Roadmaster Rear Anti-sway bar installation on a 2006 T1N

Thanasis

Member
I just replaced the OEM sway bar with a new Roadmaster one (part # 1209-117)
I bought this sway bar kit on Ebay for $270 including shipping.

The OEM bar on my vehicle was 0.870in in diameter, while he Roadmaster one is 1 ⅛in and heavier.

I raised the rear of the vehicle getting it on wooden blocks 4in-high.

Tools used: 13mm and 18 mm wrench and socket.
The new bar attaches to the same points on the axle and the end links as the old one.
In addition to the bar the kit includes:
- two brackets (to replace the original ones) which are to be bolted on the axle mounting points, using the original bolts. These brackets have 2 metal tubes welded on them though which the mounting bolts to the axle pass. . They come with their own permanent bolts to receive the steel clamps below (photo #2)
- two steel clamps and rubber bushings that wrap the bar and secure it on the brackets above.

Here are the installation steps I followed:

1. Removed the old bar by:
- cutting the plastic ties that help secure the break lines to the old bar ( Note: the brake lines run below the bar, so you have to find a way around them to remove the bar.)
- removing the bolts that hold the bar to the end links
- swinging the bar out of the endlinks
- removing the old clamps from brackets
- sliding and swinging the bar to lower it, avoiding the brake lines.

2. Preped up the new bar:

- The rubber rings at the ends of my new bar were not fully inserted making those ends too wide to fit in the end links. I used a C clamp to apply pressure and fully insert them into the bar ends. I also applied some of the grease that came with the kit on these rubber rings to help slide the bar ends into the end links.

3. Installation

- Inserted the bar ends to the end links. That took some effort because the fit was too tight. I found that lying on my back gave me some extra leverage to push the bar upwards with both arms. Passed the old bolts through them
- swung the brake lines up so that the hole of their little metal bracket, lines up with the upper bolt hole that is used to attach the bar bracket to the axle mounting area.
- attached loosely the new brackets to the axle inserting the upper bolts ONLY through their upper tubes . This is necessary to prevent the lower bolts of the bracket from getting in the way of the bar, when it is swung up its final position by the axle. Remember to get the brake line’s bracket attached to that upper bolt too
- swung the bar up so that it rests between the bracket’s permanent bolts
- lined up the brackets lower tube to the holes on the axle's mounting structure, and inserted the lower bolts to compete the installation of the brackets to the axle, with the bar still between the bracket’s permanent bolts.
- greased the bushings and push them onto the bar right the the bracket location
- Insert the bushing clamps and fasten them to the brackets.

I used Lock-tite on all bolts involved.

Photos:
1. Old bar with its bracket and clamp. The wide plastic tie down of the brake line was cut and removed
2. New bracket with its tubes and permeant bolts, plus the new clamp and its rubber bushing.
3. The new and the old bars
4. The axle mounting area after the removal of the old bar and bracket. Note the brake line and its little support bracket loose.
5. The new bar mounted on the axle
 

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sprinterpirate

not an electrician.
Nice write-up Thanasis! :thumbup: I installed the same thing the other day, and was kicking myself for not taking any photos...

- Inserted the bar ends to the end links. That took some effort because the fit was too tight.
I noticed the same thing--if I had my way, I would ask them to leave more space at that end before the weld starts. I ended up trimming the bushing down with a utility blade because otherwise I would have had to bend the bracket at the end of the end-link.
- swung the brake lines up so that the hole of their little metal bracket, lines up with the upper bolt hole that is used to attach the bar bracket to the axle mounting area.
I'm curious, did you end up keeping the same routing for the brake lines as before? I read on another forum post that someone moved the brake lines to relieve some tension. When I was done the lines were very tight!

:cheers:
 

Thanasis

Member
I'm curious, did you end up keeping the same routing for the brake lines as before? I read on another forum post that someone moved the brake lines to relieve some tension. When I was done the lines were very tight!
Thanks Sprinterpirate...
Yes I did. The lines are tight, but they were a bit tight to begin with.
Here is a photo showing the lines' new position.
My concern is more about the clearance between brake lines' new higher position and the exhaust pipe.
It should be greater than the distance from the axle to the highest point of the round indentation in the big rubber bushing that is attached to the frame above it.

I have not had the chance to do any testing yet. How about you?

