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Old 11-04-2014, 12:34 PM   #1
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Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
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Location: northern IL
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Track bar

I keep hearing about bad handling chassis from Ford but have never experienced any. What does a track bar do and will I notice a difference if I am not having and problems I know of? I guess Im wondering if Im missing out on something. Also will a steering stabilizer make a difference I will notice? I love to do mods and if I can make a good thing better, Im willing to spend the money.

2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35k
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:36 PM   #2
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A track bar (technical name Panhard bar) is used to control the side-to-side movement of an axle suspended on leaf springs, air bags, or coil springs. Usually added to leaf spring rear suspensions where the play in springs, shackles, and spring mounts allows the tail to wag. Also found on some front suspensions.

While many people swear by them, I suggest the various aftermarket steering stabilizer products; while beneficial, tend to mask a suspension problem rather than to cure or reduce the root cause. Having said that, I acknowledge that steering stabilizer products can be the last step in fine tuning a motorhomes driving characteristics.

Originally Posted by mojoracing View Post
I keep hearing about bad handling chassis from Ford but have never experienced any. What does a track bar do and will I notice a difference if I am not having and problems I know of? I guess Im wondering if Im missing out on something. Also will a steering stabilizer make a difference I will notice? I love to do mods and if I can make a good thing better, Im willing to spend the money.

George Schweikle Lexington, KY
1999 Safari TREK 2830, FMCA 190830, Safari International chapter
1995 Safari TREK 2630, 1983 Winnebago Chieftain, 1976 Midas Mini
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:42 PM   #3
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A trac bar holds the chassis close to center as you maneuver the vehicle. On a chassis like my P30 Chevy it can be a godsend (P30s can experience "tail wag").
A steering stabilizer absorbs the rumble that the front end takes that might force you to constantly fight or correct your forward motion as the vehicle drives down the road. I have a nice one on my Bounder and it made me smile as I took it out the first time after install. Again...not all chassis beat you up as badly as my P30.
I think to state it best...know thy beast or have complaint about thy beast before adding expensive hardware. I have yet to install the trac bar (but could use one). I have the steering stabilizer and it gave my vehicle a nice improved feel and allowed me to drive more comfortably instead of constantly correcting my drive line as vehicles passed on the highway.
Craig Gosselin
1994 Fleetwood 33H
1995 Fleetwood 30H (parts vehicle)
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:45 PM   #4
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track bar ( panhard bar)

OEMY's Diy will show you how to make a track bar-I Rich Peceniak made mine a little different from the rest of the DIYers, I mounted the support right on the Big U bolts which is very strong-BIG noticable difference in handling
pauperspride .blogspot.com
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:02 PM   #5
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Ok, here is a motor home at rest


Now here is the same motor home going down the road


you may notice the body moving back and forth over the axle.

A track bar stops this action dead. I mean DEAD, 100% eliminates it.

Why does it happen?
Leaf springs of course, they not only bend up and down but can wiggle a bit side to side.

Why does it not happen with coil springs or "Strut" suspension?
Because those designs INCLUDE a track bar as part of the suspension.

It also does not happen on the front end of vehicles with independent front suspension (Same reason, half axle beams act as track bars)

And yes, they greatly improve handling.. Recommended brand: Ultra Power. Why,, Lower cost, well built.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:59 PM   #6
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Installed Track bar on ours and the difference was incredible. Not bothered by wind gusts or when a big rig passes me. Will get a little sway if my fuel tank is full but thanks to the mpg that doesn't take long to go away!!
Herb, Anna and Lil Herb
2013 Winnebago Vista 35B

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Old 11-04-2014, 08:38 PM   #7
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That Bounder 35K is probably on a 22,000 lb chassis with 22.5" wheels and more than likely has a rear track bar. Have you checked?
2015, HR Ambassador 38DBT / 2006 Jeep TJ Towd
340 Cummins / Freightliner Chassis
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Old 11-05-2014, 02:01 PM   #8
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Yeah, a new gas Bounder will be on the big Ford chassis and they now include a track bar (panhard rod) as standard equipment. That's probably why you haven't noticed any tracking/wandering problem.

I'm not a fan of steering stabilizers - they are just band-aids if you have an actual steering problem. They may be of some benefit if you get a front tire blow-out, though. On the other hand, you could add a Tyron run-flat system to the front wheels and have real blow-out protection.

You might enjoy reading an article I did on Motorhome Handling Problems & Solutions. It's in the Chassis section of our FILES area.

Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition; 2014 Buick LaCRosse
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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