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Old 05-03-2021, 10:11 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2021
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4x4 Conversion - Looking for advice (Pros/Cons)

What is everyone's experience with the following 4x4 conversions? Thoughts? Pros/Cons... I'm new to the forum so if this has been well covered if someone could point me to the thread I can read it there. Thanks!

Traction Off Road

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Old 05-03-2021, 11:09 AM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 83
Ive had a Quig, SK, and now a UJ.

In a nutshell, Quig was most comfortable day to day but not great when the wheeling gets rowdy.

SK was okay day to day but although capable off road, it was really rough with the shackles in the front.

UJ is probably the stiffest day to day but the best off road.

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Old 05-03-2021, 11:15 AM   #3
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Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,016
As you might expect, yes! This topic has been covered a bunch

I haven't heard anything about Traction Off Road, but here are the notes I took recently while reading up about U-Joint, Quigley, and a bunch of E-Series 4x4 converters while reading the forums....

Ford 4x4 Van Conversion - Advanced 4X4 Vans
4x4 Motorhome Conversion - Advanced 4X4 Vans

Baja user BajaSportsmobile
video of bouncing suspension travel offroad:

  • Coil Spring Dana 60 option (17" wheels, 5" wider, 1" longer, big brakes, tight turning circle)
  • Leaf Spring Dana 60 option (can use 16" wheels)
  • 5" to 6" lift
  • NP271 transfer case

Expo Vans
(founded by MG - MG Metalworks --
  • MG coil springs (progressive)
  • Dana 60 front axle from F-series truck
  • 35" tires
  • NP271 transfer case. 2.72:1 low range
  • Can opt. do Stirling 10.5" rear axle with disc brakes.
  • lift: ___"?
  • MG kits can also be installed by UJoint?
  • in Portland, OR

MG Metalworks (kit)
  • coil spring system
  • more lift Too big for me?
  • more caster than usual. More caster (5") can lead to stiff steering
  • Dana 60 axles
  • more bump-travel room (4")
  • front axle slightly forward for more under-engine clearance "bump travel has been improved with the extra lift but also the axle is in a better position relative to the cross member so I can get more travel out of my trac bar because of its placement than Quadvan, Quigley and CCV can."
  • steering arms are close to parallel "huge for ride quality, allowing the springs to absorb the bumps with minimal transfer of force through the arms to the frame/body (less jarring)"
  • lighter weight than leaf strings
  • Finding used axle is a PITA.
  • "noticeably better than my Quigley."
  • easy install "I just wanted to edit to clarify that I wasn't trying to be a jerk about Ujoints DIY kit, Just emphasizing how easy MGs kit is to install compared to Ujoints." "this kit is stupid simple. 5 brackets and they all have their defined place that you would have an extremely hard time screwing up. Once in place, drill the holes (very easy with a cheap right angle drill, sharp bit and cutting fluid) and then put the bolt through the hole. MG has taken all of the guess work out of it by using pre existing frame holes and mounting locations which was great for the install."

4x4 Ford Transits and Econolines | NW Quadvan
2021 Econoline: Still Relevant
The Quadvan Econoline

  • coil springs
  • less suspension travel (than SMB) <2" til bump stops - not sure I want less suspension travel than SMB!
  • death wobble issues?
  • uses larger F-series brake calipers / rotors
  • 17" wheels
  • people complain about using some custom parts
  • "vast majority of Ford components"
  • 3.5" height increase
  • "a bit harsh"
  • "Owned and drove a Quigley RB as a daily driver for 2 years. Never happy with the ride. Sold the Quigley and bought a Quadvan as a daily driver. 30,000 miles in 1.5 years. Much better in every respect."
  • "harsh ride, constant bottoming"
  • "Quigley uses there own design that has remained virtually unchanged for 20 years - reliable but outdated."
  • "Another annoying thing that Quigley does, is weld on modifications to the rear shock mounts which restricts rear axle travel and articulation as well."
  • "I'll never understand Quigley's design philosophy. At first I just thought they were being cheap and they designed like they do for cost savings. Then you look at other components, perfectly good components that you can get directly from Ford (especially with their relationship with the automaker) and they put a bunch of non-value-add work into it to make it fit their custom brackets. For what reason? Why change the off-the-shelf Ford part to match a custom part? Why not the other way around? Makes my inner manufacturing engineer's blood boil. Anyhow... your arms are flexing and that's why they have a history of cracking. That design was a bad choice on Quigley's part, they should have recalled those parts IMO."

