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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes  >  Class C

 > caster, KYB, airbags, hellwig

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deprived

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Posted: 11/25/15 07:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So, as I have documented before (http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/28459369.cfmhttp://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/28459369.cfm), I upgraded my 2007 Ford E450 Fleetwood Jamboree.

First I swapped out the front end for a 2014, increasing my weight rating and braking capacity. The 2014 also has differing radius arms. I added a heavy-duty Hellwig front sway-bar. Front and rear air-bags were added. Four KYB "fsd" shocks were added. And the front-end alignment caster was increased to 5+ with Engall's bushing. I also replaced the master cylinder , bled the system three times and had a brake-tech come out and bleed my ABS.

Yeah, kids, I did all that. It was a LOT of work.

And, man, it was worth it. It really, really was!!!!

YES! We took it out on the road for a 500-mile test. It was totally, completely, utterly amazing. The shocks and sway bar gave us a quiet, steady poise. The airbags gave us stability. But the additional caster was the real star.

I suspect that if I did nothing but add additional positive caster, I'd have experienced 65 percent of the improvements I saw in our handling. The RV, a 2007 Fleetwood Jamboree 26J, tracked straight and true, it felt like a big SUV. I'm not kidding. Passing trucks (to and fro) on two and four-lane highways felt almost nonexistent. The front-end felt straight, and true on small country roads, interstates and inner-city back-alleys. The drive went from being white-knuckle to total pleasure.

The KYBs were clearly an incredible improvement over the factory shocks. I've had Bilsteins on other cars and I have to say I love them. But the KYB "fsd" shocks are beyond any thing I could have hoped for. Big bumps are smooth. Small bumps are existent. The ride is just phenomenal. I really struggled with justifying the 700-dollar price but it was so worth it.

Okay. Onward.

The super-duty Hellwig front sway bar has made cornering so easy, I am pretty sure I will add the Hellwig to the rear as well.

But even though Austin's one and only truck alignment shop thought I was crazy and wanted me to absolve them of any problems resulting from a non-spec alignment, I am quite convinced that the additional positive caster protocol for Ford E-series platforms is **** fantastic.

Thanks to j-d and harvard and others for being so free with their knowledge and experience. We are going full-time in April. We are so, so, so grateful for all the smart, helpful people who have helped us every step of the way.

We plan to add a rear sway bar and I'd like to share some pictures regarding our rear airbag install, which was a massive pain. More on that later.

As always, thanks to the entire RV community, which consists of **** wonderful people.

Harvard

51.6N 114.7W

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Posted: 11/25/15 09:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For the record, the caster setting we are recommending is well within Ford spec for the E Series.





j-d

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Posted: 11/26/15 05:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Been wondering about how all that turned out.

Sounds Great!

DO add a Hellwig bar in the rear. Replace that puny OEM one. We also have a Rear Track Bar. You may not need that piece the way your results are sounding. But you'll feel still more control with a 1-1/2" rear bar.

Can you post the final alignment results, Caster, Camber, Toe?

Is "KYB FSD" correct or are those shocks KONI FSD?

Happy Thanksgiving!


If God's Your Co-Pilot Move Over, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100 218" WB

Snowman9000

IL

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Posted: 11/26/15 06:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In theory, would there be any trade-off with the extra caster? Maybe tire wear or increased drag (MPG loss) or ??? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's worth it.


2014 Sunseeker 2300 Class C (Chevy 4500)


deprived

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Posted: 11/26/15 04:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

j-d wrote:


Can you post the final alignment results, Caster, Camber, Toe?

Is "KYB FSD" correct or are those shocks KONI FSD?


I will post those numbers as soon as I can. I do know they set the toe at zero, which wasn't what I asked. I wanted 16th or an 8th but we had to hit the road, so I let it go.

And, yes, Koni, not KYB. I type too fast sometimes.

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