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 > Major suspension/steering upgrade

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Jayco-noslide

Galesburg,Il., USA

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Posted: 08/13/19 09:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have just made a decision somewhat based on faith. We have a 15 year old 30 ft. C on the Ford E-450 chassis that we still like and plan to keep. But recently, the steering has become stressful and even dangerous. We started with bushing replacement to take some of the play out at a motor home friendly front end shop. But we quickly decided- improved but not enough. The installer discussed with us other options up to a total suspension upgrade(which we decided to do) costing over $3000. His claim is that the improvement will be dramatic. I should know what it all involves but I just know it is a whole package of parts. $2500 parts; 5 hours labor. Comments? Support? or you've messed up.


Jayco-noslide

PartyOf Five

Wheaton, IL

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Posted: 08/13/19 09:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Details would certainly be helpful to help you. Ours is pushing 20 years and the 400$ alignment last year made a big difference. I wouldn't spend that kind of money unless I was first sure everything else is 100%


Da Moose - 2001 Dutchman 31' on E450

Harvard

51.6N 114.7W

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Posted: 08/13/19 09:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP, you are aware of the Caster issues with the E350/E450 cutaways, Right?

the bear II

Torrance CA.

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Posted: 08/13/19 11:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Caster and camber adjustment plays a big part in how well a vehicle travels down the road and over rough highway. Steering stabilizers are an inexpensive way to help with some steering issues.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 08/13/19 12:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

I had some success with air tabs. It got rid of a lot of the semi truck effect when going the other way. It did reduce the noise level inside the RV, too.

Negligible difference on gas mileage.

I will be upgrading the rear springs--apparently the F-550 can be used. I'm at the maximum weight on the existing parts. The existing springs are pretty much toast.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 08/13/19 12:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The E450 does have a steering damper. Sometimes, when they get old, some of the fluid inside leaks out and they can start to behave in a bit of a strange way, where it's elastic with small steering inputs/changes but damps on larger ones (I think the air bubble acts as a spring, but once it moves enough to get past that it damps as normal). This can definitely make for odd handling...and is quite simple and inexpensive to replace if you use a factory equivalent vs. a self-centering steering stabilizer. Unlike some other steering and suspension wear points, this may not be immediately obvious with a quick inspection. (Weak springs, worn shock absorbers, lost play in the steering linkages, etc. seem to me to be a little more readily identifiable.)

If the steering response has changed recently, clearly something (or several things) has broken or worn, and fixing whatever that is would restore the original handling. If you're getting more sensitive to conditions that have always existed for whatever reason, or finding driving generally more tiresome due to not growing younger or more traffic or whatever, then restoring to the original condition of course might not be all you want.





memtb

Wyoming

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Posted: 08/14/19 06:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just yesterday, I installed our new Hellwig Sway Bars on our Ford E 450 (2006) chassis class c. It was easier than I expected, and going very well.....untill, when removing the last (very last) bolt. It was the last bolt remaining in the rear bar bushing mount and sheared-off the bolt when trying to remove it. After approximately 2 hours attempting to drill it out, and remove with an easy-out (not “easy”....failed), I drilled it out, and tapped larger to a 7/16 SAE bolt.
Going for a little test-run today....to see “if” it’s “road manners” are improved! Stiff and sore fingers crossed! memtb


Todd & Marianne
Miniature Schnauzer's - Sundai, Nellie & Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500, 6.7 Cummins, 6 speed manual, 3.73 ratio, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom, 39'
2007 Bigfoot 30MH26Sl


ron.dittmer

North-East Illinois

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Posted: 08/14/19 08:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Jayco-noslide,

In the grand scheme of things, $3000 is a small price to pay for your safety and comfort.

I do wonder if your rig handled better for you in the past, and the problem with control has gotten worse. That would imply components like shocks, stabilizer bar bushings, and steering stabilizer are tired and worn and need replacement. If that is your case, I recommend replacing such component systems with heavy-duty versions for even better control than when the rig was brand new.

I also wonder how many miles are on your odometer.

All of us reading your post wish you could share specific details on what the shop is proposing for $3000. What components and their brand.

Maybe this applies to your rig in some fashion.
Our rig brand new back in 2007, we spent $3900 back then to make it safe and comfortable driving. This picture illustrates our unique load distribution which demonstrates why our rig had handling issues requiring the additional investment. Our entire house rests exclusively on the rear axle making the front axle exceptionally light-weight. Heavy duty versions of shocks, front & rear stabilizer bars, and steering stabilizer, along with a rear trac bar and a wheel alignment, all in combination "made a huge improvement".
[image]


2007 Phoenix Cruiser model 2350, with 2006 Jeep Liberty in-tow


Jayco-noslide

Galesburg,Il., USA

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Posted: 08/14/19 09:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have 67000 miles. Sorry I can't specify all the parts at this time. I'll try to re-post after I know the outcome. It was a big decision but not really after doing the math. We might get $14000 for it; certainly less if we traded. We could find a nice affordable replacement for $25K to 40K. However, who knows what it would need during the 1st year.

okiejoe

Oklahoma City

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Posted: 08/14/19 02:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My 32 ft class C e450 goes Dow the road like it is glued to it. But not when new, pretty much immediately after bringing it home I replaced original factory sway bars with Hellwig sway bars front and rear, bilsteins shocks , Safety Plus Steering control, and Sumos to replace factory bump stops and then realignment, I can drive it with one hand and no stress. Try those mods. I am 68 and did all the work myself except alignment

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