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Author Topic: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER  (Read 83817 times)

Harvard

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E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« on: February 15, 2011, 12:12:53 AM »
Our 2004 E450 28 Foot handled terrible until we added additional + Caster to the front wheels.

The Ford Spec for front end CASTER is:

LH +1.3 to +6.8 Degrees
RH +1.8 to +7.3 Degrees

Our unit was:
LH +3.3 Degrees
RH +3.5 Degrees

We added + 2.0 degrees, so we are now at:
LH +5.3 Degrees
RH +5.5 Degrees.

Alignment problems on the E series follow the 80/20 rule in the sense that TOE and CAMBER is 20% of the story while CASTER is 80% of the story. TOO LITTLE CASTER will amplify any external force many fold to the detriment of stability.

If your unit feels like the steering box needs to be tightened up it is because of TOO LITTLE + CASTER.
If cross winds and wind gusts cause havoc it is because of TOO LITTLE + CASTER.
If you think the tail is wagging the dog it is because of TOO LITTLE + CASTER.
If you are needing to drive it all day and never relax it is because of TOO LITTLE + CASTER.

If your unit drives GREAT, like an SUV, it is because you have a proper amout of + CASTER which I am guestimating to be about +5.0 degrees or more.  (Note: The RH caster is always more then LH (CROSS CASTER = LH - RH))



« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 12:17:54 AM by Harvard »

cruzn57

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2011, 11:48:09 PM »
I have an 89 E350 its pretty good on the highway, but does wander slightly.
I added 1/8" toe in and it is alot better, my question is, how is caster set?
I believe mine is called twin I beam suspension,  does it require heating and bending?
I agree more caster will be beneficial,  but will increase the steering pressure required,
its worth it either way,
thanks

somewhere in time, still plays with cars.

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2011, 09:18:09 AM »
I have an 89 E350 its pretty good on the highway, but does wander slightly.
I added 1/8" toe in and it is alot better, my question is, how is caster set?
I believe mine is called twin I beam suspension,  does it require heating and bending?
I agree more caster will be beneficial,  but will increase the steering pressure required,
its worth it either way,
thanks

Yes, I also have the same suspension, and so does every E350/E450. The top mount of your upper ball joints are shipped from the factory with fixed non adjustable sleeves that need to be replaced.

In my opinion, your best choice in adjustable sleeves are from Ingalls Engineering. They are clearly marked as INGALLS 594. They consist of two concentric sleeves that have 360/24 = 15 degrees indices labeled A through X. In order to set them you need a "cheat" sheet which is on the web as "59400.pdf". These sleeves will allow adjustment of both CAMBER and CASTER up to +/- 2.0 degrees each, in any combination of CASTER or CAMBER. All you need to do is, using the cheat sheet, is take the max adjustable + CASTER change which is +2.0 any you will see a black and white improvement.

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2011, 09:43:01 AM »
By the way, there are no special tools or technique required to change out the CAMBER/CASTER sleeves. What I mean is there is no heavy duty ball joint work, you just jack up the wheel, remove the wheel, loosen the "horse collar" and the sleeves just pry up as per the instructions in 59400.pdf. Then you just slip in the Ingall 594s. Can't say for sure how corroded the sleeves might be in an older unit, use lots of liquid wrench etc....

cruzn57

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2011, 11:06:17 PM »
Thanks

I have a few cold ones sitting here , for your consumption.
since its so simple!   LOL

really- thanks for the tip, I'll get some ordered,
I have a caster/camber gauge I use on the race cars,  I can check it with that.

somewhere in time, still plays with cars.

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2011, 09:05:47 AM »
Moose Drool dark ale from Montana is my choice, but then I will drink anything that is greater then 32F (+5.0/-0.0) if you get my drift.

cruzn57

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2011, 07:50:40 PM »
I like your thinking!  LOL

I ordered the off set bushings (ingall 59400) from "Amazon"
went out and looked at the front susp. I see what your talking about.
guess I should spray it with WD40.
need to wait for better weather, I'll camp in this weather, but I'm a fair weather
mechanic!
 been raining for last few days, snow is at 4000ft level,  were 3300'.
 warm coffee, and insulated window,  now thats where I'm at!!
somewhere in time, still plays with cars.

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2011, 09:58:28 PM »
Sorry, I should not have been so cryptic about my temperature tolerance for a good brew. I really meant to imply CASTER is a one way street having a POSITIVE tolerance BUT do not even think, in this day and age, of ever going for a more negative CASTER.

I would love to tell you the full story BUT to compress dealing with a "truck alignment shop" + 5 months and 1800 terrifying miles without any "light at the end of the tunnel" in 5-10 lines is not possible.

So as a recap,:
In a Wellton AZ campground, on 16th Nov last, (at 250 Foot ASL at about 75 Deg weather)  I pulled my front wheels one at a time and made the big adjustment of adding +2.0 degrees caster to each wheel. On that day, after making the adjustments,  I took the RV for a 10 mile return trip just to make sure the front wheels would not fall off as a result of my playing with something that I knew "little" about.

Our 2004 E450 then sat in the campground bone yard (we stay in a park model) until the 11th Feb when we headed out on a 220 mile trip to Laughlin, NV with a toad. This was to be my first real road test on the adjusted CASTER. By chance it turned out to be a fairly windy day. Well, the difference was a black and white improvement in handling.

We have since made the return trip from Laughlin and I had lots of time to think of just  how I could put this experience into words.

The chosen words are:

"When you drive an RV WITH TOO LITTLE CASTER on a windy day, you are going to be fighting the wind and fighting the RV, combined. When you drive the same RV in the same wind WITH ENOUGH CASTER, the RV is going to fight the wind and all you need to do is manage the situation."

I will look forward to your choice of words when winter has passed and you have had a chance to add creditability or debunk my theories about caster.

By the way, I am very interested in knowing about DIY front end alignment measuring equipment. I can do the TOE and CAMBER but I do not yet have a technique established for measuring the CASTER.

donn

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2011, 07:32:01 AM »
For years Ford E series vehicles have been known as wanderers.  Get it to a good alignment shop, and the problem will go away.

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2011, 08:23:33 AM »
For years Ford E series vehicles have been known as wanderers.  Get it to a good alignment shop, and the problem will go away.

Yes, but the challenge is to identify a "good alignment shop". That is the hard part! IMHO

I can tell you of one chain outfit in Canada, specifically the "truck alignment bay" in Calgary, AB that does not qualify as a "good alignment shop".

I am going to speculate that the bad alignment shops can run through 6-8 alignments a day on one rack. On the other hand, a "good alignment shop" is going to have a much lesser through put per day.

Which operation is going to look better at head office?

JMO that cost me CDN $167.95, Invoice# 623620743 o dated /10/15/10.


cruzn57

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2011, 07:49:58 PM »
this is what we use to set  alignment on race cars,
it takes a little time to get used to it,
http://www.racingplus.com/alignment-tools/longacre/magnetic-c-c-gauge-w-case/1362p10523

for toe settings we use a plate  on outside ea wheel, and measure front and rear.
http://www.racingplus.com/alignment-tools/longacre/toe-plates-set-includes-2-tapes/1362p10556

hope thats some help.
somewhere in time, still plays with cars.

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2011, 08:47:23 PM »
Hey cruzn57, did you ever get around to adding more +caster to the front end of your MH.

We now have an independent confirmation out of Phoenix, see his post 08/06/11 http://www.rv.net/forums/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/24815915/page/4.cfm

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2011, 10:54:19 AM »
OP here... since installing the extra +2.0 degrees of caster I have driven this E450 about 4500 miles, it definitely handles like an SUV. I cannot say enough about the difference in handling.

If you are not a DIY owner I would suggest you purchase a set of INGALLS 594 Camber/Caster sleeves then make an appointment with an alignment shop. Be very specific in your instructions asking them to install these sleeves SET TO 0.0 Degrees CAMBER and +2.0 Degrees CASTER then align the TOE IN to be within TOE spec while accepting the resulting CAMBER and CASTER AS IS!  Trust me, it will be well worth the effort IF you own a wandering E350/E450.

Molaker

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2011, 12:40:08 PM »
Glad it works for you.  My '99 E450 (31.5') doesn't have the same problem, however.  It handles well with Ford spec'd caster.  It might be interesting to know what the weight ratio is between your front and rear axles.  If the rear is loaded heavily, especially behind the axle, it might tend to make the front end a bit road crazy.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2011, 08:35:13 PM »
Glad it works for you.  My '99 E450 (31.5') doesn't have the same problem, however.  It handles well with Ford spec'd caster.  It might be interesting to know what the weight ratio is between your front and rear axles.  If the rear is loaded heavily, especially behind the axle, it might tend to make the front end a bit road crazy.

Ford spec for CASTER is about +1.3 to +7.3 degrees and I am at about +5.3 degrees (thats neutral which is about +3.3 degrees + 2.0 degrees from the sleeves = +5.3 degrees) so I am well inside the Ford spec.

My theory is they probably handle badly below about +4.0 degrees which is still inside spec. Lets say there is a grey area between +3.5 to +5.0 where load distribution would add to the confusion. Below +3.5 is no mans land no matter what the weight distribution. IMHO.

Do you know what your caster is set at?

At any rate, I no longer have the handling problem since the caster adjustment and my load distribution habits have not changed from before or after the caster adjustment. For example my front weight on one trip weighed in at 4270# (max 4600#) and the rear 7860# (max 9450#).

Thanks for the input, I hope you had a look at:
http://www.rv.net/forums/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/24815915/gotomsg/25300144.cfm#25300144
 

Molaker

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2011, 12:04:43 AM »
I don't know what caster mine is set to, frankly.  I did take it to a truck shop specializing in frame work and alignment (bought new tires and wanted to make sure alignment was good), but I haven't a clue what they set it to.  However, it was not bad even before the alignment.  Right now I'm in a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mode as far as handling is concerned.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2011, 09:40:54 AM »
I don't know what caster mine is set to, frankly.  I did take it to a truck shop specializing in frame work and alignment (bought new tires and wanted to make sure alignment was good), but I haven't a clue what they set it to.  However, it was not bad even before the alignment.  Right now I'm in a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mode as far as handling is concerned.

