Posted on: March 30, 2009

Perhaps this has happened to you:

You’re at a local autocross, it’s the last run, you have to make up .5 of a second to win your class, and finally beat the son-of-a-Z car that’s been giving you trouble all season long. You are doing just great until you give a little too much power in a long sweeping turn and before you say, “Buddy, send your rice grinder back to Japan”, your rear end is now where your front end was and you’ve knocked over 20 pylons.

You ask yourself, “What can I do to correct this shameful act?” Well, you could sell your car, or just plain quit autocrossing, but if you’re anything like me you can’t buy either of those alternatives.

You could continue in this shameful manner and plug your ears when they taunt, “Sunbeams never were meant to have a V-8 in them!” or “Take that thing to the dragstrip where it belongs!”

But nooo… there must be something else to do. A good rear sway bar set-up is the answer. An Addco bar is as good as any.

Right out of the box, if you follow all the instructions, your rear sway bar will really improve the car’s handling. Unfortunately, it only works for a short period of time. The center rubber bushings will become stretched so badly that the bar will barely work at all. The bar’s end mounting will also work itself loose.

If you constantly want to crawl under the car and tighten up the sway bar bolts, it will continue to work okay. But if you really want to show that Z-car that your Tiger gets meaner with age, you will have to do a little work.

The center rubber bushings must be changed to DELRON. This particular bushing will have to be a two-piece bushing, in other words, it will be cut in half so it will fit over the bar. The best thing to do with the stock ADDCO end brackets is to take them in your hand … and drop them in the nearest garbage can. A new end bracket will have to be made. My end bracket is made out of 1/4″ steel plate. It has a pivot and is adjustable.

The sway bar should be put on with the end arms facing the rear and the bar should remain level when installed. The bracket should also be bolted through the frame or welded to it. (Bolts with sway bar kit will pull through frame).

You will be glad you went through the extra trouble if you plan to install a rear sway bar. With the right amount of pedal pressure, your old Tiger should be able to slide through the comers with a slight over steer.

Autocross Check-Up:

Be sure to check for loose nuts and bolts on leaf springs, traction bars, panhard rod, and sway bars. Check for stress cracks in frame in these areas: where traction bars weld to frame, where lower A-arm bolts to cross member and check cross member itself. Make sure front sway bar brackets are solidly in place. Check all lug nuts to make sure they’re tight. Also check your motor mounts; no one wants their water pumped through their radiator.

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