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Front sway bar



I'm concentrating on my suspension this spring. What I'm replacing is: rear leaf spring, front & rear shocks, front coils, complete front end urethane bushings with tie rods,& complete power steering components. And now to my question. I have a 7/8 '' front sway bar on the car now. Would I gain anything in handling if I go to a 1'' bar or larger? What is everyones thoughts on a rear sway bar?:confused
Unless you are racing"Auto Cross" are somthing like that. The only thing that I can imagine that you would gain with a 1in bar over a 7/8 in bar, would be, about a 1/2lb. Remember that is only 1/8 of an inch bigger, that ain't much. Also a lot of the newer vettes have 5/8in bars............Just my oppinion............Steve
Sway bars for corvette

There is one thing you must keep in mind when you are messing around with the suspension. Everything works together as a unit the front sway bar was designed originally with the current springs.

Now for modifying the suspension I would go with the 1” inch bar in the front but you have to use a rear sway bar, something like a 7/8 bar.

I would contact “Vette Brakes & Products” www.vettebrakes.com. They can help you get the type of setup you want. They know their business.

PS I am not an employ of Vette Brakes but have used them before.
sway bar

While you are talking to suspension venders get an opinion from Dave at Guldstrand Motorsports, one of our supporting venders. Dave is always willing to help you dial in your car.

Also welcome to the forums masonma. Glad to have another California member. Do you know Bud (Rare 81)?

There seems to be some speculation about this subject and rightfully so. Without going into long drawn out paragraphs and would probably end up with me stepping on someones toes, I'll just give you my opinion.
Now this also greatly depends on how you plan on driving your car, (be honest with yourself) and what your desired outcome will be. Sway bars are fine tuning devices only!! Rely more on your springs, shocks and shock valving to control your vehicle's actions. The absolute largest front sway bar for a 63-82 Corvette is 1-1/8". Your 7/8 front bar is adaquate for spirited street driving, optimum for any type of road racing is the 1". Autocross applications might (a big might) use the 1-1/8".
Any 63-82 Corvette, in any type of racing application should use no sway bar in the rear. Yes you read that right, NO SWAY BAR IN THE REAR. A rear sway bar, even the coat hanger 7/16", will cause a loose condition on a high speed corner or even on a stab and go corner. This apply's only to midyears and sharks. C4's and C5's are a different breed. What you need to learn to do, is to drive your car with the gas pedal and not with the brake pedal. When this is accomplished, you will totally understand what I'm talking about. As a test, take your favorite corner with the rear bar connected and then without. You tell me what feels better. I've told this same information to racers on all types of circuits. 90% of them, that were running a rear sway bar, has called me back to thank me.
Remember there are two different types of shops, one that sells parts and one that sells performance.

Dave Tillotson

Guldstrand Motorsports
Hi GS796
Wow, this sounds strange.
Why did GM install aft sway bars to all hi power
Vettes, like 427/435HP ?
Your info realy turns my thinking upsidedown.
I thought that a aft swaybar would only make the drive a bit more harsh , but much safer to keep both aft wheels on the ground. Isn't that the teorie behind it ?
I don't think I will remove my bar from my 68 BB.
You are going to get quicker steering responce with the plastic bushings. For most of us non-racers that should be enough to give us a thrill. Sway bars will stiffen up the ride in ways that you may not want on a daily driver. Any sway bar will take something away from the 4 wheel independant suspension. The nice guys at GM had our best interests at heart when they put a small bar in the front and none in the rear.
Remember, things happen fast in high horsepower, short wheel base cars. How fast do you want to have to deal with? :s
Wow, now I'm very confused too... I bought a set of sway bars from Vette Brakes long time ago, in the sizes they recommend: huge! Haven't installed them yet, but was planning to do it soon. Now I don't know if I should fawgeddaboutit and sell them...

To add to the confusion, Greenwood in his VIP (Vette Improvement Program) article said:

... best handling improvements come from a combination of the lightest springs possible for your driving style, quite heavy sway bars, and good shock control valving.


All Corvettes need a rear sway bar.


Sway bars

When I first got my '67 427 coupe it had very wide and low 60 series tires on the rear and rather tall 70s on the front with both sway bars. Click on the little house icon with the www below to see it. The '67 would handle neutral to a little loose and was easy to drive with the gas pedal. Very uncharacteristic of a BB car. When I needed to replace the tires, which was soon as it was too fun to drive, I got a set of stock ralley wheels and a matched set of Goodyears one size bigger than stock.

After that the car handled like a pig. Way too tight at the limit and would plow if pushed. Normal driving was nice though. I never tried unhooking the rear bar. Wish I would have known to try this back then as it should have loosened up the rear some. I had a '65 327 that had a F41 rear spring and no rear bar that handled amazingly well. I'm sure every suspension tuner has their favorite way of setting up a car based on their experience and what they like.

GM is forced , by the nature of their business, to comprimise and set up the car so that the fewest untrained drivers will get themselves in too deep. That might explain the stiff springs and smallish sway bars.

Since you have the bars already, why don,t you experiment with both bars, rear unhooked ect. and report back as to what you like best and why? I would suggest testing on a big parking lot or autocross course so you can get the most feedback with the least amount of risk.

Vette Brakes recommends a 1" in front and I think (read not sure) a 5/8" in the rear. Give them a call they are very helpful.
My 2 cents.

You need to ask your self a few questions before doing mods on the suspension. What is more important ride comfort or cornering potential? Personal I went with Performance is every thing who cares and the ride. I did the stage 4 kit from mid-America and added 17-inch rims to the car. To my shock the car rides a little rough (not the lubber truck ride as expected), but still tolerable for daily driving. I would recommend getting a kit, because all the parts need to work together for the whole thing to work right.

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