Track Bar Bracket System for E-Series 4x4 Conversion and Superduty Axle
-Updated track bar features 2" DOM (1/4" wall) Tubing with bend profile for tons of clearance and more compatibility with other kits. No more Heim joints! Bar utilizes heavy-duty leaf spring bushings and is backward-compatible with previous Timberline systems. Our improved design is super rigid, easy to swap in, and has a great degree of adjustment to dial your length with 2-way adjuster and jam-nuts.
The Timberline Track Bar Kit is designed to work in conjunction with our 4-Link Kit to provide stability between the Dana 60 axle and factory van frame. Our design bolts directly to the outside of the power steering gearbox frame area and only fits one way. We have done extensive work to make this the most rigid track bar system available for 4x4 solid axle vans.
Installation requires trimming of the engine cradle which is easily accessible. Our design safely relocates the support area of removed material from the cradle crucial to proper fitment, rigidity, and longevity of the van chassis under duress. The forces imposed on the frame-side track bar bracket during wheeling are significant, and we've seen other manufacturers' units flex, crack, and break.
Currently, our design is a weld-in effort. It's a pretty simple modification for this to be a bolt-in design, and we'll soon offer a "no-weld" version of our popular track bar kit.
The Death Wobble!
One of the more frequent questions we get is about the death wobble. Many of us have been in a short-wheelbase Jeep with big tires and 150k mile tie rods, and you hit a bump on the freeway and are suddenly launched into a teeth-chattering frenzy while you try to slow the vehicle down to a crawl without stopping traffic. It's not fun!
Solid axle vehicles, be it a Jeep a Dodge or a Ford, are more susceptible to this condition than say, an IFS GM pickup, just by their nature. It's very easy to just write it off as a design that's too hard to work with, or just turn to leaf springs, but the durability of the solid front axle and ride quality achieved with coil springs and a vetted 4-link make them an ideal solution for 4x4 van conversions.
How do we get around the truffle shuffle? A lot of practice. Our products and our vans have been on the market for years and many have hundreds of thousands of miles on them. It's not easy to figure out what goes wrong, but years of working with customers and seeing vans in for service and additional upfit has afforded us an opportunity to constantly tune and improve our design year over year.
There are many factors that contribute to road stability and we've taken a long-term approach to patiently working through all the variations of our kits so that things just work.
The main factors that go into death wobble in a coil spring vehicle: joint condition/quality, track bar rigidity, and a proper sway bar setup. More subtle conditions that can exacerbate feedback include steering component flex, vehicle frame flex, and the impact of both drag link/track bar angles and over/under caster adjustments. We have a nice list below of helpful hints for you, regardless of what you're working on.
1) Replace everything when you build your axle, all your tie rods, ball joints, bushings, everything should be kept up on properly, and setting a good base when you build your van will pay off for years, and don't use the cheap stuff.
2) Trackbar-Your track bar should be rigid and mounts should have zero opportunity to flex. Overbuild, overbuild, overbuild. Our setup is just plain beef, and features durable leaf spring bushings similar to what Ford and Dodge use on OE, but we lose the ball joint, no heims to worry about anymore, and the design is adjustable so it works universally and won't pre-load your axle.
3) Sway bar-Get yourself a heavy-duty sway bar. For our vans, we like the Hellwig 7718, there are other options. If you're going wheeling or going to be out in the trails for a few days, try some JKS quick disconnects and your flex and ride will soften right up for the trail. Those windy days in your high-profile van out on the flats, you will be so happy you're running a stiff sway bar.
4) Caster-Higher positive caster will make your vehicle hold the road better and more stable, reducing the caster split needed for the van to not pull on crowned roads. It's easy to get greedy though, and too much will lead to increased wheel hop when hitting big bumps, and with 35" tires on a short wheelbase vehicle, it can be a recipe for chatter. For our vans, 4-ish degrees is optimal for coil spring vans, and slightly higher can be run on Coilover vehicles.
5) Drag link V Track bar-In an ideal world, these guys are perfectly parallel, more or less parallel to the ground, and the same exact length. That can be difficult to do depending on the design of your vehicle, but we've worked through iteration after iteration to dial things in as close to possible as will fit under a van, and then test the impact that has on all the other requirements.
6) Stabilizer-Even we have been guilty of saying a properly dialed vehicle suspension shouldn't even need a stabilizer. The fact of the matter is, that custom vehicles are not one-size-fits-all. When you're working with varying parts, varying weights, different tire sizes, different spring rates, and even different roads/driving conditions, you're going to need a steering stabilizer.
The stabilizer doesn't necessarily band-aid up problems, its job is to soak up deflection in the steering during heavy compression so the tire doesn't rotate out of round and propagate vibrations. Spend the money on a good stabilizer, and think about where it'll be the most effective. Our updated stabilizer design ties directly into the drag link and is more than sufficient for most of our builds. For units with oversize tires, we've found an upper and lower unit can work in conjunction without fighting each other, reducing wear to steering components and steering wheel feedback.
All this is to say, our designs are thoughtfully engineered and tested. We've done the leg work so you don't have to. Future designs and improvements are almost always backward compatible, and components are designed to be both forgiving for install, and precise once they're in the van.
Fitment Designed For:
1992-2021 Ford E-150/E-250/E-350/E-450, Cab and chassis/cutaway variants included
Truck Side: Fits 2005-2012 Ford F-250/F-350 SRW or DRW axles, 2013-2016 Ford F-250/F-350 axles (For largest brakes)
Standard hand tools, ball joint press or similar to remove axle-side original track bar ball joint, pneumatic tools recommended, torque wrench, threadlocker, 220V welder with shielding gas. (Stay tuned for bolt-in kit)
Included: 2-piece track bar with adjuster and jam-nuts, pressed-in leaf spring bushings, grade 10 3/4" hardware, axle and frame side brackets, ball joint cup-cap, and appropriate hardware.
Plates made from CNC cut 1/4" and 3/16" A36 steel, Bar made from 2" DOM (1/4 wall) tubing, 1.25" 12tpi adjuster and jam nuts, pressed-in leaf spring bushings. Frame and axle-side track bar bracket come powder-coated with weld pattern pre-cleaned.
Tips / Skill Level:
1-10 (10 being most difficult) Level 3-4
This design requires cutting and welding. It can be done with an angle grinder without much brain damage, a good plasma cutter will make super quick work of the job. Instructions are included for cut and again, it only goes together one way.
Shipping, Fulfillment, Taxes, Quality, and Returns
- Shipping: Our components are carefully wrapped and packaged and ship UPS, USPS, or FedEx, depending on what is available. If you require a particular carrier, please contact us ahead of your purchase. Customers in Colorado may arrange for in-person pickup within 1-2 business days of purchase taking noted lead times into consideration.
- Shipping/Fulfillment time for components: We typically ship within 1-2 business days of your order and we carefully monitor our inventory. In the event that we are unable to meet that timeframe, we will contact you and arrange either a full refund or a timeframe for fulfillment agreeable to the customer.
- Taxes: Colorado residents must pay sales tax of 7.5%, no sales tax is collected on out-of-state shipments currently.
- Quality and Returns: We are consistently complimented on the quality of our products and the ease of install. Components are hand-built here almost exclusively in Colorado by seasoned professionals who are fanatics about design and execution. If you are in any way disappointed in the components we will issue a full refund less the cost of shipping when the product is returned. If you decide to return any components that didn't apply to your build or you changed your mind about, shipping and a 15% restocking fee will be deducted from the purchase refund.