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Topic: E450 Sway Bars Make and Price

Posted By: j-d on 02/16/10 09:33pm

Looking to add front and rear sway bars. From Roadmaster's advertising, they have Larger Diameter, Better Steel, and Better Bushings. Than Who? Clearly OEM where Ford's Front is 1", Rear is 1-1/8" and Bushings are Rubber. RM's are 1-3/8" Front, 1-1/2" Rear, 4140 Steel and Poly bushings. I looked up Hellwig expecting the specs to be lesser in size, steel, or bushings. All three matched RM's specs. So it seems to me that the only difference between RM and Hellwig is Color and Price. Am I missing something?
Who's shopped these parts? So far I've found best prices on Hellwig at suspensionconnection and RM at expressrv.
I'm also having problems IDing the correct Rear Hellwig Part Number for 2002 E450...
So Engineers, Economists, Techs, please help me out here! THANKS!


If God's your Co-Pilot Move Over, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100 218" WB


Posted By: Handbasket on 02/17/10 06:33am

I put a Hellwig rear bar on my little Silverado-based C about 3 1/2 years ago. I don't recall the price or who I ended up ordering from. No serious complaints, but I wasn't at all impressed with the quality of the hardware or instructions. The black paint finish is kinda cheesy-looking, but it hasn't rusted. Certainly no complaints about function.

Jim, "Mo' coffee!"


'06 Tiger CX 'C Minus' on a Silverado 2500HD 4x4, 8.1 & Allison (aka 'Loafer's Glory')


Posted By: j-d on 02/17/10 04:31pm

Correct Hellwig numbers are 7008 Front and 7180 Rear. Ordered both from SDTruckSprings, a suspension specialist in Long Island NY. They didn't have a shipping special but with a 15% off sale they came in less than $19.95 or free shipping on other sites. Now to wait for the goodies and do a project.


Posted By: CISCO8325 on 02/17/10 08:47pm

here is link http://www.sdtrucksprings.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1504_1507_1543sbdd


Posted By: j-d on 02/17/10 09:10pm

That would be it. I didn't ask how long the sale ran. Project list gets longer. Also have tire valve stems to install. So if the wheels need to come off to do the bars...


Posted By: Lawdog78 on 02/18/10 04:34am

To keep from starting another thread on the same subject.... what is the difference in a trac bar and a sway bar? Which is better to have? Thanks in advance


Posted By: j-d on 02/18/10 05:56am

In a Class C, the front "axle" is two pieces, attached to the frame in the center. The rear axle is one piece, standing on springs and linked to the frame with shackles and bushings. On the road, the rear of the chassis can easily shift side-to-side with respect to the axle. Since the rear does this and the front can't, the coach gets pointed off course. Driver has to steer the front end to compensate. TracBar, Track Bar, Panhard Rod limits sideways movement of the axle in relation to the chassis. The problem's worse on most Class A chassis because BOTH ends sit on a full axle that can shift under the coach.
Sway Bars reduce side-to-side rocking. So logic follows that if you don't want to keep doing steering corrections and don't care if the coach rocks'n'rolls down the road, install a TracBar.
But Ah, the Glitch! The Ford Twin I-Beam front axle in Class C chassis changes "steering geometry" as the front end rises and falls. And it STEERS when one front wheel rises/falls differently from the other. And, the "old" chassis, 1991 and prior, used a righteous front sway bar. Secured to the chassis in the center and linked to the tips of the half axles with "end links." But Ford cheaped out on the "new" 1992 and later chassis - the ends of the sway bar poke through holes in the axle and the roll control just isn't as tight.
When I added the two Ford design issues together, I decided on sway bars first. Also, stiffer-than-OEM sway bars, mounted on hard poly bushings (OEM are rubber) should keep the coach steadier when stopped. I was also fortunate to have a conversation with Eric Davis (aka Davis TruTrac Bar... http://www.ericsrv.com/Davis.html) who explained the effect of roll on Ford steering and the ineffectiveness of the late model E-Series sway bar compared with the earlier one. I'd already decided that our old 1983 E350 tracked way better than the current 2002 E450 and Eric explained the engineering of why. He doesn't even offer rear track bars, so if I want one of those it'll have to come from BlueOx or John Henderson, and I think one of those companies actually makes both.
Link to Henderson's SuperSteer Track Bars
http://supersteersuperstop.com/uncategorized/supersteer-trac-bars/
Link to BlueOx's TigerTrak bars http://www.blueox.us/TruCenter/tiger_trak.html
Pick an application from each and notice ths similarity in Part Numbers.

