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Atypical swaybar fab question

KY Chris

NAXJA Forum User
Louisville, KY
Hey metal biznitches and anyone who knows more about sway bars than me, which is most of you. What kind of steel are swaybars made of? Spring steel of some sort? How hard would this steel be to bend? Say you wanted some big beefy sway bars...could you replicate the factory bends and use bigger mounts? Is this booty fab?
Beezil said:
you could easily make a swaybar out of HREW, but I prefer DOM.

then again, you couold always use a branch, or even some teak.

WHAT ! :eek:

Last time this subject came up, you said schedule 40 was the way to go. Why the change of heart? :confused:

OK, you ask Why, Chris.

yes, they are made of spring steel. All the above won't work. If I were to make my own, I would check with Sway-A-Way. They make solid and hollow bars is a variety of lengths and diameters.

Get a straight bar from Sway-A-Way of the desired thickness and long enough to extend approx. 1 1/2" beyond the frame rails on each side. These bars have splined ends. You get arms that attach to the splined ends with pinch bolts to secure them. The arms can be bent to match up with the width of the links on your axle and can have multiple attachment holes to vary the roll stiffenss.

Yup, that's what I would do...
I think the spobi detector is pretty much fried after this thread.

Max, you should never used PIPE for anything!

why waste your money on pipe, EMT is waaaayyyyyy cheaper.

use compression fittings on both ends instead of the set screw type for ultimate strength
I thought about using EMT since I usually keep a good supply around for building roll cages, but the galvanized coating makes it unsuitable for sway bars.

The EMT has a zinc coating that creates a "GALVANIC" reaction. I'm sure everyone is aware of the Dangerous River Crossing or DRC that could result from a "GALVANIC" reaction while submerged in river water. DRC should be taken seriously.

Besides the DRC, the zinc coating, when heated by friction, can also gum up the bearings at either end of the bar. This is another common condition usually referred to as "Gummy Bars". The increased coefficient of friction leads to sluggish transient response and the resulting heating of the sway bar, causes it to bend like a taco.

I use the formula:

DRC + Gummy Bars + Taco <> XJ + fun
PVC is the way to go. I would locate a couple sticks of 1.5" in the schedule 80 flavor. The only problem is that paint does not stick to PVC very well. The benefit is............... PVC won't rust. So your steering won't end up like Buzecky's.

I thought that pvc might crack in the winter when it gets real cold. I guess you could fill it with antifreeze. I thought that SCH 80 PVC was best because it's usually already gray so you don't gave to paint it. OTOH, Speedrail fittings and pipe is definately more versatile in case you need to make a design change.
Okay, I'll try a serious answer. I wanted the same thing for my 3/4 GMC van. I got a sway bar from my local pull-a-part yard for $12 that is the same as the one that came on the vehicle. I cut about 4 inches off of each end and rigged it in parallel with the existing bar. I u-bolted a pair of plates to it and then bolted the plates to oem sway bar bushings that I put on the original bar and adjacent the original bushings that connect the original bar to the frame. At the ends of the bar, I used another plate and u-bolts to hard connect the bars together. The u-bolts were removed from various u-joints and just I picked them up off the ground at the pull-a-part.
The easiest way of all is to find an early XJ Wagoneer in a scrap yard. They have huge sway bars compared to other XJs.

Second best way is what MaXJohnson suggested.