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Working on an Electric Sway Bar Bypass

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:26 pm
by Retired BLM Rig
As some of you know, I've been working on a way to control the sway bar disconnect to liberate it from the nannies that constrain it and give the driver full control to make it work when they want, rather than when the truck allows. It's nice that Ram permits it to work in 4Hi and 4Lo, but what about those times when you're traveling down a nice dirt road and you don't need 4WD. My main complaint has been with the 18 MPH speed limit that causes it to reconnect. There have been lots of times that I could've enjoyed a softer ride at 25-30 MPH if it would stay disconnected.

I realize that there are already options out there for manual, air and cable controlled SmartBars, but at this point no one has come up with a simple electric system that can be controlled from the drivers seat. What if you don't want to plumb an OBA system into your truck or you don't want to have to crawl under your truck each time you need to disconnect/reconnect? Well, suffice it to say that those days are behind me now and I'm working on a plug and play solution that will make it available for you too.

The first prototype that I was working on is just a simple adapter plate that outlines the shape of the SmartBar module and holds the new electric actuator and is controlled by a rocker switch.

Elec. S.B.1.JPG
Prototype 1.0 adapter plate installed on sway bar
Elec. S.B.1.JPG (17.77 KiB) Viewed 156 times
Elec. S.B.2.JPG
Prototype 1.0 adapter plate and actuator
Elec. S.B.2.JPG (15.51 KiB) Viewed 156 times

The only problem is, you still need to have the SmartBar module plugged into the truck to maintain locker function, so it would need to be relocated out of the way (mounted to the frame, zip tied to the crossmember or tucked up out of the way in the engine bay). However, one of our members (Oilbrnr) suggested incorporating a mounting bracket into the adapter plate, which has resulted in prototype 2.0.

Prototype 2.0 adapter plate installed on sway bar
IMG_2370.JPG (20.22 KiB) Viewed 156 times
New actuator installed
IMG_2373.JPG (19.6 KiB) Viewed 156 times
SmartBar module mounted to bracket
IMG_2374.JPG (20.24 KiB) Viewed 156 times
As I stated earlier, this would be a standalone, plug and play bypass that is not controlled by the factory switch but from a separate rocker switch. There are still some hurdles to overcome like...
  • Keeping the exposed end of the factory SmartBar module protected from the elements
  • Finding the right switch to use (most modern indicator light switches use an LED which is polarity sensitive, but this system is reverse polarity; ground trigger, positive indicator signal) I need a switch with an incandescent indicator bulb
  • Being on a waiting list with the local machine shop to mass produce the adapter plate
  • Testing the fit on a 4th gen to make sure everything has clearance
...To name a few, but the basic functionality has been figured out.

I'm sure the first question going through everyones mind is "How much?". I'm still waiting on a quote from the machine shop, but I'm hoping to keep it right around $249. Considering that the other options for remote control functionality are more expensive and require the purchase of an OBA system, or more labor intensive to install the cable controlled option, I'm hoping that others will see this as being a reasonable price point.

Anyhow, I just wanted to provide an update because it's been about six weeks since the last discussion on this topic. I've been driving with the prototype on my truck and I must say, intersection and driveway transitions are much nicer disconnected, not to mention the off road benefits. Please feel free to respond with positive and negative comments, questions, ideas and input on this subject.

Thanks for taking the time to read all this! :patriot:

Re: Working on an Electric Sway Bar Bypass

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:16 pm
by Retired BLM Rig
A couple of you have private messaged me to inform me that this thread is locked (possibly all my vendor threads). :shock:
I don't know what's going on with it, the settings all look fine on my end. I've contacted the administrator to ask for help.
Thank you for your patience! :patriot:

Re: Working on an Electric Sway Bar Bypass

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:57 am
by AceMan
test tttt

Re: Working on an Electric Sway Bar Bypass

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:46 pm
by Bill2014
Keep up the good work! :rockon:

Re: Working on an Electric Sway Bar Bypass

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:37 pm
by Idaho RC
Very interested and looking to be first in line for an order.

Re: Working on an Electric Sway Bar Bypass

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:27 pm
by Pasopwagon
Can’t wait to see the finished product

2013 Power Wagon
San Luis Obispo County California

Re: Working on an Electric Sway Bar Bypass

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:53 pm
by Oilbrnr
Only took me 52 years to come up with a good idea!

It would make my first and last three miles of the trip in and out of my house on dirt, much softer.