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1966 tri power GTO project. Eats cash, like a horse eats hay.
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I've added rear sway bars / control arms to both of my 1966 GTO cars, both setups came from 1970 SS Chevelles, it was a nice upgrade. If your power drums are in good working order, keep them, just my opinion.
 

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I'm keeping my manual drums, but have upgraded the shoes with those from Muscle Car brakes. Since the car will be a cruiser I haven't made up mind IRT the rear sway bar. I have the stock lower arms and drilled arms/rear bar from a 70 GTO. Only takes an hour to do a complete swap if I was so inclined.
 

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I'm fully in favor of brake and suspension upgrades. They are bolt-on upgrades, that can be returned to original very easily (if that is a concern).

The rear anti-sway bar will only help if you have "boxed" original lower control arms or aftermarket tubular arms. The stock lower control arms are pretty flexy stamped steel units and cannot accept a rear anti-sway bar unless they are modified by welding in the boxing strips (easy to to, but even easier to buy aftermarket arms).
 

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russmatt99 -

While the whole rear suspension is out of my '71 - I am taking the opportunity for a few upgrades.

Referencing the images, I went with the heavier rear Coil Springs.

I upgraded to "Boxed" Lower Control Arms and added a 394926 7/8" Rear Sway Bar.

My '71 is MT so I added the 3918061/3918062 Rear Frame Reinforcements.

Have only ever owned Cars with Front Disc Brakes ...

Pretty much doing what the Gurus on this thread are recommending to you :)
 

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Front disks is a huge improvement over stock drum. Mine had manual front drum brakes when I got it and you never knew which way it was going to pull or if the fronts were going to lock up. Swapped them out for Wilwood disks in the front, kept the rear drums, and it's still a manual brake car. It stops decent now.
 

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64-67 Expert
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I have an old Addco rear sway bar on the '65 and a bigger front bar to work in harmony with it and the car corners much flatter but the ride is a bit firmer/rougher. 4 wheel manual drums for the past 40 years I've driven the car. Not changing anything. Some kid can do that after I'm gone from the planet.
My 67 ragtop has power drums and same deal....keeping them, they work great. No rear sway bar, but have an old GM one off of a '70 GTO I may install. Car is mostly a freeway cruiser so a bar is not really needed.

If you DO install a rear sway bar, you will need to go to a bigger front bar in order to avoid handling issues.
 

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I've been doing some reading on the net and some learning form the good folks here on the forums. One piece of advice that I am holding onto that came from PontiacJim pertains to the rear sway bar...

You want one that connects to the frame and u-bolts to the rear axle for superior control when compared to the rear sway bars that bolt to the lower control arms. I'd bet there is an improvement with these, but more improvement with the more expensive ones. The one that connect to the rear trailing arms are less than half the cost of the ones that connect to the frame and axle. More better is more expensive...lol. I am upgrading the suspension to use roto-joints instead of rubber or poly bushings...keep that in mind since the lesser sway bar may be a nice improvement just above stock and the greater sway bar plays much better with full suspension upgrades. Here's the link to Jim's comments on the subject (posts #57 - 59)...

shocks recommendation | Page 3 | Pontiac GTO Forum

If you want to look stock-ish, I believe you have to use the style from 70 and later that attaches to the trailing arms since 67 did not even have that as an option. My thought is if you can't go stock, go with the best your budget will allow.
 

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I'm fully in favor of brake and suspension upgrades. They are bolt-on upgrades, that can be returned to original very easily (if that is a concern).

The rear anti-sway bar will only help if you have "boxed" original lower control arms or aftermarket tubular arms. The stock lower control arms are pretty flexy stamped steel units and cannot accept a rear anti-sway bar unless they are modified by welding in the boxing strips (easy to to, but even easier to buy aftermarket arms).
Just a note. I pulled an Olds "12-bolt" rear end from a 1969 Cutlass S a couple years back at my local Pull-a-Part. It still had the stock factory control arms and rear sway bar intact. Oddly, the lower control arms were not boxed and the sway bar was bolted to the control arms - unlike what we know is done with the GTO's, boxed lower control arms.
 

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PontiacJim -

I find your Oldsmobile "12-Bolt" story very interesting.

I understand the Control Arms, Frame Reinforcements and Sway Bar all work together to contain (triangulate) the "Twist" from the Torque being transmitted through the drive shaft and "Roll" created by the sideways shift of weight from left to right (side-to-side).

I am curious how Dr. Oldsmobile overcame distorting the geometry of the Lower Control Arms.
 

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When I put an anti sway bar on my '67 back in the 80's I cut pieces of conduit to go in the gap to prevent crushing, I guess that was a poor man's boxed arm. Now I have solid lift bars with greasable nylon bushings and they came with holes for the bar. I read where the lower arms aren't as critical to have roto joints as they are straighter with the frame than the upper arms.
 

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PontiacJim -

I find your Oldsmobile "12-Bolt" story very interesting.

I understand the Control Arms, Frame Reinforcements and Sway Bar all work together to contain (triangulate) the "Twist" from the Torque being transmitted through the drive shaft and "Roll" created by the sideways shift of weight from left to right (side-to-side).

I am curious how Dr. Oldsmobile overcame distorting the geometry of the Lower Control Arms.
I'm thinking someone added that sway bar to a car that didn't have one from the factory. Olds used boxed control arms in the back on sway bar equipped cars.
 

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Cameo Ivory 1967
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unlike what we know is done with the GTO's, boxed lower control arms.
Its an odd coincidence that you mention this. Im 2nd owner on my 67 and I have the the original FOR SALE ad from when I bought it. It mentions that the rear control arms were boxed and a sway bar added, but the arms were NOT boxed.

When I dismantled it all to install the Global West arms and frame supports, I could see that the sway bar was added. I think at that point, it's just for show.
 

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64-67 Expert
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PontiacJim -

I find your Oldsmobile "12-Bolt" story very interesting.

I understand the Control Arms, Frame Reinforcements and Sway Bar all work together to contain (triangulate) the "Twist" from the Torque being transmitted through the drive shaft and "Roll" created by the sideways shift of weight from left to right (side-to-side).

I am curious how Dr. Oldsmobile overcame distorting the geometry of the Lower Control Arms.
They used w shaped inserts that bridged the gap between sides of the control arms. So that they could not crush in. W shaped to allow the sway bar bolts to pass through. Plenty strong, even with the bottom of the arm open. AMES used to sell the inserts in the '80's. Not sure about now, it's been years since I needed parts from them.
 
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