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1968-2013 Full Size Vans Econolines. E150, E250, E350, E450 and E550

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  #331  
Old 07-04-2014, 10:41 AM
coolfeet coolfeet is offline
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is the stabilizer worth the money?

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Originally Posted by JWA View Post
First thing would be making us understand what you mean by having bad handling issues. There are many, many aspects to this so the cure depends on what exactly is the problem.

Throwing money at a perceived problem only to have it not work as expected can be frustrating and costly, needless to say. Sometimes the problem is as simple as shocks or tire type and/or pressure, other times it goes as far as needing new springs.
I was having handling problems too. I immediately replaced the shocks and worn out tires. This was a huge improvement. I installed KYB gas adjust and Michelin LTX tires. Next, I looked at the front end and had everything replaced that was worn out. Then I had the alignment done.

I was still having "handling" problems when I applied the breaks. One mechanic said this would be cured by a professional alignment which it did not. The problem was worn out front brake calipers! I replaced the front calipers and the pads-should have done the rotors as my breaks just started to pulse.

My van was really driving nice. Since I did most of the work on my van with the exception of the rebuilding the worn out parts on the front end, I decided to spend the $100 and change on the steering stabilizer kit.

It may be only a placebo effect. I have no metrics to prove that it handles better. I changed so many parts on the van. The biggest noticable improvement were the Michelin tires followed by the KYB shocks. That bill was over $600.

I replaced the rear brake shoes and drums. This improved braking on down hills as my shoes were cracked.

As JWA said, don't throw money at perceived problems until you know what is wrong. I replaced everything that was worn out. I went the cheapest route possible-I even asked America's Tires if they would take my old tires on trade in to avoid the environmental disposal fee. I got $50 trade and saved over $12 on the disposal fee. I got another $70 rebate and they honored Costco's price to boot! Tires cost $400 out the door.

At the end of the day, the stabilizer is probably a good idea. Ford installs them on the ambulance package for good reasons.
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  #332  
Old 07-06-2014, 02:00 AM
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When installing a steering stabilizer kit, why not thru-bolt the mounts?

I've been reading up on the few tutorials on this steering kit installation, and I'm wondering why everyone is tapping the threads on the mounting holes, instead of thru-bolting them? I would trust a thru-bolt more than some shoddy threads.
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  #333  
Old 07-06-2014, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by genscripter View Post
I've been reading up on the few tutorials on this steering kit installation, and I'm wondering why everyone is tapping the threads on the mounting holes, instead of thru-bolting them? I would trust a thru-bolt more than some shoddy threads.
Your question raises a few others...........

-Have you yourself yet done this install?

-What extraordinary forces are at play that you imagine might require through bolts?

-Why is it assumed our tapped holes are somehow "shoddy"?

-Why does Ford use thread forming screws for this installation when they add this to a chassis? (FWIW the spare tire under mount is held in place with those type screws.)

-Has anyone's tapped holes failed so far?

Fact is the frame mounted bracket could be safely held in place with just two 5/16" or 3/8" bolts, both in the vertical plane, grade #2 at that. I suppose it could be argued welding the frame bracket makes more sense?

As an aside most likely Ford uses three fasteners more for proper location and parts alignment during manufacturing rather than any safety concern.

Reading those posts where through bolts are used---such as Andrew's original post for example---show the process of placing and holding them while securing nuts is a bit of a hassle. Properly tapping the existing holes requires only the simple process of installing and tightening one bolt per hole, lock washer or Loc-Tite optional.

In the end this becomes nothing more than a personal choice, no one way is better or less safe than the other---assuming things are done properly. I believe anyone who'd tap such holes understands how to do it competently so I wouldn't be a bit scared of their installation.

Does that answer the question?
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  #334  
Old 07-06-2014, 08:41 AM
jack orchard jack orchard is offline
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Self Tappers

I used the OEM Ford self- tapping bolts. Quite pleased with the results.,...jack
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  #335  
Old 07-06-2014, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWA View Post
Your question raises a few others...........

-Have you yourself yet done this install?

-What extraordinary forces are at play that you imagine might require through bolts?

-Why is it assumed our tapped holes are somehow "shoddy"?

-Why does Ford use thread forming screws for this installation when they add this to a chassis? (FWIW the spare tire under mount is held in place with those type screws.)


-Has anyone's tapped holes failed so far?

