|CJ and YJ Sway Bar Disconnects||Short Cuts|
Cheap and Easy Sway Bar Disconnects for CJs and YJs
The idea of the Minute Mods series is to bring you projects that are quick, easy or dirt cheap. This month's Minute Mod is all three.
|One of the finished disconnects.|
|The link pin in original condition with the link still attached. These pins can be difficult to remove. This modification avoids the need to remove it.|
|The head of the link pin being pried away after grinding.|
|Drilling the link pin. This could be done with a hand drill while the sway bar is still installed on a vehicle.|
|The necessary hardware, a 3/4" long 5/6-18 bolt, a split washer and a fender washer. You will need two of each.|
|The stock lower attachment for the link can be used without modifications.|
|The finished disconnect without the link or hardware attached.|
The first modification done to any trail vehicle should be installation of solid tow points if it doesn't already have them. The second should be to disconnect the sway bar for better trail performance.
There is a very simple and easy way to make your own sway bar disconnects for a CJ or YJ. You will need a grinder or hacksaw, a hand drill, a 1/4" drill bit, and a 5/16-18 tap. For materials you will need only two 3/4" long 5/16-18 bolts, two lock washers, and two fender washers. Many CJ and YJ owners already have the correct tap since it is the same tap used when installing an aluminum valve cover on an '81 or newer 258.
The sway bar was removed from the YJ to make it easier to shoot the pictures for this article. I have also done this project with the sway bar still installed on the vehicle and found it no more difficult. Removing the front tires gives all the room needed to complete this project while the sway bar is still on the Jeep.
The first step is to remove the large washer that is the head of the link pin that goes into the sway bar. I've found that grinding the washer with an angle grinder is the quickest and easiest method of removing it. You could also use a hacksaw or Sawzall type saw. Try to remove only the washer and leave the link pin as long as possible. When grinding, grind only until you see a crack all the way around where the washer and shaft of the link pin meet and then pry the remnants of the washer off. You will want to cut as close to the head as possible when using a hacksaw or Sawzall. The link pin material is fairly hard, so start with a new blade and be patient.
You can remove the nut and washer that secure the lower end of the sway bar link to the spring plate if the sway bar is still installed on the vehicle. The Link should slide off fairly easily now.
Remove the sway bar link and make sure that the end of the bolt is squared and flat. Grinding a small chamfer on the end of the link pin body at this time will make installing the links easier later. Center punch the body of the body of the link pin, drill and tap it. I have used a hand drill while the sway bar was still on the vehicle with great success on other Jeeps. A drill press was used for these pictures but it is not neccessary. Don't worry if the hole comes out slightly off-center. It will still be functional as long as you don't drill through the side of the link pin body or make the hole at a large angle.
Once the hole is tapped the link can be replaced and secured to the link pin with the bolt and washers. The nut and washer on the spring plate should be re-attached as well. The small bolt and washers will hold the link on with no problems becuase there is no side force on the link.
Thanks to Tim Norstad for allowing me to make the disconnects for his YJ, use his drill press and shoot the pictures in his garage.