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 Post subject: Swaybar links?
Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:35 pm 
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Hey guys, just finished chopping the front springs down to a better height in my 86 LTD (xdef series) and was looking to improve the swaybar link transition to something that isnt about 20 degrees out of square and blowing all the bushes out to the side. I have checked out stock units and even at factory ride height they are still not square up so the bushes are always splitting out to one side.
Now i have looked it over and it would seem reasonable to pinch a set of rear links which are around 100mm instead of 140mm to bring the end of the swaybar square to the control arm more but i will have to move the swaybar forward by 30mm to align the mounting holes directly above each other and square up the bushes. Anyone see any problems with this or any other suggestions. I dont want to be replacing bushes every 12months or so.
Thanks for your help in advance.
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Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:45 pm 
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Most suspensions have more downwards than upwards travel, which ought to explain the geometry of the links.

A lowered car that still has standard suspension travel has even more downwards travel relative to upwards travel than a non-lowered car. If you still have standard suspension travel and modify the links you may have a problem at full droop.

 

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Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:55 pm 
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Yeah thanks i under stand that but the operation of the swaybar will be at ride height and not at full droop so i want to make it most effective at this level so i wont be spitting out the new nolathane bushes the first corner i go around. Do you think it would affect the suspension arms at all to change position of the swaybar? I have fitted shocks that are good for use without swaybars so i assume that the suspension arms would have the same structural integrity with or without swaybars. Just wondering out aloud.
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Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:54 pm 
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n00bus m@x1mus wrote:
Yeah thanks i under stand that but the operation of the swaybar will be at ride height and not at full droop so i want to make it most effective at this level so i wont be spitting out the new nolathane bushes the first corner i go around.

The bushs will spend most of their time around your ride height, but will still operate wherever the suspension is. If you make them right at your lowered height they may be horrendous at full droop, maybe so bad the links get bent, but i don't know about your car. It's easy for you to test.


Quote:
Do you think it would affect the suspension arms at all to change position of the swaybar? . . . i assume that the suspension arms would have the same structural integrity with or without swaybars.

Since your swaybar has links it has no role to play in the structural integrity of the suspension arms. I have removed front swaybars from a couple of cars with this configuration myself. But if you decide to remove the swaybar(s), it's good for you to understand what effect this will have on the handling. I can't imagine taking them off your kind of car, but i don't know much about your setup and intended usage.

 

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Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 12:13 am 
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I have just gone and checked it out in the shed on my donar car and at full droop the links are sitting just off square and the bushes are around about where i want them to be at ride height, but as soon as u let the jack down they kink over to around 20-25 deg out of plumb and the rubbers squash out on one side, so i think if i can replicate this in complete opposite then i cant see it doing any strain on the links than they are doing now but they will be at the right level for 98% of the time so i guess it will be of benefit.
As for its use it is a low cruiser so it wont be seeing any track time and being an LTD it would be about the worse car for understeer i could think of so it would be pointless to set it up for track use. Saying that i do want to improve the handling to some degree with medium to none body roll around tight bends without taking away the smoothness of the driving experience i want it to have in a long bend or straight line.
Basically it is a cruiser with a bit of bite but it will never compete for king of the street but i wanna have a bit of fun too :lol:
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Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:22 pm 
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Other things to check are . . .

Clearance for the entire bar. Some bars aren't straight between the chassis mounts, and the ends will also move in an altered arc. Changing the link lengths might create a clearance problem in these areas.

It seems odd the links/bushs are best near full droop. Is the bar and links and mounts original?

