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Just got a 1" gene smith front bar delivered yesterday. Kit looks nice, hope it performs as good as it looks. The original style brackets look great.....
 

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I know the topic is about the size of a front sway bar, just responding about the difference and I don't have the answers.
A friend of mine used to own a '64 Vette with the 365hp 327. He purchased a rear sway bar from one of the aftermarket manufacturers and one Saturday we got together to install it. It was not possible with the drum brakes. I got online to read about this problem and found some interesting info on the topic. Only the Vettes with the big block used a front and rear sway bar due to the extra engine weight. From the factory, the front bar for the big block is larger in diameter than the small block. A rear sway bar for the small block Vette was not a factory option even at the parts counter. Vettes were way better engineered to take turns with the independent rear suspension/shorter wheelbase/less weight and adding a rear bar to the small block upset the handling and would cause the car to spin out in a turn.
I realize a shoebox is not a Vette. Just trying to point out that the size of the bar does make a difference.
 

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My 2 cents, we chose the smaller sway bar. It makes a big difference, but it also makes for a stiffer ride overall. For our purpose with 15" wheels and a raked stance along with a bench seat, handling isn't a priority. For me, the smaller sway bar was perfect. It made a huge impact in handling for basic corners. It was a good compliment to our mintubbed rear with 4link and still a nice ride quality. I didn't do the rear sway bar because the way it is now it handles better than the smaller front tire and the ole bench seat can handle. Sway is no longer a limitation.

To each their own. I have friends with very good handling (AM chassis) trifives, but it just wasn't for me. I wanted an old fashion hot rod that was comfortable and safe on the street. I've got other cars that are more appropriate for carving it up. Either way, you will be happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Thanks for the opinions guys. I think 1" will do it for me.

Thanks again!
 

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I have the Gene Smith 1” bar on the front of my 55. Very happy with the product.
 

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Sway bar install video

I went with the Classic Performance Products 1" and it made a huge difference. Here is a video of the install.
 

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Gene Smith is the only manufacture of the period correct sway bar for 55/56 Chevy The heavy duty version is 1 inch.
 

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Discussion Starter #30

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I put a 7/8” bar on my 55. It’s a 1000% improvement over the no bar it came from the factory with. People always stress over 1” or 1 1/4” bars when the cars came with nothing. ANY bar you put on there is going to be a vast improvement.
 

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I put a 7/8” bar on my 55. It’s a 1000% improvement over the no bar it came from the factory with. People always stress over 1” or 1 1/4” bars when the cars came with nothing. ANY bar you put on there is going to be a vast improvement.
I think the 1 1/4" would be total overkill, unless it's hollow, and/or you are up for some serious road racing. I thought mine was 1 1/8 but it's only 1" and it's plenty.

When I first got it I practiced going around an off ramp circle and it was a joy (joyride). Jerking the wheel a little too far to test it's limits, I felt some oversteer and added a 7/8" in the rear. Balanced out real nice. I don't think most people are comfortable pushing things to the limits like I did/do, but it's nice to know how your car will react in an emergency situation, before the emergency happens.

Could be that with 7/8 in front you don't need a rear bar. Although if you take a turn a little too fast and feel the back end sliding a little, they do make a 3/4" rear bar.
 

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Hellwig used to make a 1-1/8" bar. They have dropped it and now offer a 1-1/4" bar.

Hellwig also makes adjustable rear bars.
 

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Hellwig used to make a 1-1/8" bar. They have dropped it and now offer a 1-1/4" bar.

Hellwig also makes adjustable rear bars.
Sounds good for road racing on curvy roads! Shit, now you are going to make me want to get a bigger one. I can see where an adjustable rear would come in handy with one this massive in the front.

Sort of on a different topic but not too far off, I heard that a lot of newer cars have, for a limit stop rubber bumper, that they now have some kind of really hard "memory foam" type material. Is there any truth at all behind that?
 

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I've got the Helwig 1.25 ft bar. Going to see how well it does w/o a rear. If necessary, I'll add the rear. I can get an OEM bar, that came on the 8.8 FORD rear axle. That would be plenty.
 
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