Another sway-bar post...

Tires, shocks, sway bars, air bags... What crosswind?

Another sway-bar post...

Postby wingnut79 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:46 pm

Hey all! Fairly new to the forum...my partner and I finally pulled the trigger on a beautiful '96 B190 and we couldn't be more excited. She was bone stock and as such, could certainly use some of the usual suspension upgrades. I've seen that basically everyone has installed the Hellwig bars (7604 and 7083). I'm wondering why no one has opted for the larger diameter bars in the 7008 (FR) and 7085(Rear). To cut to the chase, I ordered both of those (fatter) bars on the reco from a Hellwig service rep that they were exactly the same as the smaller diameter bars, just thicker (and, therefore, possibly adding more stability). The rear bar fit just fine and the front bar was, bizarrely, quite literally the mirror image of what it should have been. That is to say that the driver's side bar end was shorter than the passenger side bar end. All other dimensions are the same as the 7604. This makes no sense because the twin I-beam front end on an E350 has the driver's I-beam running behind the passenger I-beam which would necessitate a *longer* driver's bar end to make up the difference. What I received was precisely the opposite. In fact, I received it twice because Hellwig sent me an additional bar to correct the issue - and they sent me the same damned bar. After much hemming and hawing from Hellwig, they informed me that the 7008 was designed for an E350 cutaway chassis not an E350 Econoline XL. What the actual eff?? Love to hear from you more experienced van people - does that make any sense what-so-ever? That a 96 E350 B-van would have a different front end than a E350 cutaway chassis motorhome?

For reference, if you look for swaybars from Roadmaster, they offer a 1 3/8 front bar - and it's the same part number for all E350s (van, bus, cutaways RVs from 92-07). Something tells me the Hellwig boys are manufacturing the wrong damned bar for E350 vans.
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Re: Another sway-bar post...

Postby SeaQuinn » Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:36 am

Welcome Wingnut79. I have a 99 and after much research went with 7604 and 7083. A wee bit different than 92-07. Thought for a second about thicker bars but couldn't find any data to guarantee fit. Especially with all the additional accoutrements that our rigs have underneath. There is some sort of difference between our super dutys and the cutaways. How do I know..... I was burnt twice on car mats. Yes..... car mats. When I ordered them I thought "What could the difference be." There is indeed a slight difference. That's why I've decided to stick with tried and true. Good luck and have fun with your rig :-)
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Re: Another sway-bar post...

Postby wingnut79 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:45 am

Thanks, SeaQuinn - pretty sure I've got it figured out. Been going round and round the mulberry bush with Hellwig - for the last 2 months on this. Bottom line is that any sway bar that fits our van should also fit an E350 cutaway RV chassis, because the front ends are the same. Somehow, their engineers came to the opposite conclusion when, in fact, they have simply manufactured the 7008 bar incorrectly. Backwards, in fact. Finally, I think their engineers have seen their error. Pretty sure I'll be installing the Roadmaster 1 3/8 sway bars on the front of my van. I'll report back on how they go on. Happy trails!
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Re: Another sway-bar post...

Postby lido14co » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:10 pm

Way to take them on!


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Re: Another sway-bar post...

Postby usachris » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:45 pm

wingnut79 wrote:Thanks, SeaQuinn - pretty sure I've got it figured out. Been going round and round the mulberry bush with Hellwig - for the last 2 months on this. Bottom line is that any sway bar that fits our van should also fit an E350 cutaway RV chassis, because the front ends are the same. Somehow, their engineers came to the opposite conclusion when, in fact, they have simply manufactured the 7008 bar incorrectly. Backwards, in fact. Finally, I think their engineers have seen their error. Pretty sure I'll be installing the Roadmaster 1 3/8 sway bars on the front of my van. I'll report back on how they go on. Happy trails!



Update? How did it go? Did the bigger bar work out for you?
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Re: Another sway-bar post...

Postby Sheila G » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:07 pm

Hi All,

I am thinking about adding a rear sway bar for my B-190 after reading this great and very informative forum. I have a 2000 B-190, but it was built in 1999 and has a V10 engine. I am wondering which size bar I need. After reading the forum I noticed that some say Hellwig 7183 and some say Hellwig 7083. I'm thinking that the year the van was built is the difference? Does anyone know which is the correct one for my year camper?

I also want to add new shocks and maybe a steering stabilizer. I can only add one thing right now and was wondering which is the best to help with the rockin and rollin down the highway. Sway bar, shocks or steering stabilizer.

Any advice is very much appreciated.

Cheers.
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Re: Another sway-bar post...

Postby lido14co » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:33 am

Should be 7183 which fits the e350 chassis from 1989 to 2014. I would get that first then Bilstein shocks. I don’t have the steering control but after reading comments I think that’s the next addition. I also think a fee people have put a beefier front sway bar on. The rear sway bar really helps when highway driving with big rigs or high winds. Huge difference. Good luck!


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Re: Another sway-bar post...

Postby Sheila G » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:22 am

Thanks. I'll go with the sway bar first. I'm about to order it on Amazon.
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Re: Another sway-bar post...

Postby mountaindent » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:45 am

I did what was recommended by putting on front and back Hellwig sway bars and Monroe shocks on the camper on the 1992 B190. There was noticeable improvement with stability but, yet I still thought things felt tippy at times until I filled the fresh water tank up and put luggage and cooler inside over the back wheel base on a recent trip. Just the fact that there was some weight in the middle portion and back of the van improved driving while being passed by a truck or curves. I found that I could accelerate to a higher speed without worrying about if I was going to tip over. It makes sense that weight over the rear wheel base would improve driving and when I go on the next trip will make sure all the packed goods are low and over the rear wheel base. Has anyone else had this experience?
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Re: Another sway-bar post...

