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How to put a 2007 JK electric swaybar in your YJ
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How to put a 2007 JK electric swaybar in your YJ

Date Created: 04/21/2008
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1-25-07 UPDATE: Since this article was written, Jeep caught on that the $70-$80 price tag for the swaybar was wrong. The new price is $1500-$1800! This is discussed from post 124 on. Also see this thread:


The article will tell you how to hook up a JK swaybar with the electric disconnect system to your YJ. This will allow you to disconnect and connect your sway bar by simply flipping a switch! It is very easy and can be done in an afternoon if you work fast. The best part is that the entire project can be done for about $100. No that is not a misprint. A hundred bucks. You can hook it up in two different versions: (1) electrically, or (2) in a manual version that uses a knob (much like the RockLock which uses a Warn hub).

I know this works on YJs. I also believe that it will work on any Jeep on which the swaybar mounts to the bottom of the frame. I do not believe it will work on TJs because the sway bar is on top of the frame and bumper.

LET ME GIVE YOU THIS DISCLAIMER: Like many of you, I am not a mechanic or electrician. I am a simple hack/weekend warrior. Although the modifications I describe in this write up are working great for me, you need to be the final judge of how to do this modification. If you find any mistakes or things you would do differently, PLEASE POST THEM HERE! Once you install this on your Jeep make sure to cycle your suspension to make sure there are no clearance issues. YOU MAY NEED TO ADJUST THE PLACEMENT OF YOUR BRAKE LINES.

Also, do not power the disconnect motor on a full 12 volts of current. It will permanently damage or break the plunger assembly. As described below, you must wire in a resistor to limit the current to the motor.


I was just plain tired of getting under the Jeep and disconnecting the sway bar every time I hit the trail. Then I had to go back under to reconnect when I was ready to go home. You have to be on level ground or it is a problem. You know what I mean; and if you have been in the mud it is especially fun. I have been with guys that took 10-30 minutes to do this because they were not on level ground. What a hassle.

So I decided that I wanted to hook up some sort of manual or electric swaybar disconnect system. I shopped around and all of the products like the RockLock (which uses a warn hub assembly) are only for TJs. I knew that the new 2007 Wrangler has an optional electrical swaybar that lets you disconnect with the flip of a switch. So I went into the dealership just to price what the assembly would cost and to see if it looked like it would fit on my YJ, although I had read that it was computer controlled. I figured if it was $350 or so maybe it would be worth it if I could get it to work on my YJ. But I was fully expecting it to be much more than that.

So the guy in the parts department at my local Jeep dealership looked up the part number on the computer, looks up, stares at me and says “That can’t be right. It says the entire swaybar system is only $80.”

I agreed that it must not include the entire assembly but he went ahead and ordered it (they are all back east) so that we could see exactly what it was that was only $80. Three days later the part comes in. It is in fact the entire JK swaybar with the entire disconnect assembly! Eighty bucks. I’m not kidding. I pulled out the cash and took it home.

Now....stop reading this article. RUN, don’t walk...RUN to the nearest Jeep dealership and order yours before they realize that the computer MUST be wrong. The part number you want is 52060300AD. Eighty bucks delivers it. Below I am going to tell you how to hook it up in your YJ. Yes it works and yes it is the most fun, and “coolest” modification I have ever done to my Jeep.


I am not an engineer, but in the process of figuring this modification out I did completely disassemble the JK electric sway bar. This is what I found:

The JK electric sway bar assembly is really simple. It connects and disconnects with the use of an electric motor. There is no need to detach the sway bar links, as we normally do with manual disconnects. There is an electric motor in the middle of the swaybar.

When turned on this motor pushes a plunger against a plate. When pushed by the plunger the plate moves in about 1 inch thereby disconnecting the swaybar. There is apparently a sleeve inside the assembly that moves along the sway bar on splines. Probably much like the Dana 30 vacuum disconnect system.

The plunger is driven by a screw which is turned by the electric motor. When the plunger reaches the limits of its travel the motor turns off and a “magnetic brake” engages to hold the plunger in place against the disconnect plate. The magnetic brake is what appears to be a coil with a magnet on top. The JK computer maintains current to this magnetic brake until the user wants to reconnect the swaybar, at which time the current is removed from the magnet. When this happens, the plunger, which is spring loaded, returns to the connected position and the swaybar reconnects. So the default/poweroff position on the sway bar is connected.

