Rear Sway-Bar mounting position? - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2020, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Rear Sway-Bar mounting position?

Hello Gentlemen - Does anyone know if it's normal for the REAR Sway-Bar (2nd Gen 4x4) to be mounted crooked when it's bolted to the bottom of the Axle? My mounting brackets on the axle have three holes on both the left and right side for securing the bushing brackets. Mine are currently positioned so that the left side is in the forward two holes and the right side bracket is mounted in the rear two holes. This makes the whole sway bar crooked...is that supposed to be that way? I appreciate any advice on this, thanks...

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-17-2020, 12:38 AM
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Welcome. Is it because of the way the accompanying shock mounts on each side. Does bar sit parallel to the axle, meaning the bar is the same distance from the center of the axle on both sides. Are brackets a mirror image of each other?

99 2500, Quad cab, 4x4 47RE, BD pressure lock on it, small BD 90/140 chip on the VP 44 connection plug, 17" 3rd gen wheels. 3.55 diffs. Ruenell front bumper and warn winch, Rancho adj shocks. 663k miles.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-17-2020, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks,
Yes...the right-side shock could be removed and that "bolt-bracket" thing could be inserted into the forward-most two holes, then the shock reinstalled...there looks to be room for it directly under the lower shock bolt hole.

No...the bar does not appear to be parallel currently, but I do not remember it looking like that before I went to replace the sway bar bushings.

Yes...if by "mirror" your mean one shock points up forward and the other to the rear.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-17-2020, 12:39 PM
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Figure out which hole would make it equal/parallel on each side. Sounds like somebody reinstalled it wrong.

99 2500, Quad cab, 4x4 47RE, BD pressure lock on it, small BD 90/140 chip on the VP 44 connection plug, 17" 3rd gen wheels. 3.55 diffs. Ruenell front bumper and warn winch, Rancho adj shocks. 663k miles.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-17-2020, 01:59 PM
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front two holes on both sides

My 02 4wd swb 6spd had the rear sway bar removed by the PO. I got a sway-bar, links, brackets, etc off a scrap-truck at the wreckers. On both sides, the U-brackets were bolted to the forward two holes, and yes, on one side I had to remove the lower end of the shock absorber to get the bolt out. When installing on my truck, I used the forward holes.

I don't think it would matter if you used the two forward holes or the two rearward holes, I think what you want is the vertical links at the front of the sway bar positioned as close to vertical as possible, and the effective radius of the sway bar to be the same on both ends. I'm not sure, but maybe 2wd trucks with lower ride height use different u-bracket mounting holes than 4wd.

While you're at it, check the vertical link on the front of the bar, the lower joint will get loose/worn over time, the lower joint seems to be the wear point. On the one I got from the wrecker, the links were both pretty much new. But there were a couple others at the wrecker where the lower end of the link had wiggle-play, which would translate to rattling over bumps.

Having driven mine both with and without the sway bar, I don't feel any difference, in either sway or ride harshness. All the driving I did was empty. If I was driving loaded (I mean with a load on the truck), especially a high load like a sled-deck or camper, sway might be an issue.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-17-2020, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Good suggestions guys, thanks!
I will try bolting the brackets up evenly and see how that looks. If that just makes the bar crooked in the opposite way, then I still have a weird mystery. The bar doesn't look bent either.

I would tend to agree that theses two bushing brackets should logically be located in the same two holes for both left and right sides. However, I just came back from looking under my neighbor's 98.5, and his rear sway bar is mounted the same way mine is (the left side is in the two front holes, and the right side is in two rear holes). And, he's never worked on his before, since he has less than 140k on the truck. To add to the oddness of all this...his sway bar is not crooked, even though it's mounted the way mine is.

So, nothing left to do but try moving it up one hole on the right side and take a look...

