Educate me on Roll Bars plz - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Educate me on Roll Bars plz

So... After taking my rig on her first top off road trip this summer I'm pretty convinced I want to add a roll bar for body stability. In theory shouldn't it help in a tops off situation where you're losing all that weight and added rigidity when the top is off? I'm hoping that by adding a roll bar (and new rear shocks and eventually new leafs) that I'll avoid any future experience like the one I had going to Tidioute with my rear end bounce.

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 09:59 PM
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I don’t think a roll bar or cage will add enough rigidity to change the street stability.... and the weight of the cage itself will probably negate any rigidity benefits.
Nothing against a cage or at least a bar, it’s a good idea to have one should crap go bad, but on a fullsize I don’t see it having the same effect as strut braces and the like would in a Mustang or Miata or similar

I understood that correct, right? Does that apply towards what you are thinking?

I think good shocks, front and rear sway bars, and a little playing with tire pressure to find the happy spot, will get you a long way in street manners
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 10:51 PM
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Iíve had my top off all summer on the 86 and didnít really notice any difference in ďhandlingĒ. My shocks are crap and Iím running the stock beat springs with no sway bars front or rear.

What is yours doing exactly?


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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickOille View Post
I don’t think a roll bar or cage will add enough rigidity to change the street stability.... and the weight of the cage itself will probably negate any rigidity benefits.
Nothing against a cage or at least a bar, it’s a good idea to have one should crap go bad, but on a fullsize I don’t see it having the same effect as strut braces and the like would in a Mustang or Miata or similar

I understood that correct, right? Does that apply towards what you are thinking?

I think good shocks, front and rear sway bars, and a little playing with tire pressure to find the happy spot, will get you a long way in street manners
Yup. Seems u understood exactly @Nickollie
Good in a shtf moment but won't really add much in the way of overall stability or body rigidity is what I'm taking away from your comment... Correct?

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by biggum View Post
I’ve had my top off all summer on the 86 and didn’t really notice any difference in “handling”. My shocks are crap and I’m running the stock beat springs with no sway bars front or rear.

What is yours doing exactly?


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Hey @biggum , I was going about 50 on a 2 Lane 'highway' and they were doing construction. Hit a section and it was like i was driving on a wash board. Back end started hopping and shaking. At some points out felt like the neck wheels were bouncing in unison and sometimes it felt like one then the other like the rear was twisting a bit. Had my top off with 2 kayaks in the back and had to slow down to under 30 just to regain control and have the rear stop bouncing. I posted a thread right after it happened and general consensus was my shocks suck haven't had it happen again, but sometimes going down the highway esp at 65+ the rear tires feel every bit of bad road and it feels like they're fixing to start hopping again so i slow down. I have a front stabilizer but nothing that i can see on the rear.

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 11:55 PM
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Wow. Iím just running some Gabrielís on the back I think. I would Iikevto upgrade all around but am waiting for my lift - someday after braces, cavities, soccer, food, insurance, mortgage, ...............

Anyway, Iíd just throw a new set of standard shocks in there and see if it helps.

I think the cage will help with twisting due to off-road work but I donít know how much it would matter with what you are describing.


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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 11:56 PM
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I usually run about 26-30 psi in my BFGs around town.


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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncMom View Post

Yup. Seems u understood exactly @Nickollie
Good in a shtf moment but won't really add much in the way of overall stability or body rigidity is what I'm taking away from your comment... Correct?
Yeah. I don’t see how your issue had anything to do with frame/body flex. And even if it were, I don’t think a cage would resolve it.
I think your issue came from the perfect storm of bad shocks, crappy road, tire pressure, and whatever weight you had in the Bronco.
But hey, I just bash my junk on rocks for fun, I’m probably not the premier authority on street performance

Also, I mentioned a rear sway bar. That wouldn’t have done anything in your exact scenario. It would just help a little with body roll(side to side) and cornering stability
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NickOille View Post
Yeah. I don’t see how your issue had anything to do with frame/body flex. And even if it were, I don’t think a cage would resolve it.
I think your issue came from the perfect storm of bad shocks, crappy road, tire pressure, and whatever weight you had in the Bronco.
But hey, I just bash my junk on rocks for fun, I’m probably not the premier authority on street performance

Also, I mentioned a rear sway bar. That wouldn’t have done anything in your exact scenario. It would just help a little with body roll(side to side) and cornering stability
Hey .. i think someone who bashes their junk on rocks has a great understanding of body roll and stability. I appreciate any info you're willing to offer @Nickollie

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by biggum View Post
Wow. I’m just running some Gabriel’s on the back I think. I would Iikevto upgrade all around but am waiting for my lift - someday after braces, cavities, soccer, food, insurance, mortgage, ...............

Anyway, I’d just throw a new set of standard shocks in there and see if it helps.

I think the cage will help with twisting due to off-road work but I don’t know how much it would matter with what you are describing.


