The TJ sway bar drastically improves on road driving by transferring forces from one side of the Jeep to the other when cornering. The bar is sometimes referred to as and anti-roll bar. Simply speaking the sway bar is a torsion bar that is connected each of the outer ends of the axle. The bar is connected to the Jeep’s frame just in front of the grille. When cornering the loaded side (outer side of the vehicle) of the suspension compresses. During this the bar twists and transfers some of the load force to the unloaded side. This reduces body roll and increases stability.
With this at work street driving is much more stable and safe. Off road the sway bar will limit articulation potentially causing a wheel to lift and loss of traction. In addition the sway bar will decrease ride quality off road since bumps will be transferred to the opposite wheel.
There are several options to dealing with the sway bar off road from simple to complex. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The simplest approach is to install a set of sway bar disconnects. These come in many varieties but most do the same thing, essentially disconnect the axle from the torsion bar. This allows the axle to move freely allowing considerably more wheel travel.
We were installing a Teraflex 3″ lift on the jeepfan.com 2004 TJ Unlimited, fortunately the kit included a Teraflex sway bar disconnects. These are a simple design that allows the axle side link to be removed with a pin. A nice feature of the Teraflex system is the inclusion of frame side stow pins. These allow the links to be securly stowed in the disconnected position without getting in the way.
These can be installed with or without a lift, keep in mind that a disconnect kit should be matched to the lift. The links will be longer or shorter depending on the Jeep’s suspension. The kit retains the factory torsion bar while replacing the links.
Remove the factory links. The upper is a single nut and while the lower is a bolt. With the stock links removed install the upper end of the new link. There is a front and rear to the links, be sure to orient them correctly.
The lower part uses a pin that is bolted in place to the lower mount. Install the pins. Using a drift to hold the pin in place will keep the holes in a good position.
At this point the links the final part is installing the frame pins. This provide a secure location to hold the bar in the disconnected position secure and out of the way.
Hold the bar and links in position and mark for the hole. Drill and tap the hole and mount the upper pins. The links should attach to these pins easily.
The Teraflex system can be disconnected easily by removing the pins from each side and securing to the frame pins. It’s not advisable to drive on the street with the sway bar disconnected since handling will be very sloppy.