Bushings on the Sway Bar – Part 2

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June 10, 2008

More Under the Coach Stuff….

By Brad Sears

Ok, when we last left our hero he was under Rover (our old Foretravel DP) and just exclaimed OUCH! Yes, you are right, I would not have exclaimed OUCH had I had on my mechanics gloves. When we started this journey into the ragged edge of the coach (the interior is finished but there are many sharp edges underneath, even the best built units.) For that reason we need to add mechanics gloves to the safety glasses that we mentioned in the first of this series.

I need to add a bit here to the Polygraphite bushings that I removed from the sway bar links on Rover. The bushings that I removed from the sway bar set up on the front of Rover were not totally worn out. But being a hard material, they had enough old age and wear that they would not absorb the sound of them working when the rig hit a bump in the road. Do not get the notion that I am against the Polygraphite or any of the newer material bushings that some consider the second coming of the bushing prince. But each type of bushing has it’s place.

We used Polygraphite bushings when we were racing in SCCA and other circuits. The Polygraphite bushing, being the density that they are, would hold the front end in better for racing alignment than rubber bushing as the vehicle came from the factory with. For high speed, high load turns the precision of the Poly bushings took seconds off lap times. But on a street machine noise reduction of the rubber factory install bushings in certain places made sense as street handling is not measured in second per lap.

On my old P30 chassis under my Southwind front engine gasser the switch to Poly bushing in the entire front end made a huge difference in sway, wander, and better steering. Any noise created was almost completely masked by the 454 Chevy V-8 sitting right there between the driver and the co-pilot. But these were bushing in the members of the independent front suspension and effected alignment. And we all have to agree that old P30 chassis needed every thing that we could throw at it to help the handling.

The sway bar bushings are not that critical and will function just fine with rubber bushings and be a lot quieter. OK, now that I have completely clouded that issue, or as my mother would have said, “it is as clear as mud,” I’ll close for today and be back next week with another thrilling episode.


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  2. blyter

    I am new to this site, actually to blogs in general…so, please bear with me. If this is the proper area for a ‘control’ problem, here goes: it’s the standard white knuckle crusing down the highway sway problem in a ‘C’ class…what do you recommend as a cure?…gas shocks?, sway bar? I’ve heard comments on beginning with gas bilstein’s and forgetting the sway bar as they aren’t worth it. Any comments appreciated.