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Old 03-15-2010, 09:01 AM   #1
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Question F-53 chassis tie rod & drag link

I got a 1997 Fleetwood Southwind Ford F-53 Chassis Class A MH. The drag link and the Tie rod ends are bad and need replaced. I order from NAPA, Checker, OReilly's , and other parts dealers and always get the wrong part. Ford says its discontinued and gave me a part number to get. No one can cross ref it. What I have is a drag link that is 23 1/2 inches long. What I get is one that is 28 5/8inch long. The tie rod I have is straight across from wheel to wheel with a steering stabilizer shock system in the middle. The one I get has a Kink in the rod right where the shock would attach, making it unusable. I crawled under a 2008 Winnebago MH with a Ford chassis and it has the same set up I have on mine. Why can I not get parts? Where can I get the right parts? Any one else have this problem? Or do I have a costly piece of junk in my driveway now?
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:21 PM   #2
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Identifying your chassis, when ordering parts, as a Ford F-550 should result in getting the correct chassis parts. I have the same '97 F-53 under my Bounder. It's worth a try.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:31 AM   #3
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did that

I did all that with the VIN but only ford can pull up the chassis. NAPA, Checker etc all can NOT find the chassis using the VIN at all. I know its the right VIN as Ford took it down, I checked the numbers which matched. Still NO parts.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:07 AM   #4
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Few auto parts stores have reference material for the F53 chassis. Ford dealers usually do, but you are paying Ford prices for the parts. I don't know if using the F550 instead of F53 will get you the right parts or not - many are the same but not all. A NAPA store ought to be able to look up the specs for the part before ordering, though.

Have you Googled for parts suppliers that may have F53 steering components? Might be somebody online that has the short drag link you need.

Wonder if different wheel base configurations have different steering? Doesn't seem likely, but there has to be some reason for the short vs long arms. FWIW, yours sounds exactly like how I remember the 1996 F53 we had some time ago.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVs
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:16 AM   #5
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Another option is if there is a Ford Truck center near you. In Macon Ga. the LJL truck center could be a big help.

Service people there told me that they work on a lot of motorhomes. I had my Cruise control recall done there.
Jerry & Patsy Potter, Taz & Jake Jr.
2000 Winnebago Journey
2006 Ford Explorer 4X4
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:31 PM   #6
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I have a 97 f53 and have had to us 1996 for the chassis. From what i remember, they used to purchase the chassis and they may have them for a while before they actually build the rig up. Let us know what you find out.
'97 Georgie Boy Cruise Air F53/460
'99 Nissan Frontier Tow
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:51 PM   #7
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RE: 23 1/2 inch drag link. Try Henderson Super Steer. We were able to get one for a 1997 F53 Bounder. 888-898-3281
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drag link, f53, ford, front end, tie rods

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