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1966 Impala SS 396/325 convertible
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey gang,

I’m trying to upgrade the bushings and end links on my front sway bar… ‘66 Impala SS with F41 RPO, so the 15/16” sway bar.

I went with Energy Suspension but the brackets don’t fit. I didn’t realize the stock brackets have a weird offset hole design (see pic), and there’s no way the poly bushings will fit in the stock brackets. Does anyone know a workaround besides have new brackets fabricated? I even went so far as to try and drill out the aftermarket bracket but that’s a Mickey Mouse job I’m not willing to accept.

Help! and thanks!
Wood Gas Auto part Metal Tool


‘66 Impala SS 396 convertible
Muncie M20
‘71 Chevelle 402
C3 Corvette 4-wheel discs
 

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I encountered this 6 months ago when replacing these bushes too, I've since learned that they're also supplied with aftermarket front sway bars which come with instructions to drill new holes in the frame, the bushes I received had no instructions. I ended up modifying the bush bracket with a round file creating an offset hole on both sides.

My reasoning for modifying the bracket was that it's more of a support for the sway bar which spins within it, so the load on the bracket itself is minimal and there was still plenty of bracket there after modification. From memory it worked out to be about 3/4 the diameter of the bolt width on both sides.

The only other real alternative you have is to retain the oriiginal bush brackets & just replace the rubber bushes or as you say have something fabricated.
 

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Welcome the the swaybar upgrade club. :) I think everyone that has done a bushing or even the aftermarket bigger bar has come across that same issue. (myself included)

I hated to do it, but eventually I realized that I felt the drilling of a new hole in the frame was the best answer.
GL man!
 

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On my 64, the bushings were larger than stock, but I could not use their bracket on the power steering side. So I took a belt sander to the bushing to size it down to fit the stock bracket. Not sure how well that will translate to your 66... but just a thought.
 

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I drilled a hole in the frame...

However, if you don't want that, I would cut the tabs off the aftermarket brackets, weld on offset ones, and drill new holes. You'll lose the plating but can paint it chassis black.

If that's a little above and beyond you can add tabs to drill through by adding it on top of the existing one.

Either solution should be very clean once the edges are ground to shape.
 

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1966 Impala SS 396/325 convertible
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Awesome feedback… this has been a mystery. Even energy suspension came up empty on helping me, which was disappointing. I ended up deciding to drill the bracket, spot weld some thick washers cut to size, smooth everything out
and off we go… I really want to stay away from adding more holes to the frame.

Thanks!

Next up… engine rebuild. Found some bad valves and rings on a 20+ yr old previous rebuild. This’ll be a busy and expensive winter. Lol
 

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The front sway bar bushing brackets for the stock 3/4 inch bar and the 15/16 inch F-41 bar is the exact same bracket, difference is the bushings, unfortunately the original F-41 bushings with the groove in the center to keep them from sliding are hard to find. You need the groove,, groove being a strip in center of the bushing that sticks up -^- , you can see the in the original post the sway bar bracket has the groove to hold it, the aftermarket does not, and the aftermarket bushings i have found do not.
Most aftermarket bars are over an inch to 1 1/8th inch, I was lucky enough to find a set of correct bushings, removed the 1 1/8 “ aftermarket bar, and welded up the holes. So it turns into a preference thing. I wanted a correct F-41 bar.
Still have the large a/m bar I need to get rid of and have since picked up a few original 15/16 inch front F-41 front bars.

I see there are 2 rear factory rear sway bars on the Bay, with hardware. (not mine) and “The Parts Place” makes a decent correct rear sway bar (but does not have the hardware) and it needs the hardware, every once in a while someone will make up some sets of hardware and they usually sell out pretty fast.

all about choices…
 
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