Addco sway bar frame bracket spacer write-up (for use with addco sway bar and lift)! - JeepForum.com
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Unread 02-01-2012, 02:49 AM   #1
=KZ=
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Addco sway bar frame bracket spacer write-up (for use with addco sway bar and lift)!

So I added an addco rear sway bar to my 2.5" lifted WJ and the problem was that with the very short rear end links the sway bar had very little slack left which resulted in a rough ride, unpredictable handling and less rear articulation. Under prolonged use it would appear that the much stronger addco's have actually pulled the frame mounts off the frame.

So to rectify this there are 3 options

- buy longer endlinks
- extend your existing endlinks by cutting and welding a piece in
- make a frame mount spacer to bring the frame mount lower and closer to the axle.

The longer endlinks tend to be expensive and are straight links rather than the stock design which has a small jog in the link which tends to make everything line up much better.

Cutting and welding is excellent but requires a welder and once the endlinks wear out new ones must be fabricated.

Frame mount spacers require no welding are cheap to fabricate and allow the use of stock end links which can be purchased very inexpensively.

I decided my 2.5" lift was best served by extending the brackets down 3" from the frame which I felt left a little extra room for articulation without over extending the end links down. One should be aware that with a load in the back the geometry can change somewhat so take that into account). The common wisdom on this subject is to drop the brackets as much as you have lifted your jeep.

To do this I purchased some 2" x 3" rectangular steel tubing from a local steel supplier for 10 dollars. Also needed is 4 bolts and nuts and washers to attach the brackets to the spacers. I just used some that were in the shop and matched up as close as possible to the ones which attached the bracket to the frame. You will also need a drill bit to drill the holes in the spacer steel which all the bolts will fit through. Try and keep the size of the bit close but not too tight.

I cut the rectangular tubing into lengths which are a little longer than the sway bar brackets which will attach to them, 1/2" either side.

Using the bracket as a template I marked and drilled out holes for the bolts on the bracket side of the pipe.

For the frame side I measured the distance precisely between the bolt holes so that the holes drilled in the spacer would be lined up.

Here is the rectangular tubing cut to length and drilled:



The mounting holes in the frame:



the sway bar frame bracket:



and the spacers all painted up:



i found it easiest to mount the spacer to the frame with original bolts from the sway bar frame bracket. An extension could be put through the second bolt holes to make it easy to tighten the bolts:



then install the bracket to the spacer with the new nuts and bolts and washers:



reassemble the sway bar end links. At 3" drop the bolt just barely cleared the shock to be put through the endlink:



there you go all done and you now have a much better sway bar geometry:



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Unread 02-01-2012, 08:57 AM   #2
Howler_GT
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Not bad.

Kinda tight up there.

I put our ADDCO on last week.
We have the IRO 3" lift which came with the longer endlinhs.
But like you stated they are straight and don't line up correctly.

So for anyone that has the straight endlinks, here was my solution
(NO HIJACKING INTENDED)

I reused the axle mount bolts from our WJ to mount the sway bar.
This left a few extra small diameter washers.
I ran to hardware store and grabbed (6) larger diameter washers, (2) 3/4" longer bolts and (2) nylon-insert stop muts.

Used (2) ofthe larger washers on each side of the endlink (other under head of bolt). Used (4) of the smaller washers as spacers.

Looks like this:



I don't know WHY Jeep opted for that original swaybar. Was a real joke.
I love the ADDCO unit. Best $149 I spent so far.

IF I didn't have those straight endlinks from the IRO kit, I think I would have done the same thing you did.

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Unread 02-01-2012, 02:12 PM   #3
=KZ=
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howler_GT View Post
Kinda tight up there.
It really is very easy to access with the rear tires off. I think the pictures make it look tighter. Luckily the bends in the tailpipe on the passenger side leave lots of clearance. Good idea with the washers on the straight end links, is the operation silent with that setup?
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Unread 02-01-2012, 02:28 PM   #4
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The addco rear sway bar will limit rear travel greatly with or without extended links. I had it on and quickly ditched it once I started doing harder trails.

And I have seen many threads where that section of the frame gets ripped out due to the strain on it from the addco. I feel as though you just added more leverage to an already weak area resulting in a higher chance of failure.

That is just my opinion. I like the idea and design of it just don't know how long it will last.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 02:36 PM   #5
billzcat1
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Actually, it should reduce the strain on the frame since the sway bar is back to an acceptable angle. With it at a steep angle (no extension) it quickly becomes a limiting strap and bears all the weight transfer as the Jeep corners or takes a bump... weight transfer that should have been applied to the spring. The force is still applied directly along the axis of the end link, it's not twisting or applied sideways, so leverage should not be increased.

That said, the Addco will definitely apply more force to the frame rail brackets than the stock bar. However, what KZ has done has minimized that effect to make the bar work as-designed. The real trouble comes when rust is found in this area on the frame rail. KZs Jeep looks healthy. I wouldn't worry.