Thanasis
 

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Thanasis

Member
After 500 miles I haven't seen any damage to the lines. Hardly scientific but I feel comfortable at the moment.... But maybe thats because I have bigger issues on my van at the moment!

:cry: https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28106
I know of your issues. I have been following the thread. It looks like you may have a split turbo resonator. Mine failed 2 years ago while I was on the road. I had read that this is a common problem with the T1Ns (thanks to this forum) and had a spare with me, plus installation write-up from this forum too. Also had the scangauge and a code lookup table, to point me to the right direction. I replaced it at the parking lot of a supermarket, and was able to continue my trip 2 hours later.
Good luck, and keep us posted.

Thanasis
 

shortshort

Dis member
Did this yesterday. 04 118. The passenger side parking brake cable and sensor wires would not go back in the original position. The wires were too tight. I eliminated (currently held out of the way with a zip tie) the bracket which held them to the lower shock/forward swaybar mount and all is good. I might experiment with relocating the bracket to the inboard side. Added some silicone heat/friction wrap where there was contact or the potential for it. Thought about putting the bar under the cables but the proximity to the exhaust was more interesting than leaving them under the bar. For those making this mod, I would prefit the bar and make all the decisions on cable routing prior to opening the little tub of grease they give you. Get some non-locking nuts for the bushing bracket for an easier, more precise prefit.
 

bcman

Active member
I just had a hell of a time installing the Roadmaster sway bar on my '03 passenger T1N. I wish I had read this write-up first! Roadmaster's instructions are pretty inadequate. Case in point: "Tools required: general hand tools." You're gonna need 2 each of 13mm and 18mm sockets (or one socket and one box wrench) and one 11/16" deep socket. 19mm or 3/4" 6-point sockets will work instead of the 18mm, and 18mm will probably work for the 11/16". The deep socket is a must for tightening the nuts supplied with the kit. They're a type of locknut that has deformed threads, so they require a wrench to turn as soon as they're threaded on, and the threaded studs on the axle brackets are about 3/4" longer than they need to be. So if you only have a standard-depth socket, you're gonna bottom it out and then have to spend about 10 minutes per nut tightening with a crescent wrench like I did.
The instructions make no mention of relocating the brackets for the parking brake cables, but this is absolutely essential IMO. The new bar is much thicker, but also sits father off the axle than the stock bar. Even if you manage to finagle the heavy-a$$ Roadmaster bar around the cables and get all the fasteners back in place, the cables will be so taut at rest that you'll probably damage something the next time you top out the suspension or raise it on a lift. Of course I came to this realization after I had it 90% installed. :thud:

Save yourself the headache and just mount the sway bar up underneath the cables! Relocating the brackets for the cables to the upper bolts for the sway bar brackets keeps them out of harm's way. The cable brackets have a little tab that slots into a hole next to the lower bolt hole for the sway bar bracket. There's no such hole near the upper bolt hole, but I found that mounting the cable brackets just touching the corner of the sway bar bushing puts the cables close to, but not touching, the sway bar.


I also disagree with their order of operations. They suggest attaching brackets to the axle, then bushings on the bar, then clamp the bushings to the brackets, and finish by attaching the end links. But as others have pointed out, the tightest fit is the attachment to the end links, so I agree with Thanasis and sprinterpirate that this should be done first when you have the most flexibility with the parts. From there, I would probably slide in the upper bolts on the axle brackets, then swing the bar into position, install the bushings and bushing clamps, get the lock nuts started, then install the lower bolts on the axle brackets, then tighten everything down. The supplied grease is some of the stickiest I've encountered. It will get on everything. Have several rags on hand, and once the bushing clamps are tightened, wipe off as much excess as you can. You don't want to get it in your hair as you're maneuvering under the van. Ask me how I know.
Lastly, RM's instructions don't have any torque values. From the sprinter service manual: 60 ft-lbs for the end links, 18 ft-lbs for the brackets on the axle.
 

Sidecar

Member
Can someone report back on the handling, ride, etc......difference between the old and new bar ? Thanks
 

bcman

Active member
After a few days of driving a mix of freeways, city, and country roads, I can say I have noticed an improvement in handling in the corners. body lean is significantly reduced. However, there's an increase in rocking when hitting speed bumps or driveways at an angle. I would expect the same with bumps and potholes on dirt roads. Since 99% of my driving is on road, I'll gladly take the trade off.
 

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