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Old 08-14-2019, 06:01 AM   #5783
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pkunk1,

Thanks for that report. I do believe you are the first to report a SB bolt breaking while parked off-level and with a noise that sounded like a gunshot.

POI, Have you ever replaced your SB bushings with the polyurethane ones?? The stock bushings don't last much over 8 or so years. Maybe you are the second owner and they have been replaced?

Most owners only discover issues with the rear SB system while doing an inspection. Sometimes worn soybean oil bushings (stock) and loose, bent, broken or just missing rear brackets are discovered when the owners sense or feel some loss of sway control and then do an inspection. They also may/will hear some clunking or just metal on metal noises as the SB bounces around.

Double check the grade of the old bolts. Yours is a 1999 so very early for the F-53 chassis and who knows what they used. Most of the bolts I've seen holding those SB brackets in place on the front axle or rear differential are 12-mm metric and 10.9 grade.

Not sure how that compares with the SAE grading system of hash marks being 2 less than the grade rating. Like 3 hash marks for a grade 5 etc. I know 10.9 is an equivalent grade rating probably to our grade 8.

It's amazing we are still discovering more and more concerning the CHF and issues related to the SB bushings, brackets and attaching hardware.

We have had very few issues with the attaching links unless owners employ after market adjustable links usually with bushings, sleeves or bolts that are not the correct sizes.

We have also had very few if any issues with link attaching bolts on either end.

When we first got our RV and was making all these changes I wanted to use 1/2" link bolts on the SB end and drilled the 12-mm holes accordingly. The 1/2" bolts are .070 larger than the 12-mm bolts. The SB is hardened and it was not easy.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:41 AM   #5784
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Bushings are good & the bolts were grade 5, 7/16". The left side had a ring worn in about a 32nd from the steel on the link end.
I should probably check the top bolts of the links!
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:05 AM   #5785
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
pkunk1,

We have had very few issues with the attaching links unless owners employ after market adjustable links usually with bushings, sleeves or bolts that are not the correct sizes.
Are you referring to the Hellwig adjustable links? I now have them on all four corners. What issues were reported? What should I watch for?
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:20 AM   #5786
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Tejay,

What are your thoughts on doing the CHF only in the front? Iím assuming that would put all of the stress on the front sway bar with the rear not doing much. I havenít done the CHF yet but just did a rear track bar and am pleased with the results. I am going to replace those horrible Koni shocks I purchased a couple of years ago and go back to bilsteins. After that I might try the CHF on the front to see how it is.
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:01 AM   #5787
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CJ7ole,

I only read what some had experienced and since that was over a several year period here on the CHF thread things may have changed by Helwig.

Early on there were differences between the helwig sleeves, bushings sizes or bolts and some reported clunking noises which ended up being slop/looseness in the bushing fit.

Some were talented enough to do some switching of parts and got them to work Ok.

If they are installed and you hear nothing when the RV sways then you're OK.

jpspaz,

There are a lot of folks who only did the CHF on the fronts. They were happy with the results and stopped. The front SB is slightly bigger than the rear and the fronts carry less weight. Most report a significant result when doing the front first and less dramatic when they finally did the rear. Few did the rears first. So that comparison (rear to front) was not often made.

There's nothing wrong with performing the CHF only front or back. Each axle carries its own weight. I'm sure there's some interaction between front and rear but remember the rear carries double the weight compared to the front.

I think we are about 6,500 front and 12,500 rear You won't place any more stress on the opposite end if you do only one. You'll just have different sway controls from both ends. If the front sways less, or is in better control that might limit the amount of sway available for the rear so the end result is still better sway control.

Mentioning stress on parts is interesting. So far (9 years of the CHF) nobody has reported any significant if any worn out SB or link bushings. Some tried to blame the CHF for loose, broken or missing brackets on the rear but that never held up because many experienced the rear bracket issue and had not performed the CHF.

The addition of a rear TB has always been reported as having very good results. Still not sure why Ford has chosen to not add one on the rear.

You're one of few who have given the Koni's a less than stellar review. Interesting but then again every RV is different and will respond accordingly as MODS are employed.

Let us know how you think the aftermarket Bilsteins work for your RV.
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:18 AM   #5788
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7ole View Post
Are you referring to the Hellwig adjustable links? I now have them on all four corners. What issues were reported? What should I watch for?
The Hellwig adjustable links are not specifically designed for the F53 chassis. It is a generic link kit and someone discovered that it might work well on the F53 chassis but it definitely needs some tweaking. Somewhere in the this thread, I posted the needed tweaks with pics but basically, one must use the factory bolts & steel bushings instead of the ones supplied in the generic Hellwig kit.
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:49 AM   #5789
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Wavery,

Thanks for the info on the H-links. I had never worked with them so wasn't exactly sure where the problems were.

The Stabilizer Bar (SB) holes are drilled for 12-mm bolts. That's going to be .070 smaller than 1/2" bolts. When I first did the adjustable plates which were drilled to 1/2" I drilled the stock SB ends to 1/2". That was not easy even if it was only an additional .070 since the SB are spring steel.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:07 AM   #5790
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavery View Post
The Hellwig adjustable links are not specifically designed for the F53 chassis. It is a generic link kit and someone discovered that it might work well on the F53 chassis but it definitely needs some tweaking. Somewhere in the this thread, I posted the needed tweaks with pics but basically, one must use the factory bolts & steel bushings instead of the ones supplied in the generic Hellwig kit.
On the rear, which I did about 30,000 miles ago, I drilled the Hellwig bushings IIRC to fit the 12 mm bolts. On the front I used the 7/16" Hellwig supplied grade 8 bolts, which measured only 31 thousandths (1/32") smaller than the Ford bolts I took off. I noted that there was already probably that much slop between the 12 mm bolts and the holes in the sway bar. We'll see how it goes. If I detect any problems or noise, I will go back in and drill the bushings as I kept the old bolts. To remove any slop, one would have to drill the sway bar and bushings for the next size bolt. Issue being there, would there be much of anything left of the bushing?

