A guide for setting up Anti-Roll / Sway / Stabilizer Bars

One of the questions I get asked a lot is how to set-up Anti roll bars (Or Sway bars / Stabiliser bars etc), so I thought I would just ma...

One of the questions I get asked a lot is how to set-up Anti roll bars (Or Sway bars / Stabiliser bars etc), so I thought I would just make a guide on how I do it.

What is the big deal with Anti-Roll bars?

Anti-Roll Bars are an important tuning aid. They do not affect how the suspension works until you enter a corner.  They tie the left and right suspension, either front or rear together to help control how the body rolls.
So for example if a car turns to the right around a corner, the inertia will force the car to roll on its left side.  If there is no Roll bar then the inner right wheel will raise up as the car rolls and you will find it hard to maintain grip as the car becomes unstable.

With a roll bar added the car will have the same forces as before as it tries to roll into a corner. The suspension will compress but instead of the right side wheel lifting up and making the car unstable, the sway bar starts to pull the right wheel up. This reduces the body roll, lowers the centre of gravity and ensures that the car is much more stable around the corner.

One of the other main benefits of sway bars is that you can actually have the suspension a little softer to ensure that you can move weight around to the rear on acceleration etc. The Sway bars cut in and give you the stiffness when you need it.

So if you want to ensure you are cornering like a champion, you want to ensure your roll bars are set-up well.

Eliminate the play

First get your anti-roll bar.
I use the Tamiya 42295 Stabilizer Stopper

As I use the TRF419 I fit the end mounts, and I also fit the Tamiya 42295 Stabiliser stopper and then will centre it once it is mounted.
I use the High Precision Stabiliser mounts
You now need to mount the sway bar onto the bulkhead. Here you need to measure up and check that it is all centred.

Now you need to check that the bar can move freely and nothing is binding. The bar should just fall under it's own weight when you lift it up and let it go.
The grub screw holds the bar up at this stage
Now we want to tighten up the grub screws to eliminate any play and make the whole system more precise. Again you want to lift up the bar, but this time just tighten one of the grub screws until it holds the bar up.
Unscrew it gently and watch it drop
Just slowly unscrew the grub until the bar falls. Simply repeat this procedure with the other grub screw and you will then have a bar that moves freely with zero play.

Setting the Lift

Now you want to fit the bars to the stabilizer links.
Check your links are the same length when you initially mount them
First check that each of these links is the same length.

You now need to pop your car on a Set-up station (or a flat surface). Whilst you are here double check that your downstops (Droop settings) are the same on each of the arms, otherwise the next part will be a waste of time.

Now we want to measure that the roll bar will have the same amount of 'Lift' on both sides when the suspension compresses. It is important that the arms on both sides lift at the same time to ensure that the car handles the same on right and left corners.

The method I and others use is to lift an arm with the droop gauge whilst tapping the opposite arm on the droop screw.
slide the bar under until you can Tap the opposite arm
Once the arm starts to lift you will be able to tell as it will 'Tap' against the chassis. Once the arm raises and you hear a Tap, then make a note of the amount the arm was raised and do the same for the opposite side and note down that lift number.

If one arm lifts at a different time to the other, (i.e if one raises at 6 and the other at 6.6) You will need to adjust the length of the Stabilizer links to ensure that the arms lift at the same measurement on both sides.
Adjust the link lengths to ensure symmetrical lift 
To do this you need to either:
  • Shorten the link for the arm that raises first
  • Lengthen the link on the side that raises later 
There is no specific order to to this, some like to shorten the link  to adjust it, others lengthen it. The most important thing to is ensure that any of the adjustments do not rub against your driveshafts. (I Press the car down to check it is fine through the whole moment range of the suspension)
All ready for the track.
Hopefully this has helped to show how to set-up your anti roll bars.  and help you get the most out of your car on the track.
set-up 7614919841829214435

Post a Comment

  1. "If there is no Roll bar then the right wheel will loose grip as the car rolls, and the left wheel will become overloaded. Ultimately losing grip around the corner."

    Sorry - but that is complete nonsense. If there is no sway bar, you will have more chassis BUT but also MORE grip on that axle, because the load difference between inside and outside wheel is less.
    So just replace the word "no" with "a" in your sentence and it becomes correct.

    "With a roll bar added the car will roll as before the left of the car will again start to compress but now instead of the right side lifting up and loosing grip it starts to pull the right wheel up. This reduces the body roll, lowers the centre of gravity and ensures that the car is much more stable around the corner."

    In the same sentence you're saying it rolls as before and it reduces body roll. This is unlogical and wrong.

    What a sway bar on a cornering car does is only:
    1) reduces chassis roll
    2) therefore reduces camber changes of the wheels
    3) increases L/R weight differences on the respective axle
    4) therefore increases slip angle due to tire-nonlinearties

    With due respect - obviously you have not understood the effect and working principle of a sway bar. This article is complete misinformation - please study first and then re-write the article.



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