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Old 09-09-2021, 10:05 AM   #1
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Agile O/R Front end rattle

Hello All,
So I have a 2003 E350 EB V-10 with the Agile O/R conversion. Everytime I hit a small bump, seam in the pavement, or god forbid a washboard road, the front end rattles like the springs are gonna pop off the vehicle and I can see the front bumper (aluminess) shimmy. The steering isn't effected but something must be loose under there!
I have tightend down everything I can think of and I have replaced the shocks.

Anyone have this same issue? Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 09-09-2021, 01:46 PM   #2
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I would not think you need an Agile Offroad or even a 4wd specialist for this. Any tire/alignment shop worth stopping at can put it up on a rack and figure out what's rattling. It is likely just a bushing or perhaps too close contact between two moving parts under there.

Now, I did just type all that out thinking you are talking about an audible rattle that's annoying you. If you mean a violent shake that scares you to death then that is likely death wobble or something more serious, likely caused from a worn suspension part.

How long has it been doing this?
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Old 09-09-2021, 03:04 PM   #3
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Thanks Scotty!

It has been dpowing it for a number of years but I have just dealt with it. I have had it aligned a few times but never had them look rattle. That will be the next stop! You are correct that it is and audible rattle. Like the springs want to jump out of their perches! There are several cold joints in the asphalt on the way to my office and it sounds like the whole front end is gonna fall off.
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Old 09-09-2021, 03:10 PM   #4
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Yikes! Interested in how can you see the Aluminess bumper shimmy? I have never looked to see if I can see the bumper. The bumper itself "should" be independent of the Agile conversion as the bumper is attached directly to the frame horns. Maybe a cracked bumper mount??

The D shackles can certainly make a racket as well as the lid to the winch mount box.

With no change in steering - ???
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Old 09-09-2021, 03:15 PM   #5
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I put welting around the winch access panel so I dont think that is it. I will pull the D-rings to see if that effects it. If I stick my head out the window I can see the bumper wiggle when I hit the cracks in the road. I didnt think of a cracked frame horn but it really feels like its the suspension. The search continues!
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Old 09-09-2021, 03:24 PM   #6
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Steering does not shimmy, you do not feel rattle in your hands, just in the the seat?
Or no "feel" just audible?
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Old 09-09-2021, 03:33 PM   #7
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Just a loud metal banging. Just Dreamy on a washboard road outside of Moab last month!
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Old 09-09-2021, 04:02 PM   #8
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Do you have a winch? if so, have you checked to see if the bolts holding it in place are tight? I had this happen on a Bronco - occasionally sounded like a loud metal "clunk" "clunk".
Even the weight of that unit inside an Aluminess bumper shouldn't move the bumper - the fact you see your bumper moving is alarming in itself. certainly need to check those mounts.
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Old 09-09-2021, 05:01 PM   #9
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Could the body mounts be bad, causing the body to move somewhat independently of the frame (to which the front bumper is mounted) making it look like the bumper is shaking?

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Old 09-09-2021, 10:30 PM   #10
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After a glass of wine and more thought -

If the bumper is really and truly moving, that is the very first place I would investigate thoroughly. There are at least six grade 8 bolts of serious size holding that very solidly welded bumper to the most rigid part of the van. The frame, which is cross braced from front to back. There should be NO shimmy in a solidly mounted Aluminess front or rear bumper. Grab the bumper bar and shake it, pull it sideways, pull up and down at the opposite corners, there should be no play and all movement should be reflected in the van moving. It should be rock solid.

My bet is there is some problem with the bumper mount. Either the bolts or the frame mounting horns. A loose bumper, man that would make a horrible audible racket. A few alignments and no impact on steering feel is a serious clue that it is likely not the suspension. Plus a couple of alignment shops should have picked up any issues related to steering components.

btw - the frame horns/pads should receive solid welded beads to strongly connect them to the frame if the bumper is going to be used for winching. The factory tack welds are pretty much just that. Those factory welds were not designed to handle significant winch loads pulling away from the frame.
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