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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Disconnecting your sway bars is a relatively cheap way to both gain suspension articulation and ride comfort off road. Sway bars (more properly called "anti-roll" bars) are basically large springs that connect to both ends of a given axle, and also are attached to the frame for leverage. The basic job of the sway bar is to keep the body from rolling relative to the suspension, or looking at it another way, keep both sides of the suspension at the same plane, parallel to the body.

While this is a good thing on the street, it is exactly what you don't want your suspension doing off-road. It means that every time one wheel of your rig climbs a rock or bump, the sway bar is going to try and force the body level with the new angle of the suspension. This causes the body to lurch back and forth much more aggressively than is warranted, and also takes some of the "independent" out of the IFS.

With the sway bar out of the picture, we see multiple benefits off road. Each wheel can move independently, without unduly forcing the body to follow. This means the body does a lot less of that lurching back and forth, which otherwise can get quite tiring after a full day on the trail. Individual wheels can articulate more freely since they don't have to fight the resistance of the sway bar, moving both easier and farther than before, improving traction by keeping the wheels in contact with the ground more easily. And you don't risk snapping a sway bar link, or the sway bar itself, during violent movements.

So how to disconnect the sway bar? At present, no commercial entity offers disconnects for Isuzus. Planet member Hatfield has offered kits in the past, not sure if he is still doing that. But it isn't all that difficult to make your own disconnects.

I have tried several configurations of disconnects over the years, and here is the design I have settled on for a set of front disconnects. You will need:

Qty 4: McMaster-Carr #6058K34 Ball Joint Linkage Quick-Disconnect, steel, 3/8"-24 Right-Hand Thread (you can also get the same in stainless for about double the price)

2 lengths of sturdy 3/8"-24 threaded rod, Grade 8 preferred (McMaster-Carr doesn't appear to carry 3/8"-24 in Grade 8, but I suspect the medium-duty #92580A109 would work just fine…fortunately if you break a sway bar link it won't prevent you from getting home). The exact length of the links is not super critical here, but the new links should be in the ballpark of the factory links for best clearance on all suspension components. What is critical is that both links must be the same length for proper operation when connected.

You will also need to source 4 nuts to serve as jamb nuts on the threaded rod, and 4 more nuts and washers to mount the ball studs on the lower control arms and sway bar ends.

What this kit will give you is a sway bar link that can be removed entirely, rather than leaving one end attached to the sway bar as is typical (then you just bungee one side of the sway bar to a shock tower). This means you don't have to mess with strapping the link back to the sway bar to keep it out of the way, which is something of a PITA. And if you have the uprated Calmini sway bars like I do, the additional thickness of the bars makes it really difficult to get the link flat and out of the way against the bar.

Keep in mind this is a design for an off-road truck, my Trooper is not a DD and I am much less concerned about any noise from a loose link end than some folks might be - not that I've heard any noise, but my truck is fairly noisy as it is.

For the rear sway bars, you can use the same design (just note that the links need to be longer), or use a permanent attachment to the sway bar such as M-C #6058K28. I have found this works well in the rear, as it is easy to strap the link back to the sway bar since it is straight.

There are other choices out there too, for example you can use connectors other than the ball-and-socket I used (browse through the McMaster-Carr catalog for a while, it's fun if you are into this sort of thing). In fact I encourage others to post their designs here, mine is not the only or necessarily best way to go.

And before you ask, I don't have pictures yet. I just typed this up on the fly and it is 15F degrees right now so I don't feel like lying under the Trooper taking pictures. But I will try to remedy this soon.

While I labeled this as for 2nd gen Troopers, it is entirely possible this design might work on other Isuzus too... I am pretty sure that first gen Troopers use different type of links, though, and I don't know what Rodeos/Amigos have.
 

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Thx for the write up dude, when things thaw out throw some pics into the mix
 

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Nice. I've been thinking about this too. Look forward to seeing the pics.
 

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Great write up!!

BigSwede said:
Disconnecting your sway bars is a relatively cheap way to both gain suspension articulation and ride comfort off road. Sway bars (more properly called "anti-roll" bars) are basically large springs that connect to both ends of a given axle, and also are attached to the frame for leverage. The basic job of the sway bar is to keep the body from rolling relative to the suspension, or looking at it another way, keep both sides of the suspension at the same plane, parallel to the body.

