While the ride in our 2021 Outer Banks Ford Bronco was good with the factory supplied tires and suspension set up, the Bronco always felt like it needed better body control. Increasing the ride height from the Milestar 35-inch tires and Bilstein B8 6112 shocks only made this more apparent. In fact, Ford even began adding sway bars from the factory to certain four-door Broncos with the Sasquatch package, as well as Wildtraks equipped with the HOSS 3.0 suspension system.

San Felipe Beach OVR Project Ford Bronco

What Does a Sway Bar do?

Sway bars, also known as stabilizer bars or anti-roll bars, essentially improve the handling of a vehicle by keeping the body flatter through corners, and the tires planted. When you enter a corner, momentum rolls the weight to the outside, causing the inside to become lighter. A sway bar helps keep the body level, thereby keeping the vehicle stable through the turn.

Choosing a Sway Bar

Hellwig Products Inc., founded in California’s Central Valley in 1946 and now a fourth-generation family-owned business, is located in the town of Visalia, CA, and is ISO 9001 and 14001 certified. Hellwig supplies sway bars to OE auto manufacturers, as well as offering sway bar solutions in the aftermarket.

Hellwig initially introduced the 2022-2023 Rear Sway Bar Bronco 7/8” (part number 7900) in October, 2023 and the frame bracket in early 2024, (part number 7909). Hellwig manufacturers sway bars from heat-treated chromoly, which greatly increases the strength of the bar, while maintaining its toughness and more importantly, the ability to flex, deform and rebound to some degree without damage.

Installing the Bracket to the Frame

The following installation is an overview of our installation experience and we have provided tips and images to better help you locate, drill and install should you decide to attempt the install yourself. As always, we recommend following the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Install_Hellwig Ford Bronco Rear Stabilizer_3

Mounting Bracket for 2021 Ford Broncos without a rear sway bar.

1. Since our 2021 Ford Bronco wasn’t equipped with a rear sway bar mounting bracket, we used the bracket kit Hellwig developed so that vehicles without factory sway bars could be retrofitted with one. At the time of this installation and story, Part Number 7909 – 2021 Bronco Rear Sway Bar Kit was not on Hellwig’s website. 


Install_Hellwig Ford Bronco Rear Stabilizer_1A

Part Number 7900 7/8-in sway bar for 2022-2023 Ford Bronco laid out. For 2021 Ford Broncos without a rear sway bar mounting bracket, Part Number 7909 was developed.

2. Prior to beginning our installation, we laid out all of the parts and ensured we had everything we needed. The part number of the kit above is 7900 and the description is a 7/8-in sway bar for 2022-2023 Ford Bronco. 7900 is for Ford Broncos with the factory frame bracket. 7909 is for Ford Broncos without a rear sway bar mounting bracket. Double check fitment on Hellwig’s website.


Install_Hellwig Ford Bronco Rear Stabilizer_1

After triple checking, we finally started drilling into the frame with the 1:1 scale template we made.

3. Hellwig provided a CAD drawing and instructions for locating the precise spot to drill for the frame bracket, but it was not to scale. In an effort to simplify finding the exact spot to drill, we created a 1:1 scale template to make the job easier. (We checked, then checked again, and triple checked before drilling.)


Install_Hellwig Ford Bronco Rear Stabilizer_2

Rust-Oleum Primer to protect the metal.

4. After drilling on both sides, we cleaned off the area, scuffed it slightly and used the one-two punch of RUST-OLEUM Primer and Paint to protect the hole from rust.


Install_Hellwig Ford Bronco Bushing vice clamp

Make sure to place ample amount of lube.

5. Instead of watching the paint dry, we went to work pressing the bushings into the links to prepare them for installation. Without our old rusty but trusty bench vice clamp, this job would have taken a little longer.


Install_Hellwig Ford Bronco Bushing

Picture showing links and bushings installed correctly and incorrectly. We made the mistake so you don’t have to.

6. WARNING! Notice the two different sized bushings. TOP: Thick bushing on Left, Thin bushing on Right. MIDDLE: INCORRECT- Thin bushing in both. BOTTOM: CORRECT- Thick bushing in left, thin bushing in right. Make sure you install one each into each link. Put plenty of the supplied grease to make pressing the bushings in easier and to give them a longer life.


Install_Hellwig Ford Bronco Rear Stabilizer_4

Frame bracket mounted on both sides.

7. After the paint had dried, it was time to install the frame bracket. We thought threading the backing plate was going to be a time-consuming process, but it lined up quickly and we were able to get both sides done in just a few minutes.


Hellwig Rear Sway Bar

Overview image of the Hellwig sway bar installed on the 2021 Ford Bronco Outer Banks.

8. Following Hellwig’s instructions, we quickly and easily installed our Bronco sway bar to the new bracket. Hellwig offers three settings for stiffness on the bar and we decided to place it on the middle stiffness setting.



9. Here is a close-up of what the driver’s side frame bracket, link, and sway bar look like installed.



10. In this photo, you can see what the passenger side looks like installed. You can see the endlink positioned on the middle stiffness setting.


Driving Impressions

With the sway bar installed, we were anxious to get a test drive under our belt, so we took our Bronco on the local Interstate and did a drive loop with transitions that we were familiar with. On straight-a-ways with expansion joints and typical freeway surface undulations, we could sense a difference in ride, which felt more compliant, as the vehicle suspension was now more tied together. On higher-speed turns, the Bronco felt very planted and we felt like we were being pushed into the seat, versus fighting to stay in the seat.

Feeling confident in the new modification, the Bronco was driven over 800 miles round-trip to San Felipe in Baja California and back for the SCORE International San Felipe 250. During this trip, we experienced 20 to 40 mph crosswinds, which pushed the Bronco around. Thanks to the newly installed Hellwig sway bar, our Bronco felt more planted and only a small amount of steering input was required to the keep it headed in the right direction.

While chasing the race, we had a chance to put the Bronco in four-wheel drive, as well as bombing down some faster sections. The Bronco felt very stable at all times, whether we were hitting rough sandy washes, or climbing up and over berms, we didn’t feel as if the Bronco’s off-road performance was hindered at all. In fact, we feel the Bronco performs better now in majority of situations than when we were just running the front sway bar.

Final Impressions

Hellwig Products makes a high-quality sway bar that will improve the driving dynamics and load control of any vehicle, while not inhibiting off-road performance to any significant degree.

The amount of confidence the Hellwig rear Bronco sway bar added in daily use alone was worth the price of the upgrade. If you are looking for better load control, less sway, and more stability from your rig, we highly recommend you consider a Hellwig sway bar.


Hellwig Products- www.hellwigproducts.com


For more stories about our OVR 2021 Ford Bronco Pavement Princess project vehicle, click here.


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