Sway Bar Questions - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Sway Bar Questions

So, Ordered my 3" lift. It comes with the extended front sway bar links, but I got rear springs and extended shocks but no extended rear sway bar links. Is it not necessary to extend the rear sway bar? I am still on the fence about pulling and tossing the front, but from what I am reading, it is best to keep at least the rear. Either way, still on the fence about removal. So I would rather have the links if needed when I do the install than need to go back in there later. So what say you guys, need to extend the rear links or just run the stock setup with the 3" springs and shocks?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 09:49 PM
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Re: Sway Bar Questions

I'd say you are over thinking it. A large number of members run a 3" kit with out having extended sway bar links with no problem,

I went the route are on the fence about - no sway bars front or back. The only thing I could really notice was the FJ leaned in the turn a bit quicker BUT no further. I have had a few emergency avoidance events without sway bars - the FJ pulled through like a champ, at no point did I feel like it was unsafe or go catapulting in catastrophic NASCAR worthy flaming barrel roll down the freeway (I45)
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 09:58 PM
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Re: Sway Bar Questions

Are you sure the extended sway bar links aren't actually for the rear? Which kit did you get? What I've seen is that most lift kits replace the rear sway bar links before they would replace only the front ones.

Right now I am running without my rear sway bar and it isn't really much of a difference. Hardly noticeable. But running without the front on and only the rear, you will definitely notice a difference in how it feels when turning. I've never run without any sway bars at all but I can't imagine it being too much of a jump from running with only the rear. For folks who offroad a lot and want that extra flex, then sure, remove the sway bars. But if you drive your FJ as a daily-driver, having at least one sway bar will make it nicer.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 11:14 PM
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Re: Sway Bar Questions

Capt,

I once owned a 80 series Landcruiser and installed a 4 inch suspension lift on it. Not having the correct parts at the time, I left the swaybars off. Big mistake! The vehicle cornered horribly. I had to custom fabricate parts to reconnect the swaybars but even then, the stock swaybars were not heavy enough to completely control body roll. A lesson learned for me. Having also built several street racers in my youth I know the value of properly tuned swaybars on coil sprung vehicles.

On my FJ, I replaced the stock swaybars with heavy duty bars from "Cusco". The Cusco bars are 50% larger in diameter than the stock Toyota bars. I used Toytec's front swaybar relocation bracket, moving the bar forward to clear my larger diameter shocks. To keep the swaybars at the proper geometry I installed adjustable swaybar links. Because the front and rear swaybars mount differently, my front links are shorter and the rears are longer than stock links keeping the bars at optimum angles. My FJ has a 3 inch lift and cuts corners with absolutely zero body roll. Was all this necessary? Most likely not but I'm happy with the outcome and how my Cruiser handles on pavement.

Depending on the stiffness of your springs and shocks you may not require the use of swaybars but my recommendation is to retain them. You might consider performing a test. After completing your lift, carefully drive the vehicle Without the swaybars to determine if they are needed.

My story probably doesn't offer any useful help for you but I thought I'd share my experience. Attached is a photo of my setup with the Cusco bars and adjustable links.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 11:41 PM
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Re: Sway Bar Questions

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olongapo2 previously said: View Post
Capt,

I once owned a 80 series Landcruiser and installed a 4 inch suspension lift on it. Not having the correct parts at the time, I left the swaybars off. Big mistake! The vehicle cornered horribly. I had to custom fabricate parts to reconnect the swaybars but even then, the stock swaybars were not heavy enough to completely control body roll. A lesson learned for me. Having also built several street racers in my youth I know the value of properly tuned swaybars on coil sprung vehicles.

On my FJ, I replaced the stock swaybars with heavy duty bars from "Cusco". The Cusco bars are 50% larger in diameter than the stock Toyota bars. I used Toytec's front swaybar relocation bracket, moving the bar forward to clear my larger diameter shocks. To keep the swaybars at the proper geometry I installed adjustable swaybar links. Because the front and rear swaybars mount differently, my front links are shorter and the rears are longer than stock links keeping the bars at optimum angles. My FJ has a 3 inch lift and cuts corners with absolutely zero body roll. Was all this necessary? Most likely not but I'm happy with the outcome and how my Cruiser handles on pavement.

Depending on the stiffness of your springs and shocks you may not require the use of swaybars but my recommendation is to retain them. You might consider performing a test. After completing your lift, carefully drive the vehicle Without the swaybars to determine if they are needed.

My story probably doesn't offer any useful help for you but I thought I'd share my experience. Attached is a photo of my setup with the Cusco bars and adjustable links.
Now if the UCA was blue..... it would be perfect !!!!!
Nice set up...

cheers
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sway Bar Questions

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FJX2000 previously said: View Post
Are you sure the extended sway bar links aren't actually for the rear? Which kit did you get? What I've seen is that most lift kits replace the rear sway bar links before they would replace only the front ones.

