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sway bar

This is a discussion on sway bar within the General RZR Discussion forums, part of the General RZR category; how does a swaybar work? if one side of the suspention is compressed and the other is not is the swaybar actually twisting u under ...


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  #1  
Old March 11th, 2011, 07:59 AM
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sway bar

how does a swaybar work? if one side of the suspention is compressed and the other is not is the swaybar actually twisting u
under presure? thanks
sorry i put this tread in the wrong place
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Last edited by keith0715; March 11th, 2011 at 08:09 AM.
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  #2  
Old March 11th, 2011, 01:51 PM
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Re: sway bar

In a nutshell yes. The amount of resistance to this twisting dictates how strong the anti-roll compensation is. I have one from my SATV +5 kit that is bent up at each end in a perpetual smile from all the twisting force it placed on the bar. The bar in my case was wider than the standard piece and the ends weren't supported like the factory S bar is so it failed after a fairly short time but thats another story.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 02:37 PM
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Re: sway bar

i have the plus 5 kit from satv to. how will you fix your problem? i think im right behind you with the bending of swaybar. thanks
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Old March 11th, 2011, 03:20 PM
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Re: sway bar

Unfortunately I had to remove mine as it became too bent to feel safe using. I plan to get an aftermarket bar kit unless I can find a complete setup from an "S" The S version has a longer bracket for the swaybar that supports it further out toward the ends.
If you buy the parts new, it runs around 450-500 bucks from PoPo. A good aftermarket setup runs about $375 if I remember right.
I have a set of progressive springs on backorder from Steve at Makintrax and I've read that this may allow me to run without a swaybar due to better spring rates and a few other reasons and if the lil guy ever gets here with the little rowboat full of springs, I will let everyone know how well they work.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 03:31 PM
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Re: sway bar

If you have Progressive springs for Steve at Makin Traxs, Throw away both swaybars and never look back. Independent suspension is much better, then swaybar bullshit suspension! Just unhook it and you feel the difference, if you do not like it hook it back up. Takes maybe 20 minutes to unhook, and the same to put it back, if it's not to your liking.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 03:52 PM
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Re: sway bar

[QUOTE=Dirty Dog;581857]If you have Progressive springs for Steve at Makin Traxs, Throw away both swaybars and never look back. /QUOTE]

X2.
I was skeptical until I tried it.
Runs like a new car now.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 04:24 PM
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How does the sway bar work....I've kinda wondered the same thing. What it looks like it's suppose to do is this... When you are making a hard turn, (let's say a right turn) the left side suspension is going to compress because of the extra weight and the right side suspension is going to expand because of less weight. So it is a double whammy against the machine wanting to roll over. From what I understand, the sway bar is suppose to counter act this double whammy by using some of the force that is on the heavy side to compress the suspension on the light side, leveling the machine out some.

I'm not positive about any of this. It's just my guess lol! Does this make sense to anyone?
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Old March 11th, 2011, 05:19 PM
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Re: sway bar

You are right it transfers weight or force but also limits wheel travel on the side that is trying to be compressed.

Some situations this can be bad or worse dangerous. Say you are in a pretty extreme side hill situation with the right side tires a foot higher than your left. Without the sway bar your right side tires are going to compress up into the wheel wheel leaving you more level and with more weight retained on the right side.

With the sway bar the right can't compress as much and you get weight transfer to the left down hill side - not good!

Now say your on a single track trail on the edge of a mountain in Colorado with one side a foot higher and you come to a hump on the high side. Which setup do you want? Wrong answer could get ugly in a hurry!

If you have stiffer than stock shocks like the Makin Trax you don't need them on level ground for turning unless you just like pushing it to the limit.

