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Old 01-08-2012, 04:10 PM   #1
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done with interior, need advice on improving ride

hey all,
Now that I have the interior done(ish), I need to focus on how bad the ride is. Unless the paved road has been refinished recently, the ride is horrible. I have been replacing the steering stabilzers every year for 4 years to stop the Death Wobble, and im starting to think they are related.

Symptoms:
When driving over road seams, small potholes, or even bridge seams, the van shakes horrible. I know the 350 is wicked stiff, but I now have a full setup in the rear, it still feels stiff. It doesnt "float" at all. The front is also just as bad as the back, but I think the bumpers are being hit as well. I just cant believe its being compressed that bad, but the bumper plate def shows "wear" from being hit. Its just so darn stiff.

Questions:
Should I replace front shocks with something heavier?
Should I look into removing a leaf spring from rear (or other solution)?

My wife has a F250 6.0 and it rides so much better its not funny.
Any help/comments/rants/pictures/product suggestions would be awesome


2006 Ford Quigley, 60k 5.4 E350
33" Nittos
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:21 PM   #2
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Re: done with interior, need advice on improving ride

Weigh it, then weigh your front and rear. Ideally- loaded with passengers.

This allows you to reduce your tire pressure accordingly, which might take some of the stiffness out of the tires. Second you can compare your rear weight to a good riding weight for the 350, decide if different springs or something else is best.

Bottoming out on the front won't be helped by stiffer shocks, there isn't much up-travel space in the vans.

You can pull one end of your shocks and see if they're blown out pretty easy. I wouldn't be surprised.

That's all the ideas I have.
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:41 PM   #3
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Re: done with interior, need advice on improving ride

Ball joints and track bar!
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:51 PM   #4
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Re: done with interior, need advice on improving ride

It's never going to ride like a pickup. Some good springs like Deaver will help a lot in the back. When I replaced my steering stabilizers and track bar bushings it helped. I did mine at 62k. In general, the more new parts you have in the front end, the better it will feel. You could put better coils in front and add some after market bump stops to improve the front. If you had leafs in front, I'd say Deaver in front too.

Vans benefit from some bracing between the front frame rails where the bumper mounts. Most leaf spring conversions add something. For a coil spring conversion, a welded on front hitch is probably the cheapest modification. U-Joint I think sells a nice pre-fab piece. The chatter of a van will never be eliminated. It feels like it may come apart but they keep going!
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:52 PM   #5
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Re: done with interior, need advice on improving ride

As mentioned tire pressure is very important.

Also important is matching springs to your rigs weight. If you're bump stops are seeing heavy use, different springs are needed. In the case of Quigley's, it often more a function of limited travel rather than spring rates (up front anyways). I've seen that a couple vans that swapped the Quigley front running gear for a U-Joint Offroad setup. This would proabbly be a pretty good step up in the ride department.

In the rear, the same kind of applies. Heavier vans tend to ride on the lowest spring on the stock spring pack. This has a spring rate of ~800 pounds/inch, which is double that of the rest of the leafs. Building a spring pack that is strong enough to keep off that lower leaf will help tremendously.

Deavers are a complete spring pack replacement. I read good things about them, but ~$2,000 seems a little steep for leaf springs IMHO.

I built my own rear spring by combining my stock leaf springs with some extra leafs from an F250 spring set. I also combined that with Sulastic Shackles. My ride is pretty nice now. If I did it gain (which I may) I would probably have Benz Springs build me a new set of leaf springs, which double wrap eyes, and maybe a couple more thin spring in-lieu of the lowest overload spring.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:46 PM   #6
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Re: done with interior, need advice on improving ride

Thanks everyone for the info. Ill try to find a place to have it weighed here locally to adjust tire pressure.

The rear end, I can understand just to be really stiff and noisey, which I can handle (I have already loved all 60+k miles on it) but the front is what im more concerned about.

Today, I was driving on the interstate and hit a bridge seam, rather deep, but nothing too bad, and it felt like metal on metal almost. Major solid hit and quite jarring, so i am 100% sure it is bottoming out and shouldnt be doing it THAT much.

upgrade the Trackbar?
What is the shocks of choice for the 5.4 4x4 ?
Should I upgrade from OEM (2) steering stablizers to Rancho/Monroe/Bilstien?

Thanks as always.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:52 PM   #7
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Re: done with interior, need advice on improving ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockman
Thanks everyone for the info. Ill try to find a place to have it weighed here locally to adjust tire pressure.

The rear end, I can understand just to be really stiff and noisey, which I can handle (I have already loved all 60+k miles on it) but the front is what im more concerned about.

Today, I was driving on the interstate and hit a bridge seam, rather deep, but nothing too bad, and it felt like metal on metal almost. Major solid hit and quite jarring, so i am 100% sure it is bottoming out and shouldnt be doing it THAT much.

What is a "Track Bar"?
What is the shocks of choice for the 5.4 4x4 ?
Should I upgrade from OEM (2) steering stablizers to Rancho/Monroe/Bilstien?

Thanks as always.
The track bar keeps the front axle centered while it goes up and down. The bushings in either end take a beating, and they're cheap.

I think most would agree Bilstien is the way to go. Quigley will give you part numbers based on your VIN.

Two steering stabilizers is better than one. But they won't fix other issues.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:56 PM   #8
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Re: done with interior, need advice on improving ride

thanks j.whitbread

I actually just found out what the Track bar was... and edited my question.

Ill take a look at the bushing for sure, and I do have two stablizers already. I have had to preplace them every year so far with OEM, and think I need to again.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:09 PM   #9
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Re: done with interior, need advice on improving ride

FWIW, I replaced my stock springs on the back of my 2006 Quigly with a custom pack for the weight of the van and it made very little difference in ride. The front end was next to work on until I bought another van. Spoke with Colorado Camper a few times and he had a few things I was going to try before shelving the project.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:12 PM   #10
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Re: done with interior, need advice on improving ride

thanks haywood,
I am planning on trying to fix the front, ?then? look at the back. I may refrain from anything in the back all together.
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