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difference between sway bars

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    Posted: Aug/14/2019 at 8:28am
I would like to put a sway bar in my 66 rambler. It is a 6 cyl car with all the associated 6 cyl suspension parts. I see in the parts manual there is a different part number for a 6 cyl sway bar vs a v8 sway bar. What is the difference here? Can I use a V8 sway bar with my 6 cyl suspension? Seems like the 6 cyl one would be impossible to find as it was an option.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 6768rogues Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/14/2019 at 6:36pm
I have a 67 V8 sway bar under my 66 American 6 cylinder car. Supposedly the V8 unit was a little thicker (1/16" as I recall), but I never noticed the difference simply by handling them. I have both, so if I think of it I will check. Neither is easy to find, so my advice is to buy whatever becomes available.
It makes a big difference in the way the car corners.


Edited by 6768rogues - Aug/14/2019 at 6:38pm
Why Ramblers? Chicks dig 'em. Whatever it is, I can take it apart.
Located near Rochester, NY
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/14/2019 at 7:05pm
http://theamcforum.com/forum/sway-bar-antiroll-bar-facts_topic101419.html

People mindlessly change these things - likely the bigger is better or peer pressure or believing the BS on the web about suspension mods "hey, I installed a bigger bar and wow amazing!".
They get stupid about it and simply start installing or swapping suspension and steering parts - with no understanding of the impact or effects or how they work. 
The off-roaders prefer NO bar - in fact one said "sway bars and off-road don't go together"  - an he has a scientific explanation and animation to demonstrate it. And yet - folks will go out and start swapping parts hey, bigger is better, obviously, right? 
Not in all cases, not on all cars. In fact, a lot depends on your TIRES, alignment, shocks, SPRING stiffness and rate and much more.
So if a person says "I put a bigger bar on my Hornet and made a great difference"  - that does NOT mean it will be a positive on YOUR car - depending on the weight of your car, the tires, springs and shocks. 
No one should swap these things based only on what someone with a similar car did.
YMMV
It MAY help or work the same - or may not. 


Edited by billd - Aug/14/2019 at 7:09pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote First_Gear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/14/2019 at 9:02pm
i would think that any sway bar would be better than no sway bar. There is a junkyard near my mom's place that has a ton of amc cars including many rambler classics and Marlon's however most are v8 cars. I bet one of em has a sway bar on it but it will likely be a V8 bar.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tomj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/14/2019 at 9:59pm
actually the AMC suspension is quite resistant to roll, because the spring is so far outboard, being right over the knuckle. cars with the spring in the lower arm are the worst.

when a car rolls to the outside of the turn, you can think of the forces as two vectors -- one downward (gravity) and the other centrifugal (sideways). the sum of these puts the downward force at an angle, if you plot it on paper it creates a sort-of lever that puts additional force on the spring. (parked, the vector is 100% downward, 0% sideways.)

the force that's straight up and down (gravity) on a GM system ends up with a lot of mechanical advantage and the spring needs to be super strong to resist it. the AMC spring over the knuckle doesn't allow this mechanical advantage.

(AMCs spring over knuckle severely limited styling since it forces the car to be really tall.)

anti-roll bars cause the car to squat, as it levers some of that vector force back onto the chassis.

if you REALLY want to eliminate body lean -- you need some, even for racing -- double spring stiffness. but then the ride will suck. my '61 American handles as well as an AMC, better than most, it's now middle of the pack in my vintage sports car crew, but spring travel is reduced to about 4.5". no sway bars.

personally i don't like the squat caused by anti-roll bars. plus it's more mass. they effect side to side transients though, if you jerk the steering wheel, it slows "tossing".

(i'm really enjoying my 68 american, with it's 80 lb/inch springs, soft shocks, and no anti-roll bars. "handling" is non-existent, but it rides great! i'd forgotten what a pleasure 60's cars were/are...)

everthing's a compromise somewhere...

1961 roadster american, 195.6 OHV, T5
1968 american, 199ci, T96
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote 6768rogues Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/14/2019 at 10:30pm
I have 3 Americans and drove them all with and without sway bars. They ride nearly identically with or without but body lean is appreciably less in corners and evasive maneuvers with the bar. If I had to avoid something in the road, I would prefer to have the stability provided by a sway bar.  Sure, off road a sway bar makes both sides react to severe articulation on one side. I have owned many Jeeps and have done a off road driving and competing. I never considered off roading with my Ramblers and have no reason to believe the original poster has either, so the effects of a sway bar off road is not a consideration.

Why Ramblers? Chicks dig 'em. Whatever it is, I can take it apart.
Located near Rochester, NY
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