If you ride side hills much and/ or want a better ride ditch them.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 07:07 PM
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Re: sway bar

Quote: Originally Posted by Dirty Dog View Post
If you have Progressive springs for Steve at Makin Traxs, Throw away both swaybars and never look back. Independent suspension is much better, then swaybar bullshit suspension! Just unhook it and you feel the difference, if you do not like it hook it back up. Takes maybe 20 minutes to unhook, and the same to put it back, if it's not to your liking.
X2 You'll never miss them.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 08:10 PM
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Re: sway bar

Your sway bar twists and bends? Hell, mine just snapped in half like a twig.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 05:33 PM
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Re: sway bar

thanks for the responces. i have satv springs the front is one click to the stiffest and the rear is one click from the softest setting. i put the swaybar back on because it felt like it was going to roll on corners not going that fast. i will turn the rear to a stiffer setting, take the bar back off and see how it handles.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 06:04 PM
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Re: sway bar

I copied this from another forum so by no means do I take any kind of credit. This is a very good article and should be read. I will have to put this in 2 posts as it says it is too long.
Cut and Paste of some text I found on the Internet.

First of all lets start with tires. All tires 'roll-under' some roll more than others. 2 ply will roll more than 4 ply and 4 ply more than 6 ply etc. Why? because 6 ply have stiffer side walls than either 2 or 4 ply. The stiffer the sidewall the less roll-under. What does roll-under do - it causes oversteer (makes you feel like it is doing a nose dive over the outside wheel while turning) or (the sensation that the front is tucking under). If taken to extreme the machine will roll onto its side. In a nut shell 'roll-unders' can cause 'roll-overs' How do you stiffen sidewalls? Simply, add more air or add tubes or both. With that said.
On to profiles (sidewall height) - a low profile tire will always have less 'roll-under' than a tall profile tire. A 25 inch tire has a lower profile than a 26 inch tire and a 26 has a lower profile than a 27 inch etc. So in a nut shell again a 25 inch tire will always give you superior handling characteristics over a 26 inch and taller tires. A side note here, a 25 inch tire will also accelerate faster because it maintains a lower gear ratio. And also if your engine because of the gear ratio change may not be able to pull the full RPM range, you may find that the 25 inch tire will also run a faster top speed. It will certainly get to the limiter quicker and it will also put more power to the ground. (Same principle that you are putting more power to the ground in low-range than in high-range).

Now let's talk about springs and suspension. General rule - soft suspension grips and stiff suspension doesn't. (The physics behind this is that gravity is a constant downward pressure, when you soften a suspension you are making it heavier because gravity can act on it more, if you make your suspension stiffer then your are resisting gravity and making the load lighter - heavy is traction/grip) If you look at the setups on the AC you will see different physics and geometry on the front as apposed to the rear. You get most all the stability from the rear suspension. The rear suspension is attached to the lower A-arms and the springs/shocks are at a different angle as apposed to the front. The front suspension is by design made to move up and down and to compensate to an ever changing camber, it is not designed to stabilize the machine (to offer more stability the shock would have to have more angle, which would limit it's ability to compensate for the changing camber and also limit its ability to move up and down and to absorb weight transfer without compromising the camber). So by stiffening the front you are counter productive in making the machine stable and in fact making it more unstable, and if taken to extreme it would make your machine mushy in the rear like you had a flat tire back there and the rear would float and feel squirrely. Because the shocks on the rear are attached to the lower A-arms and have a sharper angle to the frame, by design it is there to stiffen the frame and to stop the machine from tipping. (this is why sway-bars are attached to the rear and not the front).
So what actually happens when you turn? Well to a degree you need to slow down, this causes some weight to be transferred from the rear to the front. and when you actually initiate a turn some of the weight from the inside is transferred to the outside. This puts a heavy load on the outside front wheel. Remember soft grips and stiff doesn't, if your springs are too stiff (which you may think would assist in handling the weight transfer and make the machine more stable - it doesn't) the machine will plow or want to go straight. Remember the rear does the stability not the front. If the front is soft it will absorb the weight transfer and grip, a stiffer rear will keep it from feeling tippy. (we actually do have some extra stiffness in the front by having appropriate air in the front tire to stop 'roll-under' - tires to some degree are like mini springs - but without the control of rebound or compression that a shock offers - all we can do is to remove some those properties by making the tire stiff). This way the shock can do its job in a controlled fashion, with minimal affect from the tires rebounding and compressing uncontrollably. The front and rear do just the opposite as well as the left and right. When we load the front we are unloading the rear and visa versa. When we load the left we are unloading the right and visa versa. What is loading and unloading - simply, transferring weight.

