Swaybar Disconnect - Full Write Up - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 04-10-2012
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Post Swaybar Disconnect - Full Write Up

We all know the Ranger has a pretty choppy ride and zero flex in the front suspension. For those that don't know, this is because of the swaybar, or anti-rollbar, in the front suspension. The function of the swaybar is to reduce bodyroll by keeping the front wheel from moving independently of eachother. This improves safety and onroad handling, but diminishes ride quality and offroad capabilities.

So... I disconnected mine. I simply removed the driver side linkage and now the swaybar moves freely with the passenger side wheel. The front wheels now move completely independent of eachother.

I've been driving my Ranger for a few days like this now and I wanted to put a few notes out there for those of you who haven't done this and are interested in removing your swaybar. So here ya go:

Positive notes are marked with a (+) bullet, negative with a (-) bullet.

On-Road Affects
+Ride quality is much nicer. The truck smooths over rough roads and the jagged behavior of the front suspension is completely gone.
-Body roll was significantly increased. Cornering and higher speeds take a little more careful driving and abrupt maneuvers are a big no no.
-Roll steer was significantly increased due to the body roll. For those who don't know, roll steer is the result of the rear axle being turned sideways slightly due to the rear suspension geometry. This causes the rear of the truck to want to turn while the body is rolled one way or another.

Off-Road Affects
+Ride quality, again, is much nicer. The terrain doesn't cause the truck to jerk one way or another as it did, before.
+Because the front suspension can conform to the terrain easier, I noticed the steering wheel allows more feedback from the ground. I like this because it still allows my to read the terrain, but through the wheel instead of the entire body.
+Suspension flex of my truck was increased by about 4 inches. When I was flexing it, I noticed the front bumpstops still weren't touching. With 3 tires on the ground, I still had about an inch or two of travel on the compressed front wheel.
-The predictability of the front end isn't as great, anymore. Normally, the front wheels would follow the terrain, strictly. You could count on the truck rolling with the terrain, laterally.
-Body roll is still very noticeable, but not as big of an issue on the loose terrain. The truck would begin to slide well before it reached any roll over point. Counter-steering and throttle control also helps keep the truck stable.

Overall Statement
Although the ride is smoother and suspension capabilities are greater, so is the risk of an accident. This modification gives your truck a more unstable platform to ride on. If you have a good understanding of vehicle physics and you can instinctively act on those physics, this modification is worth trying out. On the other hand, if you aren't comfortable with degrading the stability and sure footing of your Ranger, don't do this.

I hope you guys found this to be helpful and maybe answer some questions you might have had.
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Old 04-10-2012
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Nice write-up, worthwhile read for me. Ive been toying with the idea of removing my bar, but most of my driving is on road and highway, so i think ill keep it for now. I just ordered some moog swaybar endlinks, so ill see if these plus the rubber bushings they come with help with the jerky ride. Who knows maybe itll be a happy medium, i think the stock bushings are made of plastic....
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Old 04-10-2012
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I'd actually be happy with a quick disconnect or something. Some aftermarket companies make them for Jeeps, but I can't find them for the Ranger. Couldn't be hard to make one, though.
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Old 04-10-2012
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Originally Posted by RavageRule View Post
I'd actually be happy with a quick disconnect or something. Some aftermarket companies make them for Jeeps, but I can't find them for the Ranger. Couldn't be hard to make one, though.
Warrior Products #85203 is a pair of direct bolt on QD's for the front bar of any 98+ torsion bar Ranger.

http://www.4wheelparts.com/Lift-Kits...ct&emlprox=out

http://www.jeep4x4center.com/sway-ba...m_campaign=cse

Don't be fooled by the eye-to-eye style in the generic picture. The 85203 part number is actually the stud-to-stud (post-to-post) style needed.
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Old 04-10-2012
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Originally Posted by rwenzing View Post
Warrior Products #85203 is a pair of direct bolt on QD's for the front bar of any 98+ torsion bar Ranger.

