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Thread: Rear control arms for sway bar

  1. #1
    all the CFI are belong to me
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    Default Rear control arms for sway bar

    I've been led to believe that boxes equipped with a rear sway bar, and perhaps a certain handful of cars not equipped with it (but not all of production in general) have rear lower control/trailing arms constructed of thicker steel:

    Quote Originally Posted by jaywish View Post
    The issue on the rear arms is not so much the holes. Any arm can easily be drilled for the second set of holes and the lips neatly and easily rolled. More significantly is the thickness of the metal used to construct the arms. My 89 wagon came stock with the heavy constructed arms that were not preped for a sway.
    Reportedly many/most other cars came with arms that look identical but are made of a slightly thinner steel. So take a set of calipers to your existing arms and compare that to the ones in the yard. I no longer have the dimensions.
    I now own two rear sway bars; one skinny one mounted to arms mounted to an axle which is sleeping at Derek's house currently, and one fat bar with no arms (but do have the hardware).

    I would like to put the fat bar on my Lincoln (along with the corresponding front bar), but I am concerned about this 'different control arm construction' issue. Do we know what happens if you put a rear bar, particularly the fat one, on the skinny arms? Are they just a little more flexxy or do they actually fail from fatigue?

    Worth noting I have not verified it has the skinny arms, just assuming it does. I can't find measurements to confirm what is what.

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 & 4/2019 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards

  2. #2
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Been running the fat one on the 88 for about a decade of daily use without issues on whatever crusty rusty trailing arms. I doubt we’d see any kind of failure.

    Also not sure of the gauge metal on the HD arms. Need someone with a clean PI car to measure. I can measure the cleaner/no rust arms on the 90 wagon tomorrow if no one has a measurement on standard ones.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
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    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    I have the HD police control arms, but never installed them on the ‘87. The factory arms on it had the two holes, so I just rolled the edge slightly and bolted it in place. No issues with the install and the body roll was significantly reduced.

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    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    Yep, put a PI bar in the rear and an addco front on the '90 with no issues. If you're terribly concerned, box them with some of those plates like i bought and never installed.

  5. #5
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    As long as folks have bolted the bars to the stock non-HD arms and did not experience a critical failure as a result in the couple years following, that's good enough for me.

    I want to clean up or paint or something these bars but I also want to feel exactly how much of a difference they'll make, and it's not particularly hard to put them on or take them off, so I'll go for it I guess.

    When you say 'rolled the edge' I imagine we're talking about where the edge of the arm is bent out at 90 degrees from the vertical wall of the arm, and just further curling that up?

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 & 4/2019 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards

  6. #6
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kishy View Post
    When you say 'rolled the edge' I imagine we're talking about where the edge of the arm is bent out at 90 degrees from the vertical wall of the arm, and just further curling that up?
    Terrible picture since the bar wasn't the focal point here:


    It's the rolled edge at the bottom. I took some vice grips and just bent it down ever so slightly until the bar set into the grove nicely and lined up properly with the holes. The HD arms are flat in those areas.

    I definitely noticed a difference the the sway bar. The rear end used to have a little bit of a wandering sensation on rough roads and on tight turns. Ride quality was not impacted with the addition, but it did help keep the car more level during turns by reducing overall body roll. If you prefer the "can it lean enough to one side it might fall off the springs?" turning feel, YMMV.

    My Cars:
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  7. #7
    P31 Pursuit Car Brown_Muscle's Avatar
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    Gauge thickness is covered in this sticky:

    http://www.grandmarq.net/vb/showthre...ase-Read-First!

    "The rear control arms I have on my 89 Grand Marquis are .08 thick (left pic), and the ones I bought today are .10 thick (right pic). So the police rear control arms are made out of 12 gauge steel and the non-police rear control arms are made out of 14 gauge steel if the chart I googled is right.