I agree with your mode of operation, believe me I did not go looking for this problem, it came to me with a used 2004 28' E450 that I bought last fall and it was a terror to drive at highway speeds. And yes, I did take it out for a test drive but it was not something a novice would pick up on first trip.

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2011, 11:01:02 AM »
Here is a link to a good description of CASTER vs CAMBER (and toe).

http://www.whiteline.com.au/Plus/terminology.php

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2011, 09:57:22 AM »
As it turns out, it is real easy to estimate the CASTER of any front wheel. To get the CASTER you need to make 2 CAMBER measurements per wheel plus a formula.  I bought a 10 inch Stanley bubble type torpedo level c/w rotateable degree index.  To measure the CAMBER I just place the level vertical on the front circumference of the rim where the ends of the level sit on the rim.

Here is the formula:

K = ( 180 / pi ) * ( ( C1 - C2 ) / ( T1 - T2 ) )

Where:
K is the estimated CASTER
C1 is the +CAMBER when the DS wheel is FULL LEFT or the PS wheel is FULL RIGHT.
C2 is the -CAMBER when the DS wheel is FULL RIGHT or the PS wheel is FULL LEFT.
T1 is the +TURN ANGLE when DS wheel is FULL LEFT or the PS wheel is FULL RIGHT.
T2 is the -TURN ANGLE when DS wheel is FULL RIGHT or the PS wheel is FULL LEFT.
DS is the Drivers Side Wheel
PS is the Passengers Side Wheel

To make things simple, the E350/E450 has a TURN ANGLE of about 25 Degrees at FULL LH or FULL RH. Also, the more level the terrain the better.

For example, This is my E450 sitting on a 1/2 degree side to side slope:
DS FULL LEFT +CAMBER = +4
DS FULL RIGHT -CAMBER = -1
PS FULL RIGHT +CAMBER = +3
PS FULL LEFT -CAMBER = -2

DS K = ( 180 / 3.14 ) * ( ( 4 - (-1) ) / ( 25 - (-25) ) = +5.7 Degrees
PS K = ( 180 / 3.14 ) * ( ( 3 - (-2) ) / ( 25 - (-25) ) = +5.7 Degrees

All we are trying to do here is determine if our CASTER less then 4 degrees or is it greater then 5 degrees to know if we have a vehicle with post factory alignment sleeves or not, the so called "truck alignment".


KY-Rver

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2011, 06:37:14 PM »
Help.
I have read about the caster settings and now here is my problem.  My E450 2006 model had slightly less than 1 degree of positive caster.  I have installed a 3-1/2 degree bushing which gives me slightly under 4-1/2 degree positive caster. Handling has much improved, however, still some road wandering. Does anyone know of any bushing that will give me more caster? I would like to get to at least 5-1/2 degrees. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2011, 02:38:59 PM »
Help.
I have read about the caster settings and now here is my problem.  My E450 2006 model had slightly less than 1 degree of positive caster.  I have installed a 3-1/2 degree bushing which gives me slightly under 4-1/2 degree positive caster. Handling has much improved, however, still some road wandering. Does anyone know of any bushing that will give me more caster? I would like to get to at least 5-1/2 degrees. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Ingalls 594 sleeves will allow you to get up to +5.3 to +5.5 Degrees CASTER by adding +2.0 degrees to the neutral +3.3 to +3.5 degrees. By neutral I am meaning the CASTER is at center of the range which is about +3.3 to +3.5 if you get my drift.

jetmechs

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2012, 08:33:20 PM »
Hello All,

We just completed a round trip coast to coast trip in a 2009 E450 Winnebago Chalet. It was 6500 miles of really loose steering that reminded me of my first vehicle, a 1967 F100 pickup with worn out king pins that I learned on, and later a 1999 Expedition that I bought new I asked for help from Ford engineering with typical response, "they all do that", and both drove like Model A's. I am a helicopter pilot, so I know how to steer an unstable craft, but it is very taxing to drive a motor vehicle minute by minute for days on end with this kind of precision. I got used to driving the E450 as time went by, but I am ashamed of Ford and Winnebago for giving me all of my bad experiences. I am a stock holder in Ford by the way. If +5 caster is the solution, I will try it on the Expedition too, 12 years too late. It is way too late for the F100 sadly, but I think it gave me the ability to not over control my craft.

In addition, I think that my Class C could have used some rear air springs to help with ride control, it is very rigid and crisp, like a sports car that weighs 12,000 lbs. They are on order now. With a normal load of water and fuel, the rear is a little low too, the low beams are like brights. I hope this helps.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 09:08:50 PM by jetmechs »

Oldedit

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2012, 08:59:15 AM »
Good info on the E450 C. Thanks.
2014 Newmar Ventana 4037 12.17-
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dave61

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2012, 10:39:45 AM »
Harvard good info thanks for sharing. I have a 27' on an E450 that i bought about 6 months ago and i think it drives ok but one thing I noticed early on is the wheel seems slow to return to center. In and of itself that does not matter to me at all, it was just an observation. Then on our last trip we had a 25 to 30 mph headwind with a right to left force about 90% of the time, those occasional (10%) left to rights, were tricky. Every Rv I saw that day was having to pay attention.

So I was thinking about the slow to return to center thing after reading your post. Am I correct that increasing castor would help with this? Maybe it would help with windy days too. With the cost of the new bushings being so low it seems a good thing to do in any case.

P.S. I have no suspension mods and have a longish wheelbase 196" for the length.
2004 B Touring Cruiser 27
Ford E450 V-10
Tampa Bay FL

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2012, 12:35:01 PM »
Harvard good info thanks for sharing. I have a 27' on an E450 that i bought about 6 months ago and i think it drives ok but one thing I noticed early on is the wheel seems slow to return to center. In and of itself that does not matter to me at all, it was just an observation. Then on our last trip we had a 25 to 30 mph headwind with a right to left force about 90% of the time, those occasional (10%) left to rights, were tricky. Every Rv I saw that day was having to pay attention.

So I was thinking about the slow to return to center thing after reading your post. Am I correct that increasing castor would help with this? Maybe it would help with windy days too. With the cost of the new bushings being so low it seems a good thing to do in any case.

P.S. I have no suspension mods and have a longish wheelbase 196" for the length.

Yes, more + CASTER will effect/improve "return to center" as well as the "straight ahead " stability at highway speeds.

skyking1

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2012, 02:14:20 PM »
Great post! This problem affects many other rigs. My truck is a miserable drive on the highway, due to factory specs that just don't get it right.
The good vs average alignment shop: The average shop sees a number in that factory range and they are done. " It's within specifications" they will say, and charge you and out the door.  A good shop will drive and see what is going on.
Kelly and Mary

1996 Dodge CTD 2500 "Woody"
1991 Avion 29.5 ST
Washington State

http://boondockerswelcome.com/users/skyking

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2012, 03:55:34 PM »
Great post! This problem affects many other rigs. My truck is a miserable drive on the highway, due to factory specs that just don't get it right.
The good vs average alignment shop: The average shop sees a number in that factory range and they are done. " It's within specifications" they will say, and charge you and out the door.  A good shop will drive and see what is going on.

You are soooo right....the "average" shop will tweak the toe and make sure the camber and caster look good on paper by fudging the print out. After all is said and done, an "average" tech doing 8 alignments a day looks good from the head office point of view.

skyking1

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2012, 03:41:22 PM »
Just got back from having the truck aligned with this post in mind.
It started out at 2.9 and 3.1
He tweaked it to 3.4 and 3.7
Could not do any more or the camber would be out of spec. It did help some.
I will be towing this weekend with it and will report back.
 I have a kit on order to replace the steering shaft bushing with an improved system.
http://www.rocksolidramtrucksteering.com/
That is the last thing I can do.
Kelly and Mary

1996 Dodge CTD 2500 "Woody"
1991 Avion 29.5 ST
Washington State

http://boondockerswelcome.com/users/skyking

skyking1

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2012, 01:49:35 PM »
Follow up to this topic:
I did not need the bushing shown above. I took the truck to Kimball's Alignment in Tacoma, as recommended by my tire shop. They send all the problem alignments there to be done by a real pro in the business.
He discovered a slightly loose pitman arm joint, and quoted me a price to do that and add as much caster as possible. I had more time than money and did the pitman arm myself. I noticed a change as I drove it to the shop, it was a little tighter. The new part also moved my wheel from aligned to about 11:30 when driving straight.
He corrected that, took the caster out to 4.5 on both sides before he ran out of adjustment. I drove it 500 miles yesterday and it is very much better! More caster does indeed help.
Kelly and Mary

1996 Dodge CTD 2500 "Woody"
1991 Avion 29.5 ST
Washington State

http://boondockerswelcome.com/users/skyking

MinneFromMinne

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2012, 04:45:41 PM »
Hello.. Great Info Harvard,   Just want to Confirm that You used #59400 on an E450..  Ingall does not list this as a Valid part for an E450, only up to the E350..    thx!...jp

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2012, 04:06:37 PM »
Hello.. Great Info Harvard,   Just want to Confirm that You used #59400 on an E450..  Ingall does not list this as a Valid part for an E450, only up to the E350..    thx!...jp

Yes, my 2004 E450 has Ingall #59400 installed. I went for the max available +CASTER and just accepted the resulting camber.

mylo

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2012, 07:16:25 PM »
OK, so I know this thread is all about some Ford Class Cs, and their squirreliness on the highway. My rig is on a Chevy, but I assume the setup is similar.

