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    How do I make my B-body handle better?

    blacknred79
    blacknred79
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    How do I make my B-body handle better? - Page 2 Empty sway bars

    Post  blacknred79 Fri Jul 07, 2023 10:37 am

    rkjjeep wrote:what you describe doesn't sound like it's caused by the bar.  If the rubber in the links and frame mount bushings is OK that is - and those links look new.  You say you have swapped control arms and bushings etc - did you go with OEM style bushings or something else?  The big bar I put on the buick did not add any hardness or harshness.   All that said - can't hurt to remove the bar and see if the hardness gets better.  

    I replaced everything with a stock counterpart. Even the coil springs are the standard size/height springs, not the heavy duty variable rate springs; which it actually had in the rear. I am starting to wonder if the reason this car doesn't ride like it's on a cloud (like I remember these cars riding as a kid 30+ years ago) is because of the wider/heavier 15x8 wheels and 60 series tires vs the stock wheels and narrow tires? That's quite a bit more surface contact with the road. I'm running 255/60's up front and 275/60's on the back. The wheels that were on the car when I bought it were also 15x8"; which might explain why I did not notice a vast improvement or change in ride quality after putting the 15x8 rally wheels and entirely new suspension/steering parts on the car. If nothing was greatly worn out to begin with there wouldn't be a noticeable difference. I did have the notion to do as you suggested, and remove the front sway bar just to see if it made any difference at all. I just haven't had the time to mess with it this summer, let alone drive the car too many times due to all the rain we've been getting and the road work everywhere. The car only comes out on nice days and seems to sit in the garage more than ever lately.
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    rkjjeep
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    How do I make my B-body handle better? - Page 2 Empty cloud like ride

    Post  rkjjeep Fri Jul 07, 2023 3:02 pm

    blacknred79 wrote:
    rkjjeep wrote:what you describe doesn't sound like it's caused by the bar.  If the rubber in the links and frame mount bushings is OK that is - and those links look new.  You say you have swapped control arms and bushings etc - did you go with OEM style bushings or something else?  The big bar I put on the buick did not add any hardness or harshness.   All that said - can't hurt to remove the bar and see if the hardness gets better.  

    I replaced everything with a stock counterpart. Even the coil springs are the standard size/height springs, not the heavy duty variable rate springs; which it actually had in the rear. I am starting to wonder if the reason this car doesn't ride like it's on a cloud (like I remember these cars riding as a kid 30+ years ago) is because of the wider/heavier 15x8 wheels and 60 series tires vs the stock wheels and narrow tires? That's quite a bit more surface contact with the road. I'm running 255/60's up front and 275/60's on the back. The wheels that were on the car when I bought it were also 15x8"; which might explain why I did not notice a vast improvement or change in ride quality after putting the 15x8 rally wheels and entirely new suspension/steering parts on the car. If nothing was greatly worn out to begin with there wouldn't be a noticeable difference. I did have the notion to do as you suggested, and remove the front sway bar just to see if it made any difference at all. I just haven't had the time to mess with it this summer, let alone drive the car too many times due to all the rain we've been getting and the road work everywhere. The car only comes out on nice days and seems to sit in the garage more than ever lately.

    Well as a point of reference, my completely stock 1979 LeSabre Coupe, with the stock 15x6 steel wheels and 215/75 tires does ride like it's on a cloud - it just had too much body roll and we live in MI twisty road heaven. The 1.25" front bar added a "little" hardness but really flattened the car out going around corners. I like it. I'll try the longer links tomorrow.
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    How do I make my B-body handle better? - Page 2 Empty Longer links

    Post  rkjjeep Sat Jul 08, 2023 11:32 am

    The longer links didn't help much. I got the links that looked like they would put the bar ends parallel with lower control arm so the sleeve length was about 3.5" (vs the 2.4" "stock"). It heped but it's now clear that the "arms" on this sway bar are shorter than the arms on the stock b body bar. The links are still titled forward at the top with everything in place and tightened down. Drives fine - I may just leave it until fall.
    blacknred79
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    How do I make my B-body handle better? - Page 2 Empty Longer links

    Post  blacknred79 Sat Jul 08, 2023 7:44 pm

    rkjjeep wrote:The longer links didn't help much.  I got the links that looked like they would put the bar ends parallel with lower control arm so the sleeve length was about 3.5" (vs the 2.4" "stock").  It heped but it's now clear that the "arms" on this sway bar are shorter than the arms on the stock b body bar.   The links are still titled forward at the top with everything in place and tightened down.  Drives fine - I may just leave it until fall.  

