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Old 02-19-2020, 12:26 PM   #1
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My Hellwig sway bar installation

I decided to install a Hellwig Sway Bar on my 2019 Sprinter 3500 cut-away chassis. The sway bar mounting is different on the 2019 chassis versus prior model years. The Hellwig model number is 7777.


My Sprinter is a Tiffin Wayfarer 2020 Class C RV. At times, I felt the side to side rocking is excessive. This tends to happen mostly when going slow over bumps or potholes. Of course, it's also true on the road with cross winds or being passed by large trucks, just not as much side to side rocking.


I saw a couple of videos on Youtube and one person showed the before and after upon replacing the original Mercedes sway bar with a Hellwig bar. I also talked with Hellwig directly and they told me that their bar is heavier built and I should expect very little sway after installing it. That convinced me to purchase the Hellwig bar.



As a footnote, I also started another thread regarding how the nuts and bolts on the original Sprinter bar came loose on their own, at the points where the ends of the bar attach to the chassis frame. This attachment of the Hellwig bar is the same, so that won't change, but I did replace the Mercedes bolts with longer 70mm bolts versus the original 65mm bolts and used locktite.


Hellwig stated that their bar is 1.5 inches in diameter.


When I received the bar, it looked quite beefy and substantial.


Unfortunatley, I could have done a better job of researching before I purchased, as I thought the Mercedes bar was much smaller in diameter. However, when I detached it and compared it side by side with the new Hellwig bar, it was almost as beefy. The Mercedes bar is about 1 3/8 inch in diameter. I also noticed that the mounts that attach it to the axle brackets are much beefier on the Mercedes bar versus the formed metal band that comes with the Hellwig. The Mercedes bracket is a heavy casting with through bolts (the bolts are 12mm and similar to the bolts used to attach the ends of the sway bar.)


The Hellwig brackets come with short 12mm allen cap head bolts. Because they fit up against the flat plate area, they had to go with the cap heads to fit in there and also has a slightly elongated hole they fit through. To install them, you need a hex allen head 10mm socket tool. Hellwig states to torque all the bolts to 75 ft. lbs.


That's a lot of torque to use on an allen head cap screw and therefore you want one that will not round over and hold up. After some reading, the Craftsman appears to be stronger than some sold by Harbor Freight or Home Depot. Plus it is guaranteed for life. I found Lowes has all these Craftsman sockets in parts drawers, in their tool section. The sockets up to 10mm allen are 3/8 sockets, but it worked well for me.


Hellwig recommends in their instructions that you check the torque on all the bolts once a month. (that seems excessive for normal vehicle use)


After I compared the original Mercedes bar to the Hellwig, I honestly wondered if it would make much difference.


I test the vehicle before I removed the original bar, by driving off my driveway and around the block. I found turning out of the driveway created the most rock and roll. I moved slowly and turned onto the street and came to a stop. The Rv rocked 3 complete side to side cycles before settling down. Then I tried the same thing after installing the Hellwig bar and sure enough it still rocked side to side 3 complete cycles.




I haven't had a chance to test it on the open road yet, but I don't expect it to change the handling much, if at all. Hellwig leads me to believe that the alloys are stronger as well as being larger in diameter, so the assumption is that the Hellwig bar will resist sway better, but I have to admit, that I'm skeptical that it will.


Perhaps older Sprinters had a less substantial sway bar and the Hellwig was much stronger, but the 2019 Sprinter chassis's bar seems to be pretty beefy. Others with prior than 2019 chassis on the 3500 dually , might check to see what diameter their bar is.


In conclusion, the Hellwig bar seems to be made well. Their attachment brackets seem less beefy than the orignal Sprinter brackets that attach to the axle plates. I didn't see any improvement in side to side rocking with the Hellwig bar at this point.


I should also mention that Tiffin installs Sumo springs on all their Wayfarers. Also the RV is not loaded at this time, with any water or supplies, so its not in a state where is over-weight, it's basically the empty weight, plus myself.


I don't know if its worth investing in other suspension parts, like upgrading shocks, or springs, but I would be concerned that adding more cost will only be throwing money away and chasing a problem that is more a reality of how it performs.


Attached are some pictures comparing the Hellwig (clean looking) to the orignal Sprinter bar and their brackets.


Hopefully, this review will be useful to others
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelino View Post
I decided to install a Hellwig Sway Bar on my 2019 Sprinter 3500 cut-away chassis. The sway bar mounting is different on the 2019 chassis versus prior model years. The Hellwig model number is 7777.


