Vehicle Sway Bars

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Sway Bars
Sway Bars

A sway bar is a component on a vehicles suspension, and its function is to reduce body roll, as the vehicle enters a corner, at high speeds. The sway bar runs laterally across the vehicle, and connects to either end of the chassis, near the lower control arms. One end of the sway bar is held in place by a bushing, the bushing component allows the sway arm to be bolted to the vehicle's frame. The bushing's allow the sway bar to twist and turn, and react to changing road conditions. Sway bars are a component of the vehicle's suspension. As sports cars have become more popular, which are capable of high speeds, sway bars have become more popular, and are available as a standard feature on some cars. Sway bars are typically located on the front chassis, however, they are installed on the rear chassis on some vehicles.

The sway bar operates by transferring weight from one side of the vehicle to the other. When the car enters a turn, the weight of the vehicle is sent to the tires on the outer edge, the sway bar takes this "pressure" off the tires. The sway bar prevents too much pressure from being applied to the tires, which may cause the vehicle to roll over. The sway bar does this by allowing the weight to be kept on all four wheels evenly, during the turn.

The sway bar is typically "U" shaped, and due to the "U" shape, the bar acts like a spring under stress. Using a stiff sway bar that acts like a spring, ensures that the weight is evenly distributed, therefore keeping too much pressure from being applied to an individual component. Most sway bars are fixed, however, some are adjustable, where the bar's stiffness can be tuned, depending on the driving conditions the vehicle encounters. Adjustable sway bars are typically used on high performance race cars. Sway bars endure a great deal of force and tension, therefore they are made from aluminum. Aluminum allows the sway bar to be light and have the ability to act as a spring, however, aluminum can be fragile due to the type of metal it is.

When a sway bar is used on a vehicle, travelling in the vehicle may be bumpy, and have a jarring feeling in the vehicle's wheels. This is due to the fact that, the wheels are connected together by the sway bar. To prevent one tire from being lifted off the ground during a turn, due to the use of a sway bar, it is imperative that the proper size sway bar and bushings are installed.

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