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Old 01-27-2020, 02:02 PM   #1
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Weaving in a turn - Suspension issue?

Hey gang,



Just wanted to throw this out there in the event that this is a known issue or anyone else has experienced this: I'm getting a weaving behavior as I go through turns on the interstate above 60mph (I usually drive between 60 and 75mph on the interstate).



The weaving feels like a fairly slow back and forth body roll oscillation as I'm moving through a turn, it's not a death wobble or very severe but it makes driving super annoying because you're having to fight the steering wheel and keep both hands tight on it while moving through a turn. This is fatiguing on long drives and makes driving at high speeds feel less stable.



I'm suspicious about my alignment and if my ball joints need replacement.



Any thoughts on where I should start?



Other important things to note:



  • This is a 2008 Quigley 4x4 E350 extended V10

  • I have put on the Agile RIP shocks in the front - ATS heavy duty leafs in the rear springs and new 285/70/R17 (33") general grabber ATx tires.
  • I do have a 220lb 1/4" steel offroad front bumper. Before I installed the RIP front shocks and the heavy duty rear springs the thing handled like garbage with that heavy bumper - after the new suspension it improved
  • Also note that driving without the steering stabilizer FOX shock from the RIP kit seemed to improve the weaving turn handling but having it on exacerbated this poor turn behavior ( I think I've read some other forum posts that it is not uncommon for people to run without a steering stabilizer shock due to poor handling).
  • Handling was pretty good after the new suspension install (w/o steering stabilizer) - but before I put on new 33" tires - I was running 32" before. After I put on the 33" tires, I'm kind of back to having a more noticeable weaving turn even with out the steering stabilizer shock installed.
  • I haven't tried installing the steering stabilizer since I upgraded to 33" tires so maybe I should throw it on and see if it's better or worse?


I'm also still in the process of the interior build out, It's mostly empty right now but I have a 120lb battery in the back drivers side corner of the van, could having an asymmetric weight loading inside the van be making this work or does that not matter?





Thanks in advance for any input!
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:34 AM   #2
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weaving in a turn - Suspension issue?

Certainly check all ball joints as a possible culprit, but also check your front sway bar bushings, the ones that the ends of the sway bar go into on the beam, they’re probably wallowed out and could be causing your issue. As sway bars help to control lateral movement, when you’re turning, if those bushings are shot, the sway bar has room to move and will cause the van to, well, sway, creating handling slop.
Or since you say the van in mostly stripped of interior, you are much lighter than what both the shocks and springs are valved for. Throw in a heavy load and see if it settles.
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:37 PM   #3
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What load range are the new tires?
How many miles on the van drivetrain?
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Old 01-28-2020, 10:42 PM   #4
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As a casual comment, interpreting yours as not having a steering stabilizer installed at all--

I had the original stabilizer from original conversion in '97... It was bleeding/weeping, changed it out. Huge difference in the amount of feedback that came back up through the wheel (16 hour, 1150 mile drive and my hands would be numb), after changing it, smooth sailing.

That said, I am not convinced a steering stabilizer would be the primary culprit behind your particular issue.
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Old 01-31-2020, 12:00 PM   #5
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As recomended by others, I removed my steering stabilizer and never
Put it back. The van became easier to drive with less constant steering input needed due to reducing the initial amount of force needed to move the wheel, and then the resulting amount of slight over steering requiring a quick counter correction. Improving my steering has been a several years long project but it’s now much better. Have you checked the amount of play in your steering box? Have you had the alignment checked? Increasing caster to about 5degs made a noticeable improvement. Basically, every component of the front end needs to be inspected. Best of luck.
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Old 01-31-2020, 12:49 PM   #6
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What's your tire pressures and actual F/R axle weights?

Are your wheels wide enough for the new tires? I'm leaning towards these, because it got worse with this change along and the steering damper making things worse.

Of course, inspecting EVERYTHING in the steering system is a must, and you can spot most defects by looking underneath while somebody else moves the steering wheel back a forth a little bit.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:25 PM   #7
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Thanks for the responses!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilnuts2 View Post
What load range are the new tires?
How many miles on the van drivetrain?
These are E rated General Grabber ATx tires



I have 137k miles on the ODO, drivetrain has never been replaced to my knowledge.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Offroading_is_Fun View Post
As a casual comment, interpreting yours as not having a steering stabilizer installed at all--

I had the original stabilizer from original conversion in '97... It was bleeding/weeping, changed it out. Huge difference in the amount of feedback that came back up through the wheel (16 hour, 1150 mile drive and my hands would be numb), after changing it, smooth sailing.