Right now I am running without my rear sway bar and it isn't really much of a difference. Hardly noticeable. But running without the front on and only the rear, you will definitely notice a difference in how it feels when turning. I've never run without any sway bars at all but I can't imagine it being too much of a jump from running with only the rear. For folks who offroad a lot and want that extra flex, then sure, remove the sway bars. But if you drive your FJ as a daily-driver, having at least one sway bar will make it nicer.
I orderded the Freedom Offroad 2.5-5" adjustable. Looking at the links in the kit is what is leading me to believe it is the front which is being replaced. Angle tips on each end rather than one angle, and one strait end. But I could be wrong. Was doing a bit of assumption there. In the description, it just says extended swaybar links. So I could be completely wrong. But I figured it would be because that kit can go up to 5" of adjustment up front where the rear is 3" only. So figured the 3" was not enough to cause an issue, but going past 3 up front could. But I could be wrong. Trying to apply old logic from other rigs made differently, so I am worried about my margin of error in my thinking. But thanks for taking the time to respond.

"He who hammers his guns into plows will soon plow for he who does not." Thomas Jefferson

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sway Bar Questions

Quote:
olongapo2 previously said: View Post
Capt,

I once owned a 80 series Landcruiser and installed a 4 inch suspension lift on it. Not having the correct parts at the time, I left the swaybars off. Big mistake! The vehicle cornered horribly. I had to custom fabricate parts to reconnect the swaybars but even then, the stock swaybars were not heavy enough to completely control body roll. A lesson learned for me. Having also built several street racers in my youth I know the value of properly tuned swaybars on coil sprung vehicles.

On my FJ, I replaced the stock swaybars with heavy duty bars from "Cusco". The Cusco bars are 50% larger in diameter than the stock Toyota bars. I used Toytec's front swaybar relocation bracket, moving the bar forward to clear my larger diameter shocks. To keep the swaybars at the proper geometry I installed adjustable swaybar links. Because the front and rear swaybars mount differently, my front links are shorter and the rears are longer than stock links keeping the bars at optimum angles. My FJ has a 3 inch lift and cuts corners with absolutely zero body roll. Was all this necessary? Most likely not but I'm happy with the outcome and how my Cruiser handles on pavement.

Depending on the stiffness of your springs and shocks you may not require the use of swaybars but my recommendation is to retain them. You might consider performing a test. After completing your lift, carefully drive the vehicle Without the swaybars to determine if they are needed.

My story probably doesn't offer any useful help for you but I thought I'd share my experience. Attached is a photo of my setup with the Cusco bars and adjustable links.
I actually appreciate the input. Was considering keeping both, but fabbing up some quick disconnects for when I am wheeling. My last rig I deleted them, but that was leaf springs on all 4 corners, so a completely different world, I may keep them but tie them up out of the way and take a drive. Seems to be the most prudent thing. Eventually, I will upgrade the swaybars, and for sure either build adjustable or purchase them. I don't know a bunch about tuning a suspension, as my experience didn't use coilovers, but "I got a guy" so I am sure we can figure it out, of course, reachig in here for guidance along the way.

Thanks again.

"He who hammers his guns into plows will soon plow for he who does not." Thomas Jefferson

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 05:31 PM
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Re: Sway Bar Questions

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bazross previously said: View Post
Now if the UCA was blue..... it would be perfect !!!!!

Nice set up...



cheers

Baz



Those JBA’s look to be the best design and most cost effective UCA option I’ve seen. Doesn’t get much more simple than that


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 08:49 PM
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Re: Sway Bar Questions

Quote:
Cpt. Ray T previously said: View Post
I orderded the Freedom Offroad 2.5-5" adjustable. Looking at the links in the kit is what is leading me to believe it is the front which is being replaced. Angle tips on each end rather than one angle, and one strait end. But I could be wrong. Was doing a bit of assumption there. In the description, it just says extended swaybar links. So I could be completely wrong. But I figured it would be because that kit can go up to 5" of adjustment up front where the rear is 3" only. So figured the 3" was not enough to cause an issue, but going past 3 up front could. But I could be wrong. Trying to apply old logic from other rigs made differently, so I am worried about my margin of error in my thinking. But thanks for taking the time to respond.
I looked up the kit, it is this one right? https://www.freedomoffroadusa.com/14...901-2-kit.html

You are correct, those certainly are front sway bar links, which is interesting. But in the end whether or not you run a sway bar is up to you. Like I said, the big deciding factor for me is how much on-road vs off-road driving you do.

Thanks for bringing this kit to my attention, have never heard about it before, I will have to add it to the lift comparison thread!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 09:01 PM
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Re: Sway Bar Questions

MicrowaveOven,

Yep, the JBA UCA's are great! Solid design and easy to service. There are 3 different versions for the FJ. (1) Normal caster for non-lifted vehicles, (2) High caster for lifted vehicles, and (3) High caster heavy duty. The heavy duty version is a beast and not necessary unless you plan to take your Cruiser air-borne. Check out JBA's website which contain several videos showing the design advantage over other brands.
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