My Sprinter is a Tiffin Wayfarer 2020 Class C RV. At times, I felt the side to side rocking is excessive. This tends to happen mostly when going slow over bumps or potholes. Of course, it's also true on the road with cross winds or being passed by large trucks, just not as much side to side rocking.


I saw a couple of videos on Youtube and one person showed the before and after upon replacing the original Mercedes sway bar with a Hellwig bar. I also talked with Hellwig directly and they told me that their bar is heavier built and I should expect very little sway after installing it. That convinced me to purchase the Hellwig bar.



As a footnote, I also started another thread regarding how the nuts and bolts on the original Sprinter bar came loose on their own, at the points where the ends of the bar attach to the chassis frame. This attachment of the Hellwig bar is the same, so that won't change, but I did replace the Mercedes bolts with longer 70mm bolts versus the original 65mm bolts and used locktite.


Hellwig stated that their bar is 1.5 inches in diameter.


When I received the bar, it looked quite beefy and substantial.


Unfortunatley, I could have done a better job of researching before I purchased, as I thought the Mercedes bar was much smaller in diameter. However, when I detached it and compared it side by side with the new Hellwig bar, it was almost as beefy. The Mercedes bar is about 1 3/8 inch in diameter. I also noticed that the mounts that attach it to the axle brackets are much beefier on the Mercedes bar versus the formed metal band that comes with the Hellwig. The Mercedes bracket is a heavy casting with through bolts (the bolts are 12mm and similar to the bolts used to attach the ends of the sway bar.)


The Hellwig brackets come with short 12mm allen cap head bolts. Because they fit up against the flat plate area, they had to go with the cap heads to fit in there and also has a slightly elongated hole they fit through. To install them, you need a hex allen head 10mm socket tool. Hellwig states to torque all the bolts to 75 ft. lbs.


That's a lot of torque to use on an allen head cap screw and therefore you want one that will not round over and hold up. After some reading, the Craftsman appears to be stronger than some sold by Harbor Freight or Home Depot. Plus it is guaranteed for life. I found Lowes has all these Craftsman sockets in parts drawers, in their tool section. The sockets up to 10mm allen are 3/8 sockets, but it worked well for me.


Hellwig recommends in their instructions that you check the torque on all the bolts once a month. (that seems excessive for normal vehicle use)


After I compared the original Mercedes bar to the Hellwig, I honestly wondered if it would make much difference.


I test the vehicle before I removed the original bar, by driving off my driveway and around the block. I found turning out of the driveway created the most rock and roll. I moved slowly and turned onto the street and came to a stop. The Rv rocked 3 complete side to side cycles before settling down. Then I tried the same thing after installing the Hellwig bar and sure enough it still rocked side to side 3 complete cycles.




I haven't had a chance to test it on the open road yet, but I don't expect it to change the handling much, if at all. Hellwig leads me to believe that the alloys are stronger as well as being larger in diameter, so the assumption is that the Hellwig bar will resist sway better, but I have to admit, that I'm skeptical that it will.


Perhaps older Sprinters had a less substantial sway bar and the Hellwig was much stronger, but the 2019 Sprinter chassis's bar seems to be pretty beefy. Others with prior than 2019 chassis on the 3500 dually , might check to see what diameter their bar is.


In conclusion, the Hellwig bar seems to be made well. Their attachment brackets seem less beefy than the orignal Sprinter brackets that attach to the axle plates. I didn't see any improvement in side to side rocking with the Hellwig bar at this point.


I should also mention that Tiffin installs Sumo springs on all their Wayfarers. Also the RV is not loaded at this time, with any water or supplies, so its not in a state where is over-weight, it's basically the empty weight, plus myself.


I don't know if its worth investing in other suspension parts, like upgrading shocks, or springs, but I would be concerned that adding more cost will only be throwing money away and chasing a problem that is more a reality of how it performs.


Attached are some pictures comparing the Hellwig (clean looking) to the orignal Sprinter bar and their brackets.


Hopefully, this review will be useful to others


I have Fox shocks from Agile Off-road. This will be big help for your rock and roll. I believe you have Sumo.
I have all. I found the hellwig help with trucks passing and Corning. It well add to your rock as the spring effect takes place with your stock shocks.
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Old 02-21-2020, 07:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelino View Post
I haven't had a chance to test it on the open road yet, but I don't expect it to change the handling much, if at all. Hellwig leads me to believe that the alloys are stronger as well as being larger in diameter, so the assumption is that the Hellwig bar will resist sway better, but I have to admit, that I'm skeptical that it will.
The stiffness comes from the diameter (increases exponentially with increases in diameter), and should be about 30% stiffer in torsion. The material strength doesnít change the stiffness, all other things being equal, but the stresses will be higher with a larger diameter and the same deflection, hence the likelihood of higher material strength.

