94-04 is an aftermarket rear sway bar worth while? - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016 Thread Starter
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94-04 is an aftermarket rear sway bar worth while?

I'll be replacing the rear control arms on my 95 sooner than later. I was wondering if it would be worth an extra $150-$180 to replace the stock rear sway barn while it's off? The stock bar is 23 mm and the aftermarket ones that I looked at thus far were 7/8" (which is a little smaller than 23mm correct?), 24mm, and 25mm. Will that extra millimeter or two really make that much of a difference, or am I better off saving the money and putting the stock bar back on?
This isn't a track car of any sort and I never really considered "upgrading" the sway bars but since I have to take the old one off anyway I started pondering them. Anyone have any experience on the matter? What did the new and improved rear bar do for you? If I get one it'll be on the lower end of the cost spectrum, I'm not spending $300 on a rear sway bar. So $150-$180 rear sway bar vs the stocker, that is the question. The reason I posted on this section is the chassis are the same and the bars are similar and this area gets more traffic than the 5.0 section.
Here's kinda a cool chart I found on cj pony's site with stock sway bar sizes by year. http://www.cjponyparts.com/tech-sway-bars/a/161/

Sway Bar Information

1984-2004 Mustangs

YearFront SizeRear SizeFront Bushings
84 5.0
(Pre 12/83)1-1/8"3/4" or 13/16"SBB24
84-86 5.0
(Post 12/83)1-5/16"3/4" or 13/16"SBB27
84-86 SVO
1-1/8"N/ASBB24
84-93 2.3
15/16"N/ASBB21
87-93 5.0
GT and LX1-5/16"13/16"SBB27
93 Cobra
1-1/8"13/16"SBB24
94-95 Cobra
25mm25mmSBB22
94-95 GT
30mm23mmSBB25
94-98 V6
27mm21mmSBB23
96-98 Cobra
29mm25mm
96-98 GT
30mm23mm
99-00 V6
Manual Trans.27mmN/ASBB23
99-00 V6
Auto Trans.25.4mmN/A
01-04 V6
25.4mmN/A
99-04 GT
26.5mm23mm
99-04 4.6 DOHC
(Except 03-04 Cobra)28mm25mmSBB24
03-04 Cobra
29mm26mm
.



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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016
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Y'know, I've been considering replacing mine but mostly just because I'm bored and I for some reason don't feel like I'm quite yet ready to do PHB yet. I have been eyeballing the Eibach set, although the idea of Steeda in front and Eibach in rear is also something I have toyed with.

In your situation, I am not sure it would be worthwhile for you at this time. Especially just doing the rear. Is there any particular reason you're thinking about it or are you also just bored?

I honestly wish I knew more about sway bars, and I really feel like there is more to know about them than what is advertised. The O.D. size is nice, but what would be nicer is something to the extent of telling you a torsion rate or something like that. You're kind of led to believe that a 23mm bar would be stiffer than a 21mm bar just simply because it is larger in diameter, but variables such as the grade of steel used in construction and the heating/cooling process of the bar during manufacturing you honestly could end up with a smaller diameter bar that has a higher torsional strength than the larger bar. A sway bar is really a tuning device for your suspension and should be towards the end of your modifications (following springs and dampeners), but I think it's kinda difficult to fine tune your suspension with one without being able to compare the measured strength of one against another and also vs the stock ones like can be done when choosing springs.

If you have done springs and shocks or are happy with where you are in that department then go for it. As far as choosing which one would be right for you, I think it's a bit of a guessing game. In any case I wouldn't expect dramatic results (especially replacing rear only) but what it should do primarily is help keep the car a little flatter in turns.



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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SoCal2V View Post
Y'know, I've been considering replacing mine but mostly just because I'm bored and I for some reason don't feel like I'm quite yet ready to do PHB yet. I have been eyeballing the Eibach set, although the idea of Steeda in front and Eibach in rear is also something I have toyed with.

In your situation, I am not sure it would be worthwhile for you at this time. Especially just doing the rear. Is there any particular reason you're thinking about it or are you also just bored?

