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

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Old 02-01-2011, 12:39 PM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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a real econoline steering fix!

I thought I would share my experience to help some folks.
I own four econoline vans. 2 half tons, 2 E350 15 passenger vans.
On the half tons I had purchased the moog, and rancho steering stabilizers that bolt to the suspension arm for the passenger front wheel. I never was very happy with this, the suspension moving up and down affects this type of set up. I found out that the dual rear wheel ambulance models of the E350 have a steering stabilizer that bolts to the chassis instead of the suspension arm. I got one off a salvaged ambulance and tried it on my half ton van. Oreilly has the stabilizer for the origional Ford brackets at 34 bucks from monroe. It fits 1992 and up, with origional brackets.
The holes for the chassis bracket are already in the chassis, you have to use the chassis oblong hole to get to the bolt heads through the chassis to tighten that bracket. The other end bolts with a ford bracket on to the drag link.
The difference in the steering was immediately very good. Tracks better and less moving around. So I decided to put it on my 2002 E350 V10 and it steers like a mini van now. Stable, tracks better, less influenced by wind, and less correction. I just put one on my 2005 v10 and same great results.
My wife likes driving these vans now, hated driving them before, and that is saying something.
You can get the brackets from Ford if you ask for a 1999 E350 dual rear wheel ambulance package steering stabilizer brackets. I did not buy the ford stabilizer tube. The bracket for the chassis is $80 bucks for the drag link one and it does come with the U bolts and nuts to hold it on. The chassis bracket was about $60 and I used my own bolts and a magnet extension to get the bolts through the chassis. Not a difficult job, the holes all line up. Ford probably knew they would steer better with the stabilizer but didn't want to spend the extra money in assembly.
This option works and I have had great joy from driving a van with good steering.
You can find the brackets on line for 60&40 each at ford direct parts places.
Anyway thought I would share
Andrew
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:42 PM
65F1005.8 65F1005.8 is offline
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Really like the good report. Is there anyway you could post a picture.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:36 PM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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I'm sorry I don't have the gear to do that right now. Look under the front of any dual rear wheel econoline ambulance, or the ford dealers microfish has a picture of it. Sorry.
Andrew.
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:27 PM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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Ford E-350 Van Suspension & Steering Parts
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:30 PM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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I did find on google images a picture of the stabilizer and where it goes. click the above link in previous box.
It bolts on the left side to the chassis of the van which is much more stable than the suspension arm most bolt to.
You will need to scroll down to the last picture on the page to see the stabilizer. Its very close in appearance to the ford set up.
Hope this helps Andrew.

Last edited by andrewzx92000; 02-01-2011 at 05:33 PM. Reason: left out something
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:09 PM
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Great bit of info here-----thanks for posting Andrew!

Do you happen to have the Ford part numbers for the brackets needed? This is something I'll look into immediately!
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:24 PM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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chassis bracket f2Uz3E652B
drag link bracket F2uz3E652A

nut for drag link bracket N806085-s8 same as rear shock nut N12x1.75

as I said the hardware for the bracket on the drag link comes with it. For $80 bucks it should be gold plated too.

The bolts for the chassis bracket I would find yourself, Ford wants about $4 per bolt. I think 5/16 or 3/8 will work. The holes in the bracket are bigger than the holes in the chassis. Go by the holes in the chassis for bolt size and put a washer on the bracket side, it works fine. I used a telescopic magnet, put the bolts on the end of it and went that route to get them through the chassis. The bottom one can be a challenge, but if you look from the bottom you can see where the bolt is going.
Ford sells a bolt that goes through the stabilizer on the chassis bracket end but its expensive and didn't fit any better than the one I got out of my tool box. Don't let that be a sloppy fit because it will give you steering play if its loose fitting, bolt should be snug and I used nylock nuts on everything.
The one thing the drag link doesn't have is the nut to hold the stabilizer on. I have mentioned it above in the part numbers list M12.
As I said you can save some $30 bucks ordering on line from a Ford direct.
Y2kford.com had a pretty good price if you want to wait for shipping, but then you have freight cost and for $20 I just went ahead on the last one and got it from my ford dealer near here, had it overnight, no shipping. One internet ford dealer wanted $20 for shipping.
Andrew.

