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Old 09-13-2010, 02:35 PM   #1
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After market sway bars(Truck)

Any of you folks had any experience with after-market sway bars, such as Hellwig, etc?
I was thinking about trading TV's but after nearly having a heart attack due to sticker shock, decided to update the '03 Dodge/Cummins.
Any advice would be welcome..
Larry
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:45 PM   #2
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it would appear the question relates to "anti-sway bars" or "anti-roll bars"...

for the truck?

what's the problem or issue u hope to solve?

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
it would appear the question relates to "anti-sway bars" or "anti-roll bars"...

for the truck?

what's the problem or issue u hope to solve?

cheers
2air'
Well, call 'em what you want we're talking about the same thing. I was wondering if they really do improve handling on a truck enough to warrant the cost? I know they do improve on an automobile handling .....
If I would install them, should they be installed front and rear, or just on the front?
Also, if you have had personal experience with them, or just theory...
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Larry C View Post
...I was wondering if they really do improve handling on a truck enough to warrant the cost?...
improve handling?

depends on WHAT the issue is.

there are some handling traits that anti-roll bars may actually make worse.

having driven the newer dodg-ez there are several minor handling issues, and anti-sway bars don't solve them all.

front vs rear or both, depends on the issue/goal and selected bar size/bushing material, tires and so on...

and what front/vs/rear anti roll bars do WHILE towing is a slightly different thing.

Quote:
...just theory...
this was/is an attempt to offer help AND bump the question,

with a LOT more members seeing it ...

so why reply with insults?

instead...just describe the problem/s or issue/s which lead to shopping anti-roll bars.

wouldn't that be more constructive?

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:02 AM   #5
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Larry,

I've installed anti-roll bars on tow vehicles in the past, and noticed an improvement. In that paticular case (it was an '88 Suburban 1/2 ton) the vehicle handled what I would call "sloppy", and I installed a rear bar. It came with a front bar, so I just installed urethane bushings on it, and the total package improved the handling of the vehicle, both towing and not.

If I were you, I'd ask myself if I had a roll problem, and if the answer is yes, then I would research bars and bushings. You may even have worn bushings and replacement would help if that is the case. Urethane bushings being harder, will also always improve the performance of an anti-roll bar. I've read it stated that installing urethan bushings on a bar is like increasing the size (diameter) of the bar, as far as performance is concerned. Also, new bushing are much cheaper than a new anti-roll bar kit.

Just my thoughts/experiences.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:55 PM   #6
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If nothing else then just replacing the OEM "rubber" bushings on the anti-roll bar [front] with polyurethane (ENERGY Suspension; should be 30 or 32mm; specify zerk-fitted grease-able shackles) will make a noticeable difference. Cab plus body-to-frame bushings should also be inspected for wear-and-tear.

The addition of a rear anti-roll bar tends to limit wheel/axle travel (droop) and for some truck owners this would be undesirable (rancher delivering feed to stock down a rutted road where the tires are already at a different heights).

On the rear axle (and with the introduction of the Third Generation CTD in the 2003 model year) the rear leafs were lengthened, and, possibly, the axle/leaf mount-point changed from the previous generations where a factory anti-roll bar was standard with the Cummins. The 3rd Gen longer leaves do give a better ride, but "Axle Wrap" is a common complaint, and the addition of a rear anti-roll bar is a common suggestion with no negative feedback I can find.

The 3rd Gen Dodge rear is highly sensitive to tire pressures alone. Too high and the whole truck is less stable in emergency lane-to-lane (so respect factory pressures as well as FF/RR pressure bias). There are plenty of discussions in re traction bars and the rest on enthusiast forums. The rear anti-roll bar is seen as a positive for both this and for axle wrap. For the guys with 4WD, lift kits, offroad tires and who've hotrodded the drivetrain then the traction bars are seen as a must (in towing: giant toyhaulers at the sand dunes at Glamis, is one example) and even discussions of "Death Wobble" mention successful use of both.

Shock valving, tire sidewall height (and construction) plus anti-roll bar diameter are all closely related. On the aftermarket offerings you will see two of the three are the same diameter, but one of the three is mounted differently (may make no difference). Increasing size -- without attendant changes in the other components -- is a poor proposition, generally. Even a small change -- from 3/4 to 7/8 -- is a BIG difference. Better to have a larger FF bar already in place. (Complications start early, in other words).

I have had old cars where the addition of FF/RR bars of a larger diameter was a handling improvement (and where rims/tires were somewhat wider; AND with better shock absorbers; this was essentially on cars that were OEM with bias belted tires and a rear AR bar on Hotchkiss drive wasn't a good idea until the addition of radial tires, etc). There was a trade-off in perceived ride smoothness (outweighed by better handling). The two straight axle Jeeps I've done were given Plus One tire Sizing, better shock abosorbers, but ONLY poly bushings.