    Got a pic? I think I know what you are trying to explain. It's a shame these parts are as easy to come by as they once were. To think of all the B-bodies and G-bodies I walked past as a teenager up through my early 20's.........if I had picked them clean then and stashed the parts I could retire today! LOL!
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    How do I make my B-body handle better? - Page 2 Empty Re: How do I make my B-body handle better?

    Post  rkjjeep Sat Jul 08, 2023 9:10 pm

    blacknred79 wrote:
    rkjjeep wrote:The longer links didn't help much.  I got the links that looked like they would put the bar ends parallel with lower control arm so the sleeve length was about 3.5" (vs the 2.4" "stock").  It heped but it's now clear that the "arms" on this sway bar are shorter than the arms on the stock b body bar.   The links are still titled forward at the top with everything in place and tightened down.  Drives fine - I may just leave it until fall.  

    Got a pic? I think I know what you are trying to explain. It's a shame these parts are as easy to come by as they once were. To think of all the B-bodies and G-bodies I walked past as a teenager up through my early 20's.........if I had picked them clean then and stashed the parts I could retire today! LOL!

    Sorry I did not take any pictures. I actually removed it tonight and reinstalled the stock bar with new bushings and end links. With the F body bar on the car the top of the links tilted forward and inboard. The bar worked but the links looked goofy. I also had to use link sleeves almost 1.5" taller than stock (so sleeves were almost 4") to make the top of the bar parallel with the lower control arms. After doing all this and reading everything on the subject it seems to be well known that the F body bar fits just as I describe it. Some even describe lower control arm hole deformation from the tilted links. The stock bar with stock part number links (2.4" sleeves) makes everything parallel and the links are straight up and down. I liked the feel of the car with the 1.25" firebird bar but the fit bothered me. I'll look for a bigger bar made for a 79 b-body
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    How do I make my B-body handle better? - Page 2 Empty how to make b body handle better with CAVEATS

    Post  rkjjeep Sat Jul 15, 2023 6:23 pm

    I've been playing with cars and bikes for over 50 years. When I read the advice here about the F body bar and the specific bushings and links I believed it, and ordered the bar and the bushings and links. As described above, it did not work out great for me.
    1) the bar has a different geometry. Yes, you can get it all bolted up but the links will be tilted
    2) the links specified in that post are too short
    3) the bushings specified in that post are the right size for the bar but they do not fit the factory clamps.
    I think most people would be better off just buying the bar made for b body.
    Does anyone read this forum anymore? I know I am late to the party!

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    rkjjeep
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    How do I make my B-body handle better? - Page 2 Empty b body 1 1/4" new bar

    Post  rkjjeep Sun Jul 16, 2023 5:37 pm

    And while I'm at it - PST sells the G-MAX solid 1.25" bar for B-Body specifically. For something like $255 with free shipping it comes with bushings and brackets and links. I know nobody is reading this but I'll report back after I try it!
    blacknred79
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    How do I make my B-body handle better? - Page 2 Empty I see your posts! LOL!

    Post  blacknred79 Sun Jul 16, 2023 5:43 pm

    rkjjeep wrote:And while I'm at it - PST sells the G-MAX solid 1.25" bar for B-Body specifically.  For something like $255 with free shipping it comes with bushings and brackets and links.  I know nobody is reading this but I'll report back after I try it!

    I've been seeing your posts..........even "liked" it with the button below. Did you see that feature? I've been making updates for a little while now on my own thread but no one has seen any of the latest posts or commented I believe............just progress pics/info on my '79 Caprice.

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