Front Swaybar: Keep It or Ditch It?

DISCLAIMER: Removing the swaybar is done at your own risk, and your responsibility

After reading a lot on the Internet forums regarding removing the OEM Nissan Front Sway Bar, I decided to try it out. I’ve been driving without the front sway bar since the day after the Azusa OHV trip and what many say is right – long story short: the ride is much smoother. But if you want more of my thoughts, read on.

Six bolts, no raising the truck needed, and it’s out.

Things That Are Better With No Sway Bar

  1. Each front wheel can now roll over things (bumps, manhole covers, expansion joints,) independently, so if you hit a bump on one side, the jolt won’t be transferred through the sway bar to the other side.
  2. There’s a little more steering response with the swaybar off, at least that’s what I noticed;
  3. At highway speeds the ride is very comfy (even with the stiffer, upgraded suspension);
  4. On dirt and uneven roads and trails, the truck doesn’t jolt left and right with every imperfection on the driving surface;
  5. On dirt and off-road, the front tires track the uneven ground better for more traction;
  6. Also on dirt and off-road, the ride is more comfortable because the front tires aren’t trying to “skip” across the terrain

Things That Might Be Worse With No Sway Bar

  1. I had to adjust my driving method since the truck leans a little more when turning, especially on hard right turns at intersections;
  2. Front-end traction is improved, so you have to be aware when driving in low-traction situations as the rear end can kick out easier;
  3. Evasive maneuvers need to be “recalibrated” – in other words, you have to practice low-speed evasive maneuvers (like in an empty parking lot) in order to actually feel the truck’s difference in how easier it moves with the sway bar off.

Real World Evaluation

Honestly, after removing the front sway bar from my truck, it only took me a couple of normal driving days to get used to it, and now I just automatically adjust my turning speed and she drives just fine. The main thing about removing the sway bar is the noticeable improvement in overall ride quality and comfort – both on and off-road. I think the swaybar Nissan spec’d is way too stiff (most likely to help people who don’t know how to correctly drive a RWD truck); it sends too much tension across to the other side. While the road ride is so much more plush, if you really want to feel the difference you’ll have to get off the pavement. On the dirt without the swaybar, the front end is truly independent. The last time on dirt the truck rocked back and forth a lot less than before on the super bumpy stuff, and less overall lean when one side was higher than the other.

So in conclusion, I’m leaving the front sway bar off my truck. IMO it is not a bad thing to do as long as you get used to driving without it, and you feel and understand how the truck will roll with the sway bar off. So if you decide to try it, do so at your own risk – but I have a feeling you’ll enjoy it.