While this is a good thing on the street, it is exactly what you don't want your suspension doing off-road. It means that every time one wheel of your rig climbs a rock or bump, the sway bar is going to try and force the body level with the new angle of the suspension. This causes the body to lurch back and forth much more aggressively than is warranted, and also takes some of the "independent" out of the IFS.

With the sway bar out of the picture, we see multiple benefits off road. Each wheel can move independently, without unduly forcing the body to follow. This means the body does a lot less of that lurching back and forth, which otherwise can get quite tiring after a full day on the trail. Individual wheels can articulate more freely since they don't have to fight the resistance of the sway bar, moving both easier and farther than before, improving traction by keeping the wheels in contact with the ground more easily. And you don't risk snapping a sway bar link, or the sway bar itself, during violent movements.

So how to disconnect the sway bar? At present, no commercial entity offers disconnects for Isuzus. Planet member Hatfield has offered kits in the past, not sure if he is still doing that. But it isn't all that difficult to make your own disconnects.

I have tried several configurations of disconnects over the years, and here is the design I have settled on for a set of front disconnects. You will need:

Qty 4: McMaster-Carr #6058K34 Ball Joint Linkage Quick-Disconnect, steel, 3/8"-24 Right-Hand Thread (you can also get the same in stainless for about double the price)

2 lengths of sturdy 3/8"-24 threaded rod, Grade 8 preferred (McMaster-Carr doesn't appear to carry 3/8"-24 in Grade 8, but I suspect the medium-duty #92580A109 would work just fine…fortunately if you break a sway bar link it won't prevent you from getting home). The exact length of the links is not super critical here, but the new links should be in the ballpark of the factory links for best clearance on all suspension components. What is critical is that both links must be the same length for proper operation when connected.

You will also need to source 4 nuts to serve as jamb nuts on the threaded rod, and 4 more nuts and washers to mount the ball studs on the lower control arms and sway bar ends.

What this kit will give you is a sway bar link that can be removed entirely, rather than leaving one end attached to the sway bar as is typical (then you just bungee one side of the sway bar to a shock tower). This means you don't have to mess with strapping the link back to the sway bar to keep it out of the way, which is something of a PITA. And if you have the uprated Calmini sway bars like I do, the additional thickness of the bars makes it really difficult to get the link flat and out of the way against the bar.

Keep in mind this is a design for an off-road truck, my Trooper is not a DD and I am much less concerned about any noise from a loose link end than some folks might be - not that I've heard any noise, but my truck is fairly noisy as it is.

For the rear sway bars, you can use the same design (just note that the links need to be longer), or use a permanent attachment to the sway bar such as M-C #6058K28. I have found this works well in the rear, as it is easy to strap the link back to the sway bar since it is straight.

There are other choices out there too, for example you can use connectors other than the ball-and-socket I used (browse through the McMaster-Carr catalog for a while, it's fun if you are into this sort of thing). In fact I encourage others to post their designs here, mine is not the only or necessarily best way to go.

And before you ask, I don't have pictures yet. I just typed this up on the fly and it is 15F degrees right now so I don't feel like lying under the Trooper taking pictures. But I will try to remedy this soon.

While I labeled this as for 2nd gen Troopers, it is entirely possible this design might work on other Isuzus too... I am pretty sure that first gen Troopers use different type of links, though, and I don't know what Rodeos/Amigos have.
 

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Below is the parts list that I ordered from McMaster-Carr to build the quick disconnect sway bar links. Had to buy the nuts and washers in pack quantities. Iinstead of threaded rod I opted for a pre threaded connecting rod that should make the assembly 1" longer. I'll post pictures when the package arrives. Thanks for sharing your design BigSwede!!!!

1 2 each 6516K21 Right-Hand Threaded Connecting Rod 6" Overall Length, 3/8"-24 Threaded Male Ends Monday morning $7.90 each 15.80
2 1 pack 93839A815 Zinc Yellow Plated Grade 8 Steel Thin Hex Nut 3/8"-24 Thread Size, 9/16" Width, 7/32" Height, packs of 50 Monday morning $9.85 pack 9.85
3 1 pack 94191A350 MIL Spec Grade 8 Steel Hex Nut 3/8"-24 Thread Size, 9/16" W, 21/64" H, MS51968-9, packs of 10 Monday morning $5.31 pack 5.31
4 1 pack 98032A514 MIL Spec Cadmium-Pltd Steel Flat Washer 3/8" Screw Sz, .82" OD, .05"-.08" Thk, MS27183-14, packs of 50 Monday morning $6.38 pack 6.38
5 4 each 6058K34 Ball Joint Linkage Quick-Disconnect, STL, 3/8"-24 Right-Hand Thrd Size Monday morning $6.69 each 26.76

Merchandise total
$64.10
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice, maybe you can sell some nuts and washers to offset costs...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I should mention that, for my Calmini HD front sway bar, the ball stud had to go on the back side of the bar end due to the angle of the mounting surface. This may not apply for stock sway bars. Either way can work as long as it clears and the links can pivot properly.
 

