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Front sway bar

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  • Frame / Springs: Front sway bar

    Hello everyone. Just joined this forum. Looks awesome and full of information.

    I am currently restoring a 1953 Commander (Starlight Coupe) and have run into a snag.

    I ordered the heavy duty 1" front sway bar kit from Studebaker International and am the point of installation. My problem is two fold:

    1: When the Moog brand rubber bushings are installed there seems to be no way to compress them enough to engage the clip type braket into the original slot, rotate the bushing/bracket into place and install the fasteners.

    2: Due to the shape of the sway bar two standoffs are provided and it appears that they mount on the front frame horns. IOWs instead of the original 4 bushings and brackets mounting to the lower A frames there are now only two mounted there and the other two mount via the standoffs to the frame horns. Is this correct? If so then the bolts going through the frame horns must also capture the front radiator support..........or am I looking at this wrong?

    What would really be helpful is photographs or diagrams of the installation. I have contacted Studebaker International and they seem unable to help and apparently do not have any installation guides available.

    Thank you in advance,


  • #2
    Use a pipe wrench on the "metal clamps" and a line up punch. It helps to have 2 sets of hands. Yes, they are tight! but doable.

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    • #3
      I've utilized pipe wrenches and multiple "C" clamps. If the sway bar is going to add tension to the suspension, tension will be required to install. I'm sure the factory had some simple procedure.
      Brad Johnson,
      SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
      '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
      '56 Sky Hawk in process


      • #4
        Even on my '63, this was a tough job to do alone, but it can be done. Like Jim says, leverage is needed (and some quick hands to line up the bolt). You'll get it!

        Do you have the shop manual? The diagrams in the manual are pretty essential for any type of mechanical work on our cars.

        Welcome to the Forum!

        Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" |


        • #5
          Thanks folks. I forgot to set my email notification for this site and just found the replies.

          I can see a few ways to get the proper leverage but it just still seems to be too tight. I think that there may be some problem with incorrect parts. Even if I can get everything rotated into place the rubber bushings would have to be compressed a looong way. Also, those standoff brackets have me perplexed. I have a factory service manual for this model and disassembled the original swaybar when I stripped the frame bare. This new SB is 1" diameter and is shaped differently than the original. Where the factory bar used two brackets/bushings on the lower control arms each side (IOW the bar follows the sweep of the A frames) the new one sweeps forward so that only the two outboard mounts will contact the A frame. Apparently the standoffs bolt to the bottom of the front frame horns and then the other two bushings mount to them. I can't believe that Studebaker International does not have any info at all on this product. Not putting them down, they've been great on everything else but surely someone has detailed drawings or at least a photo of the installation. Wish I could figure out who the manufacturer/designer of this setup is.


          • #6
            You have a 58 or later anti-sway bar setup.....they all have the frame stand offs after 1958. (as an added bonus, they work much better than the all control arm mounted ones, and is an upgrade to earlier cars.
            I usually use a pipe wrench to compress the rubber by hooking over the inside of the control arm with one jaw, and the other jaw over the bracket. Pull down till you can slip a pry bar in the holes and get a second bite. Then it's easier to slip in the bolt after the second bite!
            Tornado sirens just went off. out of here.
            Bez Auto Alchemy

            "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln


            • #7
              All clear (for now) to be alert now that I'm in the gypsy wagon......Aren't trailers and mobile homes tornado magnets?
              Bez Auto Alchemy

              "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln


              • #8
                Hi bezhawk,

                Yeah, I know youe right about the sway bar being later model. What I ordered from Stude Int is:

                P/N 801362 1" Sway bar. Catalog description states "Must use 1963-66 mounting hardware

                So I also ordered

                P/N 1558373 Bracket to frame, 63-66 Lark, Hawk and 63-85 Avanti

                Along with new brackets for the larger bushings and of course, the bushings , P/N 1539472.

                It would help a lot if someone has a photo of at least the Bracket to frame P/N 1558373 installed on any year car.

                Thank you,



                • #9
                  To squeeze the rubber bushing and get the bolt through the bracket on the A arm you need the biggest one of these you can find:

                  I've got one that's about 1-1/2 feet long or so and it will do the job with ease. I do have photos of those frame brackets on my car ( I have a '63 GT bar on my '53) but will have to find them tonight.

                  EDIT: Added pictures of driver side swap bar bracket and bar end to A arm. There should be no need to drill anything to put this on a '53. Complete bolt on with existing holes.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by Jeff_H; 09-07-2011, 04:52 PM. Reason: Added pictures

                  Jeff in ND


                  • #10
                    Thank you thank you thank you Jeff!!!!!!!! That's exactly what I needed! It confirms that I was on the right track and gives me another bit of information to solve the problem. My parts look identical to yours with the exception of the bushing brackets. Mine do not look at all like yours. I'm positive that they sent me the incorrect brackets and that's why I can't compress them. I realize that they are going to have to be compressed but with the brackets they sent me there is NO way that the grommets can give THAT much. I'm talking 3/4" at least compressed and that would not only be not possible but would totally negate the purpose of the bushings. I'll take a photo of what I havve and post it all so you can see my issue.

                    Once again, Thank you!