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Old 07-07-2016, 10:07 PM   #1
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Ujoint or Agile?

So I've found another magic unicorn 7.3 on east coast. I'm on the west coast (WA) ... the rig is located closer to Ujoint and is presently RWD. Which would you throw your $$ at and why?

I keep reading that Quad Van and Quigley owners arn't happy... w/o tuning & tweeking.

I think I would rather spend the $$ on a solid lift, chassis, engine, and 4R400 and have to build out the rest of it myself at this point. I'm sure there will be many learning curves involved.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:19 PM   #2
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First step is figuring out where and how you want to drive that beast. Slow rock crawling or the need for major ground clearance would push me towards a straight axle up front and leafs. Here in Washington we have a vast network of dirt logging roads which in my view would lend themselves nicely to the Agile setup. Before I upgraded my Quigley with the Agile RIP setup I literally rattled the engine apart driving on washboard logging roads. I also prefer to drive faster then what most everyone would consider prudent but In my old age I'm starting to calm down a bit. My vote would be Agile for up here in WA but I can't imagine you would be disappointed with UJoint as well.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:36 PM   #3
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I'd go Agile at this point, but mostly because I've had a solid axle van, and the different thing always has appeal to me.

My van is on coil springs and has fairly long travel in front, and to be honest, I never really got the leaf spring front. If there's one thing I could change about how it rides and drives, it would be the side-side swing that happens on large bumps. Unhooking the sway bar may go a long way, but it's not everything.

Finally, availability goes a long way. I went with a much more expensive transmission recently because that builder was available, despite additional shipping costs. Ujoint offers a DIY option, which is kind of cool, but honestly, I was not prepared to deal with some of the really heavy parts way back when I got my van. I might be willing to now, but it's a project that needs to be taken seriously. If you have a drinker in your driveway, it's probably best to keep that a no-go.

If my van was stolen tomorrow I'd be really torn. A 4x4 sprinter would make the list as well, but it would probably come down to who could get me one quicker or much-much cheaper than anyone else.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:43 PM   #4
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First step is figuring out where and how you want to drive that beast. Slow rock crawling or the need for major ground clearance would push me towards a straight axle up front and leafs. Here in Washington we have a vast network of dirt logging roads which in my view would lend themselves nicely to the Agile setup. Before I upgraded my Quigley with the Agile RIP setup I literally rattled the engine apart driving on washboard logging roads. I also prefer to drive faster then what most everyone would consider prudent but In my old age I'm starting to calm down a bit. My vote would be Agile for up here in WA but I can't imagine you would be disappointed with UJoint as well.
I've had many jeep doors loose parts internally to washboards...

I want the clearance and towing ability for a sled (snowmobile) and the ground clearance and traction for deep snow in BC - places like Rogers Pass

Main reason for considering UJoint is this rig I found is a lot closer to them than Agile. It's a promising find for under 50k miles. We'll see where it leads... I've already flown into SLC for a 7.3 Quigley that unfortunately had too much rust on the underside.

Thanks for hour input.
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:05 AM   #5
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For snow you really want modern AWD, at least if you're going to regularly spend hours in it. The van will work, but it adds hours to long drives in the snow.
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:14 AM   #6
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That unicorn is on the east coast, aren't you concerned with rust? Sounds like you're from BC as well? Why not buy locally then, it'd be cheaper wouldn't it?

BTW, I was just about ready to install a UJOR on mine, had built the axle and found all the parts needed aside from the actual kit. Then I drove one last year and it wasn't what I expected. Way too tall and not the best ride either. I know Chris at UJOR has quite the following and is really good with customer's service but at the end I sold my axle and all the parts.

Got the chance to test drive one of Agile's conversion and you really can't compare. A bit hard to explain but smooth and firm comes to mind, bit of an oxymoron isn't it but it works!

But either way it will be better than stock

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Old 07-08-2016, 12:17 AM   #7
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I have not driven an agile converted van, but (and BajaSMB please jump in and comment), late 90s f250s had that setup, and they should be easy enough to locate and drive. I've driven them, and it's very much an independent front end feel.
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:41 AM   #8
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I have not driven an agile converted van, but (and BajaSMB please jump in and comment), late 90s f250s had that setup, and they should be easy enough to locate and drive. I've driven them, and it's very much an independent front end feel.
Late 90's F-Series 4X4 trucks are where we get the TTB cores from, but the comparison ends there. The trucks were leaf sprung and had very little bump travel and travel overall.

We build what we call a J-Arm from the TTB Beams with long Radius Arms and use coil springs.
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:13 AM   #9
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It always makes me uncomfortable when one builder is compared to another.

In many ways it is not a fair comparison as they are completely different suspension designs - all are perfectly capable 4X4 conversions. It comes down to personal preference.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Ujoint if you want a straight axle and leaf springs - they have a quality product and service and Chris has his system down pat.

I can say the same about QuadVan, if you want a coil sprung straight axle using all off the shelf Ford components (mounting brackets are custom) - QuadVan is a great option and Jon is an expert.

I can also recommend Quigley, their propitiatory control arm design is well proven and tested - Quigley builds more 4X4 vans than all the rest combined. They have some limitations imposed on them by Ford that are easily improved upon.

All straight axle conversions have the same limitations with axle and frame trying to occupy the same space so that wheel travel is limited, especially bump travel, which requires higher lifts.

I've got to admit that a Ujoint van with 35s or 37s on a 6 or 8 inch lift, with that axle moved forward, looks awesome - they definitely get style points!

On the other hand, our system is unique as it has independent front wheel travel and allows more bump travel at lower ride heights. It is also much lighter than a straight axle and only one side is effected by a bump or hole, not the whole axle. Less unsprung weight is always a good thing for handling.

I always get a kick out of taking someone for a ride in one of our vans - when we go off the "drop off" at speed they all brace themselves and then nothing happens. Most common response is "I could never do that with my van..."

P.s. We can build them high with a 6 or 8 inch lift but we have seldom had anyone ask for one. Several have 35" tires but most are on 33", again to keep overall height in check.
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:45 AM   #10
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I always get a kick out of taking someone for a ride in one of our vans - when we go off the "drop off" at speed they all brace themselves and then nothing happens. Most common response is "I could never do that with my van..."
I think you guys are just enjoying seeing our terrified face as we brace ourself to that one foot drop at 30mph... I sure wasnt looking forward to the landing! But yup, nothing happened, nothing.




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