What are Strut Bars and Anti Sway Bars?

A mounting strut bar (also known as strut tower bar or strut brace) is designed to bring together the two opposing strut towers as a single solid unit. It is one of the most common aftermarket upgrades on a modified car. The function of strut bars is to reduce the bending ability or flex that the two opposing strut towers experience during hard cornering.

Normally, the car’s strut towers normally flex when taking a turn – resulting body flex and traction lost. Strut tower bars are engineered to prevent or resist this flexing. They distribute and balance the pressure applied on one strut tower to both towers when the vehicle is taking a turn. This keeps the wheels in position and in desired position on the road and improves traction.

Strut bars are usually a must to any car upgrade or modification. It is recommended especially if the upgrade concerns a wider tire and wheel combination. It should be installed to minimize the chassis flex resulting from suspension upgrades such as sports strings, shocks, and shock absorbers. Strut bars help reinforce the sub frame and improve chassis firmness as well as make steering quicker and more responsive.

Strut bars install in minutes and look great and shiny. It is most recommended that during installation, strut bars should be placed as rigid as possible for optimum performance.

On the other hand, sway bars (or anti-sway bars, anti-roll bars or lower tie bars) greatly influence the handling ability of the vehicle on the lower end of suspension. It ties the lower suspension components together across the front or back and affects a car’s over steer and under steer. Sways bars keep the vehicle flat or stable in turns instead of leaning over to one side. They help distribute and balance the pressure from one side of the car to the other side during the turn, preventing it from leaning over to one side. The vehicle will still lean some, however, but not as much. Sway bars also provide better cornering especially at high speeds and works well in combination with strut tower bars.

When deciding to take a car upgrade involving strut bars and anti-sway bars, it should be kept in mind that these can also have adverse effects in off-road situations by leaving one tire completely off the ground.

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