Classic Performance Products has a new sway bar kit for
1963-72 Chevy trucks that will give your old truck new character
By Brian McCormick
Some of you 1963-72 Chevy truck owners may or may not know it, but the suspension under your truck is actually one of the finest engineered designs ever created for a truck. The rear sports a lanky pair of ladder bars, a symbol of traditional GM design in the '60s with progressive two-stage coil springs mounted in front of the rear axle for a smooth, yet very stable ride. The basic design of the rear suspension is so successful, take a peek under a Winston Cup stock car sometime and see just how similar its setup is to your stock suspension. Up front, Chevrolet gave its trucks a great independent front suspension which utilizes an upper and lower control arm with a coil spring centrally located in a frame pocket, and externally mounted shocks that extend  from the lower control arm to the frame. This too is a very well designed suspension that is again very similar in the basic concept to what you would find under a Winston Cup stock car. Of course, all those technical coil spring rates, shock pressure valving and tire pressures make a stock car's handling characteristics change dramatically depending upon which way the mechanic turns the wrench or which 
spring is installed. It's not in our best interest to always be wrenching on our truck's chassis or changing spring rates once a week, so what do we do to gain an edge on performance handling since we already have a suspension that can be made to stick to any road?  The best way to gather up the banking and rip through a corner like one of stock car racing's finest is to install a very economical sway bar. The sway bar is like the backbone to a well performing suspension.  It acts as another valuable chassis tuning tool for stock car mechanics, while it provides a very affordable means of installing performance for street use.  Now,  providing that your truck doesn't have a sway bar (since many of the trucks of the 1963-72 era didn't come equipped with such accessories), you are probably well aware of what happens when you attempt to take your truck into a corner at any speed.  Like myself,  I'm sure that you feel like you're going to fall out of the side window.  Well my Chevy friends, that is no more if you install one of Classic Performance Products' new high-performance sway bars on your truck. Your truck will be transformed into a totally different vehicle as you attempt a hard 
banking corner and find that your truck wants to rocket forward while remaining laterally efficient to the road surface, forcing your suspension to work properly.  The difference is like night and day. You will even notice that your suspension  will react slightly more sporty simply driving down a straight road. Bumps, dips and small potholes seem to be absorbed better by the suspension with anew sway bar.  The Classic Performance Products' sway bar is thicker than any of the stock units produced in this time period with an overall diameter of 1.25 inches, and is constructed from high carbon steel. Using the stock holes in the control arm, end links with methane bushings are installed to position the sway bar to work more efficiently than if it is mounted straight to the control arm.  Frame mounting brackets are also provided in the kit and use the factory holes, two of which must have the factory rivets removed at the crossmember prior to the installation. From start to finish, it took one installer only twenty minutes to install the C.P.P. sway bar kit. Did it ever make a difference! For the money, this is the best suspension mod you can make to your truck before getting high-tech.


The Classic Performance Products kit comes complete with a heavy-duty 1.25-inch sway bar, urethane bushings, end links, frame mounting brackets and grade-eight hardware.

After you have jacked the truck up and properly supported it with jack-stands, begin by installing the end link through the factory hole in the control arm as shown.


Holding the end link up, install a urethane bushing first, then a washer, then the end link steel bushing, then a washer, and finally, another urethane bushing. If your truck is exceptionally low, the tie-rod end adjusters on both sides may rub against the sway bar. You can cut the steel bushing in half or remove it altogether, whichever better solves the problem for you.



Once you have determined that there is plenty of clearance, install the sway bar onto the end link, followed by another urethane bushing, then tighten.


When both sides of the sway bar have been installed onto the end links, use a spare jack stand to support the sway bar near where it will eventually be mounted to the frame.


Using an air chisel, remove the lower factory rivet. This is one of the holes required for mounting the sway bar brackets.
The bracket holes should then line up with factory holes in the front and the one you just cleared. If there isn't a front hole, don't sweat it, just drill one and continue.
The sway bar can now be bolted to the new bracket. The bushings used here are also urethane.
When you are finished, backtrack through the procedures and check to make sure that all nuts and bolts are tightened before you take off down the road to play Dale Earnhardt.
And there you have it 1963-72 Chevy truck fans, the ultimate sway bar for an old truck that wants to be young again and corner like a stock car.
For the true sport-driving classic truck enthusiast, Classic Performance Products also has a rear sway bar that installs just as easily and will really make your truck wake up in the corners.

Classic Performance Products  378 E Orangethorpe Ave.,  Placentia CA 92870  Tech Line 714-522-2000


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