The larger question is Transient Steering Response and I imagine there are some performance suspension tuning discussions on the Web that may be of help. As per towing, Geraghty, Estes and the other RV writers of the 60's-80's were happy to recommend them for tow vehicles where other upgrades were in place first (gas shocks, radial tires, etc). In big cars used to tow -- 30-40 years ago -- the addition of a rear anti-roll bar was successful every time in our family experience. As my suspension fairly replicates those a HELWIG bar is on the short list. As are poly bushings for the front (short of replacing it with a larger diameter piece).

For someone on-road, towing, the rear anti-roll bar (on a Dodge truck: aftermarket only; HELWIG or ROADMASTER, maybe ADDCO) will limit body travel relative to the suspension. Some of this improvement is a perceived effect, some of it is not. The latter makes it worthwhile, IMO, where one has already installed best shock absorbers (BILSTEINS, maybe RANCHO 9000), is on stock or matched rims/tires (proper LR & properly inflated according to load), and the details of proper hitch rigging have been sorted, etc. (On a 4WD upgrading the steering components to a recent model year is a recommendation; and, as the lower ball joint carries all the weight, replacement of all [4] is good prior to 100k). Etc.

Even as gentle a driver as me (in a 2WD with IFS) has problems with rear axle wrap: the worse the road surface is -- coupled to the need to increase shfit point rpms under a load -- only makes it worse. We want power to both wheels to be well-applied.

And, going down the highway at the usual sedate 59-mph, my truck (when towing) moves noticeably from big truck bow waves. Don't notice the trailer move at all (thank-you-projected-point-hitch), but I do the moment the wave hits the bed side and bed topper. It tends to mean a steering wheel correction (more of a "hold against one side of the dead spot", but it's there, nevertheless). The movement is magnified by the bed topper (sail area) and possibly by being a long-bed, so I look forward to a RR anti-roll bar, load or no load on board.

If someone else does the installation then be sure they DO NOT set the final torque on fasteners until the vehicle is resting on all four tires (not jacks or lifts). If your CTD is a 4WD then also see MAXX LINKS.

.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:47 AM   #7
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1996 34' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
improve handling?

depends on WHAT the issue is.

there are some handling traits that anti-roll bars may actually make worse.

having driven the newer dodg-ez there are several minor handling issues, and anti-sway bars don't solve them all.

front vs rear or both, depends on the issue/goal and selected bar size/bushing material, tires and so on...

and what front/vs/rear anti roll bars do WHILE towing is a slightly different thing.




[this was/is an attempt to offer help AND bump the question,

with a LOT more members seeing it ...

so why reply with insults?

instead...just describe the problem/s or issue/s which lead to shopping anti-roll bars.

wouldn't that be more constructive?]

cheers
2air'
For the first part of the answer, thanks for the info.....


For the second part, I think I was pretty clear about what kind of advice I wanted, that was actual experience or theory. No insult was intended, nor given.

The advice requested was clear and easily understood.


Have a good day
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Old age is coming at a really bad time!

1996 34' Excella 1000, interior totally redone, 2003 Dodge/Cummins HO, U.S. Gear exhaust brake, Diablo tuner, 115 gallon aux fuel, Bedslide, Airsafe/Reese Dual Cam, and a bunch of other stuff
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
Larry,

I've installed anti-roll bars on tow vehicles in the past, and noticed an improvement. In that paticular case (it was an '88 Suburban 1/2 ton) the vehicle handled what I would call "sloppy", and I installed a rear bar. It came with a front bar, so I just installed urethane bushings on it, and the total package improved the handling of the vehicle, both towing and not.

If I were you, I'd ask myself if I had a roll problem, and if the answer is yes, then I would research bars and bushings. You may even have worn bushings and replacement would help if that is the case. Urethane bushings being harder, will also always improve the performance of an anti-roll bar. I've read it stated that installing urethan bushings on a bar is like increasing the size (diameter) of the bar, as far as performance is concerned. Also, new bushing are much cheaper than a new anti-roll bar kit.

Just my thoughts/experiences.
Thanks, Steve for your input.....the truck has 70K miles, I just replaced shocks, new tires, etc. The bushings make more sense to me than replacing/adding anti sway bar(s). I'll let you know the difference it makes
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Old age is coming at a really bad time!

