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Old 08-29-2007, 03:06 PM   #1
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New Sway Bar or Just New Bushings?

I have a 1975 26 ft. Argosy MoHo with a P-30 Chevy chasis. Currently, there is a lot to play in the steering and quite frankly the sway is kinda scarey when I'm out on the highway and a large truck blows by.

After several hours of search (here and elsewhere) I think I'm more confsued than ever. Many forum users mention that they have replaced the original anit-sway bar with a thicker after market version and that it really helped with the sway. I'm assuming these new sway bars come with new bushings and from what I've seen these kits are not cheap. I was wondeirng if just replacing the old bushings (with the new poly type) and leaving the old sway bar in would have a similar effect as replacing the entire bar? Perhaps I don't understand how this works but how does a steel bar wear out?

Also, if anyone has any input on the SafetySteer mechanism that would be great too.

Cheers,
Allen
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:22 PM   #2
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warning non mechanic post ahead...

your report reads like a steering linkage, or alignment, or tie rod or spring issue...

the antisway bars relate more to lean in turns although overall handling is affected too...

many refer to them as 'anti-roll' bars for this reason...

the poly urethane bushings are stiffer so they do make a difference compared to stock rubber ones which can wear out...

however it may be a challenge to locate a vendor for just the poly bushings...

also the poly bushing may have a LARGER hole which won't fit the stock bar...

the oem bars don't 'wear out' ...

but after market bars are usually a higher grade steel (chromoly), and larger in diameter, so are hollow too.

even 3-5 mm in diameter change is significant, since radius cubed? is in the calculation?

so basically after market bars are larger, stiffer AND have urethane bushings...

IF tires/shock/springs are up to date these bigger bars make a nice improvement.

generally much less roll and a little less understeer...

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:36 PM   #3
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shouldn't have included the steering thing...

Sorry for the confusion on the steering. I should have left that out of this post. I'm having some repairs done that will hopefully take out some of the play. Mainly, I was trying to ask about the sway bar thing.

Thank you for your reply. So if it were you, you would opt for the thicker after market anti-sway bar as opposed to just new bushings. Have you had yours replaced? If so what were the results?

cheers,
allen
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:45 PM   #4
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I am a mechanic, I have played one on tv, and I did stay at a Holiday Inn, so with that in mind...
The wallowing around while driving is more likely to be ball joints, bellcranks (idler arms), or worn tie rod ends.
I can (and will) tell you how to check these items, but if you're not fairly mechanically adept, it may not help.
First, jack up the front of the motorhome one side at a time, and, with the jack supporting the lower control arm, use a pry bar under the wheel, and lift it up. Have a helper watch both upper and lower ball joints for movement, there should be almost none. If they pass the test, try moving the tirein and out, from top to bottom, this will check for bearing play. If the wheel bearings also pass muster, try moving the wheel side to side, again with the assistant watching for things moving where they shouldn't. This is where you check for tie rod wear, and bellcranks loose. If everything again checks out with no undue movement (nothing should move seperately), grab your pry bar, and check the upper and lower control arm bushings. The bushings are at the inboard end of the control arms, there are 4 of them per side, 2 top and 2 bottom. If they don't move,go to the other side, and repeat the procedure. If nothing there moves, have your assistant move the steering wheel back and forth, and watch for movement of the rest of the front end parts. If he (she) moves the wheel a lot, and nothing underneath moves, you have a worn out steering gear box.
Now that your head is swimming with terms and phrases, let us know if we can further confuse, er, help you.
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streamlean
Sorry for the confusion on the steering. I should have left that out of this post. I'm having some repairs done that will hopefully take out some of the play. Mainly, I was trying to ask about the sway bar thing.

Thank you for your reply. So if it were you, you would opt for the thicker after market anti-sway bar as opposed to just new bushings. Have you had yours replaced? If so what were the results?

cheers,
allen
Aargh! Okay, now that we know someone is looking at the steering...
Most MoHo owners have had good results with replacing the bushings if they are worn, but replacing the sway bar will help with body lean when cornering.
BTW, 2air and I don't own motorhomes, we were trying to help you with your steering issues.
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:50 PM   #6
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results?

Quote:
IF tires/shock/springs are up to date these bigger bars make a nice improvement.

generally much less roll and a little less understeer...
mine was done long ago by ipd suspensions (a volvo shop ) in oregon.

now owned by road masters they still do rv suspension bits...

since price was mentioned in your first post here is a link to bushings and other bits...

GMC Applications

tinkering with the front end is part engineering and part voodoo...

changing just one component without understanding exactly WHAT the goal is, is expensive...

but a stiffer anti roll bar and bilstein shocks make a very noticeable difference...

don't forget to tweak the alignment after mucking with the front end...

cheers
2air'

no moho? well i did have a classic a/s moho for 25 years...

and still visit it regularly, as it's been retired to pasture and stud...
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:08 PM   #7
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You guys are awesome!

Thanks so much for the replies!! This is great!

Ok, the gear box is leaking fluid and so this is one of the things I'm having replaced. Ordered Bilstein shocks today but what's really weird is that my Moho doesn't have a dampner shock on it.

Now I'll be the first to admit that I'm not very good at looking at these things but someone posted a picture of the dampner and I printed it out and looked for it. On the passenger side right? Unless I'm completely blind I can't find it anywhere. I beleive the unit has been in a crash before I got it so perhaps it doesn't have one because of that I'm not sure. That's kind of why I was asking about the SafetySteer.

My goal is basically to get the MoHo back to original or better driving status. I know that there is no way this thing came off the showroom floor driving like this

Overlander63 you mentioned the ball joints and bell cranks. I just had the tie rod ends replaced and that helped a little. From what I'm hearing if you feel very much play in the wheels when it's off the ground then there is probably something a miss, correct?

cheers,
allen
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Old 08-29-2007, 05:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streamlean

Overlander63 you mentioned the ball joints and bell cranks. I just had the tie rod ends replaced and that helped a little. From what I'm hearing if you feel very much play in the wheels when it's off the ground then there is probably something a miss, correct?

cheers,
allen
Correct. Also, the steering damper should look a lot like a horizontal shock absorber, depending on model, it can be on either side, but is usually on the driver's side. This is one thing that if your MoHo doesn't have, it would be a good investment.
Also, Joe, I didn't know you were a former MoHo alumnus, my apologies.
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:40 PM   #9
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either side...

ok, didn't realize it could be on the other side I did look but didn't look that hard for it over there.
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:31 PM   #10
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Rivet Aftermarket Busings and Antisway Bars

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
however it may be a challenge to locate a vendor for just the poly bushings...

also the poly bushing may have a LARGER hole which won't fit the stock bar...
Poly bushings for stock bars are available. There are even poly bushings available for shock absorbers and leaf springs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
the oem bars don't 'wear out' ...

but after market bars are usually a higher grade steel (chromoly), and larger in diameter, so are hollow too.
They are higher grade steel, but they are not hollow. I bought a set for a 1972 Plymouth Satellite Sebring, both front and rear. They were 4140 Chromoly and solid. The front one was 1 1/8” replacing the factory ¾” mild steel bar. The rear one was ¾”, and there was no original. Both were solid 4140. With four 255 50 tires on all corners, the handling was phenomenal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
even 3-5 mm in diameter change is significant, since radius cubed? is in the calculation?

so basically after market bars are larger, stiffer AND have urethane bushings...

IF tires/shock/springs are up to date these bigger bars make a nice improvement.

generally much less roll and a little less understeer...

cheers
2air'
Polyurethane bushings would be an improvement and would wear better too. The bigger bars would make a marked improvement, though. Be sure and check the entire front end before “hot rodding.”

Vaughan
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:56 PM   #11
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not all created equally...

ok, so all these bars aren't created equally. they don't make it easy on ya do they?

I've heard a lot about the IPD bars. Does anyone know if they are solid or hollow? Kinda hard to find but here's a link for a kit with bar for $265. Is that a good deal?

Class A Motorhomes

cheers
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vswingfield
Poly bushings for stock bars are available. There are even poly bushings available for shock absorbers and leaf springs.

They are higher grade steel, but they are not hollow.... the handling was phenomenal.

Vaughan

hi vaughan

i ran out of letters...that sentence should read "some are hollow too"

because some are hollow...

streamlean...

i'm pretty sure that's the ipd set up i had. yes that bar is solid...

going from 1.25 inches (stock) to 1.62 inches (ipd) may not seem like much...

but the stiffness is a function of diameter to 4th power,

so the larger bar is >2 times stiffer, not accounting for the bushing or higher grade steel.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:26 PM   #13
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since u r spending money streamlean,

don't stop with the bars and shocks!

the store you found is pretty cool,

especially with that moho chassis right on the showroom floor!

the p-30 chassis in moho flavor usually has an airbag inside the front coil spring.

this (imo) was because the stock springs weren't up to the weight of the typical moho built on this chassis...

i never liked this front air bag set up.

even when properly inflated the front end sort floated/bobbed over road undulations, and under inflated was much worse...

so i replaced the stock springs/air bags with a heavier/stiffer 'supercoil' spring set...

like this...

SuperSteer® Coil Springs »Henderson’s Line-Up

made a huge difference and with no bags to inflate.

you might check with this shop (eric's) and see if they've got these or something similar....

don't forget the before/after photos....

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
hi vaughan

i ran out of letters...that sentences should read "some are hollow too"

because some are hollow...
Hi 2air,

Man, don’t you just hate that part about computers? You have to do everything right. Why can’t they just do what I meant?

I’ll certainly grant that some could be hollow. I have never seen any, but there is a world full of things that I haven’t seen.

Cheers to you, too,

Vaughan
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