The width of the JK sway bar is basically the same as the stock YJ sway bar. It is designed to mount under the frame, just like on the YJ. TJs on the other hand mount over the frame so I do not think this modification will work on a TJ. But it should work on other models as long as the swaybar mounts under the frame. I will leave the ultimate answer of what other vehicles this will work on for someone else.

Using the stock YJ mounting brackets and mounting locations, the JK sway bar mounts right up to a YJ. The only differences are that the sway bar is about 1/4 inch thicker than the stock sway bar which means that you must machine out the stock bushings that are used on the mounting brackets or find an over the counter bushing that will work. Also the arms on the JK sway bar are about 3-4 inches longer than the YJ swaybar. This means that the links may need to attached to the top of the axle and not where the stock links go. However, on my Jeep, I was able to use the existing sway bar links as already installed. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE BECAUSE THE LONGER ARMS WILL PROBABLY HIT YOUR BRAKE LINES WHEN THE SUSPENSION COMPRESSES. AFTER YOU DO THE INSTALLATION YOU HAVE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM. AFTER INSTALLATION CYCLE YOUR SUSPENSION TO CHECK FOR BRAKE LINE CLEARANACE ISSUES. OTHERWISE YOU COULD BLOW YOUR BRAKE LINES!

The only other initial problem is that the JK swaybar is completely controlled by the JK’s computer. So I had to find a way to work around that. It was also no problem.

Here is an important note: NEVER RUN THE MOTOR WITH A FULL 12 VOLTS OF CURRENT OR YOU WILL DAMAGE THE RETURN SPRING AND PLUNGER MECHANISM. The JK computer apparently limits how much current the electric motor receives to push the plunger to disconnect the sway bar. In trying to figure out how to eliminate the computer controls and limitations...basically in trying to figure out how to wire the electric motor directly...I operated the motor fully removed from the assembly on a full 12 volts of current. This basically caused the motor to overpower and break the return spring on the plunger as well as the "nut" that rides the plunger screw. (As discussed below, you must use a small resistor to lower the current to the disconnect motor). Therefore I was forced to buy a second sway bar. It was only $80 so I didn’t really mind. This gave me a chance to fully open and take apart the first swaybar. In so doing I realized that there are two different ways you can use this system on your YJ.

The first, is to hook it up electrically. The second is to hook it up manually, without electricity. This ends up working just like the RockLock from Skyjacker, which uses a warn hub assembly. You turn a handle and the sway bar unlocks. Turn it the other way and it locks. Both are simple to install, but the manual version eliminates all the wiring issues.

Now...the introduction ends. Here is how you can do this modification to your YJ. I have tried to address all of the issues I faced. Hopefully if you follow my instruction you can do this very simply and have no problems arise. The first option is to go fully electric, and the second is a manual system.


There are basically only three things you need to do to make this swaybar system work on your YJ: (1) remove the computer board inside the housing, (2) hook a switch up to it; and (3) mount it under your Jeep. In summary you must do the following:

1. Drill out the rivets on the electrical connector plate and remove the computer board.

2. Run the red, white and two black wires outside of the assembly and use rivets or nuts and bolts to replace the electrical connector plate.

3. Hook up the switch

4. Get new bushings

5. Install it in your Jeep.


As mentioned above, on the 2007 Wrangler the electric swaybar is totally computer controlled. Since you will not be using the JK’s computer, the first step is to eliminate the computer board from the sway bar assembly and expose the wires you will need to directly power the system.

On the motor assembly is an electrical connector plate.

I tried everything to engage the motor by hooking up to the different connectors. It was not possible. This is because there is an internal computer board that requires the JK computer to operate the swaybar. This board must be removed.

Drill out the rivets that surround the electrical connector plate. Once the rivets are removed you can slide the electrical connector plate out of the assembly.

You will see that behind the electrical connector plate is large computer board. There is only one plug connector that is connected to this board. Unplug it. The board will now be totally separated from the assembly.

Although you will never need this computer board, you will want to re-use the connector plate. You can just leave the board on the plate or break it off to get it out the way. I broke the board off mine. This computer board is obviously used by the JK computer to limit when and how the swaybar can be connected.


Now that you have removed the computer board locate the connector plug that you unplugged from the computer board. You will see four wires: two black, one red and one white.

The red and the white power the motor. The two black wires go to the “magnetic brake”. You will need to use all four of these wires.

Somehow you need to run all four wires to the outside of the assembly so that you can hook up the power. I simply made a small groove in the housing under the connector plate. This should be done in a water tight manner. Use gasket sealer. If you do it like I did you can reuse the electrical connector plate simply as a cover, but you should break off the computer board since it will only get in the way.

