A vehicle's suspension comprises many different components, including springs, shocks, braces and all sorts of bushings, fasteners and bolts. Thanks to all of these different components, most of which have highly technical names, suspensions can be a confusing subject matter. A stabilizer bar is a common suspension part.
A rear stabilizer bar, also known as an anti-roll bar or a sway bar, is a solid length of metal (occasionally hollow) , shaped like a tube, that is fastened to each side of the rear suspension. The diameter of the bar varies from make to make. The bar is generally fastened to the suspension with short drop links that are fastened to the bar on one end and bolted to the suspension at the other end. The middle of the bar is bolted to the frame or chassis with bushings and a metal bracket.
The purpose of a stabilizer bar is to reduce body roll at the rear of the vehicle. As the vehicle is driven around a corner, the bar acts as a lever that presses the inside wheel towards the ground in order to reduce excess body movement and keep the tire in contact with the ground.
From a driver's perspective, stabilizer bars make a vehicle feel more stable and nimble in almost all driving conditions. Stabilizer bars also improve the handling of a vehicle and make it feel more predictable and stable when driven around corners at speed.
If a rear stabilizer is too large in relation to the front bar, it can make the car oversteer, which when the rear end of the car goes toward the outside of the turn. This can potentially make a car feel more twitchy. It is common for a car to have a stabilizer bar installed on the front but not have one on the rear. A rear stabilizer bar is almost always used in combination with a front stabilizer bar.
Replacing a Stabilizer Bar
Rear stabilizer bars are generally easy to replace. The car is first raised and placed on jack stands. The wheels may need to be removed. The bar itself is held on with the end links as well as bushings that hold the center of the bar to the chassis. Removing the bar involves unbolting the end links and the center bushings and then removing the bar from the car.
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