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Old 04-12-2021, 06:49 PM   #1
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Leaf springs on a Redhawk26xd

We recently bought a 2018 Redhawk 26XD. It has the J ride suspension and the Hellwigs look okay but the bottom packs of leaf springs look like they are frowning a bit. Is this cause for concern?
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Old 04-12-2021, 08:05 PM   #2
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We have the same Redhawk. Rear springs are the same. I was concerned at first and considered installing air bags but it has always seemed to ride ok and handles the loads we carry so I'm calling it good.
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:21 AM   #3
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Thanks for your input. Did you buy yours brand new? Mine wasn't so I'm just a bit concerned that a previous user may have overloaded it. Thanks.
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:52 AM   #4
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Here's a picture for clarity.

And, both sides are the same.
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Old 04-13-2021, 02:05 PM   #5
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Now I'm curious what mine look like, but I'm with you, I don't like the look of a spring pack bowed like that...

Also, you may want to tighten down that helper leaf some. Hellwig makes them and the long-running recommendation is 2" from the helper spring u-bolt seat to the top of the leaf pack. The chassis modifier just throws them on the empty chassis, and Jayco does not adjust them before they leave the factory. Probably not a huge deal, just something I noticed in the pic...
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Old 04-13-2021, 02:11 PM   #6
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I was going to mention the same thing, however he might not need it as badly as we did. His Redhawk, especially the shorter one, is likely lighter. I might try 2.5" or so.
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Old 04-13-2021, 02:42 PM   #7
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I was going to mention the same thing, however he might not need it as badly as we did. His Redhawk, especially the shorter one, is likely lighter. I might try 2.5" or so.
+1
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Old 04-13-2021, 02:52 PM   #8
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+2, in fact I have seen (as most of us have) that the recommendation from Hellwig is 2" clearance, however that isn't what their installation instructions state as the true adjustment is to have more clearance for a lighter vehicle and less clearance for a heavier vehicle. What they recommend is to adjust them so that the vehicle rides level and\or that there is enough tension on the spring so it doesn't have slack ever. Similar to air springs, there is no single pressure that is right for everyone. FYI, the least amount of clearance for them is 1/4" so maybe 2" isn't enough for a very heavy unit. ~CA FYI, below is from Hellwigs installation instructions.

9. Lower the vehicle to the ground and tighten the end U-bolts to attain the desired height and tension. Double nut the U-bolt or loosening will result. Tightening the end U-bolts will increase and loosening will relieve tension. Be sure to double nut after each adjustment. Be sure to check for clearance above the Helper Spring to the body, fuel filler hose etc..
10. The minimum tension adjustment is having enough tension on the end U-bolts so that they do not loosen or rattle and move when the vehicle is driven over rough or bumpy surfaces. The maximum is having the end Ubolts tightened so that the ends of the Helper Springs are no closer than (1/4”) above the vehicle springs.
11. Check your installation for clearance on all undercarriage components; wires, fuel and brake lines. Test drive the vehicle and recheck your installation, adjust as needed. Recheck on a monthly regular basis thereafter.
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Old 04-13-2021, 03:03 PM   #9
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+2, in fact I have seen (as most of us have) that the recommendation from Hellwig is 2" clearance, however that isn't what their installation instructions state as the true adjustment is to have more clearance for a lighter vehicle and less clearance for a heavier vehicle. What they recommend is to adjust them so that the vehicle rides level and\or that there is enough tension on the spring so it doesn't have slack ever. Similar to air springs, there is no single pressure that is right for everyone. FYI, the least amount of clearance for them is 1/4" so maybe 2" isn't enough for a very heavy unit. ~CA FYI, below is from Hellwigs installation instructions.

