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Old 09-26-2021, 06:50 AM   #1
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Added Hellwig Sway Bar behind rear axle

Decided to purchase and add a 2nd sway bar to the rear of our MH. Removing, installing, and torqueing leaf spring U bolt to 250 ft/lbs is hard work with only hand tools, and while laying on concrete.

Will test soon on a regularly traveled route; DW & I drive a 700 mile round trip every month to check our RV Port Home.

Thankfully I had 3/4" drive sockets and ratchets, otherwise this would have been almost impossible for me to loosen the factory nuts. The leaf spring shackles require 250 ft/lbs torque. I have a snap-on torque wrench that goes to 250 ft/lbs, but is 1/2" drive. Had to use a cheater pipe on torque wrench handle for leverage. I managed to do this solo. If I ever do another one, I will get someone to help.

Other items I've done:
Bilstein shocks front & rear;
CHF front with extended Hellwig links;
CHF rear;
Safe T Plus front;
Blue Ox Trac bar rear;
Firestone air bags at all four corners (35 psig front, 70 psig rear).
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Old 09-26-2021, 07:44 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripntx View Post
Decided to purchase and add a 2nd sway bar to the rear of our MH. Removing, installing, and torqueing leaf spring U bolt to 250 ft/lbs is hard work with only hand tools, and while laying on concrete.

Will test soon on a regularly traveled route; DW & I drive a 700 mile round trip every month to check our RV Port Home.

Thankfully I had 3/4" drive sockets and ratchets, otherwise this would have been almost impossible for me to loosen the factory nuts. The leaf spring shackles require 250 ft/lbs torque. I have a snap-on torque wrench that goes to 250 ft/lbs, but is 1/2" drive. Had to use a cheater pipe on torque wrench handle for leverage. I managed to do this solo. If I ever do another one, I will get someone to help.

Other items I've done:
Bilstein shocks front & rear;
CHF front with extended Hellwig links;
CHF rear;
Safe T Plus front;
Blue Ox Trac bar rear;
Firestone air bags at all four corners (35 psig front, 70 psig rear).
I did those mods on mine too. That rear sway bar was a bear to handle by myself at home. I keep the RV in an enclosed, cement floored building but do not have a lift in there. Doing all those things made the rig stable in every situation so far. Fortunately my Dad was a MH technician and I inherited his shop tools. Will definitely get help next time. lol
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Old 10-12-2021, 01:15 PM   #3
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Hi, just seen your post.
I'm new to Class A RVing.
What is CHF front with extended Hellwig links; CHF rear?
and what do the Firestone air bags do exactly?
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Old 10-13-2021, 03:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STohm View Post
Hi, just seen your post.
I'm new to Class A RVing.
What is CHF front with extended Hellwig links; CHF rear?
and what do the Firestone air bags do exactly?
Your signature doesn't mention which chassis your motorhome uses. If it is a V10 Ford F53, then these mods apply.

CHF stands for Cheap Handling Fix. Front & rear sway bars on V10 F53 chassis have two sets of holes on them. Factory uses the outermost hole. CHF moves the mounting bolt position to inner hole. Doing so increases the anti-sway force, which helps control sway better.

Firestone air bags were added on top of the leaf springs. Placing them between the leaf spring and frame helped my MH handle better.
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Old 10-18-2021, 09:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripntx View Post
Decided to purchase and add a 2nd sway bar to the rear of our MH. Removing, installing, and torqueing leaf spring U bolt to 250 ft/lbs is hard work with only hand tools, and while laying on concrete.

Will test soon on a regularly traveled route; DW & I drive a 700 mile round trip every month to check our RV Port Home.

Thankfully I had 3/4" drive sockets and ratchets, otherwise this would have been almost impossible for me to loosen the factory nuts. The leaf spring shackles require 250 ft/lbs torque. I have a snap-on torque wrench that goes to 250 ft/lbs, but is 1/2" drive. Had to use a cheater pipe on torque wrench handle for leverage. I managed to do this solo. If I ever do another one, I will get someone to help.

