Broken Front Sway Bar Mount

Cass007

 
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
1,263
Location
South Central PA
So I noticed some odd sounds last time I was out wheeling (5/11), but I was unable to isolate what it was or where it was coming from exactly. It was the first time out since doing the head gasket so I was much more focused on temps and no leaks. Anyway, after a quick drive on the highway today it was apparent something wasn't right. I had a rattle at speed and the truck felt like it was wandering. It was breezy out, but this felt like more wander than just that. I got to work and expected to find loose knuckle nuts and found this instead.

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Never good when a muddy truck has a bright clean spot. I thought I heard some rubbing when parking it in the driveway, but it normally doesn't rub there. Knuckle nuts were good and so were control arm bushings. I grabbed the sway bar and it moved ... a lot. Checked bushings and found the issue. The pass side mount to the axle has snapped off. I was clean at work and truck is covered in mud, so didn't check if the bolt is sheared off in the axle or not yet.

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Did some research and this seems to be an odd spot for this to fail. Some people said they run without the front sway and that would be a last option, but here in PA it's 10 miles of highway minimum for me to go anywhere quickly and 90 mins highway to get to the wheeling spot with winding roads and elevation changes everywhere. The truck is a '97 so it should have the updated mount hardware. Is this a replaceable part or does it need to be welded back onto the axle? Have others that have had the same failure seen it as a repeating issue?

I'm just now getting more comfortable with my truck in terms of wheeling it, so the use is only going to get harder if anything. Just want to fix it once and done if possible.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
8,290
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
It's hard to tell from your ONE picture that shows anything at all as to HOW it broke.

How about more pics?
If it's the hanger bracket, buy the new link.
If it's the bracket ripped from the axle housing, weld it back on.
If it's the end of the sway bar broke off, get a new sway bar.

If YOU cannot get under the truck to take clear pics of the break, how are WE supposed to diagnose it FOR you?
 

baldilocks

Battle Ground, WA
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Jan 29, 2014
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5,693
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Battle Ground
When I broke a mount, I made up a set of brackets using some 1/8” thick 1.5”X 1.5” angle iron. I made them taller than the stock ones by about an inch, this helped to flatten the bar out some but most importantly being taller meant that the pin I use to attach the passenger side to the bracket is above the short steel brake line that runs very close to the bracket.

My front sway bar is sitting on my garage floor most of the time anymore. I will put it on when headed out on a long road trip where I will be loaded up. Many members just removed it and forgot about it years ago.

You will get used to running without it. Proper caster correction and making sure all suspension bushings are good helps. If you drive like a maniac, leaving it on is probably a good idea.
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2KCruiser

Everything 2KRacing, practically live here
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
1,563
Location
SoCal
Exactly what I just did recently. Went wheeling and did not disconnect the Whiteline Front bar and it broke both factory mounts right off. Didn't notice until I heard a lot of clanking going on by the time I was home. Just fabbed up a thicker steel bracket and all is good again.
 

Cass007

 
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
1,263
Location
South Central PA
Thanks guys now I know what direction and possible options I can look into.

@BILT4ME I only had the ONE pic because I assumed others had this failure before and would have known what they were looking at.
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
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Redding, CA
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
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Southern Maine
I broke an axle tab on my rig- between the rust and the wheeling it finally gave up the ghost. I pulled just the bar and ran it for a while to see if I really needed to fix it, and while I can feel the difference in handling it is certainly not terrible. So now I just run it that way.

That being said, I very rarely get on the interstate and my commute is back roads and surface streets and I very rarely exceed 60 mph. My rig is not lifted and I'm on 255/85's, so those factors all played into my decision to run without the sway bar. I'm sure if my driving was different or my rig was different I would do differently. But it works fine for me this way.
 
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Tools R Us

 
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2004
Messages
24,776
Location
Chandler, AZ
Have broken or bent a bunch of sway bars, for us a common fail. So have run without, front, rear or both, some have given up and don't run them. For my setup, prefer both of them, trail and highway. Thinking about trying the early/smaller 3FE bar to see how that does?
 

fogblanket

SILVER Star
 
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2004
Messages
2,065
Location
newport RI
I prefer both sway bars for highway in that I have to go over two suspension bridges to get anywhere. I switched to whiteline sway bars and promptly ripped the mounts off the drivers side front axle and the drivers side rear axle (the rear I pulled one bolt out). I got a set of the witts end heavy duty swaybar mounts and welded them in for the front swaybar, I also have a set of the landcruiser phil front swaybar disconnect brackets. I had to drive home from the outter banks to RI with the front attached to those. I disconnect my front if going offroad and plan to run with the rear on unless for a multi day excursion offroad then I will just remove and store until I get back on the road. the rear I fixed by tapping some 3/8" bar stock and welding that over the old mounting area.
 

Cass007

 
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
1,263
Location
South Central PA
Ordered the new mounts from Wit's End (thanks @NLXTACY) in case I prefer to run both sways.

It's supposed to rain hard later today and the truck is very muddy so I went to remove the sway bar so I could drive it and wash it off a bit and found another issue.

Just the rear bolt missing from the pass side control arm ... no big deal 😵
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This seems like it would have been the cause of the sway bar retainer breaking off? A huge THANK YOU to @Pacer for seeing the rubbing on the exhaust and telling me to look for a larger problem. I'm sure he saved me from larger damage.

Anyone have the part # handy for that nut and bolt?

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Joined
Mar 17, 2006
Messages
1,586
Location
Pacifica CA
While you are down there may as well do everything short of upgrading/replacing the entire axle housing. Anti-sway bar brackets are welded, axle is gusseted, dif cover is armored, steering stops are boxed, castor plates are burnt on. If I had to choose only one of these mods/reinforcements, it would be reinforcing the anti-sway bar brackets! Even though my brackets are reinforced, When I am rock crawling I pin them up (I have a home made system fabbed from angle iron that is almost identical to Phil's) Swaybar Disconnects - Land Cruiser Products - LCP. I prefer the ant-sway bars connected in the sand or mere rough roads.

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Joined
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Morro Bay God's Country
While you are down there may as well do everything short of upgrading/replacing the entire axle housing. Anti-sway bar brackets are welded, axle is gusseted, dif cover is armored, steering stops are boxed, castor plates are burnt on. If I had to choose only one of these mods/reinforcements, it would be reinforcing the anti-sway bar brackets! Even though my brackets are reinforced, When I am rock crawling I pin them up (I have a home made system fabbed from angle iron that is almost identical to Phil's) Swaybar Disconnects - Land Cruiser Products - LCP. I prefer the ant-sway bars connected in the sand or mere rough roads.

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All that and you didn’t truss it?
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