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Man of endless projects
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Discussion Starter #1
i want to add a front swaybar back on my 96. but due to my winch install and how much the tires rub the bar, i cant really use the stock front bar so i was thinking of modifying it by cutting and welding it. i was thinking about either narrowing it or cutting the arms off each end and fabricating new ends. but it being spring steel im not sure how bad welding it will be. now sure if the weld would jsut break over time or if the heat would affect the spring steel that much. saw threads in other forums about people debating it for older cars but not for offroading use with alot of axle travel

if i cut it in the middle to narrow it, i was thinking about welding some big thick washers to each end to make a flange of sorts. then i can either weld or bolt each holf back together. i would imagine doing the weld in steps to keep the heat down and then letting it cool slowly would probably be the best to keep the rest of the bar from loosing its spring ability.

it thats not an option then maybe i would jsut cut the arms off each side of the bar so it is now jsut a straight spring bar. then fabricate new arms. since the arms dont need to be springy, if i weld on each end of the bar, i dont think i would loose much if any springiness of the bar. and i can build the arms the way i need in order to prevent rubbing on the tires or frame.

thoughts?
 

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Never done it before but if it’s your only option, I’d take the required material out of the center then sleeve it with thick wall tube welded over the two halves. 2-4 inches maybe..... worst case it breaks and you gotta get one custom made.
 

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Man of endless projects
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Discussion Starter #3
ive been running no front swaybar for while now, since i dont offroad the truck nearly as much as i use to, i kinda want to make it abit less sketchy driving at highway speeds. but if my plan fails there really no loss. I have 2 front stock bars I can work with. so id rather try and see what i can make than buy something.

I mocked one up as stock location to see what my best options are. not quite how i pictured it in my head. if i narrow the bar so it fits between the frame rails, then the steering box and pitman arm will probably be a hurdle to work around. also how i attach it to the axle beam would be limiting to being in the middle of each beam instead of near the coils so it would severly limit the effectiveness of the beam. my idea of cutting and making new arms would possibly work but i dont know how much i would gain for tire clearence. it might still rub which would defeat the purpose.

i did come up with an idea of mounting the swaybar behind the axle instead. taking the 2 bars i have and making a long signle bar to go from frame rail to frame rail between the radius arms. this has its own issues of its own and i have not looked to see how well it would work. i can already imagine the front driveshaft, exhaust, and radius arms might interfere. but its a thought i might look into
 

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Offhand I don't see any reason this "couldn't" be done, but as stated, this bar is made of spring steel. The welding process will undermine it's temper, and will likely no longer be 'springy' in this spot and it may bend. It'll likely need to be re-tempered.
 

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Premium Member
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I’d be game to try the “flanged” joint in the middle, like you were talking with thick washers. I have actually thought about doing that in the past as a way to build a “quick disconnect” sway bar. I would make it out of round stock, like 1/2” thick, if it were me. Welding it may cause it to lose its spring, and just twist and stay right there where you welded it, but I would still try, what have you got to lose?
The truck is still TTB, right???
 

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Eric
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For the cut, if you're going to do it, use a saw blade (port-o-band, sawzall, etc.) and try to avoid using friction/heat cutting (cut-off wheel, torch, etc.). The area you apply excessive heat will be more brittle than the rest of the bar because of the high carbon content of the spring and heat causing carbon displacement a the molecular level. Weld it back together using some high-nickel wire/filler rod, or 309 SS if that's all you can get your hands on. The weld will be more ductile and not so brittle. Welding on spring steel is always a dice roll.
 

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Cut the ends off and have the ends of the bar male splined, then make or source female splined ends to fit over the center bar ends. No welding necessary so no loss of integrity. Only thing it will probably cost you. If you cut it in the middle and spline it there you increase the stiffness of the overall sway bar, if you spline it at the ends then you keep the stiffness of the sway bar close to the original intent. Good luck!
 

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Addicted to Junk
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I doubt it would hold up long if you welded in the center. Maybe fine for a while on road, but one flexy rock outcropping may spell its demise.

Cutting the lower arms would be my suggestion.

Would drop brackets for the frame mounts help? I have a 4" pair around here somewhere.
 
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