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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Background:
I want to improve the overall handling of my 2018 Lariat Crew Cab, 4x4, 6 1/2' bed truck.
  • I don't tow and I don't haul anything on any regular basis - I might, 1 or 2 times per summer, pull my in-law's boat around town from lake to lake, but that's about it.
  • I only go off-road whenever I drive off the edge of the driveway (not very often).
  • Leveling the truck is a minor consideration (I can live happily without leveling it unless this really improves handling).
  • The truck is stock with 41K miles, I drive maybe 7500 miles per year (much less if it keeps going to the dealer for repairs and sits there 2 - 3 weeks each time).
  • Brand new shoes bought 500 miles ago - Michelin Defender LTX M/S 275/55 R20 113T's.

I am looking to improve the overall handling. I like to drive it, not cruise around in it. I know it is not a sports car but would like better overall handling.

Potential Solution:
From all my reading through the Forum, I am thinking that I would benefit most from just adding Hellwig sway bars, front and rear. Do you agree or disagree?
What else should I consider...
new shocks and struts?
Or should I leave it as-is?
 

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2022 Powergrid KingRanch in Sparkle White
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@Arkansas Eco did Bilstein 5100 and Hellwig sway bars. He seems to have loved the change.

New non-oem shocks and struts will help handling, and the swy bars can only really help from there.
He loves it so much that now he wants to protect its life and will only put miles on it towing. 🤣
I think it handled so good in the rural Arkansas corners that it scared him. Lol

Just kidding, of course.
 

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Agree with all above but keep oem front sway bar for what you do. No need to spend $ on something that will only help with big towing loads👍
 

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Rear shocks at the least. Best bang for the buck/effort modification.

My OEM rear shocks were leaking at about 60,000. Noticeable improvement with B5100's when unloaded, but especially helpful when towing 5,000lbs+

My OEM front shocks still had life, but I changed them out a few weeks ago. A less noticeable difference when driving around unloaded.
 

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2017 F150 XL 2WD 2.7, with some extra stuff!
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The idea of a package anti-sway bar front and rear is to improve the roll resistance in a balanced proportion. Doing just one end will change the handling balance. There is a difference in purpose tween adding a sway bar for load control vs a sway bay upgrade to improve handling potential.
I'll suggest good shocks in back and matching coilovers in front. That alone will make a big difference. I can only describe my own F150 but I am a long time handling geek performance wise. Lowering was considered, till I looked at the dampers used and options for better handling that are quite limited. I did a level, not for the height/look/stance but purely a vehicle handling aspect. I like to toss my truck around HARD on pavement and a bit less so on light trails. For a truck you can get some surprisingly good handling, mine leans very little without extra anti roll. I use Icon 2.5 coilovers in front and 2.5 in the rear, no added anti sway bar, and SPC UCA's for the extra amount of alignment adjustment. Castor dialed closer to 0, camber around 1 to 2 negative and toe of 0. Not a solid stable straight line driver, quicker to turn into a corner and hold. My choice is not the best for a lot of drivers. The vehicle sits high so braking into a corner is not a good idea, also once set into cornering it will not be happy with quick line alterations. I use 275-70-17 tires on a wider than stock track, via 0 offset wheels. Yeah there is a lot of room for more rubber, but that is not always the answer and can aggravate the handing quirks I mentioned, instead my Rotiva tires have a more round cross section for more forgiving traits.
I wanted to stay away from added anti sway bars to better accommodate the trails I still drive. I do get some extra roll this way but my suspension does work well!
If you are not intending to do trail driving, 1. good shocks 2. good tires 3. then anti sway bars. Tie the whole mess up with an alignment that emphasizes handling and cornering grip, fine tune with tire pressures.
Sorry if this is over long but I spent a lot of time squeezing cars for slalom racing. KM

Edited allignment which I tend to get backwards without a reference. km
 

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Whether you tow or not, adding a rear Helwig isn't a subtle change in character, in my opinion. Unless of course you rarely or never make any aggressive maneuvers.
Adding the rear Helwig and upgrading the front? We had a thread on it and not everyone agreed, but I felt like the turn in was go-kart like for my truck. I loved it!

Although it would be the wrong thing to do for off-roading.
 

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17 Lariat SCLB Max Tow 4x4
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Ever since I did a level and rear spacer on the truck. I’ve noticed it’s more tippy. I think some Bilstein 5100s will be in order and then see what that does with everything.
 

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He loves it so much that now he wants to protect its life and will only put miles on it towing. 🤣
I think it handled so good in the rural Arkansas corners that it scared him. Lol

Just kidding, of course.
Corners like on rails now (for a pickup) unless I gun it in the corner then the rear breaks loose.
 

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Whether you tow or not, adding a rear Helwig isn't a subtle change in character, in my opinion. Unless of course you rarely or never make any aggressive maneuvers.
Adding the rear Helwig and upgrading the front? We had a thread on it and not everyone agreed, but I felt like the turn in was go-kart like for my truck. I loved it!

Although it would be the wrong thing to do for off-roading.
This. Handles more car-like but biggest benefit is while towing heavy.
 

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Here i am thinking about taking off my front swaybar cause im sick of getting tossed around every time i enter the grocery store parking lot

 
  • Haha
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hehehe that's hilarious. Good thang I don't offroad much. I have that locker tho ... :sneaky:
This was with stock coil-overs, but it would happen even just cornering. I would loose traction on the inside back tire and it would slip or spin, especially when the road was wet. I didn't like it at all.

I'm not talking about driving aggressive either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you all. Sometimes deciding to not make a change is the best decision.
I've read the opinions and comments several times, each time feeling more and more like it is best to wait on adding and or upgrading sway bars.
 
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This was with stock coil-overs, but it would happen even just cornering. I would loose traction on the inside back tire and it would slip or spin, especially when the road was wet. I didn't like it at all.

I'm not talking about driving aggressive either.
I have had it happen at speed while cornering up a steep hill and floored it with the stock shocks and Helwig rear only.
 

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I have had it happen at speed while cornering up a steep hill and floored it with the stock shocks and Helwig rear only.
But you still have the bar up front, correct? I had disconnected the front bar, with the Helwig set stiff in the rear. It was easy to raise a rear tire.

I could push it and lift a rear tire with the front connected, but I was really pushing it into the corners.
 
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