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Old 08-17-2009, 04:16 PM   #11
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

Class action against SMB to get the GVWR raised? Dont think much can be done other than to reinforce the individual rig.


As far as the second link goes, BECKY should not be driving anything. The van was maxed out. She had a trailer (that probably was not loaded correctly), and she tried to pass a semi on a narrowing road. HS!
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Old 08-17-2009, 04:40 PM   #12
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

I'm not much of a fan of lawsuits, I'd just like a systematic approach to reinforcing the individual rig. And some guidance from SMB would be nice...

Assuming we all drive rationally, what mechanical upgrades would increase the weight rating?

In no rationale order except perhaps cost and ease of implementation:

-E rated tires
-Proper inflation
-Better shocks
-Heavy duty/high temp brake fluid
-Better pads
-More/better rear springs
-Front and rear anti-sway bars
-Full floating rear axle ($?)

Anything else?

I'd like upgraded brakes but don't think there is anything that will fit the stock 16" wheels. Anyone know of any?

No way to retrofit the electronic stability control as far as I know.

Wheel spacers could help or hurt-depends on several factors.

I think my SMB is going to have to go on a diet.

Tom
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:02 PM   #13
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

I'd like to see a nice narrow dually option so huge fenders aren't required. Or perhaps a wider set of rims and tires in the rear, similar to how the big rigs have gone to one wide tire rather than duals. The diameter is the crucial measurement.

If you look at the Quigley website, they have dually option that uses a Dana 70 and all the other dually parts to make it a true dually.

You can use a kit without changing the rear axle. It maintains your current GVW but would give you more stability.

As the GVW goes up on ford vans, E450, E550, dual rear wheels are part of it.

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Old 08-17-2009, 07:28 PM   #14
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

Here is something I copied years ago from the owners group. The guys were asking questions on rear sag and handling problems. It might be a bit off topic but interesting. Sorry I don't have the link but I believe it was when my van was being built, sept-dec 2005
New vans might be a different story concerning some of what was written back then.

In 2005 Fred Whorff wrote:
From my experience, there are only a few things that could cause you to have
the kind of issues you are reporting with your Sportsmobile. These are load
capacity, specific load location relative to the axles, and height of such
loads from the axle center lines. I am not familiar with your specific
vehicle, but I did ask the shop a few questions so that I might better
understand your situation.



First of all, you have an extended body van built into a plush motor home.
This means that it is not a prerunner style of vehicle and it weighs quite a
bit more than a trophy truck. The second thing that I think I'm hearing is
that you might be loading a motorcycle or two on the back with various
additional quantities of fuel, water, spare parts, etc. specific to your
activities, not just normal use as a motorhome. This additional weight can
be quite a problem, especially if it is being located off the back of an
already extended body van. You could be significantly overloading your rear
axle. In my opinion, semi-floating rear axles are the week link in Ford'
van design. For this reason, Sportsmobile offers an upgrade to a full
floating axle. If you have the loads that I think you do on the stock Ford
rear end, you are asking for trouble in Baja. Keep in mind that with the
semi floater you have one bearing with an axle that is not only handling the
stresses of propelling the vehicle, but also the weight of the vehicle.
Break an axle and you are done. With the full floater, you have two larger
Timken roller bearings on each end of the axle that deal with the weight of
the van. The drive axles do not see stress from the weight of the van and
are only used to propel the vehicle.



The next issue is the springs. On your model of van, Sportsmobile modifies
the stock Ford spring pack by adding 2 extra leaves. The springs are
designed around the typical loading of a Sportsmobile Extended Body plus a
safety factor. I doubt that Sportsmobile would have let the vehicle leave
the building if it was severely sagging in the rear. Did you add
significantly more stuff (racks, cans, etc.) off the back after you left
Sportsmobile? Sportsmobile's spring rate is significantly higher than the
stock Ford spring so something must be adding significant load. The
addition of air bags is not typically used for fixing the "normal" ride
height of a van. They are suggested for periodic known overload conditions.
They do restrict suspension movement as they are an added connection between
sprung and unsprung components and have their own effective spring rate
based on how much air fill pressure.



The front spring design uses a reverse shackle design that typically leads
to a much more comfortable ride on a washboard road. That said, the
handling of the van can be significantly degraded if you are overloaded in
the rear (behind the axle). Think of it as "lifting" the front for lack of
a better term. The moment from stuff mounted off the back of an extended
body van can cause a myriad of handling issues that putting aftermarket
springs on will not help.



