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Sign of Trouble? It started when I looked at the swaybar..

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I am working on a 1976 2002 with automatic. Had the motor rebuilt and cleaned up the engine compartment. Still working on it but I am troubled by the way the sway bar looks crooked from above. That is, if I look straight down, the driver side is a bit closer to the body along the front. If I straighten the tires, the passenger tire is a bit to the right but I assume that is simply the toe-in. I took measurements from the center of each wheel directly up to the fender and the driver side appears to be about 3/8 inch lower. I measured from a point on the fender to the wheel and the driver side is about 1/4 inch closer.

I've only driven the car a couple of miles to get it home. Bought it with two bad cylinders so I didn't pay attention to how the car tracked but the tires look really good and evenly worn. When I bought it, I saw that the "towhook" (loop?) on the driver side had taken a pretty good hit (or maybe a tug). As I look at things they seem straight but my concern is that the sway bar and other clues indicate some suspension damage or worse, structural issues.

I am still prepping for engine installation but figure if there is something to correct, it's probably better while I can get to the sub-frame or have to remove it. I am planning on dropping the engine in from above because the auto trans is still in the car. Hoping I don't suffer making the connection to the torque converter...


What do you guys think? I know that the geometry is not in "normal mode" because the engine is out and the car will settle. Is it me or does the motor weigh more on the passenger side because it is titled to that side and therefor the suspension springs higher when the engine is out? (ok that could be a really silly idea too but I do wonder)



I have freed the harness to cleanup the engine bay and I am planning on re-taping.it. I got silicone self-sealing tape. Is that good? Should I cut out the old tape even in spots where it is ok?

Sway bar from above.jpg

Towhook Left looking up.jpg

Wheel To fender Right.jpg

wheelwell to fender Left 2.jpg

HeightFrom center of Wheel Left.jpg

Sway Bar Left.jpg

Sway Bar Right.jpg

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Just for the heck of it, and to assure yourself that there isn't something structurally wrong, like a bent suspension member, tweaked front crossmember or body shell, measure the wheelbase on each side--wheel center front to back--and see if they're the same.  That'll tell you quickly if you have a non-factory kink somewhere.  


Ground-to-fender measurements can be off for several, non threatening reasons:  tire pressure, tire make (are they the same on both front wheels?), spring and shock (strut) condition etc.  So before doing a definitive measurement there, equalize tire pressure, etc.  If there's a significant difference in height, I'd check the springs to make sure there isn't a broken coil, missing spring perch rubber etc.  





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5 hours ago, Stevenc22 said:

Looks okay to me. Sway bar bushings look like they need replacing. 


For taping the harness, use cloth tape similar to original. Use 3m friction tape or Tesa tape


Thank you :)

I thought the silicon tape was a decent choice and it is easily available at Home Depot and Harbor Freight. I did look into cloth tape and it does LOOK better to me but the cost is higher. More important, when I was looking it seemed I would have to wait for the cloth stuff.. I checked today and it looks like I could get some by 5/4 .. can you tell me your thoughts on the silicon stuff? It's water proof etc..but shiny and over time I don't know how it will age in appearance. Hmm...maybe I should start a thread specific to this? I am so-so financially during this Covid-19 thing and I am trying to keep a low budget without goofing it up. I am expecting to buy more stuff as I re-assemble the car.

How tough are the bushings to replace? is it way easier now or ok after I assemble the car? I believe I will need window regulators so I am balancing...

5 hours ago, Stevenc22 said:




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2 hours ago, MBar said:

How tough are the bushings to replace? is it way easier now or ok after I assemble the car? I believe I will need window regulators so I am balancing...


Do it now.  in the while you are at it category replace the idler arm bushings, maybe suspension bushings.  Super easy as you can drop down the subframe.   While you are at it replace the bushings. 


Get one of these from Harbor Freight to push them in,  Unless you have a hydraulic press.   You can use some different size sockets to get a rig to push them out. 


No need to open up the can of worms regarding urethane vs rubber bushings... do the research for yourself.    Also be careful regarding the idler arm bushings. They are different and people have struggled to get them installed and to get the right ones installed.   I.E has some.


Harbor freight tool 




I.E bushings











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