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towing sway bar setting/adjusting question

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mr_clean, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. mr_clean

    mr_clean 1/2 ton status

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    I know this probably belongs in the towing forum but there is so much more traffic here...

    1. How much tension do I need to set on the sway bars?

    2. How much brake pressure do I set on the trailer brake controller? Do I want the trailer to slow the truck down, or more of equal braking between trailer and truck?

    Thanks,

    Scott
     
  2. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    1. You want the tension set so that the both the truck and the trailer are as level as possible. Too little tension will allow the back of the truck/front of the trailer to sag, and too much tension will lift the truck bumper and trailer hitch too high, transferring too much weight to the front wheels of the truck. Does that make sense?

    2. You want the trailer brakes set so that they grab SLIGHTLY harder than the truck brakes. It's pretty hard to explain the feeling, but essentially you want the trailer brakes to come on a little sooner than the truck brakes.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. mr_clean

    mr_clean 1/2 ton status

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    Ok thanks Paul!!!

    The brakes I understand exactly what your saying.

    Now with the sway bars I think we are talking about two different things...

    I think you are talking about the weight distribution arms with the chains going up to the trailer frame. Those I have adjusted so the ride is level both on the trailer and the burb.

    I am talking about the anti-sway bar that mounts on the side of the trailer frame and goes to the hitch on small 1.25 inch balls. They provide friction to keep the trailer from swaying in wind or when passed by a big rig, but I'm unsure how tight they are supposed to be...

    I hope I'm not totally confused here...

    Thanks,

    Scott
     
  4. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    OH, your talking about the friction anti sway setup.

    The answer to the question is... kinda hard. You need it stiff enough so that it doesnt sway. Its a tough but easy enough to understand principle though-

    More sway control= less turning ability.

    Its basically a giant friction control, limiting movement from side to side. This also affected turning ability though.

    I went the route of the Equalizer, but its really a whole Weigh distribution/sway control setup. it is vastly superior compared to friction systems. (Hensley and Pullrite makes the "high end" setup, that acutally stops sway before it starts).

    everything else, like the Equalizer, or the Reese dual cam.. they just work off the acutal sway. They work great however.

    once you get out onto the road, set the sway friction all the way high- try to do some turns, see how hard it is. Start loosening it up, until its a good balance between sway control, and turning ability.
     
  5. mr_clean

    mr_clean 1/2 ton status

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    That's kind of what I figured I'd have to do. I made a couple of test drives with it all hooked up today and first run I felt some sway. Cranked down on the friction bar one full turn and didn't notice any sway on the ride back. Guess I'll leave it there for now and adjust it if I need to.

    Thanks for all the help all!!! I'm heading up to the mountains tomorrow AM and will be fishing/drinkin beer for the next 5 days or so!!!

    Talk to you all later!!!

    Scott
     
  6. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    Fishing and drinking beer??? You dont expect us to feel sorry for ya do you? :p:

    Have a great time! :D
     

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