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Old 11-20-2009, 11:31 AM   #1
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Handling Differences Between SMB and Quigley Conversions

Hello All:
I am seriously considering a purchase of a 4x4 van. One question I have is the real differences between a 'leaf sprung' SMB vs. the 'Coil' Quigley conversion.
I am wondering:
1) If the leaf sprung units are significantly more stiff
2) Basic Handling Characteristics
3) Turning radius differences between them.
4) Any feedback about suspension lifts, and the added load with a winch bumper, etc.

Any feedback here is GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you,
Patrick Lawler
Tampa, FL
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:20 PM   #2
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Re: Handling Differences Between SMB and Quigley Conversions

I don't think there is much difference in ride and handling between the two. The big differences are in the parts used (Ford vs. Aftermarket) and in the modifications to the basic frame of the van that SMB does to fit the leaf springs.

In my mind the choice is more of Hard Core off-road vs. 4wd for the times you might need it.

Mike
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:42 PM   #3
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Re: Handling Differences Between SMB and Quigley Conversions

The leaf setup will offer better articulation. A coil setup will offer a better ride (maybe only slightly though) and should offer more precise handling.

That said, I've seen enough complaints about Quigley's handling poorly or developing "death wobble" I'm not sure the handling benefit it there.

If you want a coil setup, I suggest QuadVan. Their setup has more travel than Quigley or the standard SMB setup. And with the exception of the engine crossmember, is built from unmodified Ford parts and can be serviced at any Ford dealer without special training or instruction. QuadVans can be purchased through any Ford dealer now.

QuadVan vs Quigley comparo (comparo pretty much aplies to SMB too)
http://www.quadvan.com/quadvan-compe...omparison.html
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:09 PM   #4
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Re: Handling Differences Between SMB and Quigley Conversions

Quote:
Originally Posted by plawler
Hello All:
I am wondering:
1) If the leaf sprung units are significantly more stiff
2) Basic Handling Characteristics
3) Turning radius differences between them.
4) Any feedback about suspension lifts, and the added load with a winch bumper, etc.

Tampa, FL
I've driven pretty much all of the conversions, and I've had the opportunity to at least check out the others. I'll give my opinion, if it's worth anything!!

1) Ride quality is subjective. Generally, leaf springs are stiffer, but the right spring & shock combo can make a huge difference & make it as good or better than coils.
2) The Quigley conversion uses the stock E series sway bar, and it attaches to the Quigley bracketry via a large rubber bushing (like stock) The SMB has a better sway bar setup, a direct mount to the axle.
3) As long as you don't get crazy with tire width & choose the correct wheels (backspacing), it should be very close. I think SMB says they're tighter than stock.
4)Lifting a Quigley is pretty close to impossible (correctly) Any expected additional weight should be factored into the build while the springs are being built.


I also don't agree that a SMB conversion is only for "hardcore" off road rigs. I would consider a hard core rig to have a long travel, multi link coil over front suspension.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:34 PM   #5
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Re: Handling Differences Between SMB and Quigley Conversions

I think the SMB == Hardcore idea comes more from the Atlas than the springs. Personally my SMB 4x4 ride had tight handling but was death on the bumps until I upgraded to Deavers, which also added some inches (albiet unintentionally). I've never driven a modern Quigley.
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:10 AM   #6
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Re: Handling Differences Between SMB and Quigley Conversions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
I think the SMB == Hardcore idea comes more from the Atlas than the springs. .
Also the Dynatrack front axle should last a longer than Ford axle. Of course the axle itself is the same, but the Dynatrak hugs were basically developed to deal with the Ford unit bearings going after a while (100K+ miles usually, but you are stuck if they fail).

Another benefit of leaf springs is the lack of ball joints. They do wear eventually (235,000 for me but F-series seem to go sooner) and it's a couple hundred per side to replace. Pretty much only service part on the leaf spring setups is the trac bar bushings which will need replacing eventually.

Also I don't think Quigley will do a front air locker, but SMB will (so will QuadVan).
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:13 AM   #7
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Re: Handling Differences Between SMB and Quigley Conversions

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Originally Posted by carringb
Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
I think the SMB == Hardcore idea comes more from the Atlas than the springs. .
Of course the axle itself is the same

Another benefit of leaf springs is the lack of ball joints. Pretty much only service part on the leaf spring setups is the trac bar bushings which will need replacing eventually.
Are you saying the Dynatrac housing is the same as a factory axle from Ford? The Dynatrac axles do have ball joints, and this is true for the SMB. DYN will build a kingpin axle, but it adds $$, and I'm not sure of SMB will allow it because they use different brakes & the ABS is more difficult to connect.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:23 AM   #8
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Re: Handling Differences Between SMB and Quigley Conversions

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Originally Posted by UJOINT
Are you saying the Dynatrac housing is the same as a factory axle from Ford? The Dynatrac axles do have ball joints, and this is true for the SMB. DYN will build a kingpin axle, but it adds $$, and I'm not sure of SMB will allow it because they use different brakes & the ABS is more difficult to connect.
I had assumed they used kingpin, but guess I was wrong. Hopefully they use better ball joints than Ford.

I haven't verified the axle housing are the same either, but Dana is Dana. I would be very surprised if a custom assembly was used.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:23 AM   #9
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Re: Handling Differences Between SMB and Quigley Conversions

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
Quote:
Originally Posted by UJOINT
Are you saying the Dynatrac housing is the same as a factory axle from Ford? The Dynatrac axles do have ball joints, and this is true for the SMB. DYN will build a kingpin axle, but it adds $$, and I'm not sure if SMB will allow it because they use different brakes & the ABS is more difficult to connect.
I had assumed they used kingpin, but guess I was wrong. Hopefully they use better ball joints than Ford.

I haven't verified the axle housing are the same either, but Dana is Dana. I would be very surprised if a custom assembly was used.
Yea, Dynatrac uses ball joints. Their axles are based on the Dana 60, but everything is Dynatrac exclusive. The center section is their own design, as well as the steering knuckles, etc. They have their own castings. The axle tubes are thicker as well.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:49 PM   #10
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Re: Handling Differences Between SMB and Quigley Conversions

definitely learned something. I had no idea all their parts were all their own.

So... do they make a D60 version to replace the coil sprung axle on the newer F-series? Besides ball joints and hubs... would it be worth the extra cost vs stock Ford?

I'm doing some light shopping now. I have 4.56 gears so by the time a re-gear a junkyard F-series axle, and redo the ball joints and unit bearings, I'd already be into the cost of a brand new Ford/Dana axle. And I want an air locker in it. Should I be considering Dynatrack instead? No heavy rock crawling planned, but front axle does top 5,000 pounds sometimes, and rocky dirt roads are sometimes taken at freeway speeds.
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