Well, my first 2 hour trip on the highway in my rig (see sig) was "unsettling" at best. My son and I just went for a weekend trip down to Tucson. We didn't pack much at all, and we didn't use the bathroom. I did have about 160 pounds stored back in the bathroom (used whiskey barrels), that I was delivering. The bathroom on my rig is all the way in the back, so all of that weight was behind the axle. On a more typical trip, I expect much of that weight to be located farther forward, as luggage. Still... 160 pounds shouldn't make that much of a difference...

Anyway, the trip down was seriously white knuckled. I would feel EVERY vehicle that passed - with the possible exception of motorcycles. Depending on how fast they passed, and how big a vehicle it was - the effect was amplified accordingly. I got passed by a few big rigs that were flying past - and it seriously pushed and pulled me around. I was tense and exhausted from this little short trip. I am seriously considering taking it to an alignment shop and getting some more positive caster dialed in. I talked with a few buddies in Tucson, and they said that most RVs that they drove had the same problems. I guess it is something that you have to get used to - but I am hoping that by having this work done, it will be a little more pleasurable to drive.

Will those same (or similar) sleeves work on a Chevy?


Mylo
1990 Fleetwood Jamboree Searcher (Class C)
Chevy G30 Chassis

Alfa38User

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2012, 07:16:39 AM »
First cheap repair; Check the tire pressures using only enough air to satisfy the load tables provided for your particular tire brand.
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

mylo

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2012, 11:21:56 AM »
First cheap repair; Check the tire pressures using only enough air to satisfy the load tables provided for your particular tire brand.

I sort of did that... Brand new tires. Discount said to run them at 80 fully loaded. I ran them at 70. I can't seem to find a load chart for Dunlop E rating...


Mylo
1990 Fleetwood Jamboree Searcher (Class C)
Chevy G30 Chassis

Alfa38User

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2012, 03:42:26 PM »
But.... did you weigh the vehicle so you know where you stand, at least partially anyway??? Not all manufacturers seem to publish charts it seems, especially for car/truck sizes.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 03:45:52 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

jmagic

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #35 on: November 13, 2012, 03:57:04 PM »
Just purchased a '09 Sunseeker 2300 with only 15k miles on it. After front end alignment it was much better, but then came windy days. It would almost change lanes on its own, that was a exciting experience! Took it back to the truck shop and discussed +castor and Harvard's suggestion. Before I could finish, he rattled off the part number of the bushing needed.
I just picked up the unit last night - Unbelievable, fantastic, drives like and SUV.

Thank you Harvard! This information saved the day. We are going to Colorado in the Spring and there was no way I would have driven the unit the way it was. Thanks again Harvard and thanks Fleet Pride of So. Deerfield, MA.

mylo

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2012, 10:35:18 AM »
First cheap repair; Check the tire pressures using only enough air to satisfy the load tables provided for your particular tire brand.

So... from what I gathered, the rig originally came with D rated LT tires. The sticker on the driver jamb says 60 PSI. The previous owner told me that fully loaded to spec that I'd be at the upper end of the D rating, and should therefore get the E rated ones. Discount Tire filled them to 80 PSI. I can't seem to find tables for these new Dunlop E rated tires. I am assuming that 80 is the max they should be filled to, and that 70 will give me a little better ride, at the expense of a little load. I'm kinda flying blind here.

Anyway, as I mentioned, I have a Chevy G30 chassis. Ingall doesn't seem to make bushings for a Chevy. Any other suggestions?


Mylo
1990 Fleetwood Jamboree Searcher (Class C)
Chevy G30 Chassis

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2012, 12:27:04 PM »
So... from what I gathered, the rig originally came with D rated LT tires. The sticker on the driver jamb says 60 PSI. The previous owner told me that fully loaded to spec that I'd be at the upper end of the D rating, and should therefore get the E rated ones. Discount Tire filled them to 80 PSI. I can't seem to find tables for these new Dunlop E rated tires. I am assuming that 80 is the max they should be filled to, and that 70 will give me a little better ride, at the expense of a little load. I'm kinda flying blind here.

Anyway, as I mentioned, I have a Chevy G30 chassis. Ingall doesn't seem to make bushings for a Chevy. Any other suggestions?


Mylo

You need to consult an alignment shop, your Chevy most likely has a means of adjusting caster. These Ingall bushings are just a Ford E350/E450 means of adjusting CASTER and CAMBER.


For example: http://www.streetperformance.com/auto/chevrolet-g30/alignment-castercamber-kit/47-450-5549mmc/

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2012, 10:52:10 AM »
Great post! This problem affects many other rigs. My truck is a miserable drive on the highway, due to factory specs that just don't get it right.
The good vs average alignment shop: The average shop sees a number in that factory range and they are done. " It's within specifications" they will say, and charge you and out the door.  A good shop will drive and see what is going on.

I may have stumbled across a possible reason why some alignment shops end up with what I think is too little +Caster. It appears some shops may adjust the adjustable parameter to be in the middle of the specified range, as is noted in this link:

http://www.rvforum.net/miscfiles/MH_Steering_Handling_%20Primer.pdf

"Each chassis will have detailed specs for these three things and it is crucial that they all be as close as possible to dead center on the target numbers."

To me, that certainly makes sense for Camber and Toe but I am not so sure it should apply to +Caster. IMHO.

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2013, 10:59:49 AM »
Here is another good reference for readers of this thread, it may be a Jeep but caster is caster even if it is on a bicycle.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/why-your-steering-wanders-seems-loose-445430/

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2013, 07:39:24 PM »
Something to report about the 3rd chart (for E350/E450) on the cheat sheet for the Ingalls 594 sleeves. http://www.ingallseng.com/Instructions/59400.pdf

1. Driver Side Caster at +1.0 and Camber at -1.5 reads B/K, it should read K/B.

and

2. Drivers Side Caster at -1.25 the Camber at -1.0 and -0.25, they both read T/A. The Camber at -1.0 should read H/R instead of T/A.

Harvard.

thomastonct

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2013, 11:51:52 AM »
I have a 2004 E350 Superduty that I usually drive empty. I load it up and pull a trailer twice a year to go camping. I never noticed any shimmy for the first 140K miles. In winter I switch to Firestone Winterforce studded snow tires, which are lower load rated tires, and I assume lighter weight than 2,600 lb tires. The factory tires were Michelin, which I replaced at 140K miles. That was when my problems started. Before that, there was no noticeable shimmy with the Michelins or the lighter load rated studded Firestone snow tires. I got Dunlop Rovers to replace the worn out Michelins, then had shimmy problems. Replaced lower ball joints, all the tie rod ends, did the road force balance according to TSB 05-24-8, installed hydraulic steering shimmy damper, replaced I-beam pivot bushings, sway bar end bushings (which help tie the I-beams together through the sway bar), got new aftermarket wheels with new Hancook tires, added Centramatic balancers, then recently replaced all the ball joints at the same time. For two years this was a problem with the summer high load range tires, not with the Firestone snow tires.

Increasing the caster made the problem go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Do not pay attention to anyone who posts "too much caster causes shimmy" or that there is a Ford truck TSB that says to decrease caster to eliminate shimmy.

I do not know what the alignment was set at for most of this time because the mechanic set the caster bushings with the slots toward the inside when replacing the ball joints, which was just recently at 195K miles. The bushings that were in it were 1-1/2 degree bushings and with the slots to the inside the caster is set to the middle of the range and camber is the most negative. A Firestone shop measured the alignment with this setting and it was like this:
left caster   2.2       left camber    -.5
right caster 3.4       right camber -1.2

I told them to adjust the caster to as high as it could go while keeping the camber within spec and they said the factory original bushings are not adjustable and wanted to sell me bushing-in-bushing kits with the numbers on them for several hundred dollars. So I had to adjust the nonadjustable bushings myself.

I went home and set the left one for the most caster it would do, with the slot facing back and drove it for a week while I ordered new bushings. That made it like this and it still shimmied:
left caster   3.7       left camber    1
right caster 3.4       right camber -1.2

I got a 3-1/2 bushing for the left and a 2-1/2 for the right from NAPA, Moog bushings for about $20 each.
Now it is at:
left caster   5.7       left camber    .7
right caster 5.9       right camber .7
Shimmy is gone and with nearly equal caster on each side it goes straight. I guess the factory setup is to have 1/2 degree less caster on the driver's side so that it pulls left to counter road crown on a two lane road. Most of my driving is on the highway in the left lane so the crown is to my right. The bushing replacement is easy, but you need to have an alignment first and keep track of the angle of the bushing that is installed so you can adjust from there.

Thanks Harvard for starting this post. Now I love my van again. 195K miles, alternator just went, and #7 spark plug boot have been the only problems other than this shimmy after replacing the factory tires.

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #42 on: June 23, 2013, 05:42:02 PM »
Quote
Thomastonct:
Increasing the caster made the problem go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Do not pay attention to anyone who posts "too much caster causes shimmy" or that there is a Ford truck TSB that says to decrease caster to eliminate shimmy.

Almost every one has had a bad experience with the caster wheels on a shopping cart, right?  We all know that as "shimmy".

Well, it turns out that the shopping cart caster wheel has a "Caster Trail" only, it has no "Caster Angle".

Our vehicles have both, a "Caster Angle" which creates a "Caster Trail". The "Caster Trail" is the distance from where the "pivot point" protrudes to the floor/road to the point that the wheel patch makes contact with the floor/road.

Having both a "Caster Angle" and a "Caster Trail" creates two stabilizing forces. The Caster Angle causes the vehicle to be lifted when the wheel is turned R or L from center so it is the weight of the vehicle that serves as a "spring" to return the steering to center.

Then force number 2 is a force that increases as speed/velocity increases. This 2nd force is the Caster Trail that wants the wheel patch to drag behind the pivot point just as a "wind vane" always points into the wind.

Edit: Fixed quote tags.


« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 10:01:41 PM by Tom »

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #43 on: July 14, 2013, 10:23:34 AM »
OP here. One of our forum member just had a very bad $$$ experience with the parts and logic required for this alignment.

