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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Started noticing a strange rattling noise coming from, what appeared to be the front, drivers side wheel well area while driving over small bumps or turning sharply.

Upon inspection of the drivers side wheel well, I noticed something hanging from below the passenger side wheel well.

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I'm not familiar with what this part is, but the arm is now free, and the bracket that connects it to the shock/shock mount has snapped in half.

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Does anybody know what this part is and what may have caused it?

2020 AWD
Upgrades installed on the front end:
-VC Topo 2.0 Lift
-VC Red Coil Shocks

This is a photo of the drivers side. Does it appear that the same piece is starting to bend?

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Sway bar link extension, part of the Van Compass lift kit. Just unbolt the part that is hanging down (off the sway bar) and you should be good to go until you get a replacement extension from VC. You won't have a front sway bar but I doubt you will notice any difference. It's really for in an emergency where you have to yank the steering wheel. It keep the van more flat with less body roll.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sway bar link extension, part of the Van Compass lift kit. Just unbolt the part that is hanging down (off the sway bar) and you should be good to go until you get a replacement extension from VC. You won't have a front sway bar but I doubt you will notice any difference. It's really for in an emergency where you have to yank the steering wheel. It keep the van more flat with less body roll.
Thanks for the quick reply! Glad that it's not something major. I've reached out to VC about it to see if they've experienced this before and to get replacement parts.
 

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I'd spec out some nicer hardware with a SAE washer on both sides. Sway bars when connected see a ton of stress and are going to be constantly folding that ear extension, every time you corner, every bump, every crosswind, every driveway, every gutter and even more so on Transits, they don't come spec'd with a rear sway to help.
 

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Started noticing a strange rattling noise coming from, what appeared to be the front, drivers side wheel well area while driving over small bumps or turning sharply.

Upon inspection of the drivers side wheel well, I noticed something hanging from below the passenger side wheel well.

View attachment 159321

Does anybody know what this part is and what may have caused it?

This is a photo of the drivers side. Does it appear that the same piece is starting to bend?

View attachment 159322
As others have said, its the sway bar mount extension bracket. However the front sway bar is much more important than a rear sway bar. So it needs to re-attached.

I may be off but it looks to me as if the VC extension piece has been installed upside down. With the VC kit raising the van, I would expect the sway bar connection to be lowered to compensate - not raised as in the last picture.

If i'm right, the extension bracket would have torn-off when the strut travelled upwards beyond the sway bars' maximum upward travel. If you look at the passenger side bracket, it is already bending downwards and starting to fail - which is what you would expect if its on upside down.
 

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Not sure if it's the photos or their design but the sway bars links appear to be bent or bowed from too much compression due to the VC extension being installed incorrectly. I would request two new extension brackets from VC and buy two new sway bar links (silver rods) from Ford. They are not expensive around $40 bucks each. Your installer messed up, if they are local they should pay and replace the parts for free. If not any auto shop can handle it.
 

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I agree with the Oldman, the lift essentially Increases the distance between the sway bar and mount, the mount should be turned down to compensate for this or a longer link installed.
You can agree with him but the VC instructions say the extension goes above (up)
Btw to the OP, replace that other side ASAP it is bent

We installed mine that way
 

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Checked the black and white photo copied instructions I have, and you're right it does show that!
My bad math was assuming the sway bar link connection was not lowered, good thing I decided on someone else to do the install.
Why do they continue to show Bilsteins in the instructions if they don't recommend the combination?? 🤦‍♂️
 

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seems like VC messed this one up, i would vote not to use that tab, and use stock location. obvious bending in OP pics, something is binding, or the load, (which is a lot) is to much not a bolt on tab.
 

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It makes sense to me that the mount point for the sway bar on the shock is moved up with the VC extension. The lift moves the strut body lower relative to the stock orientation, so the VC extension seems designed to keep the sway bar attachment point in roughly the factory position even as the strut attachment point is lowered by the lift.
 

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Whatever the cause, something is over stressing the bracket at maximum strut compression - that's evident from the bent passenger side bracket.

It could be something restricting the upward rotation of the sway bar arms. It could also be inadequate strength of the extension brackets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Van Compass says they are redesigning this part due to other reported failures.

The new part will be available in about a month or so, and they will ship a replacement when they are ready. In the meantime, they recommended running the sway bar in the factory hole.
 