Once you have done these two steps, the basic modification of the sway bar is done. All you have to do it hook it up to a switch and it will run.


Now this is the only tricky part. If you can figure out a better way to wire this system than I did, please post it.

All you need to do now is hook up a switch and a resistor and the sway bar will be ready to go. As stated above, the electric motor pushes a plunger against a “button” to disconnect the sway bar. Once the motor has moved the plunger about 1 inch it can go no further and will stop moving. At this point power must be immediately removed from the motor (the red and white wires) and applied to the magnetic brake (the two black wires). This will hold the plunger in the disconnected position.

This plunger is spring loaded. Therefore, when power is removed from the magnetic brake, the plunger will withdraw automatically and the swaybar will default to the locked position. Again...the red and white wires power the motor and the two black wires power the magnetic brake.

NOTE: The white wire is positive and the red is negative. I know...go figure.

You must find a switch that will allow you to momentarily power the motor (red and white wires) for 1-2 seconds, and then have power removed from the motor and applied to the magnetic brake at the same time.

I highly recommend that you contact Darren at He worked with me in coming up with two switch options. But I think the first is far better.

Switch option 1

The first, which I used, operates like an in cab winch controller.

Here is how the switch from looks. I combined mine with a dual battery switch:

There is a power switch to engage the switch panel and a two position, on/momentary on switch to run the motor to disconnect the sway bar.

The power switch makes sure that neither the motor nor the brake can be accidentally activated. Plus the power switch has a light to indicate that power is being applied.

First you flip the power switch. Next to the power switch is a two position switch: position one is on and position two is momentary on. Wire the two black wires to the “on” position and the red and white wires to the momentary on position.

What happens is that in the on position the magnetic brake is on. When you flip to momentary on position the magnetic brake is not powered and the electric motor comes on. Hold it on for 1-2 seconds. Since the brake is not powered you will hear the motor run and then stop because the plunger has reached the limit of its travel. Release switch and it will fall back to the on position and power the magnetic brake. The brake will hold the plunger in the disconnect position as long as you want. When you want to reconnnect, simply turn the power switch off. This removes all power to both the motor and the brake. The plunger is spring loaded so it will spin back to the connected position. I believe this is by far the best way to go because it includes the safety feature of a power switch.

Switch Option 2

The second way is to simply use a three position switch: off/on/momentary on.

To connect flip the switch to off. No power is being applied to the motor or the brake. This situation will always default to the connected position for the swaybar.

To disconnect you would flip the switch to the momentary on position to engage the motor. Hold it one for 1-2 seconds. Since the brake is not powered you will hear the motor run and then stop because the plunger has reached the limit of its travel. Release switch and it will fall back to the on position and power the magnetic brake. When you want to disconnect simply flip to the third position, to which nothing is hooked up. This will remove all power to the motor and the brake and the swaybar will default to locked.

The problem is that I could not find a switch with this set up. does have a on/on/off switch. The problem is that since there is no momentary position, when you power the motor you must manually turn it off. If you accidently flip it on the motor could burn up. For this reason I went with switch option 1.

Again contact Darren at to get the switch that is right for you. He is very nice and was very helpful to me in designing a custom switch. He knows about this project and can help you as well. The switch alone is only $15. With a custom plate it can be $30-$45.

You MUST Hookup a Resistor


When I was figuring out how the system worked I took the motor off of the sway bar assembly and ran it from an optima in my garage. After 2-3 operations the spring that withdraws the plunger when power is removed broke. Plus the "nut" that rides the screw broke. For that reason I came to the conclusion that the JK does not use a full 12V on the motor.

Therefore you must put a 1 or 2 ohms resistor inline between the motor and the switch (on either the red or the white wire). A resistor will lower the current that makes it to the motor make sure that the return spring will not break.

I went to the auto parts store and bought a ballast resistor off on old Ford or Dodge.

They are two ohms. Some have four prongs. Others have 2 prongs. Get the two prong version. Anything more than 2 ohms is way too much. 1 or 1.5 ohms might work as well, but be careful.

With hindsight, I am amazed at how "fragile" the screw mechanism that drives the plunger really is. If you can imagine it, the system works just like a screw driven garage door opener. A "nut" rides on the screw to push the plunger in and out. Believe it or not, the "nut" appears to be plastic! That's why too much current (torque) will break the nut, not to mention the return spring. So I can't stress this enough: use the a resistor or else you will break something!


