An Introduction to Adjustable Panhard Rods
A Panhard rod is an extremely useful component of a car suspension system. First invented by the Panhard automobile company of France in the early 20th century, this device is used widely by car owners across the world. Panhard rods are also called panhard bars and track bars.
Panhard rods provide lateral location of the axle. The purpose of the suspension of an automobile is to facilitate the wheels to move vertically with respect to the body and to prevent them from moving forward or backwards. Designed on the similar model, the panhard rods help prevent lateral movement.
The Panhard rod consists of a rigid bar running sideways in the same plane as the axle and connects one end of the axle to the car body and other on the opposite side of the vehicle. The bar is then attached on either end with pivots that permit it to swivel upwards and downwards, ensuring that the axle is allowed to move in the vertical plane only.
To help prevent the axle from moving longitudinally, the panhard rod is used in conjunction with trailing arms for stabilizing the axle in the longitudinal direction. This arrangement is used basically with coil spring suspensions where the springs do not supply enough lateral rigidity.
The axle must necessarily move always in an arc relative to the body, with the radius equal to the length of the Panhard rod. If the rod is too short, there will be excessive sideways movement between the axle and the body at the ends of the spring travel. Because of this very reason, the Panhard rods are less desirable on smaller cars than larger ones.
Further, when the suspension system is altered in height the fixed length of the front or rear panhard rods can cause the axle to shift to one side. On raised height vehicles this can cause one wheel to protrude past the outer edge of the guard, or in the case of a lowered vehicle, it can make contact with the outer lip of the guard.
To ensure safety and to prevent any mishap on the road, one must buy high quality adjustable panhard rods that can return the axle to a more central position. Panhard rods with removable heavy duty rods are also good as the rod end can be replaced without having to go to the expense of replacing the entire panhard rod.