Sway bars are an essential component in the handling of a race car on track. The technology and design of sway bars and the bushings that connect them play a pivotal role in competition. Roush racing learned the importance of the sway bar setup during the 2008 season when another NASCAR team allegedly stole a sway bar to copy their design in the hopes of making up competitive ground on the race track. Understanding the role of the sway bar and bushing will allow you to create the best handling for your car on the track.
To understand what a sway bar bushing is, first understand what the sway bar's function is in your car. Sway bars stabilize your vehicle through the corners of the racetrack. The bars are attached to the suspension and enable the suspension on one side of the car to react to what the other side is doing. The sway bar balances out the load that is taken on while the vehicle is corning and is attached to the suspension through bushings. The bars are always used on the front suspension and occasionally used on the rear suspension, depending on the track.
Sway bar bushings allow the sway bar to float and react to the movement of the race car on track. Typically located on the lower control arms, the bushings are mounted to the chassis. Without the bushings, the sway bar would have a rigid connection to the chassis and stop all weight shifting. This would make the handling of the car in the corners next to impossible to control.
The bushing is made out of rubber, urethane or polyurethane. The sway bar fits into the center of the bushing. Around the outside of the bushing, there is a bracket that allows you to mount it onto the chassis.
The size of the bushings depends on the size of sway bar you are using. Sway bar sizes can range in size up to 2 inches in diameter. The brackets used to attached the bushing to the chassis can be upward of 1-1/4 inches high by 3-5/8 inches wide or 1-5/8 inches high by 4-1/4 inches wide in size.
The bushing itself can be composed of different materials. All materials resist extreme heat and cold and reduce friction. Prices vary, depending on the material used in the bushing. The materials are available in either red or black, and the brackets are generally plated to avoid rust and excessive wear.
- Photo Credit energysuspensionparts.com
Sway Bar Installation
Sway bars, also known as "stabilizer" or "anti-roll" bars, are one of the more basic suspension pieces that one might ever need...
How to Change Front Sway Bar Bushings
The rubber bushings on the sway bar of every vehicle are going to wear down after a while. Telltale evidence of this...
How to Change Sway Bar Bushings
Sway bar bushings wear down after a while and can create a looseness in the control of your steering and also make...
How to Change the Sway Bar Bushings on a Jeep Cherokee
Replacing sway bar bushings on your Jeep Cherokee will help to tighten the suspension and improve its handling. New bushing are available...
How to Replace Sway Bar Bushes
Sway bars are the components on a vehicle’s suspension that reduce the body roll that the chassis experience during cornering. The swaybars...
How to Change the Front Sway Bar Bushings on a Mustang
The Ford Mustang comes equipped with a large-diameter sway bar, and polyurethane bushings designed to control body roll in a turn and...
How to Lubricate Sway Bar Bushings
Sway bars, or stabilizer bars, are the part of the suspension system in a vehicle that reduce road noise and body roll,...
Signs and Symptoms of Bad Sway Bar Bushings
The sway bar on a car is a rigid length of tubular metal bolted to the right and left sides of the...