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Just FYI, you can not do disconnects on the rear of a Rodeo. Unlike the Trooper, our bar mounts are on the axle. Trooper has them on the frame and the links connect to the axle. Only option for the rodeo is to remove it during wheeling season.

Here's my front ones..





Mine arent fully removable so I have to strap them to the bar. Not an issue with the Rodeo. For the rods I just threaded some mild steel round stock. Never bent one and was strong enough that the last sway bar snapped without any damage to the links.
 

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Kozak said:
Below is the parts list that I ordered from McMaster-Carr to build the quick disconnect sway bar links. Had to buy the nuts and washers in pack quantities. Iinstead of threaded rod I opted for a pre threaded connecting rod that should make the assembly 1" longer. I'll post pictures when the package arrives. Thanks for sharing your design BigSwede!!!!

1 2 each 6516K21 Right-Hand Threaded Connecting Rod 6" Overall Length, 3/8"-24 Threaded Male Ends Monday morning $7.90 each 15.80
2 1 pack 93839A815 Zinc Yellow Plated Grade 8 Steel Thin Hex Nut 3/8"-24 Thread Size, 9/16" Width, 7/32" Height, packs of 50 Monday morning $9.85 pack 9.85
3 1 pack 94191A350 MIL Spec Grade 8 Steel Hex Nut 3/8"-24 Thread Size, 9/16" W, 21/64" H, MS51968-9, packs of 10 Monday morning $5.31 pack 5.31
4 1 pack 98032A514 MIL Spec Cadmium-Pltd Steel Flat Washer 3/8" Screw Sz, .82" OD, .05"-.08" Thk, MS27183-14, packs of 50 Monday morning $6.38 pack 6.38
5 4 each 6058K34 Ball Joint Linkage Quick-Disconnect, STL, 3/8"-24 Right-Hand Thrd Size Monday morning $6.69 each 26.76

Merchandise total
$64.10
Just received my components and will install this weekend. I'll get pic's up as soon as I can.

BE AWARE THAT THE CONNECTING RODS ARE ALUMINUM.

I was not aware of that prior to ordering. I'll go ahead with the install and let you know if they fail.
 

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A few pic's of my first try.



 

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Gizmo42 said:
Just FYI, you can not do disconnects on the rear of a Rodeo. Unlike the Trooper, our bar mounts are on the axle. Trooper has them on the frame and the links connect to the axle. Only option for the rodeo is to remove it during wheeling season.

Here's my front ones..



Mine aren't fully removable so I have to strap them to the bar. Not an issue with the Rodeo. For the rods I just threaded some mild steel round stock. Never bent one and was strong enough that the last sway bar snapped without any damage to the links.
Are those 1/2" rod ends? Looking to do the same for my Trooper. For reference:

http://pitstopusa.com/i-5075371-qa1-ef- ... emale.html

About the cheapest rodends I have found.

(The quick release rod ends that Kozak is using tend to be rather noisy after a little use.)

How to make your own pins:


Might go with a male style rodend like this:

http://pitstopusa.com/i-5075380-qa1-em- ... -male.html

and then use a steel suspension tube and jam nuts for a little bling:

http://pitstopusa.com/i-5082956-ub-mach ... hread.html

-Wayne
 

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Thanks..

My Trooper is at the tranny shop right now, so can't go measure it. (Good news - fixed for FREE! Very happy.)

-Wayne
 

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I'm gonna try Bigswede's design with a small change. I'm using metric sizing and thread. Parts should be in tomorrow.
 

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I can't take any credit for the design. BigSwede pointed me in this direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
And I should give credit to Hatfield for turning me on to the McMaster-Carr parts.
 

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I'm making rod end disconnects... the ball and socket quick disconnects jammed up shortly and were hard to release. Even after cleaning and greasing they gave me problems. The sockets were at bad angles too, may just be a gen2 rodeo thing. Rod ends from local hardware store seem expensive. They're for lawn tractor steering I guess
 
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