Last edited by andrewzx92000; 02-01-2011 at 10:26 PM. Reason: error
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:30 PM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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Also let me mention that my 2005 van has 30,000 miles on it and I did not adjust the steering box. My 2002 van has 200,000 miles on it and I adjusted the steering box before putting on the stabilizer. I turned the allen head screw one half turn in. It helped a good bit, but then the stabilizer really made it great. My suggestion would be to put the stabilizer on and then work with the steering box from there if need be. Got a much more car like steering feel to it and stability.
AE
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:50 AM
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Andrew I've got to say this is one of the all time best suspension/steering posts for E vans ever. Thanks for contributing your knowledge for us here---very much appreciated!

A bit of pricing from Ed The Parts Guy who has a link here on FTE shows me this:

p/n F2UZ-3E652B List: $80.22 Cost: $57.76
p/n F2UZ-3E652A List: $53.90 Cost $38.81
UPS Ground Shipping $11.59
Total $108.16

I'll call two of my local Ford stealerships later this Groundhog's Day and compare---Ed's prices seem to be about 28% which is a bit better than I typically receive. Even adding the shipping costs it might still be cheaper online.

Fastener wise I'll wait for the brackets to arrive before obtaining them---I'll use metric sizes I believe.

I just received a full set of Bilstein shocks for my '00 E250 with mega-miles so along with this stabilizer set-up and Michelin LTX tires I should have quite a good handling work van now!

I'll try to add photos as I go along---this might be a good archive thread for review by others.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:51 AM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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JWA I suggest you change one thing at a time so you know what made the biggest difference. The steering stabilizer makes a big difference, so do the Bilsteins, and so two differences at one time might be a lot. I haven't towed with the Bilsteins yet, I use my 05 van for that so I don't know how the Bilsteins feel with a lot of weight. They definately ride softer than stock which is nice in most enviroments. I thought that the Bilsteins made my van pitch and roll a little more in side winds and road dips. That was before I put the steering stabilizer on it. The movement of the suspension on E350's changes the tire angle and so because it moved more than before my steering was moving more too. It almost felt like there was a slight bounce efffect over dips in the road which did affect my steering as a result.
I put the steering stabilizer on it and that all immediately went away and I like the firmer steering and in the wind it steers better than it ever has. I have owned this van from new and it has 200k on it.
Andrew.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:59 PM
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Andrew, thanks for all the information in your posts. So that I'm clear, you added a steering stablizer off a E-450, then bought the drag link bracket and the chassis bracket from ford? along with that some various bolts are then needed? thanks so much! Mike
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:19 PM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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Not a 450 its a E350 dual rear wheel ambulance model. They came from factory with a stabilzer that I believe should have been on every econoline. I got the stabilizer itself from O Reillys Auto Parts, read above posts for details
andrew
The 450 may use the same stabillizer but I think it has a bigger chassis, I just know what does work.
All the parts used in this are factory Ford parts except I used the Oreilly stabilizer. The brackets bolt straight on with no drilling.

Last edited by andrewzx92000; 02-02-2011 at 05:22 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:49 PM
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Andrew, thanks , I remembered ambulance-dually and thought it was a 450.

So get the monroe steering stablizer and the two ford (bracket) parts?

thanks again! Mike
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:06 PM
andrewzx92000 andrewzx92000 is offline
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yes thats it
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewzx92000 View Post
yes thats it
I'm very interested in the modification, but I'm not 100% clear on what parts I need. The Monroe steering stabilizer shown here

Car Part Wholesale - Auto Parts and Accessories Catalog - Steering Stabilizer For 1998 Ford E-250 Econoline XL 8 Cyl 5.4L

looks like it has different mounting than the OEM stabilizer shown in the link you posted. The Moog and Gabriel stabilizers look similar to the OEM unit. Do you know for certain that the Monroe will work with the stock brackets? Thanks.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:56 PM
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