Other items I've done:
Bilstein shocks front & rear;
CHF front with extended Hellwig links;
CHF rear;
Safe T Plus front;
Blue Ox Trac bar rear;
Firestone air bags at all four corners (35 psig front, 70 psig rear).


I just bought a 2015 Ford F53 under a Fleetwood Southwind 32V.
I couldnít get answers from the original owner as he is now elderly and has lost his memory.

Hoping for help I have a couple of questions:

1. Are there 2 rear sway bars in these from Ford?
Iím curious as mine has one in front & one behind the differential.
2. Mine has 4 yellow Bilstien shocks on it.
Are these the stock shocks installed from the factory?
3. Winds really affect the handling to the point it can be dangerous to drive.
What is the best thing one should do to help with this?
I am on a tight budget right now so looking for the one thing to help the handling with the best bang for the buck. Iíll add more to the handling modifications later if it needs more.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-19-2021, 12:30 AM   #6
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Steering stabiliser (shock on the steering components - tie bar?) should help with crosswinds if your rig doesn't already have it, and is fairly cheap. Really just a shock with 2 brackets tying the steering to the frame (or something fixed). Said to help with (front) tyre blow outs too.


If crosswinds are high, best thing to do is slow down or pull off. Most Class A RVs' sides are like a sail and no getting around that. Was actually driving across the country in a rental Class C a few years ago and there were strong northerly winds once we left Medicine Hat. Not sure where we had intended to stay for the night but ended up in the municipal campground in Bassano and got pelted with branches all night. There was at least one semi truck trailer in the ditch when we were approaching Calgary the next morning.

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Old 10-19-2021, 03:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Messner View Post
I just bought a 2015 Ford F53 under a Fleetwood Southwind 32V.
I couldnít get answers from the original owner as he is now elderly and has lost his memory.

Hoping for help I have a couple of questions:

1. Are there 2 rear sway bars in these from Ford?
Iím curious as mine has one in front & one behind the differential.
2. Mine has 4 yellow Bilstien shocks on it.
Are these the stock shocks installed from the factory?
3. Winds really affect the handling to the point it can be dangerous to drive.
What is the best thing one should do to help with this?
I am on a tight budget right now so looking for the one thing to help the handling with the best bang for the buck. Iíll add more to the handling modifications later if it needs more.
Thanks in advance.
1. They came from factory with one rear sway bar in front of differential. The sway bar behind your differential was added by a previous owner.
2. The aftermarket Bilstein B6 I installed are silver & blue. Mine came from factory with motorcraft shocks, so I'm not sure what color the Bilstein's were from factory.
3. Best bang for the buck: tire pressures and CHF. Check the front sway bar, has the end links been moved to the rear sway bar holes?
Same a person above asked, has a steering stabilizer been added? If not, a SAFE-T-PLUS could be very helpful, but I can't say if that is exactly the one item you should spring for.
The steering on my 2001 F53 improved a lot after I changed from two to four house batteries. On mine, the batteries are mounted behind from front bumper, so the added weight was on very front of MH.
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Old Yesterday, 08:07 PM   #8
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My Bilstien shocks are yellow.
So not sure if Ford put them on at the factory?
(I doubt it.).Same with Fleetwood I doubt theyíd add custom shocks either. So my guess at this point is the previous owner must have put them on?

With the CHF:
mine are still mounted as they were from the factory (on the front sway bar).
Iíve heard tho that the extra pressure (when moved to the other bolt hole = CHF) has caused the arms (canít recall their proper name) to break in some RVs.
Has anyone actually seen this happen?

Steering Stabilizer:
Mine had a Blue Ox Steering Stabilizer on it when I bought it.
I canít tell if itís actually doing anything tho? If it is then it isnít helping much with wandering on bad roads or windy days. I do hear a click when I press the button.

Iím surprised Ford would let something that handles this bad leave their factory. Sad! 😞
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Old Yesterday, 08:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Messner View Post
My Bilstien shocks are yellow.



Mine are yellow too. I thought it was a Monroe shock. Haven't seen/found the labels yet.


Quote:

I’m surprised Ford would let something that handles this bad leave their factory. Sad! ��

This is how the current F53 leaves the factory

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