This is basically a walk through for anyone who wants to make a properly functioning rear tie bar for a j'body car.
to start of, the main reason i did this was to show how NOT to half arse make one. sorry if this offends anyone, but theres a wrong way and a correct way to fabricate one of these.
the purpose of a REAR TIE BAR on these cars is similar to the strut braces, front and rear, and the subframe brace... to increase consistency in handling and also precision. if you have a swaybar, without a tie bar during hard turns, you get less of the full force of the swaybar cause the rear lower end of the car is not braced, and in turn...sloppy. same as if you took a turn without a strut brace.
Using flat subframe brace bars from SUVS, putting them in the wrong location, yeah it will change the handling of your car. especially by acting as a restriction on the movement of your swaybar AND the trailing arms still flex in and out....... no wonder. bushings are on the sway bar endlinks to connect the sway bar to the L bracket. nothing more.... they are especially NOT to have the bushings distorted by a bar that was never meant nor designed to be there of function as so.
its like buying coilovers that were not made for the car, you have to set em on the SPRING PERCH for em to stay up, which is the wrong location, and to top it all off, yea they too change the handling of your car, but also do damage to supporting areas, such as lack of bearings usually cause alot of popping, noises, and also can tear up your strut mounts.
some have said, oh well when the bushings get messed up, i;ll just get new ones, they're cheap. people have said the same on control arm bushings and struts with crappy ebay 42$ coilovers. how ironic they are soooo similar.
like said, a theres a correct way and a crappy/piss poor way to do everything. do it cheap, you;re definately not gonna get the most effective setup for your car
two prime examples of what they should be similar to on install is the way hellwig and addco control FX bars mount to the rear suspension area. (credit via vincent keene, brad is cool, tfm...same pictures)
notice on both bars, the location of the bar. the tie bar is to keep the trailing arms from flexing in during hard cornering. mounting a bar at the bottom of the endlinks does not in and degree accomplish that. the way you keep two points from flexing is to brace as CLOSE as possible between the two said points.
hellwigs design is the most accurate since the trailing arms connect DIRECTLY to the bracket. the tie bar then connects to the L bracket via heim jointed endlink of the tie bar.
addcos is def quite a few LONG steps above trying to pass a flat bar in the wrong location as a tie bar. but its still a small bit under hellwig. however it does mount the bar closer between the two points that are to be braced.....the trailing arms.
Also heim joints ARE necessary
. reason? heim joints allow the swaybar to function normally without putting any other resistance on the bushings or the function of the sway bar. The sway bar does move a decent amount in cornering. plenty of us have seen pictures of cars during autoX lifting rear tires with one side of the car at full extension suspension wise in the rear and the other rear side ....compressed.
just another reason using a flat bar made for an SUV isnt much effective other than hindering the full performance of the swaybar.
Now, can cars without swaybars use them? yes. easy to make one? yes. most who can go to the bathroom and flush the toilet after themselves should be able to accomplish this. most all the parts for non swaybar people are made to order, just bolt it up and on.
you will need.
-5/8 chassis bracket from comp engineering, or even better, A36 hot rolled steel angle. 1.5 inch wide section 1 inch leg x 1.5 inch leg.
-2 rod end heim joints 3/8 inch hole with 3/8-24 thread (about 4.50$ each summitracing, or from radius rod places)
-1 37-38 inch radius rod (speedparts.com, hanksperformance.com, or local sprint car place 12-15$)
basically if you get the A36 steel angle, drill a 3/8 inch on the 1.5 inch section about 1 inch from the bottom end of the base, and a 5/8 hole in the CENTER of the 1 inch leg section.
else if you get the comp engeneering, you can use it as is OR dremel 1 of the identical legs off of it as both are not needed.
**** both are .250 steel****
when you install the bracket onto the car, the 5/8 inch hole is so you can remove the shock bolt (jack car up, 18mm wrench, remove it) and put the bolt through the bracket, with the leg with the 3/8 inch hole, which is where you mount the tie bar should be pointing towards the inside line (middle) of the car. the 3 or 6 oclock position is where you should finally secure the shock bolt, and make sure to tighten it to spec from the manual.
with the bracket in place, you now have a secure place to add a tie bar, and not have a swaybar.
