Author Topic: 30mm Sway Bars  (Read 6513 times)

Jack the Knife

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30mm Sway Bars
« on: January 12, 2023, 16:25:05 »
****IF WE GET TEN BARS, IT IS $275. Comment below if you want to be on the order! I will place it on January 27.****

After hearing that Addco, a company here in Florida, made sway bars for the R107 as well as the W121, I contacted them this morning and spoke with the owner about doing a run of larger sway bars for our Pagodas. Andrew Cox unfortunately no longer makes the 30mm bars you read about if you look up sway bar options on this forum. But this could be a very good option for those wanting a cheap way to improve handling. Just as well, if you check prices on eBay for the 230SL (thicker) sway bar, you'd be better off just getting a new one in the way you want it.

To those who have the 30mm bar on their cars, how do you like it? Would you prefer some other dimension? Addco mentioned it would be easier/cheaper to produce them either slightly larger or slightly smaller than 30mm owing to the availability of materials.

And to those without such bars, how many of you are interested in doing a group buy? Ball park cost is if this is a one-off for me, it will cost around $300 for a bar. If I can get more than ten people interested, the price drops by half.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2023, 15:31:13 by Jack the Knife »
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Benz Dr.

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2023, 16:41:44 »
I have a larger sway bar on my car and I like it well enough. I used one from a 111 coupe.  300 bucks sounds like an OK price. 150 sounds like a great price!
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

1970  3.5 Coupe
1961  190SL
1985   300CD  Turbo Coupe
1981  300SD
2013  GMC  Sierra
1965  230SL
1967 250SL
1970 280SL
1988 560SEC

Jack the Knife

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2023, 18:31:30 »
I have a larger sway bar on my car and I like it well enough. I used one from a 111 coupe.  300 bucks sounds like an OK price. 150 sounds like a great price!

I just spoke with Andrew Cox and he said the 109 bars will fit all the cars of our vintage, and that today one would use 1 and 1/8" steel to make the bars and it is close enough at 28.5mm. He said it should take the standard bushings that Addco should have laying around their shop. I have relayed this information to Addco and will update when I have more. If we do this, it's likely we'll just make 109 bars to broaden the market a little bit.
1964 230SL
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wwheeler

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2023, 19:09:09 »
I have the 28.5mm frame sway bar bushings in urethane that will fit the 113 exactly. Not just “close fit”. This is a tool from Cox racing. I also have the end link bushings that again fit as factory.
Wallace
Texas
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'60 220SE W128 coupe
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MikeSimon

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2023, 19:35:29 »
I find this thread hilarious. Especially in light of this remark, made by the OP in another thread here...

Quote
You can't improve on a German design, especially a Mercedes design. They simply are the best, objectively, and anything you do otherwise is debasing -- no, bastardizing(!!) -- the car,
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rwmastel

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2023, 21:18:08 »
I know JTK can defend himself, but I'd say that maybe you didn't understand him.  Let's give it another try, including the lead-in question.

"What are you saying? You can't improve on a German design, especially a Mercedes design. They simply are the best, objectively, and anything you do otherwise is debasing -- no, bastardizing(!!) -- the car, and you might as well have just bought something else. /s"

I think that last sentence deserved a question mark.  I don't know what "/s" means.  I think JTK was asking "What are you saying?  You can't improve on ...?"  That implies he thinks you can improve on German design.

JTK, jump in here so we all understand your feelings/opinions and then we can all get along again.
Rodd

Did you search the forum before asking?
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MikeSimon

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2023, 21:25:04 »
I don't want to turn this into a big debate, but my post to which JTK posted this response was very clear and did not leave an open question about what I said. I was talking about "styling" as this was the subject of the discussion there. And my point was that we Germans are not known for having great automotive styling. Technical-engineering-design, yes. But styling? No! the Italians on the other hand....
If you repeat JTK's post as a response to mine, you should post my post also.
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Jack the Knife

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2023, 21:47:45 »
I don't want to turn this into a big debate, but my post to which JTK posted this response was very clear and did not leave an open question about what I said. I was talking about "styling" as this was the subject of the discussion there. And my point was that we Germans are not known for having great automotive styling. Technical-engineering-design, yes. But styling? No! the Italians on the other hand....
If you repeat JTK's post as a response to mine, you should post my post also.

