Damage to rear shock mounts? - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 11:45:PM Thread Starter
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Damage to rear shock mounts?

Has anyone damaged or hit the rear shock mounts?

Over the years I've learned to keep the differential out of harms way but the rear shock mounts are at about the same level (but closer to the tire). The shock mounts just add another level of difficulty in taking your van where it should not go, many of the BLM roads to the best camp spots. We have had to do a little road maintenance.

So far, I have not had any problems but it is pretty low and makes maneuvering the rear end fairly difficult.

VanCompas makes a kit to raise the mounts by about 2". I'm trying to see if it is worth the effort.

Has anyone installed that kit? and the shorter shock?

Ron
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 12:19:AM
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I have the same concerns, like most of us Transit owners that drive to trail heads or dispersed campsites. I've scraped the shock mount parking at a trail head before and don't want to worry about high centering on a rutted road.

I bought the VC shock mount brackets (cheap, so no brainer), but also bought 245/75 tires, VC fox shocks, Bilstein b6 struts, and foes lift. Will install them w/in the month. Hoping I don't ever need the VC diff plate.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 12:54:AM
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https://www.fordtransitusaforum.com/...ock-mount.html

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 01:42:AM
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They really suck if you bog down in soft sand. Just spin your tires slightly and they becomes anchors. And once you are stuck, the fun begins trying to get a jack where you need it to lift the wheels. Gotta be the worst feature of a Transit.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 03:04:AM Thread Starter
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Based on cost and potential grief I'll get the shock mount relocation kit on order shortly. I am also considering a 1" lift block under the leaf spring. It does nothing for clearance of the running gear but does improve the departure and break-over angle. It would also get the factory shock closer to it's normal operating position.

I carry a motorcycle on the back of a 148" regular van so a little move clearance in the back would be nice. I have scrapped a few times despite the motorcycle rack being 3" above the trailer hitch.

The only thing I miss about my Sprinter is the increased ground clearance compared to the transit (and being able to get a dually in the non extended body length).

Ron
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 07:44:AM
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Originally Posted by RonR View Post
OK
Based on cost and potential grief I'll get the shock mount relocation kit on order shortly. I am also considering a 1" lift block under the leaf spring. It does nothing for clearance of the running gear but does improve the departure and break-over angle. It would also get the factory shock closer to it's normal operating position.

I carry a motorcycle on the back of a 148" regular van so a little move clearance in the back would be nice. I have scrapped a few times despite the motorcycle rack being 3" above the trailer hitch.

The only thing I miss about my Sprinter is the increased ground clearance compared to the transit (and being able to get a dually in the non extended body length).

Ron
Air bag suspension might be a good alternative to the 1" lift. Then it could be adjusted when you add or remove the motorcycle. Or, do both a lift and air bag springs.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 01:18:PM Thread Starter
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Collecting some data on the best solution as we speak. I have the T350 and between empty (no water, clothes, food or people but with the interior) to fully loaded (water, bikes, motorcycle, food, etc., no people) the suspension only sags 1/2" in the rear and 1/4 in the front. With two people it is likely 1/2" front and rear. Unloaded it has 3.5" of clearance from the top of the LT245/75 tires to the bottom of the wheel arch. I wish I had done theses measurements before I installed the interior. So not very loaded and also towards the top of the suspension travel already. (It is likely that the only reason I even noticed is that the Transit is about 2"-3" lower compared to my prior stock 350 dually Sprinter.) I'm guessing that I am only about 2" lower than an empty cargo T350.

Despite the nice capability to level, at a campsite, I don't think I want to add the complexity of an air bag system. It also increases the spring rate which is already pretty stiff. I might do a Sumo spring which is more progressive if located to just touch the spring when lightly loaded.

So a 1" rear lift block with the 2" rear shock relocation kit would get me 1" of departure improvement, 2" of actual additional ground clearance, put the stock shock closer to it's normal operating position / length and not increase the spring stiffness. This is also a pretty cheap tweak, roughly $250.

Leaving for a 2 week trip. I will report back on what I do and how it works.

Ron
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 05:44:PM
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 10:05:PM
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Originally Posted by BabyBuffy View Post
They really suck if you bog down in soft sand. Just spin your tires slightly and they becomes anchors. And once you are stuck, the fun begins trying to get a jack where you need it to lift the wheels.
Having spent considerable time in remote woods, this is a much bigger consideration than whether something scrapes a rock now and then.

These days i stay mostly on the pavement except for a sand/clay graded road (our shortcut to Disney's back door), so the low shock mounts are not an issue for us.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 12:42:AM
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Ours T350HD was really saggy in the rear from the weight of the Winnebago build. I added Supersprings and Sumosprings, and that totally fixed the sag. I got about 2.5" of additional clearance at the rear trailer hitch from that. Then I upsized the tires to 215/85R16 which got me another 1.25" all the way around. I pull a small enclosed trailer for hauling our dual sport motorcycles, and after these changes, I had to replace my 2" rise drawbar with a 2" drop one to keep the trailer level. That is a pretty significant improvement...


BTW, we're pushing 10K lbs when fully loaded with water, propane, food, and 200 lbs trailer tongue weight.
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