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 > Suspension upgrade disappointment.

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bobndot

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Posted: 10/04/19 12:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not to say that you might have worn parts as said but my new E450 had to go on the alignment rack 3x till they felt it was right. They did a road-test between each adjustment.

wolfe10

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Posted: 10/04/19 01:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bobndot wrote:

Not to say that you might have worn parts as said but my new E450 had to go on the alignment rack 3x till they felt it was right. They did a road-test between each adjustment.


What did they change each time and what were the final numbers:

Caster L/R
Camber L/R
Toe


Brett Wolfe
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bobndot

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Posted: 10/04/19 01:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't know too much about the specs about alignments, but I think it was the caster. They explained how the machine uses 'curves' that need to match up when they go plus caster. They told me they can't go too high without affecting camber. It was only after my alignment that I was educated by 'Harvard' and others here on RV.NET about plus 5 caster.


At the time I was complaining about being pushed around by passing trucks. I think the shop was doing it over 3x because they were trying to get it as perfect as possible without me having to do a lot of upgrades. Which I did anyway.
koni in the rear
Bils in the front
Rear track bar
All this helped quiet a bit, I only have a slight problem now when Im driving directly behind an 18 wheeler and he overtakes me. Things get better and normal as the truck pulsl away from me allowing more space between us.

time2roll

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Posted: 10/04/19 01:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would have opted for a rear sway bar in addition to the track bar.


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DrewE

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Posted: 10/04/19 02:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bobndot wrote:


All this helped quiet a bit, I only have a slight problem now when Im driving directly behind an 18 wheeler and he overtakes me. Things get better and normal as the truck pulsl away from me allowing more space between us.


To some extent, I suspect that's just a plain unavoidable consequence of driving what is more or less a good sized sail down the road. You inevitably will get pushed around at least a little bit by swirling air currents.

My Honda Fit is also noticeably influenced by air currents from passing trucks and busses. It's a much smaller vehicle, of course, but still has a fair bit of surface area compared to its weight and overall ground plan dimensions (by which I mean the width and length as seen from below or above).





bobndot

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Posted: 10/04/19 04:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Drew, yes I noticed that with one my cars as well.
Also, in time I will upgrade my sway bars. The alignment shop suggested that as well. I have to make sure a new Roadmaster or Hellwig bar rear bar will fit with the track bar. As of now I assume one or other will fit but I will run it by before I order.

pianotuna

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Posted: 10/04/19 05:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As far as interference from other vehicles, I added air tabs. They reduced noise, improved mileage when there was a tail wind, and reduced the effects of big trucks. Mine are ten years old and only one on the air conditioner shroud has come off.

The head wind or no wind mileage remained the same.


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azdryheat

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Posted: 10/04/19 08:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

how are the ball joints? tie rod ends?

Length to wheel base ratio is?
Ditto on the ball joints and Tie rods. It's not rocket science. Ball joints, tie rods, pitman arms all wear out. Not sure why a front end shop would replace bushings before the aforementioned items.


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theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 10/04/19 08:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All E-series vans are notorious for "loose" steering. Some of it DOES have to do with the person behind the wheel. (My wife has a much harder time than I do.)

Too late now for the OP, but all bushing should have been replaced with polyurethane bushing (mush stiffer) if available and, IMHO, Moog makes the best ball joints which are critical on E-series.

Last, you need an "old time" alignment guy. Someone willing to go "beyond" what the book says. Additional positive caster and staggered caster can help a lot and will not affect tire wear.

For Class C motorhomes, moving as much weight as possible ahead of the rear axle will help.

youracman

Denver, CO

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Posted: 10/04/19 10:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jayco-noslide wrote:

I think it is better and probably needed done but I don't think it can be even better until the play is taken out of the wheel and no one has addressed that. Have already spent around 5K and really don't want to spend another $1000 or more. Comments?


I sure agree re the steering wheel play. My 12-yr-old rig has several after-mkt "handling upgrades" much like yours (exceptions: yours has a track bar; mine doesn't and I have adjustable bushings that got me 5 degrees positive caster dunno if you have that mod.) Each mod gave me noticeable improvement but there is still steering wheel play (and the Denver medium duty Ford truck dealer told me that I did not have appreciable wear in any of the steering components when they aligned it....so tie rod ends etc are not the culprit.)

So my rig goes reasonably nice and straight down the road when there is smooth pavement with not a lot of crown, very little wind and no 18 wheelers around (my 220 inch wheelbase is a plus)...... so I (don't, but I can) drive it just fine with only my index finger wrapped around the steering wheel BUT when a little correction is needed, I have to move the steering wheel about 2 or 3 inches before anything much really happens. I believe that is what you are calling "steering wheel play"..... and I am thinking it is really common in Class C's with the medium duty truck chassis; e.g. Ford E450. FINALLY....my comment: I have been told that this is inherent in "recirculating ball" steering boxes and it is almost non-existent with rack and pinion designs. The recirculating ball boxes are said to be stronger than other designs (hence used on med duty trucks and off-road vehicles a lot.) "Redhead" in WA state "blueprints" all kinds of steering boxes by hand-fitting different components into them so that the slack is nearly eliminated. I emailed them to see if they had "off the shelf" boxes available for an E450 and they do not.....so I would have to send mine to them or drive my rig to their plant and they would complete the work in one day (IIRC the cost was about $350 or so.....for the box, that is.) Neither approach will work for me so I will put up with the play.

Good times and safe travels to ya.


Ed Sievers, Denver, CO
07 WGO Outlook 31-C; '16 Kia Soul with 6spd DIY Tranny
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