For those with the addco bar, but would prefer an actual mounting bracket similar to the hellwig, this is basically what i did.
-A36 hot roll steel angle. 2 of them, 1.5 inches in width 2 inch leg x 3.5 inch leg.
-35-36 inch tie bar (12-15$ places listed above)
-Two 3/8-24 heim rod ends
For this you will remove the addco L bracket. ***** also as a note, i called addco directly to ask what kind of metal they used for their brackets. they transfered me to tech and tech gave me the steel place that they get their brackets from, which i then called them. the guy i spoke to informed me that they use .250 A36 angle steel hot rolled as its a structural steel. easy to tool and weld, and stiff enough for bracketry.*******
the hold on the short leg of the bracket as well as the hole 2.75 inches out on the long leg are 3/8 inch holes. the hole 1.5 inches out on the long leg is 1/2 or 5/8 inch.
once removed, switch with the new bracket and bolt up the swaybar endlinks.
i;ve tried the gm suv bar, and in comparison to a bar placed in the correct area, theres no comparison really. the gm bar is a cheap fix to give the apperance of a tie bar with the movement limited. the more the movement, the more it affects the articulation of the swaybar by pressing up on the bushings.... i;ve already went through a set of endlink bushing cause during turns for the flat SUV bar to move, it has to compress against the swaybar bushings, decreasing the effect of the swaybar and to top it all off....
the trailing arms STILL are able to flex in. as said above, to keep to points from flexing in. you add bracing right EXACTLY in the middle of those two points.
gm made that bar to be a subframe brace for an SUV, not a tie bar for any vehicle. anyone can do their research on any vehicle and pretty much see ALL tie bars have HEIM ENDS.... you cant tie in two parts of suspension that move and flex more than a few inches and not have a swivel joint. you can, but you can also use a breaker bar for a torque wrench. just cause it fits doesnt mean it will get the job done effectively. and yes yes.. i know we have alot of cheap people around here, however this is for people who will autoX and or want performance handling. not just to add another mod to your JBO registry.
in summary, a tie bar is to PS2 as using a SUV bar is to atari 2600 as far as effectiveness goes.
with a properly added tie bar, the swaybar will work in conjunction WITH the tie bar, but both will operate independently of each other.
total price of the addco setup posted. 33.25$ and about 30 minutes time including install. local welding shops should have A36 in supply, if not metalsdepot.com or onlinemetals.com has more than enough supply and you can get it cut the length you need.
summit racing has the endlinks.
have radius rods and rod ends if you wanna use R and L hand rod ends to tighten or loosen while on the car.
like said the reason i put up this how to was to help others do this. i dont think most would wanna add 500-1300$ in shocks and springs, or coilovers, only to add extra metal that not even the right parts and doesnt work effectively in being a tie rod.
basically that would be the equivalent to adding the piss poor ebay 42$ add 50 cents shipped coilovers to your brand new aston m, renault, corvette, or porsche. so why skimp money and add cheap crap that doesnt do the job on something you plan to get performance or longevity out of?
teamforwardmotion.com and bradiscool.com have pictures of what the tie bars look like. GRD, Control FX and people who actually race in the turns in autoX have already designed tie bars that work with said setups. i dont know about the rest of you, but after adding a few grand in suspension i sure as hell chose not to use cheap parts incorrectly and in the wrong location and call it a day.
maybe if you are a believer in coilovers or suspension without bearings when you turn... but i;ve already went the cheap route in the begining. i learned the hard way and it sucked. for now, i do it right or dont BS around it at all. half arsed effort and parts yeild remedial results and piss poor precision.
definately would like to thank members of the SCCA washington DC area, for helping me out in solving a way to have the tie bar in the most effective position. granted i sold my 19mm hellwig, which would have been ideal since the brackets are directly connected to the trailing arms, this was the next efficient thing to do. one thing i have learned though... you can learn alot more things from people who design and improve chassies, so if you get a chance, pick a brain or two on it if handling is your deal.