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Old 01-22-2021, 01:23 PM   #11
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Since you mentioned the Tracbar, I'm graciously requesting an update to the Thread you introduced that on...I'm very interested to hear your thoughts now that you have some experience with it. I've been contemplating the same, or having a custom sway bar made for the rear.
Sorry for the delayed update, but I lost track of that thread, thanks for the reminder.
I now have several thousand miles on the tracbar instillation and so far it seems to be a winner. Being passed by semi trucks on rain soaked roads is longer a scary experience. The van seems more planted with less moving around. In the past, side winds and big trucks would push the van around in the lane but now the effect is quite a bit less. The idea is that the trac bar prevents the body from moving side to side over the axle due to flex in the springs. It connects a rigid tube from the frame to the axle that prevents side to side movement while allowing up and down movement as opposed to a sway bar that adds spring rate to prevent the body from leaning in the corners but the connectors donít restrict side to side movement. The van is now much more relaxing to drive, but that could also be due in part to the fact that Iíve replaced all the suspension parts including the ball joints, tie rod ends, wheel bearings, bushings, tires and wheels, steering box and more. It finally drives much more like my modern pick up. Itís no sports car, but at least Iím not constantly having to input steering corrections just to stay in my lane. So, Iíd say the trac bar was a very worthwhile investment, but without all the other suspension components being in good shape, it alone wonít make it drive like new
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Old 01-22-2021, 01:50 PM   #12
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Thanks for that update Arctic. I'd like to pose one more question; if you were inclined, do you think both could be mounted on that rear axle? I wouldn't think they would interfere with each other, but then I'm not familiar with the Tracbar installation.
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Old 01-22-2021, 02:04 PM   #13
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Thanks for that update Arctic. I'd like to pose one more question; if you were inclined, do you think both could be mounted on that rear axle? I wouldn't think they would interfere with each other, but then I'm not familiar with the Tracbar installation.
Well, I've never had a sway bar so I don't have a good picture in my mind of how they mount. The tracbar frame bracket bolts on the frame, close to the center line of the axle, but slightly further back, while the trac bar itself is more or less centered on the axle tube, but again slightly to the rear. If I were adding a sway bar, I'd just have to try it, but I don't feel I need one. My van corners with little body roll or leaning and I wouldn't want to add to the spring rate, or reduce the available amount of articulation. Sway bar disconnects will solve the articulation issue, but they can be a pain to disconnect and re-connect.
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Old 01-22-2021, 08:31 PM   #14
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THX Arctic!
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:04 PM   #15
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I'm envious of you with your campgrounds that are still open.
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Old 01-28-2021, 12:14 PM   #16
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arctictraveller,
Now I'm very interested in the Tracbar vs Swaybar:
I'm a 2003 E350, 7.3, Quigley 4X4, SMB EB 50 I could not be happier 17 years later with my vehicle. 285,000 miles of pleasure.
In the 1st year I had 2 issues "death wobble" and van leaning in sweeping freeway curves.
I live in Burbank, CA and we are TV news van central...
1) Saw several TV vans in a front end shop and asked about the lean....they had installed "swaybars" which helped alleviate the issue. OK I had one installed and yes it did what was expected.
2) "death wobble took a lot more exploring but finally have solved making sure all front end part were working properly (replaced several parts) and ungraded the steering damper to the equivalent of a F550 and went to inner tire balancing system "Counter Act Balancing Beads". Has been several years with not a sign of any wobble.
Now my issue is violent swaying/leaning of the rear portion of the van when one rear tire is elevated (by a rock or other lifting object) and suddenly drops back to level. There is very strong titling, leaning, swaying back and forth (left to right motions) of the van body.
HELP
Is there a logical explanation of this violent body movement? Is there a solution?
The van drives very well and is a pleasure to drive. The exception is the rocking caused by unexpected tire dropping back to level. Being a long bed the rear tires are often taking a different track to the front which can result in the difference path and resulting unknown elevation change(s).
thanks for hearing me out....
HighCountryMike in his 2003 SMB
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Old 01-28-2021, 01:52 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=HIGHCOUNTRYMIKE;
Now my issue is violent swaying/leaning of the rear portion of the van when one rear tire is elevated (by a rock or other lifting object) and suddenly drops back to level. There is very strong titling, leaning, swaying back and forth (left to right motions) of the van body.[/QUOTE]

This is a new problem, right? It sure sounds like your rear shocks are worn out. What does the rear do when you hit a parking lot speed bump? Does it bounce up and down a couple times or does it settle down immediately? A trac bar may help, but I never experienced anything similar even prior to installing it. My bet is on shocks...............
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Old 01-28-2021, 02:15 PM   #18
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I agree with artic. Also sounds like your rear spring packs may have already seen their best days, and/or you're loaded with a lot of additional weight in the rear.
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Old 01-28-2021, 04:01 PM   #19
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Yes a new sensation that has increased in intensity the past year.
Yes it does bounce up and down when a speed bump is in countered. Also similar to a highway dip at freeway speeds (65 in CA. In socal we have plenty of road issues) at times 3 or 4 uncontrolled up and down motions.
I have the 2003 SMB as I mentioned E350 / Quigley (Dana60) EB50
I did 2 things in response to your informative replies:
1) I looked up my "Pricing A Standard Floor Plan & Options, "Pricing Your Sportsmobile 4X4".
SMB West:
GVWR 9,400 lbs it's maxed out at 9,400
"FOR BETTER HANDLING/RIDE
HELLWIG SPRINGS
HELLWIG REAR SWAY BAR
RANCHO 9000 SHOCKS (4) at the time that was an additional $1,200 which was not going to happen. So I have a very stock undercarriage.
2) I crawled under the vehicle the current shocks are KYB Gas-A-Just (4). On inspection I noticed the left side rear shock seems to be leaking as there was a coating of fluid on the lower shock body. So your right shocks for sure.
Next I noticed that my "Swat Bar" is connected to the frame approximately 2 feet to the front of the rear axel. there is a 90* bend under the axel and the bar is u bolted to the axel then continues to the other side ( contoured around the differential) to the other side and again connected to the axel and a 90 bend reaching the frame the same as the other side.
Is this a traditional sway bar application?
Your shock recommendation is correct.....what is the recommended replacement shock?
I have also experienced the side to side movement you mentioned but just lived with it.
Your description of the Track bar would fit on top of the axel tub so not in conflict with the sway bar. Now I curious about the pro's and con's of both being installed.

As I mentioned I'm in SoCal and now looking for a reputable 4X4 shop. Anyone have positive vibs with 4X4 repair shops?
I am very thankful to you guys for your input. My mechanic has left SoCal so I'm searching for a replacement. he did not want to raise his new family in SoCal/CA so my loss.
I really enjoy the forum and you guys are the reason.
HighCountryMike 2003 7.3 4X4 SMB.
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Old 01-28-2021, 06:22 PM   #20
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I'd check in with Agile off road at www.agileoffroad.com John can supply you with a set of Fox 2.0 shocks that he will valve for your particular van's weight, and needed shock length. That alone should make a huge difference and then you can decide if you want to go further.
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