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Old 07-18-2010, 11:14 AM   #1
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Tires, springs, LSD and ????

Wow what a great site and what fantastic rides you folks have! I'm sure somebody on here can answer these questions for me.
I recently bought a 2008 12 passenger E350, XLT, 5.4, AdvanceTrac/RSC. It is a daily driver and will spend most of it's time on pavement, but we do like to explore a little ( definitely off pavement but not really off road) and will likely do more in the future. I would like to do the following to our van.

1) Fit larger tires, most likely on the stock 16x7 rims. Will 265/75 R 16's work? What is the largest tire I could fit without raising the van? How does the Michelin LTX M/S2 work off pavement? Or maybe I should ask how the BFG A/T works on pavement?

2) Can I raise the front to level with the rear by simply adding a spacer or springs from an E450 and what will that do for my tire options? What will raising the van do to the RSC function?

3) Can I add an LSD to the AdvanceTrac/RSC? Ford offers it as an option from factory so I guess that it should be no problem. How will that affect the AT/RSC? Which is the best LSD to buy? Snow and some ice are very likely, crossing river beds and rock crawling are not.

4) I would like to add an awning and a very functional "safari" roof rack (like a big basket), any suggestions?

5) I would like to carry 2 spare tires. One in the factory location and one elsewhere, is a rear door mount a good solution? Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance for your input
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:34 AM   #2
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Re: Tires, springs, LSD and ????

265 tires will fit and not rub with a very mild lift. On stock rims, they may fit fine as-is. I have 8" front wheels (narrower in the back since its a dually, and rear tires are 235s which are the same height as the 265s up front)

I raised my van about 1.5" in the front by installing some 4600 pounds springs, which is what used to come on the E450 (now its 5000). My OEM springs were pretty tired though, so if swapping out newer springs, the gain may not be quite as much. I also have airbags in the coils so I can still keep the same ride height when heavily loaded.

LSD is fine for use with the RSC system, although a little redundant. I don't remember where my LSD is from, but it's not Ford, and has a lot more pre-load than the Ford LSD.

Aluminess makes really nice racks. I'm more than happy with the ladder I bought from them. Their racks are lightweight, but $$$. If you want something steel instead, these guys have a good offering (http://www.truckrackinc.com/default.htm. My safari rack was homebuilt from square tube and expanded metal flooring. Inexpensive, but heavy.


I have my spare on the rear door, using a bumper mounted swing away tire carrier (mine's from Reunel, Aluminess makes them too). I only carry one spare, but relocated it to improve ground clearance.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:42 PM   #3
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Re: Tires, springs, LSD and ????

Thanks for that advice. That is a really neat looking van you have BTW.
I went to my local spring shop and was told that 7/8" springs that are a little longer will get me what I'm looking for in height.
I think I will start with the LSD and then springs and tires. Or maybe just tires and see if they fit.
265/75R16 BFG AT's or similar.
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:16 AM   #4
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Re: Tires, springs, LSD and ????

Bob,

I know I told you in our PM's I didn't have any photos showing the 265/75/16's on our stock height passenger van. Well these were on my wife's camera and I didn't know she had them. I know they are still not great, but it might give you an idea of what they look like. These are Bridgestone Revo 2 10 ply tires 265/75/16 on stock Ford wheels. No rubbing at all. Hope this helps.....



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