[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the May/June 1997 issue of Grassroots Motorsports.]

Story by John Hagerman

When a racer takes aim at tuning a car's suspension, one of the first targets is often the anti-roll bar. Anti-roll bars (also known as swaybars or stabilizer bars) are found on virtually every modern car right from the factory—they are important …

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Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
2/5/21 11:23 a.m.

I too use an anti-roll bar on my ears.  Keeps my head from flopping around in corners.

SeniorPBA2B
SeniorPBA2B
1/31/22 2:47 p.m.

I'd be interested in seeing more info on anti-roll bars, specifically on front wheel drive cars.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
1/31/22 9:29 p.m.

Helpful and clear article, thank you!

kb58
kb58 SuperDork
8/14/22 11:05 a.m.

How do they work? A suspension designer put it best: You add them to the end of the car where you want to destroy grip.

How does destroying grip make a car faster? By transferring grip toward the other end of the car, the resulting overall handling is easier for the driver to utilize, rotating the car when he wants, not when the car wants.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/14/22 11:51 a.m.

In reply to kb58 :

That all assumes a car that is well laid out.

I can think of a few cars where adding roll stiffness to one end will increase grip at that end.  All of them involve cars that corner on three wheels, which is admittedly kind of indicative of excessive roll stiffness at that end.   But if you have one tire six inches off the ground and that end has more grip than the other, the problem isn't there...

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
8/14/22 12:36 p.m.

In reply to The Staff of Motorsport Marketing :

I don't like roll bars at all.   I like roll tubing.  The center of a roll bar doesn't add much except weight. 
  I also don't like fixed ends. I put a sliding clamp on all of my roll tubing.  That way I can easily stiffen or ease stiffness in a few minutes. 
     I bend the tubing to the shape of the stock roll bar then go to the spring shop in town to have it heat treated.  
    
     
 

 

dps214
dps214 Dork
8/14/22 12:41 p.m.
kb58 said:

How do they work? A suspension designer put it best: You add them to the end of the car where you want to destroy grip.

How does destroying grip make a car faster? By transferring grip toward the other end of the car, the resulting overall handling is easier for the driver to utilize, rotating the car when he wants, not when the car wants.

Yeah I wouldn't listen to that person very much.

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