Good write up, too. This will be helpful for anyone in the 2-3" range that needs to extend the rear end links to bring back the ride quality.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 02:46 PM   #6
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I just ride without... Handles just fine... No problems, max articulation... If I blow out driving down the freeway... God help me... Preventative maintainence should eliminate most possibilities of that...
This is what I do... At my own risk...
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Unread 02-01-2012, 02:53 PM   #7
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Thanks Richard I got the idea from the thread were you were describing your extended links.

Really I think the addco is a mod that is mainly toi improve on road performance for those who like me ride 99% on road in a DD. I like the very flat performance in corners even if it comes at the expense of off road performance to some extent. My vehicle must remain very streetable. My thinking is that I am not like ly to get killed if my vehicle gets stuck somewhere, but being all over the place in a high speed highway situation could be pretty dangerous.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 03:53 PM   #8
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The articulation issue is the only reason I don't have an Addco now. Sure, I am 99% on-road, only put about 150 miles of off-road travel last year. I've wheeled with no rear bar and with stock rear bar and I prefer it with the bar. Likewise, I had about 6,000 miles of road-travel with no rear bar. Not awful, but again I prefer having something there.

The Eibach sway bar pair looks like a tempting option for those wanting *some* improvement without making the rear too stiff to articulate because both of the bars are thinner than the Addco equivalents. Then again, that means less improvement on the street, and at a higher price.

Thanks again for this how-to.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 06:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by =KZ= View Post
It really is very easy to access with the rear tires off. I think the pictures make it look tighter. Luckily the bends in the tailpipe on the passenger side leave lots of clearance. Good idea with the washers on the straight end links, is the operation silent with that setup?
Yeah, the pics are a bit deceiving.

The straight endlink w/washer spacers is quite.
Only noise is from worn out insulators (I forsee yet another task on the TO DO list)

I've read alot of threads pertaining to the ADDCO upgrade and the pros and cons with off-road use.
I have one simple question.

Q:Why not run rear disconnects?

Please do not take me asking as sarcasm. I really am curious.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 06:50 PM   #10
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Well, no one really makes an off-the-shelf rear disconnect for the WJ. It's possible some other model would work but I'm not aware of specifically what that would be. I've wheeled with the rear bar connected and the rear bar deleted and I actually prefer connected. It keeps body roll under control when you are in weird off-camber situations and I like the way the weight transfers better. I never felt that the rear bar was hindering off-road performance, but it sure is a night-and-day difference with the front bar disconnected.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 10:15 PM   #11
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2 questions:

1.Kind of wondering how much articulation one loses with the addco? Whats the idea here, that the stock bar being much thinner will bend up and increase articulation? It would seem in my minds eye anyhow that the difference would be minor.

2. What is the big advantage of quick disconnects? I have a battery operated impact that will remove the lower bolt without the need of a ratchet easily .Is the only benefit having a pin to pull? Getting under there and lining it up would seem the hardest part. Still have to get the stuff up and zip tie as well, one would think.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 10:28 PM   #12
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1)The difference in articulation is as striking as the difference in handling performance. What is designed to resist body roll on the street resists articulation on the trail.

2)With Quick Discos, it's a matter of kneeling down at the tire, pulling a pin, then stick a screwdriver in there to pop the end link off. Before I modded them, no screwdriver was needed. 60-90 seconds per side including zip-tying the end link up out of the way. The JKS QDs are even faster, 10 seconds per side. With my ZJ, I kept the stock links which use T55 bolts (bah!). Then of course I forgot my T55 and stripped the bolts trying to use an 8mm (which I have successful used in the past). Then with the WJ, the lower bolt on the passenger side can be hard to get to since the track bar is kind of in the way, then it is a pain to get it all put back together if you aren't on a perfect surface. Plus the top bolt keeps the end link from rotating easily, so you might as well pull both bolts. It means you don't have to lay in the dirt to disconnect the sway bar and you take 2 minutes not 10 to do the job. Otherwise you don't have any other advantages, one disconnected sway bar is as good as another.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 11:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billzcat1 View Post
1)The difference in articulation is as striking as the difference in handling performance. What is designed to resist body roll on the street resists articulation on the trail.
Well said.

I have seen people wheel with the rear addco, and it is amazing how stiff the rear is. It severly limits rear travel. Those that have it on street vehicles love them. But even at 6 inches, I don't feel the need my jeep is plenty stable with the factory rear sway. And as billzcat says, the factory sway gives just enough stability out back to keep you feeling comfortable in the off camber situations.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 11:06 PM   #14
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Thanks for the quick reply!! So do you guys think your better off running rear disconnected with an addco? or is it still better connected in rear in your opinion?
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Unread 02-01-2012, 11:20 PM   #15
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I don't know, haven't tried it since I don't have an Addco. Probably disconnected. Certainly would be easier on the frame rails. Try it both ways and see how you like it.
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