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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2016, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Front Sway Bar

Does any company make a 1-1/8" front sway bar for the MN12? I know ADDCO has 1-1/4" and 1-3/8", but I'm looking for something slightly stiffer than the factory 1.06" front bar. I recently replaced my PST 1-1/8" rear bar with an ADDCO 1-1/4" rear bar, and it is not well balanced with my factory front bar.

MikeB
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2016, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeB View Post
Does any company make a 1-1/8" front sway bar for the MN12? I know ADDCO has 1-1/4" and 1-3/8", but I'm looking for something slightly stiffer than the factory 1.06" front bar. I recently replaced my PST 1-1/8" rear bar with an ADDCO 1-1/4" rear bar, and it is not well balanced with my factory front bar.
1989-91 SuperCoupes had 1.2" sway bars. 1992 were 1.12" (as close to 1 1/8 you'll get), and 93+ went down to 1.10" front.

With a 1.25" rear bar, you may want to go to the 1.2 to balance it more.

97 Thunderbird LX (The GT Bird)
2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Great info, thanks.

MikeB
1997 Thunderbird Sport
5.0L-2V PI S/C
540 RWHP / 492 RWTQ
11.28 @ 123 MPH
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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I just read the instructions for replacing the front sway bar, and holy crap they are complicated and time consuming! Is it true that the front sub-frame has to be dropped on the '96-'97 cars? Are there any tips or tricks to make this job easier?

MikeB
1997 Thunderbird Sport
5.0L-2V PI S/C
540 RWHP / 492 RWTQ
11.28 @ 123 MPH
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 02:27 PM
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Yes, the subframe has to be dropped on all year MN12s. It really isn't that bad though. You don't have to pull the subframe out completely, you just need to lower it enough to get the sway bar out, so you can leave the ball joints connected to the spindles, and just unbolt the lower shock bolt from the LCA, support the engine, disconnect the steering shaft, motor mounts, and power steering lines, and lower the subframe down a few inches, and that should give you the clearance you need to get the bar out.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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How much of that work has to be done to just install poly bushings? And how much increase in stiffness do they provide?

MikeB
1997 Thunderbird Sport
5.0L-2V PI S/C
540 RWHP / 492 RWTQ
11.28 @ 123 MPH

Last edited by MikeB; 09-26-2016 at 06:16 PM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 06:13 PM
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None of it, if the new bushings are split designs they can be installed without even removing the endlinks, and even then that's not near the amount of work lowering the K member is

-Matt
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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I ordered poly bushings and new end links from SCP yesterday. Will hold off on actually upgrading the front bar until I pull the engine in a year or two.

MikeB
1997 Thunderbird Sport
5.0L-2V PI S/C
540 RWHP / 492 RWTQ
11.28 @ 123 MPH
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Finally got the poly bushings installed on the factory front sway bar on Saturday, and took the car out for a test drive. Front end stiffness was increased, and the front-to-rear balance was improved. The cornering limit is still not as high as I would like, but overall this is a reasonable setup for a non-track car. I think it would be better with a wider front tire, but I like the way the car looks with the 245s on 8" wide wheels tucked in better than the previous 255s on 9" wheels. The car just isn't going to handle like a Porsche!

MikeB
1997 Thunderbird Sport
5.0L-2V PI S/C
540 RWHP / 492 RWTQ
11.28 @ 123 MPH
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 11:03 AM
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The car just isn't going to handle like a Porsche!
Nope, our cars don't try to make the rear end go around the corner first like Porsche's do.
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97 Thunderbird LX (The GT Bird)
2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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True, especially concerning the older 911s. But I was actually thinking of the newer models, especially the Boxster and Cayman. I have a good friend who owns a Cayman GT4, and it corners quite neutrally!
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MikeB
1997 Thunderbird Sport
5.0L-2V PI S/C
540 RWHP / 492 RWTQ
11.28 @ 123 MPH
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 11:28 AM
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Well these cars at their best have a 58/42 weight bias, the Boxter/Caymen are the inverse since they're mid-engine. The Panamera would be a better comparo

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Good point. Have not had the opportunity to drive a Panamera.

MikeB
1997 Thunderbird Sport
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540 RWHP / 492 RWTQ
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 12:46 PM
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True, especially concerning the older 911s. But I was actually thinking of the newer models, especially the Boxster and Cayman. I have a good friend who owns a Cayman GT4, and it corners quite neutrally!
I know, I was just making a cheap joke.

911's are not for the faint of heart, but yes the Cayman/Boxter is a great platform, and it is only held back by it's engine. They are VERY close to 911 times around most major tracks bone stock.

I like mid engine over rear engine personally. My father had a 1968 Lotus Europa that was great at cornering, we had lots of fun with an 86 Fiero back in the day.

Regarding sway bars, I'm very happy with the 1989 SuperCoupe sway bars front and rear on my 1997 Thunderbird. Paired with Eibach lowering springs, GR-2 shocks, and front and rear shock tower connections the car corners nice and flat, and very well by my standards. I have plenty of confidence in it, but I just drive in a "fun on the street" mode, not on a track.

97 Thunderbird LX (The GT Bird)
2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2016, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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I will probably switch to a larger front bar (something in the 1.12-1.20" diameter range) the next time I have the engine out of the car. Too much work to do it near term.

MikeB
1997 Thunderbird Sport
5.0L-2V PI S/C
540 RWHP / 492 RWTQ
11.28 @ 123 MPH
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2016, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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I took my car into a local shop to get new end links installed on the front sway bar, and asked them to check the rest of the front suspension for wear or damage. They found that the LCAs were worn out, and that the metal sleeves inside the bushings at both ends of the radius rods had rusted away. There was no obvious noises, but I could feel something wasn't right through the steering. With new LCAs and radius rod bushings and sleeves, the car now has the planted feel at the front which was missing. It only took 5 months to sort this out!
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MikeB
1997 Thunderbird Sport
5.0L-2V PI S/C
540 RWHP / 492 RWTQ
11.28 @ 123 MPH
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