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1973gts View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20-May-2018 at 8:47AM
I am getting ready to order my suspension parts and I have a quick question on my sway bars.  I have a 1973 GTS N code with the competition suspension.  In measuring them they both show 1.1 ".  Are these the standard size for the competition suspension because I thought the front and rear were different sizes.  Also I measured mine near the middle, not sure if there is a specific spot that has to be measured.  Thanks  -  dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lynchster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2018 at 12:05PM
I'm going to say no. I've never seen a rear sway bar over an inch. I could be wrong too. My 72 had a 1 1/8" up front and a 5/8" in the rear if I recollect correctly. The Addco bar I'm going to is only 7/8".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2018 at 1:14PM

The OEM rear bars are generally 5/8" even on competition cars.  There were some 3/4" bars too. The 7/8" Addco is gernally the biggest, but there is one exception.  Late 1970's LTD II police cars for LAPD got 1" and 1" 1/8" bars.  These were the only car that got those oversized bars and are super rare. 



Edited by 72FordGTS - 20-May-2018 at 1:15PM
Vince

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1973gts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2018 at 4:44PM
I just re-measured and both front and rear bars are 1 1/8 inch.  I've had the car for 20 years so possibly a previous owner located a compatible one and switched it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2018 at 4:52PM
Shocked that's a fat rear bar!!!
 measure it right next to the bushings, but they should be the same dia. throughout...
JOHN
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1973gts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2018 at 5:01PM
I'll measure that spot tomorrow but like you said I think it's the same size the whole length.  I know the last previous owner used to drag race it so possibly he did it for better hole shots?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2018 at 1:35AM
If you have a 1 1/8 rear bar you are very lucky. That is one rare piece. Like I said they were only used on a handful of LAPD police cars.
Vince

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fordismyboss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2018 at 5:06AM
Around 1976-77,  my buddies at the Ford Parts department recommended I replace my sway bars with the police version of both front and rear sway bars. I ordered them and put them on my '72. The difference in handling was huge. The sizes visually dwarfed the stock parts. I do not remember the diameters and hope I can find the receipts someday!

I currently have two rear sway bars from 76-79(?) cars with the same square flat bracket pads protecting the fuel tank from a rear collision as in your photo above. They are both 11/16" diameter.

I also have an original 1972 rear bar and brackets that is 3/4" diameter, which is on my car now. I found it in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA! LAPD?

From the pictures you posted, that big bar looks original. Would not surprise me if I had one of those back in the day, but that was 1976, not 1978-9. More detailed photos of that bar would be great! Are there any numbers on it? Can your provide the bracket numbers? Thanks for posting!  


Edited by fordismyboss - 21-May-2018 at 5:11AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1973gts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2018 at 5:59AM
I will post more pictures of the bar in the near future, I am in the middle of the suspension teardown prior to finishing the frame.  The wife just had a knee replacement this week and I have only snuck out to the garage a couple of times since to do some minor tinkering.  I have done some research and found the original owners current location but have not contacted him yet.  He is in his mid 70's now and currently is in a law enforcement related business and possibly was when he purchased the car new maybe lending to some special feature addition (sway bar).  I will post more info when I get it.  -  dave 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1973gts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2018 at 6:26AM
Here are some pictures I took previously.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fordismyboss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2018 at 9:21AM
Massive factory bar with factory late model brackets.

Now I'm wondering what the curb weight of the LTD II is compared to the 72-73 GTS.

Thank you for these pictures.

I've been wondering what I ordered back in the day, and what was available. I always thought that the comp. susp. cars had 5/8" rear bars but did not know the size of the police rear bars. This is the first discussion I've found on the police sway bars where a larger than 3/4" bar was discussed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1973gts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2018 at 1:40PM
Just a little more info, when I bought the car the seller told me it had 31 spline axles, wondering if maybe the whole rear end has been switched from a police vehicle in the distant past.  Would there be any markings on the rear end that would help identify it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fordismyboss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2018 at 2:04PM
looking at the differential, there should be a small tag on the 10 or 11 o'clock housing bolt installed at the factory. If it's still there, it will tell you what you have. You can also check the diff code in the door jamb.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2018 at 2:46PM
The rear sway bars for Torino's were  almost all 5/8", 11/16", 3/4", and  7/8".  Competition cars varied in size depending on engine and year, some had 7/8", while some only had 5/8" bars.  For the most part police cars had the same as competition bars in 1972-73.  The police and competition suspensions were for all intense purposes the same, other than a few minor differences (solid front control arm bushings on police for example).
 
For 1974, the competition suspension was gone, just a HD suspension was available.  Police car suspension ended up getting beefed up a bit to cope with the extra weight.  The civilian cars had 5/8 or 11/16" bars only.  Police cars had 11/16", or 7/8" bars while the 460 PI cars came with 1" bars.
 
For 1975/76, the civilian cars had 11/16" bars, and police cars had either 1" rear bars or 1 1/16" bars (with radial tires).
 
For 1977-79, the civilian cars (LTD II) had 11/16" bars, police cars got 1", or 1 1/16" with radial tires.  1977-79 LAPD cars got 1 1/8 rear bars.
 
So as you can see, the police cars in the later years did get larger rear bars.  These would be very low production and very low survival rate.  So if you have a bar bigger than 7/8", you found a needle in a haystack.  Just be careful that you don't stiffen the rear too much or you'll get oversteer.
 
As for the front bars, the biggest, aftermarket or Ford, is 1 1/18" bar, including all police and competition suspension setups.
 
Many people mistake Torino axles to be 31 spline because they have the 3 hole hubs, but they still had 28 spline axles.  Pull an axle to confirm the spline count.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2018 at 3:06PM
there was some disscusion on here a few years back about big rear bars...IIRC carl told me some 77-79 t-birds had 1 1/2" rear bars!!! i think he's full of crap Big smile i've never seen a production car of any make with a bar that big on the rear!! i mean that's the size of a header tube!!! Shocked
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2018 at 3:14PM
No, Carl was wrong on that one. The T-birds were definitely smaller than police spec bars. Their suspension setup was not in the same league as the competition suspension. They were typically used a rear bar a bit larger than a mid 70s Torino bar but not much. Randy might know of the top of his head, otherwise I can check the parts catalog later.

The police spec bars I listed above are the biggest bars for our cars, but they are super rare. Even finding a factory 7/8s bar is rare. Which is why the Addco setup is usually the easiest choice.
Vince

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lynchster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2018 at 3:46PM
Originally posted by 1973gts 1973gts wrote:

I just re-measured and both front and rear bars are 1 1/8 inch.  I've had the car for 20 years so possibly a previous owner located a compatible one and switched it.


That's freakin awesome.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fordismyboss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2018 at 3:21AM
Thank you Vince! Best info yet! Now on to the bracketsBig smile

So, if I ordered a police rear bar in 1976-77 it could have been a 1" or a 1-1/16" dia. Got it!
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