Sway Bar wiring harness protection: The Barlow Boot - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-07-2010, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Sway Bar wiring harness protection: The Barlow Boot

The JK's power sway bar unit evokes some very strong emotions--either the owners (like me) who make a big show of NOT getting out of their vehicle and getting dirty to disconnect, OR by the NON-Rubicon/JK owners who giggle with glee when we talk about flashing dash lights, obscure electrical problems, or engine fires relating to the power sway bar.

How our Jeeps are used is often considered more extreme than the average user, because our Jeep are rentals, and they spend all day every day off-pavement. When we bought our '09's Jeeps (after two years of an "interesting" learning curve with our 07-08 JK's) the modifications we do includes:

1. Rock protection for sway bar in the form of either a reinforced "stupid" bar (which then becomes known as the "smart" bar), OR an aftermarket bumper including sway bar motor protection.

2. Waterproof boot to keep dust, mud, water, etc. out of the irritatingly sensitive sway bar wiring harness.

Description of "The Boot": When our 09's came in, I knew it was time to take a proactive step in keeping the connections clean, so I started looking around for type of material we could use to wrap the unit. After trying a couple of things that didn't work so well (we had tried lots of different things including dielectric grease, plumbing tape, 3M seal, ziplock bags, etc.), Joey suggested motorcycle inner tubes. So I acquired some used ones from D&K Service in Cottonwood, for the mere cost of brownies.

We cut the motorcycle inner tubes in about 10-inch sections, then fold over one end and use Gorilla Glue to seal it up. Apply a little heavy-duty duct tape over the fold just for extra seal. Then we cut a 1-inch slit in the open end to allow for the rubber to better wrap around the wire coming out of the unit. Then use the heavy-duty duct tape to wrap and seal the whole end of the boot to the housing of the sway bar motor.

After a particularly wet and muddy week, we pulled a few off to inspect and they looked as clean and dry as the day they arrived. On our 07-08's, we usually had some sway bar malfunction within 5000 miles, and especially during mud season. After 6000 to 8000 dirty miles on our new Jeeps, we have had NO sway bar malfunction (not that was due to a wiring harness problem).

Picture of "The Barlow Boot":


Hope this helps someone else, too!

Happy trails,

Nena Barlow

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post #2 of 10 Old 01-08-2010, 05:59 PM
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thanks and great idea. i am sure with rentals you see alot of crap. i think i will do this over the weekend. what is the armor you use to protect it? i have a lod skid but it does not com that far back (cover to the frame bar just short of the swaybar box. thanks again.

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post #3 of 10 Old 01-09-2010, 08:52 AM
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i have been thinking about something like this. an inner tube is a great idea, probably can take a little abuse unlike a regular plastic bag.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-09-2010, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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It's the cross member directly in front of the sway bar, with about 1/2" between the bar and the wiring harness that is the biggest problem. It sounds like you already have that stupid bar protected--LOD is a good bumper.

Nena Barlow

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post #5 of 10 Old 01-17-2010, 07:28 PM
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I'd think that would be excellent protection from salt corrosion as well as mud.Cover the slit and wrap around the wire with 3M electrical tape and then paint with their rubber sealing goo and that puppy would be completely waterproof.

But Nena, they are really condoms. You should have them on the web site. "Get your very own set of Nena's home made condoms here!" Yes?

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post #6 of 10 Old 01-18-2010, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKDoc View Post
But Nena, they are really condoms. You should have them on the web site. "Get your very own set of Nena's home made condoms here!" Yes?
Yes, didn't you notice they are ribbed?

Nena Barlow

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post #7 of 10 Old 01-18-2010, 08:35 AM
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Just curious as to why you guys don't do the sway bar flip and seal it off. I'd imagine it to not give any fuss. Keep it out of harms way as well...but would be harder to disconnect/reconnect it if need be..

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post #8 of 10 Old 03-08-2010, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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The flip doesn't keep the dust and mud out, but it does reduce the direct impact from rocks. I said "reduce", not eliminate, hence our need for reinforcing the stupid bar in front of the sway bar.

Nena Barlow

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post #9 of 10 Old 03-14-2010, 12:41 PM
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Nena, thanks for this thread!
....Being new to the JEEP world, mods like this are cheap/ easy....not to mention one less thing to deal with while out on the trail!!
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-14-2010, 12:46 PM
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Now I just need to find a way to not hit it on rocks

I understand the Jeep thing
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