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View Full Version : Sway Bar jibber jabber


sanegrrl
08-13-2009, 12:33 PM
So, soon after we bought the '97 Cherokee, we took it into a mechanic in town for the basic new owner type checkover and maintenance.

The fellow told us we needed a new sway bar.... and it just so happens he has the right one for the job and it's a lifetime guarantee on the part, not the labor.

Okay, so we'll put in a new sway bar and 300ish bucks later, here we are.

Now, all of a sudden, the steering wheel on the jeep sits about 15-20 degrees cocked to the right when the tires are straight. Buddy asks us if the steering wheel was always like that... uhhh no, pal, you did that. Well, he puts us off cuz we need to do a little fix in the transmission and when we go in there for that fix, he just needs to "turn something a few times" and the steering wheel will go back in alignment.

Because we're down to one vehicle at the time, I reluctantly walk away from the situation with the Jeep in this condition.

Cut to a couple of weeks later and the Jeep needs some small random thing and the bf goes to the parts shop and just chats a bit with one of the guys he knows there and during this conversation, they figure out that the sway bar installed is .5" shorter than it should be.

This is, I'm told, what is causing the steering wheel to be misaligned. I'm also told that over time that the short sway bar could muck up the suspension and... other stuff?

So, (if you are still with me, thank you) my questions are these:

1. How much of this is crap?
2. If the sway bar is something with a lifetime guarantee, then can any mechanic take it out, and replace with a new one and only charge me for the labor - or do I have to go back to the first guy, who I think has taken me for a ride?

Muchas gracias in advance,
sg
:dontknow:

kamloopsyota
08-13-2009, 12:41 PM
hmmm well if the lifetime guarantee is like moog parts, its only available where you had it installed(atleast thats what they told us at big o). replacing the sway bar- i would say if dumb dumb put the wrong one in....he should put the right one in for free.

Tunabomber
08-13-2009, 12:41 PM
yer gonna have to back to the guy who put it in and explain it to him

his fault and he is reponceable

cant believe he charged ya 300 bucks for that


just put up a wanted post im sure there a ton of em laying around from people who lifted theirs and had to change em

'Balmer
08-13-2009, 12:45 PM
I'm no expert but judging by what you've said, it does sound like the new sway bar is binding on one side to a huge degree. If the "mechanic turned something a few times" he was likely looseing the sway bar to allievate some of the binding (caused by a improper or misinstalled sway bar), or he was adjusting your tie rod end to center the wheel. Either way it's a bad deal.

If I were you I'd pull the sway bar entirely and see if you wheel sits 15 - 20 degrees to the left, indicating that the issue is, indeed, the sway bar itself. Then you can go from there. Check for fresh marks on your tie rod ends indicating that they've been adjusted and that will give you some insight too.
I'm not sure how effective the sway bar is on XJ's but on my vehicle leaving the sway bar out made litle difference on the road and added lots of flex on the trail... maybe you could just 86 the sway bar all together and take it back to the shop for a refund!

Lazybaka
08-13-2009, 12:46 PM
1. it's all crap sway bars rarely die (get bent) and if they do they take other things with them...bushings die and cost 10-50$ (for the set) and are replaced in minutes

2. I have a 98 sway bar (I think... let me double check) you can have!

3. Yes the sway bar has an effect on your front alignment because the track bar holds the axle centered in the front of the jeep, if the sway bar pulls the whole axle to one side then the track bar cant do its job, and the steering wheel will turn opposite the side the axle is pulled too. He will be adjusting the
drag link or tie rod to adjust for his mistake., you should NOT let him do this as the axel will still NOT be centered under the truck.


Just wondering whats wrong with the transmission ?

England
08-13-2009, 12:49 PM
whats a sway bar LOL .....I cut somthing like that off me jeep a loooooooong time ago

'Balmer
08-13-2009, 12:49 PM
maybe you could just 86 the sway bar all together and take it back to the shop for a refund!

Or just beat the shit out of the "mechanic" with it :confused0006:

sanegrrl
08-13-2009, 12:52 PM
Wow.. thanks for the quick replies. I'm gonna check into all of it...