9. Lower the vehicle to the ground and tighten the end U-bolts to attain the desired height and tension. Double nut the U-bolt or loosening will result. Tightening the end U-bolts will increase and loosening will relieve tension. Be sure to double nut after each adjustment. Be sure to check for clearance above the Helper Spring to the body, fuel filler hose etc..
10. The minimum tension adjustment is having enough tension on the end U-bolts so that they do not loosen or rattle and move when the vehicle is driven over rough or bumpy surfaces. The maximum is having the end Ubolts tightened so that the ends of the Helper Springs are no closer than (1/4) above the vehicle springs.
11. Check your installation for clearance on all undercarriage components; wires, fuel and brake lines. Test drive the vehicle and recheck your installation, adjust as needed. Recheck on a monthly regular basis thereafter.
That 1/4" is exactly what I discovered in my research as well. Many people have called Hellwig, and the tech reps there seem to widely offer up 2" as the "max" adjustment.

FWIW, on my rig, I adjusted to 1". I'm not sure it did much. But then my 33 ft Greyhawk is quite heavy. Personally, I think I would have spec'd a different part here on these larger rigs. But it is what it is...
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Old 04-13-2021, 03:07 PM   #10
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That 1/4" is exactly what I discovered in my research as well. Many people have called Hellwig, and the tech reps there seem to widely offer up 2" as the "max" adjustment.
When I called that’s what I was told too. I specifically told them I was going to be right around max GVWR of 14600 and likely within a hundred pounds of the GRAWR of 9600 pounds. FWIW
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Old 04-13-2021, 03:15 PM   #11
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That 1/4" is exactly what I discovered in my research as well. Many people have called Hellwig, and the tech reps there seem to widely offer up 2" as the "max" adjustment.

FWIW, on my rig, I adjusted to 1". I'm not sure it did much. But then my 33 ft Greyhawk is quite heavy. Personally, I think I would have spec'd a different part here on these larger rigs. But it is what it is...
I think I will tighten mine some more as well during my spring maintenance as mine is 32' and fairly heavy also. I went from whatever the factory had set (~3.5" or so) to 2" as that was as far as my deep socket would take it when I did it, however it didn't seem to raise the rear of the RV very much if any, but it did ride better. I may try going tighter to ~1/2" and see how that rides, I wouldn't mind it being a little higher in the rear than perfectly level, but only a little if at all.

I suspect the tech reps suggest 2" as that is likely what works for most and if nothing else it is a good starting point to try. Some people have stated 2" is the max you can go, but that is not the case from what I read in their instructions. ~CA
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Old 04-13-2021, 04:22 PM   #12
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Thanks for your input. Did you buy yours brand new? Mine wasn't so I'm just a bit concerned that a previous user may have overloaded it. Thanks.
Yes, bought it new.
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:22 AM   #13
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Thanks for the input.

Thanks for the input everyone. I'll pay close attention next time I drive it and make those adjustments if necessary.👍
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Old 04-14-2021, 10:16 AM   #14
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We bought a 2021 Greyhawk 30z in January. Took our first trip from Houston to padre island. I had to keep a death grip on the steering wheel. It was almost impossible to keep it on the road. I tightened up the real helpers until I had a 2” gap between the helpers and the spring pack. Took another trip into Louisiana and there was a big difference in handling. The rear end seemed a lot more stable. Both trips we were towing my wife’s car. Last weekend I installed a Roadmaster anti sway bar. Anxious to take another trip to see how that works

Was talking to a friend who builds monster trucks and he wants me to bring it in. He wants to install hydraulic steering. He said that old take care of all the steering issues.
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Old 04-15-2021, 03:10 PM   #15
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We bought a 2021 Greyhawk 30z in January. Took our first trip from Houston to padre island. I had to keep a death grip on the steering wheel. It was almost impossible to keep it on the road. I tightened up the real helpers until I had a 2” gap between the helpers and the spring pack. Took another trip into Louisiana and there was a big difference in handling. The rear end seemed a lot more stable. Both trips we were towing my wife’s car. Last weekend I installed a Roadmaster anti sway bar. Anxious to take another trip to see how that works

