1960 Valiant- road race torsion bars

Tpaservice

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I believe the 1960 Valiant that I am prepping for street and road race time trial car.
I believe it has 36” torsion bars where the “A body” is 37.5”.
Can someone confirm I’m correct?
Does anyone know where to get heavy duty torsion bar (1”+) for the 1960 valiant?
Can the A body torsion bars be shortened and still function? (Remove 3/4” from each hex)
 

cudamark

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I thought all the A-bodies used the same length torsion bars. I admit, I haven't swapped one on a genuine '60 model, but, used to own a '61 and swapped those with a later one with no problems. Have you actually measured yours? Post the numbers off the end?
 

barbee6043

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I do believe the 60 (and maybe 61) have a lot of different details. 62 and up As share most detailsI have always been told.
I am no help on the TB thing.
 

cudamark

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Yup, their steering components were different than the later ones, but, I always thought the T-bars were the same.
 

72bluNblu

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Firm Feel lists the ‘60 Valiant model in their A-body section and doesn’t list a separate torsion bar length for it. But I don’t know beyond that.

Needless to say, Firm Feel Inc. Steering and Suspension for Chrysler Plymouth & Dodge should be able to source the bars either way and they would know the answer to that question. They make custom bars too. Obviously if they’re the same length you could also get 1”+ diameter bars from PST, Bergman Autocraft Sway Away, etc. Sway Away also makes custom bars if that’s necessary.
 

Bill Crowell

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Tpaservice, I apologize if you think I'm hijacking your thread, but I've got a '62 Valiant resto-rod with oversized front and rear sway bars. I found that the heavy sway bars on such a fairly light car increased the overall spring rate so much that, although the car corners very flat, (1) the suspension definitely lacks compliance, so it doesn't maintain traction as well as a more-compliant suspension might; and (2) it upset the spring rate on the front vs. the rear. Since you sound like you know more about Valiant suspension mods than I do, would you please give me your thoughts on this? Thank you.
 

Tpaservice

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My bad, A body torsion bars are 35.8”, not 37.5”. “My bad.” 1960 Valiant are the same length so as numerous folks pointed out you can swap A body torsion bars in. Thanks for help.
As Bill Crowell points out, too stiff a car reduces traction and impedes handling and may upset balance front to rear.
I am currently digging into this subject where spring rates are a determined from application and vehicle mass. I did find a site with spring rates posted on torsion bars. Summit offers Hotchkiss Leaf springs 130#/in and 1 in lower.
Once I discover how discover how to calculate what I need, I will share the how to.
 

72bluNblu

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The necessary wheel rate depends on a lot of different things. Weight is definitely part of that, but so is tire compound and size. F/R weight balance will also have a component in the F/R wheel rates, but so will ride height, any front to rear rake, and any kind of tire size stagger. And of course, road or track conditions make a huge difference. If you’re running on smooth pavement with sticky tires, your wheel rates will need to be a lot higher than if you’re running on the street with all season hockey pucks. Even shock choice can have an effect, if your cheap shocks are overdampening your suspension you can get a situation where your wheel rate isn’t too high but your shocks are keeping you from using the available travel when it’s needed.

The goal is to run the softest wheel rates that keep you from hammering your bump stops to death. Or, put another way, the highest wheel rates that still allow you to use your entire range of available suspension travel.

Now, I realize my Duster is heavier than a ‘60 Valiant by probably close to 600 lbs. But I run 1.12” (300 lb/in) torsion bars up front with a 1.25” sway bar and 120 lb/in springs with a 7/8” rear sway bar with 275/35/18’s and 295/40/18’s in a 200 treadwear tire. And I use every bit of suspension travel that I have. My car is lowered, but I still maintain about 5” to 5.5” of suspension travel in the front which is basically the factory range. Even though my car is basically a daily driver I’ve considered going a little higher on the front wheel rate.

You say your car is going to be set up for the track, what kind of wheels and tires will you be running? Because honestly, I always start there. Tires are the biggest variable by far. Sure, the weight matters, but that typically stays constant. You can change everything about how the car handles just by changing the tire compound. If you’re going to run 225’s and BFG T/A’s you probably don’t need to go much above 1” for the bars. If you’re going to run 275’s in a 100 treadwear track only tire you might need 1.18’s.
 
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