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Old 08-12-2018, 09:29 PM   #1
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Sway Bars on AI

Has anyone installed anti-sway bars on the Sprinter with improved handling. Other RV forums for Sprinter chassis have noted improved handling but I trust this forum. I searched but found no threads?
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:44 AM   #2
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Itís in here (this forum) somewhere. Yes, we upgraded the sway bar on our T1N and it made a huge improvement. I donít know what the verdict is for the NCV3.

The suspension system works together, various pieces. At the same time as we put the sway bar, we upgraded to Koni shocks on the rear. They also helped.

Prior to our current trip, we put Koni struts on the front. I am not happy with them, but I donít know if my expectations are realistic as to what is achievable.

MillionMileSprinter recommends Fox shocks, hands down. Iíve seen them recommended elsewhere but they are $$$$$ and I wasnít about to consider them until / unless I received first-hand testimony from someone I trusted because, ya know, ya canít trust everything you read on the internet. So the Fox option is now something that I will research further.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swilly43 View Post
Has anyone installed anti-sway bars on the Sprinter with improved handling. Other RV forums for Sprinter chassis have noted improved handling but I trust this forum. I searched but found no threads?
Your Sprinter already has anti-sway bars. Some people think it helps to change to heavier bars, but there are trade-offs since they don't dampen side to side rocking. Heavier bars might even make it worse. I followed many comments on the Sprinter-Source forum and concluded that switching to max dampening Fox shocks would be best. I've been happy with results.
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:28 PM   #4
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Thank you, my search for Fox shocks shows no availability. I will look at the other forum.
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:12 PM   #5
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Sway Bars on AI

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Originally Posted by swilly43 View Post
Thank you, my search for Fox shocks shows no availability. I will look at the other forum.

Contact John Brindell at Agile Off road in Southern California. He is setting up Fox Shocks for Sprinter 3500 duallies. I bought mine from him. Great response. Just ask for a quote and tell him some basic details of your Interstate-Sprinter.

John_Brindell@agileoffroad.com

Edit: Agile Offroad's web site:
https://agileoffroad.com
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:36 PM   #6
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I had a Roadmaster Antisway bar installed to help with crosswind issues in our non-ext AI. Any crosswinds over 30mph would cause an error and I'd lose cruise control as well as the stability system ESP. I'd have to stop and turn off the motor and then it would work again. The new anti swaybar along with other suspension mods eliminated this issue. However, it does nothing for the harsh rear ride (in the non-airbag rigs) so if you have no crosswind issues I wouldn't bother with it.
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:36 AM   #7
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My experience was not with an Interstate but since you did not get many replies I thought I would share my experience with a class C RV on the sprinter chassis. I replaced the stock rear sway bar with a Hellwig brand and it improved the handling significantly including in crosswind situations. I currently own a 2018 Interstate with rear air suspension. It handles better than my previous RV even with the Hellwig upgrade so I am not in the market for any upgrades at this time.
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Old 08-16-2018, 01:02 PM   #8
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My experience was not with an Interstate but since you did not get many replies I thought I would share my experience with a class C RV on the sprinter chassis. I replaced the stock rear sway bar with a Hellwig brand and it improved the handling significantly including in crosswind situations. I currently own a 2018 Interstate with rear air suspension. It handles better than my previous RV even with the Hellwig upgrade so I am not in the market for any upgrades at this time.
AI927 - thanks for the input. You have confirmed once more that the VB Airsuspension is the best solution for taming the ride on a Sprinter.
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:19 PM   #9
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I never drove an Interstate without the rear air suspension so I cannot comment on the difference between the two. Not to mislead my rv can still have issues with crosswind but it is much better than my class C.
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Old 08-16-2018, 06:02 PM   #10
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A bigger sway bar helps controll body roll during cross winds quite a bit. But nothing is free and when going over pot holes or when driving on uneven dirt roads, the osolations will be amplified. In some cases violently so. It’s not the end of the world, you just slow down and let the shocks disipate the energy. For most of us, we spend thousands of miles on highways in crosswind conditions and only a few miles on unpaved roads making the risk trade a no brainer.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:44 AM   #11
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I have never driven a T1N. But I have driven my friend's 2500 high roof NCV3 w/no VB Air. My AI has VB Air and is the only 3500 I have driven. I live in a region where high winds and crosswinds are just part of daily driving. 30mph crosswinds does not even scare us much anymore after living here almost 20yrs. But comparing my friend's 2500 high roof w/ no VB Air vs. my longer 3500 EXT with VB Air is night/day difference. I definitely feel better crosswind stability with VB Air. My friend's shorter 2500 does not handle/feel as confident. In my 6,000 miles & 6 months driving my AI mostly on interstates, I have never once experienced the type of feeling others describe when big rigs pass me, when I pass big rigs, or when big rigs cross paths with me from the opposite direction on 2-lane highways. According to everything I have read about the 3500 EXT, the VB Air is almost mandatory if one wants to carry rear passengers. And crosswind stability is touted as one of the side-benefits. I have never ridden in the rear seats of a 3500 EXT. But if the ride as judged from the driver's perspective of a 3500 EXT w/ VB Air is the point of comparison, I would not even want to consider/imagine how harsh the rear ride would be in a non-VB equipped unit. Though my fam says the rear ride is not bad, they also say it is still a truck ride, not our Town & Country minivan ride and definitely not our Mercedes sedan ride. The closest ride to our other vehicles is that of my Ford F150 Harley Davidson Edition, a pickup truck that's literally not made to haul anything, factory lowered and stiffened suspension even worse than standard F150. Making my AI ride any stiffer/harsher than it's current setup is just not acceptable. But if yours does not have VB Air, you may not have a better option than getting bigger sway bars.
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Old 08-17-2018, 06:24 PM   #12
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Thanks to all. When the time comes, I will be looking into better shocks like the Fox.
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Old 08-22-2018, 05:26 AM   #13
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I had the bigger hellwig sway bar and can tell the difference when following a big rig (less side to side buffeting) and also when navigating the twisty bits of a country road at 40-50 mph (much less roll). Thumbs up from me.


