Do I need a FRONT sway bar? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-05-2018, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Do I need a FRONT sway bar?

This seems easily searchable, but I can't seem to find a concrete answer, and many threads end up referring to the rear sway bar anyway.

The truck- Stock height 2000 F-250 7.3 on 20" platinum wheels and E rated 275/65R20s. X spring/ snow plow package, it has 4 leafs in the front.

Currently there is no sway bar, links or anything. Just a dual steering stabilizer for some reason. I've read that the four leaf springs in the front end combined with the weight of a 7.3 negate any need or use for a sway bar, but I'm still torn. The truck feels fine and doesn't feel unstable, but I know I need ball joints and the shocks need to be done. The steering could definitely be tighter, but I haven't driven enough leaf spring super dutys to decide if it is fine or not. I was told by someone else that it feels tight, but it's still wandery to me.

Do I:

-Find a sway bar on craigslist or at a junkyard and go back to stock, or buy a new one etc... could be $400 total

-Spend the money on bilstein 5100s on all four corners, ball joints, and a new single steering stabilizer, ignoring the sway bar


I keep going back and forth on this one... I have to think that someone removed it for a reason right? I'd hate to spend all the time, effort, and money to put a new setup on to find that it actually does nothing for my truck.

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post #2 of 13 Old 04-05-2018, 08:36 AM
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sway bars combat side to side sway not sloppy steering

if your happy with your truck now and the way it corners then leave it be


if you feel it leans in too much cornering then give a sway bar a go

leaf springs do not negate the need for sway bars, virtually all real trucks have rear leafs and sway bars can combat sway in those vehicles if they have a cab and chassis or haul top heavy loads in the bed

personally, I have aftermarket sway bars on both the front and rear because I haul a top-heavy camper

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post #3 of 13 Old 04-05-2018, 09:16 AM
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Short answer:
The sway bar will help with wander. Grab a junkyard bar and brackets with new bushings. Obviously fixing broken suspension parts will help.

Long answer:

The main reason folks ditch the anti-swaybar is to increase suspension travel for off road. It is a torsion spring tying the opposing ends of the axle together with the frame. When you turn the weight of the truck is put on the inside wheel, equal and opposite reaction is weight is lifted off of your outside wheel. Then when you come out of the turn than tension in the leaf springs needs to return to equilibrium and you get body roll. In @ZMANN instance the extra wight up high compounds the back and forth action of the suspension equalizing, so more sway bars more better.

The sway bar in effect pushes the opposing side of the axle down in the turn and pulls the truck body down with it. On the flip side when you hit a bump the bar transfers that energy to the other wheel. Again the bar also limits the amount of travel in the axle(rock crawling).

Shocks will help reduce the spring bounce effect, but without a sway bar they are working harder.

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post #4 of 13 Old 04-05-2018, 09:31 AM
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Generally for the front sway bar to come on the 99-2003 you need the camper/tow package. My truck has front/rear sway bars, overload spring, and a taller rear block. along with factory trailer wire harness and limited slip. if your truck didn't come as a camper and or tow package more than likely your truck never had it.

I kept mine one because it helps with sway a lot when towing a cab over in bed camper or pulling the trailers. I know tons of people who never used/had one and truck handled fine. Like other said it wont help with sloppy steering just sway of the truck on corners etc.

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post #5 of 13 Old 04-05-2018, 10:52 AM
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Sway bar is actually an anti lean bar. When you go around curves and corners it reduced leaning of the vehicle. I highly recommend it be on there.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-05-2018, 11:55 AM
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Driving the truck down a straight level road 40-60 mph and firmly grasping the steering wheel at 10 & 2 turn your wheel back and forth so your at 9 & 1 then 11 & 3 as if your wife is trying to drink a soda or the kids are f'ing around in the back seat. You will fell the truck slow to respond to steering input, i.e. the truck will still be leaning left as you turn right and so forth. Obviously don't risk you or someone else's life doing this test.

A sway bar will get rid of this and make it feel "sportier". If this is tighter steering then a sway bar will give you that.

If your going off roading every weekend then it will get in the way.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-05-2018, 12:58 PM
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I think a lot take off the sway bar because the bushings wear out and they hear a fluttering then a flopping noise when going over bumps as it gets worse. I did, kept mine and plan to put it back on with a new PST poly kit in the next couple of weeks because my shocks are getting done too. Should help with lean, some wander, and my overall ride, but it will not take "play" out of the steering wheel. For that, look at the threads on gently tightening the steering box, or replacing it.

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post #8 of 13 Old 04-05-2018, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durapig Eater View Post
Driving the truck down a straight level road 40-60 mph and firmly grasping the steering wheel at 10 & 2 turn your wheel back and forth so your at 9 & 1 then 11 & 3 as if your wife is trying to drink a soda or the kids are f'ing around in the back seat. You will fell the truck slow to respond to steering input, i.e. the truck will still be leaning left as you turn right and so forth. Obviously don't risk you or someone else's life doing this test.



A sway bar will get rid of this and make it feel "sportier". If this is tighter steering then a sway bar will give you that.



If your going off roading every weekend then it will get in the way.


Great explanation
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-05-2018, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the answers everyone. Honestly guys the truck feels perfectly stable... cornering and responsiveness is great, but I can’t explain just how stiff the front end is with the x springs... she’s very stout.

Unless I can find one for next to nothing, I may end up going with a redhead. I mostly am annoyed with the slight clunk on bumps (ball joints), a tiny amount of passenger side bump steer, and the “sawing” I do with the steering wheel. The 10 and 2test mentioned does absolutely nothing, because I have that much play even after cranking down the steering box a half turn

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post #10 of 13 Old 04-06-2018, 03:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmfinley93 View Post
Thanks for the answers everyone. Honestly guys the truck feels perfectly stable... cornering and responsiveness is great, but I can’t explain just how stiff the front end is with the x springs... she’s very stout.



Unless I can find one for next to nothing, I may end up going with a redhead. I mostly am annoyed with the slight clunk on bumps (ball joints), a tiny amount of passenger side bump steer, and the “sawing” I do with the steering wheel. The 10 and 2test mentioned does absolutely nothing, because I have that much play even after cranking down the steering box a half turn


I considered buying a redhead, i had the same problem
The price was the deciding factor
I ended up going with a NAPA reman
Not awesome but a great improvement


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