http://www.4wheelparts.com/Lift-Kits...ct&emlprox=out

http://www.jeep4x4center.com/sway-ba...m_campaign=cse

Don't be fooled by the eye-to-eye style in the generic picture. The 85203 part number is actually the stud-to-stud (post-to-post) style needed.
damn i may actually buy those instead of throwing my swaybar for scrap like ive done on the past two
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Old 04-10-2012
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My old rusty Warriors:

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Swaybar Disconnect - Full Write Up-warrior_war85203_001.jpg  
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Old 04-10-2012
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I can see how its easy to disconnect them, but how hard it is to re-connect those? just park on a flat surface?
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Old 04-10-2012
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Yes, you need to have all four tires on a relatively flat surface to get the holes to line up vertically. Then crawl under the truck to install the pins. It's a not really what I would call user friendly but it does give you the choice of running the sway bar or not.

AFAIK, these are the only game in town unless you want to design and fab your own.
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Old 04-10-2012
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Wouldn't you only need 1? Then you wouldn't need to worry about securing the swaybar when disconnected.
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Old 04-10-2012
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how is it with a Body lift? i've had it out with out the lift. how's the rollyness with the 3" lift
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Old 04-10-2012
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Originally Posted by 04RangerDave View Post
how is it with a Body lift? i've had it out with out the lift. how's the rollyness with the 3" lift
IMO it was the same with and without it. once you throw 33s on it doesn't help much so i just kept it off and still did "sudden maneuvers" specially when trying to find a place ive never been to before.

I want to try the disconnects out though, they seem cool.
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Old 04-11-2012
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Originally Posted by 99offroadrngr View Post
IMO it was the same with and without it. once you throw 33s on it doesn't help much so i just kept it off and still did "sudden maneuvers" specially when trying to find a place ive never been to before.

I want to try the disconnects out though, they seem cool.
x2 the body lean is really about the same, the only difference is maybe with being higher with the body lift you might feel like its leaning alittle more, but not much.

Ive had mine off with the body lift on 3 different sets of tires, 235's, 32's, and 33's and ran it like that for over year. Speaking of this, I did actually put my sway bar back on here this past week due to the fact that I took off my body lift and beens im selling the truck, I decided to put the sway bar back on to go with it. I have no need to keep it, but I will say it is very nice to corner well again lol. You never notice how much it does until its off for over a year and then you put it back on. You do get used to the body lean and you can still obviously corner well once you get used to it, but its nice to be able to carve corners better now instead of always down shifting or trying to keep it in gear and just hold on to my *** lol. (hold on to ya *** fred)

I know everyone says the ride is much better and I will agree it is a little bit better, but for me it was only alittle bit. Now that I spend much more time on the road rather than offroad and im daily driving my truck alot of miles, I think its better to keep it on.
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Old 04-11-2012
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Originally Posted by Ranger Smith View Post
Wouldn't you only need 1? Then you wouldn't need to worry about securing the swaybar when disconnected.
It might work but it's risky. I know that there's been at least 1 case on this forum where the sway bar shifted sideways in its mounts and broke the other link.
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Old 04-14-2012
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After driving with mine disconnected for the past week, now. I've pretty much gotten use to the way it handles. I still notice the differences in handling, but I'm more comfortable with it and it doesn't feel like it's hindering me as much as I thought it would, if at all.

I do like those quick disconnects, but I'm not thrilled with the prices at all. lol, I think I might fabricate my own and see how that goes.
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Old 04-16-2012
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Just thought id share. Took my sway bar off for a few days and it was def. a better ride, but as others have said a lot more body roll, it got kinda squirrely at high speeds as well. I put it back on and installed some moog end links 7275, and it made a big difference in the toning down the harshness of the ride compared to the oem endlinks. Idk if its the softer bushings or the new angle that it sets the swaybar at, but the moog endlinks gave me a softer ride, while still maintaining cornering abilities. I wanted to do a full write up with pictures but IPad + photobucket equal gayness...
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Old 04-16-2012
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I like those...
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Old 04-16-2012
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Originally Posted by Ford04Ranger4.0 View Post
I like those...
Do you have the moog endlinks on your ranger? If so how have they held up so far? Just put mine on this weekend so its too soon to tell the durablility, but theyre made in america, by god...and cost me only $7 each.
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