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A/c and non-a/c front sway bar


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When I upgraded the suspension in Louie, my bone-stock '72tii, to H&Rs, Bilstein HDs, and ST sway bars, I had a tough time getting the new front sway bar in. When I compared it to the front sway bar I took out, I noticed that the original bar didn't jut out as far as I remembered. I went to my little scrap heap in the backyard and found the front sway bar I'd pulled out of Kugel, my other (recently sold) '72tii, and sure enough, Kugel's front sway bar jutted out substantially further than the one in Louie. The one from Louie has very little jut-out; it almost just goes straight across. This is shown in the photo below.

 

I'd never seen a front sway bar like this before, at least not that I remember. I had the epiphany that Kugel had dealer-installed a/c, but Louie did not, and it makes sense that the sway bar with the jut-out would be needed to clear the compressor. I just looked in realoem (https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=2583-USA-01-1972-114-BMW-2002tii&diagId=31_0441), and I see that there ARE separate part numbers for non-a/c and a/c front sway bars. I can't recall every car I've pulled the original bars out to put bigger bars into, but I think the one with the bigger jut-out is the norm. I've always thought that the a/c systems were installed at the dealer. I have a copy of the Behr a/c installation manual, and I don't see it referencing replacing the front sway bar. Did the cars bound for the U.S. market automatically get the a/c-compliant front sway bar just in case?

 

Learn something new every damn day...

 

 

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Edited by thehackmechanic
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11 hours ago, HBChris said:

I think you are correct, A/C was installed here with bits in a box in the trunk so having the correct sway bar at the factory makes sense.


Hmm...

 

Is it possible that both (a.) the modified front sway bar and (b.) the radiator with the “outboard” and angled lower outlet were responses to A/C, which was largely a U.S. issue? I believe Behr A/C was introduced ca. 1972; I’m looking for evidence of its introduction. Were the modified sway bar and radiator altered at approximately this time?

 

Certainly Frigiking A/C came along much earlier, perhaps as early as 1968. But only Behr parts acquired BMW part numbers and could be ordered through your BMW dealer, from BMW. Behr, BMW’s longtime supplier of radiators, heaters, heater valves, etc., was also a mature German business, and hence viewed as a business partner, unlike Frigiking. Thus, the introduction of Behr A/C might have been just the incentive BMW needed to make some mods in production vehicles.

 

At this point, this is simply a working hypothesis, ignited by Rob’s observation regarding sway bars. If this does not deserve to be an hypothesis, let’s bat it down quickly with actual facts, replacing my loosey-goosey suppositions.

 

Best regards,

 

Steve

 

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My 76 has Behr AC, and is fitted with ST sways. So after reading Rob’s post, I went and took a look.

 

My ST front sway has the deeper bend shape. They are a very tight fit to my front sheet metal at the front corners on each side, but they clear my compressor (now Sanden) nicely. The sway projects downward from the mount at about a 30deg angle until it passes the compressor pulley, then cuts across just below it with less than 1/2” clearance forward of the pulley.


I can’t imagine that flatter sway bar fitting in my car without it directly hitting the compressor or pulley. It goes across way too close towards the engine to clear it.  Maybe the flatter sway is for non-AC? or for use with a much higher-mounted AC compressor location? A different bracket?

 

More confused now about that flat AC sway bar...and where the compressor fits with it.

 

My original sway is long gone, so I’ve no idea which shape it was.

 

On the theory of pre-fitting different sways at the factory for *possible* buyer AC installs, I’m not sold. Maybe they came in some ‘kits’ and not others? Some might have designed their system around the available flat bar, and others worked their solution with the standard bar? 

 

Tom-too

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20 minutes ago, visionaut said:

 

On the theory of pre-fitting different sways at the factory for *possible* buyer AC installs, I’m not sold. Maybe they came in some ‘kits’ and not others? Some might have designed their system around the available flat bar, and others worked their solution with the standard bar? 

 


Tom,

 

I started looking at A/C kits in 1974 or 1975, while I still had my 1600-2. I was ultimately a buyer of A/C in 1976 — I continued to shop Behr and Clardy as I sold the ‘67 and purchased the ‘76 — and no Behr or Clardy systems came with sway bars or radiators. No one ever suggested to me that I might need to change either items, I didn’t need to change either item, and no dealers were swapping out these items on new ‘02’s in order to do the installations. I installed the Clardy system in my ‘76 with the help of my patient and capable father.