'Balmer, great advice on what to look for, and thanks for the opinion re: using a sway bar at all... I have noticed that the Jeep is super jumpy-bouncy... travel over a bit of washboard at 50km or so steady with a slight curve in the road and the back seems to pop right up and out of the ditches from time to time.

That sorta thing never happened in my 4Runner (now sadly unmoving in a friend's yard with a laundry list of necessary repairs. Rest easy, Beloved Burro.)

sanegrrl
08-13-2009, 12:59 PM
1. it's all crap sway bars rarely die (get bent) and if they do they take other things with them...bushings die and cost 10-50$ (for the set) and are replaced in minutes

I'm another sucker! Marketing! *grumble*


2. I have a 98 sway bar (I think... let me double check) you can have!

Wow, that would be radical! Appreciate it!



3. Yes the sway bar has an effect on your front alignment because the track bar holds the axle centered in the front of the jeep, if the sway bar pulls the whole axle to one side then the track bar cant do its job, and the steering wheel will turn opposite the side the axle is pulled too. He will be adjusting the
drag link or tie rod to adjust for his mistake., you should NOT let him do this as the axel will still NOT be centered under the truck.



Aye aye.


Just wondering whats wrong with the transmission ?

There's a fluid leak, very small. I was told we'd have to drain the system, drop the pan, and fix from in there somewhere, but that it was a very small leak and by keeping an eye on the levels we could postpone the repair for a short time.

??

sanegrrl
08-13-2009, 01:01 PM
Or just beat the shit out of the "mechanic" with it :confused0006:

This is what I keep coming back to, personally.
You'll read about in the news:

Sway Bar Makes Good Necktie

pumpkin
08-13-2009, 01:04 PM
I do believe we ars talking about the track bar. And due to design diferences it can be normal for the steering wheel to be off when you put in a replacement.

tchevy
08-13-2009, 01:09 PM
sounds like you mean track bar not sway bar, track bars wear out all the time on jeeps sway bars get bent from hitting stuff. The wheel will be out due to the front diff shifting due to a new part. the drag link will probably need some adjusting to re-center the steeing wheel, which he shoud have done in the first place for a complete repair.

sanegrrl
08-13-2009, 01:15 PM
oy, there is no end to my chagrin...

Yes, I humbly submit that I did mean track bar.

Lazybaka
08-13-2009, 01:16 PM
most Cherokees suffer from a crappy "high pressure" return from the
cooler , sounds more like he is replacing the filter (automatic?) do
you see drips after parking ?

its the return from the cooler then again it's a quick fix and under 50$

Lazybaka
08-13-2009, 01:17 PM
yeah track bars get beatup and this is quite common :)

Trailjunkie
08-13-2009, 05:08 PM
yah change fiter fix leak and put in trani cooler. end of problem cheap cheap. for the track bar go to pick a part then install . goto mechanic get back money.

Happypants
08-13-2009, 10:06 PM
fuck sway bars, i cut mine out 2 days after i bought my xj, my jeep is on 37s and it dosent bother me, it all about having to learn how to drive it, im sorry to say but how hard did he fuck you in the ass cause basically this guy did fuck you hard, 300 bucks for a swaybar? scammer, next time something is wrong put a post in the wanted ads before you goto the scammer shop

sanegrrl
08-14-2009, 06:53 AM
most Cherokees suffer from a crappy "high pressure" return from the
cooler , sounds more like he is replacing the filter (automatic?) do
you see drips after parking ?

its the return from the cooler then again it's a quick fix and under 50$

That's affirmative. We have a very small amount of drippage on the pavement after parking. The vehicle is an automatic.

Love that this is an easy thing. The mechanic made the procedure sound like it was going to take him a long time and would be a PiTA.

I also love how helpful you guys are with answering stuff like this. I can't believe my good luck in finding your group and am psyched to get to know you personally sometime soon!!

Super grateful,
sg

nbrowser
08-14-2009, 07:06 AM
Yeahhhhhh go get the track bar redone as that's the issue, as far as the actual sway bars.....unless you pavement drive it a lot, just yank those out.....trust me, NoNeckNick told me to dump my front one on my bush beater...not far off stock and she flexes like a piece of paper, nicely.

sanegrrl
08-14-2009, 07:46 AM
yah change fiter fix leak and put in trani cooler. end of problem cheap cheap. for the track bar go to pick a part then install . goto mechanic get back money.

