Continuing on from last week’s post about how suspensions work, there is an important component that is universal, whether you are running a solid axle vehicle or an independent, called the sway-bar, or sometimes called, the antiroll bar.
The video below from Engineering Explained shows how the sway bar works and its effects on the handing of a vehicle, especially in an emergency situation. As off-roaders typically look for any avenue they can to improve the off-road performance of their vehicle, the sway bar is often the first target of many. Disconnecting the sway bar allows for full, uninhibited articulation of the suspension for technical terrain, however this comes at a major cost of stability in extreme off-camber or at speed. Several companies like Currie with their anti-rock torsion style sway bar, and other players have developed active Sway-Bars that work well in articulation, as well as at speed.
Please note that in some states the sway bar is considered original safety equipment installed by the manufacturer, and as such full removal of the sway bar is illegal for street use as it makes you a hazard to yourself, and others around you in the event of emergency situations. If you are going to modify your suspension, be smart and make sure you use quality components and have a full understanding of the task you are performing.
Here is how they work: