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Topic: Sway Bar Noise

Posted By: pjmmshad on 10/28/04 06:59pm

I currently have a 2004 Fleetwood Tacoma and when towing I use a Husky sway control. I haven't been able to figure out how tight to tighten it. If I really tighten it down it groans (loudly) when turning at slow speed. If I loosen it up so it almost makes no noise, I'm not sure if it's even working. Does anyone know how tight to make it? Or how to cure the noise. Yhe instructions don't really tell me much.

2004 Fleetwood Tacoma
97 Chevy Tahoe

Posted By: skipnchar on 10/28/04 07:12pm

The handle on your friction anti sway bar should ALWAYS be tightened as tight as you can by hand then backed off until the handle is parallel to the bar itself. You do NOT adjust the bar using the handle. The handle is to activate the system or deactivate it only. To change the factory setting for amount of friction you adjust the small screw with a locking nut below the handle. If you change this setting do so very gradually because a little bit goes a long way.

The bar will make some groaning noise, especially in damp or humid weather but should reduce with more usage. If you don't tighten the handle then don't bother putting it on.

Most bars have instructions for loosening it or removing it during slick driving conditions although I have never done either with no difficulties.

There are also some stories about removing the bar when backing the rig to avoid damaging it. If properly installed most do not require removal for backing. To check to see if this is necessary in your case you can perform the following test.

1. Remove the bar then back the rig into a tight jackknife position being careful not to go far enough to put any pressure on anything.
2. While in this position, install your anti sway bar.

If you CAN install it you are OK from that direction.

3. Remove the bar again and back into a jackknife position in the other direction and repeat the installation.

If you can install it you will not need to remove it when backing.

Good luck / Skip

2011 F-150 HD Ecoboost 3.5 V6. 2550 payload, 17,100 GCVWR -
2004 F-150 HD (Traded after 80,000 towing miles)
2007 Rockwood 8314SS 34' travel trailer

US Govt survey shows three out of four people make up 75% of the total population

Posted By: Chuck&Gail on 10/28/04 08:07pm

In my opinion, start by finding an empty parking lot. Drive at about 30 mph and wrench the wheel sharply to the left, and then to the right. The trailer should sway, but the oscillations should quickly damp out. Try this at higher ansd higher speeds.

NOTE IF the oscillatrions start to INCREASE, hit the override on the brake controller. That will stop the sway. DO NOT hit the tow vehicle brakes as that will make matters worse fast.

The sway bar should be adjusted loose enough that the trailer tracks easily behind you, and tight enough to dampen sway at ANY speed you will be going.

All this fooling around is why I will never have another sway bar. I like my Equal-i-zer with built in, no adjust, sway control.

Remember to do this with the trailer fully loaded with water, food, clothes, etc. In reality your TV should also be loaded as on a trip.

Remember that sway may throw things around a bit.

Have fun, it is worth the effort to find out now, instead of when you are doing 70 mph down a big hill and a semi passes you like you were parked!

Wonderful Wife
Australian Shepherd
2010 Ford Expedition TV
2010 Outback 230RS Toybox, 5390# UVW, 6800# Loaded
Not yet camped in Hawaii, 2 Canada Provinces, & 2 Territories
I can't be lost because I don't care where this lovely road is going

Posted By: Steveque on 10/29/04 06:50am

I had the Husky friction sway control device. The dealer said to tighten the handle as tight as I could get it.

I read an RV book that to properly set a friction sway device, you hook one end on the small ball. Gradually tighten the handle until you can not physically make the bar slide in either direction. Back the handle off until it moves slightly. Install the device on the other small ball and install the lock pins. Then tighten the handle about 1 and 1/4 turns. That would be about right for a 24 foot trailer. Then once or more often, take the bar apart and sand the friction portion to clean the stuff off it. Apply a small amount of grease to each ball prior to assembly.

I never got the hang of it either so I bought the Reese Dual Cam add-on system for my coach and did away with the friction system.

Steve Quesenberry
Central California

Posted By: BarneyS on 10/29/04 08:36am

The Huskey sway bar is the same as the Reese or any other friction sway bar. You are supposed to tighten the handle as far as it will go and then back off until it is parrallel with the bar - just as Skipnchar said above.
Click on the following link to see the Reese instructions in PDF.
Sway bar adjustment instructions

2004 Sunnybrook Titan 30FKS TT
Hensley "Arrow" 1400# hitch (Sold)
Not towing now.
Former tow vehicles were 2016 Ram 2500 CTD, 2002 Ford F250, 7.3 PSD

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