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Old 11-10-2011, 08:03 AM   #1
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Thoughts on a front track bar

I am new to MH's, and I just bought a used 2004 Dolphin LX 6342. I've had several people tell me "you have to get a front track bar installed". First, I really have no idea if this is really necessary to do. And secondly I'm not sure if there are different types, makes, etc? One guy told me it would be about $450 installed. Is that a good price? I have really no clue.

Any thoughts or suggestions from the experienced folks here is appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:14 AM   #2
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You may want to post your question in the Workhorse forum. I have a W22 also and have found no need for track bars, but others have done so with varying results.
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:30 AM   #3
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Welcome Denny to irv2.
Its best if you drive your coach a few times to see how it reacts on the highway with traffic.
Do bus's and trucks push the coach around when they pass you.
If your front end feels loose place more weight up in front compartments so front end tracks better.
If you do feel movement in rear of coach as trucks pass add a rear track bar,it will stable the rear end of coach box to your chassis.
Most of my coach's I have added the rear track bar makes for a straight relaxed drive.
The instructions that come with it makes it a DIY job for most people.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:51 AM   #4
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Thanks, 007.

I have driven the MH a few times now on the HWY. It does have some sway in it when going by buses and big rigs. Especially on two lane roads. Granted, I don't have it loaded with much weight right now either.

I've heard there are two types of rear stabilizations: (1) rear sway bar, and (2) rear track bar.

Are these two different things, or one in the same? And secondly, would I need to look at adding both, or would just one be sufficient?

Probably all difficult things to answer from far away, but any insight is helpful to me.

Thanks
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:15 AM   #5
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Denny, I have driven my 2003, 5342 Dolphin almost 50,000 miles. I have felt no need for a front or rear track bar or any other enhancments to the suspension. I definetly feel that tire pressure is important. Have your rig weighed front and rear and then follow the tire manufacturers recommendations for tire pressure. You may have to make some adjustments to load distribution if either end is too light. I weigh 7300 lbs in the front and 14,500 in the rear. It seems to be a good distribution.

Good luck and have fun.

Bob, wa7hra............
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:06 PM   #6
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Denny, I have driven my 2003, 5342 Dolphin almost 50,000 miles. I have felt no need for a front or rear track bar or any other enhancments to the suspension. I definetly feel that tire pressure is important. Have your rig weighed front and rear and then follow the tire manufacturers recommendations for tire pressure. You may have to make some adjustments to load distribution if either end is too light. I weigh 7300 lbs in the front and 14,500 in the rear. It seems to be a good distribution.

Good luck and have fun.

Bob, wa7hra............
Thanks, Bob.

Where did you get your rig weighed? I'm up here in Everett, WA.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:35 AM   #7
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Thanks, Bob.

Where did you get your rig weighed? I'm up here in Everett, WA.

I got mine weighed while it was still brand new at a truck stop in Fife. Since then I have weighed it regularly at Washington State truck scales that are not in use. I do so to keep track of the weight distribution. It's a constant fight to keep from adding more useless junk.

Bob, wa7hra.........
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:11 PM   #8
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Suspension

It has been recommended that a front steering stabilizer should be installed as a safety feature. It would help keep your RV on the road in case of a front tire blowout. The Workhorse chassis seems to be more stable on the road than the F53 Ford chassis. I had a 1998 Dolphin with the Ford and it tended to sway and be effected by big rigs flying by!

I know have a Sea Breeze on the W24 Chassis, and after a 3800 mile trip through CA/UT/WY/SD and back, I felt little or no effect from passing traffic. I am still going to install a front steering stabilizer, just for my peace of mind.

Definitely keep track of your tire inflation, as that will effect the handling. Also weight distribution, especially overloading! After a trip, go through what you are carrying in the coach. Make three lists. !. Must have! 2. Didn't use, but possilbly will need. 3. What am I carrying this around for?

Do that after a few trips and you will cut down on the weight you carry.

Happy Trails!

Darryl
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:29 PM   #9
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Fantastic. Thanks, guys.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:51 PM   #10
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Denny, I installed both front and rear bars, I wanted the best handling possible. Heavy cross winds and passing trucks are no more than a slight budge.

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Old 11-12-2011, 02:06 PM   #11
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Denny, I would recommend a front steering stabilizer and a front and rear trackbar.I went with a Blue Ox onthefront and rear, it made a big difference. I no longer have to fight steering when truck passes or in high winds. The cost is about $450 ea plus for track bars. I also replaced bilsteins with Kony.
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:38 PM   #12
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A Track Bar, also known as a Panhard bar, is used to control sideways movement of a solid axle, usually mounted on leaf springs, and is usually installed on the rear. Track bars don't control lean. Front track bars are not used, for instance, on a GM chassis with independent front suspension, but can be installed on Workhorse and other chassis with solid front axles

A Sway Bar, correctly called an anti-roll or anti-sway bar, is used to reduce lean but has no ability to control side-to-side movement. Anti sway bars are usually factory installed on the front. The older GM class A (P-30/32) chassis always had a rear sway bar, but I understand the Ford class A chassis doesn't have a rear bar. Sway bars and track bars can be used together where applicable.

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...
I've heard there are two types of rear stabilizations: (1) rear sway bar, and (2) rear track bar.

Are these two different things, or one in the same? ....

Thanks
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:59 PM   #13
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We have same chassis the track bar was all I needed for one finger driving.
I did change the shocks to Bilstines because of porpoising in early 03 chassis.
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:24 PM   #14
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My F53 chassis came with front and rear sway bars. I did the mod to move the links to the rear holes and it made a big difference.
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