From a Galaxie Factory Service Manual, the. possible causes are:My 65 Ford Galaxie sways when I drive. I have replaced the hardware for the sway bar. I have put new shocks on it. The sway bar and springs are original. The steering linkage its tight. Should I replace the sway bar and/or the coil springs.
Hello Action,If the springs are original they are way past their service life. They have had over a ton of pressure on them for decades.
Unless the sway bar is broken it should be good. It is a piece of steel that no pressure is on it until the vehicle changes direction. Most OE stock sway bars were hollow. So they did not do the best at control when new. A good upgrade would be replacement with a solid bar. Or a bar that is a little larger. That would be after checking the items above.
BTW the ride quality and control of the day is likely different than today's expectation. What was desired back then was the feeling of being on a cloud. Control of the cloud was secondary.
Howdy Action,D XL,
Wouldn't 56 year old springs nearly by definition have sag?
I am all behind getting the ride height back to OE design. I have seen (ridden in) a bunch of ride where the ride height was altered with 22s or dropped. I get the looks. (not my taste) However the ride was so poor I swear the car was now just art work. Not something I would spend any time at any speed greater than 25mph.
The car seems to sway gently back and forth while driving. I am not sure what body role is.Hello Action,
If I may interject on this one. In an ideal world where the myriad of correct coil springs were reproduced I would whole heartily agree with changing the coil springs. However you're lucky if you can find two different springs applications for the '65-'68 full size where Ford has a listing of about 2 dozen and used them for specific body styles (2 or 4 door, post or non post, convertible, etc, then engine options mattered, so did A/C and P/S). One might think one size fits all and that's not true. Chances are you'll end up with a car that rides to high or too low.
Here's the problem with deviating from the designed ride height. The 3D geometry of the upper and lower control arms isn't a perfect design. There is a small amount of wheel movement (up-down) that's the most stable in caster, camber and toe. Designers build this stable area in the middle of the travel withcidentally matches the specifications from what the car exterior designers wanted. Spring rates are chosen to keep a certain weight front end in the middle of this stable area under normal driving conditions. If you end up higher or lower than specified ride height you can start to enter the part of the wheel arc where either caster, camber or toe start changing drastically and will result in a squirrelly feeling car and depending how far you end up it can be dangerous.
I had a chance to study this first hand with my better half's '96 Impala SS. The previous owner lowered the car by heating the springs, which is a very bad practice. The car already comes 1" lowered from the factory on the Caprice suspension, GM knew this was flirting with the unstable zone, but rather than make changes to the Caprice design, they kept that, lowered the springs but drastically increased the spring rate. This makes those cars ride hard, but it keeps it out of the unstable area. Now heat, soften and lower that spring even more and it was pretty dangerous to drive on the interstate in high speed curves. It was all over the road and no amount of other new parts or front end alignments would fix it. I had to hunt down original springs to fix it properly.
Now I'm having a similar problem on my '68 XL. The previous owner had the front springs, suspension bushings, ball joint, tie rods, etc changed thinking it needed it because it's all over the road, and I mean dangerously all over the road. But here's the problem. Now the front end sits 1.5" taller than it should and it's flirting with the unstable zone. The original problems from what I see is the steering gear is worn out (pitman shaft side movement for sure) and the rear axle bushings are original and deteriorated and the rear axle is moving around under the car. So we still have the original problems plus a new one created with the new springs. Fortunately I have a parts care with the exact same options and so I can use the springs to fix this new problem he created plus then fix the original problems.
To Michael Rosepal: check your ride height, if it falls into specifications in the factory service manual, I would strongly encourage you to keep the original springs and simply upgrade the sway bar. You're not going to throw anything else "out of whack" with a heavy duty sway bar. I bought a Hotchkis and it fits very well and I'm really picky. I mean really picky.
However I would like to verify that you are talking about body roll and not wandering in your lane? Two separate problems. To quote the line from Apollo 13, "work the problem, don't it make worse by guessing". That's very true with an old car as you can go down a very frustrating and expensive rabbit hole extremely fast.
Hello Michael Rosepal,The car seems to sway gently back and forth while driving. I am not sure what body role is.
I will, ThanksI would check into new, aftermarket, replacement front AND rear sway bars 1st.
I know on the 1958-60 Thunderbirds, that stock front sway bar is a joke!! Way undersized!!
The new replacements are more robust & adding a rear (if available new) would really keep that car squared down to the road.
Let is know what you find out....