Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
Ford Mustang Swarr Auto Bar Brace Install - Bracing For Impact - Tech
Swarr Automotive's Solution To Bracing The Vulnerable 8.8-Housing Is An Easy-To-Install Swarr Bar.
A whole bunch of stuff happens at the starting line or coming off a corner when you drop the hammer in your Mustang. There's an abundance of shock, impact, snap, and other violence happening when the torque of your Blue Oval powerplant is unleashed.
Your car's rear tires, chassis, and drivetrain components absorb the fury as your car springs into motion. Sometimes the torque loading and shock is so great that parts wear out and fail. Part failure is something that most of us have experienced in one form or another, and then we purchase and install stronger parts to ensure longer life. Some have garage shelves memorializing the mayhem-twisted axles, snapped ring-and-pinion gears, mangled driveshafts, and other drivetrain parts blown apart during the drag-race wars.
Broken parts make great conversation pieces, but they weigh heavily on your wallet and put a damper on the fun. Some drivers resort to heavy-duty axles, thicker driveshafts, and fortified rearend housings. Bracing up the venerable 8.8-inch rear for severe dragstrip action is nothing new. For years, racers welded the axle tubes to the cast centersection of the housing and built elaborate braces to help strengthen the rearend housing. Under acceleration, the tubes are driven forward, and over time (or sometimes in a very short time) the housing fatigues and fails. If you're the typical street/strip enthusiast, then odds are you won't resort to hard-core solutions. That doesn't mean you're cleared from running a brace-a strong running car (especially with a stick shift) should be equipped with some sort of device to keep the 8.8 from bending. A bent rearend housing will cause axle failure, premature bearing wear, and overall loss in performance due to bind.
Swarr Automotive has recently introduced a component that will help preserve the service life of 8.8-inch rearends, and it fits nicely on daily driven Mustangs. The Swarr bar is a brace that can be bolted or welded into place in your driveway in less than an hour with the proper tools. The bolt-in bar costs $149 and the weld-in is $109, plus shipping costs for each.
"Not only does the Swarr bar prevent the 8.8-inch rearend from flexing, but it also helps the reaction time," Eric Swarr says. "The stiffer rear allows the car to react quicker because power is used to drive the car, not flex the rear. We've had a few customers consistently drop their reaction times thanks to it."
Justin Burcham of JPC Racing adds, "I've bent two rearend housings in my NMRA Real Street car. Running a bar like this would definitely have prevented that."
We took a drive to Glen Burnie, Maryland, home of JPC Racing, where there are plenty of street/strip Mustangs to be found. Burcham has been looking for a low-cost, easy-to-install rearend brace for his strip-storming customers, and the Swarr bar fits his needs. In less than an hour, JPC mechanic Adam Humm installed the street-style bar on a mildly modified '04 Mach 1. The car features an assortment of modifications, including sticky rear tires and a stick shift, making it a worthy recipient of the Swarr bar.
Enthusiasts who install this component in their driveway will need jackstands, a drill, and a couple of wrenches. We performed the task on a lift, which made things easier but was definitely not required. The process is to bolt on the bar and snug the bolts on the end brackets. The bar runs along the bottom side of the rearend housing. The reason for the slight snug is that you will need to move the bar from side to side to line it up with the centersection of the housing. Once the two tab holes are lined up with the front side of the centersection, use a 31/48-inch bit to drill two holes. Tighten all the nuts and bolts once the freshly drilled holes are cleaned out. The Swarr bar doesn't interfere with the rear cover, antisway bar or exhaust.