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Subject: "Front sway bar, a few other things" Archived thread - Read only
 
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mikecyc72usa
Member since Oct-17-08
52 posts (Believes that Paul McCartney STILL drives a Spitfire)
Oct-23-08, 08:51 PM (PST)
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"Front sway bar, a few other things"
 
   I've been perusing the boards and have had many questions answered, I have a few remaining. First, I have a 1" front anti-roll bar, but am wondering what the best way to mount it is. Should I find a place to make solid mounting blocks, or should I drill the frame?

For now I put a Pacesetter header on, with a stock exhaust (no cat) system. Once these burn out, what systems give a nice note that won't make my ears bleed but still let my engine breathe? I have a stock 78 1500 engine save a dual SU HS4 setup, and will be putting a Pertronix system on soon.

Thank you for your help.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Front sway bar, a few other things foxtrapper Oct-24-08 1
  RE: Front sway bar, a few other things Joe Curry Oct-24-08 2
     RE: Front sway bar, a few other things tonymrfixitteam Oct-24-08 3
         RE: Front sway bar, a few other things ajohnson38 Oct-26-08 4
             RE: Front sway bar, a few other things mikecyc72usa Oct-26-08 5
                 RE: Front sway bar, a few other things clshoreteam Oct-27-08 6
  RE: Front sway bar, a few other things geithner Oct-28-08 7
     RE: Front sway bar, a few other things mikecyc72usa Oct-28-08 8
         RE: Front sway bar, a few other things foxtrapper Oct-28-08 10
     RE: Front sway bar, a few other things geithner Oct-28-08 9
         RE: Front sway bar, a few other things mikecyc72usa Oct-28-08 11
             RE: Front sway bar, a few other things geithner Oct-29-08 12

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foxtrapper
Member since Feb-27-02
1035 posts (TTN Hall of Famer)
Oct-24-08, 03:39 AM (PST)
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1. "RE: Front sway bar, a few other things"
In response to message #0
 
   How strong the swaybar mounting needs to be has something to do with your driving.

The a-arms themselves get ripped or fractured. Many reinforce them around the existing triangle. I've seen it done several different ways, and can't claim a favorite.

The tabs on the frame rail, you can mount too. But they often flex and crack. Someone, and it may have been on this board, mentioned mounting via an aluminum block, and that this prevented the flexing and cracking. Otherwise, I usually see boxing of the tab done. Simply drilling into the frame won't provide enough rigidity and you'll just rip it out of the frame.

I ran a straight pipe out the rear on one of my Spitfires, and it was remarkably quiet. A lot less noise than I'd expected. I've got a Dynomax muffler sitting in the shed that I'd planned to install, but I sold that car before I did it. Dynomax mufflers have a very deep sound, which I personally like. I dispise the high buzzy sound of things like Monza, makes the Spitfire sound like a string trimmer to my ears. But you've got to decide what you like to hear.


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Joe Curry
Member since Oct-20-03
1328 posts (An "official" TTN Senior Wrangler)
Oct-24-08, 09:05 AM (PST)
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2. "RE: Front sway bar, a few other things"
In response to message #0
 
   My first question is, "Do you really want a 1" sway bar on your car?" Realize that adding front stiffness will make the car tend towards understeer if you don't make similar modifications to the back end to compensate.

Once you have determined that you really do want to install it, you can make some mounting brackets out of 3/8" mild steel and weld them to the frame members in place of the existing mounts.

MOOG has kits for various diameter bars that includes both the urethane bushings and the metal brackets that hold them in place. Since they are larger than the stock bushings and brackets, it mandates that you make some new attaching points. That is what I did on Tiny Tim when I was autocrossing him. But when I changed over to street use, I went back to the 7/8" bar and used MOOG bushings for that size bar on the same mounting brackets I made for the 1" bar.

You can use the Pacesetter Monza system that gives a nice exhaust note but will burn out pretty quick since all the muffler elements are glass packs. You can replace these components with some better products as they burn out and still keep the Monza look and sound but have a longer lasting system.

I have no experience with the stainless steel systems but the weak part will be muffler itself. If it uses glasspack mufflers, they probably won't last much longer than the Monza system. There are several free-flow mufflers that don't use fiberglass available but unfortunately they tend to be too large to easily fit under our little cars.

Joe C.


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tonymrfixitteam
Member since Dec-25-02
2633 posts (A TTN governor, governor)
Oct-24-08, 11:54 AM (PST)
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3. "RE: Front sway bar, a few other things"
In response to message #2
 
I did not have confidence in the roll bar Tabs on my car, they seemed Wimpy, had some curb damage and were rust traps. I cut mine off and welded some sturdy, boxed mounts in the same location. I also kept the standard roll bar but fitted urethane bushings with common U bolts.
Please let us know how you get on with your 1" bar.
Most 'non Triumph' guys I meet are astounded at the size of our standard 7/8" bar.

