Stabilizer Bar Assembly
As you drive down to your destination you barely feel the rough roads, comfortably sitting in your respective car seat minding your own business enjoying the road side views. The comfort does not come from the soft foam seats alone; there are other components in the vehicle that enhances the experience. There are the wheels of the car that are filled with air and absorb some shocks on the road. But the key components that make the difference are the shock absorbers. These are basically tube-like structures made of metal filled with fluid and have another metal bar going through the hollow section pushing down on the fluid, much like a syringe but with a closed end. The fluid contained within the shock absorbers have a very high elasticity level allowing them to be heavily compressed and retracting back to the original form at a smooth pace. They sit in between the wheels and the car body or chassis (depending on the vehicle make and model). Hence, majority of the impact from the rough road to the car is absorbed by the shock absorber and almost none is passed onto the occupants of the car.
Comfort is not the sole purpose of the shock absorbers; they also assist the vehicle during turning using the same mechanism (absorbing the road impacts) and prevent the car from over-steering. But in certain situations the shock absorbers may not be enough to stabilize the car handling, a different component in addition to the absorber is required. It is known as the stabilizer bar.
Stabilizer bars are also commonly known as anti-roll bars or sway bars, it is an additional component employed in the suspension system of a vehicle. Its purpose is to reduce the “body-roll” of a vehicle whilst making a turn. They are usually made of steel and generally connect the suspension on wheels that lay opposite to each other. It is generally employed, parallel to the ground, on the independent suspensions on the front wheels. It is roughly U – shaped is connected to the frame using bushings and the connection is usually made at the bottom part of the U and the hence connected to the control-arms of the wheels (opposite) via the end of the U.
It is a steel spring torsion bar whose purpose is to spring back, in the opposite direction of a twist, when twisted. A hinge effect is achieved by the bushings that connect the bar in its mid-section. When a motor vehicle with a stabilizer bar goes over speed bumps, control arms on both the sides rise simultaneously. As a result the ends of the stabilizer bar hinges upwards along with the control arms. However, it is not the same during a turn, in this situation one of the control arms pulls down its end while the opposite side lifts upwards. Hence restricts the depth of leaning.
On the other hand, anti-roll bar is often confused with roll bar which is a tube-shaped bar that is installed at the back of the cabin and its purpose is to shield the occupants if the car was to roll over.
A stabilizer bar assembly is simply the combined components of a stabilizer bar. It can be different with respect to its assembly: have many different components and can be different in the way it functions. It can be different for every car, depending on the manufacturer, the car model and design, size and shape, and also the requirements of the car: How much torque would it need to handle?
A family car may require a totally different stabilizer bar assembly than a rally car so it is best to determine the purpose of the vehicle in question and seek expert opinion.