Article by Eric Day.
After reading all of the discussions on the XJ-list about which quick disconnect sway bar links were the best and realizing that there was no one exceptional design, I decided to make my own. Also, the 5″ lift I just put on had drained my wallet and the commercial quick disconnects are expensive. On someone’s web page (I forget who’s), they detailed how to make the stock links quick disconnect using hitch pins and wing nuts, but did not address extending them to compensate for lifted XJs. I browsed through McMaster Carr and came across all of the pieces I needed:
- 6 10mm nuts
- 2 10mm threaded studs, 3 to 4″ long depending on lift height
- 2 10mm coupling nuts
- several 10mm washers
If you want to make the stock links even easier to disconnect, just add:
- 2 ½” hitch pins 3″ long
- 2 ½” washers
- 2 hitch pin clips for the ½” hitch pins
- 2 10mm wing nuts
- 2 smaller hithc pins to secure the wing nuts
First, remove the stock links. When assembling everything except for the parts that are to be “quick disconnected”, I used thread lock to make sure nothing came loose. Next thread a 10mm nut onto the stock link followed by the coupling nut threaded about half the length of the nut. Now thread a 10mm nut onto one end of the threaded stud and thread this end into the coupling nut. Use the 10mm nut as lock nuts against the coupling nut. You now have an extended link. Re-install the new link using 10mm washers underneath the end of the sway bar to make small adjustments in the height. Now to disconnect, just unbolt the stock bolts at the bottom of the link and the new 10mm nut on top of the link.
To make things even quicker, you can use the hitch pins to replace the link to axle bracket bolt and the 10mm wing nuts on top of the link. Drill a hole through the top of the link just above the wing nut to put the smaller hitch clip throught. This will prevent the wing nut from loosening. On my XJ, I could not remove one of the stock bolts on the axle flange, so I did not use the hitch pins. I will put on the wing nuts soon.