Sway bars might be the unsung heroes of the automotive world. They drastically improve handling and stability, especially during cornering and quick changes in direction. That’s all well and good, but what are they and how do they do their job? Check out this video from QA1 that delivers a very concise tutorial on all things sway bars. Engineers Bill and Charles from QA1 break it down for us in roughly eight minutes with some interesting points.
The a-ha! moment of this video is the realization that a sway bar is essentially a laterally mounted torsion spring. Unlike a coil spring that offers to damp when compressed, a torsion spring works when being twisted. There are two sections to a sway bar, the torsion spring length and the lever’s arms on both outboard ends. When a lever arm is twisted during corning, there is an increase in the spring rate of the suspension thereby leveling out body sway under hard cornering.
Another benefit of adding a stiff sway bar is you can reduce your spring rates and maintain your ride quality while still buttoning down body roll.
Founded in 1993, QA1 specializes in providing performance shock absorbers, suspension components, carbon fiber driveshafts, rod ends, spherical bearings, springs, and ball joints. They serve a variety of markets, including circle track racing, drag racing, street performance, and street rodding, as well as several industrial markets. Whether you’re looking for improved ride quality, show-stopping appearance, or faster times, QA1 is your one-stop shop. Go here for more info.