Purpose of the Stabilizer Bar, Links, & Bushings

2021/04/19

Purpose of the Stabilizer Bar, Links, & Bushings

A stabilizer bar system is part of most vehicle suspension systems. It is designed to reduce body roll and fine tune the suspension as mentioned in the ideal scenario above. It connects the front wheels (left and right), and in many cases the rear wheels, through short links connected to a suspension component at each wheel. Stabilizer bars are also referred to as anti-sway bars, sway bars, anti-roll bars, and roll bars.


Stabilizer bar systems consist of several components including the stabilizer bar itself, stabilizer links, stabilizer link bushings or sockets, stabilizer bar to vehicle frame bushings, and bushing brackets to hold the bushings in place against the frame or unibody member. All of these components are designed to help force opposing sides of the vehicle to lower or rise to similar heights and reduce the body roll of the vehicle on curves, sharp corners, or over large bumps.

A stabilizer bar is intended to keep the vehicle's body flat by moving force from one side of the body to the opposite side. To understand how a stabilizer bar works, picture a metal rod constructed out of tubular steel that is one to two inches in diameter and in a "U" shape. If your front tires are five feet apart, the rod will be approximately four feet long and sit between the two tires. The rod is securely attached to the frame or unibody member of the vehicle in two locations. Bushings and brackets are used to allow the rod to flex and rotate, but stay in position where it is attached to the vehicle frame. Links, or arms, are used to attach the ends of the rod to the suspension component, typically the lower control arm or other component that holds the wheel, on both sides. The links have bushings or ball socket type joints to allow more flex and controlled movement.