First, be very suspicious of parts that indicate an adjustment range of 0 to 4 degrees. The only part I have personal experience with is the Ingalls 59400 (AKA Ingalls 594). As best as I can determine (NO PERSONAL EXPERIENCE) the NAPA part number is NCP 2641988. These both indicate an adjustment range of +/- 2.0 degrees.

Secondly, if you find that your RV CASTER is ALREADY above +5.0 then DO NOT ORDER ANY PARTS, they will not help you beyond where you are now sitting !!!!

Thirdly, the CROSS CASTER = LH - RH should be in the range of -1.5 to +0.5 with a mean value of about -0.5 degrees.


Harvard.

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #44 on: July 30, 2013, 12:00:02 PM »
OP here.

Another possibility that may be playing a part to the mystries as to what might work and what might not work.  To this end, the front axel weight may be playing a role.

For the record, the 2004 E450 that I  have weighs in about 4400# (max 4600#) and that is with with 2 occupants, 35 gallons of water and 55 gallons of fuel ALL AFT of the rear axel. My toad is 4 down so it does not have a weight effect.

jimpat

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #45 on: August 31, 2013, 01:13:30 PM »
we have a 99 club van E 350 and a 88 cabriolet E350 that we use for towing the race cars.
Both handle terribly, wonder all over the place. The 99 more than the 88.
All new parts and aligned by supposedly good shop (?)...twice and my suggestion about more caster was laughed at. In my drag race days we learned the value of caster!!!
We tried to move the race cars back on the trailer to lose tongue weight to no avail. I see that the kit INGALLS 594 Camber/Caster sleeves will work on the 99 but what do I do for the 88?
thanks
jim
Patelli motor sports
jp800@verizon.net

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #46 on: December 06, 2013, 10:31:26 AM »
Increasing the caster made the problem go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Do not pay attention to anyone who posts "too much caster causes shimmy" or that there is a Ford truck TSB that says to decrease caster to eliminate shimmy.

OP here, and on the topic of caster I would prefer to be the first to present an opposing view:

Here is a link to a tire authority who proclaims, "Some vehicle manufacturer's specify a lot of caster. My experience is that this sometimes makes the car prone to shimmy problems".
http://www.barrystiretech.com/alignmentrecommendation.html

In addition to the Class C E450, I own and drive an additional 3 vehicles. The 1996 Jeep Cherokee that has +5.5 caster, a 2007 Civic is +6.8 and a 2010 RAV4 has +5 Degrees.

Some how I have to believe in the "law of the jungle". The law of the jungle states that "if I as a poster start a thread such as I have done here, and someone has a bad experience with the advice, then it would be only fair to the jungle that said thread be bombbarded with the details of the said bad experience". To date this thread has received just about 11,000 hits and so far no one has reported a negative experience with the suggested caster settings.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 04:20:09 PM by Harvard »

Lcstanl

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #47 on: February 27, 2014, 05:02:40 PM »
Harvard,
 I  picked up my new 2014 Winnebago Aspect 32J last month in January.   I'm loading it up for a cross country trip the end of March (VA to WA).   I have read all your threads regarding alignment with great interest.  I checked out the Ingalls 594 to purchase before my appointment w/ the alignment shop.  Ingalls doesn't indicate that the 594 will work w/ a 2013 E450.....thoughts?   Thanks much!  Laura
Laura
2014 Aspect 30J
Honda Fit

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #48 on: February 27, 2014, 09:21:27 PM »
Harvard,
 I  picked up my new 2014 Winnebago Aspect 32J last month in January.   I'm loading it up for a cross country trip the end of March (VA to WA).   I have read all your threads regarding alignment with great interest.  I checked out the Ingalls 594 to purchase before my appointment w/ the alignment shop.  Ingalls doesn't indicate that the 594 will work w/ a 2013 E450.....thoughts?   Thanks much!  Laura

Since the documentation I have (59400.pdf) only mentions 1992 to 1998 E350 Vans and I know they work on my 2004 E450 my best guess they are still relevant for current model years.

If you were able to post a picture of the top of the upper ball joint I might be able to be more certain. No need to remove the wheel and it might be easier to crank the steering to full left to help get a better view of the drivers side top of the upper ball joint.


Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #49 on: June 05, 2014, 02:14:21 PM »
We now have it on good authority that Hendersons' Lineup of Grants Pass OR routinely set the E350/E450 Caster to 5 Degrees.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/27746515/srt/pa/pging/1/page/1.cfm

See the post by j-d 06/03/14 06:02am, Quote:

"But I have personally been to The Mountain. Visited the Mecca of RV suspension tuning. Hendersons' Line-Up in Grants Pass OR a couple weeks ago. I mentioned Harvard's 5* caster and John said "Sure. I worked in the shop 25 years and did lots of alignments. That's what we do." That settles the debate far as I'm concerned."
« Last Edit: June 05, 2014, 02:17:41 PM by Harvard »

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #50 on: June 08, 2014, 10:18:59 PM »
Harvard,
 I  picked up my new 2014 Winnebago Aspect 32J last month in January.   I'm loading it up for a cross country trip the end of March (VA to WA).   I have read all your threads regarding alignment with great interest.  I checked out the Ingalls 594 to purchase before my appointment w/ the alignment shop.  Ingalls doesn't indicate that the 594 will work w/ a 2013 E450.....thoughts?   Thanks much!  Laura

I have just learned of the SPC794 (SPC PN 24180) which is equivalent to the Ingalls 594. Page 2 Chart #3 of the SPC794 instruction sheet states "1992-2012 E250, E350 and E450 2WD".  In all likelihood the document was printed before 2013s were on the market. Chart #3 also confirms an adjustment range of -2.0 to +2.0  and NOT the -2.5 to +2.5 adjustment range of Chart #1.

I also would like to reiterate, my 2004 E450 has rear airbags that I set to 80PSI that give my MH a nose down attitude. My front axel is about 4300# and my rear axel is about 8825#. The airbags also serve to prevent any sway problems that could possibly mask symptoms that I am not aware of and there for have no experience.

bryansshort

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #51 on: July 05, 2014, 01:55:33 PM »
Hi,
I've got a 1991 7.3 Diesel E350 based Born Free 24' RB and it drives like a camel on stilts!

I've read everything on here and elsewhere and have come to the conclusion that I want to increase Caster. I have bought the Ingalls 59400 bushes but they do not have instructions that relate to my vehicle.

I do not seem to have pinch bolts, what holds the bushes in place and stops them twisting round at random?

On all the charts max caster without altering camber shows M over G so I have lined up M with the slot in the outer bush, the bushes are identical and it would appear that M should be to the front of the vehicle in order to increase caster without affecting camber on both sides of the vehicle. What is the relevance of G? On the drivers side G would be to the right ie inboard and on the passengers side also to the right ie outboard.

Any help gratefully received.

clwood

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #52 on: August 02, 2014, 11:13:42 AM »
First timer on RV forum. Fairly new RVer. And know nothing about cars. Was researching front end and alignment issues on E350 and found that e350s are known to be a bit squirrelly and heard everything from "find good alignment shop" to "save your troubles and go for the Ingalls 594 first." Wanted to hear y'all's opinion.  My 2003 BT Cruiser began pulling to left and shimmied at about 60. Yesterday, a reputable alignment shop said I needed to replace upper and lower ball joints and inner and outer tie rods. W balance and alignment, it's $1515. They did say and showed me the movement of the ball joints and said there was quite a bit of movement and that is causing the shimmying and that it was unsafe. My question is "do you think it's likely if I replace ball joints and tie rods and balance and align that I will still have shimmying and veering issues?" Also "do you think I should order the Ingals 594 and have them install that first to see if that does the trick" Finally, "if there is movement in the ball joint, is it really unsafe and something to fix ASAP?" Thanks!

dave61

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #53 on: August 06, 2014, 08:41:21 PM »
Clwood, your post may have been better if you started a new thread, this one is a little old. It is hard to say about the wear and how severe it might be but the symptoms you have do seem consistent. You could always take it to another shop to get another opinion.

I have a similar unit and have no problems and in fact, have always thought it drove very well. We get pushed around on windy days but most everybody does.
2004 B Touring Cruiser 27
Ford E450 V-10
Tampa Bay FL

bryansshort

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #54 on: October 06, 2014, 09:50:21 AM »
Yes, I also have the same suspension, and so does every E350/E450. The top mount of your upper ball joints are shipped from the factory with fixed non adjustable sleeves that need to be replaced.

In my opinion, your best choice in adjustable sleeves are from Ingalls Engineering. They are clearly marked as INGALLS 594. They consist of two concentric sleeves that have 360/24 = 15 degrees indices labeled A through X. In order to set them you need a "cheat" sheet which is on the web as "59400.pdf". These sleeves will allow adjustment of both CAMBER and CASTER up to +/- 2.0 degrees each, in any combination of CASTER or CAMBER. All you need to do is, using the cheat sheet, is take the max adjustable + CASTER change which is +2.0 any you will see a black and white improvement.

Pre 1992 E350's inc my 1991 E350 'DO NOT HAVE BALL JOINTS' they have king pins and the INGALLS 59400 bushing can not be fitted. I have yet to find someone in the UK able to adjust the caster on my RV.

Sloop

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #55 on: October 06, 2014, 05:14:08 PM »
Quote
Pre 1992 E350's inc my 1991 E350 'DO NOT HAVE BALL JOINTS' they have king pins and the INGALLS 59400 bushing can not be fitted. I have yet to find someone in the UK able to adjust the caster on my RV.

Try this: http://www.northstarmfg.com/product/42-4412.html
1992 24' Fleetwood Class "C" Jamboree Rallye
Ford E350 Chassis
Toad - 1969 Volkswagen Baja Bug
San Marcos, CA

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #56 on: October 19, 2014, 05:02:35 PM »
Hi,
I've got a 1991 7.3 Diesel E350 based Born Free 24' RB and it drives like a camel on stilts!

