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Old 06-09-2019, 10:30 AM   #1
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Sway Bar necessary on '04 E350 4x4 SWB?

i've had my sportsmobile for about 6 months and it never felt stable on the freeway. i have been doing a lot of reading on the forums about the sway bar and finally inspected mine and noticed the driver side bolt was sheered a long time ago by the looks, so the sway bar just moved freely side to side.

so i removed it and just drove about 10 minutes on the freeway and it tracked more straight than any other time i had it and i didn't have to fight it even at 70.

i'm getting ready to travel cross country with my boys in a couple of weeks and it'll be a lot of driving obviously. do i bother scrambling to replace the sway bar? the bolts are welded and it's part of the SWB upgrade. unfortunately i think i have to replace the hole bar. i'm not setup to drill out the existing bolt, plus is welded on the back side so it's not just the matter of drilling out the hole.

i have no idea if this is something that SWB keeps in stock or if i'd have to wait weeks to get from SWB. i'm leaving in less than two weeks. what would you do?





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Old 06-09-2019, 10:57 AM   #2
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SMB will give you the pins (bolts) that you can take to the shop and have them welded back in. At least on mine if I were to use a high strength bolt, the bolt head is too thick and would rub.



As far as tracking, I don't know why it would cause that issue. I usually can't tell if I'm disconnected. The bar simply allows the axle to articulate more such as driving into a hole. It allows the wheel to drop further and keep contact with the ground. When fully connected it just keeps the van more stable in a hard turn or on off camber trails. Do you need it? Well in a hard braking move along with a hard turn at high speeds it might be safer having it hooked up. The van would probably be a bit harder to roll. While you're in there you'll probably have to replace the bushings that hold the bar...they wear out. I'd also look over the track bar (a different bar than what you're showing) and make sure it's OK too. Probably best to have a shop look over the whole front end... shocks, shock mounts, and ball joints. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:11 AM   #3
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thanks for the input! yeah i had a shop look over everything. 3 leaks i'm hoping to get fixed. they need to replace the inner axle seals (leak 1), the tail shaft seal of the transfer case (leak 2), and the power steering pressure hose from pump to steering box (leak 3).

they're also going to replace the ball joints on the front. the track bar looks good.

yeah, i'm not sure why it would make a difference in feel, could just be psychological lol, but the sway bar did move pretty freely side to side so i could see it sliding with small correction on the highway, and then correcting it again to slide it back over kinda thing. could just all be in my head.

i'm also going to be changing the oil and fuel filters myself before the trip.

you don't happen to know the part number for power steering pressure hose from pump to steering box? i'm googling now and getting different options.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:13 AM   #4
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I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but I've ditched the front swaybar from every 4x4/offroad vehicle I've ever owned. Don't miss them one bit. The ride is much less jarring, and the chassis is less upset when, say, entering a driveway or crossing a dip at an angle, hitting a pot hole, or really any offroad situation. Sure, there is more body roll without it, but in the case of a 3/4-1 ton van/truck it's not significant enough to be a nuisance. If your spring rates and shock valving are in the ballpark, handling should remain very predictable, just with a little more lean. I say leave it off.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:26 AM   #5
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Also a note, if they drill out the existing pin, the pin must have a fairly tight fit or it will break again. It must fit like it's fitting into a bushing and then welded in place. If they drill out the bar too much, the pin will wobble and cause issues. I have heard of others using high grade bolts but on my 06 I required those low profile pins. YMMV depending on the year.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLetterJ View Post
I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but I've ditched the front swaybar from every 4x4/offroad vehicle I've ever owned. Don't miss them one bit. The ride is much less jarring, and the chassis is less upset when, say, entering a driveway or crossing a dip at an angle, hitting a pot hole, or really any offroad situation. Sure, there is more body roll without it, but in the case of a 3/4-1 ton van/truck it's not significant enough to be a nuisance. If your spring rates and shock valving are in the ballpark, handling should remain very predictable, just with a little more lean. I say leave it off.
yeah if i was just driving around town or even going away on weekend trips, i'd leave it off and try it out. but going across country without trying it without first makes me a little nervous, especially going across the great plains when semis are passing me when i'm doing 70 lol.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:34 AM   #7
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Also a note, if they drill out the existing pin, the pin must have a fairly tight fit or it will break again. It must fit like it's fitting into a bushing and then welded in place. If they drill out the bar too much, the pin will wobble and cause issues. I have heard of others using high grade bolts but on my 06 I required those low profile pins. YMMV depending on the year.
i don't think drilling out the existing pin is a good option. the back side that is still on there is the bolt head and a lot of weld. yes it could be grinded down i suppose, but like you said it's gotta have a tight fit and i'm not confident by looking at it that i could get a clean hole at the end of the day. i'll call SWB tomorrow and see what i can find out.
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:13 PM   #8
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UPDATE: i’ve been driving around vegas on the highway and streets and it’s SO much better with the broken sway bar compeltey removed. much smoother and i can pull into parking spots much easier. leaning towards just leaving it off because i don’t see how a new/installed sway bar is going to improve the ride because it’s great right now.
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