 

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Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:36 pm 
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yeah everything is stock i have check this out before when i had an xf with a 351W low as heck ( too low ) and it was fitted with a pedders 27mm swaybar which i thought would have sorted out the issue but it was exactly the same layout at the ends just different between the mounts but it suffered just the same as a stock unit.
I actually had to cut out a section of the flanged edge of the subframe in the wheel arch to allow for movement clearance to pass roadworthy. original owner just forked out the cash for anything his mates suggested and never put any thought as to what would work and what wouldnt.
I know what u mean about clearance issues elsewhere I checked this out before and there is no probs anywhere.
I am a bit waylayed with the shifter/ tranny mods at present so i have given too much thought since before but i will let all know if i find the holy grail of solutions for these links :)
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Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:34 pm 
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Another thing with those front sway bar links is not to over tighten the nuts.

 

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Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:50 pm 
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I'd be more concerned your chopping your springs on a road car.

 

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Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:22 pm 
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Gaz wrote:
I'd be more concerned your chopping your springs on a road car.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=unkIVvjZc9Y

 

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Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:49 pm 
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Gaz wrote:
I'd be more concerned your chopping your springs on a road car.


Agreed......it will change the compression rate quite a bit, as well as the rebound rate. So the shockie and the spring are now out of whack.

 

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Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:25 pm 
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Only if the spring is no longer captive, and/or the rate has been increased to the point where the shocks damping can no longer control the spring.
Neither of those things is hard to test/see, it's not rocket surgery.
It's no more dangerous then people putting ultralows into E-Series with stock shocks.
Most laws are made to protect idiots from themselves.
Handguns aren't dangerous unless you shoot someone with one.

 

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Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:45 pm 
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Steady ED wrote:
Only if the spring is no longer captive, and/or the rate has been increased to the point where the shocks damping can no longer control the spring.
Neither of those things is hard to test/see, it's not rocket surgery.
It's no more dangerous then people putting ultralows into E-Series with stock shocks.
Most laws are made to protect idiots from themselves.
Handguns aren't dangerous unless you shoot someone with one.


If you cut off 1 coil, that is 1 coils' worth of spring energy ( for want of a better way to say it ), that is not available. Std springs are usually a single rate spring, unless it is a later model turnout, or aftermarket springs, tend to be a rising rate spring.

 

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Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:29 pm 
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cjh wrote:
Steady ED wrote:
Only if the spring is no longer captive, and/or the rate has been increased to the point where the shocks damping can no longer control the spring.
Neither of those things is hard to test/see, it's not rocket surgery.
It's no more dangerous then people putting ultralows into E-Series with stock shocks.
Most laws are made to protect idiots from themselves.
Handguns aren't dangerous unless you shoot someone with one.


If you cut off 1 coil, that is 1 coils' worth of spring energy ( for want of a better way to say it ), that is not available.

It's a fact springs get stiffer when they are cut shorter. That is because springs twist when they are compressed. The energy is stored in the twist in the spring. It is harder to twist something that is shorter. To illustrate, consider a 6m length of 3mmx12mm plate, you can twist this with your hand, then consider a 100mm length of the same plate, you can't twist this with your hand. It's much stiffer.

Quote:
Std springs are usually a single rate spring, unless it is a later model turnout, or aftermarket springs, tend to be a rising rate spring.

When cutting std springs it doesn't matter much whether it is linear or progressive rate.

Some aftermarket lowered coils are progressive rate, but only so the spring can achieve the lowered height while also having a longer free height than a linear lowered coil would have. There is thus less chance of the coil coming loose at full droop.

Very rarely progressive rate coils are designed in such a way so they reduce the chance of bottoming out. For them to do this the bulk of the coil has to become coil bound, and then a stiffer section comes into play.

 

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Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:38 pm 
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cjh wrote:
So the shockie and the spring are now out of whack.

The owner has mentioned installing good shocks. If the right shocks are installed they will work well with the stiffer coils. As long as the car isn't radically lowered, say less than 100mm clearance, a good quality h/d shock should work fine. If you are concerned about the damping, get a shock with adjustable rebound, like a koni.

The length will also need to be appropriate. Depending on the suspension design and coil free height, a std length may still be appropriate, or a suspension mod or a shorter shock may be needed.

 

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