torsion bar suggestion with a 5.7 hemi swap

New Hemi Engine Swaps

  1. TheGreatGazoo

    TheGreatGazoo Member

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    I have a 66 valiant 100. i did a hemi 5.7 swap with a nag 1. any idea on torsion bars i should use? this is mainly a cruising car not a track car.
     
  2. mvh

    mvh FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Well, it depends on what you want — bragging rights? Handling? A bone-jarring ride? First, what engine did you swap out — a slant 6, I'm guessing. What is the net weight difference of the whole engine/transmission swap? Again, I'll guess you didn't gain much if any weight in the deal, so from that standpoint you could keep the same t-bars, strictly speaking. But I suspect you would like to firm up the handling based on all the new power available. So, there are incremental steps from the factory slant 6 bars (.850) to the small block and big block bars (.870 & .890), then to the much larger aftermarket bars that most people seem to choose now (1.00 and up). Personally, I don't like to go overboard on the front spring rate — to me, it should be balanced with the rear spring rate (so you would need to beef those up as well... I think that should be a priority, really — you need to keep that rear end under control). Plus, in one respect all you are gaining with a higher front spring rate is anti-dive under braking — you can get anti-roll (which is what most people think of as "better handling") by fitting a good front anti-sway bar (which I strongly recommend). Don't forget good shocks, too. And I hope you upgraded the brakes...

    Just to give you some real-world examples, my small block Barracuda FB was set up for fast road handling "on a budget" over 20 years ago. It has .890 t-bars, factory HD rear springs, front and rear sway bars and KYB shocks. My slant 6 Barracuda convertible has stock t-bars & springs, a nice Hellwig hollow front sway bar, and KYB shocks. I did a track day with the FB and it was very stable and even competitive considering the moderate tire size and limited HP. I wouldn't even consider taking the 'vert on the track but I do vintage rallies in it — it's not fast but it's predictable and it soaks up rough roads as opposed to rattling your teeth. Different strokes...
     
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