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Sway Bars

Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Messages
274
Location
Charleston, SC
Corvette
1981 Dark Blue Metallic, 2003 AE coupe
Anyone know what size (diameter) the factory front sway bar is on the L81? I want to replace the bushings. I also noticed that I don't have a rear sway bar although it looks like the bushing bracket holes are there in the frame. Can anyone confirm that they did not come standard or is mine missing? For those that have the rear bar, is there any noticeable difference? I don't drive very hard. I'm just tossing the idea around. Thanks.
 

Yoda

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 12, 2000
Messages
4,884
Location
Amarillo, TX
Corvette
1981 UL5
:w Mike,

I can't find the specs on the size of the Stablizer in the GM Shop Manual or the Assy. Manual. It's probably in the Assy. Manual "somewhere" maybe someone else will come along with the size..

The "Rear Stablizer" is an option, it's the FE7 option (gymkhana suspension) it was also used for the ZN1 option (Trailer Package) the standard suspension did not come with the rear stablizer bar ;)

Also the front bar was a tad bigger if optioned with the FE or ZN option.

If you have it, check your window sticker or build sheet for options ;)

My guess would be that your car was NOT an FE optioned car, just a guess ;)

Bud
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Messages
274
Location
Charleston, SC
Corvette
1981 Dark Blue Metallic, 2003 AE coupe
Thanks Bud! I don't have the gymkhana suspension. I think I'm going to just get my trusty crescent wrench out and try and measure it. It looks as though the rears available are 5/8", 3/4", and 7/8", so that leaves a 1" and a 1 1/8" for the front choices. I'll bet it's a 1" bar.
 

bill81vette

Moderator
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
4,320
Location
Troy,NY
Corvette
1981 dark blue metallic
Mike, I don't have the sway bar on the back of mine either,so I just assumed I didn't have the gymkhana suspension.
I'll be happy to measure mine if you want a comparison size to go by...
 

muddywaters

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 25, 2002
Messages
765
Location
wilkes-barre,pa.usa
Corvette
1988 white 4+3 coupe 99 Torch Red 6spd. coupe
Tritium007, I put a rear sway bar on my 71LT-1, way back when, The bar came stock w/bigblock's, I wanted one, it bolted right up, the dealer got it for me . I was surprised at the dia., only about half inch. Thinnest sway bar I've seen...........
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2001
Messages
2,141
Location
Rio Rancho, NM
Corvette
1981 HD Suspension; ZN1 Option
Tritium,

I went to my garage, and I measured the sway bars.

The front one is 1.137 diameter (using a caliper laying on the garage floor, so it's probably more close to to 1 1/8"). The part number for the front sway bar is 351596.

The rear one is a little under a half inch diameter. It's part number is 351597.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Messages
274
Location
Charleston, SC
Corvette
1981 Dark Blue Metallic, 2003 AE coupe
Thanks everyone. I was quite surprised to see that honker (1 1/8") bar last night while installing new end links and shocks. Tonight it's the rear shocks and new spring cushions.
 

Yoda

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 12, 2000
Messages
4,884
Location
Amarillo, TX
Corvette
1981 UL5
:w Mike,

You'll see a significant improvement just by putting new shocks and rubber on the ole gal ;)

Shocks, and new Rubber (or Neopren sp) in the front stablizer are a realitively inexpensive upgrade from 25+ years of wear, or less, that you can actually FEEL and see the front end lift a bit from all those years of settling ;)

Bud
 

John Ulrich

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 15, 2000
Messages
134
Location
Eagan, MN, Scottsdale AZ
Corvette
1981 Two Tone Claret, 2014 CRT Roadster
81's with the stock suspensions and automatics came with the fiberglass spring. FE7 gave you the steel spring......which I do not miss one bit!!!!!
The black book does not mention what a 4spd with std suspension came with.

Mine is a 4spd w/FE7 with steel spring (in the attic now)
JU
 

Yoda

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 12, 2000
Messages
4,884
Location
Amarillo, TX
Corvette
1981 UL5
The 4-speed came with the Steel rear spring ;) I've been told that a few of the last Bowling Green std. suspension 4-speeds came with the mono spring... but none of the FE7 or ZN1 optioned Bowling Green 1981's had the mono spring, ALL were Steel..

Bud
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Messages
274
Location
Charleston, SC
Corvette
1981 Dark Blue Metallic, 2003 AE coupe
I've been doing a bit of reading and decided that my driving habits don't warrant a rear bar. I can find better ways to spend the $150. Even if I did drive hard, I don't like the idea of having the rear end come loose all at once vice one wheel at a time, even if I could go around turns faster. I've read that the fiberglass spring actually reduces the need for the rear bar anyway for normal driving. I'm good...on to the next good idea.
 

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