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Yep, I just run cheap Gabriel’s or most my junk, or cheap pro-comps if I can’t find a Gabriel the right length. Somewhere around here I have a list of various Gabriel stock application lengths. You’d be amazed at the length of some old Cadillac and Oldsmobile shocks....

Good shocks would be cool some day, but Wife, daughter, bills, food, insurance..... at the end of the day I’m lucky to have gas money, let alone shock money
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 03:11 AM
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I recently replaced all of my shocks and it made a world of difference to the ride. It was bad enough that I was fighting my sloppy steering box, then all the body bounce from wind load on the highway also... Now I can comfortably drive the speed limit!

Even cheap shocks will go a long way, and if the ones you have are shot, then its a great place to start.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 06:51 AM
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I feel the cage/bar does help. However it must be tied to the the frame for it to help change the way bronco reacts to bumps (at least to be noticeable) Same reason the mustang or miata example works, they are unibody, therefore typically you pick up at least some frame "points" and tie them to others, so it helps.
This also is a reason why Solo and a few others sell solid aluminum body mount bushings, for caged broncos

Wheeling with the top off on a bronco can be bad on the b-pillar, especially right near the drip rail area. The frame on these does flex in the middle. The body will eventually tear right near the drip rails. A roll bar will help keep this from happening. I have seen this happen on even 99% street driven broncos with high mileage too.

Something to consider that may help with your shock situation, and also help add some rigidity is a under the bed shock mount.
https://desolatemotorsports.com/shop...for-12-shocks/ or
https://www.solomotorsports.com/shop...s-ford-bronco/
Few other places sell them too, or you could make it with a little bit of effort.
These let you mount a longer shock, which typically will work better offroad as increases available travel and there is more fluid to heat up so it take longer to fade. Also when one of these are mounted up it effectively adds an additional crossmember to the frame, helping to stiffen it up. At least in a side to side way.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 08:48 AM
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Aluminum body mounts and a frame tied cage for a street queen? I just don’t see that making the street manners “better”. Jumping it, yeah, it will help hold crap together. And the b-pilar thing is valid, my cab is split and destroyed from wheeling it so long without a proper cage for most of the time
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 09:15 AM
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I agree it is overkill, but it will help at least a little.... Is it worth it, thats up to anyone with their specifc bronco to decide. For most likely it is not.
For street use something like this kit for an f-150
https://www.buystifflers.com/harleyd...ingsystem.aspx
Would likely make a noticable differance. I can say it did on the f-150 I had, even on the street, during normal daily driver type driving.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 10:26 AM
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Well technically, a roll cage should be tired to the frame at every downleg. From there, you can brace the bed rails, B- pillars, and the roofline where the topper meets the body. If tied into the A-pillars too, it would keep the body rigid.

But it wont help your rear end bounce . That's springs, shocks, and maybe swaybar.
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 12:30 PM
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The B pillar issue is the reason I have been looking at Roll bars. To be honest I have owned my 1993 for 14 years and my 1996 for 5 years and neither one has had the top off. I have been waiting until I can afford to get a proper roll bar/cage to ensure no unnecessary twisting. I know that as soon as I take the top off one of them it will never go back on.
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 12:53 PM
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I have the cage from jeffs bronco graveyard, not tied into the frame or anything, its a little added safety. You would have to tie the cage into the body and frame for it to really add rigidity.
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Hey @CrazyBRONCOguy i think what you're talking about in post 12 is a little extreme, more off road for what i was thinking, but your link in post 17 looks promising, like it would prevent some of what i was feeling... Add the new shocks, springs, leafs etc and we'd be there.

What might be a lil extreme now living in Northwest PA and being mostly a street Queen is bound to be a whole other ballgame when we move to Alaska, so i appreciate seeing the many different facets of hardware available for this particular scenario

Ps totally agree on the B pillar stuff... Was one of my biggest concerns when she started the rear end bs in Tidioute.

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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncMom View Post
Hey @biggum , I was going about 50 on a 2 Lane 'highway' and they were doing construction. Hit a section and it was like i was driving on a wash board. Back end started hopping and shaking. At some points out felt like the neck wheels were bouncing in unison and sometimes it felt like one then the other like the rear was twisting a bit. Had my top off with 2 kayaks in the back and had to slow down to under 30 just to regain control and have the rear stop bouncing. I posted a thread right after it happened and general consensus was my shocks suck haven't had it happen again, but sometimes going down the highway esp at 65+ the rear tires feel every bit of bad road and it feels like they're fixing to start hopping again so i slow down. I have a front stabilizer but nothing that i can see on the rear.
Bronco's are a very short wheelbase vehicle, than add to that they have very little wheel travel in the rear and you have a formula for the rear to buck like that. Coming from a desert racing background I've seen this exact problem in the limited classes.

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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 1979Tonka View Post
Bronco's are a very short wheelbase vehicle, than add to that they have very little wheel travel in the rear and you have a formula for the rear to buck like that. Coming from a desert racing background I've seen this exact problem in the limited classes.
How did you guys remedy this buck?

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