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'04 Rubi Swaybar Link install doesn't seem right ??

1831 Views 15 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  3rivers
Hi All,

Other day, I noticed the Rubi getting mushy on turns. When I got home, after being on some REALLY rough roads, I found that both my swaybar links were separated at the balljoint (not sure if that's the proper term - at the top). Being in a smaller town, I just ordered two replacements from the local Canadian Tire (Canada, eh :) )

I checked them against the old ones and they were the same length and same configuration.

I just finished installing them (What a PITA to get the top connection out of the bar :twisted: ) but it doesn't look right to me. The "ball joint" at the top is way off the centreline and I'm afraid the next big bump is going to snap the ball out of the socket. I took a couple of photo's and merged them. Smaller inset photo (lower right) is just another shot of the top of the link at the swaybar for a little more detail. Hopefully I've figured out how to link to it.

Shouldn't the link be more inline (i.e., straight) than what it is ? It looks to me that the link is too long - but as I said, it's identical to the one that was there lengthwise.

Maybe someone with an '04 Rubi can check the length / orientation of their setup and let me know. Mine measures out to be approx. 8" from the centreline of the lower mounting bolt to the midpoint of the swaybar.

Thanks & Regards, John.
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You should probably lift your jeep to straighten that out. :lildevil:
Anybody noticed how close the bumpstop is? Are you parked on a incline?
Hydroid said:
It appears you have a stock and sagged suspension to me. The joint on top does swivel and that is swiveled forward as the suspension is almost bottomed out. They will work fine as is, maybe. i am guessing the Jeep rides pretty rough as it is bottoming all the time. The joints run at that angle will wear out quicker, that is why the old ones failed. Probably time to look for some new coils. Do you have a heavy bumper or winch up front?
i have a stock '04 and just switched out my links due to one being broke and the other one not far from it. in replacing mine with jks units i don't have a photo to offer but your orientation / installation looks correct. with others noting your suspension may be sagging, check the angle of your sway bar with the vehicle sitting on level ground for the angle of the sway bar itself (the portion that reaches back to the links) should ideally be 10 degrees (5 to 15 being acceptable). hope this helps.
if you can't afford the springs at this time and don't like the angles, jks sway bar disconnects (or similar) are adjustable. but as mentioned, if the springs are squashed, you may need to replace or upgrade.
Have you thought about flipping the front swaybar? That would even out the last 1" taper and maybe lower the joint angle.
Thanks for the reply guys. To answer a few questions that were raised:

- no, it's not parked on an incline. It's in my driveway on level ground.

- I don't find the ride rough and I haven't noticed it bottoming out at all.

- if I were to flip the swaybar, that would put the taper for the link top connection the wrong way around, wouldn't it ?

- no heavy bumper (stock) and no winch, but I do run a plow in the winter (not on right now) so there is a plow receiver mounted on the front. I estimate it weighs about 150 lbs. It can be seen in the last photo - On the hydraulic jack.

I did some experimentation based on the ideas you guys supplied about the sagging suspension. The rube only has 95,000 km (~59,000 miles) on it so I didn't think the springs would be shot but maybe that's the whole issue.

With it sitting on level ground (my garage), I measure 18" from the floor to the bottom of the front bumper at its midpoint. I have a repair manual and figured there must be a body height spec somewhere, but I don't see one. As it sits, it looks to me like the swaybar angle is somewhere in the area of 10 degrees (Camera is level in this shot):

If I jack the body up to get 22" bewteen bumper bottom and floor, then the swaybar angle is in the other direction - but the link swivel is almost perfectly inline with the link:

However, now the back end looks low - I know, springs back there too...

I like it stock and don't want to get into lift kits, bigger tires, etc, because I know if I start there would be no end - I know, that's the fun of it right :lildevil:

So now the question becomes, what springs and is it a job that I can tackle myself or is it one of those jobs you'd rather pay to have done ?

What kind of body lift can I expect to recover with new springs. Seems that somewhere between 3 & 4 inches would be perfect.

And if I'm in there anyway, might as well do the shocks too.... Hmm, Dear, I got some Christmas ideas for you :D

Regards, John.
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I think airbags, while more than what you would like to do, would help you immensely.
You can replace the springs easily by yourself, if that is your choice. There could be some stock height replacements in the aftermarket that would be good for your use. None come to my mind right off though, perhaps OME makes a set, but I am not sure. Another thing to do is keep an eye out or make a post for stock springs. You see them a lot on here and you can usually come by them relativly cheap.
Plowing is really hard on all front end components on a Jeep. With what you're doing and what you want, I'd not waste any money on lift components as that will just compound the issue. Find some stock take-offs, your standard factory Rubi springs and swap them out as the issue arises. Not sure if you did the plowing, or the PO but check everything up front for wear-depending on how long and how hard it has been plowed with, could be beneficial to go through everything up front and replace as needed-joints, tre's, CA joints/bushings, etc., etc. Not saying it's bad to plow, just that you typically see parts worn out a lot faster when you do so. Generally requires more maintenance and upkeep if you want your rig to live a long happy life.

A standard spring swap or basic lift is really pretty simple to do yourself at home in the garage or driveway even if you want. Can be done with just a few basic hand tools, jack, jack stands. If you've never done it before, an eager attitude to learn and your favorite beverage will go a long way. You'll know a lot more about your rig when you're done, appreciate what you just did and will be able to use all that money you saved on paying some one else to install to buy other mods as you discover you need them. While it's not required by any means, but if you find a good local Jeep club or few guys with Jeeps, may make a friend and see if they'll help. Could learn a lot more that way and find a good wheeling buddy too. Either way, it's not a difficult job by any means and is a great way to spend an afternoon on the rig.

Best of Luck,

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since you don't want to lift it, i would agree to just find a stock set of take off spring, they usually go for very cheap.
Or some spacers cuz that front is really low in first pic
[quote='05TJLWBRUBY]Plowing is really hard on all front end components on a Jeep. With what you're doing and what you want, I'd not waste any money on lift components as that will just compound the issue. Find some stock take-offs, your standard factory Rubi springs and swap them out as the issue arises. Not sure if you did the plowing, or the PO but check everything up front for wear-depending on how long and how hard it has been plowed with[/quote]

Probably should have mentioned that I guess.. I had the plow installed last fall and I only use it to plow my driveway - a total of about a 4 uses last year because we had a pathetic winter here in Ontario - Yes, I snowmobile :wink:

When I'm done, the plow comes off so it doesn't sit on the frame all the time. I realize that this may wear things a bit, but with ~100' of 12' wide driveway and a large parking area adjacent to the house, my days of snowblowing - and certainly shovelling - are over !

Thanks to all for the advice and suggestions - I've already got a few friends keeping an eye out for springs that need a home :)

Regards, John.
What about ZJ V8 springs? Swapped in a set on the front of mine to make up for winch and bumper just my 2 cents
I agree with you that the amount of plowing you do isn't likely hurting much at this point.

Your springs probably aren't "shot", but after 95,000 km it's not surprising that they have
sagged a bit - especially with a 68kg weight hanging off the front end.

In fact, they may not be sagged at all but that plow mount is just pulling the front end down.
I'd guess that even if you threw some other used Rubicon springs on there it would do the
same thing. if not right away, then before too long it would be sagging again.

If you want the bumper to be up 4" then you'd probably need 2 to 3" lift springs.
If so, then there are more parts to buy and install to make it work, including rear
springs, shocks, track bar accommodations etc.

I'd suggest a 1 or 2" coil spacer in the front, just to make it sit like stock again.

To find out how much lift you need, with the jeep on level ground, measure the space between
the bump-stop bumper and the stop, jack up the front bumper to where you want the jeep to sit
(forget the sway bar links at this point), and now measure the bump-stop space again.
The difference is the size of the coil spacer to use - or the size lift spring to install if it is 2" or more.
I don't know if anyone makes 1" lift springs but there are plenty of 2" options.

If you set the jeep's stance back to a stock-like level, then you won't need new shocks or any
other suspension components.

Remember, if you set it up dead level then it will be nose-high when you put gear in the back.
Most people set the nose down 1/2" to an inch.

Hope this helps
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