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Old 05-06-2019, 04:47 PM   #1
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Front Track Bar or Panhard Bar End

Looking under my coach I see on the ends of the front track bar the boots are rotted and cracked clear through. In my thinking that's important but not an immediate problem, but one to take care of soon. So has anyone changed the ends of a front track bar? It looks like the driver's side air bag has to come out, but I'm not sure. At the same time I plan on replacing the front airbags. Does anyone have PNs for the rod ends?

I found this on the forum and it helps but it's not exactly what I need:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f104/track-bar-panhard-rod-73933.html>

Thanks for any help
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Old 05-06-2019, 05:18 PM   #2
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Hey Jay, replaced mine [front and back] a couple years ago....determined it was a common truck part--found it at local truck spring/suspension shop--believe it was a Sterling truck part. My coach is an 03 with 180k miles and had same problem with deteriorated end bushings... so found the new bars significantly tightened up the steering--less wandering......not very expensive but no ends available, so just replace the whole bar ...rear bar is easy to replace but had to loosen/remove shock mounting bracket to get at one end nut/bolt on the front.....dean
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:32 PM   #3
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Wonder if that's where some of the clunking noise I get on mine under the front end. It's more at low speeds than once rolling down the road at cruising speeds. Know it's annoying to me. Have to look at that. Planned to grease it this weekend anyway and thought I would just go on a bolt checking mission. The other link talked about sometimes it just needed to be tightened up. Have to do some exploring.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:50 AM   #4
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...the bar and bushings are very heavy duty so even with substantial deterioration, its hard to detect movement in the joints. The mounting flanges on the frame and axle are designed to be squeezed against the inside bushing collar--large thru-bolt takes a good amount of torque to ensure flanges are tight....I would check the thru-bolts first.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:19 AM   #5
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Front Track Bar or Panhard Bar End

An update on the replacement. After removing the air spring to access the bolt that holds the track bar to the drivers side axle, I could not get the 7/8" bolt out. So I took the shock and trackbar mount out with the bar. With an 8lb sledge hammer the bolt would not come out. Finally at the local suspension shop on a press under 25 tons of pressure the bolt popped out (more like exploded out). The bolt was frozen to the inner race of the trackbar bushing. No other looseness as everything came apart with much effort (long wrenches, cheater bars, penetrating oil and heat).

I found the bar is a Neway 90045171-C and I bought a replacement for $335 (w/shipping) at Michigan Truck Spring and their PN is Western Star TMR507. The air springs and bar are due mid week.

When reassembling I plan using a lot of Never-seize.
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:00 PM   #6
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Jay, while you are at it, might as well check/replace the rear bar too....our older coaches have just the one in back...new coaches have two bars in back.....
PS--besides, its only money.....
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:35 PM   #7
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Jay,


Was there any play in the bushings or just worn boots?


Same question comes up when discussing tie rod ends/drag end links. My normal response is "I don't replace for bad boots". I immediately replace for play.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:18 PM   #8
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Ok did some more looking today. The first picture is of the removed front bar. I cut off the old cracked boot to look inside. It seems to be a metal ball joint packed with grease and then stamped to hold the ball. It was frozen to the inner 7/8" mounting bolt (remember as mentioned earlier) but the ball seems free to move in the end as the grease held up even though the boot was cracked. There was no play that I could detect but I'm not 30K lb vehicle moving 65 mph trying to move it either. My take on this is if the boot is cracked the grease is going be compromised over the next several years and it will need to be replaced.

The 2nd picture is the rear bar and yes it's boots are also cracked. Pulling with a 2' pry bar I can't detect any play. So my plan is to put it on the list of parts to be replaced in the next year or so.

Replacement parts are due Wednesday. So if anything significant comes from that, I will update.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:01 PM   #9
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Just to close this out. I did get the front panhard bar changed along with new air springs/bags done in the front. All seems better and along with a recent replacement of front Koni shocks, it seems to ride nice again. Thanks as always from the forum for the advice and encouragement.
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