Mustang Monthly - - BEYOND THE BASICS - Bill Miller Via the In­ter­net

Any rec­om­men­da­tions on a new sway bar for my 1969 Mus­tang? How does it work and why not just in­stall the big­gest one avail­able?

Which one you use is gen­er­ally de­pen­dent on what type of driv­ing you want to do in your car. You didn’t men­tion what en­gine/driv­e­train com­bi­na­tion you have, so I will give the generic low­down.

The front sway bar (I pre­fer the term an­tiroll bar) is noth­ing more than a big tor­sion spring to keep the body from rolling over in a turn. The bar, when twisted down its length, acts like a big spring. When the car is rolling along and the wheels are mov­ing to­gether, the bar ro­tates around the frame mount points. In a turn, one side is com­press­ing and one side is re­bound­ing, and the force on the roll­bar gets twisted. This trans­fers the en­ergy over to the other side of the car, re­duc­ing the “roll” of the ve­hi­cle.

How the bar does this is by the ma­te­rial used, the ra­dius of the bar ( big­ger means stiffer), and the length of the arm from the mount point (shorter arm is stiffer). The stiffer the bar, the harder it is to twist, and the less the car rolls in a turn. How­ever, the stiffer the bar, the harsher the ride, and the car can bounce around on rough sur­faces. There are ways to get around this, but the stiffer the bar, the harsher the ride.

Ford gen­er­ally stuck with a 7-inch bar on base Mus­tangs, and some “GT” han­dling pack­ages were around 15/16 inch in di­am­e­ter. Most af­ter­mar­ket bars start at 1 inch and they can get to 11/4 inches for a bar that uses the stock lo­ca­tion. Any big­ger than that and you start hav­ing fit­ment prob­lems with the stock mount­ing lo­ca­tion. Length of the arms is also limited by the orig­i­nal sus­pen­sion en­ve­lope.

If you think you need to im­prove the rollover of your car, the good news is that the af­ter­mar­ket bars have been made to re­ally work well with the orig­i­nal sus­pen­sion. Un­less you are see­ing se­ri­ous track time, the Ad­dco (ad­dco.net) 1-inch sway bar is en­gi­neered right and will help with what­ever sus­pen­sion you de­cide to use. Good luck with the ’69!

The stock bar be­low mea­sures out at 0.685 inch, while the Ad­dco bar (PN 715 shown) is a 1-inch bar. The big­ger the ra­dius of the bar, the harder it is to twist.

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