Btw - is a "cold air intake" a transmission cooler? or can you have both installed?

Lazybaka
08-14-2009, 09:38 AM
no a cold air intake is for air going into the combustion chamber of the engine,
and you already have a tranny cooler (stock Cherokee has one) but the
line into the transmission is prone to leaking, and most times it's just the
fitting needs to be replaced sometimes even just PUSHED BACK IN

Apathy
08-14-2009, 10:33 AM
doesn't sound like he changed teh sway bar. but the track bar. (or panhard, same thing, differnt name)

the sway bar would not make any of that happen, but the track bar, YES.

WagoneerXJ
08-16-2009, 11:23 AM
Ok in your other thread you mentioned all the specs on your jeep. It's got a 3" lift installed in it. So what I think happened is this "mechanic" put in a STOCK trackbar, on a lifted Jeep, This will definetly cause the issues you are experiencing. I know it did on mine LOL

Apathy
08-16-2009, 12:16 PM
Ok in your other thread you mentioned all the specs on your jeep. It's got a 3" lift installed in it. So what I think happened is this "mechanic" put in a STOCK trackbar, on a lifted Jeep, This will definetly cause the issues you are experiencing. I know it did on mine LOL

this is correct and i bet this is exactly what happened.

sounds like a dumb mechanic

sanegrrl
08-18-2009, 06:21 AM
Thanks for the followups.

90si, I'll see if I can locate the line you are talking about, check out its condition.

WagoneerXJ, (or anyone) what kind of trackbar goes in a lifted Jeep? Is there a brand I should be looking for?

I'm pretty sure the mechanic's not exactly dumb... But I do think he's lazy and greedy.

After talking with my beau, who feels like he doesn't want to be very confrontational with the guy, we're just going to do the repair and take the part back to buddy and ask for the money back. Maybe he'll say no, but at least the jeep will be back to business.

dirka dave
08-18-2009, 11:38 AM
whats a sway bar LOL .....I cut somthing like that off me jeep a loooooooong time ago



Hahahahh.....


The bars only need to be replaced if they are bent, the bushings are what wares out, sounds to me like you got fucked over.

tchevy
08-18-2009, 12:35 PM
if he had of straighted your steering wheel in the first place 300 bucks would be a deal considering they are 225-280 COST on a quality one. If you got a cheap one it will be sacked in a year.

BuckNaked
09-02-2009, 07:43 AM
whats a sway bar LOL .....I cut somthing like that off me jeep a loooooooong time ago
[stupid] you can have my sway bar but its in two pieces! firstly their overrated if you wheel the truck then fuck it take it out and pretend it was never there, 300 bux is brrrutal i dont see how you could ever need a new one, maybe just bushings, and either way its like a 20 minute fix, i'd say go back to that fucker and tell him hes got some explaining to do
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BuckNaked
09-02-2009, 07:50 AM
no a cold air intake is for air going into the combustion chamber of the engine,
and you already have a tranny cooler (stock Cherokee has one) but the
line into the transmission is prone to leaking, and most times it's just the
fitting needs to be replaced sometimes even just PUSHED BACK IN

agreed, this has happend to my xj many times, other vehicles too, just trace the fluid back until you find out where its leaking, most likely it will just be a hose clamp that needs to be tightened or the hose has worn out, i've never had to spend more than $10 fixing that problem
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Happypants
09-02-2009, 07:57 PM
just cut both sway bars out of my sisters jeep and going to be getting a 4" lift pretty quick for it, she has to learn how to drive with no sway bars before i`ll put the lift in though cause shes not getting them stupid sway bar discos that suck anyways

StinkFinger
09-02-2009, 11:14 PM
its not the sway bar can people not read its the track bar and its not uncomon for you to need an ajustment after replacing one also ajustable aftermarket ones are avalible wich would componsate for the lift

nightcrawler
09-03-2009, 11:08 AM
got my ajustable track bar from rubicon for 200 bucks