heavy I think they help but mine is no road car either.
You should have talked with the guy doing the autocross with his 66.
 

qkcuda

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On my cuda the sway bar bushings were bent probably from a parking lot curb. I picked up an aftermarket set that fit the stock bar. They worked well.

IMG_2572.JPG
 

493 Mike

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Mopar Action did an article on, I think, Ford end links that have mechanical joints with no rubber involved.
Mike
 

Cheapsunglasses

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Beautiful charger!

I’d look at sway bars first, but If you were to upgrade the torsion bars, just going up to a .94 like in hp cars, it would be firm, but not too stiff I’d think. I have a 68 GTX, all factory suspension, all rubber bushings, Bilstein shocks, Steer and Gear stage 2 steering box. It’s not a super corner carver, but it’s stable in the corners, and handles quite well, and it’s still soft enough to be a comfortable driver, without being too jarring.
 

Dave P

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There's not really a simply answer. Stiffer/tighter bushings will eliminate some of the "dead" zone between where the spring ( torsion bar)
and the anti-roll bar begin to effect weight transfer. Keep in mind that a heavier roll bar WILL effect an individual wheel rate also. Two schools of thought can get you to the same place of weight transfer in a steady state corner on a smooth road. Stiff springs and a soft bar or just the opposite.
My personal thoughts on street handling where rapid transitions are not real important is more bar vs. more spring. I'd start with a 25% increase on front bar then do some steady state smooth surface testing. If the car is an understeering pig ( I personally hate that ) I'd add a rear bar till you got the balance you like.
Shocks are basically a "rate" adjustment when in comes to weight transfer, not much effect on how much, just how quick it gets there.
Above assumes nothing loose and worn out to start with.
Edit to add.....because of the rear suspension design I'd guess you'll need to add a rear bar to really achieve a substantial reduction of body roll. That leaf system just allows a whole bunch of movement.
 
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qkcuda

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I kind of like the stiffer front bar idea, along with poly bushings like I used before. Anyone have any recommendations on a larger bar that mounts in the same configuration as the stock bar?
 

qkcuda

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I just checked on Summit Racing. They have their Summit 1 1/8 bar for $226.99 and an Addco 1 1/8 bar for $230.56. They also show a Hellwig 1 1/8 bar for $292.99. The pictures and specs of the Hellwig bar look exactly the same as the Summit bar right down to the grey hammertone powder coated finish. Any recommendations between them?
 

Dave P

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I can't help with specifics but see if you can find the rate of the stock bar somewhere and see if the manufactures will give you the rates on their bars. Might take a phone call or 3 to get the numbers. If the aftermarket bars are the same rates, materials, heat treats etc. just buy the cheapest one. Guessing they are all solid bars vs. tubular at those price points.
Really think you'll need to add a rear bar also.
 

R413

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Torsion bars are the problem. Lots of front weight with BB and A/C. It wont hurt the ride. Been there before.

I had the same problem with a 70 Satellite 383-2bbl with A/C. I had the broadcast sheet, the factory used 318 bars on that car .88 (numbered 776/777) I put in 440/hemi bars .92 (numbered 780/781) and then it drove great, just like a car should. Not harsh, just right.

Does a stock GTX or R/T ride to harsh?

Never gonna drive correctly with 318 bars on a BB with AC no matter how big the sway bar is.

***EDIT galens book shows you car came with 318 bars also. t-bars is really the first change needed IMO

Your T-bars can’t handle the weight on them.
 
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69_Coronet

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Just thought I would throw my $0.02 in here as well. If you are happy with the ride in general, I would just increase the front anti-roll (sway) bar size and then add a rear bar to make the handling balance again as has been suggested above. Increasing the torsion bar stiffness too far will make the car ride rougher. And, as was also mentioned above, the first thing is to make sure all of the bushings, tie rod ends, and ball joints are in good shape. Cheers!
 

qkcuda

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Thanks for all the responses. Does anyone know off the top of their head what the stock sway bar diameter is? I am thinking 1 inch? I can easily measure once I get home, just trying to get some idea for my searching.
 

RemCharger

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I put the 96 bars in my charger years ago. The ride is great and I quit thinking about sway bars after that.
 

Cheapsunglasses

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Torsion bars are the problem. Lots of front weight with BB and A/C. It wont hurt the ride. Been there before.

I had the same problem with a 70 Satellite 383-2bbl with A/C. I had the broadcast sheet, the factory used 318 bars on that car .88 (numbered 776/777) I put in 440/hemi bars .92 (numbered 780/781) and then it drove great, just like a car should. Not harsh, just right.

Does a stock GTX or R/T ride to harsh?

Never gonna drive correctly with 318 bars on a BB with AC no matter how big the sway bar is.

***EDIT galens book shows you car came with 318 bars also. t-bars is really the first change needed IMO

Your T-bars can’t handle the weight on them.
Nope, my GTX is just right. Firm enough to play with, soft enough to enjoy
:lol:
 

qkcuda

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I measured tonight when I got home. The torsion bars are only .88. The sway bar is 15/16. At this point I think I am going to order the Summit sway bar and see how it works. There are several reasons. It will be easier to change, and will still work if I later decide to change the torsion bars. Also since I am in Canada, I can order from Summit and get reasonable shipping and no brokerage fees. They don't seem to stock torsion bars.
 

qkcuda

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I placed my order for the Summit bar today. The specs seem exactly the same as the Hellwig bar.

For what it's worth, all of the Summit branded parts on my order were 10% off. I had to order more stuff to get the free shipping:lol:
 

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