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Old 01-01-2010, 10:35 PM   #1
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Shock & ride quality advice needed.

I have an 06 Ford E350 Chateu (sp?) with a Quigley conversion and the 6.0 Diesel. I bought it new and just hit 40,000 miles. Just a simple setup, standard length with 4 Captains chairs. I run stock wheels and the tires are all terrains that are one size up from stock. I have the Quigley specific Hellowig rear sway bar. I also have a full length roof rack. Front and rear bumpers are currently stock but will be upgraded to the Trojan bumpers some day.

The van is used mostly for road trips and is commonly driven on 1,000 mile road trips. I split my residence between So Cal and Idaho. We drive back and forth, straight through, several times a year. In Idaho, our driveway is dirt, 3 miles long with dozens of tight switch backs, rutted and gains over 1,200 feet of elevation. During the winter, we have to run chains, more often than not. We see a lot of snow, ice and sloppy but not deep mud.

I noticed on a trip this weekend, on I5 in California, that ride in the rear seat SUCKS. The I5 is probably the worst highway I drive. Every bridge is rough and you REALLY feel it in the back seat. Most of them are so bad, you bump out on the seat into the air.

I suspect my shocks are toast, but am open to suggestions on other things to look at. As for shocks, I would like suggestions on good replacements. Price is no object and I don't care if they have to be replaced frequently. I am looking for the best ride quality (ie comfort) I can buy, for the conditions I drive. I do not drive it on anything more offroad than my driveway. We do a lot of desert and rutted road driving, but none worse than the driveway. I also frequently tow my boat or my H1 (on a trailer) behind the Van.

If you need more information to make a specific or educated sugestion, just let me know and I will post the answer as best I can. Thanks for taking the time to help me out with this. I realize I will never get the ride quality of a Cadilac, but it I am sure I can get better than what I have now. it was so bad this weekend, it was impossible to use a laptop or even sleep in the back seat.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:04 AM   #2
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Re: Shock & ride quality advice needed.

I learned a ton by searching on Deavers and Bilsteins on the forum. I would start there and see if that generates more specific questions for your application.

That being said, it sounds like you are looking for custom springs and shocks along the lines of Bilstein 7100's.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:15 AM   #3
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Re: Shock & ride quality advice needed.

Air bags are another option.
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:29 PM   #4
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Re: Shock & ride quality advice needed.

The problem is the 1-ton factory springs are designed for carrying more of a load than just a few passengers. Our van rides much better when towing a 6K travel trailer using a weight-distributing hitch. We just got back from a 1,300 mile trip to northern California and I'll take I-5 over the I-99 any day with the current road conditions!

We have a Chateau-like interior (van conversion) except the rear bench seat is moved back to right over the rear axle for more passenger legroom. I can launch the kids to the roof over offroad bumps if they aren't wearing seatbelts and I'm not careful...

Short of getting new springs like Deavers (more thinner springs with a softer spring rate), you could try adding some weight in the rear (bags of sand or concrete). My dad did that with a Ford pickup that rode like a buckboard empty and it made a very noticeable improvement. New shocks may help a bit, but I think the main issue is the stiff springs.
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:48 AM   #5
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Re: Shock & ride quality advice needed.

Start with a better quality shock, like a Bilstein 5100 or 5150 series. If there isn't a noticeable difference, upgrade the springs.
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:58 AM   #6
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Re: Shock & ride quality advice needed.

I did a lot of reading on here before I posted and that is what lead me to the conclusion the shocks would be the possible first thing to look at. On the Quigley site, they refer to the Bilstein HD shock as what they provide as optional. That is also the shock that Bilstein lists on their web site for the E350 Van and F350 truck.

I see on this site the mention of the 5100, 5150 and 7100 shocks. How can I find out what 7100 or 5100 shocks fit on my Van?
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:06 PM   #7
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Re: Shock & ride quality advice needed.

I would start with a call to Quigley, then follow up with a call to Bilstein to ensure you get the same answer.
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:19 PM   #8
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Re: Shock & ride quality advice needed.

avking ,
U joint is right about the Bilsteins Shocks . I used them on both of our E-350 Quigley's and they made all the difference in the world . One of the Vans went thru the stock shocks in less than 20,000 miles and the other Van only lasted about 25,000 miles before I started launching my children . The Spring Packs on your Van should be fine it sounds like Shocks would be the best place to start and the Bilsteins are probably the best over the counter Shocks that I ever used .
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:55 PM   #9
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Re: Shock & ride quality advice needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggde
avking ,
U joint is right about the Bilsteins Shocks . I used them on both of our E-350 Quigley's and they made all the difference in the world . One of the Vans went thru the stock shocks in less than 20,000 miles and the other Van only lasted about 25,000 miles before I started launching my children . The Spring Packs on your Van should be fine it sounds like Shocks would be the best place to start and the Bilsteins are probably the best over the counter Shocks that I ever used .
Greggde
Did you use the HD shocks that Quigley sells or did you go with one of the other models they talk about here on the site?
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:36 PM   #10
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Re: Shock & ride quality advice needed.

I went with a heavier duty model that I ordered from Bilstien direct thru my brothers Porsche Dealership , I don't remember the model numbers but were very similar to what now is the Model 700 series . These had a much larger diameter Stanchion and Barrel than the models that Quigley provided on our build .
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