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Old 04-15-2019, 07:23 AM   #5643
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Thanks TeJay. So the bolt/Bracket is one peice? And it somehow sticks itself to the upper arm. Makes sense. When I can get back to it (snow on the ground again!} I'll try to pry it off. Taking a 15 min job and adding a lot more effort and time!
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:38 AM   #5644
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Another happy CHF driver here! Just returned from a 540 mile trip down the Oregon coast and back after doing both front, and back. To sum it all up in one word would be “confidence”. Espesially in the curves. I could easily take corners at least 10 mph over what the yellow signs suggested and not feel out of control. That was the biggest improvement to me, but body sway in all situations was improved. Quieter too. Didn’t hear the suspension squeaking so much like I used to. Didn’t really get in any bad cross wind situations, so I can’t say to that yet, but semi trucks passing on the freeway were a non-issue. I’ll be ordering poly bushings soon, because when I did the rear I saw that they were slightly cracked, and splayed.

Next up, I’ll probably do the home made rear trac bar just cause it won’t cost much. I could feel a little tail wag at times. Definitely see a steering stabilizer in the future as well, and I probably should look into the the alignment that’s been mentioned. It’s not bad, or tiring to drive mind you, but small steering corrections seem to take a few small back and forth movements before I’m just holding steady again.

So thanks to all for starting, and contributing to this. Gave me the inspiration, and knowledge to do this easy, and CHEAP mod, and I’m glad I did.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:40 AM   #5645
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That's what you get for living in MI. We lived there for our first 10 years then moved to AR in 1985. My Sister lives in Grand Rapids. I called her last night and they had another 3 " of snow. Ugh!!!!

Do let us know when you get that bracket off

Thanks,
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:58 AM   #5646
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Originally Posted by Hurricane34J View Post
Thanks TeJay. So the bolt/Bracket is one peice? And it somehow sticks itself to the upper arm. Makes sense. When I can get back to it (snow on the ground again!} I'll try to pry it off. Taking a 15 min job and adding a lot more effort and time!

TeJay is right on about the serrations. I gave up on my first try since I couldn't remove the bolt without a head, nor could I rotate the bracket.


A few other posts encouraged me to try again, THANX to those! I tried again.


Passenger side was easy since the bolt hoes lined up. I tried to rotate the Z bracket thinking it should spin on the bolt, with a little more force it rotated, tight but it worked.


On to the drivers side, all gung ho, only to find nothing worked like the other side. The rod connecting the sway bar to the chassis had very little clearance, so I was a little concerned. The bolt holes didn't line up either & there was no rotating the bracket this time. No matter what I tried, rubber hammer, steel hammer, pry bar, it wouldn't budge.


Finally took the connecting rod off, went tot he garage, placed the Z bracket in a vise, finally broke loose from the bushing/serrations, so it rotated as needed.


The chassis bolts holes now lined up, but the sway didn't. Instead of needing to raise the sway bar up to meet the bolt, it need to go down towards the ground.


I put a small bottle jack between the frame & sway bar, inserted the bolt & torqued all the nuts. Just to be safe I went back the next day & checked the torque.


Hope this made sense, my wife said I don't make things very clear to others, just myself. Need any help let me know.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:57 PM   #5647
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TeJay is right on about the serrations. I gave up on my first try since I couldn't remove the bolt without a head, nor could I rotate the bracket.


A few other posts encouraged me to try again, THANX to those! I tried again.


Passenger side was easy since the bolt hoes lined up. I tried to rotate the Z bracket thinking it should spin on the bolt, with a little more force it rotated, tight but it worked.


On to the drivers side, all gung ho, only to find nothing worked like the other side. The rod connecting the sway bar to the chassis had very little clearance, so I was a little concerned. The bolt holes didn't line up either & there was no rotating the bracket this time. No matter what I tried, rubber hammer, steel hammer, pry bar, it wouldn't budge.


Finally took the connecting rod off, went tot he garage, placed the Z bracket in a vise, finally broke loose from the bushing/serrations, so it rotated as needed.


The chassis bolts holes now lined up, but the sway didn't. Instead of needing to raise the sway bar up to meet the bolt, it need to go down towards the ground.


I put a small bottle jack between the frame & sway bar, inserted the bolt & torqued all the nuts. Just to be safe I went back the next day & checked the torque.


Hope this made sense, my wife said I don't make things very clear to others, just myself. Need any help let me know.


VERY Clear! I wondered if I would have to remove the rod. I am mentally prepared now! I probably won't be able to get back to it until Friday or later.. but I will report back. Thank you.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:31 PM   #5648
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I haven’t seen anyone else mentioned this, but when I did my rear sway bar I had to push back the vertical bar that was attached to the frame before the bolt and plate would engage in the second hole. Am I missing something?