Fact is the frame mounted bracket could be safely held in place with just two 5/16" or 3/8" bolts, both in the vertical plane, grade #2 at that. I suppose it could be argued welding the frame bracket makes more sense?

As an aside most likely Ford uses three fasteners more for proper location and parts alignment during manufacturing rather than any safety concern.

Reading those posts where through bolts are used---such as Andrew's original post for example---show the process of placing and holding them while securing nuts is a bit of a hassle. Properly tapping the existing holes requires only the simple process of installing and tightening one bolt per hole, lock washer or Loc-Tite optional.

In the end this becomes nothing more than a personal choice, no one way is better or less safe than the other---assuming things are done properly. I believe anyone who'd tap such holes understands how to do it competently so I wouldn't be a bit scared of their installation.

Does that answer the question?
THere is a thread on this forum that details the installation of this steering stabilizer, and the OP tapped the threads and put a pry-bar on it to test them. They ripped out. So he tapped them to the next biggest size. Those held. Made me think using a thru bolt with a locking nut and/or compression washer would be a simpler, faster, stronger, easier, and less worrisome solution.

No, I didn't do this install yet. I'm posting an idea to bounce it off the good people of the forum before I do it. I have to say, I feel a little like I got my head bit off for an innocent suggestion.
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  #336  
Old 07-07-2014, 07:19 AM
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Sorry you feel that way, I was simply replying to a question with my own experience having done this installation as well as having read this thread from its first posting Feb of 2011.

One incident where something fails for unknown reasons hardly makes the concept suspect of not working. We simply don't know how the ripped out threads were formed but a quick guess would be the tap used didn't give enough thread engagement. The frame sections at that point are more than substantial enough to form suitable threaded holes for mounting something suspension related, for example the sway bar brackets.
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  #337  
Old 09-01-2014, 12:57 AM
dirtydandawkins dirtydandawkins is offline
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My 2011 E250 does all the described in OP. Worst driving work vehicle I ever had.
Bump steer, drifts like crazy at times (particularly in wind). 2 dealers couldn't figure it out. Alignment shop shrugged shoulders. Front end is tight. No abnormal tire wear. Replacing upper steering shaft u-joints are temporary fix, then start to get a little play. I feel drift whenever and I feel bump steer in long relatively hard curves, the kind that sway the van. Also bump steer in slow, hard, full turns either forward or backwards over any bump. Will feel it going straight on rough dirt road. I notice my in laws late 90's/early 2000 model 15 passenger van has the same issues as mine only tons worse drift, same bump steer issues when I borrowed it.
Are the 2011's different than prior models and would steering stabilizers help? Can they be installed on the 2011 van? I look but cannot seem to find brackets for the 2011 model to accommodate the Monroe steering stabilizers on my van.
Could this also be a shock or shock mount issue?
The GVWR on this is 8900 lbs. I have driven on scales recently just to see and scale at 7900lbs. Maybe I need a 1 ton? At times, I have added much more (wire, tugger, benders) but always short term to get equipment to a long term project and back at the end. I do believe I have hit close to 8900 on a few occasions, but this may be 1-2 times per year, take gear to job and drop off or from job back to shop, but not days on end. The van has never felt overloaded. I do like the Ford rear suspension. That aside, this started at 11,000 miles. During that time frame I never had anymore on the van than what I recently scaled at. No big jobs were going on during that period, just service work.
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  #338  
Old 09-01-2014, 06:37 AM
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DirtyDan you need to get separate weights of front and rear axles---that might help determine part of your problems. I don't think its shocks in your case although that's something to test along the way---blown or weak parts will cause their own handling/braking issues.

A good test for shocks is paying attention to how many times they bounce after an impact or bump. More than once and they'd be suspect as being weak. If you get several or more than its time they be changed ASAP.

I'm finding what seem to be weak rear springs induces the same thing you're describing. I run about the same weight as you, all new front suspension including Moog front coils, Bilstein shocks all around and Hellwig sway bars, front and rear. '03 E250 extended body. Front axle = 3,160#; rear axle = 4,320#. These weights are as loaded daily, full size Michelin LTX 245R70-16 mounted underneath.

As as temporary fix and test of suspected weak rear springs I installed the Air Lift kit and it makes a world of difference, confirms weak springs. Added to that is my choice to run the LTX 245R70's all around which tend to follow the road which can be quite the challenge to keep it straight on rough roads.

