Looking to add or upgrade the sway bar on your Ford Ranger?

Front Bars:

If your Ford Ranger didn’t come with a front sway bar, you have an option of adding a factory one, if you can find one in a salvage yard (or craigslist).

  • 1983-1988 are interchangeable,
  • 1989-1997 are interchangeable
  • 1998-2011 are interchangeable

Bars can be swapped between Bronco II’s, Explorers, and Rangers of the same year range. The exception is the 95+ Explorers that switched to the SLA suspension. The SLA Explorers will only interchange with SLA Rangers.

There were (2) different mounting setups for the front sway bars:

Behind The Front Axle:

This setup mounted the sway bar to the inside of the radius arm, and was attached to a crossmember that went between the radius arm brackets.

(Sway bar behind the front axle – inside of radius arm)

This setup was used on various 1st Generation (1983-1988) Ford Rangers. Interestingly, the 1st Generations were found with the axle mounted behind, and in front of the axle. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut answer as to why Rangers had different setups.

Rangers that have been found with the sway bar mounted behind the axle are:

  • 1983 Ford Ranger 4×4 regular cab
  • 1987-1988 Ford Ranger super cabs

More likely exist, this is just the info we have to date

In front of the axle:

This style of setup had a bracket on the front of the axle beams that held a sway bar link. The sway bar was then attached to the bottom of the frame forward of the axle (see photo below)

(Sway bar in front of the front axle)

This setup has been found on:

  • 1986 and 1988 Ford Ranger regular cab (1988 is a highrider package)
  • 1987 Ford Ranger STX highrider 
  • All Bronco II’s

It appears that all Rangers made from 1989-1997 had the sway bar mounted to the front of the axle beam. The stock front sway bar for the 1993-1997 Ford Rangers are reported to be 23mm.

Behind The Front Axle Sway Bar Dimension:

(from alwaysFlOoReD)

In the photo above Left to right; 1987 Ford Ranger STX Highrider 1.156″ OD / 1985 Bronco II .989″ OD / 1991 Ford Ranger STX .901″ OD

Measurements were taken where the rubber rides. Also notice the difference in the rubber mounts.

Rear Sway Bars:

If your Ford Ranger didn’t come with a front sway bar, you have an option of adding a factory one, if you can find one in a salvage yard (or craigslist).

1983-2011 sway bars should interchange.

Bars can be swapped between Bronco II’s, Ranger and Explorers (at least up to SLA models). The exception here is once again the SLA Explorers. The bars will physically fit to the other axles, but due to the wider frame with on the Explorer the end links may not work.

These (2) photos below show a rear sway that someone took off of a Ford Ranger Splash, and added to their 1993-1997 Ford Ranger:

This next photo shows a Bronco II rear sway bar on a 1993 Ford Ranger (bolted right on – holes were already in the frame):

This is an Explorer sway bar on a Ford 8.8-inch axle:

This is an Explorer sway bar mounted on a Ford 8.8-inch axle the wrong way:

This is a Bronco II 1-inch rear sway bar:

(Photo by doorgunner)

Rear Sway Bar Sizes:

The stock sway bar size for the Ford Ranger from 1993-1997 was 5/8-inch. 

If you want a stiffer rear bar go hunting for a 2wd Ford Bronco II they have a 1-inch rear bar.

SOME 1987-1988 Ford Rangers got a 3/4-inch before they switched to the 5/8″ bar

It has been reported that a 7/8-inch diameter rear bar had came on a Ford Ranger, but no other information is available.

Ranger vs Explorer Sway Bars:

TRS Members have attempted to mount a 7.5-inch axle sway bar on a 8.8-inch Explorer axle and have concluded that it is a straight forward install with it flipped rearwards. They report that you just need to drill (2) holes in the frame an install the sway bar drop links.

Aftermarket Sway Bars:

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