Front Anti-Sway Bar

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Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby JRGilbert » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:45 am

Happy New Year!!

Over the weekend I installed a 3/4 front anti-sway bar on my early Vintage 550. The bar is not attached to the frame, only to the lower trailing arms.
The sway bar is designed for a stock VW Beetle. When the car was taken off the jacks the sway bar interfered with the body near where the tube frame ends.
I would have to cut away a portion of the fiberglass that supports the lower front of the car in order to have clearance for the sway bar to operate. Not a good idea.
Did a little research on the 356 cars...all had the sway bar attached to the frame as well as the lower trailing arms. This could be easily done by fitting attachment
points to the front axle beam.

Have any of you installed a sway bar in this manner?
Why is the VW sway bar not installed this way?

I have read the Tips, Tricks & Knowledge on this issue. Lots of good information. No solution to this problem.

Thanks,
Jim
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Re: Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby RS-60 mark » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:43 pm

Since I don't have a 550 to look at, I don't know where a Bug front sway bar might have interference with the body. However, there are several different sway bar shapes and mounting gizmos that fit a ball-joint trailing arm front suspension. Maybe a different shape will work for you, or some creative mounting.
In my case, I mounted the front sway bar on top of the lower swing arm (instead of under the lower swing arm per typical). I made something that looks like a 1/2" hardwood spacer that fits between the swing arm and sway bar rubber to provide clearance above the bolt on the swing arm hub. Effectively, this mounts the sway bar several inches higher (for more body clearance underneath). I have a "stock" shaped sway bar. Presumably a "lowered" shaped sway bar provides even more clearance underneath. Remember, though, there is an "upper clearance" limit too: The bottom of the steering box.
Here are some choices: http://socalautoparts.com/product-categ ... -bushings/
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Re: Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby JRGilbert » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:59 pm

Mark,
I tried to mount the bar above the trailing arm, but no luck. The bar needs to be bent differently. I did not attempt to make a spacer. How were you able to get the clamps assembled?
I also have a front mounted oil cooler so there are oil lines in the space that would have to be shared with the moving sway bar. The 356's used a 5/8" bar that had a return bend on each end. The return
attached to the lower trailing arm with a link and a fixed mount made onto the trailing arm. The bar was attached to welded in place mounts below the front axle beam on each end. I believe this is the solution.
The original 356 sway bar assembly is about $400.
I wonder if anyone has tried this?
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Re: Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby RS-60 mark » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:39 am

Jim -- I can't exactly remember the struggle to do this 15 years (and 35000 miles) ago. But here is a picture of what it looks like today (obviously untouched since installation).

I do remember that I collected a couple of different sway bars and mounting gizmos at a VW swap meet. At the time, I had no idea what would fit or how to do it. I'm sure my logic at the time was that if I had enough "stuff" I could figure it out. After experimenting with various combinations of the collection this is what evolved.

I can visualize that your situation is complicated by the front mounted oil cooler, etc. The 356 concept might have a direction to chase.
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sway bar.jpg
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Re: Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby JRGilbert » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:01 pm

Looks like you have the same bar that I have.
Thanks for the reply.
I'll continue to look...
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Re: Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby Ralphc » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:41 pm

Before I went to an Formula First style bar that replaced the lower leaf pack in the beam, I ran the sway bar on the upper trailing arms using these http://www.cbperformance.com/product-p/2835.htm clamps with shims to make up the taper in the arm. I used them for several years, with periodic inspection and adjustment.
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Re: Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby RVosari » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:06 am

Those clamps are made by Clampco in Wadsworth, Ohio...I use them as exhaust clamps (with spring inserts) because they look all air-planey and expensive :)

The stainless ones are about $ 3-4 each in the larger sizes...but I have never used them in load-bearing applications :-k

ReV
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Re: Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby JRGilbert » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:37 am

These are the same clamps I'm using. EMPI parts that are recommended for the sway bar.
I don't much like them. Look too flimsy for that application.
I thought someone would have a recommendation for a bar that actually works.
Guess few know what's on their car.
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Re: Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby Ralphc » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:56 pm

Formula First style bar that replaced the lower leaf pack in the beam
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Re: Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby JRGilbert » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:00 am

Do you have a link? Search of Formula First sway bar returns nothing.
If the Formula First bar replaces the lower leaf pack it must be a straight bar milled on the ends to accept the lower trailing arm.
Where does one acquire such a devise?
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Re: Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby EEricson » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:42 pm

I am curious too. I have heard stories of guys simply using all the flat VW front torsion leaves in one tube and then using some or all in the other as a sway bar by pulling the center grub screw out. Never seen it in person nor spoke to anyone who'd claimed to have done it to see how it rode/handled.
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Re: Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby Ralphc » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:12 pm

It is a straight bar with square ends and a threaded stud welded to one end. Mine replaced the lower spring pack; to restore spring rate two of the full upper spring leaves were replaced with sway away heavy duty leaves.
The stud is used to set end play. Drill a hole for it in the trailing arm and adjust using nut and washer. Once end play is set, through the grub screw holes in each trailing arm drill dimples in the square stock to accept the grub screws. These hold the assembly in place since the bar passes freely through the central anchor. Bronze or roller thrust bearings replace the grease seals where the trailing arms contact the beam tube.
Once done it serves as a sway bar with no compliance bushes; it acts without delay.
I purchased mine from these guys http://www.sracing.com/ I know they say they are retired but they MAY be able to help you or point you to some one who can.
Note: I had my mechanic do the install; his only comment was the sway away leaves required persuasion to fit since they are a little beefier. Install them between stock leaves and a little back from flush to start if you can.
Also, I ran my front bar in conjunction with a rear Z bar and the softest rear torsion bars I could find.
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Re: Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby JRGilbert » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:03 pm

That's what I was looking for.
Thanks
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Re: Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby DannyP » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:46 am

I re-bent a stock Bug bar and installed it on my old Spyder with no clearance issues. However it is 12 or 13mm. The 3/4" bar that's available WILL hit your frame, whether you have a 3" Beck or 2" Vintage tube in front of the beam.

On my new car I have a 2" narrowed beam, so using the old bar isn't possible. The narrowed beam accomodates my wider Airkewld brake setup and keeps the tires under the fenders where they belong.

I bought a narrowed 3/4" bar to fit the beam and it definitely hits the frame on a bump. I clearanced the fiberglass so that's no problem, but the bar even after a bit of bending still hits the frame on bumps.

So I've decided to make a custom bar in 5/8" or 3/4". I'll make a pattern out of cheap barstock first. Then I have a local leaf-spring company that can properly heat-treat some good steel for me.

Or I'll be following the path of CarlosG over at speedsterowners and make a conventional bar with bushings and end links. Haven't decided yet.

Jim Gilbert: most Spyders don't have any bars on them at all. I find a front bar is REALLY necessary especially when autocrossing....
2016 Vintage
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Re: Front Anti-Sway Bar

Postby Ralphc » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:18 am

http://1speedway.com/index.php?route=pr ... duct_id=91
http://1speedway.com/index.php?route=pr ... duct_id=90
and so on.
additionally, I sourced their arms and bearing mounts for my rear Z bar
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