Getting a Smoother Ride - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-27-2014, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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Getting a Smoother Ride

Hello - New to the forum here, but have been snooping around quite a bit.

This question/issue may have been addressed by many previous threads and posts, but I can't seem to find a direct answer.

I have recently acquired a 1996 F350 CC LB 4x4 7.3L, 250K miles or so. The interior is in perfect shape, exterior is excellent with a few rust spots, engine and transmission appear to be in excellent working order. However, the ride quality just plain sucks. I've recently done the following, all of which helped to some degree:

New tires (285-75 Bridgestone Revo's)
Front brakes, rotors, calipers all replaced (new rotors were a big help)
New front shocks (Bilstein 4600's) I have the rear shocks too, but haven't done them yet.

The truck is not lifted, nor do I prefer to do so. Most threads I've read address lifted applications. It is primarily meant to be an everyday driver work truck, so I'm not really interested in making a big performance investment. But something's gotta give. Its as if the truck literally has no suspension at all. Its smooth going down a decent highway at cruising speed, but if I run over an acorn I feel it.

What are some options for improving the ride quality on these trucks? I'm not expecting a super plush ride, but I've got to do a little better. I am mechanically inclined enough to handle pretty much anything, so don't let that be a deterrence to your suggestions. New leaf springs? Leaf spring bushings? Steering stabilizer? Anything helps!

Thanks in advance for your comments.
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-27-2014, 03:03 AM
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Give this a read brother.

Precision Metal Fab (PMF) RSK Install - OBS

RSK is the easiest, cheapest way to make your truck 100% more comfortable to drive. The lowest height with the kit is 2.25" but that basically levels your truck. My truck is stock F350 in the rear and 2.25" RSk up front and it sits level.

Welcome to the ORG

Have you found any of the OBS specific threads yet?


-JJ-

Mine - 94.5 F250 ZF5: Basics w/a few extras, DIY bumper, steps and exhaust, AFEII, D60, PMF 2.25 RSK, V-codes
Hers - 04 GM 2500 CCSB 4x4: LB7, EFI Live by KW, 2" Lift, MBRP 4" dp back
RIP 15/08/23- 98 GM 1500 ECSB 4x4: 6.5, straight pipe, K+N filter, 495km w/original pump, trans & t-case

Last edited by JJFLASH; 02-27-2014 at 03:07 AM.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-28-2014, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by majorgator View Post
Hello - New to the forum here, but have been snooping around quite a bit.

This question/issue may have been addressed by many previous threads and posts, but I can't seem to find a direct answer.

I have recently acquired a 1996 F350 CC LB 4x4 7.3L, 250K miles or so. The interior is in perfect shape, exterior is excellent with a few rust spots, engine and transmission appear to be in excellent working order. However, the ride quality just plain sucks. I've recently done the following, all of which helped to some degree:

New tires (285-75 Bridgestone Revo's)
Front brakes, rotors, calipers all replaced (new rotors were a big help)
New front shocks (Bilstein 4600's) I have the rear shocks too, but haven't done them yet.

The truck is not lifted, nor do I prefer to do so. Most threads I've read address lifted applications. It is primarily meant to be an everyday driver work truck, so I'm not really interested in making a big performance investment. But something's gotta give. Its as if the truck literally has no suspension at all. Its smooth going down a decent highway at cruising speed, but if I run over an acorn I feel it.

What are some options for improving the ride quality on these trucks? I'm not expecting a super plush ride, but I've got to do a little better. I am mechanically inclined enough to handle pretty much anything, so don't let that be a deterrence to your suggestions. New leaf springs? Leaf spring bushings? Steering stabilizer? Anything helps!

Thanks in advance for your comments.
the easiest thing to do is probably just run your tire pressure a littler lower. i had a 94 srw and i have 95 drw now, the ride is incomparable. both with stock replacement suspensions, the srw would launch me out of my seat on bad potholes - the dually rides more like a car. when i replaced the front end on 95 i stayed away from bilstein shocks from people talking about the stiff ride.. maybe look into an airbag suspension if its that important to ya. i went with heavy duty shocks from napa, next time ill probably go with whatever the cheapest ones are from the chain stores.
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-01-2014, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses thus far. I've done some research on the RS kits, and that's certainly an excellent option. It appears to be more than I'd like to spend, though. And actually, the truck sits very level as is. I've researched the Sulastic shackles, and they too are a pricey option. I'm not quite sure about the "toughness" of their design, though...
But still the RS kit is probably at the top of my option list. Only problem is that I'd have to replace front shocks, leaf springs, etc. That alone isn't bad, but when you add the price on the RS kit, we're talking about a $1000 project.

kctyphoon - I've got the same issue that you describe about the potholes. This truck is rough as a cob over every little bump. I just keep assuming that there's got to be something wrong with the stock setup that's causing this...maybe leaf springs that are badly worn out?

