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Last of wander target rear end spring swap or homemade radius rods/traction bars

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Last of wander target rear end spring swap or homemade radius rods/traction bars

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  #1  
Old 09-12-2018, 09:03 AM
Jakerichards1
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Last of wander target rear end spring swap or homemade radius rods/traction bars

I have been the hard long way around excursion poor handling issues. Front Wander, sway, caster, steering box. Just could not believe how poorly these things drove stock.

Ours is almost two years into owning a 2000 4x4 v10 4.30 170k estate green limited.

primary use is trailer towing 28’ camper and boat and occasional family lake hauler.

I am down to doing something to stabilize the rear from walking around while towing the 28’ camper.

I am very diy backyard mechanic. On the fence about spring upgrade or radius rod diy for rear

I dont want a harsher ride for family hauling. But it looks saggy in rear. I have air bags.

I have c code f250 rear spring junk yard specials for 50$. I used the top overload for a front leaf helper. 1.5 higher in front.

My my preference would be a totally progressive pack with extra lift so I can remove factory block and attach spring directly to perch. I would make a bracket to attach air bags directly to axle.

Idea is a pack resistant to wrap/wander and least amount of leverage to walk it around.

Lift springs like 4”-5” pro comp seem very stiff. No fun ride.

My block factory is 2 7/16” tall back side. Square I think. I also have 1 3/4-1 7/8 tapered f250 block. And overload leaf spacer could be bolted into pack. Tapered 1” approx

i have thought about using top 2 leaves of c code and bottom 5 leaves from excursion stock pack. Not sure if this is wrap resistant enough. Top 2 f250 leaves seem much more substantial than stock excursion.

Not if this plus a spacer or 2 bolted into pack would get me to enough height without block.

Deaver and cali $1390 springs are not in this paycheck thus lifetime.

Ideas and thoughts please.

Thanks.

 
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Jakerichards1 View Post
I have been the hard long way around excursion poor handling issues. Front Wander, sway, caster, steering box. Just could not believe how poorly these things drove stock.

1.I am down to doing something to stabilize the rear from walking around while towing the 28’ camper.
sounds like a trailer loading or hitch issue not wander caused by rear springs of the EX

2. On the fence about spring upgrade or radius rod diy for rear
You do not need a radius rod, springs can be changed but not to cure wander, main reason would be to change ride height.

3. But it looks saggy in rear. I have air bags.
post pics and the measurements requested below.


4.Idea is a pack resistant to wrap/wander and least amount of leverage to walk it around.
Lift springs like 4”-5” pro comp seem very stiff. No fun ride.
your stock pack is resistant to wrap because it includes a Anti-Wrap bar.
The Pro-Comp springs ride better then stock because they have a lower spring rate and more travel


My block factory is 2 7/16” tall back side. Square I think. I also have 1 3/4-1 7/8 tapered f250 block. And overload leaf spacer could be bolted into pack. Tapered 1” approx
WHY ?

i have thought about using top 2 leaves of c code and bottom 5 leaves from excursion stock pack. Not sure if this is wrap resistant enough. Top 2 f250 leaves seem much more substantial than stock excursion.
depends on how or if you incorporate the factory Anti-wrap bar. as a standalone pack it would be no more or less resistant then the stock springs without the anti-wrap bar because the 2 leafs are the same spring rate as the excursion.

Ideas and thoughts please.

Thanks.

You have a lot of going on with these questions but they sort out into 3 categories that you need to understand and address on their own.

1. Handling.
Specifically wander is not and never has been a byproduct of the rear springs being "weak", "wrapping" or any other internet theories. your wander can be cured without touching the rear springs and we can get down to the minuscule details to accomplish this if you would like. but cross "rear springs" off your list as a cure for wander. to specifically address Spring wrap: The Excursions stock anti wrap lear is far more effective then additional leafs, in fact i doubt you can get enough axle wrap even towing at full GCVW to cause any harm or ill effects. the main culprit to excursion axle wrap is a missing rubber bumper on the anti wrap leaf....check yours.

2. Ride Height.
lets start with an unloaded vehicle on flat ground. measure from the center of the hub to the bottom of the fender arch at all 4 corners and post the results. from there decisions can be made how to best achieve your desired ride height.

3. Payload.
you mention wanting to change springs for the purpose of additional payload but you already have the best adjustable spring ( and it is progressive ) in the air bag. I seriously doubt you are exceeding the airbags spring rate capacity with a 28' trailer.

so first thing first Describe in detail when your excursion wanders and what the wander feels like.

 
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:16 AM
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For the record, a stock excursion rides fine.

the problems arise when they are worn out and no longer functioning within spec.
that said they have some defeeciencies which can be changed to suit specific needs.
 
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:28 AM
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Good job quoting and highlight text. Way more advanced than me.

So.

I added helper leaf leaf to front to prevent axle bang when hitting large bumps. No bump stops. Was very close. Now 24.5” from center to lip fender flare wheel well. Equal side to side

Rear is stock best I can tell. Looks low now compared to front. 24.25. To outer edge of flare. It is not 90 bend so wheel well part of flare is different measurement than outer rolled edge.

