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          Lilting side to side, swaying gently this way and that is perfect for the dance floor, less so for the open road. But not all trucks have factory, or even after market kits available. What to do? Well, you could do like Joe Hand and take the closest one and modify it to fit. Let's follow along as he takes us through ...


Installing a Sway Bar to a 1937 Chassis
By Joe "Joe H" Hand
1937 Chevy Inline-powered Streetrod
Bolter #45
Lee's Summit, Missouri

 

<<<click on images for larger view >>

March 2009

I wanted a sway bar on the front of my 1937 1/2-ton for quite sometime. I knew I wasn’t going to find a factory bar, so I went aftermarket .

The only one close to fitting is made for the 1947 to 1954 Chevrolets. Classic Performance Products sells this bar as a kit with all hardware included, along with many of the venders on this site.

I talked with the sales department and got the measurements of the bar. The ‘47-’54 uses the same spacing on the axle and spring mounts so I knew the width would be ok. The main difference is the front cross member. The ‘37 crossmember must set a little farther back from the front bumper than the newer chassis.

Here is a drawing showing how I mounted it:

I went behind the axle due to the crossmember location. I checked the full axle travel and found no binding of the sway bar or links. Since it sets inside the springs and frame, the axle can bottom out on the frame without ever getting close to the bar.

 

 

Materials list

CPP kit #179, FR SWAY BAR KIT 47-54

Flat stock, 2” x 3/16” x about 10” per side

Four grade 8 bolts, 1” x 3/8”

Eight 3/8” flat washers

Four 3/8” lock washers

Four 3/8” nuts

Four ¼” thick washers or spacers with ½” hole

The kit supplies links with 3” spacing, with a longer bolt and spacer. You could increase the distance between the bar and axle if you wish.  Mine has 1 1/2" of clearance and didn't seem to get much closer at each end of its full travel.

First Step

First step was mounting the rear link supports to the axle flange. They come pre-drilled for 1/2 inch u-bolts. You will need to install the four one-quarter inch spacers (two per side) then the bracket, and nuts. [ See image ] Without the spacers, the bracket will not set  flat to the axle flange. Washers will work if you can't find spacers.  Torque the u-bolts when you are done.

Bolt the sway bar on using the links supplied in the kit to the mounts you just installed.  Use a rubber strap or wire to hold the front of the bar up to the crossmember. I set the links straight up and down so there would be equal travel when the axle moves. I did this by sliding the sway bar forwards or back, til they were straight upright.  Have the full weight of the truck on the axle so it's in its normal ride height . [ See image ]

Using flat stock from my local hardware store, I bent two brackets to mount the bar to. These are simple 90 degree bends so nothing a bench vise won't handle. The brackets fit inside the front crossmember. You could weld them if you choose, but bolting them was pretty easy. 

At this time, you can find where the bar is going to fit on the new brackets you made. Mine was pretty well centered in them. There is room to adjust it forwards or back if needed. You can now test fit the hold down brackets and mark where you need to drill for hold down bolts.

You will need to drill four 3/8” diameter holes in the crossmember if you choose to bolt the brackets in place. I had the bar bolted to the brackets and clamped to the crossmember before I drilled the four mounting holes in the factory crossmember. 

I drilled  1/8" holes first and used these as guides for the 3/8" drill. I drilled the four holes in the homemade brackets one size larger for a little wiggle room when putting it all together for the final time.  

I set the brackets as wide as I could using the sway bar as a guide. Mine are 3” from each frame rail at the front and 3 1/2” at the rear, due to the frame flaring out as it goes back. The crossmember is 3/16" thick material, so thicker flat stock wasn't needed.

In this image, and this one, too, you can see the bar bolted up using the supplied support bracket and rubber isolator. Be sure to grease the isolators and links so it operates smooth and quite.  The rear links will angle in a slight bit, the back side of the axle is wider then the front, but its nothing that will cause a problem.

 

 

Use this as guide only. I am not responsible for any other person or truck other then mine.
Since this bar was not designed for this chassis, it is up to the end user to decide how it will be installed and used.

 

-30-

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