Do it Yourself (DIY) Track Bar for Motor Home

DSCF0004.JPGSteps for “Making a Do It Yourself Track Bar” I have made several Mods to My Motor Home and the Ford F-53 Chassis to improve handling. CHF, Tires, Sway Bar Bushings, Bilstien Shocks, and a Steer Safe. Each of these items helped the handling of the motor home. My F-53 came with a Front Track Bar, but not one on the rear. The short 32 ft motor home has a Long overhang behind the rear wheels. This makes it prone to wagging the dog or wagging its tail in High wind or when a semi passes. Because of cost I decided to make my own track bar.

The preparation, and planning is important. Safety First. Here is the steps that I did to make the Track Bar. My chassis is a 2006 Ford F-53 with a Dana Series 80 Differential.

1. I Decided to mount the DIY Bracket for the differential on the on the Drivers side of the Pumpkin (differential) Cover using 3 of the bolts to hold the DIY Bracket. I call the center section of the differential the pumpkin, because the rear ribbed cover looks like a pumpkin. I measured from the drivers side of the pumpkin to the passenger side of the frame and determined I needed about 19 inches for the track bar or top link. I decided to use a (Country Line Stabilizer Bracket) for the frame bracket. The distance from pumpkin bracket to frame bracket is somewhere around 19 inches for the top link. so I bought a Country Line Cat 1 Tractor top Link from amazon with a 13 inch body adjustable from 17.5 to 26 inches long.

 

On the left is the Frame Bracket and on the right is the Pumpkin (differential) Cover.

2. The next step was to make The Pumpkin Bracket. I chose a 3/8th thick 3″ W x 14″ L piece of Flat Bar mild steel. I made a template for the bracket out of a manila folder. After removing the 3 bolts where I was going to attach the bracket to the Pumpkin cover on the drivers side, I used a ball Peen hammer to  make the bolt holes on the Manila folder template. I had a old piece of 1/2 inch plywood so I cut it 3 x 14 inches and transferred the manila template to it. I then drilled the 3/8 holes for the 3 bolts in the plywood to use as a pattern. I bolted the plywood pattern to the pumpkin to make sure that it would fit. I now had a solid Pattern, which I could use to make the metal pumpkin bracket. I clamped the Plywood pattern To the Flat Steel Bar. and drilled the 3 ea 3/8 inch bolt holes 1/16 oversize using my drill press. The 1/16 oversize was for wiggle room when fitting to the Pumpkin. Using soap stone I outlined my pattern on the flat steel bar. I cut the flat steel bar with my cutting torch following the soapstone pattern outline. I then took a 4 inch grinder and smoothed the outline where I used the cutting torch. I then drilled a 3/4th Hole in the top of the bracket for the track bar top link to fasten to it. I then spray painted the Pumpkin bracket Yellow.

Top to Bottom Manila Folder Template, Plywood Pattern, Mild Steel Flat Bar 3/8 thick 3 inches wide and 14 inches long

3. The next thing was the frame bracket. I had purchased a Country Line Stabilizer bracket to attach to the frame. It had 2ea 5/8th elongated holes which I will use to attach to the frame of the motor home on the passenger side. There are 4 holes on the other side of the bracket which I drilled out to 3/4th inch to attach the Track Bar (Top Link) That way I can move the track bar up or down as required. after drilling I painted it Yellow with a spray can of yellow paint. see picture Below.

Frame bracket Left side will attach to frame with 2 grade 8 5/8th inch Bolts. The 3/4th inch grade 8 Bolt on the right is for the Track Bar (Top Link) which can be adjusted up or down as needed.

L to R Pumpkin (Differential) bracket, and Frame Bracket ready for install

4. I now have to affix the pumpkin bracket to the Differential cover along with the track bar and the frame bracket so I can get the location to drill the 5/8th holes in the frame, for the frame bracket. This will probably be the toughest part laying under the motor home drilling the frame. I will be using Locktite Blue on all grade 8 bolts, and torquing them to required spec’s.

5. my Top Link (track Bar) came in today via UPS. Here is what it looks like.

Top Link Bar to be used for track bar adjustable from 17.5 to 26 inches I need 19 Inches. Now I assembled all of the parts to check fit before crawling under the motor home to install it.

Track Bar Parts assembled, ready for installation. I can’t install it now because it is raining and starting to snow. will have to wait for better days. I will post more pictures after it is installed. My total cost for parts is $92 and the most expensive was for the grade 8 bolts about $40. You could probably use grade 5 bolts washers and nuts for about 1/3 that.

Mel

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Author: Mel

I am a Retired PC Tech. I love to travel in a Motor Home with my Wife. I am a avid RVer and like to camp and travel. I am a commercial Pilot and hold a Novell Education certificate in Networking configuration and installation. I like to read and like country and western Music.

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