But youíre right about the original being rather large to start with. My 2017 chassis seems to have a smaller diameter bar, and Iím going to check it tomorrow.

Iím guessing higher quality shocks will go a long way toward damping the rocking, from what Iíve read here about them at least. Like the Agile tuned Fox shocks.
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Old 04-20-2020, 05:15 PM   #4
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Travelino, thank you for your excellent description. Now that you've had this a few months, do you feel it was worth it?
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Old 04-21-2020, 08:52 AM   #5
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good inof guys:
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:15 AM   #6
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The earlier Sprinters had a much smaller rear bar, MB finally listened and upped its size. Someone on the View Navion forum had issues with the U straps of the Hellwig and broke several. He finally machined some steel blocks similar to your original mountings, and solved the problem.

In my opinion, I think Hellwig overdoes the bar sizing and doesn't compensate with proper mountings. I bought a Hellwig Bigwig bar for my Ram 2500, started to install it but didn't like how you had to bend and reform brake lines and didn't like the mountings being right at the differential pumpkin. Never did install it, still sitting in the box in the shop.

Charles
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Old 04-21-2020, 02:40 PM   #7
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I measured the diameter of our 2019 Sprinter 3500's sway bar a week ago. It is 1.340".



After reading the Travelino's thorough critique and comparing the sway bars diameter, I've decided against purchasing the Hellwig.
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Old 04-29-2020, 07:14 PM   #8
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I installed a Helwig last year, dont know how large the swaybar link is from the swaybar to the frame? i found some heavier duty adjustable links online didnt follow through though as one would think if they beefed up the swaybar the links would be larger also...i like it though with airbags wish there was a Class active suspension that was light enough to install 09VJ
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:09 AM   #9
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Shalssel,
In answer to your question, as to how I like it after a few months, well, I haven't driven it much at all, since the virus. Our travel plans for March were canceled and we've only driven it locally a few times, so no real test. At this point, I think it will be hard to tell if there is any improvement, when we do get to drive it on a trip, since it's been a while since we had the original swaybar. If I had done a better job and measured the diameter of the original swaybar first, I suspect I would have not bothered to put in the Helwig. As mentioned above, I feel the Helwig brackets on the axle portion are not as beefy as the originals and I doubt there is much gain in sway bar control over the original, with such a small difference in diameter.
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:51 AM   #10
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After following the thread, I decide to upgrade the sway bar on my 2019 View. First thing I did was measure the existing bar to make sure that it wasn't the larger bar. My MH was built on a 2017 chassis and found that it had the smaller bar.
The Hellwig bar installation wasn't bad, even without help. Raised the MH on 4" of leveling blocks and that made all the difference in the world as far as working space. Removed the old bar from the axle and let it hang from the rear hangers and then unbolted them. Then reversed the process. Getting the specified 75 ft/lbs of torque was interesting in the confined space, but not too bad.
Drive was very much improved over the smaller stock bar. May look into adding a trac bar just for good measure. have done that on past MH's and it really helps reduce the truck wash. These Sprinter chassis are really tall on a relatively narrow wheel base, so they need all the help they can get.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:43 AM   #11
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I went with Helwig and Agile Fox rear shocks. My 2018 bar was about 10 mm smaller diameter. I am quite handy, and well equipped tool-wise, but non- professional. All was replaced in my garage within four hours of parts arrival from Agile. An air impact wrench handles the torque setting very well. I am on our first journey, and am amazed how well it handles those uneven curbs and rougher roads.
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Old 06-06-2020, 04:59 PM   #12
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I have a 2018 View just completed 2000 mile trip with new Helwig sway, sumo on all four corners, and Bilstein rear socks. the Bilstein front struts finally arrived after the trip and have installed them and will get alignment in two days. the trip was good the drive way sway was definitely dampened, as was the tractor trailer sway, (usually when one changes lane in front of us. I not sure the difference is enough to justify the expense. I was able to install all by myself in a good day. will leave in three weeks with the new Bilstein struts to see if the is any notable change in handling.
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Old 06-17-2020, 06:40 PM   #13
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Took my Wayfarer in to the MB dealership to have a new bolt installed. After it was done the service rep said he had just gotten a sheet concerning the bolts not having enough threads. So now MB is aware of the issue and of course warranty work.
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Old 06-18-2020, 06:40 PM   #14
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Which bolts? Was this with stock suspension components, or something changed?
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