I honestly wish I knew more about sway bars, and I really feel like there is more to know about them than what is advertised. The O.D. size is nice, but what would be nicer is something to the extent of telling you a torsion rate or something like that. You're kind of led to believe that a 23mm bar would be stiffer than a 21mm bar just simply because it is larger in diameter, but variables such as the grade of steel used in construction and the heating/cooling process of the bar during manufacturing you honestly could end up with a smaller diameter bar that has a higher torsional strength than the larger bar. A sway bar is really a tuning device for your suspension and should be towards the end of your modifications (following springs and dampeners), but I think it's kinda difficult to fine tune your suspension with one without being able to compare the measured strength of one against another and also vs the stock ones like can be done when choosing springs.

If you have done springs and shocks or are happy with where you are in that department then go for it. As far as choosing which one would be right for you, I think it's a bit of a guessing game. In any case I wouldn't expect dramatic results (especially replacing rear only) but what it should do primarily is help keep the car a little flatter in turns.


I concur on all of the above. I found it interesting on some of the stock size and the combos the combos on some. The 94/95 gt has i think a 30mm in the front and a 23 in the back, where the cobra of that year has 25mm's in both front and rear. What's with that?
I've looked at them out of boredom in the past, but here recently what got me looking at them is that I was looking for new sway bar bolts and I thought, "hm, a new bar might come with new bolts and the old one has to come off anyway...." But really I'm kinda leaning towards not getting one. I'm kinda thinking that it'd be one of those mods where you're not sure if it really made a difference but you kinda think it did but then again you're not sure if it really did or if that since you bought it you want to feel something so you do. I doubt it'll make or break you but like you said if you're running out of tidbits to do to your car it might be worth the gamble, it'd give you something to do on the weekend at minimum. If I come across an extra $180 before I get the arms on maybe I'll give one a try. But what if I end up with the same or worse than stock..?? No one out there play with one?


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016
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Budget and bang for your buck being priorities, I think if you're gonna mess with sway bars then you would see more difference in the cars' handling if you replaced the front rather than the rear.

The front sway bar does a lot more work than the rear, a lot of that having to do with independent suspension. In the rear, the only movement concerning the sway bar is that of the lca's, which I think under most circumstances remain relatively parallel to one another. I could be way off though.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal2V View Post
Budget and bang for your buck being priorities, I think if you're gonna mess with sway bars then you would see more difference in the cars' handling if you replaced the front rather than the rear.

The front sway bar does a lot more work than the rear, a lot of that having to do with independent suspension. In the rear, the only movement concerning the sway bar is that of the lca's, which I think under most circumstances remain relatively parallel to one another. I could be way off though.


Sounds logical.


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016
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For your purposes, the front would be more beneficial. Even then, it's one of those "hey I have a front sway bar too" kind of mods...I don't see the necessity but that's just me.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016
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Imho for the price range of $150 i would spring for subframe connectors rather than sway bars. On my mustang they only installed a 25mm front sway bar and no rear sway bar. I have not noticed any difference between my v6 and my gt as in handling during corners at any speeds. However ive noticed my car takes about a 3 lanes to do uturn.. it is like steering a boat at times. Regardless good luck and keep us posted.

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Originally Posted by 6stang02 View Post
Imho for the price range of $150 i would spring for subframe connectors rather than sway bars. On my mustang they only installed a 25mm front sway bar and no rear sway bar. I have not noticed any difference between my v6 and my gt as in handling during corners at any speeds. However ive noticed my car takes about a 3 lanes to do uturn.. it is like steering a boat at times. Regardless good luck and keep us posted.


Sfc's- already have 'em.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-12-2018
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Sway bars make a huge difference on 79-04 Mustangs.

I know this is a bit older but there is lack of information on what these sway bar kits do for our cars the 79-04 Mustang. First off the rear bar is probably not worth upgrading alone for most people on these cars. I am sure there are cars and situations where this might be a good move, yet on a 79-04 Mustang, it's generally not something you would do. In fact, the aftermarket kits all come with rear bars the same size or only slightly larger than the stock ones on is on 99-04 GT. The front bar is the one that will make the real difference for most people on our cars as it reduces body roll and helps get rid of understeer. It just seems to make sense that you buy both in a kit that was designed to work together. You would only mess around with one or the other like that if you knew what you were doing and were trying to get the car to behave a certain way for a certain type of racing situation.