Postby Choptop » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:01 pm

mountaindent wrote:I did what was recommended by putting on front and back Hellwig sway bars and Monroe shocks on the camper on the 1992 B190. There was noticeable improvement with stability but, yet I still thought things felt tippy at times until I filled the fresh water tank up and put luggage and cooler inside over the back wheel base on a recent trip. Just the fact that there was some weight in the middle portion and back of the van improved driving while being passed by a truck or curves. I found that I could accelerate to a higher speed without worrying about if I was going to tip over. It makes sense that weight over the rear wheel base would improve driving and when I go on the next trip will make sure all the packed goods are low and over the rear wheel base. Has anyone else had this experience?


Good observation, Will remember to distribute the load that way .
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Re: Another sway-bar post...

Postby mountaindent » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:44 pm

The difference was rather dramatic and the driving very easy. I have decided that nothing goes in the upper cabinets until we get settled at a campsite. All heavy items go directly over the rear wheelbase. I actually did get a different mattress for the upper bunk that is lighter that the previous mattress and that helps too no doubt. I had forgotten to mention that before but, have less weight in the front anterior part of camper had to improve things too. I wonder if pulling out the bed while driving would not help distribute the weight/forces more instead of concentrated in the front when it is pull forward.
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Re: Another sway-bar post...

Postby micabarry » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:33 pm

I picked my 91 up in Phoenix 3 years ago and drove back to the east coast thinking there must be something wrong with the steering. A number of "white knuckle" moments. Since then I've been following the advice on this forum, slowly replacing or adding suspension parts and taking long trips fully loaded in between. This is what I have learned.
-Rear sway bar helped a bit but not to the degree I hoped. A 10k trip xcountry still was uncomfortable in high wind and passing trucks.
-Front sway bar, a steering damper and new shocks front and rear followed by a second 10k xcountry trip was a major improvement with much less sway and significantly better handling.
-New leaf springs this past summer(upgraded to a heavier load capacity) followed by a 2k trip to Canada resulted in a marked improvement in overall ride and handling. Very satisfied with the way she handles now plus the extra lift in the rear means a little more protection for the dump system. Expensive but we'll worth it if you are planning on keeping your rig for a while. Hope this helps.
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Re: Another sway-bar post...

Postby Sheila G » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:01 am

Great info! Thanks all.

Cheers
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Re: Another sway-bar post...

Postby mountaindent » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:24 pm

micabarry wrote:I picked my 91 up in Phoenix 3 years ago and drove back to the east coast thinking there must be something wrong with the steering. A number of "white knuckle" moments. Since then I've been following the advice on this forum, slowly replacing or adding suspension parts and taking long trips fully loaded in between. This is what I have learned.
-Rear sway bar helped a bit but not to the degree I hoped. A 10k trip xcountry still was uncomfortable in high wind and passing trucks.
-Front sway bar, a steering damper and new shocks front and rear followed by a second 10k xcountry trip was a major improvement with much less sway and significantly better handling.
-New leaf springs this past summer(upgraded to a heavier load capacity) followed by a 2k trip to Canada resulted in a marked improvement in overall ride and handling. Very satisfied with the way she handles now plus the extra lift in the rear means a little more protection for the dump system. Expensive but we'll worth it if you are planning on keeping your rig for a while. Hope this helps.


Ok, I will look up steering damper and leaf springs. I find when I have it loaded up and most of the weight over the rear wheel base life gets much better. I really do not enjoy white knuckle feelings and it sometimes comes out of the blue even when you think you have it figured out. Thanks!
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Re: Another sway-bar post...

Postby Sheila G » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:41 pm

Thank you all for the advice on the swaying problem.

I purchased the 7183 Hellwig rear sway bar. Unfortunately it won't fit because the water tank is in the way. I don't know if it was modified by the previous owner or if it came this way. Eleanor Rig-B is a 2000 B190. Judging from this site and the web, I don't know if there is another 2000 out there. I've had lots of problems with her on the camper side; I'm sure because she is over 17 years old and sat for a very long time, but the motor is in good shape. I don't want to give up on her because of this sway bar issue but I realize I cannot drive her without safety features added. I'm trying to figure out what I can do. I have some health issues so anything that needs to be done means taking her to a repair shop. I purchased her almost a year ago in anticipation of retiring next March 2018. My plans were to take her all over the country, through mountains, along the coast, hopefully up to Alaska. I have some health issues so anything that needs to be done means taking her to a repair shop. Although I really can't afford to spend a lot of money, I'm willing to do whatever to make her safe because I feel she is the one for me. I just want to be sure that I will be able to feel comfortable driving her before investing more money. So I guess my question is .... will (if possible) adding the sway bars, front should go on OK, and the shocks and all the other things advised on this site really make a big difference in the way she handles the road? I drove a school bus for over 8 years, in the city and on the highways, and the only hard part about that was the CARGO. lol Driving is not a problem for me, I really enjoy it, but at the same time I don't want to be stressed out every time there's a challenging road ahead.

Thanks guys for any input. I love this site! And Skater .... thanks so much for all you do.

Cheers.
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