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Old 06-09-2015, 06:35 PM   #1
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My Ford E350 is all over the road over 70mph - sway bars???

I have a 2009 Ford E350 extended van, new shocks 18" wheels with BFG tires, no lift. At 65-70 van drives fine. Soon as you start going over 70 it starts wandering, not real bad but it keeps you busy. If you let someone else drive (like the wife) she's all over the place. It does have right at 210k miles on it. I bought it used, but I haven't got it on a lift yet to inspect for basic wear and tear. I don't feel like there any slack in my front end or anything.

The van is pretty much empty other than 1 dirt bike or loaded with a few bicycles. I have a dividing wall with a 1" square tubing custom bench seat/wall combo that can be made into a bed. But thats it. 1/4" birch plywood walls with some foam and tweed fabric. 3/4" plywood base with coin flooring on top. Nothing really crazy, and partially finished.

Any suggestions? Do you guys recommend putting on sway bars or anything. The dang speed limit from Houston to Dallas, and to Austin is 75 mph in most spots. I dont care to go over 80 but just want a stable ride. At times I take the family of 4 and 2 dogs with luggage and bicycles and that is the extent of our weight.

Thanks, Clayton
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:44 PM   #2
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Re: My Ford E350 is all over the road over 70mph - sway bars

Overly wide and aggressive off road tires will wander. Also low air pressure. My 2009 drives OK with 80 psi in back and 60 in front.

We had a class c ford and put on heavy sway bars. It did help the wandering. That was a 1996 model and the wandering was more of a slow hunting between the lines.

Our 2009 drove really straight before we put on the high top.

If you drive on smooth roads there is no downside to heavy sway bars.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:02 PM   #3
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Re: My Ford E350 is all over the road over 70mph - sway bars

Here is a picture of my tires on the van. Does it look to big? Size 265/65 16


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Old 06-09-2015, 09:08 PM   #4
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Re: My Ford E350 is all over the road over 70mph - sway bars

What your tire pressure? Has the alignment been checked (including caster and camber)?

How long have the shocks been on it?

The wandering is not normal. Sway bars are great, but fix the problem first
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:10 PM   #5
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Re: My Ford E350 is all over the road over 70mph - sway bars

Shocks have 10k miles on em. Alignment hasn't been checked, but is fine on a smooth road, no pulling any direction. Tire pressure around 65 psi, doesn't deflect on the pot holes with lower pressure. I dont show any bad tire wear.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:12 PM   #6
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Re: My Ford E350 is all over the road over 70mph - sway bars

265/65-18?? I would not necessarily expect that to create much of an issue. Check air pressure, make sure lug nuts are properly tightened. If it did not wander before new tires, then I would be back at that shop and have them rotate tires to see if problem still exists or changes. Sometimes the tires have a weird set to them.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:15 PM   #7
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Re: My Ford E350 is all over the road over 70mph - sway bars

I would have to say it did it with the OEM worn tires it had on it when I purchased it. Possibly improved. I will try driving with a higher pressure first and see how that goes. And I will get it on a lift asap for some visible inspection from a good friend of mind who knows what to look for. A buddy of mine since I have known him since the 90's has drove E350 vans. Some he had lifted, some were with more of a road tire. His comment to me when I asked him about it was "its a van, they all drive crappy" haha.
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:40 PM   #8
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Re: My Ford E350 is all over the road over 70mph - sway bars

I bought my SMB with 57K mi with basically everything being like new. I figured old American handling and I knew it could be better. I saw light between front sway bar & I-Beam bushings, no steering stabilizer or rear sway bar. My cars that handle good have rear sway bars as OEM, then van should have one. Steering stabilizer improved steering feel. New Hellwig front bar with links like normal sway bars improved handling a little (no slop between bushing & bar). Added Rear Hellwig sway bar - huge improvement my van felt planted to the road. I don't drive it often, but drove it the other day & thought boy this handles good. My thought is they should not come from factory without a rear sway bar. Note I'm 2x4, 4x4 owners say no rear sway bar so they have more flex off roading, I think many have stiffer rear springs than stock which would help prevent sway. My van also weighs around 7600+# so most likely heavier than yours which I think helps it feel so planted.
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:35 PM   #9
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Re: My Ford E350 is all over the road over 70mph - sway bars

I only run 65 psi is probably too much for the front of a basic van. I run 55 psi on mine, which are the same size, but my van has an extra 500 pounds up front (at least!)
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:57 AM   #10
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My Ford E350 is all over the road over 70mph - sway bars???

Ya, I was going to say I don't think you need higher pressure, 65 is already up there, I would try lowering them to 55. I will add, while they do improve ride and improve tracking, sway bars are designed to help control lateral movement, not side to side or wander. Check your ball joints, put it up on a lift or jack it up and see if there's play in the wheel that's hanging.
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