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1711  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Suspension and handling on: March 26, 2011, 09:44:40 pm
I will take a stab at it too.

Sway/stabilizer bars reduce side-to-side swaying.  Like a pine tree would sway in a gusty wind storm.  Like a boat or a buoy rocks side-to-side in water.

A rear trac bar eliminates horizontal side-to-side motion.  The motion is caused from the rear leaf springs twisting.  That is why on a van style class B+/C there is no need for a front trac bar because the chassis does not have front leaf springs.

I can easily create the same motion with my little Ford Ranger pickup truck by standing close to the rear tailgate, pushing on the side in quick succession, getting it to shake it's butt sideways wildly.  I cannot do that with the front end because it has coil springs and the rest that goes with that type of suspension.
1712  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Suspension and handling on: March 25, 2011, 11:16:07 am
Very interesting.  I was told Ford covers that initial alignment, which is contradictory to your experience.

Four years ao I piad $170 for my front wheel alignment, this done before I heard Ford "supposedly" covers it.  Mine was more costly than most because of the extra labor and parts involved to replace center-set bushings with off-set bushings to adjust for an extreme camber condition.  I would assume that condition is because the front is much lighter than normal.  I do have my fresh water tank in the very back of my 2350.  That 400 pounds alone, would lighten up the front by that amount.  Then adding 55 gallons of fuel and all the rest behind the rear axle, and there goes my front camber to the extreme.
1713  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Suspension and handling on: March 24, 2011, 05:35:21 pm
On the Bilstein shocks, does anyone have any feedback on their "heavy duty" shock versus their "comfort" shock?
When you say "Call Ford customer service" do you mean the local Ford dealer service department?
As everyone on says, get the "Heavy Duty", not the "Comfort".  Even considering the weight of a lighter E350 as compared to a heavier E450, the heavy duty versions are still the best for your application.  I have Koni-RV adjustable shocks, and they are set to the stiffest setting.  They do their job well without making the ride any rougher than my wimpy original Ford shocks.

About contacting Ford, if you cannot find the number in your owner's manual, then contact your local Ford service department and they will get you the number to call.
1714  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Suspension and handling on: March 24, 2011, 04:58:49 pm
Great run-down there Billy.

Just to add, the stock Ford chassis comes from Ford with everything except for a rear trac bar.  As you mentioned, it has (of coarse) shocks..... and front & rear sway bars.  But the chassis also has a steering stabilizer.  The problem is that none are enough for such a heavily loaded chassis, a house on wheels.

The front steering stabilizer and sway bar is the same installed on an E150 van.  The 4 shocks are the same used in an E250 van.  All very inadequate for a motor home application.
1715  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Suspension and handling on: March 24, 2011, 04:42:59 pm
Hi jdw,

A sway bar and stabilizer bar are one and the same.

BEFORE YOU BUY ANYTHING, first get a front wheel alignment, compliments of Ford.  Call Ford customer service for instruction.  When you go there, have a full tank of fresh water & fuel, all your gear, etc.  Try to simulate the weight as if leaving on a trip.  If you want to go the extra mile, add weight to simulate driver and passenger.  I threw in some weights from exercise equipment, set on the floor behind the two front seats.

About your 2011 chassis not having availability, I suspect the on-line information has not yet been updated to accomodate 2011 model years.  I advise to call Helwig and Roadmaster direct.  They may say to simply order 2010 parts.

I also advise to have both the rear sway bar and rear trac bar installed at the same time.  This because the installer will need to adjust the position of the sway bar to accomodate the trac bar.  You would not want anyone to mess with sway bar mounting hardware twice.

If your budget is very limited, start first with rear sway & trac bars.  That will address the worst of your handling troubles.  Immediately following would be a front sway bar.  If you still have issues, then do the shocks and steering stabilizer.

As you know we had everything done all at once which made a "MEGA" improvement in handling.  Our rig is a real joy to drive and ride in.  No more "Drunken Sailer".
1716  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Kwikstep / Kwik-Lube on: March 23, 2011, 12:05:15 pm
I am a bad boy.  I think I lubricated my step once, a few months after I bought my PC in June of 2007.  That would make it .....3.5 years ago.  It does work extremely well with no strange sounds or squeeks.