My post was meant to lampoon the mentality of those who feel the as-delivered design of certain cars can’t be improved upon. My belief is that there is a breakdown between what designers want and what often can practically be delivered to the market. The first part of that post was not to be taken literally and was certainly in agreement with you. I don’t expect anyone here to have a PhD in my most recent post history but I’d hope that my posts and efforts here in R&D can show that I do believe aspects of our cars can be improved.
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MikeSimon

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2023, 22:01:24 »
JTK: I could not agree with you more!
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Benz Dr.

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2023, 22:36:28 »
Not that it matters at all, but way back when we started this club I felt that we should be about original cars. As a compromise, I suggested that we start a separate forum that I called R&D. I still believe that we should be primarily about original cars first and small improvements should be second.

And not that it should matter to many here, but I've been watching a different club than ours slowly devolve over the past few years. China starters, alternators instead of generators, electronic distributors, and now a different brake booster. Now that there's little left of the original car what should we call it now?

The reason people street rod cars is because they were mostly cheap junk to begin with and you could only improve said junk by doing the street rod thing. Our cars were never cheap junk so improvements need to be done selectively if at all. I've modified my car but I used vintage parts from the same time period as the rest of the car and it took a fair amount of figuring things out to make them all work.
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

1970  3.5 Coupe
1961  190SL
1985   300CD  Turbo Coupe
1981  300SD
2013  GMC  Sierra
1965  230SL
1967 250SL
1970 280SL
1988 560SEC

Jack the Knife

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2023, 00:03:21 »
Some machines, like land speed record cars, modern airplanes, high speed trains, F1 cars, and so on are optimized to their purpose -- form follows function. In some extremely tightly engineered machines, there really is little room for further optimization or change. One might literally call such things "appliances," in that these machines are designed for some specialized and specific purpose.

Other machines, like our older automobiles, are intended as more than just transportation. Though one might not think about such things too deeply, one's consumer tastes are often inextricably linked to one's self-concept and desired self-image. It's no different today. This is perhaps stating the obvious. But you all doubtlessly know guys who buy a new 911, Ferrari, Aston Martin, real M BMW or real AMG Mercedes, and they never exercise the incredible features these cars have. They just like knowing they can do it. Porsche certainly knows that. Some people do track their 911s. I believe most do not. Some people do take their G-wagen offroad. Most do not. I think nowhere is this more apparent than the typical profile of the person who buys a new Wrangler. It's fashion, baby, not for real. And that's okay. One doesn't need to be in Hawaii to don an Aloha shirt, nor does one need to be a real cowboy to wear their boots.

I have spent a while studying the hoard of material included with my car as well as that which appeared in contemporary American periodicals regarding our cars. I had a good idea of the romantic notions Mercedes tried to communicate to their target buyer long before I bought this car. And therein begins the real debate of originality. One can look at this like an American Constitutional scholar and say, "what is the intent here" versus "what is literally written". Often the two are very different. And often there is a lot of grey to be found. And if one isn't too careful, one can easily lose the plot, that is true, and one ends up in a Ship of Theseus situation wherein one is left with a car that does resemble a Pagoda but... is it? The same can be said for some of the extremely impressive works of engineering produced by the likes of Singer. Their cars aren't derivative of 911s. They are in another dimension. And yet, they have found their audience, those who want the ultimate car that resembles a 911. And indeed, I think no one can deny that the Singer is the ultimate evolution of one of those cars, and I think we can also have no doubt that if Porsche had the ability to produce such a car affordably, they would have! The point is that Singer, Icon, Mechatronik, etc have all taken the idea of their specialized car and distilled the formula to be as pure as it can be, while delivering something to a contemporary audience that is but a modern evolution of the target audience the OEM had when initially producing the vehicle.