Ok now we go into a turn.
If the rear is too stiff or the front too soft we overload the front causing the rear to be excessively unloaded (light - loose) - results are the rear will prematurely slide and the front will oversteer and we may actually have to counter-steer (steer opposite of the turn) to keep the machine from spinning out or having a tuck and roll if the tires are too soft and 'roll-under'. This is called 'loose going in'.
If the front is too stiff and the rear too soft we have the opposite in that the front will understeer or plow because it is not being loaded enough (too light - too stiff) and if the tires are too soft and 'roll-under' we will get the feeling that we want to do a handstand on the handle bars and the inside rear tire may in fact want to leave the ground because the right rear is loaded to heavily and wants to go straight and the inside rear wants to get to the outside (or jump over the outside rear - because the outside rear is planted too firmly - it is soft and has grip and has not given up its weight). This is called 'tight going in'.

A good turn is to have the front soft, load the weight, grip and head into the turn. The rear needs to be stiff enough to resist gravity and give up its weight to the front but not so stiff as to go loose but only to follow the front to the apex (the point at which the turn basically is complete and we have negotiated the entrance) of the turn, at this point we are ready to hit the gas to unload the front and to load the rear again. On occasion this may cause the rear to break loose or loose traction and slid a bit. Once that is complete and the transfer of weight is almost done the rear will load to the point of hooking up (it has no enough weight to get traction), the front has unloaded and now rebounding and becoming light, we may even be able to loft the inside front tire off the ground. We are basically about out of the turn completely and headed straight again.

On to track width. A wider track will always offer better handling. Here is the simplistic physics and geometry behind that principle. A wide track offers stability from left and right weight transfers by decreasing the angle of tippiness. Instead of the weight wanting to go to the outside of the tire it is directed to the inside of the tire causing the suspension to squat rather than roll. Thus in effect simulating a lower center of gravity and not transferring as much weight. Thus confining the transfer of weight within the track width and lessening the transfer to the outside. You can get a wider track with offset wheels or the addition of wheel spacers.

The basics in a nut shell.
1)stop the roll-under from the front tires - low profile and stiff sidewalls.
2)soften the front suspension - to counter the stiffer tires and to more easily absorb the loading of weight without throwing it to the outside (tippy - tuck) or resisting to accept the transfer (plowing - too stiff)
3)stiffen the rear suspension - to enhance the unloading of weight and resist gravity and become light enough (give up some traction) to follow the front (without premature loose going in) and to be light enough with less traction to be able to slide if necessary (at the apex) in order to complete the turn and to get heavy again only when the gas is applied and to hook up.

Any comments, suggestions etc are welcomed contributions.

My question back to all who write to me or in person ask me about the handling is: Why would anyone that already has 12 inches of clearance (industry leader - when all others have 7-11, and basically are forced to make their machines handle worse to gain GC) and has a tippy machine (by nature), want to make the machine handle worse by putting taller tires for a meager inch of clearance, that may be of benefit once or twice a year, in a special situation? And the taller the tire the worse the handling.

Originally posted by: AC4LIFE
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  #13  
Old March 12th, 2011, 06:04 PM
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Part 2

im not saying b/s or anything on what you've stated buck, but i just want to ask some questions to clear some things up. ive had the settings on soft in the front before, and the ac's have powerful brakes, once i grabbed em a bit, rather than being progressive, and the front squatted and the back end came up, luckily its just stood on its nose and didnt come over the top anymore. what im trying to get at is that b/c of the long travel and tendency to have the front end dip under either braking or cornering, is the reason i have them set to stiff, to limit that movement. id rather have my machine slide a bit in a corner than have my outside front wheel grip and that corner compress and the machine come up and over, which has happend to my father and almost a few times with me. now if any of my assumptions here are wrong, please let me know and correct me, im on these boards to learn about stuff not blab on thinking that i know all. just curious.


You are correct. Different machines may need a little different setting as well as with different riders (remember there is body english too). It is all about weight loading and unloading and your wheight plays into that too.

