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Old 06-22-2019, 07:03 AM   #5727
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Hi All,

I’ve read a lot of the posts in this thread, but I’m too bleary eyed to keep reading. That said I guess I’m looking for some advice. Working performing the CHF on my 2014 Tiffin 36LA. I got the front moved into the back hole. Pretty stiff but I managed. Should I have used extenders?

The rear sway bar is giving me issues. It’s held on by a bracket. The vertical rod is held to the front hole by the bracket that contains a bolt that has no head (welded part of the bracket). I can get the back bolt unscrewed and removed. Not easy, but doable. However the front bolt bracket combo will not come out after the nut is removed. Seems to have tension on the bolt. Tried using a jack but it didn’t seem to help relieve the tension/torque. I’m assuming I basically just need to flip the whole thing and reposition the vertical rod to the back hole. Am I thinking this through correctly? Any tricks to remove the tension? Use my leveling system? I appreciate the help and sorry if this is already covered ground.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:15 AM   #5728
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Cheeseman1, it's been a while since I did mine, so I'm typing from memory now. But as I remember, the bolt with no head is knurled or textured to be a press fit in the Z-bracket. The knurling is long enough to go into the bushing on the down link, so it's sort of pressed into it as well. I think I tapped mine out with a large plastic hammer. A person could also use a piece wood between the hammer and bolt to avoid damaging the bolt.

Then after getting that bolt out, the down link was very difficult to move because it was pinned in at the top the same way. I loosened the top bolt so I could break it loose to move it.
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:24 AM   #5729
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It's been a while, but I don't remember having to take that bolt out of the bracket. Once the nuts are off you rotate the z bracket 180ļ, move the link and put the nuts back on. I also had to loosen the top bolt in order to move the link.
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:40 AM   #5730
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Same problem on my 2013 Canyon Star. I can get the nuts off and the bolt out of the back off the Z bar but can not turn the Z bar around. I think I'll have to take the link [rod?] completely off and take it to a shop and have the bolt and bushing pressed out and then turn the Z bad! Or buy the Helwig? adjustable
link?
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Old 06-22-2019, 11:39 AM   #5731
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Originally Posted by WyCamper View Post
It's been a while, but I don't remember having to take that bolt out of the bracket. Once the nuts are off you rotate the z bracket 180ļ, move the link and put the nuts back on. I also had to loosen the top bolt in order to move the link.
I may not have been clear, but I didn't remove the bolt from the bracket. I just tapped it out of the bushing in the down link, and the bracket / bolt stayed together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by old golfer guy View Post
Same problem on my 2013 Canyon Star. I can get the nuts off and the bolt out of the back off the Z bar but can not turn the Z bar around. I think I'll have to take the link [rod?] completely off and take it to a shop and have the bolt and bushing pressed out and then turn the Z bad! Or buy the Helwig? adjustable
link?
It'll come out. You may need a bigger hammer

I'm pretty sure I got mine out with a big plastic hammer I keep around. But prybars may have been involved.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:19 PM   #5732
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Thanks for the replies folks. I did hit my bracket/bolt with a hammer but as it seemed to be slightly crooked (tension?) , I was worried about screwing up the threads. It did move maybe a 1/4 inch, but I was hitting it pretty hard. Perhaps loosening the upper end of the vertical rod will create enough play to be able to tap the bolt/bracket out. Still wondering if I need extenders on the front. Should I just have the MH on the wheels only or use the levelers?
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:28 PM   #5733
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A few years ago Ford started making this simple job a bit more difficult to remove the Z- bracket by adding splines/serrations to the bolt shank. That tends to keep the bolt in place when it's tightened because the splines made matching groves in the hole of the bracket.

If you are going to use the Z-bracket you flip the attaching bolt and the bolted bracket 180 degrees. Many never re-used the front Z-brackets and I have yet read where they came loose or broke off. Ostensibly they were added to provide extra support. If they are not coming loose or breaking why add more support??

Never hit a bolt end with a hammer unless it's softer than the bolt. Like a rubber mallet or a brass hammer. That will render the threads worthless. You can thread a nut 90% down onto a bolt end and strike the nut to apply more hitting force. You could use two nuts but tighten them together. I've done that hundreds of times with good results.

To more effectively allow the hitting force to do more work it helps to place a heavy metal object like a hammer (in this case) against the SB end on the back side so the hitting force does not move the SB arm. That's called "backing up" or in the case of setting a rivet they often said "Bucking it up".
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:03 AM   #5734
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Thanks for the advice TeJay. Hoping to relieve some pressure off of the bracket bolt so it straightens and then I think I’d be able to tap it out. As WyCamper and EdInArk were saying loosening the top bolt of the vertical rod will hopefully help create some play. Even hitting on the partially replaced nut or using a softer driver to hit the end of the bolt with worries me, with regards to the threads, with the bolt being crooked (tension?). Any thoughts on relieving that tension?

