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Old 04-19-2005, 12:13 PM
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Sway bars help or hurt straight line traction?

Or do they do anything to affect it at all? I am just curious as I am currently going through and upgrading the braking and suspension of my truck (66GMC 3/4TON) and there is a company that sells an upgraded front sway bar, as well as a rear sway bar kit for my truck. I am just curious if this will have any adverse effects on my straight line (1/4 mile run) traction.

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Old 04-19-2005, 01:23 PM
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Removing the front bar may give it more weight transfer, resulting in more traction, but other than that.....no.
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Old 04-19-2005, 05:09 PM
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Well, there's a bit more to it than that. With a beam axle, there's a tendency for the driveshaft torque to unload the right rear. Since the maximum thrust is achieved when the tires are equally loaded, this isn't a good thing. The reaction to the driveshaft torque is taken at the engine/transmission mounts and then distributed, front-to-rear, in proportion to the relative roll stiffness. (This is similar to what happens with the roll couple as you're cornering.) If it were all carried back to the rear suspension, it would perfectly cancel the driveshaft torque, there'd be no unloading of the right rear, and the maximum performance would be achieved from the tire pair. So, for dragstrip performance, you want to maximize the roll stiffness at the rear and minimize it at the front.

As has already been recommended, then, you want to remove the front sway bar. But, don't stop there! Next, you want to install as "heavy" [high torsional spring rate] a rear sway bar as you can find.

The preceding is based on the assumption that you are not using some form of asymmetric rear suspension which would dynamically cancel the driveshaft torque without spring deflection.
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