I've read everything on here and elsewhere and have come to the conclusion that I want to increase Caster. I have bought the Ingalls 59400 bushes but they do not have instructions that relate to my vehicle.

I do not seem to have pinch bolts, what holds the bushes in place and stops them twisting round at random?

On all the charts max caster without altering camber shows M over G so I have lined up M with the slot in the outer bush, the bushes are identical and it would appear that M should be to the front of the vehicle in order to increase caster without affecting camber on both sides of the vehicle. What is the relevance of G? On the drivers side G would be to the right ie inboard and on the passengers side also to the right ie outboard.

Any help gratefully received.

In the pictures of the Drivers Side is M over G where M is at the rear and G is at the Pinch Bolt.
http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv215/pb20091018/DriverSide.jpg

In the picture of the Passengers Side is M over S where M is also at the rear and S is at the Pinch Bolt.
http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv215/pb20091018/PassengerSide.jpg

If you consider both pictures at the same time, you will notice on both sides of the vehicle the sleeves are orientated in the same direction. On both sides, M points to the rear of the vehicle while G (on both sides) points to the Drivers Side and S (on both sides) points to the Passenger Side.



Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #57 on: January 20, 2015, 03:08:07 PM »
Here is a link to a method used to estimate the caster of a vehicle using a digital camera.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/28154264.cfm

The secret to using the camera are:

1. Line the lens up with the outside side of the wheel.
2. The camera is to be as parallel as possible to the vehicle. The vehicle need not be level but the skew between the camera and the vehicle needs to be a close to zero as possible.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2015, 03:15:57 PM by Harvard »

rebar

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #58 on: April 09, 2015, 09:45:20 AM »
This is a great thread.  I imagine if all econoline owners knew the cure, the roads would be safer..

I found a alignment shop who is familiar with, and willing to install the INGALLS 594

What if my ball joints is worn?  Will the kit help?    I assume the installer might say I need to replace them as well after getting the van on the lift..

Thanks!
1995 E350 6bt/nv4500, 2006 Featherlite 24' surv toyhauler, 2007 DRZ400s well farkled, 1985 Vmax stock, 1985 Vmax custom

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #59 on: April 09, 2015, 02:18:10 PM »
The Ingnalls 594 sleeves do not replace the ball joints, they are concentric sleeves that provide the anchor for the top of the upper ball joint.

By increasing the caster it ONLY FEELS AS THOUGH you have tightened up the steering box to reduce the steering center free play area.

rebar

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #60 on: April 10, 2015, 02:47:23 PM »
Thanks.

When searching INGALLS 594,   Specialty Products SPC794 part # 24180 $24.26,   Spicer 6122025 $22.08,   NAPA NCP 264-3950 $36.71,   and Superlift SLF-1120 $34.95.  and napa NCP 2641988 I found the NCP 2641988 was only one piece.. 

http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/CatalogItemDetail.aspx?R=NCP2641988_0161964863

Does my stock 95 E350 have the second sleeve already installed?
1995 E350 6bt/nv4500, 2006 Featherlite 24' surv toyhauler, 2007 DRZ400s well farkled, 1985 Vmax stock, 1985 Vmax custom

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #61 on: April 11, 2015, 09:33:23 AM »
As far as I know, these sleeves are either one piece for a fixed camber and caster setting OR two concentric sleeves for adjustable camber and caster settings.

Also, as far as I know, SPC794 (SPC PN 24180) are the equivalent to Ingalls 594s.

Pay particular to your final caster settings, left to the technicians judgement he may just assume to set the caster at mid range instead as far +caster as it can be set.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 09:47:01 AM by Harvard »

rebar

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #62 on: April 13, 2015, 12:20:02 PM »
Thanks Howard..

I'm now looking at the Spicer 6122025   or Spicer 612-2025 to save a few dollars..  Are they also the equivalent to Ingalls 594s?

Mike
1995 E350 6bt/nv4500, 2006 Featherlite 24' surv toyhauler, 2007 DRZ400s well farkled, 1985 Vmax stock, 1985 Vmax custom

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #63 on: April 13, 2015, 04:54:23 PM »
Thanks Howard..

I'm now looking at the Spicer 6122025   or Spicer 612-2025 to save a few dollars..  Are they also the equivalent to Ingalls 594s?

Mike

Yes, it looks to be suitable for the Ford E Series, it cross checks as a Raybestos 6122025

https://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php?a=Search%2Bfor%2BRAYBESTOS%2B6122025&catalog=95&partnum=6122025&ck[ID]=0&ck[idlist]=0&ck[viewcurrency]=CAD&ck[PHP_SESSION_ID]=r54ohf0p86b129brblop6is1m0

rebar

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #64 on: June 05, 2015, 05:14:42 PM »
Adding the caster worked great Harvard.  The van steers better the faster you go practically.

Only problem Iv found is a pop, or clunk, when backing up with wheels turned hard to the right.  Like when I back out of a driveway.

Anyway, Ill take care of that I hope and just wanted to thank you for the information you've provided here. 

1995 E350 6bt/nv4500, 2006 Featherlite 24' surv toyhauler, 2007 DRZ400s well farkled, 1985 Vmax stock, 1985 Vmax custom

blw2

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #65 on: June 05, 2015, 08:11:23 PM »
and thank you rebar for reviving this thread.
I have an appointment at josams to get my alignment checked next week.  It was good for me to refresh on this recommendation of +5 degrees or more, so that I can discuss this with the folks there.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

rebelsun

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  • Posts: 603
  • Don't confuse kindness for weakness
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #66 on: June 05, 2015, 08:55:04 PM »
I can't speak specifically to the Ford E chassis, but I just replaced the two front tires and shocks on my 15 going on 16 year old Chevy 3500, Econoline chassis equivalent.
The tire guy, who is also a friend, told and showed me what the problem was on my particular RV, and something that is common with modified factory chassis of all manufacturers according to him. The way it was explained to me, made sense.
The open chassis which the "house" was built on, was modified by the RV manufacturer, by extending the chassis rearward, and a heavy "house" built on top of it.  This changed the factory design in weight, height, length, and width.
As the modified vehicle and "house" go down the road as an RV, the front end has a tendency to "bounce" more than it is designed to do, as a factory designed van chassis would, and as such, it tends to wear the tires unevenly as they spin....chop....chop....chop, rather than a smooth revolution, and the tires wearing evenly, as they maintain constant contact with the pavement as they spin.
I would also suspect this would also effect handling problems, as the bounce and chop of the front end causes the front tires to maintain uneven contact with the road as they rotate and spin.
Riding the Highway through Hell in our 2000 Chevy 3500 Gulfstream Class C, with a
Honda Shadow AERO motorcycle and trailer in tow.
From: Boston, Ma.
Retired and living in Palm Bay, Fl.

Handyman

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  • Posts: 15
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #67 on: June 06, 2015, 11:14:02 AM »
Hello,

Reading this thread, makes it all clear to me.....

We made last year in June and this year in Mai a tour of about 3500 and 3840 miles, with rental motorhomes, a 26 type C from Road Bear and a C25, factorynew one from Cruise America. Last trip was from Chicago to SF. Both were C350 Ford's.

And since we, as Europeans, are used to the stability of our own MH, a Fiat with AL-KO chassis, I was astonished about the very bad handling ... And even more this year, since we passed the north of Texas, during those bad weather period. I was realy steering all the time. Checked even, several times if there wasn't any visible problem with the tyres, airpressure or axle .... Pfffff .... Even thought a brief moment perhaps there must be bolts, not thightend enough .... Heavy winds made driving almost a terrifying experience!

But we still enjoyed our trip and stay in your wonderfull, beautifull country!
Thanks also for the hospitality and friendliness people showed us.

Bye, Daniël
« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 11:15:40 AM by Handyman »
Daniël and Marjon, and our labrador Doortje
_____________________
Always remember, the World is full of nice people ....
So, if you can't find one, be one !

Hymer Tramp T698CL - MH

rebar

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  • Posts: 86
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #68 on: June 07, 2015, 10:02:41 AM »
Only problem Iv found is a pop, or clunk, when backing up with wheels turned hard to the right.  Like when I back out of a driveway.

I figured out what the noise was.  My over sized tires now rub the body even though they didn't before.  Did adding caster move the wheels back?
1995 E350 6bt/nv4500, 2006 Featherlite 24' surv toyhauler, 2007 DRZ400s well farkled, 1985 Vmax stock, 1985 Vmax custom

Harvard

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  • Posts: 151
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #69 on: June 07, 2015, 11:59:46 AM »
I figured out what the noise was.  My over sized tires now rub the body even though they didn't before.  Did adding caster move the wheels back?

A change in caster shows up as changes in camber when the steering wheel is turned away from center.

With an increase in +caster the outside wheel will have more NEGATIVE CAMBER while the inside wheel will have more POSITIVE CAMBER.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/28154264.cfm

blw2

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #70 on: June 12, 2015, 12:24:03 PM »
I'm at Josam now.  Looking forward to seeing what it is, and what they come up with.
I mentioned this idea to the tech..... of shooting for +5 degrees or more of caster
He said most often these things have too much negative camber, and toe is out..... He says he uses up the bushing to get the camber in... whatever that means. 

I can't quite wrap my head around it.

We'll see..... at least these folks are supposed to be the experts so I'm hopeful it will be at least no worse than it was......
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

rebar

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  • Posts: 86
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #71 on: June 12, 2015, 01:10:45 PM »
A change in caster shows up as changes in camber when the steering wheel is turned away from center.

With an increase in +caster the outside wheel will have more NEGATIVE CAMBER while the inside wheel will have more POSITIVE CAMBER.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/28154264.cfm

What Harvard said..