* This post was edited 02/18/10 09:21am by j-d *


Posted By: Lawdog78 on 02/18/10 06:21pm

Wow, thanks for the in depth explanation J-D


Posted By: ljeast on 06/29/10 09:04am

j-d wrote:

Correct Hellwig numbers are 7008 Front and 7180 Rear. Ordered both from SDTruckSprings, a suspension specialist in Long Island NY. They didn't have a shipping special but with a 15% off sale they came in less than $19.95 or free shipping on other sites. Now to wait for the goodies and do a project.


a little off topic ? Did you have to wait very long for your order from SDTrucksprings? I ordered some Firestone Airbags 2 weeks ago... haven't received any kind of communication and can't get them to answer the phone

Thanks, LJ


2010 F150 XLT/SCab/6 1/2'/4x4 5.4L/3.55
Class IV Factory Tow Pkg 7200# GVWR Pkg
2010 Flagstaff 8528RLWS
Valley 16K Dbl Pivot Slider
Valley Journey HD Brake Controller



Posted By: carringb on 06/29/10 01:12pm

To add to J-D's post...

2008+ E-series have the end-link style sway bar from the factory. I upgraded my van to an '09 front axle for this reason, and also the much larger front brakes.


As to which aftermarket bar... If you will ever take the MH off-road, go with the RoadMaster front bar. The hardware is much better designed. Hellwig parts are put in bending, and use grade 2 hardware. They seam to hold up to highway use just fine, but I wouldn't trust it for more severe use.


Bryan

2000 Ford E350 DRW Wagon, V10 - 385,000 miles
2014 CreekSide 31KQBS (QuadSlide bunkhouse)



Posted By: ron.dittmer on 06/30/10 12:40pm

I have front & rear Roadmaster HD bars on my 2007 E350. My brother and I recently installed a rear Helwig HD bar on his 1998 E350. His bar and related hardware seemed just fine for on-road use, though I swear his bushings were rubber, not poly as expected. Still my brother and his wife both noticed a huge positive difference the bar made. Especially considering they had no rear sway bar to begin with.

Anyone with a 2007 or older Ford E350 does not have any rear sway bar, unless added sometime after the chassis left the Ford factory. My advise to you is to look under your E350 motor home in back and see if you have a rear sway bar. If not (which is most likely the case) order a Helwig rear heavy duty bar and install it yourself. It was not difficult using normal home grade wrenches and related tools.

I would even suggest replacing both regular duty sway bars with HD (heavy duty) bars.

* This post was edited 06/30/10 12:59pm by ron.dittmer *


2007 Phoenix Cruiser model 2350, with 2006 Jeep Liberty in-tow



Posted By: carringb on 06/30/10 12:49pm

I know the Hellwig rear bar has Poly bushings. I have it on my van (actually went with the 1.5" motorhome bar). It is black, so at first glance it looks like rubber. But when you try poking or scratching it, it is definitely poly. Poly is actually clear, so they can make it any color they want. (Moog E-series bushings are clear)


Posted By: SKIRMISH on 07/01/10 09:44am

I used the Hellwigs, they have the poly bushings, they worked wonders but others are correct, the Roadmasters have better mounting hardware especially the way the front one is mounted. You can't go wrong with either.

With what j-d said ""But Ah, the Glitch! The Ford Twin I-Beam front axle in Class C chassis changes "steering geometry" as the front end rises and falls. And it STEERS when one front wheel rises/falls differently from the other.""

To target that problem I used front inside the spring airbags and it took care of that, which totally amazed me after doing everything else, the least expensive fix was the best.


Posted By: j-d on 07/01/10 09:48am

I was out of town when the SD Springs order shipped and arrived. They sent me tracking on it, and it arrived when they said it would. What I don't remember is the actual time frame. I do remember they didn't ship it, Hellwig did. So the delay could be from the manufacturer. I called them on the phone only once, and they answered in person first time.
Bryan, Lot of work on that axle! I agree the Hellwig front brackets don't have the engineered look the Roadmaster does. For rear I don't see much difference.


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