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Old 06-14-2009, 04:15 PM   #11
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Re: DYO sporty - lot's of questuions, looking for comments.

You may want to check with SMBw to see if they can build your van with Deaver springs, instead of their standard spring offerings.

One additional thing to consider is whether you feel the stock brakes are adequate for you or not. SMB does offer brake upgrades, though it's not cheap.


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Old 06-14-2009, 06:47 PM   #12
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Re: DYO sporty - lot's of questuions, looking for comments.

2 excellent points i wondered about -starting a new thread
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:58 PM   #13
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Re: DYO sporty - lot's of questuions, looking for comments.

Oh, and don't forget some stimulus money to help pay for all the upgrades.

FWIW, I've never felt my brakes were unsafe by any means, though my conversion is probably lighter than many since I have very little cabinetry. One of these days I'll get it weighed. That said, you can't go wrong with better brakes, if it's in your budget.


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Old 06-14-2009, 11:55 PM   #14
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Re: DYO sporty - lot's of questuions, looking for comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco_hauler
Oh, and don't forget some stimulus money to help pay for all the upgrades.

FWIW, I've never felt my brakes were unsafe by any means, though my conversion is probably lighter than many since I have very little cabinetry. One of these days I'll get it weighed. That said, you can't go wrong with better brakes, if it's in your budget.


Herb
I'd agree that the brakes on my 06 SMB are not unsafe. They work just fine considering they are stopping a 10k pound vehicle with a high center of gravity. Key is to use driving habits that are compatible with the realities of a heavy vehicle. I drove big trucks for years so getting used to the SMB was easy. That said, the cost of upgrading the rotors and pads is about the same as a locking diff for one axle. I use the brakes every time I drive and an accident avoided is worth a whole lot more than not getting stuck. So that is top of my to-do list.
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Old 06-15-2009, 06:45 AM   #15
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Re: DYO sporty - lot's of questuions, looking for comments.

Better brakes allow you to stop faster in traffic, and are good for managing heavy loads such as towing. That said, I have the stock breaks and are satisfied with them except in fast, heavy, stop-and-go traffic such as I-15 thru Salt Lake City, I-90 and I-5 in the Seattle-Portland areas, which I try to avoid like the plague. Stomping on the breaks to come to a complete stop from 60mph on I-15 when the traffic coagulates in front of you can be a life changing experience!

I never use breaks in descending long grades, but just gear down as needed. But I have a brake upgrade in my near future, as soon as the money appears!

Definitely get the brake upgrade if you can afford it.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:34 AM   #16
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Re: DYO sporty - lot's of questuions, looking for comments.

warholic-
To reiterate: The newer ('08 and newer) come with humungous brakes. They're so big that they won't fit in 16 inch wheels. If you are getting an '08 or newer, you will NOT need any brake upgrade. The problem then becomes one of finding acceptable wheels. We have American Racing Teflon coated Mojaves and 315X70X17 B.F.Goodrich tires which are quiet on the road and good on ice and perfectly acceptable in most normal snow conditions. Aside from from the folks on this forum who carry over gross loads and want E- Rated tires, I can't imagine a better ALL AROUND tire. We had a couple of places in Baja for 22 years, and had those tires on various rigs with nary a problem, running in sharp rock as well as sand. On my 3/4 ton diesel truck, we ran them at 10 lbs.
By the way, we have the flat plate water heater, and like it just fine.
We also have air overload helper bags ( or whatever you call them) and use them to keep the headlights correctly aimed when fully loaded and also contrary to some opinions on the forum, like them very much as well. Also great when pulling a trailer. We have two 16 gallon water tanks that work well for us.
Hope any of this helps-
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:23 AM   #17
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Re: DYO sporty - lot's of questuions, looking for comments.

Thx again for all the comments - all good stuff.

Good info skywagon on the tires and rims - the best low on-road tire noise plus best off road performance is always the issue for me. Flate plate with two 16 gallon water tanks sounds right - don't think one can hace too much water if going out in the boonies. Tradeoff is lose storage capacity, I guess. I'm going to start seperate thread on air bags - I have questions.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:23 AM   #18
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Re: DYO sporty - lot's of questuions, looking for comments.

Having now owned my SMB for a total of 3 weeks. Here are my observations after 4,000 miles and 3 weeks of camping. Pueblo Gold, EB50, 6.0 Diesel.

