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Old 10-19-2015, 04:33 PM   #1
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Soften up my ride

Hello,

Thank you, to all the folks that give of there time and knowledge to this forum. I am amazed at home much information is available... the time spent on some of these threads is quite remarkable!!

I have started writing the long version several time and keep getting distracted and loosing what I start.. so I will keep it brief.

I have a 99 E350 V10 with Advanced 4X4 conversion, done when it was new. I purchased the van about a month ago.

My biggest issues at this moment is the stiff suspension. I feel every single bump, crack, slight imperfection in the road.. and I am yet to drive it off road or even on gravel. I don't think that it bottoms out, but it does want to bounce you out of your seat. The rattle bucket affect also makes me a little crazier. I have no complaints about how it steers or turns. I also do not plan on using it off road much if any. I doubt that I will end up having much weight in most of time. Daily driver for now, and light family camper/ adventure van eventually.

I get that this is 3/4 ton vehicle, which I have never owned before. I am not trying to compare it to my wifes rx350, but I did think it might be a little close to my previous 02 f150, that I sold to buy my "Ban" (as my two year old says)

This is what I have gathered about the front end. Springs are 42 inches long, am told they might be from a dodge. The shocks appear to be well used. It has a Dana 60 differential. She sits two inches lower in the front. The bump stop maybe has two inches of travel.

Options: (I am aware of)

First thing I did was to call Advanced. I was told the that spring technology changed shortly after my van was converted. Randy suggested and informally quoted, $2000 for a "night and day difference", with new hangers, shackles, "progressive springs" (I think that was he called them), shocks, and new steering component up grades. This would also require that I bring the Ban to SLC and he would need two days. He was also going to do the ball joints pretty cheap (until I figured out that I did not have any balls.. joints)

Second, local spring shop, suggested re-arching my springs $400, new springs (longer) $1000.

I have also started conversations Ujoint, Chris suggested that if wanted "performance" I would need start over, (I have not asked more questions about what he means by performance, I assume he means off road) ... which at this point $2000 for Randy is going to take some time.

I also heard from Agile Off-Road that they did not have a "bolt on" solution for Avanced Systems.

Thanks for your help in and on Advance(d)... that was bad.
Coby
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Old 10-19-2015, 05:08 PM   #2
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Re: Soften up my ride

Quote:
I was told the that spring technology changed shortly after my van was converted
Hmmmm I think the big change in leaf springs technology happened when chariots went from hauling produce to hauling dignitaries. In the last 100 years? Not so much....

Anyways.... If that were my van, I'd probably de-Advance it and go with a U-joint setup. The longer leafs and aft shackles will make the ride MUCH better. I'm not so sure that Advance's brand-new vans ride as well as a U-Joint conversion. Also I feel like Chris is much more likely to work with you to set you up with springs rates and shocks that will get you the ride you want.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:48 PM   #3
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Re: Soften up my ride

weve got members locally with advanced and ujoint setups. might be worthwhile to hit them up for thier thoughts about the conversions. nothing better than first hand experience to help with an expensive decision.
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:32 PM   #4
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Re: Soften up my ride

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Originally Posted by shenrie
weve got members locally with advanced and ujoint setups. might be worthwhile to hit them up for thier thoughts about the conversions. nothing better than first hand experience to help with an expensive decision.
My neighbor has a ujoint, got that covered... Do you know anyone that has Advanced?
Thanks for the suggestion... Ps going to install new Carr super hoops this weekend if you wanted to swing by, I am off warm springs. I would also like see how yours rides. Or I could come your way.

I think that is part of my problem... Did not think my neighbors ujoint rode that much different than mine.
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:46 PM   #5
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Re: Soften up my ride

We spent considerable time on arctictraveller (Jeff's) Advanced 4x4 reworking the springs and custom valving FOX shocks for him. Much improved, but there is only so much that you can do with leaf springs and heavy front axles.

Where are you located?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obieone
My neighbor has a ujoint, got that covered... Do you know anyone that has Advanced?
Thanks for the suggestion... Ps going to install new Carr super hoops this weekend if you wanted to swing by, I am off warm springs. I would also like see how yours rides. Or I could come your way.

I think that is part of my problem... Did not think my neighbors ujoint rode that much different than mine.
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:13 AM   #6
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Re: Soften up my ride

[quote="BajaSportsmobile"]We spent considerable time on arctictraveller (Jeff's) Advanced 4x4 reworking the springs and custom valving FOX shocks for him. Much improved, but there is only so much that you can do with leaf springs and heavy front axles.

Where are you located?

I am in idaho... Sounds like you are in Mexico but, your shop is in San diego? I believe Jeff was able to keep his shackles and springs?
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:23 AM   #7
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Re: Soften up my ride

ahhh, brian told me he had a neighbor that was interested in vans, too funny. ive driven his rig out camping. his steering felt more crisp, but mine felt like a smoother ride. again, was on a chatterboard road at low speeds (succor creek) so hard to really make a comparison.

ive committed to an old man emu project on a friends lc this weekend if i dont go camping, but it would be cool to get together and drive each others rigs for comparisons sake. plus havent seen brian in months and always interested in meeting other van enthusiasts. what day you guys messing with the steps?
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Old 10-21-2015, 03:07 PM   #8
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Re: Soften up my ride

I just dealt with this problem on my 1997 7.3 powerstroke extended van conversion by Advanced 4x4. So it should be the same suspension setup. I went back and forth about the options and wanted a serious improvement because I had a baby on the way and the ride was super bouncy, and seemed to wander all over the road. It was so bad my wife didn't want to drive it or ride one the van with the kids until it was fixed. I figured it was probably going to cost 2k+ to fix but with another kid on the way I decided to tackle the cheap stuff first. I ordered front and rear Bilstein 5100 series shocks through Chris at Ujoint. This totally cured my problem. the difference in ride quality is night and day. No more bounce and no more wandering. Your experience may be different.
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Old 10-21-2015, 05:50 PM   #9
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Re: Soften up my ride

I did keep the same springs. I pretty much stand by what I said over on Expo

http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/t ... up-my-ride

As for switching over to a different design, I have no doubt that Chris's kit would be a huge improvement with heavy duty everything and a proven great ride. If you really want a smooth high speed ride on rough roads, you should just get Ramsey to convert it to his TTB coil spring set-up. You can't beat properly dampened long travel suspension for high speed travel through the rough stuff. His van rides better than most cars on the road and really flys down the rough stuff. Im no expert here, but his setup seems perfect for high speed Baja type travel. Leaf springs seem slightly more tuned to slower speed, high articulation, four wheeling, mostly because leaf springs don't allow as much travel. Never the less, they are both great designs you couldn't go wrong with, but with some love and a lot less money, your current setup will work just fine (depending on your use that is)
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Old 10-21-2015, 10:20 PM   #10
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Re: Soften up my ride

Read about leaf spring construction here:


http://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/suspe ... ings-work/
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