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General Articles - Product Reviews

Doin the Disco

Article written by Toybronco

Date Added: 12/10/2006

If you have been on more than one or two wheeling trips, you no doubt have come to understand the need for quick disconnects.

Flipping through a parts catalogue, you will find many vendors offering their version of essentially the same quick disconnect. They all basically work the same way, and none of them are "quick."
Our 98 TJ had a cheap set of quick disconnects we got with a 2? budget lift. As you can see in this photo, a bent pin has made them anything but quick to disconnect. They were such a hassle to use that we would frequently leave the swaybar connected. During a light trail run, they became damaged to the point of having to remove them completely. I must advise: The spring rates and shock valving do not allow for driving without a swaybar. Body roll can seriously affect the drivability of your vehicle, and make it very unsafe in the event of defensive driving.
We looked into replacing the damaged links, but we could only find a couple of companies that provided a disconnect (or ?disco?) for 2? of lift. I had been very interested in the Nth Degree Quicksilvers Disconnects (QSD) from the first time I laid eyes on them, and they just happen to have some for at 2? lift. As a bonus, the Quicksilvers can be easily modified for a taller lift just by ordering longer bolts and spacers from Nth Degree.

As soon as the package arrived, I was amazed and overwhelmed at the same time. The three bags included over 74 pieces and parts! As if I wasn?t overwhelmed enough, I quickly noticed there were no instructions. (More on this in the "Final Thoughts.")

After laying out all the parts, you may feel a little intimidated. Don?t worry though, the instructions are very detailed and easy to follow. They even address some issues that may come up in the future and how to adjust or replace the wear items. Some minor trimming of the inner fender is necessary, but again don?t freak out. Just follow the directions and you will be fine.

Here is a quick summary of the instructions.

1. Unpack boxes and check off all the items.
2. Read the instructions thoroughly and be sure you have the required tools before you start.
3. Remove your stock links or existing disco?s.
4. Install upper link adapters.
5. Install lower link adapters.
6. Assemble Quicksilver disconnect links.
7. Install QSD links.
8. Assemble and install ?Parking brackets?.
9. Cut and clearance inner fender to allow sway bar to reach to parking brackets.
10. Adjusting lower link adapter for proper alignment.
11. Adjusting parking bracket for proper alignment.
12. Steps for disconnecting and reconnecting links to the sway bar.
13. Other notes and tips.

Now, sit down in your comfy chair and read through the instructions again. I grabbed a highlighter and marked the areas that didn?t make sense to me during reading. Mark off on the calendar a few days, just kidding, a few hours is all you need to install these on your Jeep.

I did run into a few issues during the installation. On the upper link, some brass washers are supplied to allow the adapter to swivel. The tapered bolt that goes into the sway bar would not seat, so I had to omit all the spacers except for one. This is explained in the instructions and should cause no concern. The kit comes with many locknuts (not nylock style). While I trust Nth Degree?s engineering, I don?t like these style lock nuts. I used a small amount of red locktite on the most critical ones.
The instructions also say you may need to trim the passenger side lower link adapter bracket for larger lifts. I found that I needed to do this in my application. Fortunately, this will not affect the strength of the bracket or Nth degree?s material/workmanship warrantee.
When trimming the inner fender, I didn?t put the wires behind the bent metal as per their instructions. Instead, I reattached the wire harness retainer on the inside of the sheet metal to avoid damaging the wires.
In the notes from Nth degree, they mention the QSD will re-connect easier on slightly non level ground. After initial installation, I put a floor jack under the drivers side of the axle and raised the tire 4 ½? off the ground. I was able to disconnect and reconnect the sway bar by myself only having to lift or lean on the bumper slightly. This is a huge improvement over having a hefty buddy push down on your bumper while trying to line up pins in other disco systems.

Final Thoughts

After having the disconnects for a number of months, I would like to point out some issues I?ve had. While in Moab for the Easter Jeep Safari, I had issues with the discos popping out of the lower link attachment while going over small bumps that would articulate the axle. I spoke to a representative at the vender?s arena and was advised to make a few adjustments. They helped, but it didn?t fix the problem. Even just hitting a curb while turning would cause the discos to let loose. Keep in mind our TJ does not have a rear sway bar, which puts a lot of stress on the front sway bar. TJs with a connected rear sway bar may not have as much of an issue.

At this time MoabJeeper Magazine is working with Nth Degree to resolve these issues. Expect an update by January 15 2007.

In regards to the lack of instructions, I made a quick phone call to Nth Degree and was told the instructions would be emailed to me shortly; but the email never came. I sent an email to them the next day also without a reply. By this time, I was getting anxious. I called them again the next day, and Chris sent the instructions by email and waited on the phone with me until it was received.

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