Adjustable Sway-Bar Link Technical Evaluation

Mustang Racing Technology Evaluates Powergrid Adjustable Sway-Bar Links

Powergrid's initial research and development was performed with Scott Hoag of Mustang Racing Technologies (MRT) in the field testing of the Adjustable Sway-Bar Link System. Static evaluations were performed on a production-based 1993 Mustang that competes in Open Track Sessions with James Lubbert behind the wheel.

Placing Lubbert's car on 4-corner electronic scales, the corner weights were recorded at curb weight/ride height. The driver was placed into the car and the new corner weights were recorded. The next step was to disconnect the front suspension fixed-length links to witness their influence on the corner weights with the links in the system. The test showed that the fixed-length links induced a preload in the left front/right rear corners at the ride height, and were amplified when reintroducing the driver into the car. With the installation of the Powergrid Adjustable Sway-Bar Link System, the 4 corner weights observed in the "driver in vehicle/no stabilizer bar links" scenario were replicated with the front suspension links adjusted for the target weights. This essentially neutralized the front sway bar in the system. Because of the adjustable links, this task was performed in minutes.

Left
Right
Front
23
-19
Rear
-24
23
(lbs Force)

In preparation for an on-track evaluation, the front adjustable sway bar links were lengthened and shortened in one revolution increments. The 4 corner weights were again recorded to use as a gage in preparation to refine the handling in the on-track evaluation. All of the data presented below was achieved by shortening (Rev In) or lengthening (Rev Out) the Right (Passenger Side) Sway-Bar Link. Remember, this system allows tuning refinements of the sway bar in the suspension system. If your vehicle is not handling well for your application, you may want to consider a spring, shock, or sway bar change.

Left
Right
Front
6
-5
Rear
-4
4
(lbs Force)
Left
Right
Front
-5
6
Rear
6
-7
(lbs Force)

In this evaluation, the resulting cross-weights from weight-jacking remained very linear with each increasing/decreasing adjustment in length of 6 lbs Force, +/- 1 lb per revolution (i.e. 6,12,18,etc.)

The on-track evaluation was performed at the Waterford Hills Road Racing course, in Waterford, Michigan. The track is comprised predominately of right-hand turns. With the sway bar set at neutral on Lubbert's car via the Powergrid Adjustable Sway-Bar System, Lubbert pushed his car until he had a good feel for the track. This was the first time he had visited this track.

Between one of the sessions, Lubbert commented that the car was well balance throughout the course except for Turn 6. This is a hard right-hand turn at the end of the back straightaway. There is a lot of downshifting, threshold braking, and trail-braking required to get through this turn as fast as possible. The car was oversteering or loose in this turn.

To improve this turn, the left front Powergrid Adjustable Sway-Bar link was lengthened 2 revolutions. This essentially increased the force on the left front and right rear of the car while lessening the forces on the other 2 cross corners.

Back out on the track, Lubbert negotiated all right-hand turns, especially Turn 6, with a new confidence. This seemingly simple adjustment improved this turn and actually had an adverse effect in the tight esses; his car actually began to oversteered turning left. The next adjustment would have be to split the adjustment to just lengthening the link 1 revolution from neutral, but unfortunately, Lubbert's T-5 Transmission decided to turn itself into a T-0.

Scott Hoag competes in NASA American Iron Extreme in a 2004 Mach1 Mustang. Part of his post-race routine is to replace the pogo-stick sway bar bushings at the sway bar or the lower control arm. Even with aftermarket sway bar links with premium high-durometer bushings, he fails at least one of the bushing after an event. One of the leading factors to this bushing failure is the architecture of the production system. To allow the suspension go through its movements, the pogo-stick style sway bar links rely on compressing and side-loading these bushings. Through this cycling of side-loading, binding occurs and the bushing eventually fails by splitting.

"One of the keys to consistent competitive times in a road racing venue is to have proper chassis set up prior to starting the race", comments Hoag. "One of the keys to winning races is minimizing change in your car through out the duration of the race. Many components change with heat, wear and mass change during a race: use of fuel for example. The key to winning races is to manage each component to perform consistently throughout the race, the Powergrid adjustable end links help to manage the chassis set up and reduces variability throughout the race. This is the kind of technology you will find on my race car and daily driver!"

"Over the past few years of road racing, I have become very comfortable with my 1993 Mustang's handling characteristics", states Lubbert. "To this date, I have been using the factory style sway bar end links. After installing the Powergrid Adjustable Sway-Bar Link System, I was amazed with how easy it was to fine-tune the car and suspension to the particular track that I am running. The first few laps that I ran, was with the sway bar set-up to neutralize the car, I was stunned at just how much better the car handled. Then, by simply adjusting the left link, the ability to turn to the right was vastly improved. I would recommend these links to anyone that is looking for the added ability to fine-tune their suspension to the current track conditions."