The major improvement is to stop the 'roll-under' with the front tires. Once that is accomplished then the rest is a matter of personal taste and how a person uses their own body weight with the machine. You seem to prefer that the front push a little - and that is fine. I on the other hand don't like it because when it stops pushing it will grab and there is a sudden snap to the turn.

If you like your front springs a little stiffer that is ok. But you may find that the rear may have to go up also for a good balance... i.e front on 1, rear on 2, then you adjust front to 2, you may have to put the rear on 3. See what I mean.

When you get everything done, a good balance is a machine that will enter a turn too fast and all 4 will slide. Not just the front and not just the rear. As a general rule most setups will have the rear stiffer than the front. What I meant with having soft suspension while setting up handling is that soft will grip and stiff will slide. If you have a machine that is gripping too much in the front then you make it a little more stiff to unload the weight and by the same principle if the rear is sliding too much while entering a turn then you soften it a bit. You can stiffen and soften with both the shock preloads and tire pressure.

All things are not equal. Your front springs from the factory may be a tad softer than mine. My rear springs from the factory may be softer than yours.....

I did the whole article so that people would know what to do if their machine was doing a certain thing. If you go into a turn and the machine wants to go straight or plows then you can either soften the front or stiffen the rear or both and you can accomplish this using both the preloads or tire pressure.

A lot of people thought that if it was tippy then if you stiffened the front that would take care of it - well to some degree it would but then your machine would push like crazy. The tippy is really controled from the rear, that is where you get the stability for the most part.

The article was done so that people when making changes would have some degree of knowing what was going on and not just keep making changes on a trial and error and getting frustrated.

The biggest thing is to stop the roll-under from the front tires. That could mean 6lbs, 8lbs 9lbs or air or putting tubes in the tires or getting a 6 ply tires etc etc. or any combination mentioned. But for good handling the 'roll-under' from the sidewalls of the tires is the first thing that must be adressed and eliminated. Then you can get on with the suspension... once the suspension is set then you may find that you can take a 1lb of air out.

The whole point is that the ill handling and the tippy feeling from the AC's can be addressed and the handling can be greatly improved (and you don't have to do trial and error - that if you know what is going on and what to do then you can make adjustments appropriate to improve the handling). Some people did not know where to start or what to do. Some people didn't know what was happening when it felt like you were doing a handstand on your handle bars or that it felt like you were going to do a nose dive over the outside front wheel. I made an attempt to let them know that when this particular thing was happening, here is why it was happening and here is what you can do to correct it.

So in your case where the front seems to be too soft then yes stiffen it but don't forget about the back too, If you stiffen the front and your handling goes away don't think that you have to set it back, you may only need to add more air to the rear tires or go up one preload setting to bring the handling back.

Here is a fun exercise that you can do to really understand grip and slide.

Take your machine and set the front preloads on the softest and your rear on the stiffest. Put 4 lbs of air in the front and 10 lbs in the rear. Then on asphault at 1 or 2 mph turn left then right. You will see that it turns pretty easy. It may steer hard but it will turn easy - there is a difference between steering and turning.

Then do the opposite. Put 10lbs in the front and the preloads on the stiffest and in the rear put the preloads on the softest with 4lbs of air. Then do the same turns left and right and you will see that the thing just does not want to turn.

Test both settings driving forward as well as backing up.

Slide = giving up traction (to any degree even ever so slight) and being light.
Grip = holding traction and being heavy.

