Installing the Rear Sway / Stabilizer Bar
Now it came time to install the rear sway or stabilizer bar on the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod. The C4 Corvette rear suspension looks real nice underneath the Ford Roadster so far. With the composite mono spring, there will be a certain amount of sway bar action. This is the nature of this type of suspension and will just not be enough for this hot rod. The original sway bar from the 1986 Corvette Indy Pace car has a large footprint and will be a bit of a challenge to install on the chassis. Mounting it towards the center of the car just would not work. If I mounted it toward the rear of the car, I would have needed mount it on the rear body rails of the Brookville roadster body. That did not make any sense. It was then I realized that the frame was too short. If I lengthen the frame to the point that the chassis frame rails would still fit inside the Brookville Roadsters body frame rails, I would be able to attach the rear sway bar to the chassis. How lucky could I get? It was meant to be! All I would need to do is make the frame about 10 inches longer. Of course I could have made my life real simple and bought some after market sway bars. I decided against this. My goal from the onset of this project was to use as much of the 1986 Corvette as possible in the build of my hot rod. So my stubbornness won out. The hot rod chassis was going to be modified and lengthened to accommodate the C4 Corvette rear sway bar.
Using a cut off wheel inserted in my 4 inch portable grinder, I cut out the welds off the rear section of the hot rod chassis. Taking something like this apart also gave me a chance to look at the quality of the welds and how strong this was initially assembled. All looked good in the dis-assembly process.
I had a couple sections of the 2 x 4 inch rectangle tubing I had left over from the main part of the chassis. The extensions were cut to size. To make sure that the extensions would be attached straight, I found some long and very straight pieces of angle iron and c-clamped them to the main part of the chassis and the extensions. Once I was satisfied of the placement of the extensions, they were tack welded in place. The rear section of the frame that I removed was re-sized and also tack welded in place. Making sure everything was as it should be; I finished welding everything with the mig welder.
Fabricating the mounting brackets for the sway bar mounts was next on the agenda. Using a small section of 2 inch square tubing as a spacer and a nicely shaped piece of quarter inch steel plate everything was starting to look pretty good.
Having a few good tools makes the fabrication process easier when building a hot rod. In this case, a small stationary metal band saw is indispensable when building a hot rod. Some time ago, at a swap meet, I came across the metal cutting band saw. It was missing a motor and a few other parts. The price was right and I bought it and fixed it up. Now instead of using the plasma cutter, the band saw makes short work on small hot rod brackets. All of my brackets get sanded smooth on all edges. For this I use a small 1 inch stationary belt sander mounted on the work bench.
With the chassis extensions in place and the sway bar receiving brackets mounted to the frame, it came time to install the rear sway bar. Once it was installed, I noticed the link bushings were worn and needed to be replaced. The clearance between the sway bar and the rear tires is a bit close. I still need to perform and alignment on the rear wheels and that will need to wait till the final assembly of the chassis/hot rod. If needed, one of two options can be used to solve this problem. Either wheel spacers or use a smaller tire. The decision for this will wait till the car is on the road.
The next step will be to install the front sway or stabilizer bar for the 1929 Ford hot rod. Come back next week to see how this was done.