Originally Posted by Schmitty
Why is the track in the rear narrower than the front? Just curious because I have a 2008 SMB Quigley 4x4 too. Looking for tires and wheels with a 5-wheel rotation plan as well.
The 2003 Econoline vans front track of ~ 69.4" and a rear track of 67.0"/ 138" wheelbase
The 2003 Excursions were 68.4 / and 68.1 respectively on a 137.1" wheelbase
The 2003 F250 68.3 / and 68.0 respectively
The 1997 F250 2WD had narrower rear axles than front. The 1997 F250 4wd front end was a TTB configuration and was very close to the same width as the rear. Perhaps this was so the front wheel and rear wheel tracks provided better traction,
As to why the van's rear axle is narrower I have heard the following:
To improve stability / Smaller turning radius / That is what was left over from the 1997 F Series stock and they wanted to use them up.
Interesting Note: The QuadVan (Portland, OR) used TTB conversions up through 2004 until they ran out of new parts to use. Being a Ford Certified upfitter they were required to use the existing Van parts plus all new parts in their 4x4 conversion. QV widened the front track when adapting the F250/Bronco TTB front end for installation into the E Series vans. I am guessing they were required to widen the track to match the original van 2WD track to achieve certification from Ford.
Agile on the other hand did not widen the track in their conversions and instead used the F250HD TTB stock track which matched the rear track of the van almost perfectly. Ramsey felt this was a great approach as the rear wheels followed in the same trough created by the front tires and there was no need for Bushwacker flares since the wheels filled out the stock wheel wells nicely.
For nearly any 4x4 conversion including Quigley - What creates visual disharmony is narrower rear axle / wheel combination when adding Bushwacker flares. The flares then make the rear tires look like they are tucked way in and accentuate the difference between the wider front track vs the rear track. Adding the 1.5 to 1.75" spacers to the rear is a solution to the visual and matching rear track with front track. But due to van build weight, typically the next mod is the incorporation of a full floater rear axle (if not already present) due to the leverage the spacers place on the semi float axle bearings.
Aluminess bumpers add to the visual disharmony if the Bushwacker's are not added. The Aluminess bumpers were clearly designed to accommodate the Bushwacker flares as evidenced by the relief cuts in the front bumper were it wraps around. The width of the rear bumper is nessitated by bthe wrp around bars. What then results is the bumpers look a bit too wide without the flares. The wrap around on the Reunel rear bumpers was much tighter to the van body and looked okay with or without the flares.
On our Agile TTB I broke down and added rear spacers to bring the tires out to fil the well. This was done after swapping the rear semi for a full float. The front track is now narrower than the rear track. I have not noticed any ill effects in handling or traction. I would , for visual purposes, like the front tires to be spaced out further but adding spacers to the front axles is not a good thing due to steering geometry plus it would lead to fenders mod since the tires would contact going to full lock.