68 Big Block Sway Bar is rubbing the oil filter - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Unread 06-19-2019, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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68 Big Block Sway Bar is rubbing the oil filter

I just noticed that the sway bar on my 68 Mustang 390 has shifted and is now rubbing against the oil filter. The first pic shows the bar before it moved. Notice how close to the filter it already was. Looks like the previous owner put hose clamps to hold it, instead of properly fixing it. The clamps must have busted off and it has now slid against the filter. I spoke to my mechanic and he thinks it might have the wrong sway bar i.e. for a power steer car not a manual steer.

Does anyone know for sure that there are different sway bars for a manual vs power steer? I have looked at several pictures of various 67-68 mustangs and many of the bars are sized differently. It needs a bar that has a sharper angle to clear the filter, but don't know the specific part to purchase.

I'm also not sure if it currently has a 1" or 1 1/8". I think 1 1/8". The latter costs quite a bit more. They sell the 1" for big blocks but I don't know how much better handling there is with the extra 1/8". I don't want to make this repair and lose handling.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC_0001 (1).jpg (477.2 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Sway Bar Jun17 - Left.jpg (336.0 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Sway Bar Jun17 - Right.jpg (330.3 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Sway Bar Jun17 - Top.jpg (314.4 KB, 14 views)
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Unread 06-19-2019, 09:00 PM
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The cheap and quick method is to slide the frame brackets forward.
(whatever hoopla it takes to do it) Clamp them back down with some
grade 8 washers...... current flat washers won't work for what you need
to do. Those brackets aren''t stock either. But that's another story.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Unread 06-19-2019, 09:15 PM
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FWIW, I got my 1 1/8" from OpenTracker. It was a Scott Drake item. It is close, maybe 1/4" gap, but much more room than you have.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Unread 06-19-2019, 09:27 PM
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Maybe use the Ford Truck 4X4 filter adapter with the "shorter" cartridge?


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Unread 06-19-2019, 09:49 PM
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To answer the question, "NO" , I've never heard of a different sway bar based on manual or auto-tranny. But if the other ideas don't pan out, maybe, a remote oil filter setup?

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Unread 06-19-2019, 09:59 PM
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So, I went and measured, and my OpenTracker/SD 1⅛ bar has slightly more than of clearance.
PS It was less expensive than the 1 bar from others.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Unread 06-19-2019, 10:41 PM
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The 390 had a different bar than the small block so it would clear the oil filter. Same with the 428 cars. The largest factory offering was 15/16. Is your current bar the factory one?

69 Mach One, 428CJ, 5 Speed, 3.91's.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Unread 06-20-2019, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if it's the factory bar. Looks like it was originally blue and a previous owner painted it black.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Unread 06-20-2019, 11:40 AM
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If you need to get it going you can use an FL400 filter I believe, its a skinny one, or maybe the shorter filter, think wix is 51068. Now that I can see the picture on the computer and not my iPad I can tell you that's an aftermarket bar.

69 Mach One, 428CJ, 5 Speed, 3.91's.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Unread 06-20-2019, 01:03 PM
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The Cobra jets have 1/4 steel spacers to space the bar down for damper clearance. That won't help in this case The problem you have is the aftermarket sway bar is not bent with a big block in mind. The original on my 68.5 CJ is not bent like that and clears the filter fine.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Unread 06-20-2019, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregb View Post
The 390 had a different bar than the small block so it would clear the oil filter. Same with the 428 cars. The largest factory offering was 15/16. Is your current bar the factory one?
Correct. My 67 is a factory 390 and my 15/16" sway bar doesn't hit my filter.
No diff between manual or power.
Easy, when I have a question like that, scan thru a couple parts vendors, see how parts are listed.

Couple questions if you use correct sway bar and still hit.
Was front frame rails ever replaced?
Are engine mounts correct, engine sitting in correct spot?
When I get home tonight, I can try to get good pic of mine and post

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Unread 06-20-2019, 07:47 PM
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If that bar is a 1-1/8" and you replace it with a 1", that's not really a problem. You won't notice any reduced performance. Most people prefer a 1" bar. (I'm assuming you're not a hardcore autocrosser. If you are, then you might notice a difference.)

But I think you do need a different sway bar. There are many aftermarket sway bars which simply don't fit well. It appears you have one of them installed on your Mustang.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Unread 06-20-2019, 10:20 PM
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Looked at my 390 vert tonight, I'd say I have medium size hands and the space between bar and filter is ~ 1 1/2 of my fingers.
So I don't think the thickness of that bar matters, based on space I have. Either diff type, brand, may help. Or as I asked earlier, was front frame rails ever swapped?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg My 390 sway bar 1.jpg (393.6 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg My 390 sway bar 2.jpg (424.8 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg My 390 sway bar 3.jpg (233.7 KB, 3 views)

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Unread 06-21-2019, 12:01 AM
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I have an 1 1/8" sway bar from Mustangs Plus and it is bent different. About 5/16" clearance, and closer to the oil pan in front.

'67 coupe, 390, 4spd.
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