Installing the Hellwigs on the front, along with greasing the swaybar poly bushings eliminated any clunking in the front I was getting while going over curb cuts, which was the goal of the exercise. And, yes, I had the old link bolts torqued to 66 ft-lbs.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:37 AM   #5791
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkunk1 View Post
Bushings are good & the bolts were grade 5, 7/16". The left side had a ring worn in about a 32nd from the steel on the link end.
I should probably check the top bolts of the links!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
Wavery,

Thanks for the info on the H-links. I had never worked with them so wasn't exactly sure where the problems were.

The Stabilizer Bar (SB) holes are drilled for 12-mm bolts. That's going to be .070 smaller than 1/2" bolts. When I first did the adjustable plates which were drilled to 1/2" I drilled the stock SB ends to 1/2". That was not easy even if it was only an additional .070 since the SB are spring steel.
Going back to pkunk1's original post, he said they bolts were 7/16". If that's correct, the 7/16" (very near 11 mm) in the 12mm hole could be he problem, couldn't it?
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:41 AM   #5792
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Yes, very much so. Any extra play can cause slight movement. Once it starts moving it just keeps getting worse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdInArk View Post
Going back to pkunk1's original post, he said they bolts were 7/16". If that's correct, the 7/16" (very near 11 mm) in the 12mm hole could be he problem, couldn't it?
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:09 PM   #5793
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The bolt I took out of the left side was severely worn. It was an OEM bolt. I had to replace in the field and didn't have a caliper to measure. Now at home, I guess I should measure the SB hole to see if it's 12mm & to see if it's even round. I dread having to drill it to 1/2".
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:12 PM   #5794
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Wow! The old bolt is 11.77mm just under the head and 10.7mm where it went through the SB. I'll get some 12mm bolts and then measure the holes.
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:20 AM   #5795
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A POI, I have drilled my SB holes out to 1/2". That was about 4 years ago. I made the plates as seen on this thread. I had already extended my links 2" with a 1/2" water pipe and welded. That was not enough and adding the top plate got the SB back to level.

Now on to more bolt sizes. All my plates have 1/2" holes and 12-mm bolts are provided to attach to the SB. All owners will use the factory supplied 12-mm bolts to attach their links to the top plate and which ever adjustment hole they choose.

That means they are attaching the link bolt which is 12-mm and .070 smaller than 1/2" to the top plate hole. Nobody has ever had any issues with noises, of any sort with that small difference (.070) between 1/2" and 12-mm. I allowed that to happen to provide a slight bit more clearance to insert bolts and it has caused not one single issue.

The same is true when the bottom plate is attached to the existing SB. The provided bolts are 10.9 grade 12-mm and the hole in the SB is 12-mm but the plate hole is 1/2".

I use a jig to position the bottom 1/2" plate so the two holes are 3" center to center which is the same as the SB lever arm. My assembly line is manually done and unless a mill or CNC is used to position holes one can never be perfectly lined up 100% of the time. So far my jigs have been close enough so all has worked very well with not one single concern about sloppy holes or any significant looseness.

punk1, shows a well worn bolt. That had to have been bouncing around for a long time to cause that much wear. Not only was it moving back and forth but around and around which caused the circular wear pattern. That's another thing I have not seen with this set up.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:00 PM   #5796
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Woo hoo! I just finished reading every post on this subject since #1. Well, "fully read" most and skimmed a few. Took over a week.

I now understand the pros and cons but still need to decide what to do. We have the 2019 F53 22,000 lb. chassis with under a thousand miles on it, with 22.5" wheels. We did have a blue Safe-T-Plus added right from the start. We have the 242" wheelbase version.

It does "wallow" in turns and when hitting dips in the road on one side so I'm thinking the CHF while maintaining the original angle is the way to go.

It does not get pushed by semis very much. We'll feel a gentle nudge to the right as they come up on us and that's it. Easily controlled.

We have not noticed very much "tail wagging the dog" but do not have a lot of experience with driving it yet. We will be towing a 3,700 lb. car on a dolly soon.

Would a rear trac bar (proactively installed) help keep things stable?

The UltraTrac one looks good to me. When installing the rear trac bar bracket to the differential, is there ever any fluid leakage when so many bolts on one side get removed?

The UltraTrac instructions say to use Loctite Red and someone else mentioned they had a hard time removing the original bolts because they had "red" on them. The instructions say you may need to use 500-degree heat to remove bolts with Loctite Red.

How does using a blowtorch on a differential sound? Sounds "not good" to me but they also seem to make several products known as "red". https://www.henkel-adhesives.com/us/...tite-2620.html

One thing I have noticed while following the motorhome in a car is there is a LOT of bouncing of the rear when going over small bumps in the road. You cannot feel this while driving but it looks like it has no rear shocks. Is that normal?

EDIT: Changed "going over small bums in the road" to "going over small bumps in the road". I do not know how it would drive if I ran over some small bums.

Thanks,

Ray
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