Every once in a while, you might have wondered, what does a track bar do on a jeep, and are they essential? Well, here’s a better question – do you fear a death wobble of your jeep? If yes, then you’re in for some surprise. Track bars are integral for a high jeep performance and demolishing the fearful wobble too!
But, there’s more to why users firmly believe in track bar installations. There are abundant roles, types, and benefits that nerf bars feature, but some users are still unaware of them. So, after painstaking hours of research, gathering expert opinions, and going through user reviews, we’re here to break down all your ifs, what’s, and confusions.
Skim through our unbiased, informative article to know why and how these track bars can improve your vehicle’s performance on the road. Let’s get the ball rolling.
What Is a Track Bar on a Jeep?
Wondering; what does a track bar do on a jeep? Well, track bars connect the jeep’s body to the wheel knuckles while acting as the central force for the front and rear axles. The track bars can further improve handling and steering abilities while on terrain, enhancing the driving experience. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s dive in to know more!
Why Do You Need Jeep Track Bar?
Jeep track bars are vital parts of the vehicle’s suspensions as it attaches the axle to the body’s frame, keeping everything in balance and center. Losing the central point in a suspension system would lead to vibrations, control loss, and poor handling, among other issues.
The trackbars are mounted to the frame’s sides around the front tires which keeps everything centered and balanced on the ground, even on harsh terrains with high speed. Jeep enthusiasts need track bars, especially if they drive on larger rocks, which can slightly derange the tires.
Thus, end links, track bar arms, radius arms, drag components, or the typically used term trackbars are an absolute must-have!
Why Would You Want To Upgrade Track Bar?
Are you noticing that your jeep has been rolling a bit funny lately? First, you must review the track bars to see if they’re in good shape, worn out, and out of place.
This phenomenon could occur when the vehicle faces sharper turns, thus replacing some of the internal components. Users prefer upgrading their trackbars to enhance performance and expand their turning radius.
With worn-out trackbars, reaching top speed becomes a struggle, especially on more challenging terrains. This also leads to higher collides and damage to the car. Upgrading from a stock track bar is a must, as they break easily. And, most upgrades come with end links and bushings, so it’s a better tradeoff.
Moreover, since degraded trackbars can’t align your steering wheel, drivers often lose control, and this hazard needs a simple replacement tweak. Lastly, with the increased performance from the upgrade, you get updated controls such as better handling, a well-behaved steering wheel, and smoother turns.
These hold better than regular stock track bars, so you get the best out of your splurge.
How Does a Track Bar Work?
We all understand by now that trackbars are critical for bringing central equilibrium to our jeeps and minimizing rough terrain’s effects. But, it’s also interesting to know how they work.
Track bars are rigid tube-like structures with pivoted brackets at the far ends. Made from tempered steel, the bar connects to the front springs and jeep’s body while the rear track bar brackets mount underneath the driving axle.
The mechanism is such that the trackbars resist the axles from twisting at the back and force the car’s wheels to keep turning forward, thus eliminating windups and vibrations while forcing the rear wheels to remain on the terrains.
Types of Jeep Track Bars
It’s pretty troublesome to keep your vehicle’s tires in proper alignment and row without some assistance from track bars. Especially during significant road bumps, these bad boys come in handy. Below are the type of trackbars you can find in the market.
These track bars have flexible manufacturing constructed with heavy-duty materials. The heavy-duty version adds additional assistance to minimize stress to avoid breakage. Heavy-duty track bars also feature shock absorption and rolling resistance.
Users love adjustable track bars as it poses a smoother and more stable ride. Adjustable bars feature two-point mountings with their respective ends sliding into the brackets. Thus, allowing the bar’s length to contract and expand as needed.
Moreover, it remains true to its name as its best specification is that it can change positions based on the speed and weight of the jeep to optimize performance.
Standard track bars have fixed lengths with holes mounted at each end. These bars don’t shift or adjust their positions with movement and lack flexibility. Thus these are primarily used in smaller vehicles with limited suspension abilities.
The Benefits of an Aftermarket Track Bar
So, why must you invest in aftermarket trackbars? Good question!
Aftermarket trackbars give you relocated brackets. The adjustable track bars usually come with optimized central tendencies over the axles. Furthermore, they revert them in line, allowing more excellent articulating movements.
Plus, you can finally bid goodbye to drift off-roads with these full replacements, eliminating chances of death wobbles. The larger bolts are highly secure, thus, beating wobbles and suspension issues even on rough terrains.
What to Look Out for When Dealing with Track Bar Issues
News flash; track bars can fail too. But how to understand if your trackbar is worn out or damaged? Let’s see.
Steering Wheel Vibrates
When you notice an unusual vibrating sensation in your steering wheel, the issue can be within the track bar’s supporting pieces, bushings, or joints. Often these attachments could come loose, resulting in an underperforming steering wheel.
As the track bars are attached to most of the steering systems, it’s evident that it will show a few warning signs when this attachment deteriorates. One of them is a loose driving condition which, occurs typically in the body frame attached to the track bar’s interior. The steering wheel will come floating in the driver’s hand, demolishing any control or power they previously had over the jeep.
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Track Bar
Since track bars are such pivotal components for your car, how can you know when they need replacing? Here are a few signs of a deteriorating trackbar.
Sways & Hops
During sharp turns with your jeep, it could encounter shakes and wobbles, especially if the terrain isn’t smooth. If drivers notice an unusual bouncing effect while driving on these degraded roads, chances are that the trackbars have lost their sturdiness.
