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Re: Panhard Rod

To: "Eric" <>, "mgs" <>
Subject: Re: Panhard Rod
From: "David Hill" <>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 22:21:38 -0000
Hello, Eric,

A couple of questions for you all....
> 1. A while ago I took the advice of this list (well... you know what I
> mean) and I fitted a lot of V8-type bits and pieces to strengthen and/or
> stiffen up the front suspension of my '68 (stock) MGB.  This was mainly
> because I was getting her/myself into sprint 'races'.  What a great
> improvement to handling - all was worth it.

Good-doing much the same myself.
> Then, because we always want... MORE..., I went a step further and
> uprated the sway bar to a bloody great 7/8 in an effort to try to keep
> both rear wheels on the ground during heavy cornering.  ...Am I right in
blaming the sway bar for this
> disconcerting movement?

Anti-roll bars reduce the front to rear suspension weight transfer in bends,
which reduces, or may eliminate, rear wheel lift. However, the effects are
unpredictable; on a live-axle car like the B, the a/r bar should prevent
excessive positive camber occurring at the front. When this effect is
stronger than the weight transfer, you get less understeer.
However, increased oversteer is usually caused by the *rear* roll stiffness
being excessive. Your saying that your car starts to wash out on
corrugations indicates that the suspension may be generally too stiff for
the car's weight.
> 2.  My next thought is now to stiffen up the rear end with the addition
> of a panhard rod (V8-style).  Any thoughts on this?

As Paul Hunt said, a Panhard rod will only provide lateral location for the
axle, which will stop any rear-end steer. You might also consider traction
bars: leaf springs twist up under load and if you find the inside rear wheel
'chattering' on hard acceleration out of a bend, it could well be spring
wind up. Note: the bars designed for drag racing are too hefty for this

> Yes, she does ride the bumps pretty hard now (hell, who needs to let the
> suspension do its job) but seeing as I have gone this far am I going to
> see a significant improvement by limiting the rear axle movement with
> the panhard rod?

If you limit the rear end travel too much, you'll oversteer right off. The
only advantage is that you won't see what you are going to hit-except in the

Two final points...
First, the best handling indpendent front/live rear car I've encountered was
an MGB-based Cobra replica. This had traction bars, a Panhard rod *and* a
Quaife slippy diff-it needed all this because the powerplant was a 250bhp
Rover (Buick) V8. The suspension was well but not overly damped and the
suspension travel was long. This was based on the Lotus principle of long
travel/good damping.

Second, may I suggest a very good book. 'How to Make Your Car Handle' by
Fred Puhn ( HP Books/ Berkely Publishing Group, 200 Madison Ave. NY 1006,
ISBN 0-912656-46-8) is an American book and will tell you all you want to
know. BTW, it's entertaining and well illustrated too.


David Hill

David Hill/Psychomotor
Can I Telework for you? Try...
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