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Old 05-04-2010, 05:45 PM   #1
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Sway Bar Disconnecting and Reconnecting

I did a fairly exhaustive search looking for advice on how to disconnect and reconnect the sway bar connecting rods quickly and efficiently and didn't find anything definitive. If there's a thread out there, could someone post the link?

The first time I did it, I learned a bunch of lessons the least of which was don't do it unless you have to b/c its a PITA.

I noticed that it would be smart to "mark" them and ensure you're putting them back the same way they came out which made things go a little easier, hammer is required equipment, and a nice cold drink being handy doesn't hurt.

However, there has to be an easier way (I'm lazy at heart). Does it make any sense at all to lubricate the posts or polish them somehow? I broke a few pins the first time out so I have spare pins and washers, etc. I have a "sway bar kit" so-to-speak but it doesn't include a midget to crawl under there and do it for me.

Any other words of wisdom out there?
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:28 PM   #2
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Re: Sway Bar Disconnecting and Reconnecting

If one side is easy and the other not then the van was not level. When I had them I'd let the wife ease the van forward untill I found a spot that would allow alignment. Try moving your rig the next time but ussually the flatter the ground the better.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:36 PM   #3
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Re: Sway Bar Disconnecting and Reconnecting

I've never done it on the van since I've been through it enough with Jeeps to not want to mess with it. If you've got stock with bolts, there is no need to disconnect the whole thing- you can take the tops off both sides or the bottoms. To reconnect, put one back by moving the bar.

If you've got the disconnects the tubes come out (4 pins) and you should be able to put one back totally- put both tops on then maneuver the bottom on one. The sway bar should be reasonably movable by hand to line them up. I've had better and worse fits- my TJ's disconnects are worse then using the stock bolt and nut setup.

Then, you're left with one link not connected. Unless you're super lucky and on flat pavement you'll probably need to drive until it lines up. The sway bar will move with the attached wheel and the other wheel will move independent, so you can get aligned (in theory) by going up on either side.

It's never that easy, and it helps if you can have a spotter to watch for a good alignment, but it is easier to move the vehicle then to try to force things together.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:28 PM   #4
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Re: Sway Bar Disconnecting and Reconnecting

When we were in Death Valley, not this year but last, one of Calclimbers buddies suggested that you only have to remove one side, i.e. the driver side. He said it gives you the same articulation and you only need to reconnect one side when going back on pavement.

I had never done it that way before. Does this make any sense?

steve
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:12 PM   #5
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Re: Sway Bar Disconnecting and Reconnecting

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
Then, you're left with one link not connected. Unless you're super lucky and on flat pavement you'll probably need to drive until it lines up. The sway bar will move with the attached wheel and the other wheel will move independent, so you can get aligned (in theory) by going up on either side.
I haven't done it yet but I have a plan to use a short ratchet strap to either pull the sway bar up or pull the axle up to the frame (to essentially lower the sway bar). Wish I had taken the time to disconnect the sway bars on my recent trip up the Top of the World trail. At one point I only had one wheel from each axle touching ground. Gave me a chance to try my new arb lockers though. Super sweet and helped make up for the lack of articulation.

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Old 05-04-2010, 10:27 PM   #6
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Re: Sway Bar Disconnecting and Reconnecting

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Originally Posted by cellularSTEVE
When we were in Death Valley, not this year but last, one of Calclimbers buddies suggested that you only have to remove one side, i.e. the driver side. He said it gives you the same articulation and you only need to reconnect one side when going back on pavement.
I can't say with the van, but with my Jeeps the bar comes down far enough to contact the arm on the axle- even with the connection tube removed. I don't think it takes that much articulation with one side connected to make contact between the disconnected pieces- worse if you don't have a removable section, and then you're bashing the threads. Even if they don't line up and contact, they're getting dragged past one another which could tear things up, catch, bend, etc.

Since "the other side" is the simple one to both disconnect and reconnect it seems you're not gaining much.
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:36 PM   #7
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Re: Sway Bar Disconnecting and Reconnecting

I always pull both. I'm not sure how far down it will allow the connected wheel to drop but like Jage said I don't want the bar moving such great lengths. Besides it's the last one you hook up that is the difficult one to install. They are easy to get to if you crank your wheel. Personally I don't think it's a problem at all and pull mine regularly. I also use a bunji around the pin to keep the sway bar from jumping around. My links are marked and I use a impact socket to tap in the rubber mounted insert in if it protrudes. I keep a bag with spare washers, cotter keys, the socket, a short handle hammer, bunji, rag, and hand cleaner. I never lube the disconnects. The ratchet strap might be helpful if you are by yourself. BTW if I'm doing a lot of off roading, I leave em disconnected. I have drove long distances after breaking a stud and never really had much of a handling problem.
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:42 PM   #8
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Re: Sway Bar Disconnecting and Reconnecting

I also regularly pull mine on rough terrain. They really help with the ride, because the vans are tall and heavy they rock harshly on rough terrain if the sway bar is not disconnected. Dave is also right the last one is the hardest to reconnect. One thing to watch out for is the bushing has a metal insert which tries to work its way out occasionally making the pin and washer hard to re-install so check these and tap them back in place if they are not flush with the rubber bushing.

If I can't get the last one to line up I put a rock under one of the front tires and have my wife creep the van forward until the link lines up.

John
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:34 PM   #9
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Re: Sway Bar Disconnecting and Reconnecting

Try carrying a couple small RV (Cheap Bubble Levels ) and glue a small magnet to the back of each and place on your axle , I have found that on softer ground that I do not have to move the Van as much if I remove the soil around the the off level tire side allowing for a little easier realignment . I have only disconnected mine 9 times and found that the levels seem to make it a little quicker .
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:38 PM   #10
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Re: Sway Bar Disconnecting and Reconnecting

I was kind of hesitant for the longest time in pulling mine for fear of not being able to get them back on. Now I do it nearly anytime I'm 4wheeling. It really isn't bad at all. I keep a hammer, gloves and a bunji at hand for the job. Turn the wheel one way, install link, turn the wheel the other way, install the link and you are on your way.

It really isn't a bad job at all and makes a sizable difference in handling while 4wheeling.

Phil
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