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

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  #46  
Old 02-18-2011, 09:12 PM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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All the late vans with the
anti roll over steering will probably notice no difference with the stabilizer.
The steering is very dampened already and I think its straight line stability is good, I drove one. Didn't like it much when moving the wheel quickly, but its great for a 19 year old college kid with 14 team mates on board who swerves to avoid a deer on the interstate.
So I wouldn't put one on the real late model vans. I think that in 2006 they started offering the ARS or whatever its called, it was optional, but I think as of 2009 its on all the vans that are E350 15 passenger vans anyway.
I am wondering if they actually put a stabilizer under there? I need to check one, maybe someone could look under their late model van and see.
I think its run by a computer or some valve that hinders quick movement.
Anyway thats what I think
AE
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  #47  
Old 02-19-2011, 06:55 PM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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Today I towed my travel trailer for the first time since I put the stabilizer on the v10 van. 17,000 lbs all up and the stability of the steering was amazing.
It would move around a bit in the front before, even though I have a hensley hitch I am 56 feet long when hooked up so undulations, bumps etc would make it move a little quite often. Now it doesn't move a little and it doesn't do it unless I move it. Made a big difference on my towing experience.
Andrew.
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  #48  
Old 02-19-2011, 09:11 PM
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Andrew, went back today and secured the bottom bolt, thanks. Not easy but we got it done. Towing to the track next weekend, I've got an 18' open featherlite plus the car is about 5,000 lb. I got a feeling the stablizer, coupled with the new bilsteins and the RAS rear suspension is going to make a very big difference! thanks again! Mike
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  #49  
Old 02-20-2011, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by redtanrt10 View Post
Andrew, went back today and secured the bottom bolt, thanks. Not easy but we got it done. Towing to the track next weekend, I've got an 18' open featherlite plus the car is about 5,000 lb. I got a feeling the stablizer, coupled with the new bilsteins and the RAS rear suspension is going to make a very big difference! thanks again! Mike
So what are you guys doing to fasten the third bolt hole in the frame bracket? Having followed this thread and checking my own van for this future addition any advice would be great.

Recently installed the Bilstein shocks but with high winds recently I now notice my normally loose feeling steering is more noticable so this mod will be done very soon. I might do a few different things to the frame holes in order to faciliate installation or removal should that ever be necessary. I've been thinking to cut threads in the existing frame holes to get at least 75% engagement or perhaps use a split body rivet nut. I've used these extensively in the interior and love them. As install time gets closer I'll have to see what's possible.

I would suggest anyone yet to do this use a grade 5 flange headed hex bolt with the serrations to grab the inner frame rail when tightening. This might help reduce or eliminate the problem of getting a wrench inside the frame. If my rivet nut method works the bolts wouldn't require nuts since they could be torqued sufficiently.

Anyway what a great thread-----seems to be one of the better and not too expensive or time consuming things available to us addicted to improving Ford's better ideas!
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  #50  
Old 02-20-2011, 09:34 AM
VanDiesel VanDiesel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWA View Post
So what are you guys doing to fasten the third bolt hole in the frame bracket? Having followed this thread and checking my own van for this future addition any advice would be great.

I might do a few different things to the frame holes in order to faciliate installation or removal should that ever be necessary. I've been thinking to cut threads in the existing frame holes to get at least 75% engagement or perhaps use a split body rivet nut. I've used these extensively in the interior and love them. As install time gets closer I'll have to see what's possible.

I !
The OEM design has threaded holes, so the frame is thicker where the bolts are inserted. I used a tap to thread the bolt holes and was able to tighten the bolts to the point where I was afraid they would snap. No nuts required or necessary. The thickness of the frame at the bolt insertion point is thicker than a typical nut.

Remember, the maximum amount of force this bracket will ever see is the amount of effort it takes to extend/compress the damper. I'm not particularly strong (OK, I'm weak) and I can compress it without much trouble while holding it in my hands, so it's not like the bracket will be subjected to a huge amount of force.

