Warning! Be careful! These mods are intended for off road use only!
These mods are a temporary means of disconnecting your front sway bar when off roading to increase vehicle flex. NOT intended for highway use and is provided for informational purposes ONLY.
Poor Man's Disconnects
I know you're cheap.
You know you're cheap.
The whole WORLD knows you're cheap!
It's time to start bragging about being cheap by making a set of 'Poor Man's Disconnects' that'll do the job just as well as most 'store bought' discos and leave a lot more change rattlin' around in your pocket!
No, they're not fancy, they don't slip on & off in 5 seconds and they're a bit on the noisy side (sounds like a $20 hooker at a frat party! ) but for those of ya with more moths in your wallet than dollar bills; this is a great 'temporary' solution that gives ya a fairly easy way to disconnect the front swaybar when off-roading. All ya need are some 'farm pins', flat washers, rubber washers, hitch pins and a couple of metric wing nuts and you're set! If you make the extensions as well omit wing nuts and use additional parts listed for extensions.
I highly recommend that ya spray the bolts down with PBBlaster a few days in advance! The swaybar link pins upper nuts are VERY prone to twisting off the threaded upper stud for some reason... If you get them off without breaking anything... chase the threads with the correct size metric die and apply a little anti-sieze to keep things removable.
Just the usual self explanatory set of pics with some minor comments. (Quick reminder... the upper stud is gonna break off!)
TORX bolt with nut holds lower end of swaybar link.
The lower end of the link usually comes off easily... the upper stud usually just BREAKS!
Slip out the TORX bolt, grease up the hole and get ready to slip the pin in!
Now go outside to the garage, do the same thing to your XJ and leave that girl alone!
Make sure you get pins that are the same OD as the outermost diameter of the TORX bolt's threads! Don't want it to rattle any more than it's going to. I got some rubber washers (shown) to help stop some of the rattles.
Be sure to secure upper wingnuts!
Check the upper wingnuts and these pins OFTEN!
Rubber washers may or may not be needed to mute rattling.
| Upper wingnuts on stud should be checked
OFTEN! They can be secured by drilling a very small hole thru the upper end of
the stud and inserting a cotter pin to retain the wing nut.
Grease the lower holes and use anti sieze on the upper studs!
Don't use pins that are too small for the hole! Use the largest pin that will fit in the swaybar link and is long enough to be properly secured as shown!
Rubber washers may or may not be used depending on how much it rattles. (It'll rattle!)
Upper swaybar link's threaded stud area WILL break off! Count on it. Don't whine. Buy another one for a spare... or just go ahead and get the JKS discos ya cheapskate!
Poor Man's Swaybar Link Extensions
Experience instant nirvanna by spending $5 instead of $50+ for new extended links!
| Now for the other end of that swaybar
Lifting on a budget?
Here's how to extend your stock swaybar link to go with that cheapo lift! You'll need to head to a specialty fastener store for the metric barrel nuts - 99% of hardware stores will NOT have this oddball size and will only have SAE sizes.
Total cost is about $5.00.
Installation is easy! (Assuming ya got the upper OEM nut off without breaking the stud off...)
After cleaning up the threads; reinstall the oem nut to the bottom of the stud but don't tighten it. Now thread on the barrel nut until it has 1/2 threads on the stud & 1/2 still open. Snug up the oem nut to act as a 'jam nut'.
First link is easy to hook up, second will fight you if rig is not on the tires and sitting on level ground.
Just stack the stock lower washer, lower bushing, swaybar, upper bushing & upper washer & then drop your bolt down into the barrel nut. When tightening, be sure your bolt doesn't bottom out too soon! (I had to trim mine a bit.)
Snug up the oem / 'jam' nut to the barrel nut and tighten down the bolt.
Now pat yerself on the back & clean up that mess!
... I told ya they'd break!
This pic is of the driver side link where the oem nut was a pain to remove initially. Evidently it was stressed enough from having to work the nut back & forth at removal that it failed within a few weeks of doing this mod. Note that I had problems removing this nut initially and from experience with other swaybar links snapping off the metal is garbage and the nuts sieze to the stud end of the link. Removing them usually just snap the dang things.
(His other side's oem nut came off easily and that link still was fine.)
The solution? Free disco's from a fellow club member! (Thanks John!)
Update #2: - I have been told that some Ford pick-up trucks (F350 ? )have longer rear swaybar links that can be substitued for the XJ front links. I have NOT personally verified this so head to the boneyard with one of your old links or fire up Google and check it out!
If you have pics of your own repairs or can suggest other methods - please contribute your ideas (and pictures) to this article!
November 14, 2006