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The Panhard rod (also know as a Panhard bar or track bar) is a component the purpose of which is to place a restriction on destabilising movement in a vehicle’s suspension. Whilst the suspension system is designed to allow vertical movement it should not allow the vehicle to move backwards and forwards or from side to side. The fact that the Panhard Rod has been in use since its invention in the early 20th century is indicative of its effectiveness
The Panhard rod, a relatively straightforward component, consists of a rigid bar that runs sideways within the same plane as the vehicle’s axle and connects one end of the axle to the car’s chassis on the other side of the vehicle. The bar connects at each end with pivots that allow it to swivel in an upward and downward direction only and does not permit lateral movement. To prevent forward and backward movement the Panhard rod is used in combination with a set of trailing arms, which have the effect of stabilising the axle against such movements.
By restricting the side to side and forward and backward movement in a vehicle’s suspension system, the Panhard rod dramatically improves its stability and handling, especially when braking and cornering.