front and rear sway bars on 1983 F150 - factory or????

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front and rear sway bars on 1983 F150 - factory or????

66gtk
My '83 has both front and rear sway bars (7/8" diameter) and an 8.8 rear end.  I'm trying to source the right sway bar bushings but can't seem to find sources for a rear sway bar in a 1983?  Was this offered as a factory or dealer option?  OR, did somebody likely add this from a different truck at some point?  Again, trying to figure out what bushings to order back there.  The end links are already done.

Thanks!
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Re: front and rear sway bars on 1983 F150 - factory or????

Steve83
It would be hard for us to say, since you didn't post any pics...    Mine didn't have a rear sway bar, and I don't remember what I got it from, but it looks exactly like this:



The end links use the same bushings as the front shocks; the bar uses whatever fits in the clamp & around the bar.  The kit I use is linked in that caption.
Walk softly and carry a BIG SIX!!!
https://www.supermotors.net/registry/2742#album
Memphis, TN, USA, Earth, Milky Way
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Re: front and rear sway bars on 1983 F150 - factory or????

66gtk
The sway bar and bracket are just like in the diagram.  Ordered the Moog sway bar bushing specified for front (the energy link also specifies front) and it doesn't fit the rear (too small, even though ID is correct - 7/8")
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Re: front and rear sway bars on 1983 F150 - factory or????

Rembrant
In reply to this post by 66gtk
66gtk wrote
I'm trying to source the right sway bar bushings but can't seem to find sources for a rear sway bar in a 1983?  Was this offered as a factory or dealer option?  OR, did somebody likely add this from a different truck at some point?  Again, trying to figure out what bushings to order back there.  
For some reason or another, those 8.8 bushings are not covered well by the aftermarket. I had a difficult time finding a set as well and and went through a couple different ones before finding a set that fit. I finally ordered the ones from LMC, and they fit great. It's been a little while, but I think they were solid like the originals, meaning you might have to cut a slice in them to install over the bar. I had to cut the old ones off the bar.



Out of curiosity, where the links mount on the front of your truck (the seats under the coil springs), are these cast iron (about 1" thick) or the stamped steel versions that sit between the spring seat and the axle beam?
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
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Re: front and rear sway bars on 1983 F150 - factory or????

66gtk
Great info - thanks.  We haven't started the front yet, but I'll try and remember to look/let you know.  Just finishing up the rear still.  The spring bushings were NOT fun.  Every single one had to be modified quite a bit to be made fit.  So much for the $50 spring bushing set I purchased.
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Re: front and rear sway bars on 1983 F150 - factory or????

Rembrant
66gtk wrote
Great info - thanks.  We haven't started the front yet, but I'll try and remember to look/let you know.  Just finishing up the rear still.  The spring bushings were NOT fun.  Every single one had to be modified quite a bit to be made fit.  So much for the $50 spring bushing set I purchased.
My leaf spring rear eye bushings were a pain as well. I ended up having to modify the spring eye. I took it to a spring shop and they squeezed the eye a little tighter (and they had to zip cut a sliver off the end of the spring in order to do this).
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
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Re: front and rear sway bars on 1983 F150 - factory or????

emunder
In reply to this post by 66gtk
This is relevant to the work I'm doing with my lift right now. I've heard folks over at the F-150 forum saying that they totally removed the front sway bar and never noticed a difference in driveability, what do y'all think? Anyone just completely remove their front sway bar? The bracket that the sway bar bolts to on the front underneath of mine is bent. Looks like someone hit something with it. Was thinking I may just omit it all together & run a steering stabilizer. But if it's an issue I guess I have no choice but to put it back on with new bushings.
1986 Ford F150 XLT 4X4. 300 I6 w/ 4 speed manual.
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Re: front and rear sway bars on 1983 F150 - factory or????

Gary Lewis
Administrator
I've had F150's with and without the sway bar, but I've not disconnected or removed the sway bar on one so can't tell you what difference it makes.

However, I can certainly tell you about disconnecting the sway bar on Big Blue.  When I got him the ride was brutal.  But Ken told me that he removed the sway bar on his F250 that is the twin to BB and it improved the ride.  So I disconnected one sway bar end link front and rear, and was very pleased with the difference.  The ride went from brutal to harsh, and there was no detectable degradation in handling.

However, if BB had a camper on his back I'd for sure want the sway bars connected.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: front and rear sway bars on 1983 F150 - factory or????

emunder
Ok gotcha. I guess I'll just have to get it put together & see how it is without it. If it is an issue I'll just end up putting it back on. Guessing it gets worse the larger the tires. With the Jeeps you can't run without one on the road really because there is a pretty big difference. When we offroad I just completely disconnect my front sway bar for more articulation. Be interesting to see how the Ford does without it. I'll def leave the rear connected. I have the tow package so eventually I may tow some sort of trailer.

On another note...does anyone know what the tow rating is on the F-150's? Be nice if it could handle a decent size trailer for camping.
1986 Ford F150 XLT 4X4. 300 I6 w/ 4 speed manual.
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Re: front and rear sway bars on 1983 F150 - factory or????

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Ford's tow ratings are here: Specifications/Towing Capacities.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: front and rear sway bars on 1983 F150 - factory or????

emunder
Thanks Gary!
1986 Ford F150 XLT 4X4. 300 I6 w/ 4 speed manual.