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Old 03-30-2012, 07:37 AM   #1
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Front leaf pack work

I'm taking Gnarvan in to have the front leaf packs reworked today. Oregon auto spring is going to do the work. They are going to re-arch the sagging left spring, put the plastic liners between the leafs and install new clamps. I've never had this type work done on any of my previous trucks and have a question for you folks.

Do I have to worry about front end alignment after they R&R the spring packs? Should I take the van in to Les Shwaubs for an alignment?
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:07 PM   #2
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Re: Front leaf pack work

Alignment should not change at all. If the ride height changes it will effect the steering wheel centering, but not alignment.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:10 PM   #3
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Re: Front leaf pack work

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
If the ride height changes it will effect the steering wheel centering, but not alignment.
Good info, thanks

I told them not to change the height of the front. If my steering wheel isn't centered any more I'll know they weren't listening.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:45 PM   #4
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Re: Front leaf pack work

I think alignment will be affected. If i remember, advance uses a stock drag-link setup, not a crossover setup lie SMB or U-joint. This means ride-height affects alignment (but if it has crossover steering, it will not be affected, except the steering wheel).

I would not recommend Schwab's for alignments. I have never had good luck with them doing larger vehicles, including my vans. Hands down the best shop I have found is Snyder & Sons in Albany. I have all my alignments done there (and diff work too).

It's not that Schwab's does bad work, but they do everything to original factory spec, which often isn't the best setup for our vans.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:20 PM   #5
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Re: Front leaf pack work

The van now pulls to the right and the steering wheel is cocked to the left. The shop had to put 1 1/2" of re-arch in the left spring to get the van to sit flat. They did tell me when they pulled both springs and compared them side by side before re-working them the springs were even. Something is off with the van.

The popping noise when I dry steer is GONE! Good riddance. Getting rid of that noise was worth every penny I spent today.

I'll try an allignment at Schwab's first. It's about a 100 mile drive from my place to Albany.

If I had a good reason to drive that far it may be worth it. A reason like having somone upgrade my front brakes to the bigger and badder new E350 discs. Hint...Hint...
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:36 PM   #6
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Re: Front leaf pack work

Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I think the
only alignment on most 4x4 vans is setting the toe in.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:11 AM   #7
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Re: Front leaf pack work

With eccentric kingpin bushings you can change caster and camber as well, I believe. It was one of the things I had to do to my van to make it track straight.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:27 AM   #8
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Re: Front leaf pack work

Caster can also be adjusted with leaf shims from Ford (or Les Shwabs).
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:29 AM   #9
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Re: Front leaf pack work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnarvan
If I had a good reason to drive that far it may be worth it. A reason like having somone upgrade my front brakes to the bigger and badder new E350 discs. Hint...Hint...
Is your axle a kingpin or ball joint axle? If it's ball-joint, you could do F550 knuckles and brakes. I haven't looked into upgrades for the king pin axles yet.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:58 AM   #10
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Re: Front leaf pack work

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnarvan
If I had a good reason to drive that far it may be worth it. A reason like having somone upgrade my front brakes to the bigger and badder new E350 discs. Hint...Hint...
Is your axle a kingpin or ball joint axle? If it's ball-joint, you could do F550 knuckles and brakes. I haven't looked into upgrades for the king pin axles yet.
I'm not sure I know the difference between the two. After looking at some pictures on the web I'm guessing this is a king pin axle.

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