How To Measure a Sway Bar Diameter – 6 Different Ways

6 Ways to Measure a Sway Bar

Whether you’re replacing your old sway bar bushings, or just trying to determine what size sway bar you want to upgrade to, measuring the diameter of your current sway bar is vitally important. Thankfully, measuring your sway bar can be done easily and in this article we’ll show you 6 methods to do so.

If you’re more of a visual learner or just don’t like to read, hit play on the video below. Otherwise, keep scrolling.

Locating your Sway Bar

Your sway bar is a long bar of metal between the wheels stretching between the driver side and passenger side on your vehicle. Typically there is a front sway bar and a rear sway bar, although there are some vehicles that don’t have a rear sway bar. The sway bar is usually attached to the vehicle at each end of the bar and at two places near the center of the bar. End links are used to attach the ends of the sway bar to usually the control arm (the end link point of attachment can vary from vehicle to vehicle). Sway bar bushings are used to attach the middle of the bar to the frame of the vehicle. There are other parts near the sway bar that are rod shaped, like tie rod ends or the axle, but if you can find the rod shaped thing attached to the end link you’ve found the sway bar.

how to measure a sway bar diameter

Finding the Right Spot to Measure

Once you have located the sway bar, find the spot where the sway bar bushing mounts to the frame. The point where you take your measurement is critical. You want to measure just next to the sway bar bushing in order to get the most accurate diameter for your bar. DO NOT measure on the bend of the bar, as the diameter can be skewed giving you a measurement larger or smaller than the actual bar size.
how to measure a sway bar diameter location

The Actual Measuring Processes

There are six solid methods to measure a sway bar. Most of them can be done with tools you already have around the house. Other tools can be bought. One tool can be printed for free!

Method One: the Caliper method

By far the most preferred and accurate method is to use a digital caliper. At DST we’re particular to this one that you can find on Amazon because it’s capable of showing fractions.

how to measure a sway bar diameter

Method Two: the Free Print-out Tool method

Printout this free Sway Bar measuring tool that we at DST created. All of the calculations have already been done. Make sure that there is NO SCALING when you print out the tool. Otherwise the measurements will be off. Once you print out the tool, take a pair of scissors and cut out the tool. Wrap the tool around the bar and match the starting line with the size line. The measurement on the right of the line will be your sway bar size. You can printout our free sway bar measuring tool here.

how to measure a sway bar diameter
how to measure a sway bar diameter

Method Three: the Full Set of Wrenches method

Grab a set of wrenches and see which one fits snugly over the sway bar. If the fit is too loose or doesn’t fit all the way over it’s not the right size. If the wrench fits the sway bar perfectly, then take a look at the size of the wrench – that’s your sway bar diameter!

how to measure a sway bar diameter

Method Four: the Crescent Wrench method

Grab a crescent wrench and tighten it over the bar. Then grab a ruler or tape measure and measure the distance between the jaws. That measurement is the diameter of your sway bar.

how to measure a sway bar diameter
how to measure a sway bar diameter

Method Five: the Tape method

Take a roll of tape, and wrap it all the way around the bar one time. Use a razor blade to cut the tape so that the ends match perfectly and pull the tape off the bar. Use a ruler to measure the tape. DO NOT STOP HERE! This will give you the CIRCUMFERENCE of your bar not the DIAMETER. To get the diameter of your sway bar, take your circumference and divide it by π (that’s pi or 3.14159). The result of this calculation is the diameter of your bar.

how to measure a sway bar diameter
how to measure a sway bar diameter
how to measure a sway bar diameter
how to measure a sway bar diameter

Method Six: the Sewing Tape method

Maybe you’re just not the kind of guy who has his own tools. If that’s the case, even your Grandma will have the tools necessary to measure a sway bar diameter. If you can raid her sewing closet and come away with a cloth measuring tape, you’ve got what you need. Wrap the cloth measuring tape around the outside of the sway bar to find the circumference of the bar and then, you guessed it, divide by pi.

how to measure a sway bar diameter
how to measure a sway bar diameter

how to measure a sway bar diameter

Now that you have the Diameter

Now that you have the diameter of your sway bar you can replace the failed bushings with either OE replacements or upgraded polyurethane. Polyurethane sway bar bushings give your sway bar the performance of an even larger bar. You’ll not only get a boost in your handling, but you’ll have the durability of a material that is much better suited to suspension bushings.

If you’re having trouble locating replacement sway bar bushings, you can always check to see if any of these universal sway bar bushings will work for you.

  1. Randi Farney
    Randi Farney
    December 8, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    So I am confused on something, my vehicle has the stock sway bar on it. If I were to need replacement bushings why would I need to measure it being that it is the original? Will you not just have them listed? Thanks in advance, super detailed blog by the way. Edwin looks like a cool dude!

    • Chelsea Baker
      Chelsea Baker
      December 14, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Thanks Randi, we sure think Edwin is a pretty cool dude!
      Excellent question! You should always measure your sway bar for a couple of reasons. First, vehicles can come from the factory with sometimes 2 to 7 (or more) different size sway bars depending on model’s, options, packages, etc. Second, sway bars wear after time. If your bar has minor wear, smaller bushings may be installed. (Please note: Severely worn sway bars need to be replaced).

