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Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Mario12345, Dec 3, 2018.
Would it be stupid to remove my sway bar for
Better off-road advantage or is there a better way ?!?
Swaybar Disconnects - Land Cruiser Products - LCP
I’m gonna use these when I do mine. There are several threads on here about them.
When I bought mine the PO had removed both front and rear. It really wasn't a big deal on road but off road it seemed way too tippy in off camber situations. Bought and installed front and rear, but then was way too stiff off-road. Now run just the rear and am satisfied with overall handling.
This seems backwards to me. Typically you would want them on-road to combat body roll such as going around curves / corners at speed. Off-road you would disconnect them (at least the front) because they limit articulation. What was the "way too stiff" experience? Many of us are looking for stiffer sway bars (at least for on-road) as we make our rigs heavier with bumpers, armor, etc.
No sway bars equals death trap on the highway. Many of us remove permanently the front and leave the rear bar, it doesn’t limit articulation too much. Actually, you need it to limit some for better balance with front flex.
Sorry...just edited...meant to say way too stiff OFF-ROAD, as in very little articulation. I really don't miss the front bar on the highway, but maybe it's because I drive it like the 6400 lb whale it is
No worries. So, I don't believe that disconnecting the rear swaybar gets you any more articulation. And since you only have a rear bar and no front, then the swaybars are not the source of your articulation issues. You'll have to take a look as to what is limiting your travel. Lots of threads on that. It would be helpful if you were to say what suspension you are running.
I remove my front swaybar when I'm wheeling a lot. If you wheel with the front sway bar the ride is unconfortable and you run the risk of ripping out the mounts on the axle. Once the mounts are ripped out the brake lines can be damaged. If you wheel without the rear swaybar the rig gets tippy. Personally I usually run no sway bar in the front except for long trips. In the rear I run the sway bar with drop brackets, ome medium springs and air bags. I like the air bags because I can tune my suspension and make it stiffer for the highway or compensate for when my rig is loaded. I have been running my airbags in Moab for 2 years with no leaks and I do not feel like they limite my articulation.
The most likely reason for limited articulation is shocks that are too short. Very common problem with many of the common kits.
The front sway bar has also no effect on articulation from what I’ve tested on my own truck. I have a set of the LCP disconnects. Testing on a ramp I traveled 1” further up the ramp with the sway bar disconnected. However I do find that the front sway bar disconnected will allow for slightly free-er movement of the front end instead of forcing the rear to move more. So I believe there are some benefits to a removed or softer front sway bar but I personally limit those benefits to rock crawling type situations.
Most of the time (90% or more) I find it more beneficial to leave the sway bar installed and connected especially since the increase in articulation is very minimal.
I run a stock sway bar up front connected almost always. In the rear I run a heavier 33mm Blackhawk swaybar. I love the setup for my n road behavior and for fast dirt travel! The truck is more controlled and feels more stable and safe than it did with both stock sway bars, and definitely compared to sway bars removed. I don’t think anyone will argue that keeping swaybars connected is safer across the board.
Here’s the things that I have found to help with articulation (assuming the stock radius arms are kept and suspension links are modified).
1: Proper length shocks. OME L shocks were limiting the amount of travel I was having. They are just too short to maximize available flex. My Slinky shocks are no longer a limiting factor.
2: OEM rubber bushings in the suspension links. Poly bushings will be a limiter as they will not flex as much as rubber. I have also run Trail Tailor rear links with Johnny Joints. These will also allow much more flex than Poly bushings but bumps in the road will get transferred to the seat of the pants feel more than with rubber bushings.
3: Tapered dual rate coils can enhance down travel. Single rate, non tapered coils will often hit maximum extension before the limit of articulation. At that point they will drop free of the coil bucket unless they are held in place with some kind of retainer. Once it drops free it is primarily the weight of that wheel/tire that pulls that wheel closer to the ground. A tapered dual rate coil has a taller free height and will stay captured in the bucket to the limit of articulation and because it hasn’t fully extended it will continue to push the tire toward the ground where a coil that has dropped free won’t do that.
So.... long winded response to the original question. Short answer is that there are other factors that will help increase articulation more than removing swaybars.
I’ve posted this before but this shows what I think is working very well with stock radius arms and both swaybars connected.
I like @Box Rocket 's setup.
Personally, I removed my front sway bar, and kept the rear. If I did more high speed off road driving, I'd run a better sway bar combination.
On the highway, I feel comfortable with my setup. The J arm suspension keeps the front axle planted, without the sway bar. It's not for everybody, so YMMV.
You'd be a brave man to do so. On 35's, with the sway bars connected, the body roll is downright threatening on the highway. They don't weigh that much.
I currently have no rear sway bar. Simply because I broke a couple of the sway bar mount bolts when installing my lift. (Ome medium). It really isn't that bad on the highway but you do have to correct more than I'd like. Its actually worse at slower around town driving for me. Off road I found it to perform no better or worse than before.
I'm planning on getting a 33mm bar like @Box Rocket has and reinstalling my rear in the near future.
We found when testing front swaybar disconnects on an OME set up increase in articulation ~15%
Testing results ► Front swaybar quick disconnects revisited and tested
I also run a HD Whiteline rear swaybar and can get full rear articulation with properly sized links. Flex is not as active or smooth as stock but the increased on road stability at speed is well worth the trade off fro me on my 7050 pound rig YMMV
I have tried several set ups and for me if your rig is heavy OEM F & HD R swaybar are the safest and nicest on the road. The ability to disconnect the front when running trails were more articulation is warranted if well worth the ability. Only really needed for most a small amount of the time but happy to have the option when the time arises. On a seperate note you do not want to break the swaybar brackets on the front axle. Reports of bad things happen when they do, just another reason to disconnect the front on more demanding trails.
Installation of a Delta rear panhard riser will also increase road ability handling on the tarmac.
so, what size links for a stock rear bar with OME med? How about with a heavier bar?
I set my OEM or HD rear swaybar links level with the lower control arms keeping them a low as possible but out of harms way.
I mentioned earlier that I’m a proponent of connected swaybars. But like Phil said in his post, it’s nice to be able to have the option to disconnect the front for the few times it might be beneficial. For that reason I still have LCP disconnects installed.
One other situation that wouldn’t typically necessitate disconnecting the swaybar but was nice was on a recent trip. It was not a rock crawling trip but the suspension was getting worked and cycled on high speed trails as well as rutted tracks. On the 3rd day I was getting some clanking noise. Turned out that the front swaybar bushings had disintegrated and the swaybar eyes were banging around on the pins. It was nice to remove the pins and pin it up to the LCP brackets so it wasn’t making noise or damaging anything.
For another data point from my experience, I have seen no change in articulation in the rear with no swaybar, stock swaybar or with the HD Blackhawk swaybar. I agree with Phil that a stock front and HD rear swaybar seems to provide the best behavior.