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Old 04-18-2011, 12:09 PM
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BWoody Sway Links Install w/Pics & Impressions

I finally decided to install my BWoody Sway Links yesterday so I thought I would do a quick write up to help those looking to do the same.

First off here is some important info needed for the install.

The sway link kit can be ordered dirctly at the link below:
http://bwoodyperformance.com/product...6816b807f8b7fa

My kit did not come with the install diagram so it can be downloaded here:
http://members.shaw.ca/mattob/jeep/B...%20Diagram.pdf

The parts came fairly quick via UPS but I must warn my fellow Canadians to prepare to be hit hard with shipping and brokerage charges. When I placed the order it said "$20 best rate" to Canada but within a few hours I got another e-mail saying I would be charged an additional $15 - Fine - but the real frustrating part was that UPS charges an additional $30 for brokerage fees at the border. So yeah - $65 to ship is not so cool but for the most part it's not the vendors issue. On to the good stuff...




Tools Required:
  • Drill - If cordless make sure it has a good charge
  • Torque Wrench
  • Jack and Jack Stands
  • Grease for bushings UPDATE: Everyone should be using Copper or Aluminum Neverseize rather than straight up synthetic grease. It provides much better resistance to water and should last longer between service.
  • PB Blaster or similar - make it easy on yourself!
  • 1/2" Metal Drill Bit to drill out control arms
  • 8mm Reg Socket
  • 18mm Deep Socket
  • 18mm Reg Socket
  • 18mm Combination Wrench
  • 19mm Deep Socket
  • 19mm Reg Socket
  • 19mm Combination Wrench
Installation:




I did the fronts first so I will start there...
  1. If your vehicle has Quadra-Lift be sure to disable before proceeding. This can be accomplished by pressing and holding both the up and down arrows for +/- 5 seconds. (Confirmed in EVIC)
  2. Crack the lug nuts on the front wheels before raising the Jeep
  3. Jack up BOTH front tires and install jack stands. Do not attempt to install one side at a time as it will makes things far more difficult then it needs to be. Make sure jack stands are stable! Also, NEVER crawl under a vehicle only supported by the jack.
  4. Remove both front wheels
  5. You should now be looking at something similar to this:


    Note I have already removed the stock 18mm nuts in this picture.

  6. Trust me here and start on the top nut first - I used a 18mm combination wrench on the nut and the 8mm socket on the tip of the bolt. It actually worked better to hold the 18mm still and then turn the bolt itself with the ratchet/socket. Removing the stock nuts is by far the hardest part of the install. If you have air tools this would make things a whole lot easier.
  7. Once both nuts have been removed simply remove the stock sway link
  8. You now need to drill out the lower hole in the control arm to accomodate the new bolt hardware. This is quite easy to do as it is such a small amount of material being removed. Moosehead had posted the following info in another thread for reference:
    Stock bolts = 11.87mm (15/32nd)
    New Bolts = 12.51 mm (1/2")
    so you are only removing less than half a mm.

    Picture for reference:


  9. Once the hole is drilled out to 1/2" lay out your new links and hardware (3-1/2" long bolts for the fronts and the BWoody links with ends facing the opposite direction) and proceed to GENEROUSLY grease up the faces of all rubber bushings and also the washers.
  10. Install the new sway links and ensure the supplied washers are directly againsed the rubber bushings on all sides. All new hardware must be torqued to 90ft/lbs. There is no washer used on the nut side of the hardware.
  11. Repeat for the other side... your links should now look like this:


  12. Re-install the front wheels and re-torque lug nuts to spec.
  13. Remove Jack stands and lower the front of the vehicle.
  14. Onto the rears!
  15. Crack lugs on the rear wheels before raising the Jeep (Parking brake will allow you to do this once raised but it's much easier to do on the ground)
  16. Jack up rear and install jack stands. Make sure they are nice and stable - the last thing you want is this bus falling on your head!
  17. Once again, remove the top nut first as the bottom one will help somewhat hold things in place as you try to remove the top one.
  18. Remove stock link completely from the Jeep
  19. Drill out lower rear control arms just like the fronts.
  20. Lay out hardware and proceed to grease everything up same as the fronts.
  21. Install BWoody rear links (The ones with the heads facing the SAME way) and torque new hardware (smaller 3" bolts for rear) to 90ft/lbs. Rears should now look like this:

  22. Re-install wheels to spec, remove jackstands and lower back to the ground.
  23. Your done!
Impressions:

Without a doubt in my mind the upgraded links make a fairly substantial difference in the amount of body roll felt in the cabin and are well worth the upgrade IMO.

The Jeep stays very flat and predictable throughout turns which makes for a much better driving experience overall. Corners definitly feel like they can be taken at higher speeds with no adverse effect at all on the overall ride of the Jeep. I was paranoid that I would lose some of the smoothness out of the ride but that is not the case at all. It feels more planted to the road in corners but are otherwise not noticeable in everyday driving.

... these even passed the dreadded Wife test!... she actually commented on how she likes the stability in corners now!

Anyways, hopefully this will be of help to other members looking to tighten things up suspension wise.