The current models of shocks used by Sportsmobile are designed for
consistent use on washboard roads with little or no fading present after
many miles. The Old Man Emu reputation is having a shock that is properly
valved for the vehicle and rugged in performance. These shocks are not just
some shock off the shelf for some pickup truck application. The valving was
specifically designed for the Sportsmobile Van with its specific use (motor
home) in mind.







Fred Whorff

Sportsmobile Design Engineer




More on axles:

For most applications the stock axle is sufficient. I would recommend the
full floating axle for anyone who is going to be consistently towing a heavy
trailer (horses, racecars, etc) or for someone who wants the strongest
solution for that "just in case" scenario. Washboard roads might not in and
of themselves be a major concern, but what about the dip or washout that you
didn't see while cruising down that washboard road? Shock loading can be
tremendous. If you only expect that kind of terrain 5% of the time, that's
one thing. If you expect those kinds of roads 30% of the time or more, or
you are consistently carrying more weight than you care to admit, you might
want to look into the full floater.

I hope my opinion helps -

Fred
[edit] written by Fred Whorff in 2005.
Dave.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:55 PM   #15
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

Thanks Fred. That's good stuff. SMB may get some business out of this thread. I wonder if anyone has a ballpark on what it costs to have a full floater installed?

They guys as SMB Austin are really pretty nice about supplying replacement parts at a reasonable price, answering a bunch of questions, and dealing with prospective buyers all day.

What bothers me is the company ought to be upfront about the available cargo capacity. If I fill up my empty SMB with gas and water and I'm already over the GVWR then I'm gonna need a smaller dog.

In all seriousness, I'm really curious about what the available weight carrying capacity of a new, dry van is. I'm starting to think it really is in the 100's of lbs, if that. Knowing this, people might not treat it like a supervan and load the hell out of it like it were a semi. Safer all round.

Tom
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:16 PM   #16
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

I am looking at some spec sheets for the 2001 e series vans. If you got the 150/250 you got the semi floater. If you got the 350 you got the full floater. Why do people talk about an upgrade to full floater with the 350. Did ford change and not put the full floater in all 350's.

Curb wieght of a 2001 e 350 super duty ext body van ranges from 6200 to 6800lbs.

As I am thinking about the gvwr on the sportsmobile, it occurs to me that not all the wieght added would be considered as payload. Adding the 4 wheel drive (front axle) will add lots of wieght to the van, but it does not mean that the van will be carrying the wieght. Brakes are obviously effected as you will have to stop the wieght.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:26 PM   #17
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

I don't know about 2001, but in 2005 a full floating Dynatrac axle cost 3,500 installed. The 2008 order form states 3,700.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:37 PM   #18
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

Around 2003 Ford stopped supplying full floating rear axles on vans. Why? Cost.

My 2004 has a semi floating rear axle.

Mike
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:31 PM   #19
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedog225
Thanks Fred. That's good stuff. SMB may get some business out of this thread. I wonder if anyone has a ballpark on what it costs to have a full floater installed?

They guys as SMB Austin are really pretty nice about supplying replacement parts at a reasonable price, answering a bunch of questions, and dealing with prospective buyers all day.

What bothers me is the company ought to be upfront about the available cargo capacity. If I fill up my empty SMB with gas and water and I'm already over the GVWR then I'm gonna need a smaller dog.

In all seriousness, I'm really curious about what the available weight carrying capacity of a new, dry van is. I'm starting to think it really is in the 100's of lbs, if that. Knowing this, people might not treat it like a supervan and load the hell out of it like it were a semi. Safer all round.

Tom
The Dynatrac is expensive. It is a listed option on SMBs cost sheets for a new build.

Having it added after the van is built runs over $5000.

R
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:57 AM   #20
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

I just yanked my semi-floater that came in my '07, sent it to DyanTrac and had it converted to a full-floater. The cost was $3,000. Shipping will depend on where you are, but from north of Reno it was arond $300 for both ways. R&R will depend on doing it yourself or the shop you use. Pretty easy, no brainer work. Shouldn't take more then six hours total. It took DynaTrac six working days on their end.
I'm now on the road the way I should have been if I wasn't so cheap when I ordered the van. Figured I saved almost $100 doing it my way. Boy, am I smart or what....
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