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Old 08-03-2015, 06:10 PM   #1
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Newb here! Ever driven an F53 without a track bar or sway bar?

Drove 120 miles on the inaugural trip, loaded with the kids. It was stormy, and I'm new to driving a class A. Had to pull of the turnpike due to being unable to control the vehicle, worst wave took me half way into the center lane at 56 mph. Made our way on secondary roads, basically because I was scared ****less. In the end no damage, no one hurt, frankly the passengers said comfy ride if you can believe it.

Long story short, because of irv2 and a 13 year class a veteran that I met at the campsite, I learned that both the f53 track bar and sway bar had been removed by the dealer in order to install my safe t steer. (Maybe the back page got torn off that might have indicated to reinstall this items??)

They claimed their technical expert that did the install said that's what the directions said, that's after the service manager said, oh you can get a seat bar or a track bar, but that's extra, to which I replied (thanks again irv2 and ford fleet website) that those items are stock on a 22000 lb 2014 f53. See a picture of my naked suspension below, very interested in how other would react and deal with the dealer at this point, please offer suggestions! Click image for larger version

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Old 08-03-2015, 07:04 PM   #2
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It obviously isn't performing as intended but rather just the opposite of what it's trying to correct. The dealer is responsible to make it right as it sounds as if it is an installation problem.

First, is a "Safe-T-Plus" or a "Steer Safe?"

Assuming it's a Safe-T-Plus, have you taken a look at their installation video (attached below)? It's even coincidentally being installed on a Ford F-53. I just took a quick glance through it but I don't think it mentioned anything about removing any factory-installed track bar or sway bar pertaining to the installation process.

No matter, it has to be taken back to the dealer to have them remedy the situation as it is obvious that they didn't do something correctly. I'd maybe call Safe-T-Plus and explain the situation so you have some ammunition (or knowledge about installation and if they do in fact call for the removal of the factory-installed sway bar and it not being reinstalled afterwards) before you take it back to the dealer.


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Old 08-03-2015, 07:11 PM   #3
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The first call I made was to the dealer as described above. The second was to the manufacturer, and was told they the only thing to remove is an existing steering dampener. It goes in Wednesday for this and a multitude of other minor issues, but I'm told by friend with experience, that some of this is all part of the experience! Keeping positive and the smiles on my family's faces are worth everything that seems like a near death experience to me. That's why you all/we do this thing, right? Thanks for the reply, really appreciate all of the great people on here!


Jimmy, Ashley, Mason, and Finn. Weekend warriors (when we have gas money &#128540 and Emily the wonder Boston Terrier that thinks she owns a 2014 Thor Miramar 32.1
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmiez View Post
Drove 120 miles on the inaugural trip, loaded with the kids. It was stormy, and I'm new to driving a class A. Had to pull of the turnpike due to being unable to control the vehicle, worst wave took me half way into the center lane at 56 mph. Made our way on secondary roads, basically because I was scared ****less. In the end no damage, no one hurt, frankly the passengers said comfy ride if you can believe it.

Long story short, because of irv2 and a 13 year class a veteran that I met at the campsite, I learned that both the f53 track bar and sway bar had been removed by the dealer in order to install my safe t steer. (Maybe the back page got torn off that might have indicated to reinstall this items??)

They claimed their technical expert that did the install said that's what the directions said, that's after the service manager said, oh you can get a seat bar or a track bar, but that's extra, to which I replied (thanks again irv2 and ford fleet website) that those items are stock on a 22000 lb 2014 f53. See a picture of my naked suspension below, very interested in how other would react and deal with the dealer at this point, please offer suggestions! Attachment 101995
the early year ford and dodges didn't have either..you had to learn to drive a motor home with your heart above your adams apple
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:38 AM   #5
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They owe you a trac-bar! I have installed MANY Safe-T-Plus steering controls and lots on F-53 chassis, the trac-bar is definitely not in the way and the sway bar is on the opposite side of the axle! As a side note, it is against our "policy" to install a safe-t-plus on an F-53 without a front trac-bar,o.e. or aftermarket. The safe-t-plus adds resistance to turning and will magnify the effect that steering input pushes the axle side to side.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:27 AM   #6
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Thanks Supersteer. Excellent advice! Any leaf spring chassis that doesn't have a track bar (panhard rod) ought to get one before attempting any other handling improvement.
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:10 PM   #7
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Yes - and then I added a front and rear track bar. Changed the entire dynamics on handling - all for the good!
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:40 PM   #8
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Thanks Supersteer! Sure was a harrowing ride in a sideways rainstorm!


Jimmy, Ashley, Mason, and Finn. Weekend warriors (when we have gas money &#128540 and Emily the wonder Boston Terrier that thinks she owns a 2014 Thor Miramar 32.1
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:40 PM   #9
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What you are calling a track bar I would think is what a call a pan bar if is it makesall the difference in the world I think. I added pan bar and safety steer at the same time one of em helpa lot . I was told the springs are so long on the f53 it will let the axle follow the truck ruts on the highway. It was the best $1000.00of scrap iron I ever bought a.my was a 99pace arrow.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:25 PM   #10
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Newb here! Ever driven an F53 without a track bar or sway bar?

