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Old 07-31-2012, 06:50 PM   #841
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Yes, changed them all last year to the blue ones. All is tight and good.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:03 AM   #842
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Just returned from a 2400 mile visit to the Dallas area. Traversed some bothersome undulating roads at very slow speeds working our way through construction areas and also getting back to the campground, ( East Fork State Park in Wythe TX ) which was off the highway a bit.

I was surprised at the amount of swaying left and right the coach did. In fact I checked the front sway bar wondering if it had come loose. Can't explain it. I was sure the coach was tight. I do wonder if using the longer links on the front might have mitigated some of the roll stiffness I thought I felt when I used the original shorter links. This does not seem logical to me but was the only reason I could come up with to explain why the coach rocked left and right so much on this trip.

It could also be that I have never been on such a heaving road surface before and so never actually tested the change under extreme conditions.

Do we have a certified mechanical engineer on line that might comment on what effect longer links add to the sway damping abilities of the bar?

Gary
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:29 AM   #843
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll View Post
Just returned from a 2400 mile visit to the Dallas area. Traversed some bothersome undulating roads at very slow speeds working our way through construction areas and also getting back to the campground, ( East Fork State Park in Wythe TX ) which was off the highway a bit.

I was surprised at the amount of swaying left and right the coach did. In fact I checked the front sway bar wondering if it had come loose. Can't explain it. I was sure the coach was tight. I do wonder if using the longer links on the front might have mitigated some of the roll stiffness I thought I felt when I used the original shorter links. This does not seem logical to me but was the only reason I could come up with to explain why the coach rocked left and right so much on this trip.

It could also be that I have never been on such a heaving road surface before and so never actually tested the change under extreme conditions.

Do we have a certified mechanical engineer on line that might comment on what effect longer links add to the sway damping abilities of the bar?

Gary
I ordered the longer links last fri. hope it was not $100 mistake.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:03 AM   #844
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Originally Posted by Roll View Post
I do wonder if using the longer links on the front might have mitigated some of the roll stiffness I thought I felt when I used the original shorter links. This does not seem logical to me but was the only reason I could come up with to explain why the coach rocked left and right so much on this trip.

Gary
I truly believe the short links give better stiffness, but have no proof. This is how I look at it though. With a 90 degree angle, you have full leverage and travel on the bar. If you shortened the links enough to a 180 degree angle, you have NO travel and it would be totally ridged. This of course negates the system and a hard lean would probably break a link....but it sure would be stiff just before it broke

Now with the stock links, you have approx 130 degree angle, half way in between. To me, this says less leverage on the bar an some restricted travel. However, with the many people using stock links (even John McKinley) and having racked up 10's of thousands of miles without failure, the travel restriction is not enough to break a link. I believe the stock links give the best performance without too much stress.

If I ever get the time and my curiosity gets the best of me, I will put longer links on the front for a test. The next test would be shorter ones on the back!
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:39 AM   #845
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If I ever get the time and my curiosity gets the best of me, I will put longer links on the front for a test. The next test would be shorter ones on the back!
Thinking more about this, I should have added that this is the first time I've driven the coach fully loaded since making the change. Cloths for 10+ days/ 2 people, food, water, full fuel tank, towing the jeep, it is quite a load and my local tests after the change had nothing close to the weight and load that I had in this trip.

It was steady on the highway, only a slight push as trucks passed, and only slight lean on the highway in tighter turns so I can't fuss about the handling. And, the road where I noticed the sway, was quite bad with significant dips and rises on first on side of the coach and then the other. Perfect for setting up a back and forth motion.

Agree with your comment about the straighter the line drawn with the link and bar the more of the force is transmitted to the axel where the bar is attached. Would definitely make the body stiffer but could also cause a failure of the attachment brackets if the load became strong enough.

I don't plan to remove the longer links, I am certain the bar is functioning properly with the angle more toward 90 degrees. It is not after all, a tuned sports machine, it is a house on wheels.

The size of the coach is a factor too I gather. Our coach is 38 feet long with a GCWR of 26,000 pounds. That much mass and weight has to have some kind of outlet to move about. It would not be safe if completely rigid.

