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-   -   Cheap Handling Fix (http://www.irv2.com/forums/f23/cheap-handling-fix-72335.html)

jmckinley 07-28-2010 08:28 AM

Cheap Handling Fix
 
Drove to Alaska in June and on the way up the swaying and rocking got really aggravating. While changing oil in Fairbanks I noticed that the front sway bars have two sets of holes. I moved the links to the inner set of holes figuring it would make the sway bar harder to twist thereby increasing the roll stiffness.

I was right. The improvement was amazing. Sway is reduced by 50%, cornering is more responsive and it even rocks less when parked. No Ill effects so far after 5,000 miles.

Cost? $Zero

winnworr21 07-28-2010 10:06 PM

Hmm
Sway bars are engineered to handle a certain amount of weight. I understand this was a quick fix, but shortening the pivot point put a lot stress on the bars.

jmckinley 07-29-2010 01:30 AM

Excess stress?
 
I agree it may increase stress on the anti sway bar. I guess I need to do some calculations to figure out how bad it really is. Good news is, if the bar fails it's not life threatening, just more sway until it's replaced.

Found out what the extra holes are for. Rear bar has bracket bolted into the extra hole to provide extra support for the link bolt. They're probably afraid the bolt will bend. Makes me think I need the brackets in front too.

Next I'm going to move the links on the rear bar too. Should be interesting.

jcthorne 07-29-2010 09:34 AM

I climbed under the coach last night and had a look. Both front and rear bars have 2 sets of holes for the end links. Both are currently mounted in the outer most holes.

On many aftermarket bars used on sports cars there are also multiple holes for use in adjusting the level of sway control desired. I might give this a try. As jmckinley said, failure of the bar is not the end of the world. Both bars are mounted such that either set of holes will provide proper geometry with the end link. Would be interesting to know what other applications this bar is used in and how the mounting hole is used by Ford.

Mine do not have the bracket on the bolt on the sway bar end, only on the chassis end of the link. Mounting that bracket on the sway bar would place it at a near 90deg angle to the line of force in the end link. That would add insignificant additional strength to that connection. On the chassis, its inline with the end link adding a good deal of strength to the mounting bolt.

jcthorne 08-04-2010 09:27 AM

jmckinley,

Did you move the end links on your rear sway bar? How did it change things for you?

billyb 08-05-2010 07:34 AM

i just looked at mine and see what you are talking about. my mh is 12'-11" tall and i don't have much sway in normal driving, but some of the driveways that are very uneven really make the unit roll. i ordered air bags for the front in hoping it would take out some of that roll. i like the thought of moving the sway bar link, but wondering if it would make the ride harsher in normal driving. you guys are real thinkers.

jmckinley 08-05-2010 08:05 AM

I did move the rear links. it wasn't the dramatic improvement that I experienced after moving the fronts but it did reduce the sway some more.

As for ride harshness, I expected some more harshness but so far I can't feel it at all in front or rear.

jcthorne 08-07-2010 11:09 AM

Well I went ahead and moved the end links on both front and rear before our trip this weekend. All I can say is WOW! What a difference. Have no idea the long term effects of this but it works and has NO bad effect on ride at all.

370xl 08-07-2010 09:42 PM

If the chassis hates the move you made on the sway bar links it will result in a broken link. Then you can decide on a thicker sway bar and install the links in there factory positions.

jcthorne 08-08-2010 06:04 AM

Guess I would have expected the result to be a broken sway bar, not the end links. If a thicker bar controls sway to the same level as what I have now, the loads on the end links would be the same. Moving the end links causes the sway bar to twist further for a given level of sway,placing more stress on the bar. I figured the replacement of the bar was where I was headed anyway so if this one breaks, I am not really out any money. Failure of a sway bar is not catastrophic, just will loose sway control so would have to go slower to get home.

For now, its much improved and will see how the bar holds up.

billyb 08-08-2010 10:01 AM

ok, get out there and rack up the miles and let us know how it holds up. after this next trip with these new air bags, i will relocate mine to the inside hole and go from there, bill

winnworr21 08-09-2010 09:11 AM

Be careful, if you modify the location, the sway bar could break when it is experiencing a high load situation. For instance, when you are turning or going around a curve at moderate speeds. If this happens , be prepared.

jcthorne 08-10-2010 07:49 AM

800 miles and so far so good. Had several very off camber driveways to deal with Sunday which really put the axels in a bind. Came through fine. The difference in driving the coach on the freeway and on ramps is amazing. Also far less effect from passing semis.

jmckinley 08-11-2010 02:31 AM

Sway Bar Fix
 
I'm up to 6,000 miles now, since I moved the front links and 1,000 plus since I did the rears. This includes 2,000 miles of the Alaskan Highway, which is a pretty tough test itself. I am now in Maine after experiencing the marginally paved New York Thruway followed by some New York and Vermont gnarly pavement on two lane roads. Then, to top it off, there was 100 miles of twisty but smooth New Hampshire roads which gave the bars a good workout. I would guess that I was going around curves 10-15 mph faster than I could have managed comfortably prior to the fix. Complaining from the navigator in curves has also been reduced dramatically.

So far, nothing is broken.


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