Sway bar?


Ranger305

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How much does a rear sway bar help these trucks?
 


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adsm08

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I have yet to notice that mine is missing, after about 7 years.
 

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In my opinion, it is generally useless weight on these trucks.

Front sway bar may be a different story. But I'm considering removing that one also next time I'm under there with a wrench.

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pjtoledo

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in general terms a sway bay usually helps the other end of a vehicle. its purpose is to keep the frame and axle parallel. that sounds great, but when going around a corner as the body starts to roll the sway bar uses the axles weight to pull the body down. if you remember the "opposite and equal force" part from physics class that also means the body is lifting the axle. the end result is a rear sway bar likes to reduce traction to the inside rear tire when turning, particularly when pulling away from a stop sign. on a Ranger the rear is not heavy enough to twist the sway bar and keep good traction on both tires.

how does it help the other end?
a sway bar up front where there is more weight will keep wheels on the ground and the truck level, and that allows the rear axle to articulate and keep the tires in contact with the ground. so a stiffer bar up front promotes better traction in the rear. a stiffer bar in the rear, especially with an open diff, reduces rear traction when cornering.

disclaimer: talking street suspension here, not hard core racing.
 
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bobbywalter

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this is a great big ol "depends" answer..





stock ext cab frames and spring rates roll too much to be effective.

explorers and b2 really benefit from them...





if your truck is tied up and stiffened the difference is dramatic with soft springs but still noticable with stocksprings. if you raise the truck and run a soft spring rate sway bars are great.

so if you want to make a nice soft ride, swaybars much heavier then stock should be on the drawing board.
 

Ranger305

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My truck is a reg cab short bed that, so it may help. If I find one at the salvage yard and have time, I may pick it up.
 

don4331

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If you are wandering the salvage yard look at the BIIs. There is the rare, but not quite unicorn, 1" rear bar - Ranger rear bar is 3/4".
 

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Basically, a roll bar makes the axle it's connected to act "looser". It will skid easier. Most manufacturers put on a front roll bar so the car understeers, which they hope will prevent accidents because they think [probably correctly] most drivers don't know how to react to oversteer.
So to answer your question, it depends on what you're trying to accomplish.
 

Ranger305

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This is a mostly street truck and I like to drive it hard occasionally, so better handling through turns would be the goal.
 

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Most of the guys here speaking against the anti-sway bars are speaking from a 4wd and off-road stand point. My 84 was a 2wd "street oriented" truck. Speaking from my personal experience adding a 1 1/8 (IIRC) after market sway bar really helped with handling, adding the 1" BII bar in the rear helped it more. Moving from 14" wheels and tires up to 16" wheels made it even better.

Had the parts to lower, but never got a chance to install them before totaling the truck (due to my stupidity). If I ever get back to working on the 86 project truck, I'm eager to see how it responds with the shorter wheel base.
 

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Most of the guys here speaking against the anti-sway bars are speaking from a 4wd and off-road stand point. My 84 was a 2wd "street oriented" truck. Speaking from my personal experience adding a 1 1/8 (IIRC) after market sway bar really helped with handling, adding the 1" BII bar in the rear helped it more. Moving from 14" wheels and tires up to 16" wheels made it even better. .
Good to know. I am also going the "street" route. I have a single cab Ranger Edge born with a 3.0 but looking to do a v8 swap as soon as I find a donor. I read in another thread that the longer the wheelbase, the better it rides. Well I have a SWB single cab, the shortest of all wheelbases, and want a smooth ride when I get more power. Looking to lower it too. Probably 2" all the way around.
 

cstarbard

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In my experience, the best thing for these Rangers is to add leaves to the rear springs.

Every truck I have had came with two leaf rear springs: lots of body roll, Very weird axle wrap in the rear, lots of wheel hop, etc.

My current Ranger has brand new tow package (3 leaf) springs with an extra long add a leaf, and a short add a leaf. It rides like a tank. I certainly gained some roughness of ride quality from the over sprung nature of the rear, but the actual handling is better. Even on my old 2wd Ranger which I just added a short add a leaf to. Basically every time I add leaves the rear of the truck handles so much better.

My last truck was a 2wd, current is 4x4. Neither have/had rear sway bar. I didn't notice any difference removing sway bar from my 4x4, I definitely noticed difference from adding leaves every time I've done it.

IMO, the 2 leaf springs aren't enough for any Ranger. The worst handling Ranger I've ever driven was a 94 2wd with the explorer single leaf composite springs. Yikes.

I'm sure you are interested in keeping your truck low, but I don't see why you can't add some leaves and still keep it low, between shackle flip, under axle perches, blocks, etc.
 

Ranger305

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For the record, here is what I ended up with:

Painted everything I could after disassembling everything
2" Belltech drop kit, including Nitro Drop II shocks
3+1 1250lb leaves from an 01 Edge 2WD to replace my 1100lb 2+1's that are worn out
Sway bar from a '96 for so Splash with new Poly buchings

I haven't driven it yet as I need to finish a few things before I put the bed back on, but it's close, then I need to do the drop coils and shocks in the front. I'm told the new progressive rate coils will be good for handling.
 


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