I fixed my rubbing wheels with a rubber hammer.
1995 E350 6bt/nv4500, 2006 Featherlite 24' surv toyhauler, 2007 DRZ400s well farkled, 1985 Vmax stock, 1985 Vmax custom

blw2

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  • Posts: 2726
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #72 on: June 13, 2015, 04:50:46 AM »
ok, here are my before .....
                      Left          Right
Camber         +1              +3.5
Caster            +3.25         +3.15
Toe Out                   -2.6

and after numbers
                      Left          Right
Camber         +3.0             +3.5
Caster            +2.45         +3.15
Toe In                   +2.2

I only drove it a short distance after, maybe 20 miles to a campground but I did get it up on the interstate to speed, and it was very windy with an approaching black and ominous cloud thunder boomer.
My impression that it did drive much better..... but I didn't feel that it was all that bad before.
The wind didn't seem to make such a fight and I thing the bump steering was reduced (having to fight against bumps in the road)

I did have a conversation with the tech and manager together, at Josam after he had completed the work.
He said that it's a bit "sticky", meaning that when coming out of a turn, the steering wheel should want to return to center if released, but mine tended to stick off center...... he said that's common with these Fords.

He also commented that 5 degree casters are more of a thing with Chevy chassis.....

It seems like a couple different philosophies in alignment here.....

I didn't get my 5 degrees of caster that I had hoped after reading this thread, but based on my 20 miles, I think I'm happy.

Interested in your comments and thoughts about these numbers

« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 05:03:28 AM by blw2 »
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Harvard

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  • Posts: 151
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #73 on: June 13, 2015, 09:16:00 AM »
ok, here are my before .....
                      Left          Right
Camber         +1              +3.5
Caster            +3.25         +3.15
Toe Out                   -2.6

and after numbers
                      Left          Right
Camber         +3.0             +3.5
Caster            +2.45         +3.15
Toe In                   +2.2

I only drove it a short distance after, maybe 20 miles to a campground but I did get it up on the interstate to speed, and it was very windy with an approaching black and ominous cloud thunder boomer.
My impression that it did drive much better..... but I didn't feel that it was all that bad before.
The wind didn't seem to make such a fight and I thing the bump steering was reduced (having to fight against bumps in the road)

I did have a conversation with the tech and manager together, at Josam after he had completed the work.
He said that it's a bit "sticky", meaning that when coming out of a turn, the steering wheel should want to return to center if released, but mine tended to stick off center...... he said that's common with these Fords.

He also commented that 5 degree casters are more of a thing with Chevy chassis.....

It seems like a couple different philosophies in alignment here.....

I didn't get my 5 degrees of caster that I had hoped after reading this thread, but based on my 20 miles, I think I'm happy.

Interested in your comments and thoughts about these numbers

The camber and toe are way out of spec AND you did not get the +5.0 or more of +caster which defeats the whole purpose of the exercise. Sorry to bear bad news.

blw2

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #74 on: June 13, 2015, 11:45:51 AM »
I've gotta believe that they would put it into spec.....
So what is the factory spec range for camber and tow?

I understand that it's not the 5 degrees... but initial observations based on test drive in very windy storm conditions don't point to it being bad news at all......  I'll know better tomorrow after a longer drive though.

Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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  • Posts: 2726
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #75 on: June 13, 2015, 12:47:26 PM »
I wasn't successful finding the specs for the 2013 model to see if they're different than the 2004 model numbers harvard posted earlier.....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

rebar

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  • Posts: 86
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #76 on: June 13, 2015, 01:05:07 PM »
I wasn't successful finding the specs for the 2013 model to see if they're different than the 2004 model numbers harvard posted earlier.....

If you asked for 5 degrees or more, I'd take it back.   You have less caster than before !

I made sure I talked to the mechanic and handed him the parts with those instructions. 
1995 E350 6bt/nv4500, 2006 Featherlite 24' surv toyhauler, 2007 DRZ400s well farkled, 1985 Vmax stock, 1985 Vmax custom

Harvard

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  • Posts: 151
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #77 on: June 13, 2015, 02:58:22 PM »
I wasn't successful finding the specs for the 2013 model to see if they're different than the 2004 model numbers harvard posted earlier.....

The specifications are all very much the same ball park. Here is a published range for the 2008 thru 2012 E350/E450.

LEFT    Camber -0.3 Degrees thru +1.3 Degrees
RIGHT Camber -0.3 Degrees thru +1.3 Degrees

LEFT    Caster +1.0 Degrees thru +6.8 Degrees
RIGHT Caster +1.4 Degrees thru +7.2 Degrees.
Cross   Caster -1.2 Degrees thru +0.4 Degrees

LEFT    Toe -0.1 Degrees thru +0.16 Degrees
RIGHT Toe -0.1 Degrees thru +0.16 Degrees
Total   Toe -0.19 Degrees thru +0.31 Degrees

blw2

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #78 on: June 14, 2015, 07:02:19 AM »
Interesting, thanks Harvard.
I think I'll try to find time to call Josam on Monday to see what they say about it.....
I'll be driving 2-1/2 hours home today so a much better road test to report on soon

I can't believe they would set the tow, especially, that far out of spec.....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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  • Posts: 2726
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #79 on: June 14, 2015, 07:15:11 PM »
ok, here are my before .....
                      Left          Right
Camber         +1              +3.5
Caster            +3.25         +3.15
Toe Out                   -2.6

and after numbers
                      Left          Right
Camber         +3.0             +3.5
Caster            +2.45         +3.15
Toe In                   +2.2

I only drove it a short distance after, maybe 20 miles to a campground but I did get it up on the interstate to speed, and it was very windy with an approaching black and ominous cloud thunder boomer.
My impression that it did drive much better..... but I didn't feel that it was all that bad before.
The wind didn't seem to make such a fight and I thing the bump steering was reduced (having to fight against bumps in the road)

I did have a conversation with the tech and manager together, at Josam after he had completed the work.
He said that it's a bit "sticky", meaning that when coming out of a turn, the steering wheel should want to return to center if released, but mine tended to stick off center...... he said that's common with these Fords.

He also commented that 5 degree casters are more of a thing with Chevy chassis.....

It seems like a couple different philosophies in alignment here.....

I didn't get my 5 degrees of caster that I had hoped after reading this thread, but based on my 20 miles, I think I'm happy.

Interested in your comments and thoughts about these numbers

So a better road test today.
I would say it's a marked improvement.
It was breezy enough to wave flags, and it drove much better.
Still a bit of a centering problem, so not perfect.... it's not a mini-van..... but I'd think I'm happy.
I also noticed far less correction needed with passing semis
I'm still wondering about this out of spec question, but I think they did good based on driving....

The folks at josam had suggested that if I still wasn't happy after the alignment I should look into the safe-t-plus stabilizer.  I'm not convinced I need it, but assuming that my alignment isn't no so far out of spec, then I might look into that, only so my wife might be more comfortable with it....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

bluesman4life

  • Posts: 2
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #80 on: September 08, 2015, 09:26:37 PM »
Hello Harvard, I am interested in using the INGALLS 594 Camber/Caster sleeves on my 1999 Winnebago Minnie 22 ft. motorhome. I just added a heavy duty Hellwig sway bar and new Bilstein shocks but still think I need to add caster as you have suggested to give me "straight down the road" handling. My only question is that how can I achieve a +5.0 caster if the Ingalls cheat sheet shows a maximum setting of 2.5 ?  Thanks!

Harvard

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  • Posts: 151
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #81 on: September 09, 2015, 08:14:02 AM »
Hello Harvard, I am interested in using the INGALLS 594 Camber/Caster sleeves on my 1999 Winnebago Minnie 22 ft. motorhome. I just added a heavy duty Hellwig sway bar and new Bilstein shocks but still think I need to add caster as you have suggested to give me "straight down the road" handling. My only question is that how can I achieve a +5.0 caster if the Ingalls cheat sheet shows a maximum setting of 2.5 ?  Thanks!

With the Ingalls set at 0.0 degrees the actual caster is running at about +3.5 degrees (RH neutral setting). Then when you add +2.0 with the Ingalls you have a total of +5.5 degrees.

Note: Because you have stated +2.5 as the max I think you are on the wrong chart. For the E350/450, as I recall, the max is +/- 2.0.

bluesman4life

  • Posts: 2
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #82 on: September 09, 2015, 05:35:49 PM »
Thanks Harvard, now I understand how the adjustable sleeves work. You are right, I was on the wrong chart.  Sure do appreciate all the help on here with this. Once I read your posts on this topic I was delighted to find another possible fix to my motorhome wandering problem.  I will be putting in the sleeves on the 19th. I am fortunate because my brother is a master mechanic with Ford and we will be doing the work in the shop together. Then I will be making a trip from Canton, Ohio to Buffalo, NY.  I will post the results. Thanks again!

Quadtrax

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  • Posts: 6
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #83 on: September 15, 2015, 12:50:49 PM »
Hey, great thread.  I just bought a 2016 with the E-450 chassis.   This thing is trying to drive me, not me drive it.  So after reading this thread I took my new RV to a truck service center, because it is all that is around here, who does RV's.  The front end guy drove it and said, oh it drives like a RV.  After a 30 min phone call with the manager and front end guy, they said sure we can try the +2 caster but it is going to wear your tires faster.  I said, "Who cares about the tires I'm trying not to drive in the ditches".

Now that the story has gone on forever, my question is: Do I have to change the bushing to get to +5 or can it be done with the factory one?

Harvard

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  • Posts: 151
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #84 on: September 15, 2015, 01:02:46 PM »
Hey, great thread.  I just bought a 2016 with the E-450 chassis.   This thing is trying to drive me, not me drive it.  So after reading this thread I took my new RV to a truck service center, because it is all that is around here, who does RV's.  The front end guy drove it and said, oh it drives like a RV.  After a 30 min phone call with the manager and front end guy, they said sure we can try the +2 caster but it is going to wear your tires faster.  I said, "Who cares about the tires I'm trying not to drive in the ditches".

Now that the story has gone on forever, my question is: Do I have to change the bushing to get to +5 or can it be done with the factory one?

