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Old 02-01-2022, 12:49 PM   #603
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Exclamation Sawy Bar Bolts coming Loose F53 Chassis Baystar

I purchased a new 2021 Newmar Baystar in August of 2021, went camping in January 2022 with only 3500 miles on the coach. Upon lowering the four leveling foot pads I noticed a bolt sitting atop of the left rear pad. Took it to the RV dealer and they found that it came from the sway bar, that was now missing the bracket, so two bolts came loose. I am now taking it to Ford dealer for Chassis warranty. Ugh!
While most of the posts on this thread appear older, it is clear that this is not an old problem but one that Ford has not addressed. This is still and issue and it can happen even at very low mileage. A word of caution to all F53 Chassis owners, check those bolts and get Blue Locktite on them!
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Old 02-02-2022, 08:59 AM   #604
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Kim,

You have discovered that Ford has had this very same issue with their first F-53 chassis back in about 1999 and never did they actually admit to any issues with the rear SB (Stabilizer Bar) bolts coming loose and eventually if not corrected the brackets would bend, break or just fall off. The difference between the early F-53 and the current newly designed SB is how long it took for the SB to fail in some way. Because it was not a safety issue they didn't have to issue a recall!!. If this is not pushed by owners they may not issue a recall on this either. The number of chassis being made is much smaller than a regular car or truck. In addition they are having replacement parts shortages.

The early units took to many miles and or several years before things broke. That was good for FORD. They didn't have to deal with warranty issues because most were beyond the warranty. They've improved the failure time. Now they fail with as few as under a 1,000 miles or maybe a few days or weeks of driving. Somehow I'm not sure Ford is working towards a better fix or what??

First of all who would believe a new chassis would need warranty work on the chassis??? The owner is saddled with having to take the RV back to a certified competent dealer which for some can be hundreds of miles and a lot of fuel and time.
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Old 02-03-2022, 03:44 PM   #605
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Kim,

You have discovered that Ford has had this very same issue with their first F-53 chassis back in about 1999 and never did they actually admit to any issues with the rear SB (Stabilizer Bar) bolts coming loose and eventually if not corrected the brackets would bend, break or just fall off. The difference between the early F-53 and the current newly designed SB is how long it took for the SB to fail in some way. Because it was not a safety issue they didn't have to issue a recall!!. If this is not pushed by owners they may not issue a recall on this either. The number of chassis being made is much smaller than a regular car or truck. In addition they are having replacement parts shortages.

The early units took to many miles and or several years before things broke. That was good for FORD. They didn't have to deal with warranty issues because most were beyond the warranty. They've improved the failure time. Now they fail with as few as under a 1,000 miles or maybe a few days or weeks of driving. Somehow I'm not sure Ford is working towards a better fix or what??

First of all who would believe a new chassis would need warranty work on the chassis??? The owner is saddled with having to take the RV back to a certified competent dealer which for some can be hundreds of miles and a lot of fuel and time.
Interesting that you state that the first Ford F53 was introduced in about 1999. I drive a 1995 Ford F53 that was designed and went into production in 1988.

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Old 02-03-2022, 05:34 PM   #606
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Interesting that you state that the first Ford F53 was introduced in about 1999. I drive a 1995 Ford F53 that was designed and went into production in 1988.



Richard
I think there was an older narrow chassis F53 that stopped production around 1997 and then reappeared in 1999 with a wider chassis.

The tire size may have increased too.
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Old 02-03-2022, 06:20 PM   #607
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Richard,

There were a lot of different types of gas chassis made by Ford. TwinBoat mentioned something about an older narrower chassis made by Ford that was used under RV's. All I remember is there was no F-53 chassis made in 1998 and then they introduced what purported to be a specific RV chassis made for the 1999 market with the V-10 engine.

I don't pretend to know how those chassis differed over the years but beginning in 1999 that chassis did not change much until after 2020 or about 2021 when Ford made significant changes including a different engine. They are still the only game in town if you're looking for a gas chassis.
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Old 03-07-2022, 11:03 PM   #608
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I just think that the OE shocks don't control the suspension as it should. These F53 chassis need a larger shock with more valving. Not a generic valved shock.
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Old 03-09-2022, 09:10 PM   #609
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Richard,

There were a lot of different types of gas chassis made by Ford. TwinBoat mentioned something about an older narrower chassis made by Ford that was used under RV's. All I remember is there was no F-53 chassis made in 1998 and then they introduced what purported to be a specific RV chassis made for the 1999 market with the V-10 engine.

I don't pretend to know how those chassis differed over the years but beginning in 1999 that chassis did not change much until after 2020 or about 2021 when Ford made significant changes including a different engine. They are still the only game in town if you're looking for a gas chassis.
Not True!

