There was a time when pickups like Jason Scudellari's '56 Chevy were utilitarian vehicles used to haul pretty much anything that would fit in the bed. But today, the truck has a new purpose: haulin' butt. Jason's goal is to have a truck that has the handling capabilities to compete in autocross and track day events while still being compliant enough to be driven on the street.
We've been following the construction of the truck in the Source Interlink Tech Center where Jason's latest additions to the Chevy's Fatman Fabrications chassis were front and rear antiroll bars. Also referred to as sway bars or stabilizer bars, the term antiroll bars is a more accurate description of what they do, which is to reduce body roll in corners.
Antiroll bars are basically torsion bars that connect the left and right wheels. When both the left and right wheels hit a bump simultaneously both ends of the antiroll bar move up and down and the bar simply rotates in its mounting bushings. However, when the wheels don't move in unison the antiroll bar comes into play. During cornering when the chassis tries to lean the bar has to twist, which provides the resistance—or roll stiffness—that keeps the vehicle flatter in the corners.
Another function of antiroll bars can be to adjust the balance between understeer and oversteer. Increasing front roll stiffness increases understeer, or the tendency for the front tires to slip in turns, increasing rear roll stiffness increases oversteer, or the tendency for the back to slip to the outside of the turn.
Because of the components used in the construction of this particular chassis and his specific requirements, Jason utilized components from some of the best in the chassis business. Up front, an antiroll bar, arms, and links designed for Chevelles from Detroit Speed was found to fit perfectly. Detroit Speed, under the guidance of Kyle and Stacy Tucker are the folks that turn average GM and Ford cars into corner carving g-machines. In the rear, the antiroll bar and attendant hardware came from a well-known source for aftermarket street rod and truck chassis and parts: Total Cost Involved Engineering.
With antiroll bars front and rear, coilovers all around, sticky tires, four-wheel Wilwood disc brakes, and lots of horsepower, all mated to the flawless Fatman foundation, Jason is well on his way to reaching his goal of a Custom Classic Truck that looks cool and will definitely haul butt.
1. The chassis under Jason Scudellari's '56 Chevy pickup has been built to handle. The hefty front antiroll bar is from Detroit Speed.
2. Intended for '64-'67 Chevelles, the Detroit Speed antiroll bar comes with bushed mounting brackets, a splined bar, splined arms, and attachment links.
3. Shouldered bushings are used in the mounting brackets; they are kept in place by a set collar. Note the splined ends on the bar.
4. Detroit Speed manufactures these simple but stout link connectors that attach to the lower A-arms.
5. During the mock-up stage Jason made sure the attachment links were vertical.