How often do you disconnect?

shade

Well-known member
It's more than just lifting tires in rocks. Sway bars by their nature cause an opposing force across the axle which in effect causes the suspension and body to squat when it's active (called suspension jacking). This is usually what you want when the road surface is durable and flat and you have both wheels on it.

But a sway bar will work against you when one tire is no longer on that smooth, flat surface. One such case is if you run a wheel over the edge of a roadway. There's a point in a grade cross section called the hinge point, where the mostly flat slope transitions to become steeper. If the sway bar is trying to keep your body plane parallel to this newly steeper plane you reinforce the tendency for center of mass (which you doubt raised with a RTT or roof rack with MaxTrax, shovel and Hi-Lift) to push you over.

Another case is pot holes, corrugations and washboard. Having the sway bar impart a cross-axle force tends to unsettle suspension so instead of each shock independently damping oscillations you get more jarring.

It doesn't have to be rock crawling for there to be benefits to disconnecting your sway bar and letting the suspension articulate. Also increasing spring or damping rates can alleviate some of the body lean and sway issues that the sway bar was originally compensating for.
Agreed.

Ideally, I'd want the ability to disconnect the front bar on my Tacoma, but there isn't a simple solution for that, and unlike the 4Runner, Toyota doesn't even offer KDSS on the Tacoma. I know the compromise I'm making by leaving it installed, and for the way I use my truck, it's the right way to go.
 

shade

Well-known member
I agree strongly. Even the best shock package can't fully mitigate the moment of inertia created by a high and loaded 4x4 during an emergency maneuver. Even if the rig doesn't roll, the loss of control due to lateral weight shift can be disastrous.

Typically to get the same roll resistance without a sway bar, you need much stiffer primary springs. Hence why most MFGs use sway bars, for the best compromise between comfort and safety.

It would also be worthwhile seeing how much articulation loss you have with the sway bar connected. Just jack up under one side of the axle to see when the wheel lift occurs with/without. The difference may not be significant, depending on the bar stiffness, vehicle weight, etc.
The way modern stability systems interact with the suspension could also be a factor.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
The way modern stability systems interact with the suspension could also be a factor.
Part of the calculations used to design a stability control system is the roll stiffness, so dramatically altering that can impact the effectiveness of these systems. Typically they have a very fast response time, which helps with dynamic situations, but it may still cause over compensation in some cases.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
I would also like to mention that having stiff sway bars on a tall heavy vehicle operating off road can cause unwanted issues if the shocks have insufficient low speed damping. The swap bars can become loaded by an off angle bump or hole. This loading can cause the vehicle to violently sway left to right, often several times if the moment of inertia is high and the damping is low. Worst case it can compromise stability in heavy off camber situations. My opinion is that this is less of a concern than the on road risk of operating without one though.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Agreed.

Ideally, I'd want the ability to disconnect the front bar on my Tacoma, but there isn't a simple solution for that, and unlike the 4Runner, Toyota doesn't even offer KDSS on the Tacoma. I know the compromise I'm making by leaving it installed, and for the way I use my truck, it's the right way to go.
KDSS throws a completely new variable in since it counteracts the sway bar tendency to squat the suspension at slow speed. In the 150 Prado/Lexus GX that apparently translates to about 4" more rear axle travel.


That's not applicable to our Tacomas which don't have a rear sway bar from the factory. It's not quite as dramatic an RTI improvement because of that. But OTOH we have rear leafs so the rear travel is inherently worse.

My experience is no front sway bar does help even with the fundamental limitations of IFS (torsion bar no less), though.

rubithon_23_mid_articulation_lines.jpg
 

Outdoorsben

Observer
awesome convo's everyone. I have disco'd for harder trails but dirt roads I usually leave it connected. The pain is when the dirt road becomes a harder trail. Might try and just disconnect everytime there is dirt. I have quick disco's anyway. Have you seen the JKS links that have the coil in them. I am guess it's similar in theory to the antirock.
 

shade

Well-known member
Have you seen the JKS links that have the coil in them.
Nope. Link?

The only somewhat viable disconnect method I've seen for my truck is a set of end links with a telescoping rod in the middle. The ends stay attached to prevent the bar from flailing into something, but the telescoping sections are reported to rattle loudly. Not what I want, but I keep looking for possible solutions.
 

