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Discussion Starter #1
I am contemplating home-brewing a panhard bar setup for my 86 and wanted to bounce my ideas around here to see what people think. For now I plan to keep the UCA's. I also am not concerned about exhaust as it will be dumps or side exhaust. Here is a photo I found that seems to address adjustability on the chassis side in an efficient way. I think it would be much stronger, though, to triangulate to the tip of the chassis mount.


I am concerned about the material thickness. To use the bracket (Speedway Motors), I would have to use 1 1/2" mild steel square tubing.


Does anybody have some thoughts on the thickness of the square tubing? 1/8", 3/16", or 1/4"? I suppose if I have to ask, go big.
 

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A sucker for punishment, I guess? Good. :)

http://s19.photobucket.com/albums/b174/Moving__Target/Panhard_Bar_Pics/

I've never discussed my homebrewed panhard bar much. Most sane people just buy a preexisting bar from someone in the Mustang suspension business and save themselves lots of grief.

The aluminum panhard bar is 34" long and was sourced from one of the Circle track places (stockcar products if memory serves) and the rod ends (3/4" shank and thread) I bought from a local place that deals in bearings and such.

The chassis side bracket was fabricated from 3/4" steel pipe (yes, I said PIPE -- it's approx 1/8" wall thickness and measures roughly 1" OD), 3/16" steel plate stock as well as some 1/8" steel plate for gussests. I made a chalk sketch on the floor of my garage and used a combination of a hand conduit bender and slotting (welded up the slots afterwards) to get the final shape.

Disclosure: The slotting and welding wasn't a great idea since I did have one of the welds partly break and had to R&R it once. It's much stronger if you have access to a proper bender+shoes.

I knew this might happen beforehand so I don't need anyone to repeat it to me.

Axle side is a 3/16" U ( made out of 5 separate pieces -- 2 of the pieces were too short and I had to add material.) with 1/8" bits for the remainder.

It's a crapload of work and I really wouldn't want to have to build another one from scratch but hey, it's your sanity.


Since the initial fabrication, I have shortened the adjustable part of the chassis side slightly. It was too low and was hitting pavement going over bumpy patches.

ps: waiting for these pictures to float over to c-c.com so the design can get ripped apart. :)

Oh yea, I used all grade 8 hardware (Bolts, nuts and washers). I didn't have easy access to grade 8 fasteners so I bought the best I could from a local industrial supply house.

MM instructions and people's install pics were very handy.
 

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A few other things while I'm thinking about it:

Definitely double check to make sure the rear axle is close to centered via the rear control arm pickup points and some plumb bobs. Also, if you plan on tailpipes or a cover girdle, have them in place so you won't curse a blue streak afterwards.

It would suck to do a nice job on fabbing only to scrap it because you overlooked a critical clearance (aka 2 objects can't occupy the same space at the same time).

Have the car supported under the axle and load it with 1/2 tank of gas (aka simulate normal loaded weight) so you can zero
in on the proper adjustment range for setting the bar level and can fab from some sense of how the car will sit back on it's tires.

Lots of stuff to consider and I don't think I remember it all.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After seeing all your work on the torque arm, I figured that there was some more magic on a PHB :D. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

Is all the bending because of interference with gas tank/spare tire well and tailpipes?. I have a lot of pix collected and have seen this done on some and have seen fairly straight triangulated sections on others.

Wow, you really did go the hard way on the chassis-side phb mount. I am looking at either going with the sliding bracket above or a prefabbed piece from one of the circle track places. There is just no getting away from the pain of the axle mount though. I like the gusseting on yours.

I'm going to have to stick my head under the car again and do some more calculating.
 

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After seeing all your work on the torque arm, I figured that there was some more magic on a PHB :D. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

Is all the bending because of interference with gas tank/spare tire well and tailpipes?. I have a lot of pix collected and have seen this done on some and have seen fairly straight triangulated sections on others.

Wow, you really did go the hard way on the chassis-side phb mount. I am looking at either going with the sliding bracket above or a prefabbed piece from one of the circle track places. There is just no getting away from the pain of the axle mount though. I like the gusseting on yours.

I'm going to have to stick my head under the car again and do some more calculating.
I, just like the MM design, had to do it that way to clear the center section of the rear axle, allow space for the tail pipes to clear over top of the chassis side and not have to hack up sheetmetal in the spare tire/trunk area. I do have some banging back there going over bumps but I haven't had the heart to beat on the Magnaflow tail pipes to make it "good." It all depends on how determined you are on keeping tail pipes. MM very likely wanted a design for the folks that baby their cars and would balk at anything that didn't look 100% factory when installed.

Heh, magic. More like sick in the head-ness on my part.
 

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Here is how I did mine. Since I have finished boxing that axle mount, and gusseted it in two spots to the shock mount. It works well, I need to re drill the chassis mount lower and play with the height of the bar. Had to make lowers as well and relocate the sway bar but I designed it all to be straight and the frame is rigid. good jacking point haha. The axle is dropped in the pix... it usually sits a tad below axle centerline. which seems to be a bit high..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I like the idea and simplicity of the axle mount. It gets away from the crazy fab work on the shock mount and gives adjustability. Did you have any concerns about warping the axle tube while welding to it? Is it single shear on both sides? Any concerns on the single shear mounts?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Looking again at your pictures, I see that your axle and chassis mounts are located inside of you shocks. Have you noticed and issues with a shorter bar length?
 
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