While the purpose of automobile suspension is to let the wheels move vertically with respect to the body, it is undesirable to allow them to move forward and backwards (longitudinally), or side to side (laterally). The Panhard rod restricts lateral movement. This is different from a traction bar, which controls axle wrap and suspension loading. The track bar or Panhard bar is a simple device, consisting of a rigid bar running sideways in the same plane as the axle, connecting one end of the axle to the car body or on the opposite side of the vehicle. The bar attaches on either end with pivots that let it swivel upwards and downwards only, so that the axle can move in the vertical plane only. This does not effectively locate the axle longitudinally, therefore it is usually used in conjunction with that stabilize the axle in the longitudinal direction. This arrangement is not usually used with a suspension, where the springs themselves supply enough lateral rigidity, but only with coil spring suspensions (Ford did use a similar (5th shock) on some Explorers and light trucks with rear leaf springs).
If installing a lift at the same time as the drop bracket, first remove the passenger side panhard rod bolt. Then install the lift before proceeding. For easiest removal and installation of the panhard rod, do so at normal ride height on level ground and not while the rear tires are off the ground. If a lift has already been installed, you may find it necessary to compress the rear suspension somewhat to aide in panhard bar removal. A few people on the rear bumper or a several hundred pounds of cargo on the back may do it. You are trying to reduce any tension on the panhard rod in order to allow the eye bolt to be removed. Alternately, you can try driving the passenger rear tire up on a to compress the suspension on that side. Or if access to the upper bolt is difficult, try removing the lower bolt on the driver's side, before removing the passenger side bolt.
|Panhard Rod Overview|
Insert the drop bracket into the factory panhard rod bracket and insert the larger bolt (if ordered) to locate the drop bracket. Mark the location of the upper bolt hole and drill it out to fit the small bolt (7/16" - 1/2" hole), if needed. Some vehicles may have an existing hole to use. Make sure the upper part of the drop bracket fits down deep and flush into the existing frame bracket. If not, make sure to clean out any excess factory undercoating or other material that may prevent the drop bracket from sitting flush inside the frame bracket.
A Panhard rod (also called Panhard bar or track bar) is a that provides lateral location of the . Originally invented by the automobile company of in the early twentieth century, this device has been widely used ever since.