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Unread 07-19-2014, 05:00 PM   #1
Pentara
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Are upper sway bars supposed to be able to move up?

I'm looking for someone to tell me if this is normal, a problem, how it might have happened, and if there's a solution other than getting an entirely new sway bar kit.

When I bought my LJ 10 months ago it had sway bar disconnects. I never needed to use them before, but during my OTR off-roading course the instructor mentioned that they might be frozen from neglect, so I decided to take them out today and see.

When I tried to I noticed I could not lift the top arm enough to un-link the disconnecting part of the bar, but it did move 3-4 mm so I know the bar wasn't fused. Thinking it was grime, I gave it a good upwards kick but after that failed to change anything I took a closer look.

It seems my upper sway bar arm cannot move more than 4mm higher from the neutral position before the inside bolt head hits the frame. Am I wrong or does the entire sway bar assembly not need to be able to move down and up? I'm guessing every time I go over a bump and the shock compresses, this elbow goes up and rubs against the frame.

I can't understand why the upper arm of the sway bars curves towards the frame in that case. Do your upper sway bars come closer to the frame or away from the frame? Maybe mine were installed backwards (Left in the right spot and vice versa)

I'd appreciate some advice from those that have working sway bars and know how they are supposed to function. Let me know if any other information would be helpful.

Thank you!

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Unread 07-19-2014, 05:11 PM   #2
Jerry Bransford
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My bet is the antiswaybar has simply slid over towards the passenger side. See if the other side has a lot more room. You can just push it back over towards the driver's side, and some people install bushings on the antiswaybar on top between its upper mounts so it can't slide to the side at all like that. I don't like doing that since the antiswaybar is supposed to be able to slide side-to-side a bit as the axle moves side to side from moving up and down.
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Unread 07-19-2014, 06:43 PM   #3
Pentara
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You're a genius Jerry, thank you! That's exactly what it was. Like 2 inches of gap on the left.
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Unread 07-19-2014, 11:51 PM   #4
aparke4
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Tap it over with a mallet and install the RC clamps. They are less than 20 bucks and clamp on to the stock sway bar to prevent this issue from happening.
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Unread 07-20-2014, 04:55 AM   #5
GringoLoco
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Mine keeps shifting to the right. If I don't push it back every now and then it'll keep cutting into the frame on the left side. Sometimes I wonder if it would eventually cut my frame in half if I let it.
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Unread 07-20-2014, 07:51 AM   #6
Unlimited04
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http://www.4x4xplor.com/swaybar-fix.html

IMHO, ditch that low clearance drop track bar setup too...
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Unread 07-20-2014, 09:10 AM   #7
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Thanks for the link Unlimited.

For anyone else that plans to follow that advice one interesting discovery is that the part company, McMaster-Carr, has decided to not ship to Canada or accept orders from anyone with a Canadian IP address or Canadian payment options. Lots of threads about it online, but I found a similar part (1/16" larger outside diameter which shouldn't be a problem) at this company that does do business with Canadians.

http://www.fastenal.com/web/products/details/34393
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Unread 07-20-2014, 10:39 AM   #8
Jerry Bransford
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Keep in mind that the OE antiswaybar is supposed to be able to move side-to-side so it can follow the axle as it moves side-to-side. The front axle moves towards the driver's side when it droops and towards the passenger side when it moves upward. Some antiswaybar links can tolerate side-to-side movement better than others and the ones in the photo in post #1 don't look to have much range of movement in that direction. I don't think I'd install that bushing to prevent his antiswaybar from moving sideways without better links that have a better range of movement like heim joints do..
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Unread 07-20-2014, 10:48 AM   #9
Unlimited04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Keep in mind that the OE antiswaybar is supposed to be able to move side-to-side so it can follow the axle as it moves side-to-side.
compensating for the side to side movement is why the factory links use a ball-stud end....and those things suck. you shouldn't be using the ball-stud end with a lift anyway.

it's also why aftermarket links, like JKS, use a captured poly ball bushing. those are the preferred method for a lift.

when my jeep was still under warranty, i took it in to see what the stealership had to say about the sway-bar shifting over.....their response was that I had bent the sway bar from off-road abuse, and wanted to charge me almost a grand to replace the whole anti-sway bar assembly. at that point, my jeep was bone stock and had only seen gravel roads.

the sway bar should not be shifting side to side IMHO....only reason it does so is because of design optimization vs cost reduction and cost reduction always wins.

I did the shaft-collar fix almost 10 years ago with aluminum collars and they have served me very well with no problems.
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