Before you install the system in your Jeep hook up the system in your garage and practice using it so that you can get a feel for the way it sounds and the way it operates. When I first hooked up the power and the swaybar disconnected I about fell off my chair! When you flip and hold the switch you will hear the motor turning. Hold the switch until the motor stops and then immediately let off the switch. If wired properly the magnetic brake will engage and hold the plunger in the disconnected position. You should be able to grab the two ends of the sway bar and move them independently, i.e., it is disconnected. Flip the switch to the off position and the power will be removed from the brake and the sway bar plunger will default to the connected position. Once you move the arms parallel they will lock back in place. That’s it! Get a feel for it before you install it.


Now that you have the system ready to go, you simply need to mount it in your Jeep.

Remove the old sway bar, but save the bushings and the brackets. The first issue is that the old bushings will not work because the new swaybar is 1 1/4 inch in diameter. The easiest solution is to buy new bushings. You need 1 1/4 inch bushings. Energy Suspension makes a kit that works. It is part number 9.5165G

Alternatively you can drill out the old bushings to accept the new sway bar. I recommend simply buying the Energy Suspension bushings.

Lastly, since the arms of the new sway bar are longer you may need to weld some mounting tabs on the top of your axle and mount the swaybar links there. However, I as able to use my existing link mounts where they were already installed with no problem. If you do as well, make sure that you have no clearance issues when the suspension cycles.

The only other thing you need to do is fabricate a metal arm that will attach to a bolt hole on the electric disconnect assembly and also to your Jeep.

The motor assembly turns freely on the swaybar at all times so you must secure it. I welded the arm onto the back of that hollow tube that runs across bumper area on the YJ. Bottom line is that you need to secure the assembly to something to keep it from spinning on the sway bar.

That’s it! Once it is mounted in your Jeep and you have run the switch to your dash, the system is complete. Hit the switch for a second or two and you will hear the motor turn and then stop. Once it stops it has gone as far as possible and has disconnected the sway bar. Release the switch. If wired properly the brake will engage and hold it disconnected. If you continue to hold the switch down you may eventually burn up the motor.

So in summary:

1. Drill out the rivets on the electrical connector plate and remove the computer board.

2. Run the red, white and two black wires outside of the assembly and use rivets or nuts and bolts to replace the electrical connector plate.

3. Hook up the switch

4. Get new bushings

5. Install it in your Jeep.

Option 2: Manual Version



1. Remove the motor assembly and throw it away

2. Fabricate a cover plate with a anchor bolt to despress the disconnect button

3. Attach you cover plate where the motor went

4. Install it in your Jeep.

For the sake of brevity I will not repeat all of the steps set forth above here. So make sure you read the info above before going on.

Perhaps the easiest way to hook this system up is to eliminate the electrical system and motor altogether. This will make it work much like the RockLock, which uses a warn hub assembly to disconnect and connect. This is the cheapest, easiest and most reliable way to do it.

To modify the system to be manual, remove the three bolts that hold the motor onto the assembly.

You can discard the motor assembly since it will not be used.

If you look into the assembly will see a large round recessed “button” (there also a smaller hole that you can ignore).

This is the button that must be depressed to disconnect. It is spring loaded so when released it will slide back to the connected position. You can experiment with the operation with a screwdriver or any other item long enough to stick down in there and depress the button.

In the electric version the motor pushes a plunger against this plate to disconnect. All you need to do to make it manual is fabricate a cover plate with a large depressor screw to go over the opening where the motor was.

First cut a piece of steel to the approximate shape of the opening you created when you removed the motor assembly. Drill a hole in the plate directly above where the “disconnect button” will be. Weld a nut on the outside of this plate that will be used to secure and guide a bolt into the housing and against the button.

I used a large wall anchor since it already has a built in handle that can be used turn the bolt by hand. This bolt will be used to depress the button and unlock the sway bar.

Once you mount the cover back on the assembly turn the screw clockwise to tighten the bolt against the button and disconnect the swaybar. Unscrew it to reconnect.

Set up this way it only takes 6 turns of the bolt by hand to lock or unlock the swaybar. It only takes 5 seconds and is fool proof. No blown fuses, no busted wires...just a simple, reliable disconnect system.. Make sure to use gasket sealer to make the plate you fabricated water tight.

That’s it.

Install into your Jeep as described above.

Here are some pics of the manual version installed.

