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Old 03-11-2019, 10:43 PM   #1
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E450 Suspension Upgrades

I see a lot of folks modding the suspensions on the F53 chassis.

What about the little guy (me ). Anything I can do? Would love a little a little stiffer and more control - not so much 'float'.

I get 'pushed' by passing tractor trailers and wobbly when behind them at certain distances.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:51 PM   #2
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E Trailer has a lot of upgrades.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:26 PM   #3
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Put some Sumo Springs on the front. They will do both: get rid of a lot of the "floating" feeling, and make it feel stiffer--especially in turns.

The best part is that the fronts are super easy to put on.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:16 AM   #4
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That shutter at certain distances is known as being in the "rockin' chair" and there is not much you can do about that. If you've not had a quality front end alignment at a Ford big truck center you're probably not getting the best driving experience. I've got 18,000 miles on my 26B and it runs down the highway as good as my truck.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:28 AM   #5
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E450

This is what we did and I like how it rides after doing all of it. Alignment, weighed so that the recommended tire pressures are used, Saf-T-Plus Steering, Sumo springs in front end and Koni shocks all the way around.
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:40 PM   #6
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Thank you

Thanks for all the suggestions. Seems Sumo springs are near the top of everyone's list. I'll try those with sway bars I found on SD Truck Springs (same for $240 less).
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:33 PM   #7
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I put the Front HD Sway bar and Saftey Plus steering stablizer with a rear Track arm on my Axis (E450 chassis) and it handles great now. Not much pushing at all from the big rigs. Sometimes no pushing then other times a little bit - but not bad - still one handed driving.

I think it depends on how fast they are passing you and how areo their rigs are?

I might try Sumos some day as well but I'm afraid it will stiffin up the suspension too much for my tastes.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:52 PM   #8
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Here are the changes I made on my E450:
1. Got a good alignment
2. Installed bigger swaybars (Hellwig) front and rear
3. Installed Saf-T-Plus steering controller


I'm pretty happy with the way it drives now. My next suspension upgrade will probably be Bilstein HD shocks.


My big 32 ft. class C is very heavy at the rear, so I think it could use some sort of helper springs or extra leaf in the leaf springs. I don't think it needs any more spring rate up front, and the bigger front swaybar provides extra dynamic spring rate, so adding Sumo springs up front doesn't make sense to me, at least not for my rig. They would probably be helpful at the rear though.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
Here are the changes I made on my E450:
1. Got a good alignment
2. Installed bigger swaybars (Hellwig) front and rear
3. Installed Saf-T-Plus steering controller


I'm pretty happy with the way it drives now. My next suspension upgrade will probably be Bilstein HD shocks.


My big 32 ft. class C is very heavy at the rear, so I think it could use some sort of helper springs or extra leaf in the leaf springs. I don't think it needs any more spring rate up front, and the bigger front swaybar provides extra dynamic spring rate, so adding Sumo springs up front doesn't make sense to me, at least not for my rig. They would probably be helpful at the rear though.

I agree
You will benefit from rear Sumo’s

I have Helwig sways on front & rear, along with front and rear Sumo’s
I love the ride

I still need to add a steering stabilizer
Leaning toward the Bilstein Stabilizer (abt $100) vs the spendy SafTPlus ($450)
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
Here are the changes I made on my E450:
1. Got a good alignment
2. Installed bigger swaybars (Hellwig) front and rear
3. Installed Saf-T-Plus steering controller


I'm pretty happy with the way it drives now. My next suspension upgrade will probably be Bilstein HD shocks.


My big 32 ft. class C is very heavy at the rear, so I think it could use some sort of helper springs or extra leaf in the leaf springs. I don't think it needs any more spring rate up front, and the bigger front swaybar provides extra dynamic spring rate, so adding Sumo springs up front doesn't make sense to me, at least not for my rig. They would probably be helpful at the rear though.
you are spot on my friend....I've kept kinda quiet aboiut this as I no longer have a e series at all, This is probley the first time since 1979 that I've not had at least an E350 van, and most of the time a van and a class b+ or c...

the problem, if you call it that is most all E series are over sprung in the front and under in the rear...the norm before sumo's for me was to just take it to the spring shop , add a rear leaf, and put softer springs in the front...