Measures nearly level for all intents and purposes when air bags are empty.

30-50psi gives a pleasing rake and ensures back goes no lower than level with family load and ball loaded trailer. I have many trailers. They ride fine and follow well but are not a 30’ long shoe box wind bag on wheels.

I have Reese straight line and 1200lb bars for a 950lb tounge weight trailer. I go 30psi and tight bars. Trailer follows truck perfectly. However it feels like back moves around a little and I constantly correct a little to keep up.

Way better with Hellwig rear bar on tightest setting. Even though I know anti sway bars have no locating capacity I bet dollars to donuts a strategically placed go pro could see less axle movement with both springs/sides of axle working off each other.

Hard dowshifts on hills while pulling camper shift the rear end

a YouTube video of a stock looking dodge before and after traction bars shows the axle movement during a steady drive on an uneven road. Not the obvious wrap that occurs on hard take off.

I have bumps on wrap springs removed. One was on other missing when I bought it. That causes the rear end to move for sure. Lever on one side not the other.

I would like more ride height rear with 5 psi min in bags. I want to smoothest ride possible.

my blocks seem taller than anything else I have read.

I know block lifts cause excess axle movement.

I have been over the front end a lot. 6 degrees caster makes it nice. I am looking for the most stability I can get.

 
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:49 AM
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99 build

my truck is a 99 build for what it’s worth.

The second spring in leaf pack does not go under the eye portion of First leaf. I would say it’s shorter by 6” overall. And all leafs but First are tapered.

Rear is still at stock height but essentially flat. All leaves are flat at empty. That doesn’t seem like the next application of load is same rate per inch.

I’ve owned a Chevy crewcab dually 4x4 with 454 and 5 speed stick. 100,000 miles of towing 4 and six horses. Drive great, handled weight perfectly.

Not the same drive as excursion.
 
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Jakerichards1 View Post
So.

I added helper leaf leaf to front to prevent axle bang when hitting large bumps. No bump stops. Was very close. Now 24.5” from center to lip fender flare wheel well. Equal side to side

Rear is stock best I can tell. Looks low now compared to front. 24.25. To outer edge of flare. It is not 90 bend so wheel well part of flare is different measurement than outer rolled edge.

Measures nearly level for all intents and purposes when air bags are empty.

30-50psi gives a pleasing rake and ensures back goes no lower than level with family load and ball loaded trailer. I have many trailers. They ride fine and follow well but are not a 30’ long shoe box wind bag on wheels.

I have Reese straight line and 1200lb bars for a 950lb tounge weight trailer. I go 30psi and tight bars. Trailer follows truck perfectly. However it feels like back moves around a little and I constantly correct a little to keep up.

Way better with Hellwig rear bar on tightest setting. Even though I know anti sway bars have no locating capacity I bet dollars to donuts a strategically placed go pro could see less axle movement with both springs/sides of axle working off each other.

Hard dowshifts on hills while pulling camper shift the rear end

a YouTube video of a stock looking dodge before and after traction bars shows the axle movement during a steady drive on an uneven road. Not the obvious wrap that occurs on hard take off.

I have bumps on wrap springs removed. One was on other missing when I bought it. That causes the rear end to move for sure. Lever on one side not the other.

I would like more ride height rear with 5 psi min in bags. I want to smoothest ride possible.

my blocks seem taller than anything else I have read.

I know block lifts cause excess axle movement.

I have been over the front end a lot. 6 degrees caster makes it nice. I am looking for the most stability I can get.

as a baseline, the stock excursion ride height was 23” front and 24” rear
you have raised the front 1.5”

the reason son the factory builds in a 1” take is so that when loaded with the max tounge weight the vehicle will be level.

since yours is level and you can keep it level by adding spring rate with air there is no real need to increase the ride height unless you just want to for looks.

Axle movement, Yes the axles moves, it is designed to. I have hours and hours of suspension testing with a GoPro on many diffrent suspension setups. The trick is understanding cause and effect and what axles movement is desired and what is detremintial. I have to disagree with your helwig idea but to each his own. ( fwiw I took mine off because it rides better around town without it )

the main determential axle movement you should be checking for is worn out leaf spring and shackle bushings. The driver side front leaf bushing is the main culprit here.

Hard downhill downshifts while towing shift any vehicle because the vehicle is being slowed down but not the trailer. The heavier the trailer the more noticeable more it is. Try lightly dragging the brake during a down shift as this will keep the trailer from pushing the vehicle and giving you that wiggle.

Ride height vs stability.
You want more ride height and stability. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. As ride height goes up so does the center of gravity and stability goes down.
That said you can have ok stability with increased ride height and that is a combination of correct spring rate, good shock valving, tire sidewall, tire Pressure, tire width, steering geometry and payload.


