Michael Hayes explains how to get the most out of your suspension with this revolutionary new swaybar design!
Offroading for most of us can mean a wide variety of things, from just getting a few hours away from the hustle of the city to remote outback expeditions.
We all like to modify our vehicles and one of the components that is most often least considered is the swaybars, and particularly how they will work to compliment the suspension modifications we fit. With the majority of vehicles somewhere between fairly standard with a small lift setup for towing and the fully kitted out outback weapon with steel bars, winch, fridge, drawers and roofracks that may even have to drag a 20ft camper, you quickly discover that the ride and handling from the factory swaybar is not up to par.
The biggest problem in fitting upgraded swaybars is the fear of losing articulation when it's needed most, travelling on a rough track with wheels in the air hunting for traction. Rough tracks can generate a lot of body movement, and this is where a correctly sized sway bar can make for a far more comfortable ride.
Sway bar disconnects allow for the quick removal of the sway bar before travelling off road. This allows you to have the benefits of additional travel and articulation in the suspension but retain the sway bar for on road use. These are for use off road only and should never be left disconnected when on road. The key points to finding the correct style disconnect is to order ones designed specifically for your lift height, also ones that use larger diameter high tensile bar and ONLY premium rod ends with grease nipples to ensure long life and a quiet ride.
Fitting larger (higher rate) swaybars, particularly in the rear, has two main effects, vehicle balance in terms of understeer and oversteer, and increased roll resistance. Both of these effects can provide increased overall handling and safety benefits in a 4WD.
The majority of factory vehicles are biased towards understeer, the fitment of a larger rear swaybar, can provide a more neutral characteristic in the handling. This is due to the increase in rear roll stiffness and can often help 'balance' the articulation on vehicles with radius arm or stiff IFS style front ends.
With a growing demand for increased articulation, the fitment of 'torsion bar' style swaybars is becoming more popular. This type of swaybar has a straight main bar that is splined at both ends, and has bolt on side arms that allow for small changes in rate for fine tuning. The larger diameter bar and longer side arms reduce the amount of twist that the bar material is required to control at full flex, therefore allowing a more linear rate over longer travel. The downside apart from price is the amount of fabrication and welding often required to install. In most cases OE and aftermarket bars can only handle 25-35 degrees of twist. This is usually the limiting factor for the short armed OE bar, which is forced outside of this range once long travel shocks are fitted.
Superior Engineering has released the new 100% bolt on, Superflex Swaybar Kits to suit GQ and GU Nissan Patrols, which can match the articulation of the torsion bar type swaybars. They are specifically designed to allow full travel and maximum articulation from most suspension kits available and are perfectly suited to those vehicles that are already enjoying the benefits of Superflex radius arms, without ever having to disconnect a swaybar again to go offroad! No more climbing on the ground and getting dirty or muddy after a day in the bush to reconnect the swaybar links. The secret to the revolutionary new swaybars for your patrol is the combination of new mounting point relocation brackets and the use of computer designed long-arm swaybars, which are capable of controlling flex in vehicles with long travel suspension. The torsion rate of the new Superflex swaybars is similar or directly compatible to the factory options currently available allowing for great onroad handling and performance.
So without reducing comfort or articulation, fitting a swaybar can offer all round improvements in handling, tyre wear, safety and load carrying.
Contact your local suspension expert for advice on exactly which swaybar can suit your needs.
Contact Superior EngineeringPhone: (07) 5433 1411
1/116 Lipscombe Road
Deception Bay Queensland 4508
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