Do I Need A Panhard Bar?
There is some controversy surrounding the use of a panhard rod on cross-spring drop axle suspension systems. While there are many hot rods running around without one, most of the top chassis builders feel that it is a necessary part of a front suspension, especially with a four-bar. With an original buggy spring and wishbone setup, the triangle shape of the wishbone limits side-to-side motion. Even a split wishbone or radius rod front end with the axle mounting points wider than the frame mounting points provides some measure of triangulation to help control side motion.
By design, the four-bar front end is engineered to allow the front suspension to travel freely (thus providing better ride quality and handling characteristics), but it cannot control side-to-side motion. The problem is compounded by cross-steering, as any side-to-side movement will cause bump steer. A panhard rod should be considered mandatory on all four-bar systems, and recommended on all cross-steer systems. The bar is normally mounted to the frame on the driver's side and to the axle/batwing on the passenger side. It should run parallel to the drag link so as not to induce bump steer.