To anyone pondering buying them I suggest a kit and I highly recommend them, I promise you will never regret it, the difference is that big. Keep in mind the results will vary slightly between a Fox, SN95 and New Edge as there are differences in chassis stiffness, weight and the original bar size/stiffness. With that said the Eibach aftermarket sway bars on my friends 02 GT and the SR performance on my 1999 GT were well worth the 280-350 bucks. They were the single most transformative change I have ever made. Keep in mind I have SLP long tube headers, so yes, I have many mods. The difference is apparent from the first time you pull out the driveway or off the lot at the shop. The car is stiffer and it tightens up the ride a bit, even turning in a parking lot it just feels tight and it’s nimbler. As you get it out on the road you will notice how you can cut turns extremely sharp, it just feels amazing and will make anyone who has never had a serious sports car feel like a kid in a go-kart. Things like quick lane changing at speed, or a bob and weave in traffic will demonstrate what they mean when they say it reduces body roll. You will notice that it just feels amazing, it stays flat and it’s as if you no longer have a big boat on the road. It literally feels like a new car and I have owned my car since new in 1999 so I know how it “feels” to drive. As you take some hard turn particularly on/off ramps you will find it carries speed so well and you now feel more confident taking turns at higher rates of speed. You will come to understand what all the people who road race, are talking about with understeer vs oversteer. Take your time and build your experience, your Mustang is now closer to a sport car and behaves like it. So, don’t just jump into turns at extreme speed, you may get into trouble because the rear end will now come around somewhat (oversteer). Work your way into it and gain some experience before you push it. As I said before even if you are not interested in road racing or pushing the limits the benefits in daily driving make it well worth it to buy one of these sway bar kits. After all handling is more about how the car feels in your hands and this applies at all speeds and not so much about ultimate grip. I can’t say enough about them and I recommend them to anyone but a hard core drag racer, of course you can always loosen the end links on drag day. Anyone who has never had them on their car and is downplaying them or considering them a second-rate mod is kidding themselves PERIOD…… The bottom line is that sway bars are used to reduce roll, but more importantly to tune the way cars handle and are used to adjust it so that it will oversteer, understeer, or be neutral.

People have talked about a PHB so I want to address that. A PHB does not serve the same purpose as a sway/anti-roll bar. Like sway bars a PHB is a major improvement for any 79-04 Mustang. Yet the sole purpose of the PHB is to locate the rear axle and keep it from moving radically side to side, which anyone who has owned a 79-04 Mustang knows is a huge problem with our cars. As I have come to understand it the benefits of PHB are things like reduced bushing deflection and keeping the car at the proper angle with the road which will maximize the tire contact patch and so on. This is a huge benefit to both road and drag racers, as well as the casual driver. Why would the average Mustang owner want one? Well for less than 400 bucks plus install it makes our solid rear axle cars ride nearly as nice as the independent rear axle Cobra cars do, while keeping the cost and strength benefits of a solid rear axle. Many including myself see it as the best of both worlds. When you add a torque arm which is used to set pinion angle and found on the full Maximum Motorsports setup you can remove your upper control arms and quad shocks. This setup literally makes a Fox Body, SN95, or New Edge handle better most Ferrari’s or Porsches. A Watt's link also provides the same function as the PHB and can be used in its place. In fact, with the Maximum Motorsports full setup, a PHB and Torque arm along with all the other goodies on a 1990 LX 5.0, Motor Trend tested this setup in 1998 and was able to attain the third fastest 600ft slalom times of any car they have ever tested this included some pretty exotic automobiles.

Maximum Motorsports Suspension Kit - 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords Magazine
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Last edited by electroman0076; 01-12-2018 at 01:52 AM. Reason: Add information and correct spelling.
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It's been a little over a year so I am not sure if you still have your car but you would love what a sway bar kit would do for that V6. You are definitely right about SFC as they are universally understood to be a must-have modification and among the first anyone should do on any 79-04. Since you have the SFC you would really notice what the sway bars would do for you and I promise you would never regret buying them. The SR Performance kit for AM is of identical dimensions and specs as the Eibach kit and has in the past came with Eibach branded bags in the box according to some people. For 280$ it's hard to go wrong with this kit, it will remove that boat like feeling you described and makes lane changing feel like you are in a go-kart. They simply transform the way the car feels in all situations and it's apparent in every situation from parking lots to backroads and the highway.
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