In the last issue of Drag Racing Online, we took a close look at the why’s and where’s of anti-roll bars (sway bars) for drag racing. To recap, the natural torque rotation of the engine tends to increase the traction of the left rear wheel and decreases traction to the right rear wheel. Without a correction, this torque rotation will push the car to the right upon acceleration. Sure, you can preload the suspension (usually, the preload necessary on a high horsepower car is considerable), but all of the Pros I spoke to disagree: You should control the roll with an anti-roll bar.
Sure, some folks will disagree, but if you do your homework, you’ll find that as the suspension geometry becomes more compromised (for example, as in a stock or stock mounting point suspension package versus a drag race only 4-link) and as tire sizes are reduced, the need for controlling the body movement is increased manifold. Ditto when the horsepower levels are increased.
And as a side note, plenty of people use these things on street-strip cars, but without a front stabilizer bar. Typically, these folks report the cars handle just fine on the street. Just some food for thought when it comes to weekend warriors.
What about the installation? Is a weld-on bar difficult to install? We asked those questions too, and besides, our stock suspension (mounting point) car needed a bar. We took the entire works to LeJeune Race Cars and turned them loose on the TRZ package. What follows is a look at how it went together:
This is where Richard “Deter” Lejeune (Lejeune Performance & Fabrication) started the anti-roll bar installation in “Buford”. The Mark Williams 9-inch housing (with mods from my old pal, Mike Pustelny at MPR) was mocked up in the car, using the stock shocks and trailing arms. More on the housing and trick Mark Williams rear end parts in another issue.
Picking a location to mount the bar isn’t easy in a GM G-Body. It is possible to mount it here, ahead of the stock coil spring. The problem is this location gets perilously close to the upper trailing arms. It’s tight. Deter checked it out (second photo) and decided to install the TRZ chrome moly mounting tube between the shock and the spring. The tube was cut to length and test fit a second time.