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Old 12-23-2016, 07:56 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by swedishSTile View Post

RandallDee - What are your preferences for the TTB? I can see articulation and ride quality as its two biggest pluses. My issue with it is the alignment changes constantly as the suspension cycles and in my experience it causes funny tire wear.
I live in the city. And a most of the time when I take a trip, it involves a 4 or 5 hour drive on the interstate or highway getting to where I'm going. So I wanted a van that I didn't have to fight and felt comfortable driving in those conditions at highway speeds. I'm also not a fan of a big lift and I didn't want a van that required a 6 inch lift just to obtain an optimal turning radius. I think it all comes down to our individual uses.

If I did a lot of rock hopping trail type stuff, I might lean more toward a Ujoint type build. But I don't. My FWD needs are pretty light. I drive on gravel bars and use FWD to pull my raft out of the river and generally pretty light use. So a lower stance and good highway manners were a higher priority for me.

Before I decided on a TTB 50, I read all the stuff about the original Ford TTB's and how they chewed thru tires. My understanding is that the weak link in the originals were the radius arms. The ones on my Agile build are pretty beefy. My conversion is 3 years old and has over 20k miles on it and my tires are wearing evenly without any issues so far. I don't have any issues with my alignment changing constantly.

I saved the link to this post by the late Ramsey because I always thought it was one of the better explanations I found. Sometimes I really miss him around here. But here is his explanation....

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...s-10389-2.html

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Your Bronco and F150s (1/2 ton PU) use a Dana 44 Twin Traction Beams. I have seen a few odd ball versions of the D44 TTB that are very rare and I have no explanation for them but 99.9% of them are basically the same. The weakness of the stock D44 TTB is the stamped steel radius arms, they can bend under minor impact and they are too short, resulting in excessive caster change. The Traction Beams themselves are strong and the spindles, ball joints, u-joints, axles, lock hubs are essentially the same as any straight axle Dana 44 used in Ford, Chevy, Jeep... applications, mostly 1/2 ton vehicles. There are straight axle Dana 44's used in 3/4 ton applications by the same manufacturers, the difference being that they use larger spindles, bearings, steering knuckle, hub... in 8 lug but the same drive axles and u-joints.

Ford did the same thing in some F250 (3/4 ton) TTB trucks - they use a Twin Traction Beam that uses a D44 differential but with larger spindle, inner bearings, steering knuckle... in 8 lug but the same drive axles, u-joints and lock hubs as the lighter D44. These Twin Traction Beams are different in design than the D44 TTBs and the beams and are not interchangeable as the lengths are different. I consider these to be a hybrid "Heavy Duty D44 TTB" and not what I would build off of.

All of the same manufactures at one time or another used a straight axle Dana 60 (there are way too many configuration of the D60 to get into) which is considered to be the "heavy duty" axle of choice in 3/4 an 1 ton on up trucks. These D60's use bigger components than the D44, most importantly the R&P, drive axles, u-joints, spindles, wheel bearings, ball joints, lock hubs...

The Dana 50 Twin Traction Beam used by Ford in 3/4 and 1 ton trucks uses these same D60 sized components. The drive axles, u-joints, spindles, wheel bearings, ball joints, lock hubs... are the same size as the D60s of the same vintage (I say that because the new D60s use unit bearings and are somewhat different) and are just as strong. The D50 TTBs are different in design than the Bronco and F150 D44 TTBs (different lengths) and are not interchangeable.

All of the Bronco and F150s (1/2 ton PU) Dana 44 Twin Traction Beams are suspended with coil springs and located by radius arms. The F250 and F350 with the "Heavy Duty D44 TTB" or the stronger D50 TTB are suspended with leaf springs and have no radius arms as the leaf springs locate the beams.

For years we have been building, prerunning and racing Bronco and F150s with modified D44 TTBs with 37" tires and 600 HP and they hold up terrifically. The simplest modification is relocating the lower Ball Joint outward to change the camber and welding on 2 or 3 tube radius arms that are much longer to reduce caster change. These simple modifications yield 17 inches of front wheel travel on a Bronco with about a 4 inch lift. More complicated builds include lengthening (widening) both Traction Beams from 2.5 to 5 inches to increase track width and reduce camber change.

On my SMB E350 EB, I installed a Dana 50 TTB system using custom tubular radius arms welded to stock D50 TTBs from a 1 ton F350. It is every bit as strong as a Dana 60 in my opinion and has the ride comfort of independent wheel movement. I get 5 inches of bump travel and 7 inches of droop for a total of 12 inches and at a lower ride height. I'm running BFG LT315/70R17 which is reported to be 34.5" dia.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:26 AM   #22
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Engine sounds like the guy who went through it knew what he was doing. Do you know if it was ever dyno'ed? Oh and is it impossible to add an intercooler to a '95?
I dont think it was ever dyno'd but it is FAST in the street and race tunes. Anything is possible in my mind, but I spent my teenage years turbocharging NA cars. Adding an intercooler would probably require relocating and/or remapping the IAT and MAP sensors (provided the ECM utilizes them, Im not entirely familiar with this motor yet.)

