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Old 09-17-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
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newb SMB vs Quig question

Folks,
Looking to step foot into the world of SMBs.
Looking at Ford models and one thing I am uncertain on is what to expect and shoot for in the SMB vs Quig (or other) 4wd discussion.
I will be buying used and have a couple I'm considering quite seriously at the moment.

At first glance (incl a lot of reading around this forum) it seems the SMB 4wd conversions do tackle some issues of conversion in a better way...ie: susp geometry issues, and perhaps even durability (?) etc.
I am concerned with ride quality to some degree, knowing I will put a lot of highway miles in.
I have driven a 2005 Quig (all 2005 Quig spec to my understanding) equipped with Ranchos and Toyo m/t's and thought the ride on the highway not that bad (more supple than my E350) but truthfully not thrilled with the overall handing...a little mushy for lack of better word. And, esp at lower speed the front end felt a bit "hunty" and sloppy. Much could be in the tire (to this point I am not used to vehicles with large off road tires) and much could be the shock (Ive always been a fan of Bilstiens, have them on both my F350 drw cc and E350 15 pass van and from what Ive read they seem better suited to this app as well)

I have not had the chance to drive a SMB conversion, but for sake of discussion, what might I expect in those areas...handling and ride? If they feel more "solid handling" than the Quig that is an advantage to me, however if my back and teeth are getting rattled out on the highway then that may not be worth the compromise.
I realize the SMB 4wd has improved over the years so I prefer a stock 2005-ish (first generation conversion) with OMEmu shocks for comparison (happen to also be entertaining one equipped exactly that way at the moment)

I have also read that Quig has some upgrades and the Deaver springs are a major improvement in the SMB 4wd, so I 4wd would certainly entertain either mod in the near future on either vehicle I amy purchase. So if anyone feels like adding that into the discussion it would be valuable.
(and BTW I have done Deavers on my F350 drw cc and they are an improvement on it)

Any input is greatly appreciate and certainly if anyone happened to have a so equipped SMB 4wd in the So Cal area I could put a few miles on that would be above and beyond the call.

No intent to start a coils vrs leaf, Quig vrs SMB argument, just trying to learn and narrow down my focus.

BTW the months I have been on this site I have learned a crazy amount about these vehicles, it is a tremendous resource for such a specialty item that happens to have a great deal a variability in how they are equipped. Thanks all!
And thanks in advance for any help here.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:15 PM   #2
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Re: newb SMB vs Quig question

Quote:
Originally Posted by rarrace
I realize the SMB 4wd has improved over the years so I prefer a stock 2005-ish (first generation conversion) with OMEmu shocks for comparison (happen to also be entertaining one equipped exactly that way at the moment)
That's what I started with. The OME were blown after 50K miles, and the ride was tight because the back springs were always on the overloads. Despite that, the ride and handling were great as I recall- however with one exception.

That exception being the front suspension had almost no uptravel, and slamming into the bumpstops was spine jarring, never mind the teeth. If I could have predictably avoided all railroad crossings and bumps above 15mph I never would have had a reason to change to Deavers.

Despite that, the Atlas-II transfer case, Pro-Rock 60 and tighter turn radius were no contest in my opinion.

If I had it to do over I'd go custom, like with an S&K or U-joint but for what I want the SMB4x4 was the better choice over Quigley.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:38 PM   #3
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Re: newb SMB vs Quig question

jage,
So in your opin / experience it seems the only downside was the front susp / travel / bumpstops issue?
This seems to mesh with all Ive read so far.

The deaver upgrade cured this I assume. did they feel better in other ways? how much did they raise the vehicle?

What are the shock choices with either the stock SMB or Deaver upgrade?

Have you driven a Quig for comparison?

Thnx!
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:28 AM   #4
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Re: newb SMB vs Quig question

I have an older Quigley (1995) but while their installations have changed, from posts here I understand they do still have limited suspension travel. The available range in compression is limited to around 1.5 to 2 inches/ That means you hit the bumpstops frequently when on rough surfaces. The U joint and SMB have a lot more travel available. Especially useful for keeping the van level on really rough roads.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:29 AM   #5
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Re: newb SMB vs Quig question

Don't forget Quadvan. I think they have a better setup than Quigley or Whitefeather (nee Salem-Kroger) or Advanced. SMB is different than those, not better or worse, but different.

Mike
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:35 PM   #6
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Re: newb SMB vs Quig question

I don't know if my wheel travel has changed with the Deaver spring upgrade but that seemed to be a bragging point SMB threw at me when I bought. Pulling the front disconnect does make a difference but I don't know how it compares to other builds.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:01 PM   #7
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Re: newb SMB vs Quig question

With the SMB suspension (OME shocks) I would agree that the up travel can catch you off guard sometimes. Primarily because there is maybe 2 inches of up travel if that until it hits the bump stops on the front. The main places I would feel this is sudden bumps like a speed bump or sometimes washboards.

If I was to do it again I would seriously consider Quadvan or Ujoint. However the atlas transfer case and the dynatrac axles and components from SMB are awesome and overbuilt which this van needs.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:45 PM   #8
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Re: newb SMB vs Quig question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roonie
With the SMB suspension (OME shocks) I would agree that the up travel can catch you off guard sometimes. Primarily because there is maybe 2 inches of up travel if that until it hits the bump stops on the front. The main places I would feel this is sudden bumps like a speed bump or sometimes washboards.
Yikes, 2" is about what my Quigley has, or not appreciably more.

I don't have any ride comparisons, but I will tell you the stock rear springs with lift blocks is not a great solution.

Also, Bilsteins made a big difference on the Quigley.

Personally I like the look of the UJoint conversion.
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