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Old 04-12-2016, 06:21 AM   #81
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JWA - I would definitely love to see what you came up with. I don't want the full length because I don't need it but just want something for the passengers getting in the third door.

Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2016, 03:41 PM   #82
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The fun continues...

Just went to les Schwab to get an alignment done to see if that would help and after an hour of sitting in the waiting room ( they were busy ) they come back and say they can't align it. I guess on one side the ball joints are done and the tie rod (I think that's what he said ) is loose and couldn't find the rod ends. Not really sure how you can't find the end of a rod but I am also oblivious to this suspension so I just went with it.

I called to get a quote on ball joints at a frame and axle shop right up the road and they quoted 350 a side, does that sound legit?

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Old 04-12-2016, 03:52 PM   #83
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You really need to get that into a reputable shop.

Les Schwab is near useless, and I wouldn't do any work based on their word.

Somebody in the Portland area must know someone to recommend. Anyone?
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Old 04-12-2016, 05:07 PM   #84
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You really need to get that into a reputable shop.

Les Schwab is near useless, and I wouldn't do any work based on their word.

Somebody in the Portland area must know someone to recommend. Anyone?
I've found the Les Schwab in Hillsboro (Ronler Acres) to be one of the best for alignments. Much better the some of the "truck" alignment shops. FWIW that particular shop handles the entire Metro West ambulance fleet.

Josh - The rod end problem no doubt has to do with Advance using whatever parts they feel like, instead of sticking with OEM Ford stuff. It might take a trip to Napa with a removed rod-end to match it to what they keep on the shelf. I don't think most shops would keep a thread gauge on hand to measure something that size.
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Old 04-12-2016, 05:09 PM   #85
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PS - This is a tie-rod end. I'm pretty sure when they said they "can't find it" they did not mean on your van... They meant matching the application.... They vary by diameter, length, thread pitch, thread direction, and even joint style so it's can be very time consuming to find a replacement if you don't know the original application.

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Old 04-12-2016, 05:14 PM   #86
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I've found the Les Schwab in Hillsboro (Ronler Acres) to be one of the best for alignments. Much better the some of the "truck" alignment shops. FWIW that particular shop handles the entire Metro West ambulance fleet.
I stand corrected!
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:27 PM   #87
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Well, unfortunately I didn't go to that one (I was going to but the other les Schwab in Hillsboro is closer. Next time I get an alignment I'm going there. And that makes more sense as far as the rod end ha ha.

This all goes back to the number one reason I am ready to swap this front end suspension out. Because no one, not even the people that attached the components on, can tell me what is under my truck without a hassle. Looks like I'm spending the 5k on that instead of the interior.

Thanks for the info Carringb!
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Old 04-13-2016, 05:22 AM   #88
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JWA - I would definitely love to see what you came up with. I don't want the full length because I don't need it but just want something for the passengers getting in the third door.

Thanks!
Never realized how crappy these are--sorry in advance! Running Boards by J W | Photobucket

These aren't pretty but for my use they're prefect. As mentioned they were designed to avoid drilling additional holes in the body. Since these were built and installed I've simplified the process eliminating the welding shown.

With nothing more than a way to cut aluminum shapes and using off-the-shelf hardware (except for the tread boards) these could be a DIY driveway project. Hopefully these give you a few ideas how to do this better suiting your own needs and aesthetic likes.

I'll post additional photos of the later design as soon as the sun comes up.

HTH
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:27 AM   #89
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I stand corrected!
naw, your original statement was right on the money (for me anyway). if i don't personally know someone at a les schwab location, theres no way in hell ill use them unless its an emergency situation and there are no other choices. seen and heard way too many stories of people getting ripped off. they've tried to strongarm 2-3 people i know into buying tire(s) by not letting them leave their store saying that they are liable if said tires cause an accident. one of my buddies had them install his spare so he could leave cause they wouldn't take the car off the lift unless he bought a replacement tire. a tire they wouldn't warranty even though he had road hazard coverage (yes, he purchased the tires AT THAT STORE!). the "we wont sell it if we cant warranty it" slogan is total bs.

AND...if for nothing else, the hatred i have for the lady they use in their most recent commercials that says kitten and rotten so annoyingly terrible. kitten is one freaking word lady...
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:10 AM   #90
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This all goes back to the number one reason I am ready to swap this front end suspension out. Because no one, not even the people that attached the components on, can tell me what is under my truck without a hassle. Looks like I'm spending the 5k on that instead of the interior.
I'm in a similar situation with my Advanced front axle, although I'm slowly figuring it all out. Another way to look at this is that it's fairly straightforward for a NAPA type auto parts place to figure out the tie rod ends, etc if you bring them in....do this once and record the P/N, save the box, etc. and you have the correct part info for life....$5K buys a lot of interior components....

OTOH, if you really want someone else's 4WD setup, by all means go for it...

BTW, your front brakes will be a similar issue....At least two of us on here have Chevy suburban/Chevy truck rotors and calipers. I've since DIYed larger brakes on my setup.
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