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1968 Chevy Corvette Stingray Rear Anti-Roll Bar Install

1968 Stingray rear antiroll bar install

John Gilbert May 10, 2019
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Less body roll with a flatter ride and better steering response means a great handling Stingray that's faster through the turns and more fun to drive.

Looking beyond its over-the-top quality bodywork, paint and chrome plating, this 1968 Corvette Stingray restored from the ground up at Hot Rods by Dean is a faithful restoration with at first glance subtle upgrades undetectable to the human eye. Looking at this 1 of 3,374 '68 Stingrays in Corvette Bronze one might not imagine the tweaks that have been done to make it a better car.

As covered in prior Vette tech articles, the IRS and brakes on this '68 are improved stock configurations. And, of course, always a subject of interest to a Corvette aficionado are the rare options and options that were never available, but could have been. Take, for instance, a rear sway bar was standard on all big-block Stingrays, but never an option for a small-block Stingray. The F41 package that included stiffer shocks on small-block '68s was sans rear sway bar.

Adding a rear sway bar (antiroll bar) to an early small-block Stingray is a worthy improvement and thanks to Corvette Central they have a selection to choose from based on one's needs. For the '68 featured we went with a 5/8-inch rear sway bar. Additionally, Corvette Central stocks a heavier 3/4-inch diameter rear sway bar and also a rear sway bar engineered to work with deep backspaced rear wheels.

The 5/8-inch bar is the perfect compliment to go with a standard specification front sway bar. Note, as the diameter of a sway bar increases the chances of ride harshness increases.

We are expecting the handling and the ride for this car to be incredible; better than a new '68 Corvette ever was. The rear spring is a brand-new stock specification Detroit Eaton rated at 140-lb/in with a spring pack of six curved and three straight springs. The F41 spring is rated at 305-lb/in and the Daytona spring 450-lb/in.

At the heart of ride quality is the shock absorbers ability to damp the springs on compression and rebound. It's amazing the improvement a premium quality shock can make. The shock absorbers at all four corners are QA1, with single-adjustable (double- and non-adjustable versions are available) 403 Aluminum Stocker Stars on the rear.

Installing a rear sway bar on a 1968 Corvette is a weekend project any DIY guy with a few basic tools can take on. The rear sway bar mounting points came standard on the body of every 1968 Corvette produced and adding the pickup points necessary to bolt on a rear sway bar is easy work with a decent command of rudimentary mechanical skills. Vette

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Corvette Central's rear sway bar (stabilizer bar, antiroll bar) comes with all the necessary hardware ready for installation, after the included bushings are pressed in.

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Virgin threads will be packed with years of rust and dirt. Blow the holes out with compressed air and chase the threads with a lubed SAE 5/16-18 tap.

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Using the 5/16-18 cad-plated bolts included with the sway bar kit, test the threads. The bolts should turn easily using just your fingers.

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Preparing the sway bar to accept the endlink bushings means scraping or honing away the flash (raised edge left from forging). This will create an unrestricted hole for the link bushing to press into.

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For the DIY guy, an improvised press will work to push in the link bushing provided the inside diameter of the sway bar end affords a minimum of resistance.

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To make the job easier, Hot Rods by Dean uses a hydraulic press to push in link bushings and bearing races, etc.

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Whatever the means of installing the link bushings, they should be pressed in fully as shown.

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Lubricating the sway bar bracket bushings eases assembly onto the rear sway bar. Spread grease around at the split and open it wide to slip the bushings over the bar.

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Ready to mount the Corvette Central rear sway bar with the end bushings pressed in and bracket bushings installed.

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The spare tire well obscures access to install the rear sway bar.

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Access to install the rear sway bar is gained by lowering the spare tire well. Installing the rear sway bar with the car on jack stands instead of a lift (hoist), the spare tire well should be dropped completely and removed from the car.

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With the sway bar in mounting position the brackets are placed over the bracket bushings and to allow repositioning the sway bar snugged not tightened.

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The endlink bracket bushings must be installed facing the side described in the included directions.

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Properly installed, the endlink bushing rests flush with the edge of the bracket.

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Two 5/16 holes were drilled in the Right Stuff trailing arms to retain the nut plate.

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The rear sway bar links hang from the sway bar and hang downwards connecting to the Right Stuff trailing arm.

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The last step was to tighten the sway bar endlinks and remount the rear wheels.

Sources

Hot Rods By Dean
Phoenix, AZ
623-581-1932
http://www.hotrodsbydean.com

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