Adjustable Track Bar - An Understated Necessity? - PowerStrokeNation : Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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Adjustable Track Bar - An Understated Necessity?

To All:

Sorry for the novel...

I recently made some major changes to my 2003 F-350 4x4. It originally had 10" of suspension lift and 36" Mickey Thompson MTZs (it has 33" Toyo Open Country MTs now). I removed the front leaf springs (6") and replaced them with a new set of factory springs; I left the 3.5" Fabtech shackle lift. I removed the rear blocks (3.5" factory + 2" aftermarket) and left the 6" springs which left the truck perfectly level (yes, I put a level on the bed to check...lol). The other benefit of removing the blocks is no more shuddering (from axle wrap) when I take off. I removed the sway bar lowering kit and re-shimmed the rear drive shaft. I ended up leaving the dropped pitman arm and the upper track bar lowering bracket (I removed the lower one). I initially left the factory track bar in place, but had to tweak the steering to get it to line up which placed the axle about 1"-1.5" towards the drivers side (because the stock bar was too long). The other effect of the incorrect length track bar was a slight wander when driving (although the drag link and track bar were perfectly perpendicular...as they should be).

To Google and YouTube I went...searching for an answer...

I purchased a Zone adjustable track bar for $99 off Amazon. Per the user reviews, I had to trim about 1" off of it because it was a bit too long (easy job with saws-all). Per the YouTube instructions, I removed the stock bar and backed up the truck 20 feet or so and drove it back to its original position. I installed the adjustable bar without tweaking the front end. Once everything was in place, the steering wheel was pointing to the left about 70 degrees. I adjusted the drag link and re-centered the wheel.

I took the truck for a 10 mile drive on the highway and noticed the following improvements:

1. no more wandering
2. it rode a tad smoother (because the suspension isn't tweaked/pre-loaded the the right)

Food for thought:

Is your truck lifted...if so, did you have to tweak your front end to line up your track bar? If you had to tweak your front end to install your track bar, your axle is not centered under your truck.

Feel free to weigh in if you have something to add. This is primarily intended to help others...

Here is how my truck looks now:



Regards,

[RCD]

2003 F-350 Crewcab 4x4
Banks 6 Gun, K&N FIPK, S&B Filter, RCD EGR Delete, Blue Spring Mod
4" Fabtech sus. lift, 33x12.50x20 Toyo MTs, 20x12 Motometal 962s
4" MBRP exhaust (no cat)
Cowl Ind. Hood
ScanGauge II
Oil Cooler, EGR delete, MBRP up-pipes, & Mishimoto Coolant Filter @ 77,900 miles (01/2017)
Future Plans: SCT Tuner
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 11:42 AM
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Re: Adjustable Track Bar - An Understated Necessity?

You know I've been wondering about that. I have an 02 350 drw 4x4 and the front springs were so bad it looked like a 2wd. I replaced the springs with pro comp 4 inch lift springs and it sits level now, but it wanders like a mother. It looks like to me the axle sits further to one side.

So now ima gonna find an adjustable track bar, thanks

96 F350 rclb drw 2wd psd (built not bought)
01 Excursion Limited 4wd psd (the wifes ride)
02 F350 cclb drw 4wd psd (the land yacht)

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Adjustable Track Bar - An Understated Necessity?

I'd like to hear back when you get yours swapped out.

Keep in mind that your problem may also be related to your drag link/track bar geometry. They should be parallel and on the same plane. If the drag link and track bar are sitting at different angles, your truck will wander and experience some bump-steer which makes it really annoying to drive. A dropped pitman arm and a dropped track bar bracket may also be needed to remedy your problem (I have both).

The track bar eliminates the bump-steer by inhibiting the drag link from "steering" the truck when you are hitting bumps (basically, it pushes the axle to the right upon suspension compression which compensates for the drag link becoming "too long" when the suspension is compressed). Its pretty crazy when you think about it, but it works well when setup correctly.

Here is a picture of my front end. The drag link and track bar are so close to being in the same position, the track bar is almost invisible in this picture.



Regards,

[RCD]

2003 F-350 Crewcab 4x4
Banks 6 Gun, K&N FIPK, S&B Filter, RCD EGR Delete, Blue Spring Mod
4" Fabtech sus. lift, 33x12.50x20 Toyo MTs, 20x12 Motometal 962s
4" MBRP exhaust (no cat)
Cowl Ind. Hood
ScanGauge II
Oil Cooler, EGR delete, MBRP up-pipes, & Mishimoto Coolant Filter @ 77,900 miles (01/2017)
Future Plans: SCT Tuner
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 10:21 PM
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Re: Adjustable Track Bar - An Understated Necessity?

Nice set up, I just looked at mine and they are very close to the same angle

96 F350 rclb drw 2wd psd (built not bought)
01 Excursion Limited 4wd psd (the wifes ride)
02 F350 cclb drw 4wd psd (the land yacht)

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 10:22 PM
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Re: Adjustable Track Bar - An Understated Necessity?

My track bar sits just above the drag link but are at the same angles

96 F350 rclb drw 2wd psd (built not bought)
01 Excursion Limited 4wd psd (the wifes ride)
02 F350 cclb drw 4wd psd (the land yacht)

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Adjustable Track Bar - An Understated Necessity?

That is good to hear. I hope the bar fixes your wandering...

The other thing that is could be is front end alignment. That will cause all kinds of crazy stuff when its messed up (wandering is one of them).

Either way, if your axle is off-center, I would get an adjustable track bar.

Regards,

[RCD]

2003 F-350 Crewcab 4x4
Banks 6 Gun, K&N FIPK, S&B Filter, RCD EGR Delete, Blue Spring Mod
4" Fabtech sus. lift, 33x12.50x20 Toyo MTs, 20x12 Motometal 962s
4" MBRP exhaust (no cat)
Cowl Ind. Hood
ScanGauge II
Oil Cooler, EGR delete, MBRP up-pipes, & Mishimoto Coolant Filter @ 77,900 miles (01/2017)
Future Plans: SCT Tuner
[RCD] is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 10:26 PM
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Re: Adjustable Track Bar - An Understated Necessity?

I hope so. I had to put a come along on there to get it to line up

96 F350 rclb drw 2wd psd (built not bought)
01 Excursion Limited 4wd psd (the wifes ride)
02 F350 cclb drw 4wd psd (the land yacht)

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Adjustable Track Bar - An Understated Necessity?

Yikes...

[RCD]

2003 F-350 Crewcab 4x4
Banks 6 Gun, K&N FIPK, S&B Filter, RCD EGR Delete, Blue Spring Mod
4" Fabtech sus. lift, 33x12.50x20 Toyo MTs, 20x12 Motometal 962s
4" MBRP exhaust (no cat)
Cowl Ind. Hood
ScanGauge II
Oil Cooler, EGR delete, MBRP up-pipes, & Mishimoto Coolant Filter @ 77,900 miles (01/2017)
Future Plans: SCT Tuner
[RCD] is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 10:29 PM
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Re: Adjustable Track Bar - An Understated Necessity?

Right

96 F350 rclb drw 2wd psd (built not bought)
01 Excursion Limited 4wd psd (the wifes ride)
02 F350 cclb drw 4wd psd (the land yacht)

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 10:30 PM
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Re: Adjustable Track Bar - An Understated Necessity?

I might build one with heim joints

96 F350 rclb drw 2wd psd (built not bought)
01 Excursion Limited 4wd psd (the wifes ride)
02 F350 cclb drw 4wd psd (the land yacht)

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