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Sway Bar End Links

Lazzman

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I am going to replace my sway bar end links today with a new set of Moog's.

The question I have is which way to the long bolts face when installing. Does the nut and main bolt threads point up toward the engine or down toward the ground?

In simpler terms, does the nut for the end link bolt go on top of the sway bar or on the bottom of the control arm next to the bottom shock mounts. Which direction should I install the long end link bolt? Threads up or threads down.

I have seen it done both ways. Does it even matter which way the bolt is installed?

Thanks
 



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Lazzman

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Thanks Techie...:D

Seems that way to me also.

Im off to bolt them in.
 






gijoecam

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Ditto. Functionally it makes no difference. I personally like to install things like that with the 'bolt' on top and the nut run up from the bottom. That way, if the nut somehow work its way loose, the bolt may remain in place. On a sway bar end link, it's not critical, but on some parts, it may allow you to make a field repair if at least some of the hardware remains.

-Joe
 






X~FACTOR

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Shorter sway bar end links give you a bit more stability when cornering IMO. Just don't go too short 'coz it will be a bitc* to put them on.
 






gijoecam

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Shorter sway bar end links give you a bit more stability when cornering IMO. Just don't go too short 'coz it will be a bitc* to put them on.


Length of the links does not change the stiffness of the sway bar, and it's the stiffness of that bar that affects stability, not the length of the links.
 






Cobraguy

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absolutely true joe. But he is saying that by putting in shorter bolts, it preloads the bar for you. He is correct too. It tightens up initial tip in. But it does not stiffen the bar.
 






gijoecam

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absolutely true joe. But he is saying that by putting in shorter bolts, it preloads the bar for you. He is correct too. It tightens up initial tip in. But it does not stiffen the bar.

How does it preload the bar? If the vehicle's sitting level, there is no load on the bar whatsoever. If the truck leans such that the left side lower control arm moves the link up 2" and the right side moves down 2" with respect to the mounting points on the frame, the bar twists, say, 10 degrees. That does not change if you change the link length. Yes, the bar may be angled down more with shorter links, but the stiffness of the bar and, therefore, roll stiffness remains unchanged. The bar does not get pre-loaded by doing so because the bar angle is not fixed. For all intents and purposes, the bar floats in the mounts. It makes no difference if the links are 6" long, 10" long, or a foot long... roll stiffness remains the same.

Now, change the length of the radius (i.e. the arc the end of the bar swings with respect to the mounts) or change the thickness of the bar, and yes, you will change the stiffness of the bar and, therefore, the roll stiffness. Changing the end link length doesn't change a thing.
 






Turdle

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Joe-
All I can say is try it for yourself
I don't know the dynamics, maybe the shorter link has less flex-:confused:
but it does make for a flatter cornering vehicle-
 












gijoecam

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It definately works.

Well there's a well-rationed argument for ya'...

Changing the length of the end links has nothing to do with the roll stiffness of the bar. It cannot and does not affect stability. Show me some quantifiable data to the contrary, and maybe I'll believe it. The force applied to one end of the sway bar is equal to the force applied to the other end. It makes no difference if the link attached to it is an inch or a foot, or whether it's made of steel, aluminum, or titanium. All running a shorter link does is change the angle of the bar. The difference is in your heads. It feels different because you want it to. It's the same discussion as the 'what if I install the sway bar upside-down' issue a couple years back... Six of one, half-dozen of the others.

Believe what you want, but that doesn't make it true.
 






moexplorer97

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If the end link length doesn't matter joe, then why do they make adjustable end links?
 






gijoecam

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Ideally, the sway bar end links will be perpendicular to the sway bar ends at ride height. If you lower or raise the ride height, it allows you to change the position of the sway bar link to maximize the performance of the bar. On a high-performance vehicle, odds are it will be equipped with an adjustable sway bar link as well as an adjustable sway bar attachment point that can increase or decrease roll stiffness based on the position you connect the link to. But again, roll stiffness doesn't change based on the length of the link, it changes based on the radius the link is acting on.

Here's an example of one off a 95 Mustang:
big_swaybar3.jpg


Furthermore, most adjustable links similar to the ones shown in that picture allow a greater degree of movement due to the low resistance of the joints, as well as solidly link the two points (as opposed to a conventional link that uses a pair of bushings). Also, drag racers can use them to apply a pre-load to the right rear of the vehicle, so that when it torques-up on launch, it keeps the rear end flat, instead of torquing the body over to one side.

Just because they are available in adjustable lengths doesn't mean they change the stabilizer bar's performance.
 






aldive

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Well there's a well-rationed argument for ya'...

Joe, there is no need for the rude remarks .

You know, you sure like to tell others what won't work from your point of view, but you never seem to report on any mods you make.

Have you ever experimented with end link lengths? I didn't think so. Some of us have.
 






gijoecam

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Joe, there is no need for the rude remarks .

There's no need for the snide comments either.

You know, you sure like to tell others what won't work from your point of view, but you never seem to report on any mods you make.

Have you ever experimented with end link lengths? I didn't think so. Some of us have.


On an Explorer? No, I haven't. On a Formula SAE racecar? Yup. Did plenty of experimenting with them, both in suspension geometry programs as well as real on-track conditions. At one point in my education, I was co-leader for the '02 LTU FSAE team. We did lots of experimentation with sway bar link design on our car. We spent two weeks designing it, a week building the stabilizer bar system, and two weeks testing it daily to maximize our performance. Our skid-pad times showed the changes, but the link length played no significant part in the design. The link simply transmits the suspension motion to the sta-bar. It's the suspension movement and, therefore the sta-bar end movement that determines roll stiffness, not the length of the links.


Al, have you ever done any comprehensive suspension design, engineering, or testing?
 












gijoecam

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Last time I looked this was an Explorer forum.

Last time I checked, suspension theory and design wasn't vehicle-specific. The same principles apply whether you're designing suspension for an FSAE race car, an Explorer, or a dump truck.
 






trevell407

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Anyways, I installed mine with the nut on the bottom, Just make sure you tighten each side equally or it will feel funny going around corners.
Dont forget to take your vise grips off the nut too, I did, and the noise scared the hell out of me.
 






Dennis1998

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I just checked my end links and found the driver side bolt came loose by itself i guess.I tightend it and the noises went away. The nut was installed on the bottom and the bolt on top like the originals were.
Is it normal for an end link bolt to come loose ?? was very aggravating trying to figure out that clunk noise.
 



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Dennis1998

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My explorer has a 4.0 liter engine with a 5speed stick shift,,very fun to drive,,but you better make sure the front end is perfect before you take any sharp turns.
 






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