Good Luck

Notes: I ran into some issues after about 3000 mi where the bushings had started failing - this is apparently due to the type of grease used. I used 100% synthetic grease that even stated "exceptional resistance to water, dirt, etc..." but it had mostly washed off within this short timeframe. Copper or Aluminum Neverseize is recommended for optimum performance and durability. Lesson Learned.
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:18 PM
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Re: BWoody Sway Links Install w/Pics & Impressions

Nicely done 604, +rep for great write up. +1 for the BWoody Sway links.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:39 PM
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Re: BWoody Sway Links Install w/Pics & Impressions

Great Write Up! Nicely Photographed too!
Glad ya took the plunge and proceeded... Glad to hear you're happy with results!!

I didn't remove wheels, I did it from underneath on floor... which probably caused a little bit of frustration getting the Ft Links reinstalled quickly. Rear set wasn't any fuss compared to Ft Links!

Plus, I used 1/2 x 3" on All except for Ft Lower Control Arm. I used 3.5" because bolt wasn't fully passing through nut.... I wanted to see a few more MM on bolt. I used a thicker washer (Ag Style) than standard thickness washers. I didn't receive the hardware from Bwoody, so I used Grd8 Hardware & Washers from my local Hardware.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:50 PM
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Re: BWoody Sway Links Install w/Pics & Impressions

Thanks guys...

Dougcjohn: I can't believe you were able to do the swap without taking the wheels off! That is some feat! Did you have it up on ramps?

Even with decent ground clearance it's amazing you could climb under there and have enough room and leverage to crack and torque the bolts. Nice work!
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:57 PM
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Re: BWoody Sway Links Install w/Pics & Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by SixZeroFour View Post
Thanks guys...

Dougcjohn: I can't believe you were able to do the swap without taking the wheels off! That is some feat! Did you have it up on ramps?

Even with decent ground clearance it's amazing you could climb under there and have enough room and leverage to crack and torque the bolts. Nice work!
LOL... Yep, we 6'8" guys can fit into little places... Long Arms!
No, didn't use ramps or lift Jeep on Air suspension... didn't want to throw off the stabilizer bars position for R&R parts. Long 30" 1/2" Breaker bar helps!

But... If I was to do again... Removing wheels would probably be easier.
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:28 PM
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Re: BWoody Sway Links Install w/Pics & Impressions

Question: Wouldn't the first step be ensuring that QL is turned off?
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:49 PM
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Re: BWoody Sway Links Install w/Pics & Impressions

Ahh yes.... sorry I forgot to mention that I do not have QL. I have a Laredo X with Quadra-Trac II and SelecTerrain.

Original post edited - Thanks.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:37 PM
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Re: BWoody Sway Links Install w/Pics & Impressions

Good writeup!
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:40 PM
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Re: BWoody Sway Links Install w/Pics & Impressions

604, I will likely never do this mod but have to agree with the others-- that was an outstanding writeup and awesome photography.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:39 AM
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Re: BWoody Sway Links Install w/Pics & Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by netcoolery View Post
Question: Wouldn't the first step be ensuring that QL is turned off?
Netcoolery, great point... If it's lifted up to the max Lev II it should be disabled. When it's at the normal ride height, I'm not certain if it's required.
I locked it up when doing exhaust, but I had it at normal height when doing Sway Bar Links and didn't lock it.

I would agree with SixZeroFour, the ride is more positive but also "feels" more comfortable & stable. I think it's a great upgrade.

A note on install: Drilling out the Lower Control Arms was prev. mentioned. In addition, the Rt Rr Stabilizer Bar was to small on mine and required to be drilled out as well. If you experience similar, to drill heat tempered steel; you'll need a constant supply of oil or cutting lube during the drilling and will be much slower to drill than Ft Cast & Rr Alum. control arms. Allow time to cool down before mounting bushing.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:02 AM
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Re: BWoody Sway Links Install w/Pics & Impressions

Great writeup +rep!

BTW how do thicker sway links result in increased performance? That question is for anyone not necessarily just the OP. Aren't we essentially just replacing the same exact product with a much thicker one. I'm not to sure how it equates to better corner else the original links fail and break due to them being weaker; both should be doing the same exact task if together?
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:45 AM
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Re: BWoody Sway Links Install w/Pics & Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by J13ntv View Post
Great writeup +rep!

BTW how do thicker sway links result in increased performance? That question is for anyone not necessarily just the OP. Aren't we essentially just replacing the same exact product with a much thicker one. I'm not to sure how it equates to better corner else the original links fail and break due to them being weaker; both should be doing the same exact task if together?
J13NTV, It's not really the size of link that provides the improvement.
It's the "style" of the link and density & material of the bushing.

The stock link, as seen in photos is similar to a double ended - ball head tie rod, this allows the link to have much greater movement and thus reducing the amount of control on the sway bars and body movement. The Bwoody Link is a solid rigid mount, significantly reducing the amount of body movement in comparison to chassis.

The material, thickness and density of the bushing is "harder" or less compression which provides additional reduction in body / chassis movement.

This provides a reduction in movement in between the body / chassis; Not the travel or operation of the physical suspension. The suspension continues to work the same. Although with less body movement, actually feels more in control & firmer. Again, not firmer suspension but firmer body movement.

OEM links require much greater travel of body before the torsional tension is applied to control body movement.
Thus, corning is improved because the body doesn't roll as much providing a more sure footed positive control.
Doesn't change center gravity or suspension... so WK2 still has limitations to respect.
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