There are a lot of opinions regarding whether or not it’s a good idea to remove your sway bar if you’re doing an off road build. Let’s dig in and see why we would want to do it and things to be aware of when considering sway bar removal.
What Is a Sway Bar?
Yeah what is a sway bar? Also referred to as an anti-sway bar, a stabilizer bar, or an anti-roll bar, sway bars link opposing wheels and suspension components together to improve handling. The goal is to reduce body roll in corners and general maneuvering. This creates a much more stable and enjoyable travel experience on-road. Sway bars also greatly reduce the chances of a rollover in vehicles with a high center of gravity.
Why Would You Remove Your Stabilizer Bar?
One huge advantage to removing your vehicle’s sway bars is for off-road purposes. When the bar is removed, your suspension components will have far more ability for articulation. You may have seen a photo of a car trying to navigate a challenging obstacle such as a large ditch or a boulder with one or more wheels off of the ground. Removing the sway bar can help remedy this by allowing the wheels more travel up and down. Now you can tackle some tougher terrain.
Removing Your Sway Bar is Easy
If you want to try driving without your sway bar to see if it provides any added benefit, it’s not a hard task. If you hit each bolt with a lubricant the day before, you should be able to pull it out in under 60 minutes with basic tools. It can be tough to navigate the bar around the exhaust on some models, but is usually very doable. Make sure to use jack stands if lifting your car up and if you have access to a creeper, it makes the job much more comfortable.
Consider The Pros and Cons Before Removing Your Anti-Roll Bar
If you mainly drive your car on pavement, it’s highly recommended that you leave your sway bar on. This will decrease the chances of a rollover accident. Your safety, and the safety of those around you is most important. Even a sudden swerve of avoidance could be much more dangerous without stock suspension components such as the sway bar.
There is also a possibility that your insurance may choose not to honor any claim involving a rollover if you remove your sway bar. While there isn’t much definitive information, there are people who have said that their insurance company didn’t cover their accident as a result of safety component removal. It’s not hard to believe that they would be reluctant to pay out for an accident that could have been avoided.
Since sway bars are designed to help your car handle safely, we highly suggest leaving it on for daily driving. However, many people who want to remove it for better off road performance will often create a “quick-release” set up for their sway bar. They’ll remove it only when going off road and then reinstall it immediately after.
Another option is to get a set of adjustable endlinks for your sway bar. They can allow it to articulate more effectively. Companies such as Anderson Design Fab make great products and should be able to get you set up.
Again, we suggest only removing the sway bar for off-road use. Have fun and be safe!
And for the LOVE of all things Holy, please don’t work under the car without jack stands. You can get a set online for under $30 bucks HERE