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51 commander front sway bar replacement

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  • Frame / Springs: 51 commander front sway bar replacement

    I have a 1951 Commander Star Light Cpe with 232 and automatic, with a lot of body roll in turns. I have ordered and received the replacement sway bar which is 1” in diameter as opposed to the original 1/2”, and also have the new rubbers and clamps for this size. I also have the later front sway bar brackets that must be attached to the front of the frame. I am replacing my front coil springs as the original ones have the lower coil broken. I have the HD coils and pockets as well from SI. It appears the new sway bar which replaces the original 1/2” sway bar is just too big and too long to install. Does anyone have some pics or guidance for installing the bigger sway bar? I really am perplexed as to how the bushings and clamp will attach to my original lower suspension arm or “A” arm. Any help most welcomed. By the way, I have new replacement shocks from SI as well already installed both front and rear. The other thing is no guidance on how/where to place the later sway bar brackets on the frame. There is one body mount bolt that could be used but which way to face the bracket is still a problem. Do I bolt or weld?
    thanks so much, I trust I have the info complete. Hugh

  • #2
    Do you have a rear sway bay, too? The rear bar makes a big difference.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon


    • #3
      No rear sway bar yet. I am directly talking about the front sway bar


      • #4
        I put one on my 52 Commander, years ago, IIRC, I cut about 3/4" or 1" (don't remember exactly) off each end and the length was correct. It will make a difference in the body roll.

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        • #5
          I hope I am attaching the photos of my 51 Commander new front 1” sway bar with new brackets and bushings. It requires a lot of grunt work in where to place the hanger brackets as there is no guidance anywhere. The brackets were mounted on the sway bar first and then placed in various positions to get the right fit without cutting the ends of the sway bar or welding anything. Several tries were required, but I am very pleased to say the car, with new front springs, shocks and sway bar and of course alignment handles like a dream and stays quite flat in turns. I have spring type “curb feelers” installed and the springs used to contact the pavement when going around a “roundabout” formally known as a rotary, and now never a contact, and still at the same heights.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by Hugh; 08-18-2021, 04:34 PM.


          • #6
            is that poly or rubber bushings?, did you have to drill any holes to mount the front frame brackets? can i ask how much you paid for the kit, without the springs, shocks?


            • #7
              Nice work Hugh, now you are ready for the local Slalom or road course LOL. Luck Doofus


              • #8
                Me 2013. The bushings and frame brackets were from SI and total cost around $200. I simply can’t remember the exact cost, I do know the 1” sway bar is still being made as aftermarket, and most likely the brackets and bushings are the same. No hardware and the holes has to be drilled into the frame extensions just about where the front valance is. Hope this info helps. I will try to get source info, but I had the parts for quite a while before getting them installed.


                • #9
                  Additional pics front stabilizer with valance removed for easier view Hugh. By the way, these pictures were from a fellow Stude person who sent these pics to me. Note he has disc brakes, I still have drum originals. I simply forgot to include this info. My installation is a mirror image, but the pics I used are much, much clearer. Don’t forget you will need the proper frame mounts in addition to the sway bar. Again, very difficult at first if you have no guide. This simply makes it much easier to install, but only applies to the “older” 1/2 “ to 1” conversion. Hugh
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by Hugh; 11-10-2021, 03:35 PM.