Love the diesel engine, cruising down the road effortlessly at 75 mph and taking on the passes here in Colorado as well as NV, WY, and Utah. Averaging close to 15 mpg.
Engine doesn't smell and I am getting 0 heat from my engine box, which really was a surprise for me.

Brakes are huge and work great on the new model.

On board extreme air compressor works great. Glad I have it.

I have the smaller fridge and it works well, I opted to also carry a Engel dual zone fridge/freezer for more flexibility and storage. I added two 12 volt plugs, one by the back doors inside, and one out side by the cargo doors, so I can keep the fridge/freezer both inside and out.

Fiama awning is fantastic.

Go with the Dynatrac hubs

I am adding the front locker this week.

The Espar furnace and the flat plate work great.

I added the Danhard A/C and it will cool the SMB down quickly in 100 degree temps.

I also added a 10 gallon propane tank for my outside cooking, this way I don't have to remember to bring propane, and will always have plenty of fuel for my cooking needs. I do not have an inside cooktop, just a microwave.

Aluminess bumpers and full roof rack are great. Lots of storage options. On top I have a Kyocera solar panel and KVH satellite on one side and open storage on the other side. Highly recommend the Aluminess storage box for the rear bumper, I have used my "medium/large" box non stop.

XL floor storage is great for wet/dry storage.

The BFG's seem to work great both on and off road.

I like the leatherette.

Will probably upgrade the rear axle at some point.

I have the Warn 12000 in the front bumper.

I added a second house battery instead of two solar panels to save space up top. I have not come close to using up my power. And I have 3 TV's and lots of outside lights that I am using all the time when camping. Other then my primary front lights and backup lights, I have 15 "extra" lights of some kind on the outside of the SMB.

Good luck with the build, you will love your new toy.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:24 AM   #19
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Re: DYO sporty - lot's of questuions, looking for comments.

Having now owned my SMB for a total of 3 weeks. Here are my observations after 4,000 miles and 3 weeks of camping. Pueblo Gold, EB50, 6.0 Diesel.

Love the diesel engine, cruising down the road effortlessly at 75 mph and taking on the passes here in Colorado as well as NV, WY, and Utah. Averaging close to 15 mpg.
Engine doesn't smell and I am getting 0 heat from my engine box, which really was a surprise for me.

Brakes are huge and work great on the new model.

On board extreme air compressor works great. Glad I have it.

I have the smaller fridge and it works well, I opted to also carry a Engel dual zone fridge/freezer for more flexibility and storage. I added two 12 volt plugs, one by the back doors inside, and one out side by the cargo doors, so I can keep the fridge/freezer both inside and out.

Fiama awning is fantastic.

Go with the Dynatrac hubs

I am adding the front locker this week.

The Espar furnace and the flat plate work great.

I added the Danhard A/C and it will cool the SMB down quickly in 100 degree temps.

I also added a 10 gallon propane tank for my outside cooking, this way I don't have to remember to bring propane, and will always have plenty of fuel for my cooking needs. I do not have an inside cooktop, just a microwave.

Aluminess bumpers and full roof rack are great. Lots of storage options. On top I have a Kyocera solar panel and KVH satellite on one side and open storage on the other side. Highly recommend the Aluminess storage box for the rear bumper, I have used my "medium/large" box non stop.

XL floor storage is great for wet/dry storage.

The BFG's seem to work great both on and off road.

I like the leatherette.

Will probably upgrade the rear axle at some point.

I have the Warn 12000 in the front bumper.

I added a second house battery instead of two solar panels to save space up top. I have not come close to using up my power. And I have 3 TV's and lots of outside lights that I am using all the time when camping. Other then my primary front lights and backup lights, I have 15 "extra" lights of some kind on the outside of the SMB.

Good luck with the build, you will love your new toy.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:07 PM   #20
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Re: DYO sporty - lot's of questuions, looking for comments.

trailsurfer - GREAT input - thx for time to do it. Do you have a model year 2009?
I read this email at least 5 times - LOL - will continue to "study" it. Interesting input on 1 solar panel / extra house battery. Info on diesel engine not generating heat inside - you the first one I read that said that. Any guess why .... or?

trailsurfer - do you feel the front ARB is needed or is it "just in case"? Do you have the limited slip rear that comes with the Ford as an option?

I am going only with microwave inside and then syore a small 2 burner coleman gas stove inside. Do you just store your 10 gal tank inside and take out when u use it .... or is it affixed inside and accessible from outside? Maybe this dumb question.

Do you only use the Danhard AC while driving? Also when parked? Is it noisy when on - both inside and/or ouitside?
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