Register now to get rid of these ads!

panhard bar vs. track bar?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by UPSrodder, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. UPSrodder
    Joined: Jun 9, 2005
    Posts: 565

    UPSrodder
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Changing out the suspension on my 54 Chevy 1/2 ton and was wondering the pro's and con's of panhard bar vs Track bar. Some parallel 4 link kits us the track bar and others require a panhard bar. What's the difference between the two? My intended use for this truck is a daily with hauling and towing. 4 link with air bags in rear and or 2 link with air bags. Just not sure which way is the best to go.

    Also will be running bags with mustang II in the front. I have the front down with just the coil springs where the running board bracket is at 7 inches but would like to go lower. Dual leafs in back and the rear bracket is at 10.

    Need some expert advise or experience.
     
  2. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 7,393

    gnichols
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Tampa, FL

    I think they are the same, eh? I think Mr. Panard invented them and the stock car guys couldn't pronounce his name so they called it something easier to say with a wad of chew. Gary
     
  3. Leevon
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 363

    Leevon
    Member
    from Nixa, MO

    I'm doing a little interpreting here based on my assumptions about what you mean to be a track bar vs. panhard.

    Some of the "diagonal" track bars with the 4-link kits (running from front 4-link mount to rear mount) seem flimsy to me. I like a solid panhard running parallel with the rear end from the frame to a mount, either the axle itself or the mounting bracket for the 4-link at the axle. It's probably preference but it seems stronger to me.

    Besides strength the other consideration that I'm aware of is arc length. Depending on your geometry, shorter bars typically reposition the rear end a greater distance throughout their travel. Something to think about but I'm sure somebody waaay smarter than me with suspension will chime in (like almost anybody, it's not hard LOL).

    Here's my custom set-up ('50 1/2 ton). The pic angle isn't great, but at ride height the bar is parallel to the axle and ground, minimizing arc travel. Also it's close to perpendicular to the frame.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,822

    53sled
    Member
    from KCMO

    Watt's link. dodge replaced parallel leafs on the durango with a watt type rear.
     
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. hotroddon
    Joined: Sep 22, 2007
    Posts: 11,790

    hotroddon
    Member

    From Art Morrsison, probably the ifrst to commercially offer the diagonla bar;


    <CENTER>Which is better a Diagonal Link, Wishbone or Panhard Bar?</CENTER>It all depends on the type of car being built. A diagonal link and wishbone are both designed for drag race only. There is too much stress put on the rod ends of a diagonal link when cornering to be safe for street use. The wishbone requires too much maintenance for typical street use because of the slip joint. The panhard bar is simple in design and very effective in controlling the side motion of a vehicle. It is still in use in many of the new cars and trucks that come out of Detroit.
     
  6. UPSrodder
    Joined: Jun 9, 2005
    Posts: 565

    UPSrodder
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    the truck arm set up is what I was first considering, but running the exhaust from my 235 would be a nightmare around the center mounts and arms. Parallel 4 link seems to be the next best option, thus the question about the panard bar and track bar. TCI uses a track bar for my truck, and so does Heidts. I looked at suicidedoors links and they use a panard, No limit and welder's series too. Cost varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. I can put together a real nice 4 link from QAR(suicidedoors) for less than buying a kit but they don't even offer a track bar, so I got to wondering why.
     
  7. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,886

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    Track Bar is stock car racing parlance for Panhard Bar. They are one in the same.

    I've never seen anything other than a Panhard type lateral locating linkage referred to as a Track Bar.

    I'd say some places use one word and other the other due mostly to their proximity to the stock car racing industry.

    I'd say you'd be hard pressed to find a shop in Mooresville NC that would call it a Panhard Bar, and vise versa in Los Angeles CA.
     
  8. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 7,708

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    The 4x4 guys call a Panhard bar a Track Bar too. It is what Chrysler calls them, on the Jeep.
     
  9. Scarebird
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 755

    Scarebird
    Alliance Vendor
    from WashinGTOn

    Why would you need a Panhard bar in a proper 4 link? None of GM's 64-87 A/G bodys needed them. Would a Panhard rod not induce binding, especially on the uppers?
     
  10. UPSrodder
    Joined: Jun 9, 2005
    Posts: 565

    UPSrodder
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I was under the impression that the track bar went from lower front pivot to lower rear pivot on the opposite side of 4 link like this
    [​IMG]

    were the panard bar went from the frame to the axle housing to limit side ways motion like this.
    http://www.nolimit.net/images/ftbr125.jpg
     
  11. 26 roadster
    Joined: Apr 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,825

    26 roadster
    Member

    their 4 link was triangulated, the top bars went outward from the center of the rear end and kept it centered.
    parallel 4 link has to have some thing to prevent side motion, track bar
    the one pictured is a drag set up, I personally don't like that track bar set up when your cornering, not strong enough IMHO
     
  12. newsomtravis
    Joined: Jun 1, 2009
    Posts: 561

    newsomtravis
    Member
    from pville, ca

    yeah, why not just do a triangulated four link and leave he track/panhard bar on the floor........its a pickup, so, don`t have to worry about getting into the back seat with bars and things like that....i think technically a guy with the name panhard invented it, its used to keep the car and rear on the same "track" so, one is the name, the other is what it does.......splittin hairs.....
     
  13. BadassBadger
    Joined: Oct 24, 2010
    Posts: 349

    BadassBadger
    Member
    from wisconsin

    cough leaf spring set up cough :)
     
  14. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,886

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    I've never seen a four link done like that on a street car.

    The straight panhard rod is much stronger for a given size material, 'cause you're loading it in straight tension/compression.

    This is the first time I've seen that triangulation rod referred to as a track bar.