Are you owners having issues with your electric step, or is it simply preventative maintenance?  I suppose I should lube mine up.
1717  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Spell checker on: March 23, 2011, 09:38:41 am
Reding throuh thiss tred, I dwnloded iespell, but dont notce anee difernce in mie speling.  How doe sit spell ch eck?
1718  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Spell checker on: March 20, 2011, 05:00:06 pm
Also welcome to the new "Hero members" over 100 or more post.  ThumbsUp Go to Members above and sort by post to see who they are/will soon be.
Oh boy, no wonder my wife says to me all the time....."Are you on that computer again?"
1719  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Air flow on: March 19, 2011, 12:53:23 pm
Try setting the heater controls to max A/C.  That recirculates cabin air by closing up the ventilation from the outside, maybe staying closed with the engine turned off.
1720  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: oil change on: March 18, 2011, 02:03:18 pm

To be honest, I didn't learn that Ford recommended synthetic until my 3rd oil change.  I used regular oil the 1st change at 2000, then 3000 miles.  Once I read "synthetic" in the owners manual, I switched to full synthetic and let that oil work for me all year long given I drive maybe 5000 miles per year max.

For a new Ford-V10 engine, I would run that oil a full year as I would think Ford follows their own spec and put full synthetic 5W-20 in there.  But I would surely do this next thing too.

I always have a very strong magnet on the bottom of the oil filter to capture any metal particles, especially beneficial during the break-in period and exteneded use synthetic oil in combination.  I found very strong magnets for this use in discarded computer hard drives.  The magnets are so strong, they will draw blood if you get your fingers pinched between two of them.  Here is what they look like.

I use a magnet on my Phoenix and my Corvette as both oil changes are once a year with Synthetic.  My daily use vehicles, I still use regualar oil changed at closer invervals so I never bother with magnets.  There are two magnets in each hard drive.

There are all kinds of magnets sold specifically for oil filters as shown, but I am a cheapskate where it doesn't matter.
1721  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: oil change on: March 17, 2011, 10:17:39 pm
I thought the Ford owners manual recommended full synthetic.  That  is what I use.  It lasts all year that way too.
1722  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: extending roof rack on: March 17, 2011, 10:15:17 pm
Your questions could be best answered by Phoenix USA.

BTW:  While the roof rack is apart, you might want to consider slipping on floatation noodles to act as pads and rollers for the Kayaks.  Find ones with the right ID and color to match your rig.  They are very durable and likely have UV protecting properties.

1723  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Model names on: March 17, 2011, 12:50:15 am
I have seen on ebay, Phoenix Cruisers around year 2000, which are vans with extended roofs, called a class-B.  All were constructed on the Dodge Ram van as shown here.

Somewhere around the same time, they offered a larger B+ configuration which is the same basic design today.  The rear back then looked like this.  Note how the entry door looks when open.  They later came up with the pivoting hindge most of us enjoy today.

They improved again around 2004/2005 with significant improvements in construction and features, the most noticable one being the rear wall having an integrated spare tire compartment and larger outside storage as shown here.

Other extras included an improved entry door (maybe introduced a few years earlier), high intensity LED tail lights, the inverter with twin batteries and the maserator pump.  I don't know when they started offering so many models, but when I bought mine in 2007 they had a bunch, adding at least 2 more floor plans and the Sprinter since.  Every year they seem to get a little better.

I don't know if Kermit owned Phoenix USA all throughout it's history, or if he bought into it along the way.
1724  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Metal on metal rattle on: March 15, 2011, 03:54:55 pm
You should let Kermit (the owner of Phoenix USA) know this.  He needs to tell the fellow of that process to watch out for this.  Call the factory and ask for him.  Don't be shy.  He loves phone call input.
1725  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Gas Mileage on 2551/2552 on: March 15, 2011, 03:48:54 pm
Thanks for the data!  It sure seems smart to get one of these for oh so many good reasons.  Now to figure out where the best place to mount this thing.  Up high, down low, I'll have to give this some thought.  I sure wouldn't want to mount it in poor taste, yet still in plain view.
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