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JK Rubicon E-Swaybar Disconnect Mod

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Old 10-04-2012, 09:06 PM
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Default JK Rubicon E-Swaybar Disconnect Mod

I’m sure most JK Rubi owners are aware of the problems with the electronic sway bar disconnect system so I thought I would share my solution. When mine failed the dealership wanted $2200 to replace the entire sway bar system as they do not sell just the motor. The luxury of hitting a button to disconnect was not worth that kind of money to me, especially since there have been no improvements made to the system. It’s not a matter of IF they’ll fail, but WHEN, so I might as well have lit a match to that $2200. I considered just using the same type of manual disconnects that most jeepers use, until I came across Offroad Evolution’s manually operated solution for the troublesome electronic motor.

Here’s a picture:





Basically, with this system you would be turning an adjustment screw instead of hitting a button. I was intrigued by this idea because it was beautifully simple as well as quicker and easier than the usual manual disconnect system. Of course the easiest way to solve this problem is to buy the EVO solution for $90 plus shipping, but I just thought this was a good do-it-yourself project that could probably be done for about $20. So here goes…


Here is the entire swaybar assembly removed from the Jeep:





This is the faulty electronic piece removed from the assembly:





With the electric motor removed, you are left with this. The way the factory system works is when you press the swaybar disconnect button, the motor pushes a rod into the round center section which unlocks the swaybar and allows one side to act independently of the other. This pic shows that round center section:





The goal of this mod is to manually replicate what the electronics do with a thumbscrew. So I bought this electric box cover at Lowes to use as a template for the plate I needed to make. Hold it up to the spot where the motor hooks up to the assembly and trace the outline and mark the holes you need to drill:





Then I bought the hardware. I had estimate where to drill and tap the plate to accept the thumbscrew:





Then put them together like so:





Use the factory bolts to install it on the swaybar assembly:





Continued...
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:06 PM
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Now bench test it (sorry but Photobucket wouldn’t let me straighten out the video!):





Once I saw that the template worked okay, I then make the permanent plate out of 3/16 plate and painted it with Rustoleum. Here are some shots of the finished mod:








Now to disconnect, I just turn the thumbscrew…takes about 3 seconds!
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:44 PM
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Very cool. Hopefully I won't need this for a while but a great low-tech approach for 1/100 the price!

Here's to you!
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:02 AM
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This is brilliant and consider me subscribed for future updates and use in the event of a failure. Many beers to you sir.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:27 PM
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Very nice DIY write-up

I will keep this in mind when I have to cross this bridge.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:11 AM
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That is a fantastic mod. I've been wondering for a long time what I was going to do when that motor finally quits, because electric motors always do eventually. This is perfect - I might even start getting the parts together now so I have the whole assembly ready to go when the time comes.

Thanks for the great writeup.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:33 AM
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Very nice ill definitely be using this when mine goes.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:58 PM
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That's very cool. I learn so much from this forum.
I have a couple questions if you don't mind.
When you turn the knob to disconnect the swaybar, what is the resistance like? How do you know when to stop, does it get too hard to turn? Am I correct in assuming the rod is spring loaded and pushes back into the connected (locked) position when you loosen the knob.

Thanks,
Brian
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SAR JK View Post
That's very cool. I learn so much from this forum.
I have a couple questions if you don't mind.
When you turn the knob to disconnect the swaybar, what is the resistance like? How do you know when to stop, does it get too hard to turn? Am I correct in assuming the rod is spring loaded and pushes back into the connected (locked) position when you loosen the knob.

Thanks,
Brian
You are correct on both counts. Yes, it does get too hard to turn, and yes it is spring loaded and pushes back into the locked position.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:31 AM
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What did you do with the harness? Is the swaybar light on the dash on all the time or is there no indication that the electronics have been removed? Looks sweet and is definately on the list when it fails. Thanks
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