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Old 08-15-2017, 07:16 AM   #1
tvp
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New to Ford F53 setup .... help please 😳

Only experienced the 8.1 L GM workhorse chassis , had to do shocks , sway bars and true centre steering to make the coach drivable out of the factory ! Was a Newmar Kountry Star 38 foot.

Now looking at the Ford F53 chassis 2016/2017 Newmar Canyon Star 3710
Do I need to budget. For all the bolt on suspension parts including Koni FDS shocks or does the chassis drive ok from factory.???

What is the average CCC of the 20k/22k f-53 chassis
I know the 24k/26k chassis is about 5000lbs CCC which is great
Any other comments on V-10 and chassis I should be aware of like 5 Speed trans.vs 6 Speed ...... I had the Allison 1000 trans with the workhorse chassis

Love your input 😜✅
Tvp
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
Do I need to budget. For all the bolt on suspension parts including Koni FDS shocks or does the chassis drive ok from factory.???
No and No.

Second question first - No, Its doesn't come from the factory as a nice stable vehicle.

HOWEVER - There is an adjustment that can be made that sends us back to question 1.

No - IMHO - You shouldn't need to spend money on aftermarket suspension components.

The F53 comes with factory sway bars front and rear, these have an adjustment that can be made that will substantially improve the sway. I strongly recommend performing this adjustment, re-evaluate the handling, then decide if you want to spend money.

Search the F53 forum, you'll find a thread thats about 10 zillion pages long that talks all about the CHF (Cheap Handling Fix).

I would recommend extending the links by three inches to get improved link to sway bar geometry.

IMPORTANT - The newer F53 chassis (2005ish and up) have a nasty habit of the rear sway bar to axle bolts falling out. When you do the CHF, remove the bolts, lube the bushings with silicon paste (just a tiny bit) then reinstall the bolts using blue locktite and torque to 65 ft lbs.

F53 is a good chassis. One aftermarket that should be considered is the 5-start tune. This makes changes to the engine, but more importantly the shifting strategy of the transmission, i.e. rpm vs speed vs throttle position vs gear . Much improvement.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:50 AM   #3
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FYI a lot of use have done the original thread poster's CHF where you just move the links to the inner holes front and rear, flipping the z brackets in the rear, with great results and no problems. You will see a lot of the CHF thread talking about different ways to modify the links or the brackets to keep the original geometry. OK if you do , OK if you do not.

I added a Safe-T-Steer steering stablizer to my F53 chassis. Made it a lot more enjoyable to drive. Also supposed to help you stay in control if you have a front tire blowout.

The Bilstein shocks Ford uses OEM are good, IMO I would leave the alone until they wear out.

Other mods I am aware of but personally did not feel the need to do ...

Replace bump stops with SumoSprings - If you plan to do a lot of driving on bad roads at or above the maximum weights.

Rear Track Bar

Heavier sway bars vs. doing CHF on the current sway bars.
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powercat_ras View Post
FYI a lot of use have done the original thread poster's CHF where you just move the links to the inner holes front and rear, flipping the z brackets in the rear, with great results and no problems. You will see a lot of the CHF thread talking about different ways to modify the links or the brackets to keep the original geometry. OK if you do , OK if you do not.

I added a Safe-T-Steer steering stablizer to my F53 chassis. Made it a lot more enjoyable to drive. Also supposed to help you stay in control if you have a front tire blowout.

The Bilstein shocks Ford uses OEM are good, IMO I would leave the alone until they wear out.

Other mods I am aware of but personally did not feel the need to do ...

Replace bump stops with SumoSprings - If you plan to do a lot of driving on bad roads at or above the maximum weights.

Rear Track Bar

Heavier sway bars vs. doing CHF on the current sway bars.
Great info ...thanks to all who replied

Tvp
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:39 PM   #5
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I would say it all depends on how good the body builder matched the house to the chassis. Does it have sufficient wheelbase, or is there a huge amount hanging out past the rear axle? Did they pick the Chassis with the proper GCWR and GVWR? Is the house balanced on the chassis or is it heavy on one side or one corner?

Unfortunately you'll probably have to wait until you own the vehicle to find out what kind of job the body builder did. In many cases all the modifications you mentioned and more are necessary to get marginally acceptable handling and ride. If you get lucky nothing will need to be done.

Before investing any money make sure the tire pressures are correct, the front end is properly aligned, and you have everything you normally take along. Then drive it a few hundred miles to get the feel. If you don't like the way it drives and rides then it's time to think about making changes.


We got lucky on both our motorhomes. The 2001 was a Winnebago Adventurer 32V (32' 11") built on the 208" wheelbase Ford 20,500 lb. F53 chassis. The only changes needed were new shocks (in those days they didn't come with lifetime shocks), and an additional rear sway bar.

Our latest motorhome is a 2013 Winnebago Adventurer 32H. It's 33 '3" long. Built on a 228" wheelbase, 22,000 lb. Ford F53 chassis. We haven't had to do anything to this motorhome to improve ride or handling. We haven't even had to do the CHF.

Drive it and assess it before pouring money into it. It may just ride and drive fine from the factory.
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:49 PM   #6
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I think you need to drive your MH first. My '17 Winnebago will never be mistaken for a sports car or even a pickup truck, but it drives as well as I need it too.
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:02 PM   #7
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Great advice ...thanks ��✅
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
will never be mistaken for a sports car or even a pickup truck, but it drives as well as I need it too.
I'd say a fully loaded newspaper deliver truck handles better . :-)

ALSO - Front end alignment - you want to shoot for a slight toe in.
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:13 PM   #9
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Just do your research. A LOT, I mean a lot, better coach can be bought used for the same money with more power and a significantly more competent chassis. I personally would never own another F53 chassis even if it was given to me for free.
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:23 PM   #10
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I've got a 2017 3401 Baystar and it drove okay at delivery, but wind gusts and trucks passing did mean both hands on the wheel pretty much all the time. 2500 miles later, did the CHF, a significant improvement. Got the front end aligned (they say this is done, but mine and many others were off). This also helped it track a bit straighter. Added the Safe-T-Plus mostly for safety in the event of blowout, but really does a nice job keeping it straight. At this point, I'm pretty happy with it and can at least take a drink or take a bite of an apple at 65mph without getting nervous.

I can't compare the 6spd to the 5spd tranny, but our previous was a 4spd and the 6 spd is just great compared to that. Much more refined.
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:24 PM   #11
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I have a 2018 32' Winnebago on a 2017 18K Ford F53 chassis. From the dealer, it swayed , yawed, pulled, etc. and while it certainly wasn't uncontrollable, it was a handful.

I did the following, and I've listed them in order of benefit
CHF on front - huge difference in stability
Rear track bar - really helped when being passed by semis. Eliminated the yaw.
Rear sway bar - helped some on highway, but helped more in stability of turns
Shocks - replaced with Bilstein HD shocks - improved ride a little, but least improvement. BTW - mine did not have Bilsteins from the factory.

CHF and rear track bar made highway driving much better.
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:38 PM   #12
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What RV did you buy ? Year , make etc
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Old 08-15-2017, 05:52 PM   #13
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Put me in the tiny group who saw no need to do anything to the chassis of our 2015 37F Winnebago. Drives and handles fine with no sway, bounce or wandering. But that's just me.
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Old 08-16-2017, 05:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by lslblues View Post
I have a 2018 32' Winnebago on a 2017 18K Ford F53 chassis.
I did the rear sway and track bar plus the Safe-T-Plus in front on my 2018 32' Winnebago on a 2017 Ford F53 chassis with great results. The DW has no complains driving it. Still deciding whether to do the CHF.
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