Difference between stabilizer bar and sway bar

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cworley420

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Could somebody explain the purpose / difference between stabilizer bars and sway bars.

Thanks in advance

-chris worley
 

Hypedonrc

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sway bars keep the two front/rear tires close to the same extension. Thus keeping the center of gravity lower, so it won't role over on it's side as easy.

Stabilizer bars keep the caster/camber from wobling all over the place, and I don't think are used on buggies. Or rc cars period sense I've never seen a shock on the front of one laying horizontaly between the front tires like on 1:1 trucks.

At least thats how I take it.
 

niggle

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With great respect, I disagree with hypedonrc's reply to a certain extent.

The terms "sway bar" and "stabilizer bar" seem to be generally used interchangeably, i.e. they both refer to the same type of device. Here in Europe we refer to such devices as "anti-roll bars", which is kind of self-explanatory as to their function (they counteract excessive body roll when cornering).

The horizontally oriented shock absorber device sounds like a steering damper to me, and yes, typically you will never see one of these an an RC car. I guess the servo-saver acts as a crude friction damper anyway?

Originally posted by Hypedonrc
sway bars keep the two front/rear tires close to the same extension. Thus keeping the center of gravity lower, so it won't role over on it's side as easy.
This all depends on the car's roll centre, static COG and camber of the wheel at or near full suspension compression. With a high degree of camber, there is less chance of the outside tyre digging in and hooking the car into a roll. On a car with a high static COG it is possible that the COG will lower in a roll condition.

Bear in mind that not all buggies require a front sway bar and a stiff sway bar increases the likelihood of the inside wheel lifting on cornering, losing traction into the bargain. At the rear end, the oversteer induced by such an arrangement may be desirable and compensate for the lack of traction.

In high grip conditions the inside rear wheel lifting may actually be desirable - i.e. go-kart racing. Karts have a solid rear axle and no suspension - rear axle movement is purely down to flex in the kart chassis/frame. The inside rear wheel lifting in tight corners obviates the need for a differential and reduces understeer.

Hope this helps.
 

WA2FAST

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I'm with @niggle as well... most people refer to the anti-sway bar as a sway bar or a stabalizer bar. In the end, it does exactly what he says.
 

Hypedonrc

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I think you are right the horizontal shock on a 1:1 is on the steering. Maybe I got stabalizer bar from steering stabalizer bar.
 

niggle

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No worries. We're all here to help and not to criticise. All contributions are good in my book.
 

olds97_lss

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Well, this is from howstuffworks.com:

Stabilizer bars are part of a car's suspension system. They are sometimes also called anti-sway bars or anti-roll bars. Their purpose in life is to try to keep the car's body from "rolling" in a sharp turn.

Think about what happens to a car in a sharp turn. If you are inside the car, you know that your body gets pulled toward the outside of the turn. The same thing is happening to all the parts of the car. So the part of the car on the outside of the turn gets pushed down toward the road and the part of the car on the inside of the turn rises up. In other words, the body of the car "rolls" 10 or 20 or 30 degrees toward the outside of the turn. If you take a turn fast enough, the tires on the inside of the turn actually rise off the road and the car flips over.

Roll is bad. It tends to put more weight on the outside tires and less weigh on the inside tires, reducing traction. It also messes up steering. What you would like is for the body of the car to remain flat through a turn so that the weight stays distributed evenly on all four tires.

A stabilizer bar tries to keep the car's body flat by moving force from one side of the body to another. To picture how a stabilizer bar works, imagine a metal rod that is an inch or two (2 to 5 cm) in diameter. If your front tires are 5 feet (1.6 meters) apart, make the rod about 4 feet long. Attach the rod to the frame of the car in front of the front tires, but attach it with bushings in such a way that it can rotate. Now attach arms from the rod to the front suspension member on both sides.

When you go into a turn now, the front suspension member of the outside of the turn gets pushed upward. The arm of the sway bar gets pushed upward, and this applies torsion to the rod. The torsion them moves the arm at the other end of the rod, and this causes the suspension on the other side of the car to compress as well. The car's body tends to stay flat in the turn.

If you don't have a stabilizer bar, you tend to have a lot of trouble with body roll in a turn. If you have too much stabilizer bar, you tend to lose independence between the suspension members on both sides of the car. When one wheel hits a bump, the stabilizer bar transmits the bump to the other side of the car as well, which is not what you want. The ideal is to find a setting that reduces body roll but does not hurt the independence of the tires.
 

KillerWabbit

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Originally posted by olds97_lss
Well, this is from howstuffworks.com:

...........

Roll is bad. It tends to put more weight on the outside tires and less weigh on the inside tires, reducing traction. It also messes up steering. What you would like is for the body of the car to remain flat through a turn so that the weight stays distributed evenly on all four tires.

..................
HowStuffWorks actually has it backwards. A sway bar REDUCES traction. Increasing or adding a swar bar makes the car more responsive, but at the cost of traction. The bar prevents weight from transfering to the outside wheel that needs it.

My front wheel drive 1:1 car comes stock with a front sway bar and no rear bar at all, so that means it has a natural tendency to understeer. I autocross, so I took the front bar off all together and added a big 22mm rear sway bar. This causes for a good deal of oversteer, especially off-throttle oversteer.. which I like for getting around those cones! By doing that, I've increased front traction and reduced rear traction.

The same goes for springs, shocks and sway bars... stiffer means more responsive, but less grippy.
 
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cworley420

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I am under the impression that they are the same. I knew the purpose of 'Stabilizer Bars' but, was not sure if a 'Sway Bar' was different.

What brought it all up was a comment by Robriguez in this thread

https://www.rcnitrotalk.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14877&highlight=stabilizer

In his list of what to get for the Inferno to upgrade to the Kanai II, one item was "Alum Front and rear stabilizer bars (not sway bars)". The 'not sway bars' comment made me beleive there may be a difference.

-chris worley
 

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