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Old 01-22-2019, 04:15 PM   #1
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My Ride sucks - upgrade help

We bought a 2006 Ford e-250 this fall. It has Michelin LTX -M-S2 tires
which have 20k miles in tread life on them. They weren't great in the snow this winter but are great for summer highway miles. The van has bilstein shocks which I understand are also nice equipment. On the highway this van handles great and is easy to drive. However we live in Colorado and as soon as we get on dirt roads and washboard dirt roads its almost unbearable. The last 5 miles down a washboard road we went on it rattled so much in the read end that the microwave fell out.

I was thinking of getting a weldtec lift kit and having someone install it. But what is the best way to go here? Is it just tire pressure? Will a lift and bigger tires help? We do 80% highway and 20% off road miles and obviously I like the look of a lifted van too.

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:48 PM   #2
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Well... you're in a truck, with a live rear axle and twin I beam fronts. It's gonna be rough riding.

Driving style plays a part. Driving fast over bumpy roads lets the suspension do the work. Taking it easy on the whoop dee do's helps. Letting some air out of the tires helps.

I don't want to see you throw good money after bad. Just some thoughts
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:17 PM   #3
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Sounds more like your just needing confirmation (or permission) to get the lift & bigger tires - so let me be the first to help motivate the change:
Yes, a lift will definitely come in handy when off pavement. The added clearance is peace of mind...never know what "obstacles" you'll encounter, even on maintained back roads & logging roads (and in case someones reading over your shoulder scrutinizing these responses, keep in mind off pavement means a lot less people driving by to assist you in the event you need help)
This same "caution" applies to tires. You should consider something with a decent tread & reinforced sidewall if you're going on non paved roads. Taller tires provide a more substantial cushion between the rim & the road (think of it in terms of sleeping on a 4" mattress compared to a 6" mattress). AND, If you air down you'll achieve even more of a forgiving ride (again, difference between sleeping on a 4" mattress and now an 8" mattress).
*Do not get 20" or 22" rims for 31" tires - the result is considerably smaller sidewall, consequently less cushion.
As far as the 80/20 driving scenario - it's the 20% you want to be prepared for.
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by prcrawford View Post
However we live in Colorado and as soon as we get on dirt roads and washboard dirt roads its almost unbearable. The last 5 miles down a washboard road we went on it rattled so much in the read end that the microwave fell out.

Any thoughts?
There are almost an unlimited number of things you can do to improve the ride. The least expensive thing you can do is to lower the air pressure in the tires. Unfortunately, the best air pressure for washboard roads isn't the same as what you need on the pavement, which means you need to re-inflate them when you get back to asphalt. Shocks will make a big difference, and there are none better than a set of custom valved Fox's from Agile. The next step is a RIP kit from Agile that includes front springs and shocks. A new set of rear springs can make a big difference too, I just installed a set from Alcan spring, with more leaves, and a more progressive spring rate. It made a noticeable difference. Bigger tires will roll over the bumps a little better, a lift may allow a little more suspension travel, it goes on and on. For the ultimate, have Agile install a twin traction beam 4wd system.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:38 PM   #5
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My old 15 passenger E350 econoline with a very similar Michelin m/s rated, light truck tire. Great tires BTW, but with a 70,000 mile warranty, you know they are harder than a whore's heart, rubber as well as sidewall construction. Great for the budget, but rough ride without 15 passengers.



At full air pressure, 60-70psi, on a graded road mine was harsh, rode like a buckboard (I still remember doing DV's Titus Canyon when my kids were young). Washboards going into and exiting a turn was unbearable unless I slowed to a walking pace. Harsh as in "call your dentist to have loose fillings fixed" harsh. I lowered the tire pressure to 30psi, and the ride got remarkably better for the rest of the journey, but there was no mistaking we were in a lightly twin I beam and leaf spring unloaded truck.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:06 PM   #6
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If you’re 2wd the biggest upside to the lift is the increased uptravel. I went out with Jeremy from weldtec in an smb and he smashed on it pretty good and it handled the bumps great.
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Old 02-04-2019, 05:44 PM   #7
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So I went on got the van weighed today. Its:
3260 lbs on the front
3840 lbs on the rear
7200 lbs total with no family, water or gear.

I've spoken to Jermey at Weldtec. My options are
1. Octillo kit with fox shocks and add a leaf to the rear and new shocks.
2. new tires, and shocks.

Does anyone have first hand advice I could chat with out the ride after the Octillo kit. I'm 2wd and really just need to be able to get down dirt roads better. Of course I love the look of the lift and bigger tires, I just want to make sure its money well spent and it improves the ride over just new shocks without the lift.

also the van has bilsten shocks on it now, I assume those are aftermarket, is there a way to check if they are the correct type for the weight?
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Old 02-04-2019, 05:53 PM   #8
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I have the ocotillo on the front of a van and it rides awesome. It just has blocks and Fox shocks in the rear and the rear rides fine. It was definitely worth the money. Helps a ton with the Baja roads which are WAY worse than dirt roads here.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:41 PM   #9
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So after a lot of research I'm figuring out what is going on. My rear leaf springs are sitting on the overload spring. So turns out the overload spring in the rear gives you a very rough ride compared to the other springs in the spring pack. There is a guy in grand junction who is going to make up a new custom leaf pack and add a lift while i'm at it. I'll probably do 2-3" in the rear and new shocks. I'm thinking of going with the weldtec 4" kit in the front. Unless I can find a more economical way to do it up front...
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:57 AM   #10
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I would suggest you first install whatever front end kit your going to get, that way you get the ride height up front, and then have the rear leafs built to match.
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