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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
On page 43 of the May 02 Hot Rod there's an article about a sweet little mustang worked over for cross country road racing. Of particular interest was the panhard bar application used in the rear. So of course it got me thinking about adding something similar to my Cougar. I haven't found an application to fit the Cougar yet but I'm sure I'll find something. :)

So far my research indicates that a properly setup panhard bar can really tighten up the rear end and enhance cornering as well as straightline stability at higher speeds.

Has anybody had experience with panhard bars?

Is there an advantage/disadvantage compared to sway bars?
 

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Panhard Bars.......

Evilmess,
My experiences with panhard bars are pretty all encompassing since I race stock cars (open wheel modifieds on dirt tracks). Let me say first that I haven't seen article in Hot Rod magazine to have an opinion on it except to say that if they are doing it then there must be something to it.
In circle track racing the panhard bar is used firstly to locate the rear end housing laterally within the chassis left to right, and of course on your cougars the leaf springs do that for you. Our second application of the panhard is in the way we mount it and the length of it as well as the heighth of it in the car is all used to manipulate the way weight is transferred in the car from the inside tires to the outside tires in a turn....which in our case is always to the left so the weight is transferring to the right side.
An example of it's use is that on a tacky track with lots of traction built in you might want to raise the panhard mounting locations on both ends to free up the car and lessen body roll. Without going into too much detail you have what is called a moment arm that exists between the center of gravity height in the car and the roll axis. The lesser the length of this "moment arm" the less body roll and in turn less weight transfer.
Later in our race nights the dirt track becomes what they call dry slick, almost like asphalt racing. In this instance it is beneficial to not only lower mounting locations of panhard but to actually put some angle in it to encourage more downforce on right rear tire during cornering. There are times when doing this that not only do you encourage body roll and traction, but you might get it so tight that with our 750 horsepower engines we might have the left front off the ground so high you can't see the guy you are trying to pass! So panhard bars do affect handling dramatically if done right.
Other systems to locate rear end in car exist besides panhards and leaf springs......a good example is a jacob's ladder, which is designed to eliminate bump steer in the rear during cornering, but that is another topic......hope this helps........Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info :)

It seems that the panhard bar is a pretty popular modification for late model Mustangs and Camaros but from what I can tell it looks as though the steet application produces the same results as having a sway bar. Can that be right?

I have found some applications for early model Cougars and Mustangs which seem to be aimed at the trans am racer.

http://www.griggsracing.com/gr350street.html
 

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A panhard rod stops side to side movement of the axle - that squirmy feeling you get under acceleration when you hit a bump or undulation. It also lowers the roll centre of the axle if you drop it below the diff centre. Because a panhard rod is mounted to the body at one end of the axle and to the axle housing at the other end, it moves the axle in a small arc

A sway bar slows the rate of body roll (tortional movement).

Perhaps the best set up for vertical location of a live axle is a watts linkage which has a centre mounted pivot and and a rod from top and bottom of a plate (mounted on the diff centre pivot) to a mount on the frame. Because a watts linkage is mounted to the fram at both ends and to the axle in the centre it moves the axle straight up and down


http://www.mwmd.com.au/suspension.htm#Watts Linkage

this link has illustration of bracket that mounts to diff centre
 

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Discussion Starter #6
leonbray said:
A panhard rod stops side to side movement of the axle - that squirmy feeling you get under acceleration when you hit a bump or undulation.
YES! That's what I want to eliminate!

Maybe I should have mentioned that the 'Stang in Hot Rod also used a Watts link however it seems that the late model Mustang and Camaro units are a single panhard bar setup.

I am finding more an more info across the WWW which is very educational but i haven't determined if this kind of a setup is worth while for a restomod street car.
 

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Evil mess, Modified 7 knows what he is talking about when it comes to a panhard bar. Leon touched on part of the workings of it also. Let me try to make it simple. Firts off panhard bars have no use on a leaf spring car, it is used on link suspenions to locate the rear sideways in the car. The advantage of having the panhard adjustable in a race car is for the handling changes it makes. But the simplest way to understand it, is that by raising or lowering the bar it raises or lowers the rear roll center of the car. A leaf springs rear roll center is at the level that the rearend housing attaches to the leaf spring. mm
 
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