Any rule of thumb regarding when extenders are appropriate? My front CHF fix seemed to change the angle of the vertical rod quite a bit.
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Old 06-23-2019, 04:36 PM   #5735
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Well I managed to get the rear CHF done this afternoon. This was a job not for the faint of heart. I tried all kinds of things to get the tension off of the bolt/bracket. Could not get the bolt/bracket out of hole one. Ended up thoroughly messing up the threads. Best result came by balancing my jack on the sway bar and pushing up against the frame to drive the SB down. Then strong arming the vertical rod to swing it and the bolt/bracket to hole number two. Ended up using a very large breaker/ratchet wrench to essentially “rethread” the bolt by powering the nuts back on. I know there’s work smarter and there’s work harder. Guess I’m blessed to still have work harder as an option. To tired to go for a drive. Sure hope it’s worth it as it won’t go back the other way - not by this guy!
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:06 AM   #5736
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Mark,
We lived in MI (Canton) for 10 years (1972 until 1982) and I don't recall where Caledonia is. I'll look it up!!

I don't understand why you seem to have tension with or in the sway control system? I guess I'm missing something. If the RV is level or close to level on it's wheels there is little or no tension on the system. When the RV is leaning to one side some tension(twisting force) is placed on the SB which becomes a torsion bar storing the SWAY force until it is again level.

One can R&R link bolts and remove them fairly easily. The SB (Stabilizer Bar) brackets are the same way. They hold the SB against the front axle or rear differential. Remove two bolts and one side comes loose. Remove the other two bolts and the SB will fall off.

In the past some of the nuts that held the bracket bolts in place were spot welded to the differential. It's been some time since I had mine off but I think they are still welded in place.

Very seldom have I had to loosen the top SB link bolt. When I had to was due to the fact that the top link bushing did not turn when trying to move the link from the outer hole into the inner hole. That was almost always when doing the CHF on the rear. I loosened the top bolt 1 or 2 turns which allowed the bushing to move so it would stay where it was placed more towards the rear or inner hole.

When performing the CHF on the front yes the link angle becomes more severe. Many did not like the change in angle and solved the problem by extending the links. That sometimes created another problem. WHY? Helwig made adjustable links (about $100). The bushing they provided were not the same size as Fords an some couldn't make the transition with the Ford bushings. That cause some looness and clunking following the CHF.

I've never tried to make the Helwig bushings fit because I solved link angle issue by designing the adjustable plates. I can select my SWAY control and the top plate being 4" tall brought the SB back to a more level position. The front wheels don't leave the ground as soon when leveling either.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:46 PM   #5737
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Caledonia is just south of Grand Rapids. Its been kind of a bedroom community, but sprawl continues to fill in the farms with developments and highways.

I’ve been to Canton many times. That whole suburb area - talk about sprawl!

Just couldn’t relieve the tension on the vertical bars. Motor home was pretty flat level and tried to remove the bracket bolt with the motor home auto leveled and without using the levelers. Could actually see the bolt was at an angle in the hole. Upon basically beating the bolt out of the hole the vertical bar/link jumped toward the rear about 1.5 inches. This even after loosening the top vertical bar/link bolts. Glad I got it done, but the best news was we took her out for a short drive and I really liked the feel. Turning left into a parking lot across uneven terrain and the leaning left right left, was far less and seemed to return to stable much quicker. On the highway I was going 67 and following right in a semi’s wake. Add to that the very strong wind and I was very pleased to not be having to course correct nearly as much as before. Can’t wait to install the rear trac bar on Wed. I think she’s gonna float pretty nice!
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:14 AM   #5738
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Canít wait to install the rear trac bar on Wed. I think sheís gonna float pretty nice!

Give your rig a good drive before spending money on it. You might find you donít need one. I just did a 1200 mile trip that head everything from headwinds to side winds and then went through the mountains of West Virginia and will not be spending anything else to make my handling better. All Iíve done was new tires and alignment last fall and chf this year. Huge difference with the chf.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:12 AM   #5739
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Give your rig a good drive before spending money on it. You might find you donít need one. I just did a 1200 mile trip that head everything from headwinds to side winds and then went through the mountains of West Virginia and will not be spending anything else to make my handling better. All Iíve done was new tires and alignment last fall and chf this year. Huge difference with the chf.
Same here. Mine was fine for me after the CHF. I did still feel a bit of tail wag, but it wasn't bad. My wife, on the other hand, still sawed at the wheel a lot, so I added a track bar, and she handles it much better.

I'll agree with Mike, though. Drive it yourself first. You may be fine with it now.
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:03 AM   #5740
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On my first trip with our new class “A”, I got blown out of my lane by a car-hauler. Performed the CHF and it seemed to help some, installed a rear track-bar and no more “tail-wagging-the-dog”. Just returned from a cross-country trip from Florida to Yosemite and fought the cross-winds coming across the plains. My next purchase will be a steering stabilizer.
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