I have driven my unit about 36,000 miles since adding the +2.0 caster and I can tell you from experience it does not cause additional tire wear.

No you cannot get +5 from factory configurations unless the body builder has already changed out your sleeves.

Quadtrax

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #85 on: September 16, 2015, 08:52:38 AM »
Harvard, you are my new BFF ... Picked up my RV last night and let me tell you, this thing drives 100% better.  Yes the wind still blows me around but it doesn't take two hands and a foot to keep it on the road.  This is how I expect a RV to drive.

Look out America, team Quadtrax is on the road!!!

Harvard

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  • Posts: 151
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #86 on: September 16, 2015, 10:13:56 AM »
Harvard, you are my new BFF ... Picked up my RV last night and let me tell you, this thing drives 100% better.  Yes the wind still blows me around but it doesn't take two hands and a foot to keep it on the road.  This is how I expect a RV to drive.

Look out America, team Quadtrax is on the road!!!

Be sure to give some feedback to the alignment shop. It may help the next E series owner when they come looking to that business for a solution to their handling issues.

joe lamb

  • Posts: 1
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #87 on: November 04, 2015, 06:44:59 PM »
Just took my 2000 e22 Minnie on my first 900 mile trip and I was worn totally out after the drive .
I will take your advice soon and put in the most caster I can . Back in the 70's I did wheel alignments on a fleet of Highway Patrol Dodge Monacos . These cars LOVED caster at 145 mph . My fellow mechanics
would not do the caster over spec , but I would and all the drivers got the message and wanted me to do there alignments . Caster , caster , caster ...........Joe

sonny1948

  • Posts: 1
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #88 on: January 12, 2016, 03:31:44 PM »
Howdy folks.....does anyone know if this caster stuff will work on a 2014 E450? If so are the part numbers the same?
TIA

Harvard

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  • Posts: 151
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #89 on: January 12, 2016, 09:38:12 PM »
Howdy folks.....does anyone know if this caster stuff will work on a 2014 E450? If so are the part numbers the same?
TIA

Here is a link to a 2007 front end being upgraded to a 2014 front end complete with +caster alignment.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/28663457.cfm

William52

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  • Posts: 852
  • Common sense is not common anymore.
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #90 on: January 25, 2016, 08:03:32 AM »
I have an 89 E350 its pretty good on the highway, but does wander slightly.
I added 1/8" toe in and it is alot better, my question is, how is caster set?
I believe mine is called twin I beam suspension,  does it require heating and bending?
I agree more caster will be beneficial,  but will increase the steering pressure required,
its worth it either way,
thanks
  It's been a long time since I bent an I beam to increase or decrease anything. BTW NO HEAT! Never heat either beam. Usually just one side or the other. Newer Ford do have sleeves. just a little FYI.
2000 Pace Arrow M35N F53 V10 Ford  100,000 + miles purrs like a kitten. 2010 Honda CRV, Roadmaster Falcon, RVI3 Brake

William52

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  • Posts: 852
  • Common sense is not common anymore.
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #91 on: January 30, 2016, 09:46:00 AM »
  It's been a long time since I bent an I beam to increase or decrease anything. BTW NO HEAT! Never heat either beam. Usually just one side or the other. Newer Ford do have sleeves. just a little FYI.
  Twin I beans usually just add some on one side  or the other to correct pulling. Caster is not an tire wearing angle. Compare to a bicycle its easier to steer and improves tracking.
2000 Pace Arrow M35N F53 V10 Ford  100,000 + miles purrs like a kitten. 2010 Honda CRV, Roadmaster Falcon, RVI3 Brake

Arfdog

  • Posts: 2
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #92 on: August 23, 2016, 07:15:14 PM »
Question:  I bought a set of Ingalls 59400's and set them at 2 degrees caster +.  Now when I set the bushings on a table facing the side that will point out from the a Drivers side and have inserted a rod into the top of the bushing.....why is the rod leaning forward (negative) caster diection?  Please help.  I know there is a simple answer and want to be confident when I take the  RV in Thursday for installation.






Our 2004 E450 28 Foot handled terrible until we added additional + Caster to the front wheels.

The Ford Spec for front end CASTER is:

LH +1.3 to +6.8 Degrees
RH +1.8 to +7.3 Degrees

Our unit was:
LH +3.3 Degrees
RH +3.5 Degrees

We added + 2.0 degrees, so we are now at:
LH +5.3 Degrees
RH +5.5 Degrees.

Alignment problems on the E series follow the 80/20 rule in the sense that TOE and CAMBER is 20% of the story while CASTER is 80% of the story. TOO LITTLE CASTER will amplify any external force many fold to the detriment of stability.

If your unit feels like the steering box needs to be tightened up it is because of TOO LITTLE + CASTER.
If cross winds and wind gusts cause havoc it is because of TOO LITTLE + CASTER.
If you think the tail is wagging the dog it is because of TOO LITTLE + CASTER.
If you are needing to drive it all day and never relax it is because of TOO LITTLE + CASTER.

If your unit drives GREAT, like an SUV, it is because you have a proper amout of + CASTER which I am guestimating to be about +5.0 degrees or more.  (Note: The RH caster is always more then LH (CROSS CASTER = LH - RH))

Harvard

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  • Posts: 151
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #93 on: August 23, 2016, 10:20:43 PM »
This picture is a picture of the 594 on the Drivers side.
 
The front wheels are turned full left, the head of the pinch bolt faces forward.

M is over G for + 2.0 degrees of additional caster.  The slot in the outer sleeve is under the M which faces the rear of the vehicle

http://i.imgur.com/el7CvYpl.jpg
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 10:29:32 PM by Harvard »

Harvard

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  • Posts: 151
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #94 on: August 23, 2016, 10:26:51 PM »
This picture is the picture of the 594 on the passenger side.

The front wheels are turned full right. The pinch bolt head faces the front of the vehicle.

M is over S for adding +2.0 of caster. The slot in the outer sleeve is hidden under the M which faces the rear of the vehicle.

http://i.imgur.com/gki7CGyl.jpg
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 10:30:16 PM by Harvard »

Arfdog

  • Posts: 2
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTERss
« Reply #95 on: August 25, 2016, 04:31:18 PM »
Thanks very much for the pics.  I had the Ingalls 594's installed with the LH caster coming out at 5.4 and the RH coming out at 5.9 and the bushings did not have to be maxed out.  My vehicle is a 2012 Itasca Impulse on a Ford E450 chassis.  Guess this shows you can't simply set the bushings at MG and MS as the base axle casters can vary.

I did do a short test drive and it looks like the handling has been considerably improved.

Thanks Again,

Jim

Harvard

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  • Posts: 151
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #96 on: August 25, 2016, 05:18:45 PM »
Yes, I agree the base caster can vary. I have used the term "neutral caster" in the past. My neutral caster being the +caster when the Ingalls are set to be 0.0 caster adjustment.

I do not have the data to prove it BUT I think if we were able to compare the nose up or nose down attitudes with "base" casters we would see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Gunner4565

  • Posts: 1
Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #97 on: November 02, 2016, 07:59:41 PM »
I have a new 2015 Ford chassis Thor Chateau E350 25 footer and I would like to improve its highway handling (trucks/wind) so my DW can drive it.  I have read this entire thread and others.  My plan is to make incremental improvements by adding a track bar and steering stabilizer/centerer.

But upon reading this thread, I think the first action is to get an alignment done asking them to increase the caster.

What caster value should I shoot for?  Looks like between 5 and 6 deg would be good.  I can buy the Ingalls 59400 bushing on Amazon which will give about 2 deg of increase over the base line.  The other bushing option appears to be the Moog K80109 which will adjust to 4 deg.

Any problem with the Moog?  Would it give the technician an easier time with more adjustment available?  Or will the bushing walls be thinner thereby compromising the stability?

Gunner

motorhead446

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #98 on: January 31, 2017, 04:08:12 AM »
Hello, just wanted to pass on this tidbit. The ingalls 59400 bushings will work up to the current 2017 E 450 chassis.  They are not listed on the website so I called Ingalls and confirmed it.

bryfinn

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #99 on: March 03, 2017, 11:04:42 AM »
Wow! What a long lived and great thread! And yes the caster problem probably exists on all cutaway an incomplete chassis of many different makes and capacities (Sm, med, lg), unless the fitter reset everything after completion which I have found to be rare. I worked as a Ford Tech, Fleet Tech, and a FD Tech back in the 90's and I was ASE and Ford Certified in suspension. When the cutaway is new and shinny with new unsettled springs with no load, the factory will set the alignment for that condition. Have you ever walked around a dealership and seen new dual pickups with the bed off and how high in the air the rear frame sits? Well when a load is placed on the back and the rear of the truck settles as the rear approaches the ground the frame and suspension rotate around an imaginary arch with the front axle being the origin. This causes the caster to become less positive in most suspensions. As discussed before, the right amount of caster makes vehicles track strait. Well this rotation can easily knock 2-3 degrees of of a caster and take it to a minimal setting, which when a force is applied by a passing vehicle or a wind gust can case the suspension to be compressed and momentarily force it out of spec which is the reason to try setting the suspension in the middle for a specific load, so these sudden impulses do not push the suspension out of spec so easily. 

Another aspect that is worth looking into is the ride height specification. Each chassis has an optimal designed ride height, at this height, changes in the suspension geometry (bumps, wind gust, etc.) have the least impact on handling, as the ride height increasingly differs from the optimal "designed" ride height, these input have a more drastic impact on handling. Correcting any ride height issues should be one of the first items before setting the caster, camber, and toe (they will change again if you correct the ride height). I would also check for frame squareness while performing these adjustments. This is especially important if your rig has a cut frame with an extension. Ride height will change over the years as the springs settle, unless you have an air-ride with an auto-adjust feature. While you are at it make sure the following are in great condition: ball joints, tie rods, drag-link, steering-box, bushings, shocks, tires, etc. are all in good service.

