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Old 01-15-2019, 06:09 PM   #1
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Controlling sway

I have an 04 E350 EB, 6.0 Quigley. The van is was a work van, striped to the bone. I plan to tow a 33' toy hauler as well as use the van for light camping. I have towed my camper a few times and its not bad sway-wise but maybe that's due to the weight distribution hitch. I also have a Jeep Cherokee that I have towed a couple times, when I do the van sways very easy and a couple times has scared the crap out of me. It doesn't have a tear sway bar, I'm sure the shocks are shot and it has a helper or overload spring on the rear. Front is a new Agile RIP. So what recommendation(s) can you guys give me?
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:10 PM   #2
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I'd talk with Agile.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:14 PM   #3
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How were you towing the jeep? If on a trailer, maybe it was weighted more towards the rear causing the swaying?
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:29 AM   #4
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The jeep is towed dingy style with an inexpensive tow bar type set up - no trailer. I've done the same thing with a 1-ton RAM 4x4 with 2" lift and 35s, all else stock and it didn't sway at all.

I do plan to talk with the Agile folks, wanted to get some suggestions that others have already used with their vans.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:04 AM   #5
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The Cherokee has a known problem with EPAS (electric power assist steering) induced death wobble. The consensus is a little less clear, as far as a fix. Many folks have ended up with lemon-buy-backs, while others have had success with dealer and aftermarket solutions.

https://community.fmca.com/topic/134...th-wobble-etc/
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:43 AM   #6
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I've towed my 'bumper pull' 32 foot, 3 axle, enclosed race trailer (approximately 8000lbs loaded) literally thousands of miles. Same trailer, three different vans.



My old 2000 E350 2wd 15 passenger V10 EB Econline, my 1995 E350 EB SMB 4x4 w/4" lift Econoline, and a friend's 2002 E250 RB cargo Econoline. Load leveler hitch w/600lb bars, and a Reese 83660 Friction Sway Controller .



The 15 passenger was the 1st and by far the worst, white knuckle ride, constantly 'chasing it with the steering wheel' particularly in the cross winds. That van had low sidewall ply count street tread tires on it, that was the bigggest factor. Plush ride, but the wrong tires for towing. I inflated them to the max cold pressure, which made it better, but far from driveable for most people. I theorized it was pivoting in the middle, at the hitch ball. I stopped and shifter the weight distrubution inside the trailer around, but it din't get any better. at a trailer supply half way to Phoenix, and added a SECOND Reese sway controller in their parking lot, snugged both of them up pretty tight, which made all the difference in the world. I would loosen the friction handle after getting in town, maneuvering around pits getting set up at the race track, which kept it from binding/moaning and groaning.



The SMB is taller, 285-60-16 tall sidewall BFG All-Terrains, that do pretty well, even with more side area because of my fiberglass high roof. I inflate to at least 65psi when towing. I've used single and dual sway control units on this, a single suffices. I've also experiment with 265-60 street tread LT 8ply? 10ply? (not sure) tires from a F350 2wd, the shorter sidewall tires resist sway even better. I like the slightly lower gear ratio (works out to 6% lower if I remember right) the smaller tires give, better for towing.


The shorter wheelbase RB 2wd Cargo van had cheap low ply count LT tires on it. The shorter axle center line to trailer ball overhang of the RB seemed to help, the cheap tires not so much. I used both sway controllers on that van for a couple 1500 mile round trips. It was acceptable, but a borrowed van, so I wasn't going to complain to my friend about it.



Some grist for the mill: None of them had rear sway bars, but I don't see how it would hurt. Toyhaulers are a 'no joke' towing situation. Your front end components, tires, shocks, all need to be in very good condition. I had this F350 dually with worn front shocks and kingpins that came down with 'death wobble'. Repairing the king pins made it better, new shocks made it handle better still.


The take away here is to dampen 'tail wag'. Stiff tire sidewalls resist it, friction type sway controllers damp it. If one sway controller isn't enough, add a second sway controller. They only cost $80ea.



I hope sharing my experience is helpful
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egpeil
The jeep is towed dingy style with an inexpensive tow bar type set up - no trailer.
How well does the Jeep track when driven solo? If the front end is bad and it wanders when you drive it, it'll wander when you tow it, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsBeast View Post
The 15 passenger was the 1st and by far the worst, white knuckle ride, constantly 'chasing it with the steering wheel' particularly in the cross winds. That van had low sidewall ply count street tread tires on it, that was the bigggest factor. Plush ride, but the wrong tires for towing. I inflated them to the max cold pressure, which made it better, but far from driveable for most people. I theorized it was pivoting in the middle, at the hitch ball.
I think extended vans are more prone to sway in general, because there's a longer lever arm between the hitch ball and the rear wheels. The long rear overhang also creates a problem when towing another vehicle with a tow bar -- when taking a tight corner, say a right turn, the rear of the van initially moves *left*, and that can cause the steering of the toad to turn the wrong way and not follow the curve.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb View Post
The Cherokee has a known problem with EPAS (electric power assist steering) induced death wobble. The consensus is a little less clear, as far as a fix. Many folks have ended up with lemon-buy-backs, while others have had success with dealer and aftermarket solutions.

https://community.fmca.com/topic/134...th-wobble-etc/
I think that applies to the new Cherokees, mine is a 2000, the old square body. Also believe that applies to driving, not towing but thanks for the lookup.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:30 AM   #9
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Orv,

The jeep drives great. It is almost 20 yrs old and cud probably use ball joints and shocks which I'll do soon. I don't think the jeep is the problem. I agree the EB def contributes to the sway, the cheap type bar probably contributes as well. I'm guessing the lack of anything in back; no sway bar, airbags and worn out shocks are more the issue. I'm gonna talk with the Agile folks for their recommendations.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egpeil View Post
I think that applies to the new Cherokees, mine is a 2000, the old square body. Also believe that applies to driving, not towing but thanks for the lookup.
OK Thanks for the clarification. The new Cherokee is definitely a problem when towing BTW.

As for the old Cherokee, simplest fix is to increase caster. This allows the steer tires to follow rather than trying to make their own path. Sway while flat towing is definitely not normal. Do you have a Go Pro? Might not be a bad idea to video the tow bar for a short time, and make sure there's no play anywhere. Especially in the baseplates.
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