I would start by making sure that my front tires are not rolling under. Start with 5 lbs in all tires then go up 1 lb at a time on just the front tires and see what changes in the handling characteristics. Or you could start with the fronts at 12-14lbs and come down on pressure - this is the way I do it - I only have to add air once then let some out as I go until I feel that it is turning good and the side walls are not rolling under.
Once you have the front end pretty well set then the rest of the work is done with the rear. Either spring stiffness or tire pressures.
A confusing situation is a feeling that when you go into a turn that you seem like you want to do a nose dive over the outside front. You may feel that the front needs to be more stiff, but in fact what is happening is that the front is too stiff and plowing and the front tire is rolling under and when it hooks up (by this time you have loaded way too much weight from the rear to the front - and it dips) it sort of snaps and gives you a feeling like you want to do a handstand on the handle bars or that the machine is going to tuck and roll. The fix is not to increase the front spring rate but to increase the tire pressures and decrease the front springs. This way the front can squat (from a moderate loading of weight) and grip and the side walls on the tire will not tuck under, and the back will just unload enough to follow the front.
The more your machine pushes in a turn the more the rear will keep trying to load the front with more weight until it turns or you slow down enough to cause the back to stop loading the front. This is why a soft front end will load quickly and squat and go into the turn (but you need to have your tire sidewalls stiff enough not to roll under). The rear at this point will stop trying to load the front and will just follow it. If the rear is too stiff it may slide because of the momentum from loading the front and if the front is in the turn the rear just loads it to the outside and thus a slide. Remember, a body in motion tends to stay in motion until an equal or greater apposing force acts on it.
If a moving ball is met with resistance (bat) it reacts violently in the opposite direction (too stiff on the front) but if the ball is met with a soft catchers mitt, it just absorbs the energy and stops (soft front springs).

Here is something fun you can do.
On dirt - like a dirt road or some such. Start driving in a big circle and keep increasing your speed and note what the front is doing. Are the tires really scuffing hard, are they just tracking good. At some speed they will start to scuff and push. Note that speed.
Then add about 25-50 lbs to your front rack and do the same thing. If you can reach a higher speed before the front starts to scuff and push that means your front springs are too stiff or the rear is too soft.
Then put the added weight on the rear rack and do the same thing. If you reach a higher speed before the front starts to scuff and push that means the front springs are too soft or the rear too stiff.
There is no balance this is only done to give you an idea where to concentrate your efforts. Either it be making the front stiffer or softer, and the same holds true for the rear. If the front was gripping too good going into a turn, this means the rear is too stiff. You may want to try setting the rear preload to 2 instead of 3 or you can sit a little further back (body english), Play around with it and you will find a setting that is pretty good for you.

Disregard what I just said I forgot that you said the rear was lifting and the front wanted to tuck - Decrease the front tire pressure and or the front preloads. The front did not take the weight soon enough and the rear kept trying to load more and trying to drive the front into the ground and ended up overloading the front and then attemped to put even more by lifting (this means that the rear had too much traction and did not give up enough weight to the front soon enough to become light and loose). In wet conditions the rear should have simulated or actually been loose going into the turn and slid out very easily - thus you are too stiff in the front.

There is nothing wrong with AC. The suspension and tire pressures just need to be tuned from the factory settings. My experience has been that once tuned the AC can handle better than most and can be right there with the best of them. Actually if you spend some time, the AC IRS and run with an SRA. Plus with AC you get a host of other bennies such as the industry leader in GC and wheel travel. Doesn't get much better than this. AC as well as all ATV's the demon is the 'role-under' from the front tires.

The post was done so that people could tune the suspension and really get the benefits from the AC. Rather than blindly make adjustments, to be able to know what to do in order to get the results that you want. If your machine is behaving in a certain way, some things that you can do to correct it and not just blindly, hit or miss, make changes.

This post has not only helped AC but several other brands, based on the private messages I have received. It all makes my heart smile to know that it has done some good and people have benefited, no matter what they are riding.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 06:29 PM
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Re: sway bar

wow thanks alot. that will help me out alot. my rzr is set up all wrong. thanks again
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Old March 12th, 2011, 06:30 PM
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Re: sway bar

Quote: Originally Posted by Dirty Dog View Post
If you have Progressive springs for Steve at Makin Traxs, Throw away both swaybars and never look back. Independent suspension is much better, then swaybar bullshit suspension! Just unhook it and you feel the difference, if you do not like it hook it back up. Takes maybe 20 minutes to unhook, and the same to put it back, if it's not to your liking.
x2 i have both makin trax springs and super atv 5 in kit sway bars never went back on
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link for crow dog's site!!! www.utvguide.net


running makin trax afco shocks and springs
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