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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ive been reading what I can but dont see alot of info in one place about making these things handle decent. Ive read that a sway bar can added for instance but dont see any clear pictures ( just as an example )


Panhard bar Ive read as well.


Id like to debunk the idea that any car with a straight axle is only good in a straight line and anything added to this thread would help me get there.

I have a 29 Dodge that is fairly original and even with its wooden wheels it does Ok in a corner Ive had a few 20-30 era original cars and they all did Ok.

With what we know today Im thinking I can do better with Ok even with a car that is a little higher in the front

What have you guys done?
 

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On my 35 chevy, the only thing I did besides add shocks to the front is to add a steering stabilizer to the tie rod and axle. Morrison encouraged it and it was a definite improvement. I did the same with my MG gasser and on the highway into the curves it handles great. No shocks on the MG yet.
 

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The higher the stance the more unstable its going to be just because of the center of gravity going up...if you are really nose high expect it to handle like a pick up with a lot of weight in the back...but with less wagging...alot will also come down to the frame angle to the ground...mine is almost stock frame level wise...and also the better your set up geometry wise the better...caster, camber, scrub, sq. to frame...i have seen level raised trucks that could handle mountain roads very well set up right....pan hard bar is always a good thing to...just make it with common since and you will be ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
On my 35 chevy, the only thing I did besides add shocks to the front is to add a steering stabilizer to the tie rod and axle. Morrison encouraged it and it was a definite improvement. I did the same with my MG gasser and on the highway into the curves it handles great. No shocks on the MG yet.
Did you use a universal steering stabalizer? Is that possibly what I need or do I need to find one pretty specific? I cant remember now but Ive read the tops of the shocks should face a certain way?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maybe a dumb question but Ive made in the past a simple tube ( oversimplifying ) that was welded to my differential housing on one side ( I guess either side, dosent matter ) and then long enough to run over to the inside of the opposite side frame rail and welded there.

Im guessing this is a panhard bar?

I guess it does not have to have adjustable turnbuckles on each end?

I guess it does nothing more than stop the axle from moving from side to side but I would guess its gotta be mounted on the ends in a way that has to allow some up and down movement?

As there is up and down movement Im guessing that the length would have to change slightly so I guess Im not understanding how a panhard bar works at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I thought I had also read that there was an option of installing bars front ( attached to axle ) to rear ( attached to somewhere behind the axle ) sorta like the leaf springs themselves?

Is this something I should consider or is this only used on the axle setup where the one spring is mounted under the radiator area?
 

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I've seen a pan hard bar used in both spring types, but mostly parallel setup. It should be adjustable with Rod ends both sides with left and right threads so you can spin the tube to adjust. It needs to be as low as possible or close to the same level and parallel to the tube to have the least amount of movement side to side as it goes up and down with suspension. You are correct when you say it changes length as it goes up and down. That's why it needs to be as long as possible.
Vall already mentioned using thick shackle plates that will keep things in place to improve handling.

As far as steering stabilizers go, you can use a 70's Volkswagen style from JC Whitney or look in summit racing for a truck stabilizer with brackets that will work in your application. I also found one on Amazon for around 25 bucks but I needed brackets. If you post a build thread and pics as to what you have and where you are now, you might get more ideas from members.
Link for jcwhitney

http://www.jcwhitney.com/jcwhitney/...tahgroup=UGS&tahrank=1516350&tahscore=5.50773
 

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Something just don't feel right about this.
 

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Yeah it seems that way doesn't it Scott?
 

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There are no end to things one can do to make a straight axle car handle better. But it wont ever handle like a sports car, no matter what you do.
As the guys have mentioned already, the lower height of the vehicle will help to make it handle better. More than anything else, the correct kingpin angle, and toe in will also do much to improve handling. A panhard bar on the front or rear will help, but how much will vary. If the car is softly sprung, the springs can twist or deflect, so a panhard bar helps more. But if the springs are pretty firm, they will twist less and a panhard bar wont show much improvement.
It's not a mystery, but everything you do to take play or flex out of the suspension components will tighten up handling. Soft rubber spring eye bushings will flex more than polyurethane, so using poly bushings makes everything respond and handle better.
Using larger diameter drag link tubing, or tie rod tubing will also remove any flex in the steering, and make the whole steering more positive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I've seen a pan hard bar used in both spring types, but mostly parallel setup. It should be adjustable with Rod ends both sides with left and right threads so you can spin the tube to adjust. It needs to be as low as possible or close to the same level and parallel to the tube to have the least amount of movement side to side as it goes up and down with suspension. You are correct when you say it changes length as it goes up and down. That's why it needs to be as long as possible.
Vall already mentioned using thick shackle plates that will keep things in place to improve handling.

As far as steering stabilizers go, you can use a 70's Volkswagen style from JC Whitney or look in summit racing for a truck stabilizer with brackets that will work in your application. I also found one on Amazon for around 25 bucks but I needed brackets. If you post a build thread and pics as to what you have and where you are now, you might get more ideas from members.
Link for jcwhitney

http://www.jcwhitney.com/jcwhitney/...tahgroup=UGS&tahrank=1516350&tahscore=5.50773
Im not getting a couple of things, why adjustable? As far as shackles go the ones that came in the speedway kit are real short and fairly sturdy I guess, they are so short I dont see a whole lot of sideway movement but then again I have not put the car on the road yet.