 

I don’t know why BMW altered the lower radiator hose outlet from inboard and straight to outboard and angled. And I don’t know why there are two different factory sway bars. But this “prepping cars for the U.S. market” theory is the first one that explains both of those modifications to me.
 

Best regards,

 

Steve

 

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You've got me curious now, so I looked at the original sway bars that came off both my '69 and my '73 (since replaced with thicker ones).  If they're the ones, then they both have the deeper notch (the upper one in Rob's picture).  My '69 was never fitted with A/C (although Frigiking was offering a kit in 68 that totally butchered the dash for vents, and put the evaporator in the glovebox--I passed),  but had the straight-on lower radiator hose nipple.   

 

My '73 was fitted with a later, console-mounted Frigiking unit by the dealer before delivery and has the angled lower hose nipple.  I thought that was a running production change made sometime between the two cars' production dates.  I checked in my parts book and there was a change in the lower radiator hose on US cars at 1668838, but the book also shows only a single part number for the radiator itself.  Does anyone know when the angled hose nipple radiators began to be used?  The above VIN would translate to a fairly early '70--I had always thought the changeover was later, perhaps with the modell 71 introduction.

 

mike

PS--Rob, don't you think two swaybars are overkill for the boogie board?   One I can understand, but two???

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Steve,

 

I still have the original outboard-angled radiator on my shelf. I agree it’s a factory installed unit, and unlikely a part of any aftermarket AC kit. Being on all US market bound cars is something I don’t know, but I could get with that. Or some other set-logic: all port-shipped/altered cars, all southern state bound cars, all Automatics, etc.

 

Also both those flat and bent sways ID’d in the RealOEM diagram as #1 show as 15mm, yet the #11 sway in the same diagram is 16mm (and there’s no AC version of that bar). So you couldn’t get AC if you got the stiffer factory sport sway bar? Didn’t tii get fitted AC? Did they have to ditch their stiffer sport sway bar to do so?

 

It also still makes no sense to me that to clear an AC addition hung off the front of the engine they’d bring the sway bar closer in. What, so the AC compressor can sit in front of it? Or over it? (if over then no need to remove the standard bar, no?)  Like I said earlier, I’d like to see how the compressor mounts that pairs with that flat ‘AC’ bar, if that’s what it is...

 

Tom-too

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My ‘73 tii (VIN 2762757, October 19, 1972) and my ‘76 2002 (VIN 2742541, April 23, 1976) have stock front sway bars of the type that juts out. Both are A/C cars. I know the ‘76 car’s sway bar has never been changed, because I’ve owned it from new. The ‘73 car’s sway bar has obviously been in the car along time — before I bought the car, it was last registered in the 1980’s — but I can’t vouch that it’s original to the car. My eye says that the largely straight bar would interfere with the compressor. There is plenty of clearance with the sway bar that juts out.

 

The ‘73 has no compressor on it presently. The ‘76 has a Sanden on a hobiedave bracket. Before ca. 1978, when Clardy introduced a Sankyo rotary compressor option for Clardy and other ‘02 A/C systems, there was only one “compressor in town”, the reciprocating York (I seem to recall there were some York knock-offs that looked identical but lacked the York name tag). All of them used similar enormous mounts with idler pulleys. I can’t help but believe that the “York” setups utilized more anti-roll-bar space than the current Sandens, and Sanden knock-offs.

 

Both the ‘73 and the ‘76 came to me with outboard angled lower radiator outlets. Like the ‘73’s front sway bar, I’ll never conclusively prove that the ‘73’s radiator was factory installed, but it’s dated appropriately and bears service tags from old radiator shops close to its original stomping grounds. The ‘76, I know, came off the truck with an outboard angled lower radiator outlet.

 

So two data points: one probably pretty reliable (the ‘73), the other completely reliable (the ‘76). I suppose I need to measure those sway bars. 15 mm.? Or 16 mm.?
 

I’ll let you guys hash this out!

 

Best regards,

 

Steve

 

 

 

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