I've put sumos in the front and they make it real harsh riding and take away wheel travel....big bumps get transferred right up though the frame...


the bilstien gas charged shock is by far the best option... and is a huge benefit on was board roads and keeping the tire hooked up..


sway bars is another huge mod...and even more so on the E350 class c and vegas models as the rear end is 4'' narrower , and the frame is thinner and the get a lot more frame twist and flex...


the rear sumos, when installed behind the rear axel.... huge difference... if fact, that's all I usually do... I put the 235/85's and rear sumo's and just run it with great results...I leave the stock shocks, sway bars, and every thing as is... I get the front aligned to 5 degrees caster and go...with my 22E I towed a 22' trailer loaded to 10k....of coarse I up'd my hitch to 10k..it pulled like a dream
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
Here are the changes I made on my E450:
1. Got a good alignment
2. Installed bigger swaybars (Hellwig) front and rear
3. Installed Saf-T-Plus steering controller


I'm pretty happy with the way it drives now. My next suspension upgrade will probably be Bilstein HD shocks.


My big 32 ft. class C is very heavy at the rear, so I think it could use some sort of helper springs or extra leaf in the leaf springs. I don't think it needs any more spring rate up front, and the bigger front swaybar provides extra dynamic spring rate, so adding Sumo springs up front doesn't make sense to me, at least not for my rig. They would probably be helpful at the rear though.
My tail is a little overweight where the front is light. Nothing I can do. No place to shed the weight. I'm flying solo and half the cabinets are empty.

Is it possible rear suspension upgrades might push some of that weight forward (he prays)?


I also got off the phone with a commercial alignment place and was told that it's not certain but sometimes the camber shims have to be replaced. They'd obviously have to see it before they could say. It may not need them.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:13 PM   #12
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I agree with Jamie. I put sumos on the front and steer with two fingers. No harsh ride, no sway from trucks. My rig needs nothing more.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by TheBreeze View Post
I see a lot of folks modding the suspensions on the F53 chassis.

What about the little guy (me ). Anything I can do? Would love a little a little stiffer and more control - not so much 'float'.

I get 'pushed' by passing tractor trailers and wobbly when behind them at certain distances.
Read my post about my upgrades to Thor 23H
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:50 PM   #14
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...snip...
I also got off the phone with a commercial alignment place and was told that it's not certain but sometimes the camber shims have to be replaced. They'd obviously have to see it before they could say. It may not need them.
I followed another's advice about the camber shim and a 4+* camber for towing...no regreats. I did bilsteins and Sumos first and "it was good". Alignment "it was better" and Helwigs front and rear, "it's g-r-e-a-t", where it should have been.
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:48 PM   #15
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I followed another's advice about the camber shim and a 4+* camber for towing...no regreats. I did bilsteins and Sumos first and "it was good". Alignment "it was better" and Helwigs front and rear, "it's g-r-e-a-t", where it should have been.
For the record, I believe you mean 4+* of "caster" not "camber".
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:22 PM   #16
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For the record, I believe you mean 4+* of "caster" not "camber".
Yes! (note to self, stay away from keyboard before coffee is on board)
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Bilsteins and Sumos front and rear...HUGE! FatMat and Hoodliner...HUGE!
Hellwig sway bars F&R, 235/85 Hankook ATM, alignment...HUGE!!!
Battery watering, 260watts Solar and BigFeets to make life easier.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:39 PM   #17
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Add a leaf to the rear leaf springs. Had it done at a commercial truck shop as well as alignment. Rides like a suburban��
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:23 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gnach View Post
I followed another's advice about the camber shim and a 4+* camber for towing...no regreats. I did bilsteins and Sumos first and "it was good". Alignment "it was better" and Helwigs front and rear, "it's g-r-e-a-t", where it should have been.
So you think its worth while to have F and R Helwig Anti Sway AND Sumos F and R? Almost sound overkill?

I think I will do the rear Helwig (I Have front only right now) but im still on the fence for the Sumos. I dont want to stiffen up my ride any - I think it pretty good as it is. Might install new shocks next to see if it help like it did on my car.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
So you think its worth while to have F and R Helwig Anti Sway AND Sumos F and R? Almost sound overkill?

I think I will do the rear Helwig (I Have front only right now) but im still on the fence for the Sumos. I dont want to stiffen up my ride any - I think it pretty good as it is. Might install new shocks next to see if it help like it did on my car.
different strokes for different folks

several to many on this forum have Helwigs and Sumo's
i haven't heard a complaint from anyone who has Helwigs and Sumo's
no one has complained that the ride is too stiff

again, you gotta do what's best for you
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Old 03-26-2019, 01:04 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
So you think its worth while to have F and R Helwig Anti Sway AND Sumos F and R? Almost sound overkill? ...
I started with the Bilsteins, Sumos and alignment. Then I got pushed across the line by a sudden gust coming around a bend. Then the front Hellwig for one trip towing, followed next trip by the rear bar. Some might think it's stiff but it's not for us. I have very confident feel at the wheel. Too cliche?
edit: I do like well cambered curves
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Battery watering, 260watts Solar and BigFeets to make life easier.
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