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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Ford rear end going into my project Austin A35. The rear end didn't come with a rear sway bar, but the original Austin rear end did.

Should I pick up an aftermarket sway bar to fit the Ford rear? Should I install the rear end as-is without a sway bar? Should I re-work the original Austin rear sway bar to work on the Ford rear end?

Both the Ford and the Austin had leaf springs and I'm keeping with that set-up along with some slapper bars and possibly a rod to locate the pumpkin and keep it from rotating under acceleration.

The front end is definitely getting a sway bar. It had one stock, but it will be a stiffer/larger diameter bar along with disk brakes and such.

I need some help in sorting out the rear. I know that a four link setup or an additional panhard rod or other more modern up-dates would be better, but for now, money isn't available so I'm going to keep the leaf springs and old tech in place.

Any help/tips/info/links/etc. would REALLY be appreciated, I'm a little lost here . . .

Thanks,
TC
 

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Just my opinion but if you run slapper bars with little or no gap between the snubber and the spring, I don't think you'll need a rear sway bar. Especially if you add leaves to the springs to stiffen them a bit.
 

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I agree. If the springs are in good shape, and not mushy, a swaybar wont really be needed. I wouldn't run a panhard bar with parallel leaf springs. Seen it done on road race cars, but not much anywhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. I was hoping that I might not need one right off. Maybe later after things get sorted and I see if the car moves around too much. It's SO tall and narrow and with such a short wheelbase, I was just getting a bit scared, you know?

Do you think that using shortened shackles would help a bit to minimize spring movement and tighten things up? Surprisingly, the A35 had pretty stiff springs originally as it was always over loaded being billed as a five passenger sedan. I guess that they were little work horses in England.

I have the rear spring pack all apart and they look VERY good. Maybe de-arch them a smidge or install some aluminum lowering blocks to get the tail back down to earth, but over-all I think that I'm in good shape.

If I DO need a rear sway bar in the end, any recommendation on the diameter? As the rear end is narrowed, it's going to take some searching to find one, custom or from another car, that will work, but if I can eliminate one factor (diameter) in my search, it would help a lot.

And thanks for the info so far ! !

TC
 

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My buddy's Austin A40 is built as a gasser on stock rear leaf springs, and the rear axle dropped below the springs, so it has even more effect on possible body roll. As you noticed, these little cars have pretty stiff springs, and even with his taller stance he still has no issues with body roll. The Austin rear springs are pretty narrow too, and lots of leafs. I was going to use my stock springs in back, but just couldn't get the ride height I wanted. I ended up tearing it all out and going with Comp ladder bars and QA1 coilovers.
 

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My Dad is running a glass 41 Willys with a 402ci BBC/automatic combo and a 9" rear with 29-1/2" tall tires.
With a straight axle up front the car sits pretty high.In the rear it rides on stock 66 Mustang V8 leaf springs that I pulled from my car to put in aftermarket 5 leaf springs.
He found that the high center of gravity makes it lean over real hard in turns,so he put a stock sway bar from some factory Ford application on there,not sure what it was from.It looks really small diameter to me,never measured it,but looked too small to have any effect.
After running it for a summer,he has it apart to put a larger bar in there,not sure if he's going 7/8" or 1" yet,but I'll post a couple pictures when I get home and he gets it done.

In your case,your car is so small and light that if your springs are real heavy,you may be able to get by without it,but if you want to add one later,its really not a big job.
Also,don't worry about finding one Thats narrow enough,just cut it and weld it to the width you need.Just make sure you have a qualified welder do the work,and fab up a quick jig to keep it nice and straight.
I'm sure we'll have a few guys hop in here and say it can't be done,but it can.You can also weld on leaf springs.The leafs on that same 41 Willys have been cut and shortened a couple of inches,and they've been fine for a very full summer of driving all over Ontario and Michigan:)

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks Gary, Vall and Scott, VERY much appreciate the information in your posts ! ! I was hoping that I might be able to get away without a bar to begin with and fine tune things later on, looks like I can do just that.

Let you know how things turn out.

T
 
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