I am not quite sure how the topic arose or why I poked my head under the front of my truck to check out the sway bar. Perhaps it was the disconnect thread? More than likely is is my continuing quest to make my current truck everything that the last was.
On my last truck I had very simple front sway bar quick disconnects. The links once disconnected allowed the bar to rotate forward and lock in place along side the front recovery hooks. Lubricated polyurethane sway bar bushings allowed the easy rotation. Disconnected the truck was able to float effortlessly over the terrain.
The addition of the Energy Suspension Polyurethane sway bar bushings did improve on road handling. With tall sidewalls and narrow tires the improvement was a correction that brought the cornering abilities back closer to stock performance on smaller tires. The replacing the stock rubber bushings with the polyurethane bushings reduced the body roll 15%.
How did I determine this you ask?
Here is what I did.
I used a ramp. I pulled my left front tire up on the ramp and took measurements at all four fenders. This was done stock. Then with the sway bar disconnected and with polyurethane bushings installed. The difference from side to side was subtracted, then the difference was added to the rear. The percentages were calculated from there. The percentages did closely mirror the front alone. I wanted to add the rear measurements to allow for some frame twist. It didn't amount to much since the front alone was virtually the same percentages.
If we call disconnected our baseline the stock bushings decreased body roll by 6%. Poly bushings decreased body roll by 23%.
What does this mean? Well, having the sway bar disconnected and running the stock bushings , the body is tipped 6% less than with the bar attached. Once I added the poly bushings this percentage really increases and the body will tip with the frontend 23% more than it would with the bar disconnected. The bar being disconnected then makes a big difference.
Flash forward to the new truck...
Disconnecting the sway bar in the same way as the last is not an option. The bar can not swing up or down due to the upper a-arm and the steering tie-rod below. Still the Polyurethane sway bar bushings may offer an advantage.
This truck is heaver and even though the tires have less sidewall, that weight does make things pretty soft in the corners. Do I worry about articulation? Yes! Is this going to hurt it? A little, but as with any mod you must weight the pros and cons. In my case this is a daily driven rig and sees lots of loaded street duty. Some roll reduction would be to my advantage.
I ordered the front sway bar bushing and link kit from Summitracing.com - ENS-3-5214G FRONT SWAY BAR KIT
It came to $42 delivered.
Arrives soon, stay tuned...
Edited by HenryJ, 09 November 2012 - 01:47 PM.