Details of how to install a Hollow 36mm Front Sway Bar on a G-body

UNGN

Comic Book Super Hero
Sep 6, 2016
3,018
113
Southlake, TX
About 20 years ago, I found a 36mm sway bar on a 3rd Gen WS6 T/A in the Junkyard. These bars weigh 10 lb less than the stock 32mm and I was trying to run mid 11's stock appearing, so I was looking for any weight saving I could find. I remember buying some bushings and it bolted right on. Later, when my dad had the the car torn apart to be repainted, I told him to swap the 36mm bar onto the 2+2, and he put the 32mm back on the T-type.

Recently I bought another 3rd gen 36mm for the T-type and when it didn't just bold right on, I figured I'd better make a thread to go through What I did to make it fit.

Turns out my T-type had dealer installed brackets/urethane bushings on the factory bar, that made installing the 36mm bar easier than the factory brackets.

Here are the things that the thread will go into:

1) Frame Bushings
2) Frame Mounting Bracket Mods
3) Frame Bracket Shims
4) Frame mods.
5) Link length
6) Misc


Completed Install:
20200726_160829.jpg



1) Frame Bushings
The options for frame bushings are the factory rubber or aftermarket urethane

20200726_135405.jpg

Moog K6459 and AC Delco 45G0651 are equivalent to the factory 88912420 Rubber Bushings (use the factory brackets). My QTY: 1 box contained 2 bushings.

Energy Suspensions 3.5213 greaseable 36MM kit may work, but will probably need some mods, because it is for GM trucks that have a .3" larger distance between mounting bolt centers


2) Frame Mounting Bracket Mods:

Here are the 3 different types of Frame Mounting Brackets:

Frame Brackets.jpg

Stock (Left), F-body (Middle), Aftermarket (for urethane) Right

If reusing the Factory G-Body Frame Mounts, they will need to be modded for use with the factory 36mm rubber frame bushings. The rear outside of each bracke will need to be opened up for clearance. (note the F-Body Mounts above have completely open sides.

The F-body 36MM Brackets have offset mounting holes and 3" spacing and there isn't much meat there to drill a new hole - maybe it can be done, Modding the factory brackets is probably a better option.

Aftermarket brackets won't need this mod:



3) Frame Bracket Shims
Note in the picture above, that bushing extends 3/8" below the bracket. The Bolts can probably be cranked down to crush the bushings, but the swaybar should rotate freely in the bushings, so this would be bad. Its best to shim the bracket away from the frame about 1/4" - 5/16". Ideally, some Aluminum plate would be best. I used my $10 Harbor Freight cut off wheel to cut some shims out of an old non vented Miata rear disk rotor:


After Sanding/Painting (Extreme Close-up)
Bracket Shim.jpg


How the Shims Fit:
Shims.jpg




4) Frame Mods
The LCA bump stop plate and excess weld on the frame can rub the bar during its travel. The $10 Harbor Freight Cut off wheel makes short work of these:



I may touch the voiding up with a MIG welder later, but for now...



5) Link Length

The Ideal link bolt length is a 7" with a 2.75" to 3" sleeve. Poly Bushings may need a 7.5" bolt to start, with a 3" sleeve.
I go buy real shoulder bolts from the hardware store.
I used to have a lot of thread failures with the necked down hardware on OEM and Aftermarket Sway bar links.
Real Grade 5 or Grade 8 bolts, not so much.
bolt and sleeve.jpg




6) Misc
If you need new frame bolts, the Frame bracket bolts off of a Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon work great with the factory brackets. These have a 6 point 10mm head and a larger washer surface than factory. Regular bolt heads with this thread will be too large and be too close to the bracket to use a closed end whench/socket.



7) Installation
Installing the Bar is a littles easier than the factory 32mm (because its 10lbs lighter, but there are a few tricks:

1) The U-bend in the middle goes down. Think of the bar smiling back at you and not frowning.
2) Install the Frame Brackets/Spacers loose on both sides, then...
3) Push the arms of the bar as high up as they will go, to center the bar in the frame brackets.
4) Now tighten the Frame brackets (I use a tiny 1/4" drive ratchet so its hard to cross thread/strip anything)
5) after the frame brackets are tight, make sure the bar moves without much resistance and that it is still centered on the frame.
 

Attachments

  • Bracket mods.jpg
    Bracket mods.jpg
    440.9 KB · Views: 865
  • 20200725_194538.jpg
    20200725_194538.jpg
    123.1 KB · Views: 868
  • 20200710_114658.jpg
    20200710_114658.jpg
    95.8 KB · Views: 828
  • 20200710_121536.jpg
    20200710_121536.jpg
    97.8 KB · Views: 821
Last edited:

PBGBodyFan

G-Body Guru
Mar 3, 2009
508
93
Wisconsin

Longroof79

Rocket Powered Basset Hound
Oct 14, 2008
11,184
113
Gainesville, Fl
I took your advice several years ago when I installed my 36mm swaybar. I added 1/4" shims under the mounting brackets. Otherwise tightening down on the brackets tended to crush the bushings and kept the bar from moving freely.

Welcome back! Nice to see you part of the forum again.
 
Last edited:

Longroof79

Rocket Powered Basset Hound
Oct 14, 2008
11,184
113
Gainesville, Fl
I just installed a 36mm on my wagon a few months ago and bought his bushings, so should still be available.
Paul,
Did you use the brackets supplied with the bushings? I see that they're for an F-body. I found that the F=body brackets had an offset bolt pattern.
 
  • Like
Reactions: UNGN
Oct 14, 2008
6,728
113
Melville,Saskatchewan
Do they improve handling over the 32mm bar? Just curious.
 

Longroof79

Rocket Powered Basset Hound
Oct 14, 2008
11,184
113
Gainesville, Fl
Do they improve handling over the 32mm bar? Just curious.
Good question. It's hard to actually tell the difference because I have used both. One factor might be that the hollow bar is lighter than the 32mm solid bar. But I'm sure the weight is negligible.
 

UNGN

Comic Book Super Hero
Thread starter
Sep 6, 2016
3,018
113
Southlake, TX
Good question. It's hard to actually tell the difference because I have used both. One factor might be that the hollow bar is lighter than the 32mm solid bar. But I'm sure the weight is negligible.

The Weight savings is an right at 10lbs. On My T-type, I switched to a lightweight starter, non 5mph bumper brackets (vs stock Aluminum) from an '84 and a hollow front sway bar and it cut 30lbs off the front of the car. An '87 GN would save about 45 LB's off the front doing these mods (they have a heavier steel Bumper bracket)

Stiffness of the Hollow 36mm is similar to the 32mm.
 

UNGN

Comic Book Super Hero
Thread starter
Sep 6, 2016
3,018
113
Southlake, TX
If you are installing a 30-36mm sway bar, try getting the brackets from Top down solutions if they are still available


As Longroof said, the F-body brackets won't work due to the offset holes. Energy Suspensions sells a Greasable bracket/36mm bushing for GM trucks that may need less bracket mods to work (GM Trucks have 3" bolt centers)
 
G-Body Performance Upgrades

GBodyForum is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Please support GBodyForum Sponsors

Classic Truck ConsolesDixie Restoration DepotMike's MontesP-S-TSouthside Machine PerformanceUMI Performance

contact[email protected]for info on becoming a sponsor