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IE sway bars too tight?


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1976 square light, new billy HD's, IE stage 1 springs, IE sway bars front and back and new strut bearings (yes the washers are installed in the correct sequence and orientation.

The problem; the car drifts either direction depending on the last hard turn. I've inspected all of the installations and all of the steering components are tight if not serviceable, tire pressure is fine (newer bridgestones potenzas).

Question is: is my front sway bar too tightly adjusted? What is the best process for adjusting the bolt and bushing lock nut? I installed the sway bars, front and back while the car was on the ground.

TIA,

Torg3

p.s. all of the related post were TERRIBLY helpful for the installations, thanks guys and gal.........

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symptoms you describe. Usually it's installing the strut bearing washers incorrectly, but you say yours are in the proper order.

Have you jacked up the car and turned the steering to and fro to see if it's binding anywhere? If you adjust the steering box a little too tightly to take the play out when it's centered (where most of the wear occurs), it can be a bit too tight when turned, and the resulting friction will overcome the self-centering action of the suspension and steering geometry.

You might also check alignment to see if it's off...

cheers

mike

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Thank you for your responses. Unfortunately prior to the latest changes the vehicle did not have any of these issues. The strut washers are definitely installed in the correct order and orientation. The steering gear box was not adjusted and worked fine before hand. As for the alignment, it drove straight prior to changing the sway bars, cartridges and springs.

Consider this though, if the sway bars are in fact too tight wouldn't they "preload" one side or the other depending on the last slow, sharp turn?

Torg3

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mean that they're too tight in their body mounting brackets, or the end links are too tight.

If it's the body mounting brackets, with the amount of force involved with twisting that sway bar during cornering, there's no way the bar isn't gonna move a bit in it mount--esp if its a urethane mount. Same with the end lengths: they're gonna move under cornering stresses--even the Urethane ones.

Since you didn't mess with the steering (including the tie rods and track rods) nor is the alignment off, I'd check that top nut on the strut for over tightness.

And you did jack the front end up and check the steering not only for play but for binding at certain positions. The idler arm bushings could be getting ready to check out...\

mike

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Consider this though, if the sway bars are in fact too tight wouldn't they "preload" one side or the other depending on the last slow, sharp turn?

no.

the forces involved just don't work that way.

I'd look for things in the area that might have been changed...

or just go top- to- bottom with the steering gear looking for

bindy things. Ball joints, tie rod ends, etc.

t

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I have been having problems with the new aftermarket strut bearings sagging to much and rubbing on the upper spring perch. We have had to start using OE BMW strut mounts and nothing else!

I also have to straighten or replace upper spring perches because they bend or sag as well.

In the past if I had a customer who didn't have money for new strut mounts I would add another washer between the bearing and upper perch...

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as we found out doing jimg's new strut bearings, you can have the washers in the correct order and the steering will still be very stiff. why? because the old washers do not work with new style strut bearings. wrong size, resulting in the load not going to the bearing. they hang up on the rubber mount. i had to grind down some old washers to make them fit in the new strut bearings on his car without binding.

take your strut bearings back apart and look at the upper and lower bearing surfaces and how the washers hit them. check for binding before putting the strut back on the car.

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That did it! The previous owner had KYBs installed years ago and used a thin washer under the concave washer. This was ok on the old bearing but not enough on the replacements.

So I ran over to Tacoma screw on airport road in south Everett and for $1.35 I got two new 12mm "thick" washers and two new nylon nuts. Reassembled the struts and WALAH, no more binding!

Thanks everybody,

Torg3

P.s. I just love safety wiring those three strut attach bolts

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