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Originally Posted by bcaine View Post
If you don't mind, I've been working on a ttb front end and would love to see pictures of your setup. I have a good idea of exactly what agile does, but if yours is different, I'd like to see other approaches.








Let me know if you need any other photos or have any questions I might be able to answer.

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Originally Posted by RandallDee View Post
I live in the city. And a most of the time when I take a trip, it involves a 4 or 5 hour drive on the interstate or highway getting to where I'm going. So I wanted a van that I didn't have to fight and felt comfortable driving in those conditions at highway speeds...
Thanks for your thoughtful response. My van has lengthened tubular radius arms, maybe I wont experience the tire issues I am concerned about. My crawling ambitions are mostly checked by my wife and daughter's (soon to be daughters') presence. My needs are mostly limited to washed out double track, wet/snowy/muddy/sandy conditions etc. In a vehicle this heavy and with such a poor departure angle I would be concerned about doing any serious offroading anyway. I would sooner flat tow a jeep or samurai behind the van I think.


On another note, does anyone on here have any experience with shop4seats.com? I am looking to add a couple of jump seats and fabricate some quick release anchors so I can have the kids car seats in a chair that is securely bolted to the body of the van versus riding on top of a wood box and only strapped to the body of the van.

Anyone have any creative solutions for securely fixing car seats in a van? I would like them to be high enough to look out the window still. My other thought as of right now is to build a steel frame into the side bench seats. This is less than ideal because I cant weld them in place (too much wood) and I dont want to take the existing benches out in order to install.
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:48 PM   #23
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Thanks so much for those pictures. The ttb definitely based on the numerous pictures of agile conversions that are out there, but there are little differences in the crossmember reinforcements and radius arm mounts.

The second shot is an angle I didn't have already, and the bumpstop clearances are what I was seeing that I worried were too tight. Do you have issues being on the bumps too often?

The only other shot that I haven't seen would be putting the camera on the ground, straight up at the point where the axle beams mount to the crossmember. If you're feeling generous, I wouldn't mind seeing what your builder worked out.

Many thanks,
Brian
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Old 12-29-2016, 08:44 AM   #24
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I dont have a lot of miles or really any offroad time on the van yet so I cant comment on how often I am on the hard stops. In town, in and out of driveways and across speed bumps its not a problem. They do look pretty close though and without measuring I would guess around 2" maybe slightly less of upward travel.

I will get you that photo. You will have to be a little patient with me again, I am in the mountains skiing for a couple days and we brought my truck because I have not given the van a full shake down yet (and its quieter, has good tires, no manual hubs, and gets 18 rather than 15mpg, LOL). Look for some more photos around Monday of next week (the 2nd).
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Old 12-29-2016, 02:43 PM   #25
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Very nice. I think I have seen this rig on sale locally too in Southern California?
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:43 AM   #26
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1995 E350 4x4 Camper Van 7.3L Powerstroke

Huh? 3 days ago? Is it for sale again?
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Old 12-30-2016, 10:00 AM   #27
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I PM'd him the same question, hope he's keeping it but doesn't look like it...


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Old 12-30-2016, 01:59 PM   #28
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1995 E350 4x4 Camper Van 7.3L Powerstroke

Huh? 3 days ago? Is it for sale again?
Yup - that is the ad I saw.
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Old 12-30-2016, 04:30 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by bcaine View Post
Thanks so much for those pictures. The ttb definitely based on the numerous pictures of agile conversions that are out there, but there are little differences in the crossmember reinforcements and radius arm mounts.

The second shot is an angle I didn't have already, and the bumpstop clearances are what I was seeing that I worried were too tight. Do you have issues being on the bumps too often?

The only other shot that I haven't seen would be putting the camera on the ground, straight up at the point where the axle beams mount to the crossmember. If you're feeling generous, I wouldn't mind seeing what your builder worked out.

Many thanks,
Brian
Home a little early, everyone has the flu...Not the easiest picture to take!





Ill try later to grab one more from directly under.

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Originally Posted by lugee View Post
Yup - that is the ad I saw.
Everything has a price. I have other things for sale on that I dont have a huge desire to sell, but if a buyer wants it bad enough to pay what I am asking then its theirs. The van is not, in imho worth what I have it posted for or even close to it, its certainly not what I paid for it. I tell anyone who calls the exact conditions of the vehicle, that I am not in a rush or need to sell and I am pretty firm on the price. If someone really wants it after that it is theirs. My van has a salvage title, 435K miles on the chassis, 80K+ on the motor. $30K is high price but if someone wants to pay it, ill stick a bow on it for them.

All that said I have gotten a fair amount of traffic on it at that price. If my wife knew....I surely wouldnt own the van still. I believe the price I paid was a good deal. I doubt anyone will actually buy it at that price. If someone does...well, I will be looking for another van, a better van!!
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:07 PM   #30
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I thank you for going to that trouble. I'm sure there were a number of shots deleted to come up with these. The second one is perfect.

I like your philosophy on selling stuff. Good luck or have fun... Either way.
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