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Old 04-07-2018, 08:13 PM   #1
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Track Bar or Steering Stabilizer

Wondering if any one with a 99. F 53 has added a front track bar or steering satabilizer which did you see have the best improvement.
As you know 99 F53 does not come from the factory with a track bar and no steering piston or steering stabilizer and so wondering which is the best one to add.
I know most newer F53 have both but that is a big investment and yes have done the CHF already.dy.
Nick
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:55 PM   #2
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Just did the Safe T Plus front steering stabilizer and rear trac bar. Also decided to do the front tires because they were dated (09)
We really like the confidence that the Safe T Plus gives us. It seems to wander less, but had an alignment done too.
All in all, we think a good investment. Really like the idea of having better control in a variety of situations.
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:47 AM   #3
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I have a 99. I have installed the steering stabilizer(roadmaster reflex) and it improved dramatically. No more push from semis. I did install a rear track bar so it helped also. This year the front trac bar is on the agenda. Have NOT done the CHF yet, this year for sure.. Between the front stab and the rear trac bar, 80% of the wander and being pushed around is gone. I think the front trac bar will eliminate the rest(fingers crossed). I also bit the bullet and bought new front springs but install will wait until the snow is gone(still 2 feet on the ground here) and the temps warm up., (-15 deg c here or 2 deg Fahrenheit this morning).
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Old 04-08-2018, 05:39 AM   #4
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We had 2001 F53. Did steering stabilizer, CHF, and rear track bar. Made a huge improvement.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:13 AM   #5
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Well I have a W not an F but I went with both.. Trac Bar and stablizer.
Fact:
First trip Detroit to Las Vegas.. Was a relief to "Drop" the towed and drive it instead of the RV

Returned to "D" and installed the Trac Bar and Stablizer (Blue Ox Tru Center)

Second trip to LV.... That same towed was actually HARD to drive (Too responsive) after 2,000 miles in the RV.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:47 AM   #6
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Before doing the track bar, consider new shocks. especially if yours are original.

The one other thing that improved handling and ride was to replace original shocks...

On my 1999 Southwind, the shocks were completely worn out, very little resistance moving up or down. I installed new KBYs, big improvement in sway and ride... ($45 each)

However, If I were doing this again, I would probably go with the Monroe's. I installed Monroe's on my 2001 Mirada and the ride seemed smoother. ($50 each) they were also completely worn out when I replaced them

http://www.1999southwind.com/replace-shock-absorbers/

.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seadaddler View Post
Wondering if any one with a 99. F 53 has added a front track bar or steering satabilizer which did you see have the best improvement.
As you know 99 F53 does not come from the factory with a track bar and no steering piston or steering stabilizer and so wondering which is the best one to add.
I know most newer F53 have both but that is a big investment and yes have done the CHF already.dy.
Nick
I have a 2016 chassis and it did not come with either. I put both on and it made a big difference in the wind and passing vehicles. Blue Ox Trac bar and Roadmaster steering stabilizer.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:33 AM   #8
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F 53

Thanks guys and have not decided whatI will add before heading north in July,
I really impressed with how my 99 F 53 handles but I drove big heavy duty trucks most my working life and well at the end of a long day enjoyed driving home in my own auto truck or car.
I go to NY and pretty much stay one spot with a trip or two a few miles to a camp ground for new change and than back and Mom is 94 and close by to help with her care.
So I will see how front air bags and CHP feels on trip to NY and than decide what next and thanks for all the advice and keep it coming and I hope maybe soon can take a long trip out west.
Nick
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:02 AM   #9
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We also had a 1999 34' Dutch Star but traded it in 2010. The years we owned it I did not know about these forums and of course the CHF was not posted until 2010.

We did add 4 air bags with the on-board air compressor so I played around with it a lot. We only had about 40,000 miles on it when we traded but those were years before I and the DW retired. Well I retired in 2006 but she worked another 4 years. We only had the summers to travel and that was mostly to Maine. Still that RV drove fine as it sat with the air bags. I don't recall having much SWAY issues.

With any of these MODS always do one at a time and drive it for at least 100 miles to evaluate the effects of what ever change or MOD you did.

You have done the CHF so you know how significant that change was. To the best of my knowledge no F-53 chassis has ever had a front steering shock or stabilizer. The front Track Bar (TB) was added I believe on the 2006 at the same time they went to a 3-valve engine.

You know the alignment and tire pressures are also critical to the ride, handling and tire wear. That would/should be the first thing I'd make sure was correct. The alignment should run you no more than $150 to $200. The tire pressures are no cost to you.

Waiter21 made a very good suggestion on the shocks. The shocks play a very, very important/significant roll. Not only with the ride and handling but with the SWAY control which is effected by the roads and the winds caused by God or semi's. A good shock will reduce SWAY in any direction as you motor down the roads.

My only experience with shocks has been with Bilsteins back on the 1999 and the same shocks on our current 2013 rig. We also now have the Koni's which are $170 per shock.

What Waiter21 suggested may be just fine but that is his opinion. You may find others to support that so perhaps do some searching. Hey if there's another shock besides the Koni's that give good results great.

The rear TB has made great improvements for many who have employed it. Good luck with your efforts and do keep us up to date on how things are going.

I reported on our recent trip here to Houston. The first day was very bad with wind. The RV with all that I have done drove just fine. Not at any time did I feel stressed or out of control.

Safe travels!!!
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:51 AM   #10
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F53

Thanks again
I did add new shocks and front air bags and CHP but have not tested either out yet and my MH is getting some painting work as we speak and this July will get
a chance to see how things work and do tow a Honda Fit and everything was pretty good.
I have a 36 sailboat so most of the year is boating here in Fl and will see how each years trip to NY goes and add some new each and get ready for that trip out west.
Thanks to all and these forums are great and also do go to forums for sailboats.
Nick
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:50 AM   #11
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If you haven't had your front end alignment checked yet, don't bother spending big $$ for all these handling gadgets. Your toe-in must be right first.
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:25 AM   #12
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The above comment is absolutely correct. Tire pressures and alignment check to determine if all angles are within factory specs is a must. The expense is not great ($150 - $200) unless parts need replaced.
Another mention: There are only three reasons any vehicle needs an alignment:
1. Worn parts.
2. Bent parts. Vehicle was knocked out of alignment by hitting a curb or something.
3. The vehicle is not within factory specs because the first alignment was not
correctly performed.

That's it. There's no other reason. On the F-53 chassis since the front axle and rear differential are solid cast iron adding weight will not change the toe nor the camber alignment angles. If you OVERLOAD an axle the caster may/will change but caster is not a tire wear angle.
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:03 AM   #13
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For those who installed the rear trac bar, what brand did you use? I am considering and looking at Blue Ox and Super Steer SS400.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:55 AM   #14
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I used the ss trac bar

I understand that all the different track bars are basically about the same price and of similar construction. The ss track bar was easy to install about 2 hours. It made a significant improvement for me with towing a car dolly and somewhat assisted with a more stable feeling during highway speed turning.

This spring I replaced the stock shocks with Koni fsd. Pricey at about $160.00 each but worth the improvement in ride. I also changed my sway bars to Helwig. They are a larger diameter bar by at least 25%. The sway control is much better.


To sum it up all the improvements I made I feel were worth it on my E-450 sunseeker.
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