Sway bar

The sway bar itself on my 96 Windstar broke on the driver side. I disconnected it. Car drives well, but I only have driven it on the streets, not highway. What type of handling changes can I expect? Is it essential to have this? If I leave it off, should I disconnect the other side also?

The corporate bean counters at Ford, just those with the other car makers, will not allow something superfluous to be placed on the car. In other words, if the vehicle’s handling would not benefit from the ANTI-sway bar, it would not have been included when the van was built.

Right now, you have the worst possible situation, with the anti-sway bar connected on only one side. You could disconnect it in order to get equally poor handling on both left and right curves and when changing lanes in both directions, or you could have it repaired in order to restore safe high-speed roadholding in both left and right curves and when changing lanes in both directions.

I figured that. Doesn’t look that hard to change. Is this something sold in a regular auto store?

I would just call a regular auto store and ask them. J.C. Whitney doesn’t list one for the Windstar but you could call them. Their prices range from $128 to $270. You could do it yourself.

Get an anti-sway bar from a salvage yard for much cheaper. It’s one of the simplest vehicle repair jobs to change an anti-sway bar.

When mine broke on a Caravan I have I had no choice but to get it from a salvage yard. I was actually pretty happy about that in the end since it cost me all of about $50. I would certainly go the salvage yard route.

Thank you all. I got the rest of it off today. You’re right, it was easy, (even though Chiltons says your have to lower the subframe. You don’t, just a little tight fit). It was a clean break, right in two. I have a friend who welds. Is the a feasible idea?

NO! It needs to be replaced.

I would like to point out a slight error in VDCdriver’s reply. A broken antisway bar doesn’t work at all. It works by connecting the right side suspension to the left side suspension; it has no effect when that connection is broken.

Don’t try to weld it! That’s a tempered, forged, chunk of steel. Welding will remove the temper and it will bend at the weld… It’s important to the safe handling of your vehicle. Without one, you greatly increase the chance of a roll-over accident…Parts stores sell NEW mounting kits with the bolts, spacers, washers and rubbers. See a salvage yard for the bar itself. Expect to pay 1/2 new price. Some U-Pull-It yards are a little cheaper…

Thank you guys for all your replies. A salvage yard it is.
I will post when it is repaired. Right now I’m just keeping the driving local, (live in Staten Island, NY so most driving is under 50 mph). I will probaly ask my mechanic to finish it off since I am out of time. I have to go to work on Monday and we plan on taking to out of town for Thanksgiving.

All fixed. Thank all you guys for caring enough to say something. As I said earlier, I had my mechanic finish the job because I ran out of time, (have to work this week and we are going away for Thanksgiving). He charged $125 for a salvage yard one installed. Fair price?

Great price. A new one is nearly $200 with all the fittings.