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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
what are track bars for? do I really need them ... if I have sway bars connected does it make a difference?

 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Track bars provide lateral stability for both leaf-sprung and coil sprung suspensions. Whether or not you need them depends. Most people I know with Jeeps remove them with little consequence. Older Jeeps never had them in the first place. I removed them from my 93 YJ and didn't notice a difference. I do notice a difference with the sway bar removed, though, so I keep it connected on-road. They are easy to remove and replace. I suggest removing one and driving around with out it for a while to see if you notice a difference. Then remove the other and do the same. You can always put them back on.

 

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Trac bars came out with the YJ, because it had a softer suspension than the older CJ (this was to target people who wanted a cushy ride) /wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif. If you have a TJ, you kinda need the bars because there is nothing else laterally locating the axle. Leaf springs locate the axle laterally, but if the springs are really soft, it can still move. If you have the stock suspension on a YJ, it may be too soft to remove the trac bar. Remove the rear and see if it is annoying to you. You may not be able to take freeway ramps really fast without feeling the axle shift. In front, you may notice some weird steering feel - as you push the axle side to side rather than steering the wheels.

If you have any type of suspsension lift with different springs, the odds are that the springs are stiffer, and you could get away without both trac bars, front and back. I have removed both of mine.

Good luck
Pete

88YJ,4"susp,33"BFGMT,9kwinch,homemade swingout,258,999,4.10,weber32/36,GMHEI,one moonguy/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
well I have a 4 in pro comp lift so Im guessing with the stiffness they have ....it would be ok to removed them.....does taking them off help with articulation too?


 

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Yes, it should help articulation. If you figure that with the bars on, for you to flex the suspension, it is pushing the axle sideways - if the bar's not there, it will just be free to follow the springs, not be forced sideways.

If you do remove them, remember to drive carefully the first time out and see if you feel it is safe or not, especially up front. Also keep an eye on your spring mounts and shackle mounts on the frame, as there will be increased loads on those without the bars in place (they will be doing all the work locating your axle), and they could be damaged / cracked / bent off-road. I have a 4" suspension also, and mine have been fine. Just a word of caution.

Good luck
Pete

88YJ,4"susp,33"BFGMT,9kwinch,homemade swingout,258,999,4.10,weber32/36,GMHEI,one moonguy/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You might be ok with no trac bar, but I wouldn't try it. I'm sure the leaf springs will lessen the effects but in my TJ if the track bar is even loose the steering is all over the place. Even in yours I bet you would get some pretty fierce effects on the steering when you hit a large pot hole on the pavement. As far as I can tell the trac bar does 2 things. 1) it gives the steering box something to push or pull against when you turn the wheel so that you don't end up pushing the body side to side instead of turning the wheels, which causes some annoying and scarey looseness in the steering 2) Since the rods that connect your steering box to the axle knuckles are fixed length, if the axle gets pushed straight up (ie no trac bar) the tires have to get turned to the right. No real problem offroad, but a bump on the highway could cause you some problems. What the track bar does is push the body to the drivers side relative to the axle a little as the axle goes up, or pulls it to the right if the axle goes down to keep that force from pushing the wheels to the left or right. You don't notice the body moving over the axles as much as you would steering off into the ditch. As long as the track bar and the tierod are parallel the steering should be relatively preserved as the axle moves closer and farther away from the body because the track bar pushes the body side to side instead of the tierod pushing the wheels side to side. Just look under you jeep and think of the axle & frame and track bar & tierod as opposite sides of a parallelogram and it will all make sence.

Mike

 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
so for sure the rear one wouldnt be a problem to remove but the front one is a maybe since all I hear are things that happens with the front trck bar.....also will a shackle reversal take out the problems of not having the front track bar connected?

 

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I am running with no trac or swaybars and notice very little difference except minor bumbsteer. I'm no genious, but I do like to keep fairly safe, so the sway bar is going back in with disconnects and a telescoping front trac-bar will go back in. These aren't the first things on the list though.... My stock suspension now maxes out the brake lines and shocks and spring clips, I can hardly wait until I get some longer ones!

 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Paranoid here...

At slow sleeps you won't notice it. At highway speeds, it could prove deadly. If you crash without them on, my insurance company voids the claim (i.e.: no coverage).Does yours? This scares the living daylights out of me.

For 179, get the track-bar extension... It's worth life and limb, don't you think?

Anti-establishment here:

Screw 'em. I get better articulation without them.

Another Jeepgeek!
[email protected]
 
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