Effect of disconnecting front/rear sway bars - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-14-2019, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
ebp123
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Effect of disconnecting front/rear sway bars

My jeep is for off road use only, so I disconnected my front sway bar to see if I notice a difference....and it makes a huge difference when going over rocky terrain. Quite amazing actually, as the bumps were hardly noticeable. My question is: what effect would disconnecting the rear sway bar have? Similar or none? Just want some opinions before i give it a whirl

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post #2 of 12 Old 08-14-2019, 04:05 PM
Jerry Bransford
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LEAVE THE REAR ANTISWAYBAR CONNECTED. It's ok to disco all antiswaybars on leaf spring vehicles but not coil spring suspensions like the TJ has. Leaf springs are stable in all directions except up-down, coil springs are not stable in any direction. Not being connected at all reduces stability and it can actually mean a flop on an extremely off-camber trail where being connected on at least the rear would prevent it.

Also, disconnecting the rear antiswaybar does not increase its usable articulation/flex. Which is why it's easy to find quick disconnects for the front antiswaybar but few, if any anymore, make them for the rear antiswaybar since they don't help. In fact discos in the rear can hurt.

The best way to go is to leave the rear connected and replace the front antiswaybar with a Currie Antirock which is a more flexible form of an antiswaybar. That eliminates the need to disconnect before going offroad and it also balances the f/r suspension so they work together instead of fighting each other.

Not to mention most high-end rock-crawling TJs are running either a front Antirock and a rear antiswaybar, or both front and rear Antirocks.

John Currie won the entire ARCA rock crawling series and was overall champion after developing the Antirocks. His Fireant TJ had Antirock antiswaybars front and rear and both were connected during competition.

I was there and shot these photos...
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-14-2019, 04:17 PM
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For what it's worth, on the street, the rear sway bar does nothing.

I've had the rears removed on my lifted TJ and stock ZJ (Well, more like 'broken' off - stupid bolts!) and I never got around to putting them back on. I don't notice any real difference in handling. When the front on my ZJ broke a link as well, then I felt it.

Off road, I am not sure how it would feel to have BOTH disconnected. As mentioned, performance on the rear is not really improved with it off; the front is a huge difference, however.
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-14-2019, 04:24 PM
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverickxeo View Post
For what it's worth, on the street, the rear sway bar does nothing.
The HELL it doesn't. I broke one of my rear antiswaybar's links while offroading years ago, that completely disables the entire antiswaybar. Driving home via curvy mountain roads, I noticed a SIGNIFICANT increased level of sway to the point that even the three young Boy Scouts I was hauling noticed it. It was different enough that I stopped twice on the 100 mile trip home to try to figure out what had happened. I didn't find the problem until the next weekend when I had time to crawl underneath and look more closely. All three of the Boy Scouts were laughing and giggling about the feel of the added sway which wasn't making me feel any better about the situation.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-14-2019, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
LEAVE THE REAR ANTISWAYBAR CONNECTED. It's ok to disco all antiswaybars on leaf spring vehicles but not coil spring suspensions like the TJ has. Leaf springs are stable in all directions except up-down, coil springs are not stable in any direction. Not being connected at all reduces stability and it can actually mean a flop on an extremely off-camber trail where being connected on at least the rear would prevent it.

Also, disconnecting the rear antiswaybar does not increase its usable articulation/flex. Which is why it's easy to find quick disconnects for the front antiswaybar but few, if any anymore, make them for the rear antiswaybar since they don't help. In fact discos in the rear can hurt.

The best way to go is to leave the rear connected and replace the front antiswaybar with a Currie Antirock which is a more flexible form of an antiswaybar. That eliminates the need to disconnect before going offroad and it also balances the f/r suspension so they work together instead of fighting each other.

Not to mention most high-end rock-crawling TJs are running either a front Antirock and a rear antiswaybar, or both front and rear Antirocks.

John Currie won the entire ARCA rock crawling series and was overall champion after developing the Antirocks. His Fireant TJ had Antirock antiswaybars front and rear and both were connected during competition.