That said, I am not convinced a steering stabilizer would be the primary culprit behind your particular issue.

The original steering stabilizer was totally shot, basically not doing anything, I upgraded the front suspension with the Agile RIP package but the steering stabilizer was back ordered so I actually drove the van for a couple months before getting the Agile Fox 2.0 steering stabilizer shock, when I put it on I noticed more of this turning sway feedback then when it was not installed. So I took it off prior to getting the new tires on, so back to baseline, but then with the new tires I now get this sway feedback while going through turns. I have yet to re-install the steering stabilizer, maybe it will help not sure. I'll probably do that experiment when I have time. A lot of people on this 4m have mentioned that they remove it and it improves things like ArtcticTraveller mentions below:




Quote:
Originally Posted by arctictraveller View Post
As recomended by others, I removed my steering stabilizer and never
Put it back. The van became easier to drive with less constant steering input needed due to reducing the initial amount of force needed to move the wheel, and then the resulting amount of slight over steering requiring a quick counter correction. Improving my steering has been a several years long project but it’s now much better.


Have you checked the amount of play in your steering box? Have you had the alignment checked? Increasing caster to about 5degs made a noticeable improvement. Basically, every component of the front end needs to be inspected. Best of luck.

Arctic Traveler - I'm going to an alignment shop on Monday to get it inspected and then I'll have a better idea of whats going on. I'm not going to get an alignment until I'm 100% sure I don't need to replace things like bushings, ball joints, etc because you'd need another alignment after those are installed anyway.



Regarding the steering box play - I'm afraid I don't know how to / what the steering box is, could you elaborate on where it is and how to check it?



Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb View Post
What's your tire pressures and actual F/R axle weights?

Are your wheels wide enough for the new tires? I'm leaning towards these, because it got worse with this change along and the steering damper making things worse.

Of course, inspecting EVERYTHING in the steering system is a must, and you can spot most defects by looking underneath while somebody else moves the steering wheel back a forth a little bit.

I'm running both front and back at 60PSI right now, however, with my older tires I always filled them up to 70PSI - maybe that's part of the equation. I'm open to any input or suggestions on this.


weight distribution is quite close last time I measured it:

Front ~3600lb
Rear ~3500lb


I'm pretty sure I'm running the stock Ford F-250 17" steel wheels, these wheels were put on during the quigley conversion, as I believe factory E-series wheels are 16 inch and Quigley basically throws the F-250 dana 60 axel on the front end of their E-series conversions but don't quote me on that, I could be wrong.


The mechanic who did the tire install said he was running the same wheels and tires on his F-250 truck and it worked fine for him, he said I might get some frame rub with the 33" but when I was deciding between 33" vs 35" tires I opted for 33 because you don't have to re gear the drive (4.10 to 4.56 is what I've read, I'm currently running 4.10) and you don't have to cut the body panel to accommodate the 35" tires, and (hopefully) not need to buy a new set of wheels. (trying not to break the bank that much, but what's another $2000 in a new set of wheels right? (where's the sarcasm emoji on this thing ... ) )



Fingers crossed it's as simple as replacing some bushings and an alignment. I'm kind of tempted to just replace all the ball joints and other wear parts in one go since I've basically replaced everything else in the front end suspension already and this van does have 137 miles on it and is 11 years old so those ball joints, sway bar, and bushings are probably past their prime anyway.



will keep you guys posted!
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:42 AM   #8
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Your tire pressure is higher than I like to run. It is extremely sensitive on these heavy vans. More pressure equals worse handling and harsher ride. I have always preferred 55/60 on E-rated tires on heavily modified SMB/camper vans. Give it a try. You will not notice a fuel mileage difference.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:49 AM   #9
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As for steering box play, it’s the connection between the steering wheel and the wheels. They develop play and the result is sloppy ness or looseness where a small movement of the steering wheel doesn’t move the tire. Have it checked when you get the alignment checked.
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Old 02-03-2020, 04:10 PM   #10
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Inspection showed that I need new drivers side upper and lower ball joints as well as both universal joints on the axle. The passenger side ball joints are solid as are the wheel bearings, steering box (was OK, little slop but not much), sway bar bushings looked OK. Will get alignment done after these parts are installed.



Thinking about the universal joints, aren't those really only in play when in 4x4 and the hubs are locked? or are they involved during regular 2WD as just part of the steering and front end suspension?




Now it's just a matter of forking out yet more cash in the never ending pursuit of perfecting this van. The shop I was at quoting $550 for labor - does anyone have experience for that being a reasonable labor cost for the universal joints and one set of ball joints?
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