    Thickness (Inches)
    Gauge Num.---Nominal---Tolerance Range
    12 gauge------.1046------.1106 to .0986
    14 gauge------.0747------.0797 to .0697
    -Phil



    +1982 Ford LTD-S Police Car. 351w, GT40 Heads, Edelbrock 1906 Carb, Full exhaust headers to tails. 3.27 Trac-Lok Rear. Aluminum Police Driveshaft. Baumann Shift kit.
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    +1989 Mercury Colony Park "Large Marge" Lopo 302. 3.55L K-Code Tow package, Baumann Shift Kit, Big brake swap, rear discs, HO intake/TB, custom exhaust.

  8. #8
    all the CFI are belong to me
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    Thank you. Somehow that doesn't surprise me, but it irritates me that Google could not seem to come to the same conclusion through its indexing against my search queries (as a general rule, when I say I've searched for something, I Googled my query with site:grandmarq.net at the end).

    I do like body roll but this car has a lot of it. Too much, by reasonable standards.

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 & 4/2019 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards

  9. #9
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    My car had arms with the holes and the lip already, but I never measured the thickness. Its had a police rear bar on it for more than 10 years without any problem.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

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  10. #10
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    Frankly i've been wondering if a cobra IRS would fit in the back of our cars. Only downside then is that the front suspension would be archaic in comparison. Sure would make these turds handle better though.

  11. #11
    BANNED! sxcpotatoes's Avatar
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    Yeah, there's a world of difference with the rear swaybar. Go over bumps, or railroad tracks, feel how the car WIGGLES? There's a shimmy in the rear if you don't have the control arms linked with that bar. It's a solid feeling now going over any road imperfections and it makes turning somewhat tighter (maybe not objectively) and more fun.
    ,
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  12. #12
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Another one here running the thick police rear bar on stock lower arms. My father did it when he got the car ages ago. No issues here.
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
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    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  13. #13
    Member Luke's Avatar
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    Hey im new here but want to put a set of bars on the front and rear of my 89 marquis from a police car. Does it matter what year car they come from and can i re use my from end links? And does the rear install right to the lower control arms or are there end links also?
    1989 MGM & 2016 Tacoma

  14. #14
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    No end links in rear. I don't see a reason you cannot reuse stock front end links. You can get sway bars from any year box panther police car. The difficult part is finding that nowadays.
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
    My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  15. #15
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    79-91 should work for you up front and in the rear. Rear is control arm mount. You can reuse your end links and just replace the bushings. The energy suspension bushing kit is $20 at most local parts stores that carry them. It's not specific to these cars, but they work fine.

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  16. #16
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I've not had great luck with re-using front endlinks. They break a lot of the time. If yours aren't rusted and they come apart though, you're good.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  17. #17
    Member Luke's Avatar
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    Awesome thanks. Theres police cars all over the place around here but their all newer. I was hoping i could use one, wishful thinking
    1989 MGM & 2016 Tacoma

  18. #18
    Member Elias's Avatar
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    I message chris from adtr A few days ago about this. Would be cool if he could make a upgrade for the rear control arms. Since on his vic he has the metco rear arms. He said he would think about it.

  19. #19
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    BTW my X 89 wagon came with the heavy gauge steel control arms but no sway. The bars were not rolled nor did they have the second set of holes to mount the bar. So I don't know if only wagons got the heavy bars or any later box. The only way I could tell the difference between the (early?) thin bars and these was with a gauge.

    It was an easy conversion. Just roll the lower lip a bit, mount up the bar to the single set of holes, drill the second set of holes using the bar ass a template.
    "X" car 89 Colony Park LS Mods>Engine delete, SS duals magnaflow hflow cats, 2010 Must GT mufflers, auto air shocks, Posi, Tran cooler, big front brakes, 03+ rear disks, Large 3g alt, Tripminder, GS grill, 86 seats, 16" HPP wheels, winter boots=96 Cartier wheels, 215-65/16 Goodyear ULTRA GW3 snows, pi rear sway, alum driveshaft.
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  20. #20
    Member Luke's Avatar
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    I wonder if theres any other models i can look for at scrap yards that could have the bars for our boxes
    1989 MGM & 2016 Tacoma

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