BTW, I was changing out the end-links and bushings...that's how I noticed this issue in the first place. I also changed out the front sway bar bushings with red Prothanes. I mis-measured the diameter of the sway bar initially and got 34mm front bushings. I rechecked the size when they were installed, because they were super loose, and the bar diameter came to about 31.5...so I re-ordered the 32mm option. I'm assuming the 34mm bushings are for 1 tons or duallys.

I also replaced the front end-links at the same time. I bought ebay's cheapest links, but would not recommend them on account of having to turn them down to the proper diameter in order to fit in the hole all the way. But the rear sway bar end-links (though they were the really cheap ones too) where actually really nice and built more heavy duty than the original ones I replaced.

So...its been a bit of a battle, but its almost done now. A new track-bar removed the excessive play in the steering. Now, I only have to finish installing the front support brace/stabilizer for the gear-box, which mounts under the front sway bar brackets.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-17-2020, 08:13 PM
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I just looked at my 99. It is the same. The brackets are made to work on either side and are reversed for the shocks. But the bushing is mounted in the middle of the axle on both sides. Looks like using the middle hole is common to both sides. So all is good, just looks weird because of the reversed brackets. By the way the sway bar and overloads are part of the optional "camper special" package and no even on some trucks.

99 2500, Quad cab, 4x4 47RE, BD pressure lock on it, small BD 90/140 chip on the VP 44 connection plug, 17" 3rd gen wheels. 3.55 diffs. Ruenell front bumper and warn winch, Rancho adj shocks. 663k miles.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks for checking your truck to see where your bar is mounted.

I have removed the lower right shock bolt and moved the "bracket/bolts" thing (that the bushing U-bracket bolts to) to the forward two holes...which is now the same as the left side, which is also in the forward two holes. The sway bar now does look to be squared-up properly to the axle, but now the right vertical link is angled like this backslash symbol " \ ", and the left link is vertical like this symbol " l ".

So, now I'm wondering, if because I currently have the truck up on jack-stands in the front, and the ground is slightly uneven, maybe the frame is tweaked enough to be causing this? Although, the truck appears to be sitting pretty straight right now. Maybe that's all it was from the beginning...I don't know.

I'll just leave it alone for now, and when the other new bushing bracket arrives, I'll install it how it's positioned now and move the truck inside the shop onto the level concrete floor, and see what it looks like then.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 03:51 PM
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Why did you move it? That is wrong, It was right in the first place. Each side should have the extra hole on opposite sides becasue the shock mount bracket is reversed. Try and post a close up Pic of each side.

99 2500, Quad cab, 4x4 47RE, BD pressure lock on it, small BD 90/140 chip on the VP 44 connection plug, 17" 3rd gen wheels. 3.55 diffs. Ruenell front bumper and warn winch, Rancho adj shocks. 663k miles.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Because "jiggs..." said this: "On both sides, the U-brackets were bolted to the forward two holes, and yes, on one side I had to remove the lower end of the shock absorber to get the bolt out. When installing on my truck, I used the forward holes."...so, I thought I'd try mounting the brackets that way.

I don't know for sure which way they are supposed to be, hence the initial question...and also when I put it on how you're saying (which was how mine was originally, and is just like my neighbor's truck too) the bar looked really crooked.

I assume you are correct...I would also assume that the chances are greater that mine was also mounted correctly from the beginning...I also feel confident that my neighbor's truck is mounted correctly. So, all three of these set-ups point to the same method of mounting the bar: in the forward two holes for the left side, and the rear two holes for the right side...however, when I do that, the bar looks really crooked.

So, all I can think of now is that the truck is sitting in a tweaked position right now...maybe that's all that is changing the angle of the right vertical link currently...or the "parallelness" of the bar itself when I mount it the original way...or maybe I'm just being a dummy!
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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To be clear: Right now the bar looks parallel with both brackets mounted in the forward two holes...but the links or not both vertical.

when I mount the left side in forward two holes, and the right side in the rear two holes (like I think you're saying it should be)...the bar looks really crooked (not parallel to the axle)...but the links are both perfectly vertical.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a drawing that might help explain what I'm seeing happening:
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