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Old 09-17-2009, 09:58 AM   #31
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Re: How many REALLY use the full capability of the SMB 4x4?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UJOINT
I doubt a Quadvan has as much suspension travel as a SMB. And as far as using all Ford parts, I don't see that as a huge +. If the stock Ford suspension on the F series was perfect, sure. But it's not. Huge radius arms that hang down, trac bar design that loves to develop death wobble, unit bearings, etc. I bet if we really sat down & looked at all of the wearable components on a SMB conversion, they're more common than the factory Ford parts. And cheaper......
The benefit or lack of benefit probably depends on who does the maintainance and repairs on your van. If the owner does all the work, then no issue. If you take your van to the dealer for work (its under warranty - right) then it can and does make a big difference if the dealer will work on the front end for you.

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Old 09-17-2009, 01:05 PM   #32
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Re: How many REALLY use the full capability of the SMB 4x4?

Mine is all Ford parts and yes I feel that I max out it's capabilitys. I do this by only using 4x4 to get unstuck or right before a section that I may need it. I would never take this thing on "jeep' trails and since it basically has no flex then there is no way I'm going out of my way to twist this heavy rig up on anything more than a trail to a camp spot. It's a huge heavy 4x4 van. Those that think all this heavy duty stock 1 ton van stuff is OK to "wheel" are crazy. A freind broke a steering box this weekend. I used the van to hual the dirt bike then parked it. He wheeled his full size on the trails with us dirt bikes.
If you are hell bent on "wheeling" in a van and thats OK then a RB with the Dynatrac stuff and Atlas T-case should be strong but you need to allways use your swaybar disconects and know when to use your lockers. Swaybars on trails transferes too much stress to your rig. Don't floor it in the rocks and when you start to roll it on it's side then allways steer down hill. Natural tendencey is " I don't want to go down there" so you steer up hill. This makes you roll faster. Steer in the direction of the roll even if it's down somthing nasty. Driving down the nasty is better than rolling down it. Point in the direction of the roll!
While I'm hijacking.....The most common senerios for a rollover I have seen is backing down a hill that could not be climbed. This how to do it: Back down 6" at a time and stop. 6" and slide,6" and slide. Thats the key to not getting up any speed but if you find yourself rolling and slideing backwards then the 70/30 proportioning valve in your breaks is not in your favor. Push those breaks harder than ever befor and yes the front will allready be locked and sliding backwards. Push harder because now the rear breaks made weak by the proportioning valve are now your front breaks and they need help by you pushing harder than ever. Your weight is leaning you back in the seat due to the incline so it's harder still because of that. Push like hell when going backwards. and move the seat forward befor the climb.
Now for the trick that will save your van when sliding out of controll backwards down a hill. Pay attention because this one can save your arse as well. When in a backwards down hill slide allways look at the top of the hill or the trail way in front of you. If you know where the front end is and it's pointed up then the rear will do it's own thing. As soon as you worry about the rear and where it's going your front comes around and over you go. Remember to allways look up hill when backing down and when going foward steer in the direction of the roll. My driving sucks so I use the tricks tought to me by those with talent.
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:12 PM   #33
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Re: How many REALLY use the full capability of the SMB 4x4?

I don't know why Stump, but that made me laugh. I see what you're saying, but hope to never need that advice...
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:56 PM   #34
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Re: How many REALLY use the full capability of the SMB 4x4?

In the short time we have owned our EB SMB 4x4 (march 09) we/I have put it through its paces. It has spent many hours in 4 wheel low range. I have been 4 wheeling many years in various vehicles like many others here and I feel that the SMB is very capable.
I treat the SMB a tad different than any other 4wd I have ever driven. Overall I drive much, much slower. I always respect how heavy this vehicle is and as long as I do that I don't have any suprises (knock on wood). So far the only limiting factor is our departure angle on our EB. We have only scraped the receiver hitch once and I am sure it won't be the last.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:57 PM   #35
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Re: How many REALLY use the full capability of the SMB 4x4?

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Originally Posted by 2much8ntenough
I don't know why Stump, but that made me laugh. I see what you're saying, but hope to never need that advice...
Glad I could make you laugh but seriously remember to allways turn down or into the lean and allways look at the top of the hill if you are backing down. Me I put a Jeep on it's side and have been passenger in a VW rollover, a CJ7 rollover and a new JK Rubicon rollover. Not fun and the last one kicked my arse.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:44 PM   #36
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Re: How many REALLY use the full capability of the SMB 4x4?

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The benefit or lack of benefit probably depends on who does the maintainance and repairs on your van. If the owner does all the work, then no issue. If you take your van to the dealer for work (its under warranty - right) then it can and does make a big difference if the dealer will work on the front end for you.

Mike
My van is at 42,000 miles so the Ford drivetrain warranty is still in effect (until 100,000 miles) but the SMB 4x4 warranty is not. Ford does not cover the 4x4 conversion, SMB does until 30,000 miles. The several Ford dealers I have dealt with always have had no issues working on the Ford drivetrain (engine issues) but I have asked a Ford dealer to work on anything behind the transmission only once (looking for a vibration) and they charged me for this work (and didn't correctly identify it).

Brian
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:30 PM   #37
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Re: How many REALLY use the full capability of the SMB 4x4?

No matter what the machine is only as good as the Man..
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:49 AM   #38
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Re: How many REALLY use the full capability of the SMB 4x4?

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Originally Posted by railbat
My van is at 42,000 miles so the Ford drivetrain warranty is still in effect (until 100,000 miles) but the SMB 4x4 warranty is not. Ford does not cover the 4x4 conversion, SMB does until 30,000 miles. The several Ford dealers I have dealt with always have had no issues working on the Ford drivetrain (engine issues) but I have asked a Ford dealer to work on anything behind the transmission only once (looking for a vibration) and they charged me for this work (and didn't correctly identify it).

Brian
Unless you have an extended warranty, the 100,000 miles only applies to the diesel engine, not other parts of the drivetrain.

My local dealer has no problem working on the front axle (it's an F-350 axle - even wanted to do it under warranty!) but told me they would not touch a Dyna axle. Wouldn't even check or adjust the toe-in on a non-Ford axle. Local dealer even pulled the transmission, removed the transfercase, worked on the trans, re-installed the transfercase and trans under warranty. No complaints about the extra work.

Mike
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:59 AM   #39
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Re: How many REALLY use the full capability of the SMB 4x4?

Quote:

My van is at 42,000 miles so the Ford drivetrain warranty is still in effect (until 100,000 miles) but the SMB 4x4 warranty is not. Ford does not cover the 4x4 conversion, SMB does until 30,000 miles. The several Ford dealers I have dealt with always have had no issues working on the Ford drivetrain (engine issues) but I have asked a Ford dealer to work on anything behind the transmission only once (looking for a vibration) and they charged me for this work (and didn't correctly identify it).

Brian
So what did the problem turn out to be?
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:16 PM   #40
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Re: How many REALLY use the full capability of the SMB 4x4?

Sorry I missed your question back when this thread was new.

It was the front U-joint going bad, which is what I thought it was. Ford told me it was because the front hubs were engaged, (which they were and I can't explain why as I know I had checked that a while before). So they said they unlocked the front hubs and it was fine. As soon as I picked up the van and got it up to 30mph-ish, I knew it wasn't fixed. I took it to a good drive line shop and they confirmed the loose front U-joint in one minute.

Brian Rutherford
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