Cascade Wanderer

Adventurer
Gosh - out of my league here! :)

I just drive my Jeep on scenic dirt roads to cool places and almost never disconnect the sway bar. Seem to get where I want to go anyway. If I sought out tougher routes, I'd disconnect more often. I'd probably disconnect it more often if I just had a pushbutton on the dash to disconnect it too.

Just throwing this out there, 'cause I'm sure there are some newer folks to our world, who might think from the comments on this thread, that disconnecting the sway bar is mandatory for any dirt road travel. Nope. :) It has benefits to be sure, but for just driving dirt & gravel roads to cool places, I honestly don't see the need. Then again, I almost never use my front locker either, again, just not necessary to get where I want to go.

Regards, Guy
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
Again, that's why the Curie Anti-Rock is nice (if you've got a Jeep that there's an application for it). It is like the middle road; a light (adjustable) sway bar. You're not disconnected, but you've still got movement available. I don't know what folks with IFS have as options.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
Nope. Link?

The only somewhat viable disconnect method I've seen for my truck is a set of end links with a telescoping rod in the middle. The ends stay attached to prevent the bar from flailing into something, but the telescoping sections are reported to rattle loudly. Not what I want, but I keep looking for possible solutions.
I think these are the JKS links mentioned previously with the springs:


According to the link:

The Flex Connect is customizable to meet your driving needs and compatible most lifts on the market. Along with the standard spring set that is included with the Flex Connect, JKS offers 3 spring sets that can be mixed and matched to tune the vehicles roll stiffness, all of which can be installed in a matter of minutes using the supplied spanner wrenches whether you’re in the driveway or at the trailhead. The red springs are a high rate/low travel spring for ideal for on-road driving. The yellow “trail” springs are a mid rate/mid travel design offering optimal on/off-road performance. The blue “crawl” springs use a low rate with maximum travel to enhance suspension articulation while maintaining off-camber stability. When the terrain gets too extreme even for the Flex Connect, the links are easily disconnected with a quick release pin to allow full articulation of your Jeep’s suspension. Improve your Jeep’s performance with the flex connect from JKS Manufacturing.

I emailed JKS to find out about the different colored springs, and how much they cost. Interesting concept.
 
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shade

Well-known member
I think these are the JKS links mentioned previously with the springs:


According to the link above:

The Flex Connect is customizable to meet your driving needs and compatible most lifts on the market. Along with the standard spring set that is included with the Flex Connect, JKS offers 3 spring sets that can be mixed and matched to tune the vehicles roll stiffness, all of which can be installed in a matter of minutes using the supplied spanner wrenches whether you’re in the driveway or at the trailhead. The red springs are a high rate/low travel spring for ideal for on-road driving. The yellow “trail” springs are a mid rate/mid travel design offering optimal on/off-road performance. The blue “crawl” springs use a low rate with maximum travel to enhance suspension articulation while maintaining off-camber stability. When the terrain gets too extreme even for the Flex Connect, the links are easily disconnected with a quick release pin to allow full articulation of your Jeep’s suspension. Improve your Jeep’s performance with the flex connect from JKS Manufacturing.
Thanks for the link.

It'd take a redesign, but that concept could work for a Toyota Tacoma. I'm going to email them.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
Seems like they would be a universal fit for any vehicle that has a swaybar with end links. And if you can fine-tune them with different rated little springs, even better. I'm sure my big truck would use different springs in the link compared to a TJ or smaller vehicle. This could be a game-changer.
 

shade

Well-known member
Seems like they would be a universal fit for any vehicle that has a swaybar with end links. And if you can fine-tune them with different rated little springs, even better. I'm sure my big truck would use different springs in the link compared to a TJ or smaller vehicle.
I think there'd be a need to redesign the attachment points and possibly the length of some parts; nothing too difficult.
 

shade

Well-known member
Quick response, but not all that encouraging:

"Being that we only design and build parts for jeep, we have not considered building anything for Toyotas. But I will gladly pass along the interest to our sister companies to see if they feel they would be a beneficial product to have! Thanks for your input!"

I'll keep my eyes out for the Jeep kit. I'd like to examine it without ordering.
 
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