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Torsion bars

7532 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  slow_motion
I am rebuilding front end on the 71 demon. This car is a original 340, but the torsion bars I removed were .850 which on the tech pages show out of 318 car. Question is would it be good to go to .890 or .920 bars or just put the .850's back in, no sway bar on car. 340 is mild build, car mostly used for street. Looking for better handling. Putting disk brakes on front & 11 inch drums on rear. Thanks, Steve
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Hi. In response to your torsion bar question. I've got an E-body that originally had a 340 in it and was converted to a 440 clone. The torsion bars were .870", but I wanted the car to handle well. I installed a pair of .960" improved "B/RB" and Hemi handling bars. Allthough the 440 weighs more than your 340, I found my car handles quite well without riding too stiff. If you want your car to handle corners without feeling like you're "floating", I'd install the .890" bars. The .920" bars may be a bit too stiff. Also, a sway bar would greatly improve cornering stability. I hope this helps.
jim lusk should chime in on this one.. but if you want it to handle i think i would go with atleast the 920's but probably bigger...
With a smallblock I would say go with the .890 bars and stock size sway bars. Should give you a good ride and good street handling.
I think the 890s with a large sway bay would really help with the handling and still not ride too harshly.
I run the .920s on two small block cars and find them to be excellent choices. Ride quality is maintained and the cars coner flat and true. On th 440 Duster had the 1.04s and the only problem was a resonance at a steady 80 MPH over or under the resonance was not there. These cars were all equipped with KYB shocks, Urethane bushings front and rear and frame connectors, the Firm Feel steering boxes are also a plus in the handling department.
I run the .920 on the slant six car and i'd think they'd be a perfect upgrade for a small block car. I get excellent handleing from those bars, of course the redone suspension with upgrades in the swaybar/tire/wheel dept doest hurt either. But, when i swaped the bars in, it was the only change i did, it was quite an improvment.

Thanks for all the input. As always good help and info. Will look at either the .890's or .920's I am going to the 4.5 bolt pattern and at least 15 inch rims so figured might need to go to bigger bars.

Till the next question. thanks steve
my slant 6 "ac" bars are 820's and the car handles amazingly well even withoout a sway bar!
I got a set of .990's from another member of this board. He replaced them with a set of 1.14's. According to him, even the super big dogs didn't ride too bad. Missed my chance to go for a ride in his SCCA legal 68 Barracuda. Hey Alan, you still around?
Alan's hasn't been here lately (but he was "here" last night). The car is still not back together.

Now, on to the subject at hand. If it is an original 340 car it will have .870" torsion bars and a sway bar. Every 340 a-body left the factory that way (no exceptions). If I were buying new torsion bars I wouldn't buy less than .920's. With those and a small block, I'd run the stock small block sway bar and good shocks for the street. Bigger torsion bars and sway bars for racing.

I haven't really driven Alan's Barracuda with the 1.14 bars, but he says it isn't too bad.

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Jim, I know in 71 that chrysler changed some things like the disk brakes on the dusters and demons became an option, so I thought maybe they had a handling package as an option. I noticed that there were no swaybar brackets on the lower control arms when I tore it apart. I know the front end on my demon was rebuilt at sometime in the last 2 or 3 years before I bought it. Things may have been changed at that time.

Thanks steve
Actually disc brakes became an option in 1965 on all a-bodies (same Kelsey-Hayes setup that was used through 1972 - with a minor change in the caliper at some point between 1967 and 1970). And, like I said before ALL 340 a-bodies had .870" torsion bars and a front sway bar. If it was rebuilt with the wrong parts I would check the rest of the car to make sure the body numbers match the VIN.

And just so anyone else wants/needs to see the chart first talked about, here is the link from the tech section

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