Popping & Banging Sounds
While driving, when a trackbar wears out, you might hear clunking, popping, or banging sounds, especially when riding through harsh terrains or during sharp turns. The noise tells us that the front axle faces excessive movements due to a worn-out or loose track bar.
Bad jeep trackbars might lose their previous tracking potential resulting in heightened side sways. This means that the track bar has come loose or corroded.
How to Know if My Track Bar Is Worn Out?
Other than the usual signs, such as loose drives, steering wheel vibrations, unusual noises from underneath, and wobbles, there are a few more signs of worn-out and inadequate trackbars. The vehicle will try to pull on one side without control from the driver.
Moreover, there will be immense steering hesitation along with a shuddering effect. The vibration and wobbles alone will be a dead giveaway of such consequences. However, another prominent sign of a worn-out track bar is when it gets tougher and tougher to make turns. These signs call for immediate inspection and rectification.
How Do I Check My Jeep Track Bar?
It might sound intimidating but checking to see if your track bar’s condition is top-notch is pretty straightforward. You can follow the steps below to do so.
- Get beneath the rig and check the trackbar to see if it’s appropriately attached to the axle shafts.
- Inspect for cracks in the bushings or other supporting connections.
- Check the bolt’s tightness and measure the standard points on each side. The attachments should be 1/8″ based on the tire’s size.
- Review the drag links to see if they’re adequately centered on the steering wheel and are responding well.
Roles of a Jeep Track Bar
While flipping through the answers of what a track bar esdoes on a jeep, you will come across track bar’s roles. But, what are they? Track bars don’t just help the steering box but your overall jeep. Let’s see how.
Track bars are the vertical assisting frame connecting and supporting both flanks of the front axle housing in jeeps. Usually, the suspensions are made of leaf springs and two axles, reducing and absorbing the aftermath of shocks and the vehicle’s weight.
Conjointly, these parts minimize stress so drivers can enjoy a smoother and comfortable ride even while hitting a few ruts, bumps, or rocks on the way. Moreover, it minimizes side-to-side sways of the jeep, thus eradicating a wobbly riding venture. In contrast, if the track bar becomes corroded, the jeep will face higher wobbles, powers, and an underwhelming riding experience.
Preventing Death Wobble & Jeep Wrangler Track Bar Replacement
Death wobbles occur due to damaged suspension or steering components. You can inspect and prevent damage without spending thousands on professionals. Here’s what you need to do.
- Tilt the jeep to one side using an inch lift, visually inspect the front trackbar’s bushings and points, and bolt them at 125lbs/ft utilizing a torque wrench.
- Check the ball joints and replace them if they’re worn-out.
- Review for wiggly ends of the tie rods. If they do, you’ll require a replacement.
- Lastly, review for wiggly movements and clunking sounds from the wheel bearings. These are definite signs of a damaged wheel bearing.
Difference Between Sway Bars & Trackbars
Trackbars or Panhard bars are responsible for controlling horizontal swaying movement, whereas sway bars or anti-sway bars reduce vertical, roll, or longitudinal axis sways.
How To Check Track Bars
Here are five simple ways to check your track bar for faulty operations.
- Switch on the ignition.
- Hold down the lock button after closing all the doors of the car.
- Switch off the ignition.
- Repeat this process till the key fobs.
- Restart as needed.
What Are The Upgrades for Your Track Bar?
For the upgrade of your trackbar, here are a few things you could do.
- Choose aftermarket editions with big diameters rather than stock track bars. This ensures the high sturdiness of the trackbars, especially on bumpy roads.
- You can substitute track bars with double-shear modes to avoid breakage.
- Modify the bushings and end links too. They come in various styles and sizes, so match them with your jeep before the purchase.
- You can also include a fastener to uplift the jeep’s performance during off-roading.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Q1. Are Wrangler Track Bars Adjustable?
A) Jeep wranglers are entirely adjustable for users to acquire the perfect alignment.
Q2. What Does a Track Bar Do on a Truck?
A) Track bars on trucks can locate the vehicles and orient them for improved geometry and alignment.
Q3. Can I Drive with a Bad Track Bar?
A) Since trackbars stabilize the suspension, it's safer to avoid driving a worn-out one, as it can cause some seriously uncontrollable driving hazards.
Q4. How Often Do Track Bars Need Replacement?
A) Trackbars need replacements as soon as drivers feel wobbly sensations, drags, and complex turnings and if the jeep pulls to a specific side.
Q5. Does the Track Bar Affect Steering?
A) When track bars wear out, they can affect the brakes, accelerators, steering wheels, and handles since one end is attached to the axle and the other to the chassis.
Q6. Can I Replace the Track Bar Myself?
A) It's possible to DIY track bar replacements costing around $306-$329, whereas, with a professional, it would cost approximately $85-$108 more.
Q7. Will a Loose Track Bar Cause Death Wobble?
A) Generally, one of the most typical causes of a death wobble is when the front track's bar belt comes loose, worn out, or the mounting fails.
Q8. What Does Track Bar Do in Rear Suspension?
A) Track bars can prohibit uncertain lateral wobbles or movement of the jeep's axles. Without these bars, users would feel the vehicle sway left and right.
Now when people ask, ‘what does a track bar do on a jeep?’ – You know what to say! Once you own a good quality set of jeep step bars, you can feel a positive change in your vehicle’s performance. Not only that, you will revert the jeep from attracting some severe damage while driving too. Isn’t that a win-win for all?
However, it may not be the case for all trackbars if you don’t adequately research before the purchase and match your requirements with their features. Finding a piece that fits your budget is even more critical.
Considering these aspects, you should further ensure regular maintenance of the track bars so you can get the best out of your investment in the long run. Good luck.