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Discussion Starter #1
My rubicon sway bar is failing in an unusual way; when I disconnect it, only one side rotates freely. I've disassembled the whole thing and, sure enough, the passenger side does not rotate in the housing at all. It's as if the bar is frozen to the housing. I've done everything I can think of and can't break it free.

Has anyone seen this before? I know the housing is aluminum and the bar is steel. Could they have corroded together somewhere that I can't see?
 

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It sounds more like the collar isnt being driven far enough off the end of the rod. Your light on the dash going solid or blinking?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It sounds more like the collar isnt being driven far enough off the end of the rod. Your light on the dash going solid or blinking?
That's a good thought, but I've got the whole unit apart at this point. When apart, each side should turn freely but only one does.

It seems like there's a rust or corrosion issue, but I'm not sure how to break it down further unfortunately.
 

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There is no physical connection that I know of between the casing and the bars. Indeed with the unit removed from the jeep and the two halves of the bar locked together the entire casing should be able to rotate around the bar on nothing but the bar's seals. If one side is frozen to the casing the only thing I can think of is a build up of corrosion.

It all seems pretty strange though... the casing is held in position from naturally rotating with a rubber damper so if the bar is frozen to the casing then are you saying the entire casing is rotating against its rubber damper every time that particualr wheel is going over a bump?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There is no physical connection that I know of between the casing and the bars. Indeed with the unit removed from the jeep and the two halves of the bar locked together the entire casing should be able to rotate around the bar on nothing but the bar's seals. If one side is frozen to the casing the only thing I can think of is a build up of corrosion.

It all seems pretty strange though... the casing is held in position from naturally rotating with a rubber damper so if the bar is frozen to the casing then are you saying the entire casing is rotating against its rubber damper every time that particualr wheel is going over a bump?
Yes, that's what I'm saying. Or, rather, when disconnected that's the case. When both halves are locked together, the entire bar is immobile inside of the casing and a bump under either wheel causes the whole bar to rotate against the rubber damper. This is unlike any of the problems I've ever heard of with these sway bars, so I'm really surprised by it. Thanks for at understanding what I'm trying to describe!

I don't see any serious corrosion on the inside. There does appear to be a C clip that doesn't move, though, so there may be corrosion underneath that. I'm wondering if it could be a big buildup of corrosion under the seals, but I'm not really sure how to check. I feel as though the best thing to do would be to get that half of the bar out of the casing and clean it up, but I really have no idea how to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here's an update: I've been heating it up, hosing it with PB blaster, whacking it with a hammer every hour or so. This afternoon I went down to the basement and, following my love taps, the pb blaster turned rusty. I grabbed my trusty pipe wrench and damned if it didn't turn - barely. So the ritual is working. Definitely a ton of corrosion in there somewhere!

There's a lesson in this somewhere, but I'm too excited to figure out what it is. When I do put this back together, I'll be using rtv to make gaskets instead of the cheap paper one, and I'm planning to add a zerk fitting.
 

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Yes, that's what I'm saying. Or, rather, when disconnected that's the case. When both halves are locked together, the entire bar is immobile inside of the casing and a bump under either wheel causes the whole bar to rotate against the rubber damper. This is unlike any of the problems I've ever heard of with these sway bars, so I'm really surprised by it. Thanks for at understanding what I'm trying to describe!

I don't see any serious corrosion on the inside. There does appear to be a C clip that doesn't move, though, so there may be corrosion underneath that. I'm wondering if it could be a big buildup of corrosion under the seals, but I'm not really sure how to check. I feel as though the best thing to do would be to get that half of the bar out of the casing and clean it up, but I really have no idea how to do that.
Yup... never heard of that one before, but it doesn't surprise me. These "smart" bars are not very waterproof and once water gets in there is no real drainage for it to get back out. It sits in there and rots everything.
 

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Yep, thinking on it further, @bobsanders is right, even locked, it should still turn freely vs the casing. Sounds like you are working it out, though. I have a spare bar without the internals if you end up needing one.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yep, thinking on it further, @bobsanders is right, even locked, it should still turn freely vs the casing. Sounds like you are working it out, though. I have a spare bar without the internals if you end up needing one.
Thanks, I appreciate that! I actually have one, too, just in case, but it's looking like this is all going to work out. It still takes some effort with a pipe wrench to turn it but it looks like I'll be able to get the debris out of there eventually. Just a matter of time.

With RTV gaskets and a zerk fitting, I think I'll be able to keep this from ever happening again. It's so strange to me that they wouldn't have sealed the thing up properly, but I guess that's how FCA is.
 
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