September 10th 2018
I just installed the JK/JKU 0-2.5” Lift Front Sway Bar Quick Disconnect Kit (8-1/2”) and am extremely happy with it, hence the five star rating. A few notes:
1) Although the written instructions that came with the kit are very good, there were a few items missing for owner DIY installs. It was clear to me these were written mainly for experienced installers (for example: adding one sentence telling me to put the Jeep up on jack stands and remove the front tires to allow better access would have been nice).
2) The nationwide brick and mortar retailer where I bought these tried to sell me a different brand that, in their opinion, was more robust. Only by chance did they finally catch that my Jeep was stock, and not lifted, to which they said the other brands didn't make a model to fit. I found that this Teraflex model was the only one I could find for no lift. The other brand sway bar links do seem to be more robust, but the Teraflex kit worked well (read on).
3) The install is NOT extremely easy unless you do these things all the time. In the big picture it is not at all hard, but it took me 2.5 hours start to finish with a few times where I was unsure about some aspect of the install. The hardest part was just getting wrenches into tight places. This is probably made easier when on a lift in a shop where the axle is hanging down. On jack stands, everything is compressed and it makes it hard to fit hands and wrenches around the sway bar, and steering linkage. Not impossible, just more time consuming.
4) On the street, I could not tell any difference between the handling of my stock 2017 Jeep Wrangler Sport S JK (two-door) than with the original links. Once in a very curvy section at highway speeds, I could definitely feel more roll and a slight wallowing in the corners, but hey, the Wrangler was never meant to be a sports car anyway. I think the benefits of the articulation more than makes up for the very slight degradation of on-road handling.
5) One the trail OH MY GOD WHAT A DIFFERENCE! The amount of comfort from the articulation is insane. I would say it makes as much of a difference, or more, than airing down. I cannot believe I didn't do this upgrade DAY ONE after buying my Jeep. It's THAT good. I also felt that the Jeep was extremely surefooted; i.e. more traction. That could have just been the trail I was on, or it was more likely because my front tires were actually on the ground instead of sometimes being in the air.
However, I did notice four slightly negative things:
6) The passenger side sway bar link is VERY close to the coil spring retention housing. One (non-Teraflex) install video I saw on YouTube made minor mention to grinding off a bit of this to make more clearance. Minor to an experienced mechanic maybe. But I would have liked to have reference to it from Teraflex. I ended leaving this alone and experienced no negative side effects.
7) The driver-side link was rubbed by the tire—to the point where the paint was all rubbed off, and it was slightly bent. I don’t intend to do anything about this because the bend is so slight, but this most likely was a result of that greater articulation. I am running the stock Goodyear Wrangler SR-A 255/75/R17 all-terrain tires. I do worry that running different tires with a more aggressive lug pattern on the edge/side will cause substantially more rubbing and potentially more damage to the sway bar links. Maybe that’s why so many Jeepers use wheel spacers with their more aggressive tires. However, considering that the links are not in use while on the trail, that means they are being rubbed for no reason except that where they are tucked away is potentially not the best place for them to be stowed. I will have to do some articulation tests in my driveway to determine if there is a better place for me to stow the links when not in use. Note: this particular model only disconnects on one side, so the links cannot be removed from trail use, they need to be tucked away.
8) Most likely as a result of the tire rubbing, the brackets where the links are stored on the trail rotated towards the rear of the Jeep by about 25°. You would think this would be impossible when the links are connected to them. Maybe because of bending of the links from rubbing, they were moved out of place on the trail. These were easy enough to rotate back in place, but it doesn’t seem like this should happen in the first place.
9) Lastly, the one big problem I did have was my driver-side tire blew out the sidewall while on the trail. Most likely this was from a sharp rock. I don’t believe it had anything to do with the new sway bar disconnects as I could not see a place where rubbing would rip out a hole in the sidewall. Still, it is something I will keep a very close eye on to verify the greater articulation isn’t causing more problems than it solves.
So even with all that, I give this product a 5-star rating. It is worth the effort. This price is not terrible. And Teraflex has identified a gap in the market: i.e. new Jeepers who need articulation but who have not yet jumped into a lift kit—and, once they do, the same sway bar links will accommodate up to a 2.5” lift. Thanks, Teraflex!