Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-10-2016, 01:49 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
MadScience's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SF Peninsula
Posts: 742
What did I break?

So, I have an e-350 4x4 conversion with ford axles from roughly an '08 and the reverse trailing arm setup that many of the pickups (and conversions) came with.

After 20+ miles of rough sierra trail, it now just does not handle like it did before I left the pavement. Specifically it seems of float just a bit more (I'm sure I put wear on the shocks, but did I break one??) and when turning it feels a little sketchy, as if it wanted to push over the inside front wheel.

I've pulled the sway bar off its mounts and that all seems solid. The shocks do seem worse for the wear, but could they really account for the steering issue? I do have unit bearings, but both front wheels feel good when lifted. I also don't have any more play in the steering than I ever felt like I've had.

I've found a shop that'll go through the alignment (it does pull a little to the left now, when it didn't before) for me, as long as it'll fit through their doors, so I'll likely know more tomorrow.

Still, I'm curious what else I could or should be looking at at this point.
__________________

__________________

'99 EB ex ENG KSWB news van, low rent 4x4 conversion (mostly fixed by now), home built interior.
MadScience is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2016, 07:43 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
carringb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 4,141
Have you checked your trac-bar bracket?
__________________

__________________
2000 E350 extended wagon dually
V10 w/ Banks Powerpack, Diablo Predator
Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
carringb is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2016, 09:07 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
dokaman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Vancouver WA
Posts: 220
Garage
I second the thought to check your track bar bracket.
__________________
Justin

2001 E350 EB 7.3L - (full build happening)
2002 Sportsmobile RB50 7.3L 4X4 - SOLD
dokaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2016, 11:17 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
MadScience's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SF Peninsula
Posts: 742
Thanks! I just checked the drag bar bracket, and both it and the attachment to the axle are good.

It fit into the shop and onto the rack, so I'll hopefully know more soon. Tires are checked in front, so bad shocks are also likely. (One year old pro comps, I suppose that may be why they are cheap.)

Getting it into the shop was exciting, it just barely made it with the tires aired way down.
MadScience is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2016, 12:17 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
MadScience's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SF Peninsula
Posts: 742
Alignment, wheel bearings and ball joints are all good, which leaves shocks. Might have to look into this fox stuff...
__________________

'99 EB ex ENG KSWB news van, low rent 4x4 conversion (mostly fixed by now), home built interior.
MadScience is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2016, 12:54 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
mikracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 2,146
Is there oil on the shaft of your shocks right now?
__________________
2005 E350 Chateau - V10 - Agile Offroad 4x4
2012 CTS-V Wagon - For the baby...
mikracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2016, 06:15 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
MadScience's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SF Peninsula
Posts: 742
The plot thickens slightly:

The Caster is slightly negative (0.3 and 0.6 degrees left and right), but the shop does not believe that there's anyway to adjust it. This may be true, but I want to make sure something didn't get knocked or twisted.

I also probably want to get that fixed either way.

This is one of the Ford radius arm conversions. How do I tell if there are any shims or offset nuts in place that might have twisted?

No signs of leaking shocks. That was one of the first things I checked. Obviously that's not the only way those things fail. The van is bouncy at this point, so that is at least also an issue.

Edit: Pretty sure this is just the stock radius arm, looks like I want something like the BD Caster Adjustor. The more I think about this, the caster being off is probably the root of the issue, but it's not as apparent when the shocks are keeping things from bouncing around.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_20160810_164257.jpg  
__________________

'99 EB ex ENG KSWB news van, low rent 4x4 conversion (mostly fixed by now), home built interior.
MadScience is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2016, 11:46 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Newberg, OR
Posts: 926
I have one of those caster adjuster kits that I never ended up using. I'll sell it for a small discount off of current internet pricing if you're interested.
mgmetalworks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2016, 11:54 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Newberg, OR
Posts: 926
Caster can also be adjusted at the upper ball joint with offset bushings. I know Ford's spec for this axle is 1.7-2.7 degrees caster but my van drives great at 3.5 degrees. I believe more caster than ford's spec is better for the van up to about 5.5 degrees.
mgmetalworks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2016, 12:39 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
MadScience's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SF Peninsula
Posts: 742
mgmetalworks: I noticed you used the same setup a while back, and was actually wondering what (someone like) you (that does not seem to be able to cut corners) had done while I was staring at my van today.

I don't see any offhand evidence of offset bushings in the upper joint on the knuckle. However, it's not clear that I'd be able to see them without pulling the joint apart.

The idea that I rotated things to reduce caster, while braking a 8300lbs + 4 people and gear van down 10 miles of steep washed out road doesn't sound like a huge stretch. Hmm.

I'll IM you if I decide to go with that kit, I don't need to save every last $, but am happy to get something out of a pile that's unlikely to get used otherwise.
__________________

__________________

'99 EB ex ENG KSWB news van, low rent 4x4 conversion (mostly fixed by now), home built interior.
MadScience is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.