RE: [Chrysler300] Strut / Torsion bars
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RE: [Chrysler300] Strut / Torsion bars

A funny thing goes on with all this stuff. If you ask a guy who just put on a sway bar, “how did it work out?” , he will never say “it’s just awful , I wasted my $”. . Same with JC Whitney mini fuel charger (fan under the carb—“it feels faster since I did that”) or gas line magnets. 


Even the name is wrong, it has almost nothing to do with sway. I have driven 100’s of cars over the years, the best handing and ‘feeling” ones were the Jag XKE type  setup w rear independent, why the high end hot rod guys do that. It feels GREAT to drive an XKE, or any later Jag, and they won their share too. They are very far from stiff, have a very compliant ride, to the point you notice it instantly,  if you are a car guy….unsure about sway bar , do not think it has one in back. Jag won Le Mans even I think? Aside from all the lucas jokes, the engineers behind Jag had it all right. They had a really great hemi head before Chrysler, the 3.8 6 in late 40’s , one could argue it was better even, dual OHC, where we are just getting to now…


I also had a 90’s viper, a known winner race car , made for corners etc. It was awful to just drive around ,---and I like stiff suspensions, but that car is punishing. At some point “sway bars” and just stiffer springs have to cross over ; I do know GM cars of 60’s leaned like crazy on 4 soft coils in a corner, they needed “sway “ bars badly. 62 Chevy wagons go down the highway,  straight ahead wheels , with car body angled 5 degrees to the road in a wind, bobbing around. . Scary. 


Chrysler leafs in back , with the rigid no flex fronts on the leafs , 45 degree mounted shocks (ford got all that  wrong, still wrong, they bend the front side too, shocks still straight up and down on new F150; aka = Ford wheel hop)--- and the long flex backs on Chrysler with rigid fronts almost act just like the jag channels . Front of spring gives positive location of axle. Petty had no problems. 


Jag  has literal channel irons  locating it precisely fore and aft . That holds geometry constant , rear wheels stay fairly vertical in corner ,even if car leans , with effectively a sideways 4 bar link  It would seem sway bars (think about what it really does) tend to keep the car body more level to the road, avoid one side dipping way down, maybe add some load to unloaded tire, make loaded one even more loaded, but it does not move up into body . As much. Looks better?  But stiff springs do that too. Sway bar only does anything in the first place once/ when   springs are already squeezed unequally..a lot.  That is very aggressive driving? It has to tilt in first place or sway bay is doing nothing. Good thing to ponder. Variable rate coils seem a very good answer to me,….


This is a very old discussion,  full of opinions, but the 300B –and Jag, won stuff. Kind of opposite approaches there. What was on 300? Stiff springs for sure. 800lb/in . Probably would not even feel a 1” sway bar in its multiple soft rubber mounts.


Studebakers all have ‘toy” sway bars, soft springing for what that is worth. They lean 45 in a corner(smile). 


And to my knowledge, all NASCAR have straight axles, despite what the BMW fans at Car and Driver think. If IRS helped, NASCAR might have it? Maybe they do now. Going around a corner fast is kind of important there. But our Mopar 220 hemi dodge record that still stands ( Baker) – was set on leafs. And torsion bars. A Tuned stock suspension . The old Mopar Performace supension books probably have all the real data on this.


I tend toward factory guys know a lot more here than I do, or ever will  = So, only vary the setup ,--- if you are smarter? My .02.


As a very smart GM chief engineer once stated, “what difference is it if you crash into big Sycamore on one side of the highway in a big car with understeer, vs hitting another big one on the opposite side of the highway with oversteer? It is controllability at the limit,  that makes the bold ones old ones. “   Very smart thing to say.  I see that as a vote for Jag.


Great subject…




From: EMills_ATC [mailto:millserat@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 9:24 PM
To: Anna F Noia; Rich Barber; 'Bob Merritt'; 'John Grady'; charlies@xxxxxxxxxxxx; Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Chrysler300] Strut / Torsion bars


Yes - but look what you did to front bar to balance adding rear - front bar stiffness increased by radius to 4th power. Assuming you are correct 5/8" diameter to 3/4" (1/8 increase in dia or 1/16 in radius) you more than doubled the stiffness of front bar to compensate for adding rear bar and you got to neutral. If you had left front stock I guarantee you would have switched ends in a tight corner.

Edward Mills Antique Tractors 1930-1960 Antique Cars 1960-1985

On 6/21/2016 4:41 PM, Anna F Noia wrote:

Edward & All

I would like to add my story with sway bars, although not a 300 story but can help. I had an Austin Healey 3000, and it had severe under steer (as most everyone knows). I duplicated the front sway with better spring steel and increase the diameter by an 1/8" (to approximately 3/4"); I fabricated a rear sway bar using the same spring steel. I used heat to bend them. Then had them annealed to return them to their proper torsion strength. I converted the shocks from lever arm to tube shocks with a Koni adapters. Then used the rear shock links to connect to the sway bar ends. to make a long story somewhat shorter. With the upsize of the front sway bar and the installation of the rear sway bar. The car went from a scary under steer, to a near "Neutral" controllable cornering abilities! I am a staunch believer in "Rear Sway Bars" and plan on installing one in my '57 300. They are well worth the effort, stock or not. DO IT. IMHO.

