For performance car owners who race their vehicles, every microsecond counts on the track. Various modifications help decrease lap time. One of the more affordable add-ons is an anti-roll bar. Let’s look at how this contraption really improves performance.
What Is an Anti-Roll Bar?
Anti-roll bars also go by the names anti-sway bars and stabilizer bars. When you make a sharp turn, you should notice the car and your body pull towards the outside. The outside of the car pushes down while the side of the car on the inside of the turn rises. It could even rise completely off the track if you make a sharp enough turn.
From a racing perspective, this weight redistribution is bad. This reduces traction and makes steering more difficult to manage. Ideally, you want the car to remain as flat as possible for the duration of the entire turn. This is where the stabilizing action of an anti-roll bar comes in.
How Do Anti-Roll Bars Work?
Stabilizer bars consist of a steel bar—either solid or hollow—with connection links and rubber mounting bushings. The stabilizer bar connects the control arm to the suspension on either side of the axle. During a turn, the bar transfers energy from the outer part to the inner part of the car.
Aside from performance cars, anti-roll bars are also a popular add-on for off-road vehicles. An anti-roll bar stabilizes the car especially when making a turn with a trailer in tow.
Are Anti-Roll Bars Effective?
This depends on the quality and installation of the bar. Anti-roll bars effectively perform as expected. However, if the bar is too stiff, this can create a jolting motion when cornering, which can be quite unpleasant for the driver. In essence, you’re trading comfort for slightly higher performance.
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