One final note on the manual version. The button that gets depressed is aluminum. The bolt I used to push against it is steel. In order to avoid damaging the aluminum you will want to add some sort of soft material between the two. I simply used the plunger off the motor.

Manual Version Update: I have found that when the swaybar assembly is under tension, like when your Jeep is off camber or the ground you are parked on is not level, it is very difficult to turn the disconnecting bolt by hand because the disconnect button it presses against is under tension. This is the same scenario you face with traditional disconnects when you try to remove the pins when the Jeep is on uneven ground. It is almost impossible.

To eliminate this problem, you should put a spring inbetween the bolt and the disconnect plate. The original design includes this feature and will be present on the electric version. I recommend getting the spring out of the plunger on the motor assembly and then using some narrow PVC or sprinkler connectors in which to place the spring and the connector bolt.

Using this technique you mimic the original design of the system: If the swaybar is under tension the spring on the plunger (or bolt in this case) will pressurize when you turn the anchor bolt to disconnect. Once you do this you can go ahead and drive off and as soon as the swaybar tension is gone the pressure in the spring will disconnect the swaybar and hold it in the disconnected position.

Although this is not absolutely necessary it works great!

Hopefully you can get an idea from the pictures. The bottom line: find someway to use a spring to build pressure on the disconnect button in the assembly. This will eliminate the problem of trying to disconnect on uneven ground.


In some ways the manual version is the best. Simple and reliable. But the electric version is far more novel. Right now I have the manual version installed on my I am actually really happy with the manual version. In hindsight I sort of wish I had stopped and stayed manual. It is a lot easier. I may stay manual. That way I know the system is disconnected because I felt it disconnect when I turned the bolt.

Remember that since the swaybar links will always be connected to your axle, it is imperative that your swaybar links are long enough. If they are too short they will limit your Jeep’s articulation and may even hit the tie rod as the axle "hangs" from the sway bar.

Once you have installed everything I recommend that you take your Jeep to a professional and have him compress and flex your suspension to make sure that the sway bar links are long enough and that the arms do not interfere with your brake lines! You will find that your brake lines are right above where the new sway bar arms are. REMEMBER THIS IS AN IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE BECAUSE THE LONGER ARMS WILL PROBABLY HIT YOUR BRAKE LINES WHEN THE SUSPENSION COMPRESSES. AFTER YOU DO THE INSTALLATION YOU HAVE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM. AFTER INSTALLATION CYCLE YOUR SUSPENSION TO CHECK FOR BRAKE LINE CLEARANACE ISSUES. OTHERWISE YOU COULD BLOW YOUR BRAKE LINES!

Ultimately you are responsible for the quality of the installation. Good luck.


The magnetic brake is essentially an electromagnet. I do not know how much current the JK computer sends to engage this brake. In the setup I describe above the switch sends the full 12 volts to the brake to hold the plunger in the disconnected position.

To test the system I hooked an optima up to the magnetic brake in my garage and turned it on. I left it there for 6 hours to see if it would fail, catch on fire, etc. It worked fine. This would be the position it would be in while disconnected for a day of trail riding.

After 6 hours I disconnected the system by removing power from the magnetic brake. I felt the outside of the housing to see if it was hot. It was not even warm. I stuck my finger inside the housing and found that both the motor and magnetic brake were pretty warm. It was not too hot to touch, but it was warm from the current going through the brake for six hours (the brake appears to be simply a wound coil that creats a magnetic field when powered). The motor is attached to the brake so it absorbed some of the heat even though it was not receiving power. It was not hot...just fairly warm. I assume this "normal" and is nothing to worrry about. I spoke to a Jeep mechanic at my local dealership and he too felt it was not a problem. Everything that uses electricity gets warm, even a light bulb. So even though there was some heat buildup, it was not major and appears to be nothing to worry about.

Also, I do not believe that the magnetic brake draws much current. To experiment I placed a 5 amp fuse in line with the brake and it did not blow the fuse. My guess is that is uses 1 or 2 amps...if that.

Lastly, I am a little concerned about the fragile natue of the screw assembly. As mentioned above, the nut that rides the screw appears to be plastic. That is why a resistor must be used. Since these are new units I do not know how durable they will be over the long haul. But it seems reasonable to conclude that as long as you limit the current, i.e., the torque that gets applied to the screw mecahnism by the motor, the units should last for the life of the vehicle.

And what the heck...even if you do accidently damage the mechanism (like I did) you can always opt to make it manual.

Good luck!


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