I was there and shot these photos...
Thanks for the response. I live way out in the mountains off grid so the Jeep's primary use is to get us to our truck which is parked at an asphalt road at the entrance of our dirt road several miles away, and never goes on pavement. Our dirt road is horrendously rocky, with water runoff ditches through it, so my primary goal is to make the ride in the jeep as smooth as possible for my wife and I. I run 33x12.5 tires which are deflated, and yesterday I ran it with the front sway bar disconnected. It made a massive difference in comfortability as the large rocks in the road were hardly felt. Quite amazing actually. I'll take your word for it and leave the rear sway bar on if it doesnt make any difference.

Do you have any other recommendations for making an extremely rocky road more comfortable to drive on? Again, the jeep is not so much a fun thing for us but a necessity for where we live, and doesnt go on paved roads.

Thanks
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-14-2019, 04:56 PM
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What air pressure is in your tires? What shocks are you running? Since your tires are already deflated, the other part that can cause a stiff ride are your shocks. What brand and model shocks are installed?

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post #7 of 12 Old 08-14-2019, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
What air pressure is in your tires? What shocks are you running? Since your tires are already deflated, the other part that can cause a stiff ride are your shocks. What brand and model shocks are installed?
Not sure the air pressure in the tires, I just let air out enough to where all of them have the same 'bubble?' when on the ground.

I have bilstein 5100 shocks i purchased back in 2008...do you have any recommendations? Thanks again for your help.
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-14-2019, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ebp123 View Post
Not sure the air pressure in the tires, I just let air out enough to where all of them have the same 'bubble?' when on the ground.

I have bilstein 5100 shocks i purchased back in 2008...do you have any recommendations? Thanks again for your help.
Oh yeah, those Bilstein 5100 shocks are known for being stiff riding. A well-known Jeep builder once opined that you should only run Bilstein 5100 shocks if you want to know if the half-dollar piece you just rolled over was heads or tales lol.

A much better riding shock that is not expensive is the gas-charged Rancho RS5000x which should not be confused with the older harsh/stiff riding hydraulic RS5000. I used to run them and you could haul-a$$ on some pretty rough roads with them, I liked them a lot.

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post #9 of 12 Old 08-14-2019, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Oh yeah, those Bilstein 5100 shocks are known for being stiff riding. A well-known Jeep builder once opined that you should only run Bilstein 5100 shocks if you want to know if the half-dollar piece you just rolled over was heads or tales lol.

A much better riding shock that is not expensive is the gas-charged Rancho RS5000x which should not be confused with the older harsh/stiff riding hydraulic RS5000. I used to run them and you could haul-a$$ on some pretty rough roads with them, I liked them a lot.
haha good to know.....thanks for the info, i'll order a set.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-14-2019, 05:20 PM
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I'm confident they'll make a very noticeable improvement on your ride. No need to jack your Jeep up or remove the tires to replace the shocks, all that can be done on the ground.

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post #11 of 12 Old 08-15-2019, 08:04 AM
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Sway bars control movent. They reduce body roll. Two sway bars working together help keep the body centered between the articulating axles. The added balance, predicability and stability gained from both front and rear sway bars doesn't matter until it matters. An "off-road only Jeep" will only benefit from a pair of tuned and balanced sway bars.

The factory front is too stiff to be very useful off-road. A softer, tunable sway bar like the Antirock makes a world of difference. The factory rear will easily support 12" travel shocks.
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post #12 of 12 Old 08-15-2019, 08:43 AM
Ross
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I broke the rear sway bar link (actually the bolt that holds it together)

When the front was connected I didn't notice it too bad but my tire were still aired down so I was driving like a grandpa anyway.

Once aired up and driving normal it was noticeable but not as much as having the front disconnected but having both disconnected ? Holly flip farting crazy cow it was BAD!!

You do pick up articulation. But like mentioned above at some point is does you no good ESP if you do not have lockers.

I replaced the rear bolt in the links but keep it a little loose. I like having the little extra movement. I live "out there" and drive nothing but curvy country roads, county dirt roads or forestry roads or off roading. I rarely go faster than 60-65mph.

For me, going from Super Swampers to AT tires had a greater affect on how my Jeep drove an handled than about anything other than having both sway bars disconnected.

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