View Full Version : Removal of Sway Bar (Isuzu)
11-21-2007, 08:24 PM
Has anyone here removed their front swaybar on their Isuzu (Trooper specifically)?
I've been keeping my eye on the product from Independent4X.com that makes it removeable. I'd like to have the option to quickly remove it (at the trailhead) and then replace it when i drive back on the highway as it is there for a reason.
I've heard that it really allows the IFS to flex and makes it a ton better off-road. I wanted to get some feedback from anyone who has done this.
11-21-2007, 08:47 PM
I don't have disconnects, I just pulled the thing off and really have never looked back. I took it off for a few trips when I bought the truck and put it back on for the winter. About half way through the winter I decided that the ride was better with it off, and I could live with the negative handling traits (more roll in corners, more wander in a straight line). The sway bar essentially takes the "independent" out of the IFS. With the bar connected, hitting a bump in a corner made the truck jump. With the bar off, the front suspension can absorb a lot more.
See if you can get Matt to explain how the disconnects work. There are a lot of pretty smart people who decided that there was no good way to disconnect the front.
I have no knowledge of the rear sway bar disconnects that he sells. I could be mistaken, but I think my shocks are the limiting factor in the rear with the OME 919 springs.
11-21-2007, 09:38 PM
Disconnecting the sway bars on IFS is something I've done for many years... easier on some vehicles than on others. Here are my observations, for what it's worth:
I do NOT recommend entirely removing both front and rear (if equipped) sway bars from any vehicle. On my personal vehicles I tend to choose removing the rear bar (if equipped) permanently, and making disconnectable the front bar. What you do with yours is up to you, naturally, but my own experience with and without leads me to leave the front one connected while on pavement.
The sway bar sees a tremendous amount of instantaneous load, so any disconnectable link you fabricate needs to be beefy.
Disconnecting all sway bars on an IFS rig while off-highway has 2 highly noticeable and important effects, and neither of them is "MOAR TRACKSHUN!":
Dramatically less tendency of the vehicle to tilt side-to-side, resulting in dramatically less driver/passenger fatigue. Vehicle attitude becomes an "average" of all 4 wheels' elevation, not just a lean based on what the front wheels are doing. Less fatigue means more alert means more safe.
Greater suspension freedom means less time with a wheel in the air. If a wheel is "drooping", hanging to its lowest suspension position because there is no weight on it... that tire has little or no traction even if it's on the ground. Removing your sway bar will not help this as much as you might hope. BUT when all 4 tires are in contact with the ground your shocks have the ability to control the vehicle's rate of roll, side to side and front to back. When a tire is off the ground, nothing controls its rate of return to the ground.. if it returns to the ground very quickly, chances are the vehicle's body had to rotate quickly and built up a lot of energy during that rotation. Think of a slinky falling down some stairs... slinkys don't spontaneously walk down stairs but if they build up energy they keep going. A tire off the ground is a slinky at the top of a staircase.
I believe you may also end up with more consistent traction on highly uneven surfaces.. particularly on vehicles with open differentials - but without the luxury of controlled lab conditions to test that I'll simply state that my own experience in that regard hasn't led to any stunning revelations. Traction seems not to be improved nearly as much as the two effects described above.
As an aside note, I once saw a brilliant home-made sway bar made from some IFS torsion bar mounted laterally and a pair of homebuilt arms which linked permanently to the front IFS control arms.. but one of the homebuilt arms integrated a standard Superwinch locking 4x4 hub to engage and disengage one side of the sway bar. How about that? No wrenching under the vehicle, no parts to remove and lose... no searching for a level surface to reconnect your bar.... just park "kinda" level, turn the knob, and get back in the truck
11-22-2007, 09:50 PM
thanks for the replies and the input. I'm basically trying to make the trooper as good as i can off-road without getting too crazy or expensive. The sway bars seem like a good idea to tinker with.
11-23-2007, 02:21 AM
I had an Isuzu Spacecab (3" lift) that I removed the front sway bar for better suspension flex with the IFS, and it worked! Never put it back on because on the road ride felt the same, and trust me, I tested it out to see how it would handle.
11-25-2007, 05:24 PM
Never put it back on because on the road ride felt the same, and trust me, I tested it out to see how it would handle.
I can't argue against your personal experience, but I must admit I'm unable to comprehend how one can not feel the difference. In the vehicles I've owned and installed disconnectable links (87 montero, 86 bronco2, 91 trooper, 91 trooper #2, 01 forester, 01 ZR2) the difference is drastic, loaded or not.
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