    Hotrodding produces a multitude of nomenclatural conundrums.

    I very seriously doubt this will be the last one.
     
  15. Scarebird
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 755

    Scarebird
    Alliance Vendor
    from WashinGTOn

    I am not so sure. Panhard rods I have seen run from the frame to the axle, and by definition must move the axle side to side to account for radius. The rod in the pic UPSrodder has shows a layout that retains a constant "true length"(?) thoughout the axle travel; only loading would be side to side from cornering and maybe under hard acceleration due to driveshaft/axle twist.
     
  16. chickenridgerods
    Joined: Jul 22, 2003
    Posts: 1,107

    chickenridgerods
    Member

    That's a "diagonal link" as referenced by the quoted text from Art Morrison above.
     
  17. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,886

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    How did you conflate stronger with doesn't move in an arc?

    Also, in one wheel bump and body roll, that angled strut bar will swing in an arc just like a panhard rod will.

    The arc movement with a 42" panhard rod is less than 0.2" in 4" of wheel travel.

    You will never feel that offset in a street car (especially since the suspension will have to be totally bottomed out to get that much movement). Hell, all but the most sensitive race drivers wouldn't feel that in a fully prepared hard mounted race car with big wide and sticky tires.

    I see this issue get kicked around on forums all the time, and it baffles me every time.

    For road race cars, a watts link is a better solution, because the roll center doesn't move differently in right vs left turns, but for a street car, than movement in roll center height will make very little difference in the feel or stability of the car.

    In fact, a triangulated four link undergoes changes in roll center location to a much worse degree than the panhard rod does. Cars running them are found literally everywhere, and suffer no great ills for it.

    If you're working on road race cars that actually compete, all this stuff makes a difference, and you'd pay attention to it, but for pretty much anything else, most guys way over think things.

    I'm a suspension nerd, and even I can admit that this argument is pretty much pointless for a street car.

    Just install whatever you can most easily package in your car, and drive the thing.
     
  18. Scarebird
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 755

    Scarebird
    Alliance Vendor
    from WashinGTOn

    As I am looking at this I cannot see how a triangulating bar would move the lower trailing arm at all in/out - the green line represents the distance between fixed pivot points, so wouldn't the right lower arm (and the rest) swing like an aileron?with no side to side motion?

    Another plus to me may be better exhaust clearance.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Beef Stew
    Joined: Oct 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,254

    Beef Stew
    Member
    from So Cal

    sure looks like its in a arc to me. you even drew an arc in your pic. an arc is going to have a changing length thus the rear axle will move side to side. maybe not much but it will move.
     
  20. Scarebird
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 755

    Scarebird
    Alliance Vendor
    from WashinGTOn

    no; draw a chalk line on the front door of you house - from upper hinge to outer, lower corner. Open door - did the chalk line stretch or contract?
     
  21. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,886

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    Yes, the triangle you drew moves as a unit, so that one node at the right rear doesn't move laterally, but since the two mount points on the rear end housing are fixed, they must remain equidistant. That means the rear end housing has to pivot about that right rear trailing arm mount as it goes up and down, which leads to lateral movement of the contact patches under the body structure. The motion is different that what the panhard rod does, but it's still moving in an arc.

    If the right rear wheel goes into bump like you're drawing shows, the left rear wheel has to move to the right, or the rear end housing has to get longer.

    Like so:

    [​IMG]

    The difference in the amount of lateral movement between this angle bar and a panhard rod is just under 1/16" of displacement.

    Also, lateral arc or not, the panhard bar, which gets loaded in more or less pure tension and compression will carry more load for a given tubing size than an angled strut that loads both ends in bending (either the end of the tube itself, or that overhung mount it's attached to).

    I think exhaust clearance is probably a wash, especially if you mount the panhard rod behind the rear end housing and level with the world.

    But like I said, it doesn't really matter.

    Build whichever one trips your trigger, either one will work just fine for a car like this.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  22. Ralph
    Joined: Jan 8, 2004
    Posts: 272

    Ralph
    Member

    Not a great analogy, Scarebird. If the door hinges are your frame mounts, then your example has the "wheels" (outer edge of the door) both movingup and down exactly the same. Using your example, and a flexible "door", moving one wheel up, the other down, your line does stretch or contract. With a diagonal bar there would have to be some side to side movement. Good system for drag racing, not so good for the street. As Coolhand says, though, if it's strong enough, you'd likely never notice the movement.
    Ralph
     
  23. Scarebird
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 755

    Scarebird
    Alliance Vendor
    from WashinGTOn

    thanks
     
  24. Scarebird
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 755

    Scarebird
    Alliance Vendor
    from WashinGTOn

    I think Coolhand hit it with other side pivoting about the "fixed" trailing arm.
     
  25. Blacksmith54
    Joined: Aug 27, 2006
    Posts: 84

    Blacksmith54
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    I used to use panhard bars or trianglulated four bar but if I have the room I use a Watts links as the seat of my pants say it works better. JMHO:cool:
     
  26. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,886

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    Heims will remove the bending moment from the diagonal rod itself, yes.

    Those long mounts will be loaded in bending no matter what though.

    However, I'm splitting hairs at this point. lol

    :D
     
  27. UPSrodder
    Joined: Jun 9, 2005
    Posts: 565

    UPSrodder
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    not to make matters worse in this can of worms, but I have also seen a panhard bar run from the frame to the lower coil over mount behind the axle. Weedetr streetrod shop has a truck arm system that has a bar mount in this manner thought its not from the frame but from a mount on the upper shock mount.

    Its not that I am worried about the handling characteristics for the truck, not going to race this thing. just was wondering about the mounting and clearance issues for each system.
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2013 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.