Everything can be adjust to spec, if the sleeves do not get the +4 to +5 degrees of camber, (my target would be 4.5 at the specified ride height) you will likely need a frame shop to adjust the axles with a press. There are shims to adjust the camber and toe is the last adjustment.

I am a huge fan of the air suspension and it is on my upgrade list, for my 2006 31' E450 Fleetwood which is starting to squat in the rear and wander the road because the alignment is now off. It is too harsh on washboard roads and rough highways, it feels like it is damaging my coach. I am not talking about the add a air springs for the back but a complete retrofit to air springs/bags. We performed these modifications to our ambulance fleet (Chevy) and the difference was dramatic over the spring based buses. If I were a patient, I would want the aired setup ;).

Poly bushings should replace all rubber after 5-10 years. They last longer and 5-10 years is about as long as rubber ones stay the correct hardness. Shocks would make a big change in ride and drive-ability (it sounds like Koni has the hot setup), then sway bars, I think the poly bushings on the sway bars make a bigger improvement than the larger diameter bars, so if your budget is tight, look at replacing the rubber bushings with poly.  Note the front sway bar settles the rear and the rear sway bar settles the front.

The steering damper would be the next upgrade, then finally the rear track bar.

I have heard that vortex generator on the rear help with gusts and passing vehicles, but this would be my last step. Well, if money were no object, there would be one more last step and that would be an active suspension on the shocks like the new Corvettes and Cadillac s have on them, but I have never seen them for this large of a vehicle, so we would be in the experimental category. If all of this was done, handling would be a dream. If you did any of this starting with ride height and suspension alignment, you would be happy.

Happy Travels!
Great thread!

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #100 on: December 04, 2017, 08:31:54 PM »
OP here, for the record.

I now have driven 40,000 miles on this 2004 E450 since late 2010, and early 2011 when I started this thread. I can assure you I have not experience any abnormal tire wear.

Just to recap how my DIY job unfolded.

1: Took it in for an alignment and all they did was tweak the toe and never touched the caster or camber.
2. In an RV park, I adjusted my existing Ingall concentrics for +2.0 more caster each side and set the Ingalls for 0.0 camber on each side.
3. Again in the RV Park, I tweaked the toe using a tape measure.

And now being 40,000 mile later I know it worked out good.  Cheers

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTERss
« Reply #101 on: December 08, 2017, 08:33:21 AM »
Thanks very much for the pics.  I had the Ingalls 594's installed with the LH caster coming out at 5.4 and the RH coming out at 5.9 and the bushings did not have to be maxed out.  My vehicle is a 2012 Itasca Impulse on a Ford E450 chassis.  Guess this shows you can't simply set the bushings at MG and MS as the base axle casters can vary.

I did do a short test drive and it looks like the handling has been considerably improved.

Thanks Again,

Jim

I think you can simply set the bushings at MG and MS and you would have more then +5 degrees caster, more is better. My unit sits about 1 degree nose down (I have rear air bags), if it were leveled I would have about +6 and +6.5 degrees of caster. I know the final camber does not matter one iota because it changes as soon as you sit a driver and a passenger in the front seat. JMO.

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #102 on: March 14, 2018, 10:38:27 PM »
OP Here. Just bumping this to the surface because there are still a steady stream of wandering RVs.

99dart

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #103 on: March 15, 2018, 08:28:43 PM »
OP Here. Just bumping this to the surface because there are still a steady stream of wandering RVs.

Thinking about taking our new to us 2016 Quantum WS31 in for an alignment. Should I assume that I will need the new bushings and go ahead and buy them beforehand?
2016 Thor Quantum WS31
2014 Ford Focus toad
1998 Four Winds Chateau -- sold

blw2

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #104 on: March 16, 2018, 09:31:30 AM »
Thinking about taking our new to us 2016 Quantum WS31 in for an alignment. Should I assume that I will need the new bushings and go ahead and buy them beforehand?

I took my RV to Josam in orlando.  I've been told they are alignment experts and I couldn't find a local shop that was convenient and able to do the RV.
Actually it has been a while so I should probably plan a trip back....

Anyway, I had known about Harvard's advice at the time and was asking them for more caster.  what they told me was that the caster adjustment is a trade-off with camber.... to get more caster positive, it throws off the camber, they said to the point of causing problems with bump-steer....
Anyway, they put it where they suggest was the best compromise.  Not nearly as high as Harvard suggests, but it performs well enough.

I have no idea how these bushings would affect camber.  harvard, maybe you can chime in on that?  Anyway, I'd say that if you want to follow the advice I'd go to the alignment shop with the bushings in hand....
something I have in the back of my mind that I might do some day... but honestly with the tire pressures set by weight and the alignment as was done by Josam, it's good....no luxury car, but it's good.
Still, I wonder...should I pick up some bushings and head back in for re-alignment?...hmmm, something to consider....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #105 on: March 16, 2018, 11:11:44 AM »
Thinking about taking our new to us 2016 Quantum WS31 in for an alignment. Should I assume that I will need the new bushings and go ahead and buy them beforehand?

Assuming you have a E450 chassis, if the alignment shop is knowledgeable they will have the sleeves in stock or know where to source them on the spot. IMO.

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #106 on: March 16, 2018, 11:36:24 AM »
I took my RV to Josam in orlando.  I've been told they are alignment experts and I couldn't find a local shop that was convenient and able to do the RV.
Actually it has been a while so I should probably plan a trip back....

Anyway, I had known about Harvard's advice at the time and was asking them for more caster.  what they told me was that the caster adjustment is a trade-off with camber.... to get more caster positive, it throws off the camber, they said to the point of causing problems with bump-steer....
Anyway, they put it where they suggest was the best compromise.  Not nearly as high as Harvard suggests, but it performs well enough.

I have no idea how these bushings would affect camber.  harvard, maybe you can chime in on that?  Anyway, I'd say that if you want to follow the advice I'd go to the alignment shop with the bushings in hand....
something I have in the back of my mind that I might do some day... but honestly with the tire pressures set by weight and the alignment as was done by Josam, it's good....no luxury car, but it's good.
Still, I wonder...should I pick up some bushings and head back in for re-alignment?...hmmm, something to consider....

"Bump Steer" in the context of camber is BS, an excuse not to learn something new.... Also, if you reread my posts all I did was add +2.0 degrees of caster and 0.0 degrees of camber. The resulting camber setting has been close enough "for all practical purposes". That is what I did 40,000 miles ago along with a DIY Toe adjustment and I have never had any tire wear issues.

Bump Steer has probably been part of front end dynamics ever since caster was invented. IMO. It is an effect that is not an issue where caster settings are set to "practical settings". Again, IMO.

Most alignment shops are so used to the profits realized from their "tweak the toe and you are good to go" approach to the Ford Trucks and they do not want to change. IMO



« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 12:33:13 PM by Harvard »

99dart

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #107 on: March 16, 2018, 09:03:38 PM »
Assuming you have a E450 chassis, if the alignment shop is knowledgeable they will have the sleeves in stock or know where to source them on the spot. IMO.

Thanks for the quick response guys! I will have to call a couple places to find out if they can do a MH alignment. I'm in a small town, so we shall see.
2016 Thor Quantum WS31
2014 Ford Focus toad
1998 Four Winds Chateau -- sold

Harvard

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Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #108 on: March 17, 2018, 02:37:34 PM »
Thanks for the quick response guys! I will have to call a couple places to find out if they can do a MH alignment. I'm in a small town, so we shall see.

Here is a link to a very recent testimonial by a handle named "2kGeorgieBoy". I suggest you print it off and take it with you.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,112427.30.html

START QUOTE
Jeff..Although we have a 2000 Georgie Boy 31' Maverick "C" on  a Ford E450 chassis, I can fully agree on the caster effects, at least for us.  When we got the unit in  Jan 2014, the dealer had us take into a  truck shop for an alignment. It turned out OK....A trip to Moab shortly there after brought out the problems. I then started reading the threads and comments here about the caster settings....esp., from Harvard. I checked the data from the first alignment and found that it was set at about 3 1/2 degrees positive...about in the middle of Ford's recommended range. Shortly before a cross country trip to Maryland in fall of 2016, I returned to the shop where the first alignment was done. I talked to the service manager and he knew of the problems with the E450's and was happy to increase the caster as I asked. The alignment tech was also familiar with it and ended up with settings close to 5.5 degrees positive. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! The unit tracked straight down the road, passing semis no longer caused a white knuckle hold on the wheel, and overall it was just a lot more enjoyable. It did however increase steering effort a little but not anything to worry about.  But,be sure that the shop you go to is willing to "think outside of the box". Our first alignment was "plain vanilla", right in the middle like it was always done. Second time out, they were very willing to increase settings beyond what normally would be done, and still stay with in Ford's guidelines (0-7 degrees, I believe). I realize that our E450 chassis is an entirely different animal than yours, but I was trying to add support to the caster increase thinking and how it helped us......if you go down that road.
END QUOTE

Re: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
« Reply #109 on: March 25, 2018, 02:06:34 PM »
 Thanks, Harvard and others on this thread  for the education to  refine  my plan to improve  the suspension on the E-450 chassis of my 2018 Leprechaun 260DSF. as follows:
1. Sumo springs on the front. Back came with firestone air bags
2. Roadmaster steering stabilizer
3. Roadmaster rear anti sway bar in rear
4. Koni adjustable shocks.
After Installation  I will have the front wheels realigned, watching caster, after ensuring the rig is level front to back by proper inflation in the rear airbags.
The air bag instructions tell me that air bag inflation is set to have a level a loaded coach from back to front  and side to side.  Now understanding caster physics , I see it can be effected by coach level back to front .
Now back  to airbags.  Firestone manual says, " Normal pressure loss should not exceed 3 – 4 psi per week when the air springs are inflated to 50 psi and should be checked monthly.
Since I'm adding a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), I'll add caps for the air bags. 
Gratefully
Richard
 

 

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