why do i need a track bar?????? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:51 AM
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why do i need a track bar??????

we just finished putting a new motor in my buddies 04 f350 and while we were putting it in i noticed that the trac bar bracket that mounts the track bar to the axel was completely broken off and the trac bar was not even attached from the looks of it it has been broken for a long time... i asked him about it he said it has made a knowckingin the front end ever since he bought the truck and it only did it when he turned he had assumed it was because when he first got the truck the hubs were locked in and the previous owner had driven with them locked in and messed up one of the u joints in the front..... he has had no problems with the truck and putting 40k miles on it .... it kinda makes me wonder if we even need the track bar on the truck in the first place... most other leaf spring trucks dont have one why do we need it ..... i wanted to see what you guys think... and what some of you have done with your trac bar?????

thanks
kamron
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:11 AM
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The trac bar keeps the axle centered under the truck. If it is gone you risk the possibility of the axle going to one side or another. Then you get into tire wear problems, dog tracking, and other problems like driveline alignment amongst other things.

Your buddy should get that fixed soon. If he thinks that clicking or knocking is the only problem that will occur well have him go off roading a couple times.

Also if that bracket is broken, then I would suspect that something was hit with a lot of force.
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:36 AM
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IF IT IS NEEDED THEN WHY IS THERE NO OTHER LEAF SPRING TRUCK THAT COMES WITH THEM FORD IS THE ONLY ONE THAT I KNOW OF
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helsel_182 View Post
IF IT IS NEEDED THEN WHY IS THERE NO OTHER LEAF SPRING TRUCK THAT COMES WITH THEM FORD IS THE ONLY ONE THAT I KNOW OF
What trucks are you talking about. If your talking about the Big rigs, well then that is a whole different thing.
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by bigcountrysg View Post
What trucks are you talking about.
thats what im wonderin , even coil spring trucks have trac bar , it needs one
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:01 AM
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COIL SPRING TRUCK DO NEED TRACK BARS..... ALL OF THE OLD PICK UPS DODGE AND CHEVY WITH LEAF SPRING DONT HAVE A TRACK BAR WHY DOES FORD NEED IT.... I KNOW IT TO KEEP THE AXEL FROM GOING BACK AND FORTH BUT IN THE OLDER TRUCKS THAT IS DONE WITH THE LEAFS (NO TRAC BAR) IN COIL SPRING TRUCKS THERE IS NOTHING TO KEEP THE AXEL FROM MOVING THAT I WHY YOU NEED A TRACK BAR....
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:03 AM
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if coil sprin trucks dont need them why do they have them
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helsel_182 View Post
COIL SPRING TRUCK DO NEED TRACK BARS..... ALL OF THE OLD PICK UPS DODGE AND CHEVY WITH LEAF SPRING DONT HAVE A TRACK BAR WHY DOES FORD NEED IT.... I KNOW IT TO KEEP THE AXEL FROM GOING BACK AND FORTH BUT IN THE OLDER TRUCKS THAT IS DONE WITH THE LEAFS (NO TRAC BAR) IN COIL SPRING TRUCKS THERE IS NOTHING TO KEEP THE AXEL FROM MOVING THAT I WHY YOU NEED A TRACK BAR....
Coil spring trucks with solid axles had a different variant of trac bars. They had Ibeams coming from behind the axle. They had two one on each side. Go back and look at the old Ford trucks.

The old Fords with leaf springs and solid axles also had something to keep the axle centered.

The leaf springs alone can not do it. Because of articulation of the suspension.

Chevy's had trac bars, so did Dodges. The trac bar is needed.
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:18 AM
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If it was there from the factory then it needs it. I'm just wondering why these trucks have them if they are leaf sprung since leaf sprung jeeps do not. Is it the additional weight? Just curious. I agree though, get it fixed or risk a huge repair bill on everything that breaks from axle movement.
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:27 AM
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The primary thing the track bar does is make sure that the axle moves in the same path as the steering rod(drag link) that goes from the box to the tie rod. Without the track bar as the suspension moves you will get some steering action (bump steer). If you look at the drag link from the front of the truck you can see how the end of it moves in an arc as the suspension moves up and down. This changes it's effective length. It's not much but it's enough to steer the wheels slightly as the suspension moves. By adding the track bar Ford forces the front axle to move in the same arc eliminating (or at least reducing) bump steer. As you've noticed not all trucks have the track bar and that's part of why our trucks drive better than the Dodges. In other words; with the bracket broken your buddy's truck drives like a Dodge. Actually it probably drives slightly worse since Ford uses longish spring shackles to make sure the axle can move slightly allowing the track bar to work.
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