And Dan, I don't think it's fair to look at companies like RUF, Alpina, AMG, Renntech, AC Schnitzer, Shelby, Callaway, and others and deride them as if they are yahoos covered in grease racing a Model A down Woodward in 1955. And at least those guys were having loads of fun, so I'm not deriding the latter either. Lots of these forums are filled with a very dour bunch of guys who have left behind their beginner's mind and spirit of inquiry to the abyss of time. The aforementioned companies have done a lot of work pushing the envelope and showing what is possible in these cars, sometimes when the manufacturer doesn't deserve it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. But they have all helped build and shape the legend and mythos of various companies often much better than their marketing arm ever could. And often by the time they were done, there was very little of the "original car" left... except the idea of that original car, and its overall form factor. That's important.

I argue that Mercedes basically let their motorsport arm for consumer vehicles atrophy when they started to geld the 113 later in its production. I believe you'd agree with me, Dan, as I have read some of your posts from the last 20 years or so on this forum that basically state as much, especially in re: the values of the 230 vs the 280. The 113 went down a different skill tree than it could have, becoming softer and more accessible to a particular audience, and I don't blame Mercedes, for if Porsche did nothing but make 911s they would be out of business. But I envision a time when they more seriously invested in racing the car. Think of how much they could have undercut BMW had that happened. The 113 would have truly been the true ultimate driving machine, or perhaps like the company's 911, instead of the lineage that you see play out over the course of the 107, 129, and 230 generations.

More can always be said about the above, but let this be some food for thought. We each have our reasons for purchasing this car, as each owner did when they were new. This is a question to all forum members. If you had to name one reason, what might it be?
Was it because your father or grandfather had one?
Was it because you like Paul Bracq's design?
Or you are just in love with the variants of the i6 sitting in the engine bay?
You like the idea of yourself driving one? (And if so, what does that *actually mean*?)
You like the overall build quality?
You think it shows taste and restraint?
You liked that it won the Spa-Sofia-Liege rally?
You like that Stirling Moss had one?
You liked the cameo in "Mad Men"?

And any other number of reasons. I think the design is snappy and build quality is superior for cars of its era. In an era when manufacturers designed and built male and female-oriented cars, I think Mercedes wanted to have a broad appeal to a clientele that thought of themselves as sophisticated and mature. So the car had lots of compromises in the actual technical aspects. This was noted in many contemporary reviews. By the time the E9 came out in 1968 and Porsche was beginning to really distinguish itself with the 911S in 1967, it's evident Mercedes ceded away that part of the market until basically 1999 when they merged with AMG. Again, I argue that it didn't have to be that way, and exploring what Mercedes might have done to improve these cars instead of abandoning the Pagoda altogether for something else is an interesting intellectual path.
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2015 G550 """Professional"""

MikeSimon

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2023, 13:33:04 »
I will add why I bought the 280SL. I was not infatuated neither with the design nor the image (because it was a "Mercedes") or the performance.
I bought the car in 1982 when it was just over 10 years old and it was NOT a vintage collector car yet. It was just a used car. It cost me the US $ equivalent of approx. 5k.
I was married and I was looking into something for leisure purposes. Actually, my first choice was a motorcycle, because of my mc background. My wife sort of objected and suggested a convertible sports car. I turned to a Triumph TR6 and had looked at a few, when a friend and colleagued, who also worked at GM suggested I should look at a Pagoda SL as they would keep their value better than the English car. I checked the market and found a red 4-speed 280SL. After we signed the sales contract and paid DM 1000.- down, the seller changed his mind and pulled out. Shortly after we found the car I now have. The performance compared to other "sports cars" was so-so, the handling with the rear "Pendelachse" was horrible, but none of that mattered because all we wanted was something we could use to cruise the Rhine valley on a sunny Sunday. I never considered the car superior in looks, design or technical detail. I appreciated it for a good, solid "Made in Germany" car with doors that closed with a decent clunk instead of a tinny chatter.
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Jack the Knife

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2023, 15:29:23 »
The performance compared to other "sports cars" was so-so, the handling with the rear "Pendelachse" was horrible, but none of that mattered because all we wanted was something we could use to cruise the Rhine valley on a sunny Sunday. I never considered the car superior in looks, design or technical detail. I appreciated it for a good, solid "Made in Germany" car with doors that closed with a decent clunk instead of a tinny chatter.