Was talking to a friend who builds monster trucks and he wants me to bring it in. He wants to install hydraulic steering. He said that old take care of all the steering issues.
Congratulations on the 30Z. Looks like a great floorplan. You might consider an alignment along with installing caster bushings to get it to a caster setting of positive 5 to 5.5 degrees. It will make a huge difference in highway driveability.
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Old 04-28-2021, 09:19 AM   #16
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Just got back from a couple of big truck shops that specialize in alignments for big 18 wheeler trucks. First one told me the rear is the problem. To make a long story short, he really didn’t know what to do with it. He sent me to another shop here in Houston that has some very good ratings when it comes to alignments. He took a look at it and said the rear is what’s causing the majority of the swaying. He said the larger 1 3/8” sway bar and Roadmaster steering stabilizer will help but the rear springs really need to be addressed. The Helwig overloads are just a bandaid and a small one at that. The proper way to fix all the sway and trouble with the steering would be to bring it in to the shop with a level floor and take measurements of all four corners. Then take off the overloads and again take measurements. At that point he can calculate how many extra leaves need to be added to the existing springs. His guess was probably to more leaves on each side which should take care of the sway and not affect the ride. After he makes the new leaves, installs them and sets it back on the ground everything should be good. He said all the overloads are doing is bending the springs the wrong way as some of you have seen. Mine are also bowed the wrong way. So, I guess it’s time to deal with Ford and see what they say.
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Old 04-28-2021, 10:08 AM   #17
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I don't think they are really bowed the wrong way. The reason I say this is that almost all leaf springs are shaped like a smiley face, however that is not always the case as our Ford E-series leaf springs are relatively flat when new. Take a look at the following picture of a brand new E450 leaf spring and then consider this is with no load and consider what it would look like with several tons of weight in the direction (for lack of better words) of a frowning face. In other words it is not uncommon to see the rear springs look like they are frowning on our RV's but you wouldn't expect that to be the case on most leaf spring vehicles.

I tried to find the most up to date images, two of these are for older E450's and the last states it is for 1996-2018, in any case, the design hasn't changed much in this regard. I will add that it is not a bad idea to have another leaf or two added to the spring back, but I would be hesitant to say doing so is a much better option than a helper spring. In fact if you look at most 1 ton pickup trucks (almost all makes) you see a factory helper spring on many (if not all).

One thing to keep in mind, leaf springs (all springs and suspensions really) allow for some side to side movement of the rear axle which usually occurs from the wind of a passing truck or from entering and exiting a turn, a trac bar is designed to keep that movement in check (which results in less steering offset when a big rig passes). A sway bar on the other hand is designed to keep the rocking of the vehicle in check which is similar but much different than what a trac bar does.

https://www.truckspring.com/products...px?pviD=693663

https://www.ebay.com/i/132794296826?chn=ps

https://www.autoandtrucksprings.com/...pring-43-1339/
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Old 04-28-2021, 01:07 PM   #18
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Craigav,
Thanks for the information on my rear springs. Think I had to many people trying to tell me what to do and it was to much for my old age brain to comprehend at one time. Guess I won’t worry about the rear springs and see if I can find a Roadmaster rssc stabilizer for the front. I’ve called all over and nobody has one. The factory said July before they ship. Factory told me to call around and see if someone had one on their shelf.
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Old 04-28-2021, 04:08 PM   #19
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I have a 2020 26XD also. The rear springs look just like yours. Last summer we took a month on the road. I ran across 2 other 26xd's and their springs were the same however one had the Hellwigs adjusted to 2 inches and the other one was 2 1/2 inches. Mine were 4 inches each. When I got home I read another post here about adjusting these springs so I brought mine to 2 1/2 inches. What a huge difference. Just about eliminated all that rocking be rolling. Oh I bought a 7/8 inch ratchet box end wrench and it made adjusting the springs a breeze.
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Old 04-30-2021, 06:36 PM   #20
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I made about 17 calls on Friday looking for the Roadmaster RSSC steering stabilizer. I finally found a new on sitting on the shelf at a truck repair shop. I snatched it up and he’s supposed to ship it Monday. We’re taking a short couple day trip the middle of May and I will be real anxious to see how everything works out. Hopefully all my hard work will make a big difference in the handling.
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