I have not researched just what the alloy of the bars are but many spring steels do not like being welded to.
If you do try a sleeve set make sure you do some form of post weld heat treat even if it is just a flame anneal.
The torsion loads on a small diameter can be quite high and I would expect the pin to beat out quick.
The bars we build for race cars use splined ends and I bet you could have a pair of short bars made and fabricate a coupler for the center.
Better yet just take the bars off and drive it. Even with the bars off it will be more stable than any Explorer ever was.
It is up to each drivers style if there is any comfort or handling issue.
I personally tow trailers through twisty roads faster than most car drivers go, I use the bars. But I have driven my gen1 without bars for years also.
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