That's the Sway

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Falcon Swaybar Install

We decided early on in this project that we wanted to improve the handling of The Bird. To maintain a stock appearance, we knew we wanted to stick with the original 13” wheels and narrow tires. While these skinny tires had a limitation on the amount of cornering grip we could get, we could still dramatically improve the cornering capability of the Falcon with the installation of some decent shock absorbers and some good aftermarket anti-sway bars. We had nice, new door handles, so we didn’t want to grind them off the first time we took an exit ramp at more than 30 MPH!

 shocks

We purchased the KYB shock absorbers from Summit Racing. They are a good shock absorber for the price, and plenty good enough for the slight upgrades we were doing to our suspension.

We purchased a set of ADDCO anti-sway bars at a great deal on eBay. The front, part #536, is 1” in diameter and replaces the puny 5/8” bar that came stock on the Falcon. It looks exactly like the stock bar, just larger in diameter. It uses the stock mounting points and is a direct swap for the stock bar. If it hadn’t been for some rusty bolts that were stubborn to remove, it could have been installed in about 10 minutes. We have no photographs of the front bar, because installation was so simple.


The rear bar, part #914, was more difficult to install. The 914 bar is apparently designed for V-8 cars with a larger rear axle tubes than our 6-cylinder model, making a trip to the parts store necessary, and requiring us to do some cutting and grinding on the hardware provided by ADDCO.


The six-cylinder Falcon rear end has 2 3/4” axle tubes. The U-bolts supplied by ADDCO were larger, so Amelia had to run to Auto-Zone and pick up a couple of 2 3/4” muffler clamps. These fit perfectly around the Falcon’s axle tubes.

Next, the U-shaped Locking Devices were too large to use with our 2 3/4” U-bolts. Using a disc grinder, we cut slots in the Locking devices to make them fit.


Here’s a shot of the grooves in the Locking Devices.

 

At this point were able to bolt the bar to the rear end housing.

Ideally, the bar should sit on top of the housing, not tilted forward as we have done. This was necessary because of the brake tee that we could not figure out how to remove.

After the bar was bolted to the axle housing, we were able to find the correct position for the frame 
brackets. The forward-reaching ends of the bar should be perfectly level, as shown in the photo. The end links should be perfectly vertical. The correct attachment point for the frame bracket is at the end of the end link once the bar is horizontal and the end links are vertical.

We had to fabricate spacers to maintain horizontal alignment of the bar. Some day, we’ll make proper spacers and get rid of those ghetto-looking washers and nuts!

The addition of ADDCO bars made the Falcon corner as flat as the living room floor! In fact, with our skinny, 80-series tires, we lose grip before the car leans much at all. The bars, along with the KYB shocks, made the car much more stable in corners and inspired much more confidence. If only they’d known about big anti-sway bars back in the early 60’s!

  
 rear
 clamps
 grooves
 
frame
 
brackets
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