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The install was flawed - as others mention the operating travel of the assy was too short and when the suspension compressed it overtaxed the stabilizer and bent it. Replace the entire stabilizer assy when VC gets it to you - not just the connectors that bent - it is likely the bar saw some distortion as well. I also HIGHLY recommend replacing the damaged strut assy - the tab can be welded back on , but welding it incorrectly will compromise its strength and cause the potential for catastrophic failure later. "IF" you decide to weld the tab back on , remove the strut from the vehicle and dis-assemble it , go to an expert welder familiar with welding suspension components (i.e. a race chassis shop, 4WD shop or something equivalent). Be sure they shot peen it, bead blast and paint it or you are asking for problems. My guess is that it will be cheaper and less hassle to replace the strut.
 

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I don’t think it has anything to do with the movement ( interference) or location of the sway bar, since it is in the stock location. They lowered the strut, so raised the sway bar to put it back into the stock location relative to the rest of the van.

IMO, it has everything to do with that nice lever arm on the tab they added. The tab is bending around the stock welded tab on the strut. If that added tab was welded to the strut, like it is stock, it would work.

They are going to have to make a new, shorter link, that mounts into the stock location on the strut.
 

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Weld the stock tab? It didn't break. The aftermarket plate broke.

Helpful info but seems excessive and slightly paranoia inducing
My first look at the photo I could not tell all I saw was broken metal. After looking again I can see that now it was the add on tab and not the strut. Sorry if my reply seems "paranoid: - 30 years of racing cars, motorcycles and airplanes - and seeing people injured or die from their mistakes in rigging and repair , I tend to err on the side of giving too much info rather than not enough. "

The fact that there was enough force generated to break that tells me its a concern. We'd see stuff like that on our race chassis and unless there was an impact damaging it - it always meant it was time for a redesign.
 

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This same thing happened to me, 2019 with with the Topo lift.

For me it was the driver's side and the sway bar rolled forward. It hit my ABS sensor harness and split it and then hit my brake line as it goes into the caliper. The brake line ruptured and dumped out a lot of fluid and killed the brakes.

Fortunately for me it broke free at the car wash a block from my house. Not on Stony Pass in Silverton where I was just a couple days before.

Vancompass let me know about the redesigned bracket and that it "should" be ready by the end of the month. I know it is hard to estimate deliveries with the current state of things, but I hope they can come through with something. In the meantime they advised me to mount the sway bar to the stock location. They also let me know it could rub or bump under certain conditions.
 

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Not sure if it's the photos or their design but the sway bars links appear to be bent or bowed from too much compression due to the VC extension being installed incorrectly. I would request two new extension brackets from VC and buy two new sway bar links (silver rods) from Ford. They are not expensive around $40 bucks each. Your installer messed up, if they are local they should pay and replace the parts for free. If not any auto shop can handle it.
I don’t think it has anything to do with the movement ( interference) or location of the sway bar, since it is in the stock location. They lowered the strut, so raised the sway bar to put it back into the stock location relative to the rest of the van.

IMO, it has everything to do with that nice lever arm on the tab they added. The tab is bending around the stock welded tab on the strut. If that added tab was welded to the strut, like it is stock, it would work.

They are going to have to make a new, shorter link, that mounts into the stock location on the strut.
Admittedly I do not know much about suspension but reading these two quotes got me thinking (especially @Janus9 )

Can I just have the sway bar links shortened? I'd assume it would be by the same amount that the holes are offset on the bracket. Can that distance be cut out of the rod and the rod welded back together? Then the links could bolt to the original location and forego the extension bracket?

Would this alleviate the problem or just break the tab off the strut?
 

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Admittedly I do not know much about suspension but reading these two quotes got me thinking (especially @Janus9 )

Can I just have the sway bar links shortened? I'd assume it would be by the same amount that the holes are offset on the bracket. Can that distance be cut out of the rod and the rod welded back together? Then the links could bolt to the original location and forego the extension bracket?

Would this alleviate the problem or just break the tab off the strut?
I believe it would work. When you weld the link back, have a sleeve added.

If you want to get real fancy, you could fabricate a set of sway bar disconnect links and you can then disconnect the sway bar when driving on rough dirt roads for a better ride.

The force on the stock tab is mostly up and down. That is why the stock tab doesn’t bend around the strut, and the added tab bends around the existing tab.
 
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