I drove my van (2' camper top) in high winds (steady 35-40mph with 50mph gusts), including across an long bridge, and the steering was fantastic.
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  #51  
Old 02-20-2011, 09:46 AM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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I just used a 5/16 bolt on a magnet extension,(thin small one) and put it into the hole in the chassis through the oblong hole, the magnet held the nut well enough for me to put the bracket on and spin the nut with washer down by hand and then the nut locked down plenty tight without needing a wrench. then I put a lock nut on top of the nut I tightened. It was not difficult. The bottom bolt was done the same way and if you put the magnet in the oblong hole and get under the van you can see up the lower hole and align the bolt in the hole and get it through the bracket.
I got the bolts in with nuts on before tightening them all up because there is a bit of alignment on the bottom hole.
But this took me about 30 minutes.
Andrew.
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  #52  
Old 02-20-2011, 09:50 AM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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It was actually putting Bilsteins on my van that made me get really serious about fixing the steering in the first place. With worn stock shocks it wandered around like most econolines and I had learned to live with it. I put the Bilsteins on and it got softer in initial movement and it made the steering worse. I had noticed an ambulance I looked under once had the stabilizer and saw the holes in my chassis for the bracket and I decided that perhaps this might work. Now with Bilsteins, stabilizer, and a small steering box adjustment I am less fatigued, and look forward to driving the beauty
Andrew.
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  #53  
Old 02-20-2011, 11:10 AM
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I'm in your same place Andrew----Bilstein's installed and now hate that boat on the high seas feeling steering wise!

Van what size tap did you use on the frame? I fully agree the brackets shouldn't see any sort of undue forces--simply attaching them with three bolts is more than sufficient.

I do have a somewhat humorous story about my van, the new Bilsteins etc etc. On a known sweeping left turning freeway ramp I was pushing things just a bit more to see what reaction I'd get. Totally alone, not another vehicle anywhere and I've got two full lanes to use if necessary. Just entering the turn I'm focused on my line, foot on gas ready to back off if necessary. Suddenly the cruise control takes over very very gently without my notice and I'm finding myself with a severe NASCAR "push" or oversteer! Those nano-seconds spent wondering WTH was going on seem quite a bit longer than they really are---excruitiating needless to say.

So Van what size tap was that again?
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  #54  
Old 02-20-2011, 01:27 PM
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JW, on the bottom bolt we took a piece of wire and put duck take on it at the botton threads. We fished it into the hole. My buddy then used an open end wrench to put pressure on the bolt while I tightened it. Definately a 2 man job.

It's interesting an surprising that both you and Andrew felt that the new Bilstein's made the steering worse. I only drove mine 20 miles on the freeway and didn't notice any steering change. The front stablizer should give you good help. For me the next step is some new bushings and maybe an adjustment to the steering box. I didn't get a chance to try Andrews tip on front pressure but will give it a try. Mike
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  #55  
Old 02-20-2011, 03:01 PM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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I am not sure there is really enough depth for the threads to hold as good as I would like by just threading the chassis. I am sure it could work but there is only enough there for a couple of threads. I think the ambulance had a thicker chassis right there and so they were able to thread it more, but my 15 passenger van doesn't have much to work with there.
The bolts are not that hard to work with.
AE
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  #56  
Old 02-20-2011, 07:03 PM
VanDiesel VanDiesel is offline
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Van what size tap did you use on the frame?
I used 7/16-14.
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  #57  
Old 02-20-2011, 08:37 PM
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Hmm..wish I could get something like this for an '89 E250. You sure it won't work on the older generation?
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  #58  
Old 02-20-2011, 09:44 PM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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I know you could adapt the brackets I used to fit your van. If it has coil springs on the front there is a chance it would bolt right on, maybe a hole or two or three drilled. The angle of the drag link would need to be looked at in relation to the bracket. If you have leaf springs ( I don't know) then you might want to look at the set up on the F350 trucks, they use a different bracket and stabilizer, but over all not a big issue to make it work
AE
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  #59  
Old 02-20-2011, 09:56 PM
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I have coils and I'm thinking I can do it, after looking at the pics. I'm going to talk to the stealer tomorrow and see what they have to say. I have no idea where I would find an ambulance that old, so looking for one is probably a waste of time. I think I saw something similar a long time ago, as it all looks familiar.

If this works it'll be a godsend, what with all the driving I do. I have a class B motorhome with the real tall top, and she can be a beast in heavy winds. She tracks fairly well when its calm, but let a gust come up and it's a different story. Even with a big stabilizer bar she still bucs and rolls, and its very easy to get tossed into another lane if you aren't paying attention.

Thanks for all the info Andrew. This whole thread has been very interesting. I'll let everyone know what I find out.
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  #60  
Old 02-21-2011, 02:24 PM
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What a great thread. Andrew thanks for all the time and effort. I too own an 89 E250 and I am hoping someone with an 80's ambulance chimes in, they may have had some sort of steering dampener from the factory. I did notice that rock auto offers a Moog aftermarket kit for the 89's but I prefer factory for this type of mod. Once again, great thread!
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:24 PM
 
 
 
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