Pete H.

Front sway bar link

4 posts in this topic

Since I am doing some work on my front leaf spring suspension, I shall probably be going from four leaf to six leaf like I have in the back. The sway bar links are shot as well, and I have heard that if I go to the stiff six leaf all around, I might not need the sway bar up front. I would like to keep the vehicle as stable as possible, as there are some nasty curves that are not banked very well in the area. Should I just keep it as stock as possible? Any input would be greatly appreciated...Pete H.

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Welcome to this community forum, Pete! Your hint about wanting the Jeep to handle has me jumping in here. The stabilizer bar helps level the frame/body on corners. For the highway, this helps improve handling on the YJ Wrangler. Jeep recognized that cornering is important—especially on a vehicle with a higher center-of-gravity than a passenger car!

 

If you want the added cornering stability on-highway, consider sway bar disconnects for off-pavement use. Match up the height increase from your springs and make sure the disconnects compensate for any chassis/spring lift. This will provide the best of both worlds: You can use the sway bar on-highway and disconnect when going off-pavement to provide improved axle articulation for rough trails!

 

When off-pavement, make sure you tie up the disconnects to keep them out of the way. Swinging loose, these parts can snag a brake hose or interfere with the steering linkage!

 

In terms of stiffness, the stiffer stacks of leaf springs will, to a degree, offset the need for a sway bar. You might experiment here, very carefully of course, and see whether you find the handling acceptable without the sway bar. (The YJ Wrangler does have a wider track and spring width than earlier Jeep CJs, with the same wheelbase length as a CJ-7.) You may find, however, that the amount of spring thickness necessary to eliminate the sway bar completely could also cause too harsh a ride on-highway...

 

Trust this helps, Pete...Others might add their experiences!    

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You were right on the money there. As it is a mild wheeler at best (constant work in progress is more like it), road handling is a little more important at this juncture. Went with a five leaf setup up front and kept the stock sway bar. It is a little bit stiffer in ride characteristics, but then, I drive like an old man, so I have found the difference to be negligible. Oh, I would like to add how much of a difference that sway bar link makes when going around an unbanked turn....We have those kind of turns around here all too often (where the road curves sharply but has a flat grade), and the difference pre- and post- fix was noticeable!
Thanks for the help...Pete H.

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Good to hear, Pete...Most who drive a vehicle with a sway/stabilizer bar notice an immediate difference when the bar is disconnected. This is why we always caution to connect the sway bar disconnects before hitting the pavement after being off-road!

 

Along with holding the vehicle more level, a sway bar actually causes a slight "squat" on cornering, as the outside cornering force compresses the outer wheel, which brings the inside wheel upward by way of the sway bar. This makes the vehicle drop slightly, which lowers the center-of-gravity slightly.  The combination of less frame/body roll plus squatting improves handling and safety even more!—Moses

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