Sway Bar? Body Roll?
I recently purchased a 2001 SMB here on the forum with a Agile 4x4 kit. (It was for sale by kmunderground, and is on p.2 Of the classified section if you want to see the details). We are super stoked on it.
We took it out for its maiden voyage last week to S. Utah. It did great, with a minor issue.
The van tracked straight, but with the steering wheel cocked to the right a bit. Also, especially at speed, it seemed to have a lot of body-roll. I wouldn’t call it a “death wobble” but certainly a lot of play in the steering, I certainly was keeping both hands on the wheel!
I took it to a shop for alignment and tire-rotate. They came back and said the ball-joints look good, but the eccentric (I believe on driver’s side) had a lot of play in it.
She just called and said when they went to put a new one in, everything was a mess. A previous mechanic had maxed-out all of the other adjustments to get the alignment even close-to-right, and had used some incorrect parts. It took them an extra half-hour (seems reasonable) but now everything is in the green and the steering and alignment is much better. She also said it was causing uneven wear on the tires, though it wasn’t too bad (I didn’t notice on a visual inspection).
She said I may want to consider a sway-bar to reduce body roll in the future.
A couple questions:
-does any of this sound right? It’s a reputable shop and they seem honest. But, this is out of my scope of expertise (which is where you guys come in!) so I’d like to check in
-how much should it cost for this kind of work (eccentric, alignment and undoing the work by a previous mechanic?). This shop is NOT cheap, but I’d rather pay a good mechanic more money than a bad mechanic less.
-after a cursory search, it seems like there are mixed opinions on sway bars. I will definitely be using the 4x4, but more so on snow and short-sections of crappy road to get into difficult campsites. I do not intend to use this van for rock-crawling or serious technical routes. (Which is good, as it’s an EB and drives like a 20’ van!)
Anyone have any thoughts?
(I hope this is in the right forum!)