My opinion anyway,

Gary
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:50 AM   #846
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I was going to MSPaint a picture, but John said it all and said it correctly. Compare it to lifting a weight. With your arms straight out, it is harder to lift an object. When they get closer to vertical, it gets easier. Now think of it in reverse. It's easier for someone to push down on your arms when they are straight out then it is with them at say a 45+į angle. The only drawback I can think of is the bushings may wear out sooner. Not a lot sooner, but there will be more pressure on them.

When I drove the 10 miles home from the repair shop without lower bushings and sleeves, the lower eyelets in the longer links I fabricated, ended up egg shaped after some aggressive manuvers. It was chromoly, but not thick wall. I replace them with shock eyelets salvaged from used shocks. I have since put on ~150 miles without issues.

Thx John.



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Old 08-01-2012, 08:58 AM   #847
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Shame on you Gary, for the false alarm. What you might do, is adjust the Helwig's to their shortest length. Probably won't be noticeable without Myth Buster's array of gauges and sensors, though.



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Old 08-01-2012, 09:30 AM   #848
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Quote:
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It is not after all, a tuned sports machine, it is a house on wheels.
Yep, but being the aggressive crazy driver I've always been, I sure like taking those 45mph curves at 55 mph. Before the fix it did feel like I was driving a house. 35 mph in a 45 curve wasn't gettin' it for me
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:37 AM   #849
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I don't know about your house, but mine sits rock solid on it's foundation and does not sway. Well, it did once from a CA earthquake.



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Old 08-01-2012, 10:45 AM   #850
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The closer you can have the top links & sway bar to an L shape to each other, once the coach is sitting on its wheels, the more performance you can get out of the sway bar.
When the top links & the sway bar are at an angle, less performance you will see because the leverage points are to angled.
At least that is how a sway bar works on a race car or flat track 4 wheeler.
When you move to top link back to the second hole, that changed the leverage point on the sway bar & in a sense made the bar itself stronger or made it harder to twist, that is if you have the link & bar L shaped to each other.

Now the whole time ours has been changed over, I have been taking a real close notice to what has been happening to handling & have noticed the coach will follow the road surface quicker, like dips & such on one side of the lane the action will be quicker to follow where as before the action to the change in road surface was kinda slow & lazy.
Slow & lazy would provide a better ride, but it just allows way to much travel or lean as you would say, so I guess it is a trade off.
Neil
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:33 AM   #851
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After reading all these posts of folks experiencing handling problems and recommended fixes, it appears we lucked out with the 2000 coach on the F53 chassis we bought.

The only handling problem, if it qualifies as such, was the sideways shove on our coach from overtaking semi's when passing.

Corrected that condition by installing a front Trac-bar. Original front & rear stabilizer bars are still intact with no adjustments or modifications made on either.

Had a rough ride in cockpit area, corrected by installing of Koni FSD shocks on front suspension.

Totally satisfied with handling and directional stability, much of which I suspect can be attributed to tag wheels.

Hope everyone arrives at satisfactory solution to their handling issues.

Best regards & Safe travels to all..
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:34 AM   #852
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Correct Neil, but on a straight road with dips, the ride will be the same. The links will just move the bar up and down in their axle bushings in a non-twisting motion. On a curve, where the vehicle will lean against and twisted the bar, it may be stiffer, but I don't think by much because you will have equal but opposing force on the bar. The vehicle will still rely on the shocks, which will still provide the same damping function.



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Old 08-01-2012, 11:39 AM   #853
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Jim, does it lean on turns? I don't think a track bar is going to fix that. The tag probably does help quite a bit.



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Old 08-02-2012, 12:33 AM   #854
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Jim, does it lean on turns? I don't think a track bar is going to fix that. The tag probably does help quite a bit.
Hi Dunner,

Never experienced any noticeable leans in turns. Traveling on highways taking curves at posted speeds it stays fairly level with perhaps a very slight lean on tight curves but never felt uncomfortable with the handling.

We don't travel at very high speeds, usually around 62 which seems to be the sweet spot for the engine.

I do believe the tags help in the handling arena by virtually eliminating any rear end sway.

After installing the front track bar back in 2007, the heavy sideways push from overtaking, passing semi's is now just a slight nudge, really nice.

Best regards & safe travels
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