Salem Kroger (now Whitefeather)
About Us | Whitefeather 44 Van Conversions

(This is what I have, so I didn't write any notes here)

  • front axle: uses F250/F350/Excursion Dana 50 or 60
  • rear axle: any... Can opt. do Stirling 10.5" rear with disc brakes.
  • wheels: option to switch to F-series 8 on 170mm. more wheel choices in this size.
  • For 2008+ vans, supplies an RSC front axle "to keep ABS happy" (if ABS desired)
  • For 2008+ vans, larger brakes requiring 17" wheels to clear F550 rotors
  • 6" lift by default, but also 4" or 8" available
  • 4" lift will fit 33" tire
  • 4" lift uses single joing driveshaft
  • engine x-member gets trimmed for front axle clearance
  • uses high steer knuckle that makes the tie rod level:
  • progressive springs
  • RVs need to be "weighed" F/R before building springs
  • no fuel tank shortening needed for cutaway
  • Coil spring option (?)
  • NP271 transfer case. 2.72:1 low range (onptional Atlas II)
  • exhaust will need re-routing
  • wide turning circle "poor" with unchanged pitman arm length for RSC
  • can be customized
  • can install "MG" coil kit?
  • "I have the 4 UJoint kit and have 0 bump steer. That said I would probably order the 6 kit if I had to do it over. I think on the 4 in kit you only have about 2-3 of up travel on your shocks. Plenty more of down travel. Im also running 35s on my van so get a tad bit of rub on rear fenders at full flex."
  • track bar: "Its simply a packaging issue, no room unless I make some specific mounts for 4" only. I bet this bar broke because over time the springs have sagged and simply put the bar in a bind. We use an adjustable bar and I don't recommend to even install the trac bar until some miles have been put on the van." "it will help but not generally needed"

Some former 4x4 converters for Ford E-Series...

And finally...
From, BMWBILO says:
Here's the deal,
  • If you get a Sportsmobile conversion you get a Dyna Trac front axle.
  • If you go to Ujoint he uses Ford front axles and a leaf spring setup.
  • If you have a Quigley you get a Ford front axle with Quigleys own mounts and a coil spring suspension.
  • If you have a early Salem Kroger you get a Ford front axle with leaf springs.
  • If you have a later Salem Kroger or a Quadvan you get a Ford front axle and the whole front coil spring assembly from Ford.
  • If you have an Advanced, you have no idea what axle you haveor where it came from. Could be a Dana 60 but more likely a Dana 44. If you break down somewhere and certain parts break, the only place to get them is from Advanced.
While a Dyna trac axle is pretty bullet proof. I like the idea of having the most Ford factory parts as possible.
-- Geoff
2004 Ford, SMB 4x4, RB-50
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Old 05-03-2021, 06:43 PM   #4
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Geoff, WOW! What a great write-up. Thanks!!
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Old 05-03-2021, 08:50 PM   #5
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well done.
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:32 AM   #6
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A handful of notes:

-Quigley will only new vehicles, or fairly new. Quadvan may be the same?
-Might be worth nothing that Quigley is a 4 short arm 4 link setup, Quadvan + MG are radius arm setups.
-MG = Expovans, separating them is a bit redundant. Progressive springs are totally up to you, that's just what most people use. Lift usually ends up around ~6". Can use an NV273 as well.
-I can confirm Agile is no longer doing TTB. I tried with my last van, no dice.
-UJOR is no longer supporting with coils (at least for customer rigs)
-List is missing CCV/Timberline conversion. 4 link coil front similar to Quigley, can be done turn key or as a kit, arms are adjustable to accommodate varying lift but also usually end up in the 6" range.
'06 EB 350, Advanced 4x4 (soon to be MG), 6.7 Cummins + Allison, 18" shuttle top. Bright yellow. The rumble bee.
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Old 05-04-2021, 01:51 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info, B.Rock. The above are just a copy of the notes I took, so yeah a bit disorganized. Maybe I'll get the energy compile this all into something neater and better.
2004 Ford, SMB 4x4, RB-50
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:10 PM   #8
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Yeah, there's some other stuff but it's pretty nit-picky. I did the same research a couple years back and also added in the options for GM vans. It's a pretty sizeable financial commitment no matter what route you take.
'06 EB 350, Advanced 4x4 (soon to be MG), 6.7 Cummins + Allison, 18" shuttle top. Bright yellow. The rumble bee.
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Old 05-04-2021, 03:19 PM   #9
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So to be clear you are mostly talking Ford?

I've got a (2011) GM Quigley, never expected it to be the ideal rock-crawler and so far it's done fine for what I've asked.

Nothing in the front end of my GM Quigley looks like Ford anything. Quigley sent me the parts list, I've got it around here somewhere. Most of it looks GM truck.

I bought it because I'd had very good experiences with GM trucks of the past couple generations.
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Old 05-04-2021, 03:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JEM View Post
So to be clear you are mostly talking Ford?

Yes, at least I have been talking only Ford E-Series. Not Transit either.

-- Geoff

2004 Ford, SMB 4x4, RB-50
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4x4, conversion, quigley, traction, ujoint

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