We all know a Jeep, especially a Wrangler, isn't going to be the Grand Prix racer on the open road. With body sway, body roll, and those hair-raising moments that have you clenching your teeth, driving a Jeep can be a fine line between pleasure and stunt driving. Fortunately, there is a simple way to fix body roll that involves taking a quick look at your sway bar situation. Maybe you're looking for ways to reduce vehicle sway and get some roll reduction in your life. After all, your Jeep is probably a daily driver on weekdays. So how do you tackle this project?
How to Reduce Body Roll On a Jeep Wrangler
When at highway speeds, it's all bets are off as to how squirrelly the drive can get. Especially if your Jeep is lifted. Big lift kits, big rims, and big tires can add up to some big death defying moments. Or maybe you have to drive around 45 mph and your hand's getting tired waving cars by. There are some things you can do to help reduce body roll. Severe body roll changes the center of gravity, especially in a turn. Or even changing lanes can do it. The weight gets shifted from one side of the vehicle, where one side tends to be "heavier" and the load on the other side is lightened. If you were driving a car, you can actually hear it happening sometimes. You go hard into a left turn to catch the traffic arrow, and the left rear tire is losing contact with the road, you can hear it squealing. The weight has shifted off that corner of the car over to the right front (a bad shock
or strut can cause a tire to lose traction as well by the way). With Jeep, you probably just want to be able to go in a straight line better and feel safer on the highway. While there are various parts that can give you better handling and control, today we want to mention sway bars. A sway bar helps the weight of a vehicle be more evenly distributed to all four wheels. Stock sway bars are usually engineered just enough to get you by. Not for racing, not to handle like a Corvette, just enough to get you by. Typically a vehicle will almost always have a front sway bar. But many won't have a rear one at all. (the rear sway bar normally takes over when the front sway bar has done it's job, say, in a turn). The sway bar is just one of the parts, but an important one, to help reduce body roll. Aftermarket sway bars tend to be solid (factory swaybars oftentimes are actually hollow
). They also tend to have a thicker diameter, and are made from higher quality steel. The bars will be stiffer because of the way they are made, and they offer better handling and control.
Sway Bar Options for a Jeep JK Wrangler
For a lifted JK Wrangler, the Hellwig Off-Road Front Sway Bar Kit (Part Number HP-7876)
will work with a 3-5" Lift. Hellwig uses heavy duty 4140 chrome moly steel to make their bars, and they use tough polyurethane bushings. If you have a 4 to 6-inch lift, you may want to look into a TeraFlex S/T Swaybar System (Part Number TF-1753905)
. The S/T Swaybar System, when engaged, is engineered to give you a stable highway drive. On the rear, you can run a Hellwig Rear Swaybar Kit for a 3-5" Lift (Part Number HP-7706)
. Another great option is the Steinjager Rear Swaybar Kit (Part Number STJ-J0040925)
. It's made in the USA and is thicker than the OE bar.
Sway Bars for a TJ Wrangler
Hellwig offers two front sway bar options, parts HP-7866
. The HP-7870 is versatile for off-roading. Teraflex also makes their S/T type bars for the front. One for a 3 to 5-inch lift (TF-1743610
) and one for a 4 to 6-inch lift (TF-1743615
). JKS makes a nice adjustable swaybar for the front of the Jeep TJs (Part Number JKS-9100
). You can adjust how it effects your roll resistance, depending on your driving needs. On the rear there are matching Hellwig options. The HP7684
is a 3/4 inch bar, and the HP7871
is for off-roading.
Sway Bars for CJ Jeeps
Once again, we can hook you up with a Hellwig sway bar for the front of your Jeep CJ. If you have a manual transmission, you can use the HP-7616
. The rear sway bar for a manual is part HP-7463.
Addco also makes a rear swaybar for better handling, part number ACO-107.
Sway Bars for the Cherokee XJ
Even an XJ can do with some better handling on the highways. Hellwig makes a Rear Swaybar Kit that has a 3/4" Diameter, the HP7568.
Morris 4x4 carries sway bars for other Jeeps as well, but these are some popular ones. Sway bars are usually somewhat easy to install. They don't really have any moving parts, so they tend to last a long time and are a good investment for safer driving. If you off-road a lot, you will want to look into the various kinds of quick disconnects for sway bars too
. While your Jeep won't be pulling any serious G's in a tight corner, at least you stay within the lines on the highway and maybe relax a little. Hook up with some bigger and better sway bars today!