      This article has some great options on how to measure your sway bar. My personal favorite is the free Sway Bar measuring tool. It’s incredibly straight forward and when you go to order and find 14 different sized sway bar bushings, you’ll be happy knowing you’re getting the correct size.

  2. Tammy Johnson
    Tammy Johnson
    March 21, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Ok I have measured my sway bar for the bushings, but how do I know what size end links I need? Is there a way to measure for these?

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      March 21, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      Hey Tammy,

      Great question!
      You can visit our site at and input your year, make, and model and we probably have a perfect match for your vehicle. If there isn’t an exact match listed, this diagram will help explain how to get that measurement and you can look at a universal end link set for your vehicle.

      First of all the vehicle must be on level ground (not jacked up) with wheels supporting it. Make sure stabilizer bar end eyelet is parallel with the control arm. Many times they are not. You may be required to use a slightly longer or shorter sleeve length than the original. Measure length of (A) and compare to this chart to find the correct set.

      Hope you find the set you’re looking for and if you need any help be sure to contact our customer service team.

  3. Maurice
    October 5, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    I got some new bushings but they don’t fit all around the bar is that cool or not

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      October 6, 2017 at 7:37 am

      Hey Maurice,

      If you’re talking about sway bar bushings then you really want the tightest fit possible. The rule of thumb for fitment is if your bushing has an inner diameter 1/2 mm smaller than your sway bar diameter you’re ok, any more than that and you may need to sand down some of the bushing’s inner surface. You really don’t want to put a bushing on your sway bar that doesn’t fit snugly. Any gap between the bar and the bushing is going to affect the grip on the bar and make your sway bar much less effective at reducing body roll.

      If you don’t think the bushings you have will work, and you have all the necessary measurements, you can take a look at this universal sway bar bushings page and find exactly what you need. If you need more specific information you can call or chat with the spectacular customer support staff at, who can answer your questions or direct you to the correct source.

      Hope this helps you out and good luck.

    August 1, 2018 at 11:29 am

    After I change the bushing what should I look for when I am driving the car? I did them myself.

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      August 6, 2018 at 11:29 am

      Hey Arturo,

      If you’re talking about performance it’s going to depend on how you drive. If you’re carving corners at high speed then the difference between OE rubber and Polyurethane sway bar bushings should be pretty obvious. Body roll should be cut significantly, giving you a tighter feel when turning. That said, the difference may not be as apparent in a daily driver that spends most of its time going straight.
      For even more body roll reduction you can install sway bar lateral locks, which takes only minutes and can help keep your sway bar from shifting even more.

      If you’re talking about installation then it’s pretty straightforward.
      1) You want to make sure the bushings fit snuggly against the bar, any gap at all and it’s too big.
      2) Make sure you grease the bushings to avoid any squeaking.

      Hope this helps and if you have any more questions feel free to chat with us or call. Good luck with the bushings Arturo.

  5. Corey Van Vorce
    Corey Van Vorce
    February 23, 2020 at 12:11 am

    I ordered polyurethane, but they sent me 1 1/4″ size bushings. These did not work, so I measured after and got 18/16″ or 1 1/8″. Converting this seems to equal just over 28mm, so if this seems accurate, please confirm, so I can order the proper fit.

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      February 26, 2020 at 8:29 am

      Hey Corey,

      According to those measurements 28.5mm bushings should be the ones you need. That said, double check your measurements before you buy. You want a sway bar bushing that is completely flush against the bar or even a little smaller than the bar diameter (if that is your only option). Any gap between the bar and the bushing will reduce the bar’s ability to control body roll and will accelerate wear of the bushing. If you’re looking for universal bushings make sure the style fits you original brackets or look into getting new brackets.

      Thanks for the question Corey. Hope you find what you need and if you have any other questions please let us know.

  6. Adrian
    May 6, 2020 at 4:39 am

    Hi, my rear sway bar bushings are OE bushings are 15mm; im geting nolathane bushings except they only have 16mm or 14mm sizes, which do i go for?


    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      May 6, 2020 at 8:13 am

      Hey Adrian,

      First off it would be a good idea to measure the diameter of the sway bar. It may sound silly but to get the best fitment from your sway bar bushings you need the most accurate sway bar diameter measurement you can get.

      When trying to fit sway bar bushings, going a half millimetre down from the bar diameter is the only wiggle room you have. You don’t want to go bigger at all, but up to 1/2 mm down will work.

      Any more than that and you will probably have to sand out some of the bushing interior to get a snug fit. This isn’t really advised because if you take out too much then the bushing is useless to you and you’ll lose your warranty if you modify the bushing. If you’re married to the idea of Nolathane you could theoretically go with the smaller size and try to round out the interior to a 14.5-15mm diameter but we don’t advise or suggest this.

      Instead you might consider looking at a 15mm sway bar bushing from SuperPro. Their parts come with a lifetime warranty, have cross-hatched interiors for better grease retention, and are even guaranteed not to squeak in properly lubricated during installation.

      15mm SuperPro Sway Bar Bushing
      (You might need new brackets to fit these bushings) Universal Sway Bar Bracket

      Another tip: If you don’t need those bushing immediately and want to save a little cash we’re having a sale on SuperPro products starting May 12th.

      If you have any other questions about fitment or bushing sizes please feel free to contact our customer service folks.

      Good luck Adrian and thanks for the question.


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