If you just had your car lowered, you may have heard someone say that you need to install a track bar. Before you grab one, however, understand first what this component is, if your car really needs one, and how you should attach and adjust it after installation.
What exactly is a track bar?
This bar is also known as a Panhard bar or Panhard rod. It's part of the suspension system and is designed to prevent the axle from moving too much to the left or right. The Panhard bar is basically a sturdy steel bar with Helm joints on each end. It also includes pivots to allow for upward and downward movement only. Once this part is installed under your car, the wheels won't move too much to the left or right.
Do I need to install a track bar on my vehicle?
A Panhard rod can only be used on lowered vehicles that are equipped with a coil spring suspension system. Vehicles with a leaf spring assembly don't need a Panhard bar because the springs in this suspension already provide enough lateral rigidity. This bar is also usually used on stock race cars since these vehicles need extra support for the suspension system. Certain vehicles with a live-axle suspension and that can't be installed with a Watt's linkage use a Panhard bar to keep the axle from moving sideways.
Can this bar be installed without taking the car to a shop?
Yes. Installing this part on your own is relatively easy as long as you have the right tools and enough working space. Basically, you need to:
How do I adjust my newly installed track bar?
If you just installed an adjustable Panhard rod on your vehicle, you need to align it properly in order to enjoy its advantages. Here's how to do it:
When adjusting a Panhard rod, it's best to have someone help you get the measurements as you move the bar around.