The "Cheap Handling Fix"
As you search Google looking for RV information you may have run across the “Cheap Handling Fix” term while surfing the internet. In simple terms, it’s where a person crawls under a Ford Motorhome and moves the front anti-sway bar bolts attached to the end-links. The thought behind this is to try and create a stiffer mounting setup in hopes to provide more sway resistance for the front of the coach.
My friend Tony read about it and decided to try it out on his Ford F53. He said: “I thought that was the right way to fix your stabilization in the front. I saw other people doing it, but come to find out it's not a good idea!”
On my recent visit to NRVTA (National RV Training Academy) we filmed our discussion on this common misconception and why it’s NOT a good idea. It’s kind of like what Abraham Lincoln said: “The problem with the Internet is that it's difficult verify the authenticity.” (Joking)
“The problem with the Internet that's it's difficult to verify the authenticity.”
- Abraham Lincoln -
Of course Abraham Lincoln never said that and that makes my point! Don't believe everything you read on the internet!
If you have done this or you find yourself thinking of doing this I have few thoughts for you. First off, you're not wrong for trying to provide a solution. There is a problem with too much “Sway” on a Ford F53 Motorhome. If your only thought is to eliminate that sway, theoretically, moving the bolts back could work. But keep in mind that those holes were never designed as adjustment holes in the first place.
Another thing to consider is that geometry is crucial in how an Anti-sway bar works. It should be at a 90 degree angle. When you move that end link, you're creating a different geometry. You may have a temporary feeling of more stability from sway, but what you unknownly did was transfer the stress of sway from the Anti-sway bar to the end links. This is NOT a good thing. The proof of this is that in our shop we have seen end links snap in half! When that happens your sway bar doesn’t work at all. (see video below)
The proof of all this is that Ford itself recently changed its whole Anti-sway bar system. Today Ford not only makes a bigger sway bar for the front, they also eliminated the 2 bolt holes in the OEM front anti-sway bar entirely.
So, in closing if you own an older Ford F53 and want better stability situation, don't do the cheap handling fix. Just upgrade to the larger sway bar and in one sense, you're taking an old F53 and making it handle as good if not better than a brand new Ford Motorhome!
At SuperSteer we make aftermarket Ford F53 Anti-sway bars in fact we even have a heat treated front Anti-sway bar, which provides even more stability than one that has not been heat treated.
Thank you for reading this blog and until the next one we wish you Safer and Happier Driving!