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Old 12-28-2012, 10:32 AM   #1
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Sway bar & link questions

Hey all,

So I have a '98 sport that had a lift installed by P.O. I am still working my way through to figure out what is *right* & *wrong*....new 33" BFG A/T's, skyjacker 4" lift (I know..I know...), SYE & CV driveshaft, new gears in axles, plenty of low end torque & is fine at highway speeds. Just wanders a bit.

So far I had 2 valve stems leaking that have been fixed so tires hold correct air pressure (running around 30 - 33psi).

I also found the toe-in was 1/16" OUT....I adjusted & now it is 1/8" in, drives much better!

Still slightly wandering on the highway though, but not as bad as before.

I did find a very worn looking sway-bar bushing, so I have some new ones coming from Quadratec, should be here today.


Question is, sway bar angles, front looks close to horizontal, rear is angled up a bit. Is this OK? JKS website says angle should be 5 - 15, ideally 10 degrees up.

Sway bar links that are currently on the vehicle I *believe* are longer than stock, if someone could verify for me?
Rear - 9" eye to eye.
Front - 9.5" eye to eye, 11" including bracket on top that bolts to sway bar.

I was thinking I needed longer ones, but after measuring what is on the jeep, I think they may be OK? I don't think these are the stock ones.

I do know the factory control arms are stock, & I think that may be affecting the handling. Planning on a set of adjustable front lowers & rear uppers (if needed), still need to pick up an angle finder to verify for sure.

Thanks for any help.
Jeff

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Old 12-28-2012, 12:30 PM   #2
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First thing I would do is get rid of some of the air pressure in your tires. You will probably notice a big improvement at around 26-28. Also check all the joints at tie rod, drag link, and ball joints. Your sway bar links may look long due to sagging springs. Skyjacker springs are not known for durability.

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Old 12-28-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
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It doesn't matter what angle your sway bar is at, Think about it why would the angle matter as long as it's not pointing down? No need to buy an angle finder just make sure everything clears. If it looks flat it's good enough. All I know is my Antirock looks 10 degrees up but I never bothered to measure it because I have no interference issues. It works fine.

Get rid of the Skycrapper springs in favor of Currie and shocks in favor of some Bilsteins or Ranchos, get some adjustable control arms with Johnny Joints on both ends, do an alignment in your driveway and be amazed at how well it drives. You shouldn't wander anymore.

I'm assuming the PO put a transfercase drop, when you get your adjustable CA's in get a SYE and driveshaft.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:52 PM   #4
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Just above horizontal for the antiswaybar arms is what you want. Lower than that and the arms could flip inverted if your suspension droops down far enough. And X2 on the 26-28 psi being ideal for your 33x12.50 tires. Your current 30-33 psi is indeed excessive which would only be correct for smaller like 30" size tires.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info guys.

I'll drop pressure some more to get under 30.

The reason I was asking about the sway bar, is because there were a number of posts regarding lifts being installed but stock sway bar links left on, & the general consensus was the links needed to be extended in order for sway bars to work as originally designed. I just wanted to verify if I needed longer ones or not, but by the sounds of it I think mine are already longer, so I think that should be OK.

The angle-finder comment was more in regards to measuring my caster.
Since it has a lift but stock control arms, I'm guessing that it may be too low currently. From the reading I've done sounds like 6 degrees should be about right?
I was reading & trying to digest all the info here: The "End-all, Be-all TJ Alignment thread" (LONG read) - JeepForum.com

Will longer adjustable front lower control arms cause me to need different parts (drive shaft etc) or is there enough wiggle room that I can get the caster dialed in with the LCA's?

There already is a SYE installed as well as a CV driveshaft so I'm hoping I won't have to mess with that.

I'll budget for better springs & shocks in the future if the SJ stuff is poor.

Again, I appreciate your input.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:11 PM   #6
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Hey guys, update:

I replaced the rear sway bar bushings as well as the bushing in the ends of the links. The passenger side bushing was quite bad.

I didn't have time to check any angles, was getting dark!

I do have another question regarding steering/handling.

From what I can tell, it seems that the large majority of setups do not actually need a drop pitman arm, correct?
The drag link and track bar are supposed to be parallel right?

Sorry for the blurry pic, but I believe I have a drop pitman arm installed, and from what I can, would likely have a better "parallel" set of drag link/track bar with a stock pitman arm.

So why do so many guys put on drop pitman arms, only to bring on handling issues such as bump steer???....is it a clearance thing or what?

Thanks all.

Appreciate the info, I am a jeep newb but learning.
Jeff
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:16 PM   #7
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Dropped Pitman arms were commonly installed on older CJs & Wrangler YJs to correct a steering geometry issue that happened whenever the suspension was lifted. The '97 and newer Wrangler TJs have a much improved steering system/geometry that isn't usually affected by commonly installed suspension lift heights. The only times a TJ normally needs a dropped Pitman arm is when it is needed to compensate for an aftermarket dropped track bar mount which is rarely installed. The TJ's Pitman arm & track bar must match... both must be undropped or both must be dropped. Dropping one without the other will just cause bump steer from the resulting screwed-up geometry.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:59 PM   #8
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Good info, thanks Jerry!

So I'll add a stock pitman arm to the list of things I need to change
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:18 PM   #9
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Sweet! local guy had a stock pitman arm & gave it to me. (thanks Ed from craigslist )

Hoping to get it swapped on this weekend. the drop pitman arm that will be coming off will go to a new home for free as well if someone has a use for it.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:00 PM   #10
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Pitman arm replaced with stock. You can see the drop that came off.
Not bad, spray with pb blaster night before, put puller on and let sit over night, today popped right off with little heat.



Attachment 194964



Attachment 194965
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:06 PM   #11
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Replaced the Pitman arm with stock, installed new front sway bar bushings, and reset toe in. Driving much better now. Next on list will be better shocks eventually.

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