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PostPosted: May 17th, 2015, 7:10 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1833
Location: 1999 Concourse
That's going to be a monster!

I don't know a whole lot about 4WD conversions, but I'm just curious: Was the donor vehicle an E-450? I notice that the rear wheels are protruding from the wheel wells a bit further than on my (2WD) Concourse and I wondered if that was why (since I believe the E-450 rear axle has a wider track than the E-350).

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PostPosted: May 17th, 2015, 1:34 pm 
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Joined: March 1st, 2015, 10:31 am
Posts: 25
Yes it was an e450. We used that rear so the gears in the front and rear would match. I am hoping the wider axles will make it more stable.


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PostPosted: May 17th, 2015, 5:27 pm 
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Joined: January 12th, 2014, 7:18 pm
Posts: 489
Mine is still the stock chinook spring with a 3" block to raise it. I keep forgetting to take a pic though.


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PostPosted: May 18th, 2015, 2:46 am 
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Joined: March 1st, 2015, 10:31 am
Posts: 25
I will probably have a spring shop pull a few leaves out when everything is back together.


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PostPosted: May 25th, 2015, 3:02 pm 
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Joined: January 12th, 2014, 7:18 pm
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I just watched your video. Dude.. You have a plasma cutter? Uhh.. I'm being some beer over to play with your toys.

Anyway.. Finally got some pics of my rear springs. Looks like I have 9 leaves. Your rig looks higher in the back than mine. Oddly though, my spacers look taller than yours. I guess your springs are just that much stiffer.


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PostPosted: October 10th, 2016, 4:50 am 
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Joined: March 1st, 2015, 10:31 am
Posts: 25
It's been a while but I finally started more work on my 98 Chinook 4x4 conversion. Mainly trying to fix the steering problem. I brought it to an alignment shop and spent $1400 on parts and labor that they said were necessary. In the end my steering issue was no better. Another mechanic recommended that I replaced the steering box with a redhead one (pricey). After replacement it was more responsive but still wandered on the road. My mechanic pulled the steering stabilizer that I installed (prior to any steering issues) and said that Rancho sent me a shock not a stabilizer. We went for a drive with the stabilizer(shock) out and it drove much better. He has just finished installing a dual steering stabilizer for me and I will be picking it up later today. Hopefully all steering issues resolved. I want to take it for another alignment this week and I was wondering if you knew what specs your 4x4 chinook is aligned to. I have read on several rv sites about increasing positive caster to improve handling. Just wondering if you have any knowledge of this.

Thanks,
Chris


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PostPosted: October 10th, 2016, 3:34 pm 
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Joined: January 12th, 2014, 7:18 pm
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I don't know the number no. If I recall, he said he set it to the upper most number ford recommended. Maybe even 1 degree past.


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PostPosted: November 18th, 2016, 3:23 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2016, 9:25 pm
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Death wobble is caused by incorrect caster. Have you ever grabbed an old shopping cart at the store and started pushing it only to be frustrated when the front wheels wobble back and forth? That is what happens when you have incorrect caster. I lifted my old Jeep wrangler years back and had the death wobble, i installed adjustable upper and lower control arms on it and then took it in for an alignment. Obviously you can not go by factory specs because you have altered the vehicle so factory specifications are no longer going to be correct for that vehicle. I recently lifted my toyota fj cruiser and again it had the same death wobble, the fix for it was to install aftermarket upper A-arms with special ball joints that can be clocked (rotated) to acheive correct alignment, but again i stress factory specifications will not correct the caster issue because you have altered other parameters on the vehicle. I do not recall exact factory toyota specs but it was in the range of 2 degrees caster, to acheive acceptable performance i had to have the caster set at more than double that figure ...5 degrees because of a 3 inch lift.
You cant just drive to the shop and expect that factory specs are going to acheive what is required to correct a modified truck. You will have to search out a shop that does more than simply look for the green light on the alignment display. Most shops/mechanics do not even understand what caster/camber/toe actually do, they just put it on the rack and adjust until they see a green light which indicates they have the setting where the factory specifies. You need to have someone that understands that using factory caster settings is not going to work, they will need to add caster to get rid of the death wobble. Caster is a steering angle, camber is a tire wear angle. I see that in your images it appears that you have adjustable control arms on the truck already, so all you need is a good alignment man who will add caster when doing the alignment. Most shops will not do this, all they know is what the factory calls for, and they will refuse to set it to anything other than factory specs claiming warranty issues, liability, and or safety issues as the reason for not doing it. Adding items such as more shocks, steering stabilizers, new tires, ect.... only serve to mask the caster issue even though the problem is still there.
Dont simply goto the shop and say i need an alignment, go in and explain to them what you have done to the truck and that OEM alignment specs are not going to correct your issue, tell them they can start by adding 2 degrees of caster to what the factory calls for and then you can drive the truck to see how it performs, tell them if it still wanders you will be back to add another 1 degree of caster and so on until they get it where it needs to be. If the vehcile becomes stable (drives in a straight line) yet is hard to turn (corners) or you have to manualy center the steering wheel after turning a corner, you have to much caster and they need to subtract caster. To sum it up, you now have a modified vehicle, ride height is altered, jounce and rebound height are differrent, spindle center line is different ect...ect... meaning its beggars belief to think that factory caster specs are going to be anywhere near sufficient for the vehicle.

Factory specs assume you own a cookie cutter truck straight from the factory which all have the exact same mount points, springs, shocks, ride height, axles, ect.... If you have E450 suspension on an E350 chassis factory caster is not going to work...."ever". But the first issue i see would be correcting the rear ride height, get the ride height where you want or need it prior to paying for an alignment because it will affect caster.


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