Getting back to first thing first, from what you have posted I do not see any mention of the symptoms of wander, mostly that you want to increase the rear ride height. For that you can just order a block from PMF to match the exact height you want, they even have accomandations for the air bag.
Ford F-250/350 Fabricated Lift Blocks

second thing....
smoothest ride possible. Ride quality is subjective so everybody is going to have their own opinion as to what suits them.
however the rule to setting up a suspension is to use the lowest spring rate possible to support the desired payload and set the ride height and then valve the shocks to suit the preferred ride quality. In short if you don’t like your current ride quality or want to change it then get diffrent shocks with valving to meet your goal.

Final thpught... tires.
You have not mention what size tire you run and it’s rating specs. Also what tire pressures do you run ?
Shocks and tires largely determine a vehicles ride and handeling qualities.

The springs job job is to support the payload and in the case of a leaf spring to placate the axle. ( nothing you have mentioned suggest your axle has an detremential movement to it even though you do not have the bumper on the anti-wrap leaf. Which is the first thing I would fix.

 
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:24 PM
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Anti-wrap bumper here
Amazon Amazon

and since you mentioned you removed the front bump stops

https://www.dormanproducts.com/p-77923-523-086.aspx
 
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Jakerichards1 View Post
my truck is a 99 build for what it’s worth.
Even though yours was one of the first rigs off the line, other than some early tweaks and changes (like using a GPR on the first 7.3 Excursions off the line for a few weeks before the GPCM replaced it) your rig is still the same as all the other 2000 model year rigs suspension-wise, so no worries there.

Stewart
 
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Jakerichards1 View Post
I am down to doing something to stabilize the rear from walking around while towing the 28’ camper.
If your problem is caused by your hitch setup, we can get you squared away with that too.

WE3ZS

Stewart
 
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Jakerichards1 View Post


Rear is still at stock height but essentially flat. All leaves are flat at empty. That doesn’t seem like the next application of load is same rate per inch.

I’ve owned a Chevy crewcab dually 4x4 with 454 and 5 speed stick. 100,000 miles of towing 4 and six horses. Drive great, handled weight perfectly.

Not the same drive as excursion.

I own a 911 Porsche, 3.6l with a 5 speed and 45,000 miles and it doesn’t ride like a excursion either

but seriously, a crew cab long wheelbase truck with a dual or triple rate rear spring and dual rear wheels is not going to be similar to a short wheel base suv with a single rate spring and single wheels.

But if you really want to try we have a test track and charge $800 a day for suspension tuning.

​​​​​​​
 
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by pirate4x4_camo View Post
But if you really want to try we have a test track and charge $800 a day for suspension tuning.​​​​​​
I'm your huckleberry.

You do pro-bono, right?

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Old 09-12-2018, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Stewart_H View Post
If your problem is caused by your hitch setup, we can get you squared away with that too.

WE3ZS

Stewart
thank you Stewart, that was my next suggestion since I really do not see any complaints related to suspension setup.( it can still be made better or changed but I do t see a wander issues from the details given )

I get the basics of trailer setup just from towing so much but it isn’t my area of expertise.
 
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Stewart_H View Post
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You do pro-bono, right?

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Old 09-12-2018, 04:07 PM
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Effort to remove springs.

Most vehicles let alone almost 20 year old ones would benefit from New bushings especially polyurethane ones. I was just thinking along the lines of with the parts that I have there was a way to get an inch or more of static ride height and build it without a lift block. Oh and not ride like an unloaded f550 dump truck.

I have a truck that drives pretty well however this particular camper I have just is not haul as well as every other trailer I’ve ever owned.

I have upgraded my hitch and spent a lot of time setting it up as perfectly as I can manage between the instructions that come with it and additional tips from people online.

It drives a lot better since I built a custom bike rack for the front tongue area that adds tongue weight to the trailer. It seems to be that most any new camper trailer has more tongue weight than older ones did. I have also aligned the axle stubs too. Wheels were not pointed same direction originally. This camper is a uncomfortable ride with my tundra as well.

This

When I describe stability it wasn’t top-heavy leaning type of stability but more straight line tracking ability during windy and dusty conditions and imperfect Road crown and cupped roads. I think there has to be some sort of leverage caused by axel centerline being almost 6” below spring pack.

My FIL tows same size camper with new Chevy single cab truck 2500hd and it is the most uncomfortable ride. Straight line stable but pain in the butt.

Do do you think people who have either added radius rods or traction bars or something similar are nuts? Does it not relatively lock the rear axle perpendicular to the frame regardless or road surface?

I dont want to do more work for naught. Everthing I have is old and used but mostly in really good condition.

newer generic replacement shocks by previous owner.

Nearly new hankook dynapro atm 265/75-16 lre

38-45 empty or whatever door says.

45-55 towing heavy



 
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Old 09-12-2018, 04:25 PM
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Uphill shift

on highway

uphill downshift 4-3 while towing 15k gross

you can feel back end squirm and then have to counter steer. I have heard that goes away with traction bars.

I don’t know if anyone with a traction bar device or stiffer springs has noticed less bow wave induced sway from large vehicles on highway.
 
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