Thanks for sharing your story, Mike. There’s just something about those doors, isn’t there? The older G-wagens feel much the same in that way. A thud that inspires confidence.

Other car clubs devoted to models with  swing axles have figured out ways to rectify them. This really demands more study. There are some extremely talented people on this forum and I have no doubt a conversion kit could be developed here.

I spoke with Addco again this morning after gathering more info from Andrew Cox. I will amend the top of the post with my findings. He said ETA is 4-6 weeks from order. A one-off is $475. At ten units, it is discounted to $275. If it’s somewhere in between, he said we can work something out. For bushings, we can turn to our own Wallace Wheeler, who posted above.

I will place my order in 2 weeks. If you’d like to join my order, please say so!
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teahead

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2023, 17:34:18 »
well...if I didn't already pickup a 22mm bar, I'd be in on this.

I think these Pagodas, albeit beautiful, can seriously be improved driveability wise.

Who besides lowriders, like to drive at a snails pace?  Who prefers a car that can handle corners w/o having to slow down 10mph below the speed limit for that curve?

Bolt-on mods can easily be removed.

Not a big deal for owners of THEIR cars do what they want w/them.
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wwheeler

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2023, 03:38:23 »
I DO NOT look at urethane bushings when used as a performance upgrade for the W113 as an all or none proposition. To me there are three stages 1) sway bar (kind of a no brainier to me) 2) Rear axle trailing arm (both front and back) 3) front flat spring bushing. Those are totally separate components and are not serviced at the same time. So you can easily experiment with what works for your tastes and what doesn't.   
Wallace
Texas
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'60 220SE W128 coupe
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cfm65@me.com

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2023, 13:31:11 »
Hi Guys,
Any suggestions on reducing the nosedive during braking?

Wallace,
We obviously now know stage 1 of the performance upgrade.

Would you please enlighten us on your last 2 stages? The rear trailing arms and the front flat spring washer.
Much appreciated.
Regards
Chris
« Last Edit: January 14, 2023, 13:48:28 by cfm65@me.com »
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Lorsar

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2023, 14:19:52 »
Chris, the search function is your friend.  Look for Wallace's post in Commercial Advertising.
Lori
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cfm65@me.com

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2023, 14:28:46 »
Tks Lorsar,
Chris
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ja17

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2023, 16:31:05 »
Has anyone tried John Olson's progressive rate springs on a pagoda?
Joe Alexander
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roymil

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2023, 16:36:41 »
I'm interested in the 30mm bar as I'm sitting here with a 20 right now.   Does anyone remember a previous post with a chart or link showing the relative stiffness or deflection/force  to be expected from different diameter sway bars? I've searched without luck.   

Previous to this thread, I thought moving to a 22mm bar was my only option for a 280SL but I'm just a little concerned 30mm is too stiff?   I'm not sure what the downside is though because I like a car flat in a turn.

That said, I'm not seeing 30mm bushings at Millers, so before we get one we'd need to know the bushing source and know its going to fit with our mounting hardware.

thanks
Mark
Mark Miller
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wwheeler

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2023, 16:38:42 »
I can repost these write ups on the bushings and hopefully takes out some of the mystery.
Wallace
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wwheeler

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2023, 16:42:54 »
Millers does not have the 30mm (actually 28.5mm) urethane sway bar bushing on their site because I never offered it to them. I have never made those since the large bar hasn't been available for years. That being said, I can make those and provide to Millers. I will take a look at it, but from recollection, It fits with the factory hardware and brackets. Plug and play. 

BTW - 28.5 is exactly 1-1/8" and what you want the bar diameter to be.
Wallace
Texas
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'60 220SE W128 coupe
'70 Plymouth Roadrunner 440+6

roymil

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2023, 16:50:47 »
Thank You Wallace!
Mark Miller
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Jack the Knife

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2023, 19:29:18 »
Reminder that I’m ordering sway bars on Friday, the 27th! Have only had a few takers but would be nice to get the price down!
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JohnnyC

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Re: 30mm Sway Bars
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2023, 00:54:14 »
Jack, How much do you anticipate the cost per person will be?

Cheers,
JohnnyC
« Last Edit: January 26, 2023, 00:58:42 by JohnnyC »
John
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