I cannot attest to the drawbacks some have mentioned because at the same time I had Koni Golds put on (good) and Sumo Springs (bad). The Sumos use up all the travel space where the bump stops were and don't compress much so I was then getting violent rocking when entering/exiting a parking lot instead of the stock, annoying, spongy, swaying back and forth, back and forth. Can't tell you yet if some of that is coming from the Hellwig; still making changes...



New thread coming to reveal my rear suspension woes... air bags... lift kit... I'm making more changes here in New England to dial things back in steps, so will report when I know more.



Hint: so called Sprinter experts don't know Jack.
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:02 AM   #14
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TRONADORA - looking forward to your new thread with details of what you learned about making changes to Sprinter rear suspensions.
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Old 08-24-2018, 01:35 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=Tronadora;2146064] Sumo Springs (bad). The Sumos use up all the travel space where the bump stops were and don't compress much so I was then getting violent rocking when entering/exiting a parking lot instead of the stock, annoying, spongy, swaying back and forth, back and forth.



Thanks for the feedback on the Sumo Springs. I was looking at those as a first step to reduce the sway since they're relatively easy to install. I want less rocking not more rocking so they're out. I was also persuaded by my mechanic to stay away from stronger sway bars because they too would amplify the rocking.
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Old 08-26-2018, 02:19 PM   #16
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Tronadora-

"The Sumos use up all the travel space where the bump stops were and don't compress much so I was then getting violent rocking when entering/exiting a parking lot instead of the stock, annoying, spongy, swaying back and forth, back and forth."

This is not true. Sumo springs do take up more space than the stock suspension stops, but do not fill the entire void. How do I know? I installed both front and rear myself on our 3500 AI. They install easily and fit quickly.

Sumos work, btw, by compression of their flexible material: The more compression, the more resistance. They work progressively. Very clever idea. We are using these on our other vehicles and very pleased with results. Economical, no hassle modification, very effective results.

If you are worried about harsher driveway transitions, go over them more slowly. Or remove the heavier duty Hellwig rear sway bar.

Whether its HD sway bars, shocks or even helper springs like the Sumos, there will alway be a trade-off between body movement control and suspension compliance with a tall (over 9 feet) almost 10,000lb vehicle.

Our AI has the following suspension modifications that we are quite pleased with-

-Bilstein HD B6 series shocks, front and rear
-Sumo spring helpers, front and rear
-Hellwig rear sway bar.

Haasman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronadora View Post
I had the bigger hellwig sway bar and can tell the difference when following a big rig (less side to side buffeting) and also when navigating the twisty bits of a country road at 40-50 mph (much less roll). Thumbs up from me.


I cannot attest to the drawbacks some have mentioned because at the same time I had Koni Golds put on (good) and Sumo Springs (bad). The Sumos use up all the travel space where the bump stops were and don't compress much so I was then getting violent rocking when entering/exiting a parking lot instead of the stock, annoying, spongy, swaying back and forth, back and forth. Can't tell you yet if some of that is coming from the Hellwig; still making changes...



New thread coming to reveal my rear suspension woes... air bags... lift kit... I'm making more changes here in New England to dial things back in steps, so will report when I know more.



Hint: so called Sprinter experts don't know Jack.
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:40 PM   #17
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Haasman -
Thanks for the extra info. If I ever do shocks again I'll want to try those Bilsteins... these front Konis are a good improvement but I think things could be better.

I'm putting together a long story on this subject and want to get things right so I have a question for you... how tall are your rear Sumos? I've attached a picture of mine and it looks like the height from the top to where the axle tube can make first contact is 5-1/4 or 5-3/8 inches. Do you think these are the same dimension as what you put in? If yes, approximately how much travel does your axle have before making contact? Any at what weight approximately?
Thanks.
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Old 08-28-2018, 04:48 PM   #18
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Tronadora- Not sure how tall our Sumo Springs are. I simply ordered the appropriate ones for our chassis. As I recall there was no or little contact when I installed them, but in reflection, the chassis was lifted up and the axel was extended.

To be clear, having the Sumo compress slightly from contact would not bother me at all.

The Sumo springs are compressible, progressively. That means one could compress one a little bit easily, but further compression means more and more resistance. That is how they work.

I like the Bilstein shocks B6 Series quite a bit. I highly recommend them. I would also caution to not accept the incorrect information floating out there about only rear B6 series are available. Not true. How do I know? I called Bilstein Customer service and confirmed what is the firmest shock for our AI.

Haasman
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Old 08-31-2018, 04:52 AM   #19
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The Sumo springs I tried are the ones sold by sprinterupgrades.com in their Suspension Pkg B for the 3500.

https://sprinterupgrades.com/collect...-helper-spring

Mine are for sale. PM me if interested.


Regarding the violent rocking back and forth when transitioning in/out of a parking lot, I just had the second of the two extra leaf springs removed and this helped a lot. So whatever the sway bar is contributing to that stiffness, it is now manageable. Yea!
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