How about coils or dual front shocks?

For more information, the door tag says the axle code is "C5" and the spring code is "T4F"
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-01-2014, 05:25 AM
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I've installed a RSK with stock leafs on my F350 regular cab. I didn't notice the ride improve one bit. I did gain about 3" of lift in the front though and that was what I was after. If I were you, I would lower the tire pressures a tad and remember that it's a 1 ton Pickup. I know my crew cab long box rides a lot better with even 500lbs in the bed.

Look and see if your front leaves are straight across or arcing in toward the frame.

1997 Ford F-350 4x4 SRW regular cab manual trans.
-Rosewood 160cc, 17*HPOP, EPBV delete, 4.10s, 315/75r16

1996 Ford F-350 4x4 SRW CCLB manual trans. CALI spec
-ATS intercooler, WW2 w/ 1.0 housing/EPBV delete, Comp 910s, SD Efuel, 3.55s, 315/75r16

2002 Ranger FX4 with manual transfer case and Alcoa's
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-01-2014, 05:38 AM
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The easiest way to make these trucks ride better is to load it ! I always found with some decent weight in the bed, it gives the suspension some travel, front and rear. If you don't haul anything over few hundred pounds on a regular basis, talk with your tire pro about an appropriate tire that is maybe a D-range tire instead of a 10-ply or E-range that is fully inflated at 44 to 60 PSI cold pressure instead of the 65-90 on the heavier tires. That will soften the ride substantially. The lighter weight tire can also reduce rolling resistance and improve MPGs. Just be sure to pick something that is suited for your duty.

2002 F-250 LARIAT CCSB 7.3 AUTO 4X4 255,XXX
2004 EXPLORER XLT 4.0 AUTO 2WD 130,XXX
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2004 F-250 RCLB 6.0 AUTO 4X2 376,XXX
2005 F-250 RCLB 6.0 AUTO 4x2 352,XXX

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post #7 of 17 Old 03-01-2014, 06:24 AM
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We have been doing RS-SD spring swaps since '99. Only way to improve the ride quality is using a kit and swapping all 4 springs.
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-01-2014, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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@mojave
The front springs are basically flat all the way across with a little wave toward the rear.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-01-2014, 04:35 PM
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Tire pressure, weight etc all impact the ride for sure but the fact is that 4x4 OBS trucks ride like crap. Period. Best fix? Go to complete 05+ coil suspension out of a SD. If you don't have the cash and fab skills for that, go RSK with SD springs. I spent the last few years experimenting and trying different things to improve the ride. Was a complete waste of time and money. You have to upgrade. It is what it is.


-JJ-

Mine - 94.5 F250 ZF5: Basics w/a few extras, DIY bumper, steps and exhaust, AFEII, D60, PMF 2.25 RSK, V-codes
Hers - 04 GM 2500 CCSB 4x4: LB7, EFI Live by KW, 2" Lift, MBRP 4" dp back
RIP 15/08/23- 98 GM 1500 ECSB 4x4: 6.5, straight pipe, K+N filter, 495km w/original pump, trans & t-case

Last edited by JJFLASH; 03-01-2014 at 05:27 PM.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-01-2014, 06:00 PM
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Yep JJ said it. 05 6liter suspension is smooth.

-Tom

05 250 KING RANCH CCSB,278k,ARP's,SCT TSX,Atlas 40,STC done,Glowshift FP Gauge,Banks IC System,Blue Spring,Banjo's,CCV mod,Oil Bypass,Diamond Eye 5" Exhaust,Bilstein 5100's,RC Dual Steering Stabilizer,Retro 55W 6k Heads 3k Fogs,Continental Airbags,RSD 48 gal Aux Fuel Tank.





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