Mine could be mistakenly cited for having bump steer issues but that's not the case at all---I'm just facing a few small issues that add up to a larger one. Every front end component is new, alignment spot on which just reinforces the weak rear springs being an issue.

This steering stabilizer as available from Ford should fit as more than a few of us have already reported on its installation. The Monroe kit might be effective but its not something I've used so can't really comment.
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  #339  
Old 09-24-2014, 10:12 AM
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I did this mod weekend before last. I like it. Considerably more stable running at speed, no change to steering effort at low speed, less jerking of the steering wheel "off road" aka our unpaved parking area and where we store trailers etc. I did the magnet/bolt thing without an assistant. It was a bit tricky but not NEARLY as difficult as doing the front shocks.
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  #340  
Old 09-24-2014, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jtexfisher View Post
I did this mod weekend before last. It was a bit tricky but not NEARLY as difficult as doing the front shocks.
Once upon a time I thought rear shocks were impossible---until I stumbled across the secret.

Front shocks----what a joke that can be huh?
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  #341  
Old 11-12-2014, 09:00 PM
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Add more +caster to the E350/E450

Here is a link to my experience of adding more +caster to the problem of loose steering.


E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
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  #342  
Old 11-13-2014, 06:34 AM
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Here is a link to my experience of adding more +caster to the problem of loose steering.


E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
Mr Harvard I've been somewhat following your experiences with + Caster across several forums and truly believe that might cure a situation I'm having with a relatively stock E250 extended body. BTW thanks for the research and contributions you've made regarding this puzzling and troubling eccentricity of our vans.

The trick at this point is finding an alignment shop who agrees + Caster can be so influential on handling---that's an uphill fight so far. I "hope" I have contacted a shop some 50+ miles from me who is widely reputed to be wonderful with E-Series alignment-wise.

The upside to this guy is he'll charge me a mere $50 to check things out which is fair IF it gets me closer to having a less twitchy handling E250 once again.

Will advise as things unfold.
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  #343  
Old 11-13-2014, 11:43 AM
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More detail about +caster

A bit of info about my particular caster settings to help others judge just where their respective run time caster is set.

My 2004 E450 has a nose down attitude of 1.0 degree (4 inches in 240 inches = 1.0 degree). As such, I went from about +3.5 run time caster before and +5.5 run time caster after. If my unit were level then my numbers would be +4.5 before to +6.5 caster after.

So, what I am saying, if your unit is level then it may measure to be run time +4.5 caster and can be extended to +6.5 run time caster which is better then my +5.5 degrees run time caster.
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  #344  
Old 11-13-2014, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWA View Post
Your question raises a few others...........

-Have you yourself yet done this install?

-What extraordinary forces are at play that you imagine might require through bolts?

-Why is it assumed our tapped holes are somehow "shoddy"?

-Why does Ford use thread forming screws for this installation when they add this to a chassis? (FWIW the spare tire under mount is held in place with those type screws.)

-Has anyone's tapped holes failed so far?

Fact is the frame mounted bracket could be safely held in place with just two 5/16" or 3/8" bolts, both in the vertical plane, grade #2 at that. I suppose it could be argued welding the frame bracket makes more sense?

As an aside most likely Ford uses three fasteners more for proper location and parts alignment during manufacturing rather than any safety concern.

Reading those posts where through bolts are used---such as Andrew's original post for example---show the process of placing and holding them while securing nuts is a bit of a hassle. Properly tapping the existing holes requires only the simple process of installing and tightening one bolt per hole, lock washer or Loc-Tite optional.

In the end this becomes nothing more than a personal choice, no one way is better or less safe than the other---assuming things are done properly. I believe anyone who'd tap such holes understands how to do it competently so I wouldn't be a bit scared of their installation.

Does that answer the question?
I used Ford self tapping bolts on the frame. It's been 18 months and the bracket is still tight on the frame. I cannot remember if I used a lock washer.
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  #345  
Old 11-16-2014, 10:56 PM
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Just did the mod this weekend and what a difference!! Thanks Op!!!
Used the Ford self tapping bolts for the frame bracket which made things easy.
I test drove the van a couple miles down the fwy on the outside right lane where it's all chopped up from trucks. Usually i'd be hanging on to the wheel and correcting the van constantly, instead now I drove the whole way with my hands off the wheel and watched it soak up all the bumps.
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:56 PM
 
 
 
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