Removal of the Rear Anti-Swaybar

Removing the rear anti-swaybar is an easy and cheap way to improve your XJ's offroad ability. It allows the rear suspension to articulate better which helps keep both rear tires on the ground. I've seen alot of new XJ owners on the XJ Forum asking how removing the swaybar will affect their on-road handling. Often the individuals who say it wont change, put on a lift kit when they removed their swaybar. If you add a new Add-A-Leaf or new spring pack it will most often tighten up the ride so that you don't notice the difference.

I decided to remove my rear swaybar a week before I installed my lift. That way I could compare the stock ride with the swaybar vs. stock without the swaybar vs. lifted without the swaybar.

The Removal

Like any other project where you plan to remove old parts from your XJ, soak the bolts and nuts that you need to remove for 3 to 4 days prior to starting the project. Block the front tires and loosen the rear wheel lugs. Raise the rear and use jack stands to support the XJ. Remove the rear tires. Remove the bolt and nut which attach the swaybar to the spring purch. This took alot of elbow grease and additional soakings with WD-40.

Next, remove the two bolts that attach the swaybar to the uniframe frame rail. Repeat the above steps on the other side. Now twist and turn the swaybar until you get it out. Reinstall the tires, lower the XJ, and your done. See I told you that was easy.

Driving Impressions

Stock with the rear anti-swaybar; Red is a 1990 with 160,000 miles on him. It rides nice and is cushier than the wife's 96 XJ with the Up Country Suspension package (the Up Country Package deletes the rear swaybar). I drive a little on the agressive side. On off ramps that say 40mph, I do 55mph comfortably.

Stock with the rear swaybar removed; Yes there is a difference. I was slowing down to about 45mph on the 40mph exit ramps. You can feel the body roll more. It's not suprising or scary. It just doesn't feel like a tight sports car. No problem, I slowed down in the corners and after a week it felt normal.

Lifted with swaybar removed; After I installed my lift, using full lenght Add-A-Leafs, the XJ felt like the wifes 96. No more body roll. It is firm, but not rough.


If you are planning on offroading on more that just dirt roads, this would be an ideal way to gain some offroad prowless. Depending on the age of your suspension, your handling may change. Just be careful at first and you should have no problem. So get out the toolbox and go for it.

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