I have used several mufflers over the years, first I had a Cherry Bomb glass pack, it sounded great, but soon got tiring on the Highway. Next I bought a 'Looks like a Glass pack-flows like a Turbo' muffler from J C Whitney, this muffler had twin perforated tubes inside, it worked quite well and lasted, but did tend to sound a bit like a Kazoo on acceleration.
I currently have a small standard type muffler from the Walker muffler catalogue (I forget the normal application) It's nice and quite, perhaps too quite, and I do feel I loose a little Top end power. My next muffler I think, will be from a sport motorcycle, I would guess these would flow well, they are inexpensive (these guys are forever changing brands of muffler and discarding the old ones) and they seem to be quite quite.

Tony M
74 Spitfire 1500
84 Toyota Pickup
03 VW Golf


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ajohnson38
Member since Aug-20-03
744 posts (TTN Power Member - a well respected man)
Oct-26-08, 08:33 AM (PST)
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4. "RE: Front sway bar, a few other things"
In response to message #3
 
   is the 1" a stock replica sway bar? IF so, get some poly or urethane mounts from your local store or 5-994 from victoria british. Then reinforce the stock mounts with a couple new welded in triangulated pieces on each side. I run Oilite bushings on my car but I don't think that solid bushings are necessary for a street car.

Alternatively you can do some other things. I run a straight speedway motorsports 1" bar and it goes across the top of the frame. Others have cut holes in the frame to run it through there.

If the car isn't lowered much you can get away with the sway bar running under the frame. If it's lowered very much you'll find that the swaybar will hit the ground and do some damage...as I found out in the chicane at PIR.

Aaron Johnson
#87 H-Prod Spitfire MkIV Southern Illinois Region SCCA
http://hpspitfire.servebeer.com


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mikecyc72usa
Member since Oct-17-08
52 posts (Believes that Paul McCartney STILL drives a Spitfire)
Oct-26-08, 09:11 PM (PST)
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5. "RE: Front sway bar, a few other things"
In response to message #4
 
   I intend to autox my car, plus it'll be regular transportation for me. I have a rear antisway bar to balance out the car. I lowered the front a little bit. At this time I have kept the stock bar on the front. Out of curiousity, does anyone remember the dealer option dual fron bar? I found one for my GT6 years ago.

This is the first time I've tried to make a more performance oriented Spit. I've had 9 others, but never really did anything more than stock. My GT6s were the fast ones.


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clshoreteam
Charter Member
734 posts (TTN Power Member - a well respected man)
Oct-27-08, 07:13 PM (PST)
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6. "RE: Front sway bar, a few other things"
In response to message #5
 
   A sway bar will increase the tendency for jacking on a car with swing axles (if one wheel droops, it causes the other wheel to also droop), so a rear sway bar on a Spit is not the way to improve handling, unless you enjoy aerobatics in the parking lot (or have converted to a rotoflex rear).
A bit of negative rear camber, along with a stiffer rear spring and/or a Camber Compensator will control the jacking. You balance the handling by a combination of front spring rate increase, and front sway bar selection. Fine tuning is done by fiddling with the front and rear camber, toe, tire pressure, etc.

Turn in is usually important for autox, so the alignment settings that yield the best times may be wildly different than the stock settings (and result in a car that is not that practical for daily street use.)

Carter


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geithner
Member since Dec-7-07
26 posts (Thinks "DOT 5" is a new "girl band" from England)
Oct-28-08, 09:32 AM (PST)
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7. "RE: Front sway bar, a few other things"
In response to message #0
 
   I've been using a 1 inch Addco front bar on my '78 for 14 years and am happy with it. Several years ago, I noticed cracking in the mounts on the frame and in the A-arm attachments. So, I reinforced the frame mounts using pieces of gusseting angle iron welded on, and reinforced the A-arm attachments by welding on additional traingle-shaped shear plates. See the attached photos:

http://autos.ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/nass/photos/view/71c5?b=2&m=s&o=0

http://autos.ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/nass/photos/view/71c5?b=3&m=s&o=0

http://autos.ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/nass/photos/view/71c5?b=1&m=s&o=0

I was able to use the stock 7/8 inch bar mounting bits for the frame attachments on my 1 inch bar by minor trimming of the bushing material. Not difficult and saves drilling new holes and whatnot.