Didn’t mean for this to be a replay the last post, but don’t know how to do an original post.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:11 PM   #5649
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VERY Clear! I wondered if I would have to remove the rod. I am mentally prepared now! I probably won't be able to get back to it until Friday or later.. but I will report back. Thank you.
I was successful in getting the bracket off. Used a very large screwdriver and found some leverage. The passenger one popped off pretty quickly with some strong force. The driver side took a few times, but came off. I am all set now. Thanks.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:09 PM   #5650
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Ken,

I'd ask the alignment tech to set the caster to the most positive that they will. I believe the specs are around 5.5 (#) degrees. If they will set it to 6# that's even better. Positive caster will force the wheels to go straight down the road. That's what allows you to ride a bicycle with no hands. Your weight forces the wheel straight.

The toe should be toed in 1/16" or 1/32" per side. Just ask the tech where he recommends it be set.

Toe is one of those alignment angles that is never going to be perfect. In a perfect world the tires should both be pointing perfectly straight down the road all the time. They are usually set in slightly because over time the tie rods wear and the weight forces the wheels to gradually point straight then out. The more they point out the more the inside of the tire wears. It's never perfect but that's how it's been done for ever. It's set for a compromise.
Thanks TeJay. I will follow up on this with the tech.
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:38 AM   #5651
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Thanks TeJay. I will follow up on this with the tech.
I have been running 7* positive caster for three years and over 20,000 miles now including a trip to Alaska, with no adverse affects. I am getting an alignment in a few days due to some tire wear on the outside right tire. I told them already leave the caster alone unless it has changed since last time.

We have the 26,000 lb chassis.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:19 AM   #5652
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George,

I agree 100%!!! I'm just not sure why Ford insists the caster be no higher than about 5.5 degrees. Many of us know how much better the chassis tracks with higher caster and there is no down side to having it done that I have ever experienced.

We do have to keep in mind the varied uses of the Ford F-53 chassis. The RV chassis is only one of several. Delivery vans of different lengths and ambulances are just two.

I've had experiences dealing with production changes during assembly. I have worked on assembly lines in Detroit. Every vehicle is made using a build sheet of options set by owners or dealers ordering specific colors, engines, accessories, etc, etc. The manufacturer decides what you can and can't change

Many believe the F-53 should have the CHF done at the factory. They just won't do it. WBGO's policy is simple.

At the time (2013) WBGO still had the Iascaa line. We wanted a darker leatherette color which for 2014 was offered on the Itasca line. We paid a $300 deviation fee to make the color change from white to brown. The two passenger chairs and the main couch. We did not want white and don't regret spending the $$$.

I intended later installing MCD shades on the front window area and did not want the holes from the sun visors overhead. We paid a deviation fee of $50 so they wouldn't install the visors.

We order a TT and asked that they change the axles from 3,000 lb to 3,500 lb and they said NO we don't make changes on the assembly line. The TT was delivered and they shipped 3,500 lb axles to the local dealer and they were installed with no charge. How much sense does that make??

That's just a few examples why manufacturers can't/won't make special assembly line changes.

With all the knowledge we gain trying to make the F-53 handle and ride better wouldn't it be nice if the following were offered as upgrades?

Air ride, adjustable shocks, steering stabilizers, 22.5" tires on some of the smaller rigs, heavier front and rear stabilizer bars to name a few.

We know Ford could buy these items at a cheaper price since they buy in larger quantities. We spend the $$$$$ anyway so we can enjoy the ride.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:34 AM   #5653
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Ford may limit caster 5.5` so you can steer it with the power steering belt laying on the road behind you.

The more caster you add, the harder it gets to steer.
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:48 AM   #5654
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Well aware of what the PS does as well as the effect of caster. If you lose a power steering belt on the F-53 you'll have more problems that just not steering.

99.9999999 percent of the time we drive with the belt in place. I'd rather drive with less stress than concern about possibly losing a belt and how difficult it may be to get to the side of the road in the event. The sky isn't falling.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:29 PM   #5655
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Ford may limit caster 5.5` so you can steer it with the power steering belt laying on the road behind you.

The more caster you add, the harder it gets to steer.
That was an initial concern of mine as well. I talked to the tech and service writer and they drove it after. They agreed they had driven other F-53 chassis that steered much harder all the time. So I went ahead and did it. That was three yrs ago, no issues. It does feel a bit heavier at very low speeds but not overly so. At hwy speeds it feels great.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:53 PM   #5656
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Well aware of what the PS does as well as the effect of caster. If you lose a power steering belt on the F-53 you'll have more problems that just not steering.

99.9999999 percent of the time we drive with the belt in place. I'd rather drive with less stress than concern about possibly losing a belt and how difficult it may be to get to the side of the road in the event. The sky isn't falling.
Well it kind of is, if your in a turn, and the belt breaks.

Are you doing to die, not likely, but sideswiping the oncoming traffic can get embarrassing. Then there are the switchback, coming down mountains, using steering and brakes, stressing an old belt more.

The F53 axle is a truck axle made to carry varrable loads. If heavely loaded, with lots of caster, it going to want to straighten the wheels out. If your one handing around a turn, all bets are off

You really need to have driven more then cars and light vehicles to understand or experience it.

And to use the analogy that the belt " Almost " isn't going to break is just reckless.

Add caster if you care, ( I did on my E450 ), just know that its not without consequences.

Fords caster limit, expresses to me, that they dont like the odds.

Of course they are responsible to ALL of the covered F53s.
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