Hey halftimer,
Since 2010 or 11 ford has installed a 2.5 inch track bar that connects the frame to the suspension ( I think) not mechanical at all. They also send the chassis from the factory with a 1.5 inch sway bar. Both were removed from my rig, and as you see above from Supersteer, not the proper or safe procedure. Thanks for the response!


Jimmy, Ashley, Mason, and Finn. Weekend warriors (when we have gas money &#128540 and Emily the wonder Boston Terrier that thinks she owns a 2014 Thor Miramar 32.1
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmiez View Post
Drove 120 miles on the inaugural trip, loaded with the kids. It was stormy, and I'm new to driving a class A. Had to pull of the turnpike due to being unable to control the vehicle, worst wave took me half way into the center lane at 56 mph. Made our way on secondary roads, basically because I was scared ****less. In the end no damage, no one hurt, frankly the passengers said comfy ride if you can believe it.

Long story short, because of irv2 and a 13 year class a veteran that I met at the campsite, I learned that both the f53 track bar and sway bar had been removed by the dealer in order to install my safe t steer. (Maybe the back page got torn off that might have indicated to reinstall this items??)

They claimed their technical expert that did the install said that's what the directions said, that's after the service manager said, oh you can get a seat bar or a track bar, but that's extra, to which I replied (thanks again irv2 and ford fleet website) that those items are stock on a 22000 lb 2014 f53. See a picture of my naked suspension below, very interested in how other would react and deal with the dealer at this point, please offer suggestions! Attachment 101995
We got our 2001 Winnebago 32V 3 years ago and it came with a stock front and rear anti-sway bar. As expected, the rear bushings were toast and needed to be replaced with the 'blue poly' ones. Fronts were OK.

I have not considered the CHF because my unit is extremely stable on the interstate. I have no problem with the 'white knuckle' syndrome and feel only a slight 'nudge' when a semi blows by me.

I have original shocks and replaced the tires when the unit was purchased.

I have no additional steering enhancements or add-ons.

Whatever Ford did on the 2000 F53 Chassis worked well as far as road stability and drive-ability & comfort.

Just wondering.....why did you think you needed the steering enhancement in the first place?
Did you EVER drive the unit BEFORE the modification so you have a base for comparison?

My suggestion.....get your original suspension back on!!!!!!

Your motor home should be a pleasure to drive...not a chore.
I can't imagine looking forward to 'fighting the road' when we head south. I actually look forward to the drive as part of the vacation experience.

Please keep us posted of your progress. I expect that when everything is placed back on your unit you will see and 'feel' a great improvement in your ride.
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winnie32v View Post
We got our 2001 Winnebago 32V 3 years ago and it came with a stock front and rear anti-sway bar. As expected, the rear bushings were toast and needed to be replaced with the 'blue poly' ones. Fronts were OK.

I have not considered the CHF because my unit is extremely stable on the interstate. I have no problem with the 'white knuckle' syndrome and feel only a slight 'nudge' when a semi blows by me.

I have original shocks and replaced the tires when the unit was purchased.

I have no additional steering enhancements or add-ons.

Whatever Ford did on the 2000 F53 Chassis worked well as far as road stability and drive-ability & comfort.

Just wondering.....why did you think you needed the steering enhancement in the first place?
Did you EVER drive the unit BEFORE the modification so you have a base for comparison?

My suggestion.....get your original suspension back on!!!!!!

Your motor home should be a pleasure to drive...not a chore.
I can't imagine looking forward to 'fighting the road' when we head south. I actually look forward to the drive as part of the vacation experience.

Please keep us posted of your progress. I expect that when everything is placed back on your unit you will see and 'feel' a great improvement in your ride.
I am beginning to think its what Winnebago did on the 2001. I have had no issues at all with my 2001 Adventurer 35U either.

Many however do have problems from overloading the back and over inflating the tires causing the rigs to float with the first inclination being to purchase something to add-on before checking the loading, inflating the tire to match the load and then getting their coach aligned as loaded for travel.

Coaches are aligned to a basic setting for delivering an empty coach to a dealership. It is up the the owner to have it realigned after they load it with their stuff and get that weight all distributed along with inflate the tires to match the load.
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Old 08-05-2015, 03:30 PM   #13
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I drove my 1995 HR Class A with an F53 chassis from Texas to Los Angeles, north to Port Angeles and back to Texas with a rear sway bar that had bushings that were totally gone, all that was left was some rubbery goo. I never had any problems such as what you describe, in fact I thought the rigs handling was just fine. I have since replaced the sway bar bushings simply because it’s a cheap repair and I wanted it to be right. I’m hoping to take a trip from Texas up through Illinois in a few weeks and am looking forwards to seeing how it handles. BTW my front sway bar appears to be in good shape.
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Old 08-10-2015, 12:01 PM   #14
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If you need proof that the 2014 F53 comes stock from the factory with both a front track bar and front sway bar (stabilizer bar) they are both found in the following specs from Ford. Scroll down to page 93 under "Suspension".
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 14_F53_F59_SB_specs-7.pdf (172.7 KB, 168 views)
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