I second Carter's comments about the rear bar. A rear bar is not really a good idea on a swing axle car as it will enhance jacking. While not unacceptable on a swing spring equipped Spitfire, it's dangerous on a fixed-spring one. A combination of rear negative camber and the right overall stiffness and front-to-rear stiffness bias is a good way to mitigate the intrinsic deficiencies in the swing axle design for a street Spitfire. Too much rear stiffness will be counterproductive on a car with an open differential; you don't want too much weight transfer occurring at the rear or else you'll and spin the unloaded wheel in a hard turn. One good approach for a decent dual-use street + autocross car is to leave the rear bar off and run about -3 degrees camber at the rear, and at the front use the 1 inch bar, stiffer coil springs, corrected (lowered) geometry and go with around -2 degrees camber and zero toe.

Regarding exhaust, I'm happy with the sound and performance of my a la carte system of tri-Y header, intermediate pipe with resonator from a GT6, and a small turbo muffler pointed straight back. Here's what the muffler looks like:

http://autos.ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/nass/photos/view/fd03?b=9

I've got a mostly stock engine at this time in my '78--stock cam and head but flat-top instead of dished pistons for 8.3:1 compression, and twin HS4 carbs. Good luck with your mods. Doesn't take much to improve upon the stock/factory configuration and make for a Spitfire that's both safer and more fun.

Paul Geithner
'78 Spitfire 1500
'68 Spitfire mk3
http://auskellian.com/paul/spit.html


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mikecyc72usa
Member since Oct-17-08
52 posts (Believes that Paul McCartney STILL drives a Spitfire)
Oct-28-08, 09:55 AM (PST)
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8. "RE: Front sway bar, a few other things"
In response to message #7
 
   Jacking, forgot about that beasty. I work in the bike industry, and that's the nemesis of full suspension mountain bikes. Well, I can always sell the rear bar. I've already got the front end redone with stiffer, lower springs, and am going to 175/70r13 tires soon. So I'll just stick with the stock bar for now, and replace my rear shocks and bushings, and overhaul the brakes. Once that's done, it's time to finally fire up my car and see how it drives.

As for autox, I just want to have fun with it, as long as I'm not last I'm happy. Once this car is done, I'm going to get another Spit 1500 and put fuel injection in it and maybe a 5 spd. That's a few years away, though.

So far thanks to everyone, between this and the other Spit sites all my lost knowledge from 10 years ago is coming back. Have a great weekend, everyone!


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foxtrapper
Member since Feb-27-02
1035 posts (TTN Hall of Famer)
Oct-28-08, 05:42 PM (PST)
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10. "RE: Front sway bar, a few other things"
In response to message #8
 
   I'm in the camp that strongly suspects a rear sway bar on a swing axle car is a very bad thing. BUT...I've never actually watched or driven a Spitfire with a rear swaybar. I have spoken to some people that had them (past tense), and one fella had a web page about his, and they all liked them. I've got one sitting in the shed that I got cheap just to experiment with some day.

As for autocrossing, I've had my arse handed to me by better drivers in far lesser cars more times than I care to remember. Your Spitfire will be well set up from your description, but it's always the nut behind the wheel that makes or breaks the lap times.


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geithner
Member since Dec-7-07
26 posts (Thinks "DOT 5" is a new "girl band" from England)
Oct-28-08, 11:06 AM (PST)
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9. "RE: Front sway bar, a few other things"
In response to message #7
 
   In case the photos didn't come out the first time, here's another try:

Paul Geithner
'78 Spitfire 1500
'68 Spitfire mk3
http://auskellian.com/paul/spit.html


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mikecyc72usa
Member since Oct-17-08
52 posts (Believes that Paul McCartney STILL drives a Spitfire)
Oct-28-08, 11:03 PM (PST)
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11. "RE: Front sway bar, a few other things"
In response to message #9
 
   Paul, thank you for the pics. Another coworker is quite the wizard with welding and metal fabrication, so those pics will be great starting points. Foxtrapper, as for my car setup for autox, we'll see if I still have the driving skills I did. Done lots of endurance racing and autox in Triumphs last decade. Now I hope I'm a little more refined.

On a different note, went to replace my heater control valve, and the adapter that bolts to it so you can hook up a hose is too loose to seal. Is there a gasket avaialable or should I just buy some gasket goop?


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geithner
Member since Dec-7-07
26 posts (Thinks "DOT 5" is a new "girl band" from England)
Oct-29-08, 05:50 AM (PST)
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12. "RE: Front sway bar, a few other things"
In response to message #11
 
   Hi mikecyc72usa-

If I'm guessing right what you mean, I've had a similar problem, caused by the old rubber O-ring piece that gets sandwiched/captured between the valve and the metal piece that connects to the hose going to the heater core not making a good seal anymore. I ended up adding another, smaller rubber O-ring on top of the old one and bolting the assembly back together, and problem solved. A little Hylomar added wouldn't hurt either. HTH and good luck-

Paul Geithner
'78 Spitfire 1500
'68 Spitfire mk3
http://auskellian.com/paul/spit.html


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