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Old 07-15-2018, 07:11 PM   #1
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HellWig sway bar damaged my van

Frame cracks as a result of the sway bars
Front left

Left rear

right rear
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:52 PM   #2
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Those cracks have been exposed a long time, if it was recently broken the edges would be shiny raw metal, not rusted.

I've seen a few hellwig bars mounted and no problems...
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:27 PM   #3
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Yes I took them off a while ago. Just getting around to show this
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:51 PM   #4
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Wow!!
In Germany this frame would be marked as gone - as no welding would allowed. Probably not in the states though.

That's the reason why everything MUST be controlled by TÜV (German technical inspection) BEFORE you're allowed to make any changes.
These Hellwig sway bars are quite restrictive in terms of flex. Now we know it's stronger than the frame.
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:35 AM   #5
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Wow!!
These Hellwig sway bars are quite restrictive in terms of flex. Now we know it's stronger than the frame.
I'm thinking it takes a lot of energy to rip that frame steel like that. Poor mounting design by SMB if you ask me. Should have been beefed up for the weight of theis vans.
Anyone want some sway bars front and rear, all the hardware.
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Old 07-16-2018, 01:29 AM   #6
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For sure a bad design!

Here in Germany a manufacturer has to withstand a certificate that makes any change on engine, suspension etc. street legal.
This especially means you cannot mount anything anywhere.

In this case SM should have known better, as they are the experts on their builds. Especially regarding weight and usage.


I do know that e.g. MAN, but also Mercedes, Iveco etc. have their Guidelines
to fitting bodies. I think Ford does so as well?
https://www.manted.de/manted/aufbaur...en/gb_all.html
These truck guidelines do NOT allow to bore or install anything at the lower parts of a "C" Channel letter frame, afaik.

Though Germany is very picky on this ;-)

my 2ct
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:47 AM   #7
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In US I do not know of federal restrictions, but manufacturer usually say not to weld too or drill new holes in C-channel frame, but people do and I plan on having mine stitched up.
Mounts were stock location's but for stock weight van used on city streets, not a 10000lb van going off-roading.
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
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In US I do not know of federal restrictions, but manufacturer usually say not to weld too or drill new holes in C-channel frame, but people do and I plan on having mine stitched up.
Mounts were stock location's but for stock weight van used on city streets, not a 10000lb van going off-roading.
I have been running Hellwig front and rear bars since at least 2008 on several E250----NEVER had an issue with any thing like shown! Of course I'm not running my vehicles past their design limits one of which is severe off-roading. I'm not necssarily bashing you Dig255 but c'mon---blaming Hellwig for these frame issues--really???????

If anti-sway bars of any manufacture could cause frame damage those available from Ford (new manufacture or parts catalog) would not be offered.

Sorry but this is owner abuse--I'm sure Hellwig would agree. I'll forward them a link to your post and perhaps they'll offer their input? Would be interesting for sure.
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Old 07-16-2018, 07:14 AM   #9
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Anyone want some sway bars front and rear, all the hardware.



...Sure...I'll take the rear.....already got a front....
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:00 AM   #10
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This is really interesring.
Not sure dig255 should get any guff for how or where he drove his van (since none of us rode along with him, at least I don't think any of us did....)

But this is certain:
Permanently-attached sway bars, off road, aren't something that aggressive off-roaders usually want any part of. Hence "quick-disconnect" sway bars are price-of-entry items for most Jeeps. Any device that fights full/easy suspension articulation off-road is most definitely bad for traction/stability. And as we see here, probably transfers WAY too much force to apparently-less-strong frame areas under full-articulation situations. (Also probably causing the van to lift a wheel that could have stayed in contact with the ground otherwise...."tripod-ing"....obviously not great for stability or traction....)

Then again, maybe the frame had started to rust out/lose full integrity in those locations.

But for sure -- you mention the idea of running permanently-attached front/rear sway bars to any die-hard off-roader and you will swiftly get your face slapped. Jeremy at WeldTec removes the factory front sway bars promptly from all his 2WD lift kits, as well...he relies on the spring specs and careful shock valving for cornering stability, but off-road he wants to let the suspension move as much as possible to take full advantage of all its expanded range of travel (and keep all four wheels on the ground, even when the van is going through some twisted terrain.)

"Sway bars are your enemy!" I think he told me.
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