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How I Installed an Adjustable Panhard Bar

Discussion in 'How-To' started by 6-Speed, Aug 14, 2009.

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  1. 6-Speed

    6-Speed Member Established Member

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    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Arizona
    This is how I Installed the BMR adjustable Panhard Bar (P/N PHR006) and Panhard Brace (P/N PHR007) on my 2007 GT500. I installed these parts to center the rear axle in relationship to the chassis after installing lowering springs.

    Here are the tools & supplies I used for the installation:
    1. 3/8” ratchet wrench with extensions
    2. 3/8” sockets: 15mm
    3. 1/2" ratchet wrench with extensions
    4. 1/2" sockets: 15mm 6pt, 18mm 6pt (deep and standard)
    5. 1/2" breaker bar
    6. 1/2" Torque wrench
    7. 14 oz (400 gram) cartridge Super Lube synthetic multi-purpose grease
    8. Large adjustable wrench
    9. Grease gun
    10. Medium strength thread locker (Loctite 242 or equivalent – the blue stuff)
    11. Blue masking tape (low residue)
    12. string

    Notes: A long breaker bar with a 1/2" socket fitting is extremely handy if you don’t have the luxury of an impact wrench. Super Lube synthetic grease was available at my local Ace Hardware store. I replaced all the bolts and nuts as recommended by the Ford shop manual. I always wear heavy mechanics gloves when cranking hard on a torque wrench or breaker bar to keep from busting knuckles.

    I started by putting the rear tires up on ramps, applying the parking brake and chocking the front tires. The parhard bar bolts should be tightened and torqued to spec with the suspension loaded.

    IMG_3757.jpg

    I removed the plastic panhard bar cover on the driver’s side and with a breaker bar and 18mm socket loosened the bolts on each end of the stock panhard bar.

    panhard_bolt1.jpg panhard_bolt2.jpg

    Next I loosened the panhard brace nut on the passenger’s side with a breaker bar and 18mm socket. This relaxes the grip that the mount imparts on the panhard bar bushing and makes it easier to remove on that side. The panhard brace nut is circled in the picture below.

    brace_nut2.jpg

    Then I completely loosened and removed the panhard bar bolt/nut on the driver’s side with an 18mm socket. Did the same on the passenger’s side and removed the panhard bar bolt/nut while supporting the bar. With both bolts removed, the panhard bar simply drops out.

    Next I loosened the two panhard brace (a.k.a. lateral stiffener bar) bar-to-body bolts using a 15mm socket and removed the nut on the passenger’s side with an 18mm socket. With the three bolts removed, the panhard brace can be removed.

    Here are the stock parts with the new parts. It seems as though the stock panhard bar is filled with some type of sand. The BMR bar is larger in diameter – 1.26” vs the stock 1.00”. The BMR brace is also much beefier than the stock stamped steel piece.

    panhards.jpg

    I installed the new panhard brace in reverse order from how it was removed. I left the passenger’s side nut loose to make installing the panhard bar easier. I torqued the brace's two bar-to-body bolts to 46 lb-ft using a 15mm socket.

    new_brace.jpg brace_bolts-1.jpg

    I cleaned the panhard bar mounting surfaces on the car to keep dirt off the new bushings during installation.

    As a starting point, I set the length of the BMR panhard bar to the same length as the stock bar. Place the two bars end to end with the stock bolt running through the ends of both bars and adjust the BMR bar until the bolt runs easily through both ends.

    setting_length1.jpg

    Prior to installation, I applied a film of synthetic grease to the side bushing surfaces of the new panhard bar.

    IMG_3798.jpg

    I installed the new panhard bar in reverse order from how it was removed and moderately tightened the bolts on each end with an 18mm socket. It was installed such that the adjuster was closer to the passenger's side mount. A standard length socket was required for the passenger’s side bolt; there was a clearance issue using a deep socket.

    I torqued the panhard brace (a.k.a. lateral stiffener bar) nut to 85 lb-ft with an 18mm socket.

    Then I torqued the two panhard bar bolts to 129 lb-ft with an 18mm socket. A standard length socket was required for the passenger’s side bolt. I had to run to Sears to get this socket because the one I had was a 12 pt and I prefer to use a 6 pt socket when applying this much torque. Applying lots of torque to a bolt in a confined space under the car was not fun at all. I always wear heavy mechanics gloves when cranking hard on a torque wrench or breaker bar to keep from busting knuckles.

    new_panhard.jpg

    Adjusting: With a lowered car, the panhard bar needs to be made slightly shorter than stock length in order to re-center the rear axle (at a static ride height). I filled the gas tank up to about 3/4 tank since weight will change the ride height slightly. Turning the adjuster on the panhard bar effortlessly moves the chassis sideways relative to the rear axle.

    1. I tied a nut on a length of string and taped it to the center of the fender dropping off the sides of the tire; did this on both sides.
    2. Loosen the jam nuts on each side of the panhard bar adjuster.
    3. The following CW and CCW directions for turning the adjuster is relative to standing on the passenger’s side of the car and looking at the passenger’s side rear tire (just like the first picture):

    • Turning the adjuster CW (clockwise) moves the chassis to the left towards the driver's side.
    • Turning the adjuster CCW (counter clockwise) moves the chassis to the right.
    • Turning each jam nut in the CW direction tightens the jam nut.
    4. I used a large adjustable wrench to turn the adjuster until the axle was centered viewing the distance between the string and the top sidewall of the rear tires. The chassis needed to move to the left so I had to turn the adjuster in the CW direction until the axle was centered.
    5. Once centered, I applied a small amount of medium strength thread locker at the ends of the adjuster threads and tightened the jam nuts (CW).

    adjuster.jpg

    Finally, I injected synthetic grease into the zerk fitting on each end of the bar (3 to 4 pumps as recommended by BMR) and replaced the panhard bar cover.

    Lower the car, re-check the centering, and then remove the string – all done.
     
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