1996 34' Excella 1000, interior totally redone, 2003 Dodge/Cummins HO, U.S. Gear exhaust brake, Diablo tuner, 115 gallon aux fuel, Bedslide, Airsafe/Reese Dual Cam, and a bunch of other stuff
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
If nothing else then just replacing the OEM "rubber" bushings on the anti-roll bar [front] with polyurethane (ENERGY Suspension; should be 30 or 32mm; specify zerk-fitted grease-able shackles) will make a noticeable difference. Cab plus body-to-frame bushings should also be inspected for wear-and-tear.

The addition of a rear anti-roll bar tends to limit wheel/axle travel (droop) and for some truck owners this would be undesirable (rancher delivering feed to stock down a rutted road where the tires are already at a different heights).

On the rear axle (and with the introduction of the Third Generation CTD in the 2003 model year) the rear leafs were lengthened, and, possibly, the axle/leaf mount-point changed from the previous generations where a factory anti-roll bar was standard with the Cummins. The 3rd Gen longer leaves do give a better ride, but "Axle Wrap" is a common complaint, and the addition of a rear anti-roll bar is a common suggestion with no negative feedback I can find.

The 3rd Gen Dodge rear is highly sensitive to tire pressures alone. Too high and the whole truck is less stable in emergency lane-to-lane (so respect factory pressures as well as FF/RR pressure bias). There are plenty of discussions in re traction bars and the rest on enthusiast forums. The rear anti-roll bar is seen as a positive for both this and for axle wrap. For the guys with 4WD, lift kits, offroad tires and who've hotrodded the drivetrain then the traction bars are seen as a must (in towing: giant toyhaulers at the sand dunes at Glamis, is one example) and even discussions of "Death Wobble" mention successful use of both.

Shock valving, tire sidewall height (and construction) plus anti-roll bar diameter are all closely related. On the aftermarket offerings you will see two of the three are the same diameter, but one of the three is mounted differently (may make no difference). Increasing size -- without attendant changes in the other components -- is a poor proposition, generally. Even a small change -- from 3/4 to 7/8 -- is a BIG difference. Better to have a larger FF bar already in place. (Complications start early, in other words).

I have had old cars where the addition of FF/RR bars of a larger diameter was a handling improvement (and where rims/tires were somewhat wider; AND with better shock absorbers; this was essentially on cars that were OEM with bias belted tires and a rear AR bar on Hotchkiss drive wasn't a good idea until the addition of radial tires, etc). There was a trade-off in perceived ride smoothness (outweighed by better handling). The two straight axle Jeeps I've done were given Plus One tire Sizing, better shock abosorbers, but ONLY poly bushings.

The larger question is Transient Steering Response and I imagine there are some performance suspension tuning discussions on the Web that may be of help. As per towing, Geraghty, Estes and the other RV writers of the 60's-80's were happy to recommend them for tow vehicles where other upgrades were in place first (gas shocks, radial tires, etc). In big cars used to tow -- 30-40 years ago -- the addition of a rear anti-roll bar was successful every time in our family experience. As my suspension fairly replicates those a HELWIG bar is on the short list. As are poly bushings for the front (short of replacing it with a larger diameter piece).

For someone on-road, towing, the rear anti-roll bar (on a Dodge truck: aftermarket only; HELWIG or ROADMASTER, maybe ADDCO) will limit body travel relative to the suspension. Some of this improvement is a perceived effect, some of it is not. The latter makes it worthwhile, IMO, where one has already installed best shock absorbers (BILSTEINS, maybe RANCHO 9000), is on stock or matched rims/tires (proper LR & properly inflated according to load), and the details of proper hitch rigging have been sorted, etc. (On a 4WD upgrading the steering components to a recent model year is a recommendation; and, as the lower ball joint carries all the weight, replacement of all [4] is good prior to 100k). Etc.

Even as gentle a driver as me (in a 2WD with IFS) has problems with rear axle wrap: the worse the road surface is -- coupled to the need to increase shfit point rpms under a load -- only makes it worse. We want power to both wheels to be well-applied.

And, going down the highway at the usual sedate 59-mph, my truck (when towing) moves noticeably from big truck bow waves. Don't notice the trailer move at all (thank-you-projected-point-hitch), but I do the moment the wave hits the bed side and bed topper. It tends to mean a steering wheel correction (more of a "hold against one side of the dead spot", but it's there, nevertheless). The movement is magnified by the bed topper (sail area) and possibly by being a long-bed, so I look forward to a RR anti-roll bar, load or no load on board.

If someone else does the installation then be sure they DO NOT set the final torque on fasteners until the vehicle is resting on all four tires (not jacks or lifts). If your CTD is a 4WD then also see MAXX LINKS.

.
The things you've mentioned make sense to me.....I think I'll start by replacing the bushings, and see where we go from there. I try and abide by the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of thought. My doing on thing at a time, it will be a lot easier to know which change made the difference....
Thanks for your help.
Larry
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