Each year Ford tweaked the chassis in some way.
The engine HP rating changed in 2000 from 275 to 310 and the heads were improved with more threads for the spark plugs.

In 2004, the front track bar was made standard.
There were no 2005 F-53s made. The 2004 model year ended December 31st 2004. The 2006 model year began January 1st 2005. This is when the 3 valve 362 HP engine and tow-haul transmission was introduced.

I haven't followed the changes made each year since then, but those that followed them know that almost every year there was some change made with very few exceptions. The size of the gas tank went to 80 gallons for the 2011MY. The frame rail under the early F-53s behind the rear axle reduced in size from a 6 inch "C" channel to only 4 inches. I believe that changed for 2004 also. I used to download the "new and improved" information each year but some years it was harder to get than others. The bigger 22.5 inch Alcoa aluminum wheels became available in 2004 and the capacity of the chassis increased almost on a yearly basis. The gas tank was lowered a couple of inches in 2004.

There are just too many little changes to list. Like changing the serpentine belt from 8 ribs pre-2002 to only 6 ribs afterwards.

I've attached the "new" features PDF for 2008 (2006 was one of the biggest change years but that PDF is 8Mb and too big to upload to this forum).
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 2008 F-53 Changes.pdf (442.5 KB, 9 views)
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Old 04-17-2022, 07:29 AM   #610
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One of the ford rear sway bars was missing the bushing and was free floating on my newly acquired 2018 Tiffin 32SA. The mechanic at Safe-T-Plus found and repaired the problem when he was installing the STP Rear Sway Bar.
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Old 04-17-2022, 07:57 AM   #611
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I think that's a feature of the F-53. When I first crawled under my 2004 model, I found the same thing. Bolts and bracket missing, bushing just floating on the bar. I can't understand why the factory can't tighten these bolts enough to keep them from coming loose. I took the opportunity to install the "poly" bushings and move the swaybar links closer to the axle (CHF style). I've had no problem since and the handling is much improved. While I was at it, I replaced the front bushings and moved the links there too.
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Old 04-17-2022, 08:26 AM   #612
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You can understand why this thread became a STICKY!!! This has been happening on a big percentage of F-53 chassis since at least 1999. Ford was lucky. On the early chassis, that's before the upgrade in 2021 the early chassis would fail 99% on the rear but it was usually long after any warranty would cover the suspension.

In fairness to Ford the early bushings were made out of soy bean oil which had a lifespan of around 8-10 years. Some of the bushing bolts did come loose but there did not seem to be any specific time during the life of the anti-sway bars. When the bushings failed they just disintegrated almost completely.

Ford we believe started using a poly bushing on the 2012 chassis. That's what some believe. The biggest problem now is since Ford upgraded the sway system on the 2021 chassis the new bolts and polyurethane bushings are migrating the same as the older chassis. Most of it is happening with as few as under 1,000 miles. These will be covered under warranty. The problem seems to be finding the bushings and how far one has to drive to get to a Ford dealer??

Based on earlier failures of both the bolts and bushings an educated guess as to exactly why old and new bolt and bushing failures occurred may be related to the design of the bushings. The migrating of the bushings is probably related to the bolts coming loose both on the old and the new chassis.

Those of you who found this thread know adding some BLUE lock-tight will stop the properly torqued bolts from working loose. Some have asked why Ford can't tighten those bolts properly???

Not a bad question however, I've worked in those factories. If a bolt needs to be torqued to a specific torque a properly calibrated torque wrench is supplied and somebody on the line will torque those bolts. In addition periodically somebody will check the torque to assure the bolts are at least initially properly torqued by a hired worker. Based on this next story we believe even if torqued they will work loose.

A friend (retired machinist) in the Orlando area that I had talked to on many occasions torqued his bolt brackets, departed for OH. They returned to FL in the fall and all his bolts were loose. I know he knew how to use a torque wrench so he suggested adding the BLUE lock-tight. I've replaced my old Ford bushings added the lock-tight and that was at least 35,000 miles ago and all is still tight.

As far as the bushings. I've posted pictures on this thread showing the difference between Fords bushings and Eric's replacement bushings and his have a larger/taller lip on the outside edge. That may be why the bushing both on the old and new chassis can and do work or migrate their way out from under the brackets.

Check post #276 on this thread. There's pics showing the differences between Eric's bushings and Fords stock 2013 chassis bushings. My pages are set up to only post 25 messages per page. That puts this #276 on I believe page 12. If yours is set up for 50 posts per page. Well figure it out!!!
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