How do you set-up your panhard bar, I mean as far as getting it level with the axle, do you drop something off the frame rail to attach it too. Something that drops down low I mean. ( any pictures? ) Thanks for the tips and link on the stabalizer
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
There are no end to things one can do to make a straight axle car handle better. But it wont ever handle like a sports car, no matter what you do.
As the guys have mentioned already, the lower height of the vehicle will help to make it handle better. More than anything else, the correct kingpin angle, and toe in will also do much to improve handling. A panhard bar on the front or rear will help, but how much will vary. If the car is softly sprung, the springs can twist or deflect, so a panhard bar helps more. But if the springs are pretty firm, they will twist less and a panhard bar wont show much improvement.
It's not a mystery, but everything you do to take play or flex out of the suspension components will tighten up handling. Soft rubber spring eye bushings will flex more than polyurethane, so using poly bushings makes everything respond and handle better.
Using larger diameter drag link tubing, or tie rod tubing will also remove any flex in the steering, and make the whole steering more positive.
I understand and makes sense, the bushings that were in the springs I didnt like, they are a hard plastic of some sort, I took them along with my springs to the local spring shop to get some rubber bushings, the guy there told me to keep what I had, he said they were superior to what he would give me, I forget what he said they were made from but the word was familiar, I have seen it many times in aftermarket performance suspension set-ups

Again a hard plastic of some sort
 

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A panhard bar needs to have adjustable ends so the axles can be perfectly centered side to side. You wouldn't want one side to be 1/2" out farther than the other. makes it super easy to set up when you're building the suspension. And all working parts wear, so as it gets a little wear, you couldn't adjust the track without an adjustable heim end on the panhard bar. You'd be stuck building a new one or rebuilding it every time it got a little wear.
And you want right hand and left hand threads on the ends, so you can adjust without having to drop the bar. Simply loosen locknuts and adjust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah it seems that way doesn't it Scott?
I dont know what Scott was inferring but I can assure you there is nothing going on other than a guy that loves his cars and wants to learn something, I will post some pictures tonight, sorry I have been lax in doing so, I have a small business, business has been horrible this year, all of a sudden I have some work and so I need to get it done and my project is on temporary hold for a bit.

Again I will post some pics though cause I understand no-one wants to help anyone they have an issue with or feels they are wasting there time with
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A panhard bar needs to have adjustable ends so the axles can be perfectly centered side to side. You wouldn't want one side to be 1/2" out farther than the other. makes it super easy to set up when you're building the suspension. And all working parts wear, so as it gets a little wear, you couldn't adjust the track without an adjustable heim end on the panhard bar. You'd be stuck building a new one or rebuilding it every time it got a little wear.
And you want right hand and left hand threads on the ends, so you can adjust without having to drop the bar. Simply loosen locknuts and adjust.
Can you elaborate a bit, I did not know that any part would wear out and cause side to side movement as much as a 1/2 inch, very interesting, I guess I never considered the possability and thanks for giving me the benefit
 

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Elaborate? All metal parts wear out on a car, and need replacement over time. Even the bolts going through a pivot point like a panhard bar can wear with the constant travel of the suspension up and down, and side forces on the panhard mounting points. Adjustable heim ends will eliminate some of this wear as they have a joint on the end that's harder, and the bolt doesn't get friction wear.
I'm sure you've torn cars apart and seen worn out ball joints from wheel travel up and down. Or seen bearings worn out from constant movement? If metal parts never wore out, there'd be no reason to make things replaceable. And all suspension parts have some sort of adjustment built into them so they can be initially setup, and later adjusted.
 

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Im not getting a couple of things, why adjustable? As far as shackles go the ones that came in the speedway kit are real short and fairly sturdy I guess, they are so short I dont see a whole lot of sideway movement but then again I have not put the car on the road yet.

How do you set-up your panhard bar, I mean as far as getting it level with the axle, do you drop something off the frame rail to attach it too. Something that drops down low I mean. ( any pictures? ) Thanks for the tips and link on the stabalizer
Measure the distance up and down from axle to frame mount and cut it in half. That measurement would be an ideal halfway point for brackets to meet at a reasonable level. Every car is different. Do you have anyone that fabricates near you. Sounds like your hands are full. You need help on the build.
 

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PS-One more thing that just crossed my mind. Toss those wimpy little Speedway shackles that come with their axle kit! They are the tiniest, thinnest shackles I've ever seen on anything, and the one weak point of the Speedway kit.
I'd make new shackles from 3/8" thick by 1.25" wide bar stock. Or just buy a pair of those long rear shackles with 3 holes on one end, and 1 hole on the other, and cut the 3 hole end off and use that for the front shackles.

I used the 3 hole end for my Falcon's front springs. Then used the other half I cut off on my rear leaf springs after drilling a new hole in the end.

https://www.carid.com/superior-auto...MIxPTek6yS2AIVk2V-Ch2BMAGIEAkYAyABEgJhsfD_BwE
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Measure the distance up and down from axle to frame mount and cut it in half. That measurement would be an ideal halfway point for brackets to meet at a reasonable level. Every car is different. Do you have anyone that fabricates near you. Sounds like your hands are full. You need help on the build.
Ok I got it, halfway, there is nothing I cant do myself I dont outsource anything I ask alot of questions and I understand that can be perplexing too people
 
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