Fun in the sun

Yep, it was hot today. Not as hot as in Mosul, Iraq, where it was 109 today, but East Bay hot. Still, I had a clean drive way, mods to do on the Sprinter. A perfect afternoon!

I jacked the Sprinter up about 4 inches using the trailer hitch. That gave me a little more room for rolling about looking for sockets that for some reason are just out of arms reach or under me where I can’t see them!

I got a new sway bar and Koni shocks for the rear in this afternoon and decided to go for it. I had gotten as estimate from a shop for 6 hours to do the work which translates to about $725. I looked underneath the bus and saw I would have to remove and replace 10 bolts to do the job. This is a no brainer.

Bottom of shock

To remove the shock you need 2, 18mm sockets, wrenches or a crescent wrench. All of these bolts, nuts today are torqued pretty tight so eat your Wheaties before starting or get a small cheater bar if necessary.

You can see from the photo below, the Konis are larger than the stock shocks.

The bolt and nut at the bottom of the shock are 18mm.

The bolt at the top is 21mm and very deep threaded. I thought it would never come out. Definitely takes some horse to get this one loose.




I am not sure how long the first one took but the second took 18 minutes to swap.






Here is a picture of the stock sway bar. You need to remove 4-50 tork screws and 2-18mm bolts/nuts. Start with the screws and remove the bolts last. This bar is easy to handle as it is very light.





The difference between the stock and new sway bar is shown here. There is a big difference in diameter. There is a substantial difference in weight which makes if a little difficult to install the new one.

The new sway bar comes with new axle bushings and new bushing for the arm (left and right). It also comes with some very sticky grease (like the old wheel bearing grease). I used it on the bushings for the arms but I did not put any on the axle bushings. If I need to, the axle bushings will be fairly easy to grease.


Sway bar bolts


The bolt on the sway bar arm is 18mm and the tork screws on the axle bushing are a 55. The arm is under a slight pressure. I removed the axle bushing first and then the arm bolt. Installing, I installed the top tork screw and then went to the other side and installed the top screw. Then the bottom screws and last the arm bolts. They took some force to get the bolt through. Then I went back and tighted all the screws and bolts.


The new sway bar

The finished sway bar replacement in place. Tomorrow I make a run to Monterey so I will see if things are tightened up a bit. I would expect less sway and faster recovery from a bounce.

The Sprinter is a pleasure to work on! Everything is so clean underneath and easy to get to . . . the Eurovan I had was covered underneath with something like cosmolene – no matter what you did, you got sticky and dirty. The oem sway bar was coated with something black but that’s what the Lava Soap is for.

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One Response to Fun in the sun

  1. Keith says:

    I got to test the mods this weekend. It is my perception that the ride has improved – it certainly is different. Crossing driveways or speed bumps at an angle would sometimes result in a right, left, right left sway, say 4 o’clock to 8 o’clock – very uncomfortable. The sway is still there but now, it more just a right, left and 5 o’clock to 7 o’clock. It feels to me like a stronger rock – you know we have those rumbling, 30 second earthquakes and then sometimes the 1 second bang. This is more like a bang feeling. (Sorry, if you don’t live in earthquake country.)

    Corners can be made tighter. I have done the entrance to Ft. Ord many times so I know I could take it faster this weekend (it is one of those 90 degree curves). I finally got a heavy cross wind on the way home and there is less lean and buffeting.

    For the shocks – I probably won’t know for sure until I put on new front ones and turn them all up one notch from the default. I know they are better than stock as the up and down movement crossing some of the bridges near Walnut Creek are less pronounced.

    Of couse this is all as scientiftic as my mileage goes according to phases of the moon, rubbing a wart with 1/2 potato and burying it, etc. Rational for spending the big bucks . . .

    The parts all came from Upscale Automotive up in Oregon. They seem like real straight shooters.

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