Simple quick disconnect for approx 0-3" of lift (ymmv)

Old 09-10-2016, 03:23 PM
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Spring Branch, Tx.
Posts: 74
Year: 96
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0l I6
Default Simple quick disconnect for approx 0-3" of lift (ymmv)

Everything on my Cherokee is done with budget in mind. I only have about 2 inches of lift and needed a way to disconnect the sway bar quickly for wheeling without having to purchase the fancier ones. I don't think the angle where the swaybar and link meet would handle much more than a 3" lift but YMMV. Here is my version of a quick disconnect that only cost me about $15 in parts and maybe 45 minutes. * Note * Depending on your level of rust a few hours to days of penetrating oil soaking may be needed.

Here is a parts and tool list.

Jack stands
Wheel chocks
Lug wrench
1/8" drill bits (I got 2 jic but only used the one)
Sockets and or wrenches (s.a.e. I believe but didn't note at install)
Grinder or file
Penetrating oil/general lubricant

2 - 7/16" Grade 8 washers
2 - M12 - 1.75 wing nuts
2 - M10 - 1.5 wing nuts
4 - 5/8" hitch pins

First off whenever possible park on as level a surface as possible. Chock the rear tires, jack up the front and put jackstands under the front axle then lower jack. Be sure stand doesn't interfere with the work area around the lower swaybar link mount. Remove the wheels for easier access (FYI, all this could probably be done on the ground with tires left on by just turning the wheel to gain access if there was no other choice). Remove top and bottom nuts holding the swaybar link in place but don't remove link or bushings. I don't remember the sizes but the top was around a 1/2 and lower around 5/8 I think. Replace the top nut with the smaller wing nut. Replace the lower nut with a washer then the larger wing nut. Snug up both wing nuts with the pliers. * Note * Passenger side nut will probably need a bit of grinding to clear track bar mount.

If had to do over I would have tightened the wing nuts a bit more with the pliers and redrilled my holes a little better so as to keep the wing nuts a bit tighter. That being said, with the wing nuts tightened mark the location and angle of the hole with the punch and hammer. Place the punch between the threads, making sure there is enough clearance above the wing nut so that there will be ample room to insert the pin, but not so far above that the wing nut can spin, then strike with hammer. Several blows are best to create a nice divot so the drill bit won't walk. Not too hard though, don't bend the ends. Being cautious of any parts in the way slowly drill the hole. TIP: sometimes it helps to start in reverse to smooth out the divot so the bit won't catch an edge and break. Also, slower speeds won't overheat the bit as much and a little WD-40 or other oil will help as well.

That's pretty much it. Blow off any shavings and install the pin and check clearances. Repeat on other side and your done. I always have some tools aboard and make sure I snug up the wing nuts after reinstalling so there isn't any rattling.

When I disconnect I just take the links and all the parts and stick them in a bag. The swaybar itself I hold up with a piece of coated wire run through a couple existing holes in the inner fender and cut to length so that a couple of wraps holds it up.

One thing to note, when reinstalling the links you'll need to be on as level a surface as possible or it is very difficult to thread the opposite side wing nut. Also, if doing alone it helps to install the lower link wing nut on one side first and tighten, lower the swaybar down to align the link so that when you go to the other side and lift the swaybar to insert that side's link through the hole the first link doesn't fall over but stays upright allowing the bar to return to the same position allowing you to install the wing nut. This may seem a little confusing now but you'll understand once you attempt to reinstall the links. Finish installing the rest of the wing nuts, washers and pins and your done. You should inspect the links occasionally as I've had a pin come out, although, the nut did stay. Enjoy that extra flex!
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