Best Regards,
Stephen A. Noia
1-408-210-4736 cell


On Tuesday, June 21, 2016 8:52 AM, "EMills_ATC millserat@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]"  <mailto:Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:



OK - so Torsional stiffness Torque/Rotation = KG/L where K = Pi/2 x (Radius)4 ---- (Thats radius to 4th power or squared twice - cant seem to make superscripts work) and G is a constant for steel and Rotation is in radians.

But all you want to know is difference in stiffness, so take G as a constant and just look at difference in R4th/L

And since L is constant here at 40 in, difference in stiffness is simply (.505)4 / (.495)4 or 1.08329 - translated 8.3% difference in stiffness between 300 Sport (or Newport Sedan / Conv, etc.) at 0.99 and H at 1.01

H vs New Yorker 12.8% stiffer

H vs Newport wagon 17.5% stiffer

And by the way, to convert to stiffness you need distance from center of rod to centerline of tire - if you want absolutes, need to go thru more calcs incl dealing with G Shear Modulus and radians. 

But unless you are playing with different wheel offsets (going to aftermarket wheels - moving out increases moment arm and increases torsion which effectively "softens" car spring rate - moving in effectively "stiffens" but you get interference) or changing hub dimensions (such as may be if changing to disc brakes, etc).

PS - If you are also playing with Anti-sway bars on front only, it would not be unusual to soften spring rate if increasing sway bar stiffness on that end - otherwise you would need to play with back of car to keep handling balance (oversteer / understeer). 

For example, if you add a rear sway bar to a car that did not originally have one, and you do nothing else (no change to rear spring rate or better front bar increase in stiffness to balance handling), be prepared for rear end to come around fast in a hard turn - potentially severe oversteer condition. (Personal experience, lesson learned)


Edward Mills Antique Tractors 1930-1960 Antique Cars 1960-1985

On 6/20/2016 1:45 PM, 'Rich Barber' c300@xxxxxxx [Chrysler300] wrote:


HD suspension may have been an option on all ’62 Chryslers and included the thicker torsion bars which were standard on the H.


Rich Barber

Brentwood, CA


From: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 'Bob Merritt' bob@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]
Sent: Monday, June 20, 2016 11:24 AM
To: John Grady mailto:jkg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; charlies@xxxxxxxxxxxx; Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re[2]: [Chrysler300] Strut / Torsion bars



AMA specs for 1962.


Newport Sedan, hardtop, convertible: torsion bar 40.0" x .99" diameter


Newport station wagon: torsion bar 40.0" x .97" diameter


Sport 300: torsion bar 40.0" x .99" diameter


300H: torsion bar 40.0" x 1.01" diameter


New Yorker: torsion bar 40.0" x .98" diameter





------ Original Message ------

From: "'John Grady' jkg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]" <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

To: charlies@xxxxxxxxxxxx; Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sent: 6/20/2016 1:12:32 PM

Subject: RE: [Chrysler300] Strut / Torsion bars



To my knowledge the strut rods do not flex or bend or twist at all, they just move a bit in the rubber, to allow the suspension to move up and down , while locating suspension  arm / spindle fore and aft. so that thickness is a non issue. (axial loads only); rubber durometer might change that fore and aft stiffness but not much and only of value for that kind of (rare) loads? —in case you hit a very deep pothole.  ; I do not understand the torsion bars at all. It should be the other way around., stock ? The 300 should be thicker, as  that is (factory) stiffer ; maybe 300 were swapped to smaller in the past? Any chance those numbers are inverted? Or 300 sport was really a very soft car compared to 300H ; which may be true. Interesting info, that is for sure. 


But I do not know the factory 300H specs. Others will…


Why would a Newport be sprung stiffer than a sport?



See listings of aftermarket / MOPAR performance torsion bars for B and E bodies, as a rough reference? Thicker bars = stiffer suspension , mostly, usually related to holding up heavier engines too. . Might or might not like that impact on ride . ( I like stiffer) but------Not like it is a  race car, screaming around corners on a  NASCAR track? IMHO


From: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of charlies@xxxxxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]
Sent: Monday, June 20, 2016 9:55 AM
To: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Chrysler300] Strut / Torsion bars


Hi Group,

Last year I installed a factory sway bar on my 62 Sport. In discussion with Dave Dumais at the MaCunngie meet, he said that it was likely that the strut rods on the doner (Newport) car were likely larger dia. Upon inspection, I found that this was indeed true. My current strut rods measure approx. .015 smaller than the Newport.

Also, a measurement of the torsion bars also reveals a difference. My Sport measures approx. 970 dia. and the Newport at approx 1.010 dia. 

So the question is - Would it be worthwhile to swap out these parts to my Sport. I guess I'm wondering what difference, if any, would I notice in ride quality / handling. 

Thanks, Charlie in Ottawa






[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Posted by: "John Grady" <jkg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

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