Swaybars – The Steeda Difference

July 30, 2009 1:02 pm

It is no secret that if you want to take your vehicle’s handling to a higher level of performance, you have to upgrade key components of your vehicle’s suspension system.

One key component in a vehicle’s suspension system that is often overlooked by most enthusiasts is the vehicle’s sway bars.

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At Steeda Autosports, we take the development and refinement of a vehicle’s suspension system very seriously and have spent countless engineering and development hours to bring to market the very best sway bars available today. ‘Track Tested and Street Smart’, our sway bars are equally at home on your street driven vehicle or on the racetrack, they simply have no equal in the industry today.

Designed and manufactured exclusively by Steeda Autosports in the USA under strict ISO 9001-2000 standards, they withstand the rigors of high performance racing and yet exhibit excellent NVH characteristics, so you get the performance and handling benefits you want without degrading ride quality.

What is a sway bar and how does it work?

A sway bar is a suspension component that connects opposite (left/right) wheels together through short lever arms that are in turn linked by a main steel bar component called the torsion spring. A sway bar works by increasing the suspension’s roll stiffness — the resistance of the vehicle to roll in a turn its resistance to roll in turns, that is independent of the vertical movement of the vehicle by it’s springs.

A sway bar is made from a specially constructed and bent U-shaped piece of steel that connects to the vehicle’s body at two key mounting points, and then is also connected to the appropriate left and right hand portions of the lower suspension member. If the left and right wheels move together, the bar just rotates about it’s mounting points and does not bend. If the wheels move relative to each other, the bar is subjected to torsion and is forced to twist. It is this twisting motion that the bar resists through its stiffness and acts to reduce the amount of lean by the vehicle. Many factors affect how a sway bar performs including:

  • The specific metal selected for the bar (type and composition of steel, it’s thickness, etc).
  • The inverse of the length of the lever arms (i.e., the shorter the lever arm, the stiffer the bar)
  • The geometry of the mounting points
  • The sway bar’s mounting and isolation points

Aggressive street and racing sway bars provide for individual adjustment of the lever arms, allowing the stiffness of the sway bar assembly to be modified by adjustments that increase or reduce the length of the lever arms. This adjustment permits the roll stiffness to be tuned for different race or competition situations without replacing the entire bar. The stiffer the bar, the more force required to move the left and right wheels relative to each other. The end result is that this increases the amount of force required to make the body roll.

Not all swaybars are made the same

Not all sway bars available in the market today are the same – as a matter of fact there are some aftermarket sway bars that can dramatically cause a negative affect on your vehicle’s handling or not deliver the desired outcome you want. Most sway bars available today are made from a solid round bar whose ends are smashed flat and drilled for mounting holes. The drastic change to the cold formed material creates many small microscopic stress fractures. Experienced metallurgists will tell you that whenever you do that, you effectively destroy the structural integrity of the material thereby creating a potentially weak spot or a potential future point of failure.

The Steeda solution

Steeda Autosport’s Sway Bars are designed and made in the USA in our facility under our very strict ISO 9001-2000 quality control process using the very best available materials. We do not take ANY shortcuts or compromise on anything. Our design and manufacturing processes are superior to any other product commercially available today because we employ a proprietary manufacturing process that ensures consistent quality. Our sway bar ends are precision machined out of an exceptionally strong proprietary material and then is mated with a weld joint that structurally bonds the two parts together it actually is stronger then the solid bar itself.

As you can see for yourself, making the swaybar is much more complicated than most people think, but critical to the overall success of the part and how it performs when installed in your vehicle. Ensuring that the swaybar has the proper load and torsion capabilities is critical in ensuring that the end result provides the very best chassis dynamics – an integrated harmonic part of the overall vehicle performance. This is where Steeda also has a major competitive advantage because we extensively perform CAD analysis that is supplemented by rigorous on-track testing to ensure the highest level of performance you can expect.

The final word

When Ford performance enthusiasts discuss chassis dynamics, it will not take long for the name Steeda Autosports to come into the conversation – and with very good reason. Dario Orlando, a racer who got his start manufacturing components exclusively for Ford Mustangs, founded the company over twenty years ago on the premise of engineering and manufacturing the very best products possible for the discerning Ford performance enthusiasts.

If you want the ultimate in suspension upgrades for the street, track, or strip – look no further than Steeda Autosports. We are the Number One in Ford performance parts and vehicles and have won more races and set more track records than all of our competitors combined!

SteedaWhere Speed Matters!