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Discussion Starter #1
I've stumbled into a setup that i think works for me and i'm wondering if anyone else is doing similar on their rigs.

I removed the front swaybar, mainly because i didn't install longer endlinks when i did my spacer/UCA install and the endlinks were binding at full extension, which eventually trashed the swaybar bushings. I had reinstalled the rear sway before to firm up the ride a bit, which it did.

after i got used to the extra body roll and the body "following" the rear tires rather than the front over imperfections in the road, i've found that it seems to distribute suspension flex more evenly between the front and rear tires.

Here are a couple pics before, with the rear sway removed and the front swaybar still installed, on Engineer pass in CO. note the front tire is about 1/2 inch off the ground so i'd say the rear suspension is about maxed.
From the rear:


From the front:



now, here is a pic from after reinstalling the rear sway and subsequently removing the front sway, mild environment, just a parking lot but notice the amount of "flex" out of the front end:



Hopefully i'll have some more pics of the amount of flex with this setup in a couple weeks after an offroading trip, but notice how there is almost the same amount of difference between right and left fronts with relatively smaller required flexing of the rear suspension. I believe that having a more even distribution between front and rear suspension allows the whole system to work better together to articulate over obstacles rather than having very little flex in the front end and the majority of articulation coming from the rear suspension.

What says the rest of you?

as a bonus, here's a pic from last hunting season after getting stuck and then un-stuck via generous use of the loud pedal:
 

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I've been wondering about the front sway bar since I removed my rear last wknd. I can't imagine not having the front for on-road use and didn't know how much more articulation it would add without it. I do know the rear is pretty pathetic - just a small diameter, thin walled tube. It doesn't do much.

It's interesting what you've done... How does it drive on the road with just the rear sway bar???

I edited your pic to see it better -

 
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Quite a few people run without the front sway bar after suspension mods. I guess with stiffer coils you can get away with it more because there is loss body roll.

Also depends on your suspension set up. I believe if you have stock UCA's and/or stock travel coilovers taking off the front sway bar won't do too much because you don't have any extra travel anyway, the UCA's stop the droop before the sway bar.
 

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I personally haven't noticed much of a difference off-road without the front sway bar I ditched mine after my lift because the end links are now too short and I was getting a popping sound from them every turn I made. On the highway its a big difference but after a few days of driving I got used to it.
 

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i used to normally disconnect my front swaybar when airing down to go offroad, it resulted in much better articulation and a softer ride, this is very noticable even on road, the truck seems to soak up bumps alot better. now turning sucks because the truck leans like a mofo, so i normally reinstall the front sway when airing back up, i disconnect the swaybar by unbolting the endlinks.
i recently installed timbrens on the front and it was alot better driving on road without the front swaybar installed, the truck still leans a little bit, until you hit the timbren bumpstops and then it is stable.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've been wondering about the front sway bar since I removed my rear last wknd. I can't imagine not having the front for on-road use and didn't know how much more articulation it would add without it. I do know the rear is pretty pathetic - just a small diameter, thin walled tube. It doesn't do much.

It's interesting what you've done... How does it drive on the road with just the rear sway bar???

I edited your pic to see it better -

Thanks, it was just a quick cell phone pic when I noticed it, this was right after the front sway removal. With the front removed, the body will want to follow the road with the rear tires rather than the front, so if the road changes slope ahead, you feel the front soak it up first, then the body kicks over a second later when the rear suspension (controlled by the sway) reach it. Once you get used to it, you hardly notice. With the rear sway still installed, the body doesn't sway too much like I think it would with no sways.

I have seen the currie antilock sway bar sets for the wrangler, geared towards balanced front and rear flex while offroad, and still keeping reasonable ride and handling onroad.

http://www.currieenterprises.com/cestore/antirock.aspx
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Sorry to thread jack but how did you get lights on the grill?


Thanks, it was just a quick cell phone pic when I noticed it, this was right after the front sway removal. With the front removed, the body will want to follow the road with the rear tires rather than the front, so if the road changes slope ahead, you feel the front soak it up first, then the body kicks over a second later when the rear suspension (controlled by the sway) reach it. Once you get used to it, you hardly notice. With the rear sway still installed, the body doesn't sway too much like I think it would with no sways.

I have seen the currie antilock sway bar sets for the wrangler, geared towards balanced front and rear flex while offroad, and still keeping reasonable ride and handling onroad.

http://www.currieenterprises.com/cestore/antirock.aspx
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i used to normally disconnect my front swaybar when airing down to go offroad, it resulted in much better articulation and a softer ride, this is very noticable even on road, the truck seems to soak up bumps alot better. now turning sucks because the truck leans like a mofo, so i normally reinstall the front sway when airing back up, i disconnect the swaybar by unbolting the endlinks.
i recently installed timbrens on the front and it was alot better driving on road without the front swaybar installed, the truck still leans a little bit, until you hit the timbren bumpstops and then it is stable.
Do you both end links when airing down? I usually do only one but I have wanted to try two... It does flex better ever with just one off. Takes the potholes better too.


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I've had the rear off for a while with no real issues. You can notice a difference but it doesn't roll like a boat. I've been contemplating taking the front off. I know it will make a difference, but I've driven other vehicles without sways and it is just something you learn to drive with or without.
 

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I have both removed. I don't mind it, got used to it after about a week. But it's like you ^^^ said, gotta make adjustments to the way you drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sorry to thread jack but how did you get lights on the grill?
I made brackets out of steel flat stock, with two 90 bends to bolt onto the rad support behind the grill. Had to tie them together in the end because the support is only braced on one side under there. I did a thread on it a couple years ago in the lighting section. Pm me if you want more pics than I put in that thread, I can do measurements too if someone wants. Plenty of room back there, I have the hid ballasts behind the grill too.
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I have both swaybars removed and only have a shackle and 2" spacer up front. I like the way the truck drives around town better and only notice the increased sway if I'm driving a little too aggressively around turns which I try not to do. Definitely has better articulation when off roading.
 

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CGS, you're absolutely right. It handles potholes and other uneven or rough surfaces better than it did with the sway bars. If you're someone that likes to drive an Xterra like it's a sports car I'd say at least leave the front swaybar intact. I drive my Xterra like the truck that it is, and don't fly around turns so I'm fine without the swaybars. If I want to haul ass around the curves I'll get a proper sports car.
 

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I've driven my old Mustang without the sway bars before when I was working on the suspension. It was noticeable, but I had stiffer springs and dampers than factory. It still handled well, but there was more roll than with the bars installed. It definitely was more forgiving on potholes and such than with the bars, and a much stiffer bar definitely made the ride more harsh. I've been without the rear on the X for a while and I still don't drive like a granny anymore. I almost forget that it has been removed.

While you might not get more overall droop with the bar removed up front on a stock suspension, I guarantee that it will still be better without the bar off-road than with. The wheels are now free to move independently and you will have a little more available grip as a result.
 

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I removed both sway bars when I did my suspension. It actually handles better, has less body roll and feels a lot safer than it did with the sway bars and stock suspension. It's my daily driver and I drive a LOT (just rolled 80K miles on my 2011) so I would certainly be one to reinstall if I felt the missing sways were impacting on-road performance negatively.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Wheeled with just the rear bar this weekend, after I get home and go through the pics and videos I'll post a few showing how it did. Bottom line is it worked pretty much like I had hoped, the added flex in the front suspension allowed me to have to use the locker less than before when I ran just the front sway.
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Discussion Starter #19
Ok, so some photos courtesy muminiasty:

Here is my no front sway/rear sway coming down an offset ledge last weekend:


And heres a frontier which i'm pretty sure is front sway/no rear sway that went down just ahead of me:


as you can see, when the passenger front drops off, the anti-roll from the rear sway keeps the truck more level and forces the front suspension to do more flexing, keeping the CG more centered until the drivers front drops off.

Here's another one on another trail, here the rear sway forces the front flex and lifts the right front up in the air. my plan here was to get the RF up onto the ledge, but the line wasn't great and i ended up backing up and taking a different way up, since it was friday night so no need to ruin a good weekend rolling your truck on the first night.



overall, i liked the way the suspension worked throughout the weekend and will probably keep the setup this way for its good compromise between on-road handling and off road capability. i might experiment with removing both sways but i have a feeling the body roll will be too much for my liking that way.
 

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For anyone considering playing around with this, I would strongly recommend that you don't take off the front sway bar and keep the rear. Unless your goal is drifting, having a large rear sway than what you have in the front is generally not a good idea. When you take the front completely off, it is magnified many times. You may not notice it if you don't drive aggressively, but I would hate to see something bad happen if you needed to pull an emergency maneuver, especially in the rain or snow.
 
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