Java's F450 'Rough Road' RV

Well if you have been following along, It has been eating front tires a bit. And after the ditch incident, there was a good shake at 50-58 ish.

Measured tire edge to tire edge... Toe was way off.



Made some alignment jigs. Two 50" pieces of angle iron, drilled for two of the lugs. Two tape measures, a little duct tape, boom.




Toe was 1.5" in 4'.... 1.7 degrees toe out.

Factory is 1 degree plus or minus .25, I set mine at .75 degrees in. If its too wandrey, I can jump under and give it a couple cranks.

Hopefully that helps!!! And why do it myself? The damn truck doesn't fit any local racks. Long trip coming up Thursday, and I needed it done like now.
 
SOOOOO on the way out of town Friday for LD weekend, blew a air bag..... I was literally just telling my wife I needed to do the trackbar and front end work since I was worried it would blow a bag from rubbing on the frame. But nope, much have gotten a rock in the convoluted area.

I noticed it was a bit harsh after a few mins, look down and gauge is pegged at 0psi. Fawk. Pull over and yep. So we drove 80 miles on the bump stop.... Now the fun part.... My wife said she could hardly tell the difference. And I have never been very happy with the bags, didn't make much difference IMO. So maybe its hitting the bumps all the time?

So I am contemplating going back to coils.... It would take a couple hours to swap back I think.

SO thoughts on that. And thoughts on finding an off the shelf coil vs a custom one? I spoke with someone YEARS ago that used a f350 4" lift spring with 2" cut off or something. You may remember my custom rear coil debacle..... I am not sure custom is worth the $$


Obvious hole.


Good news is I carry a spare, and had everything I needed to swap it. Took about an hour.


Can see the frame rub spot


Back together.
 

Mike

Adventurist
Founding Member
I have only had air bags on the rear of my previous Cherokee but in my hot rodding car/truck world, air bag can never rub on anything, period. Definitely would have sorted that frame rub issue early on.

I think you are right about a small stone getting caught in folds of the bag and causing the blow out. It seems they might not be the best choice for a vehicle that sees any dirt time, especially on the front where the wheels turn and throw stones in different directions as you steer. If it was mine, I would definitely move back to coils on the front.
 
I have only had air bags on the rear of my previous Cherokee but in my hot rodding car/truck world, air bag can never rub on anything, period. Definitely would have sorted that frame rub issue early on.

I think you are right about a small stone getting caught in folds of the bag and causing the blow out. It seems they might not be the best choice for a vehicle that sees any dirt time, especially on the front where the wheels turn and throw stones in different directions as you steer. If it was mine, I would definitely move back to coils on the front.
Yes the rub is on the list..... It barely touches, you could not see any wear at all on the bag. I couldn't actually tell which side was towards the frame once it was off.

The bag location should not really see any spray off the wheels, its on the steering centerline. But who knows. Something definitely got in there!

I am trying to find the factory spring spec, I have nothing to compare the aftermarket springs too. The bags were supposed to ride better, they don't really.... Its the kit that ER uses, but I just cant get them dialed in right I guess. If I were doing it over I would have done DIY bags. These are ~2" lift, and they just make the brackets taller rather than using a taller bag o_O It needs taller bags IMO.... the internal bumpstop is 5" tall, they tell you to inflate the bag to 7.5-8", that's not much uptravel at ALL.
 

Mike

Adventurist
Founding Member
You would think the wheels wouldn't cause anything to get into the bag but because those are steering wheels, gravel gets thrown around at different angles and can hit areas inside the wheel well at different angles, it is very possible for a stone to bounce off something and get thrown into the bag. Street only driving, not likely but any dirt roads could definitely cause it. I have found dirt and stones in some very weird places in different vehicles and think, "how the heck did that get there?"

Good luck!
 
You would think the wheels wouldn't cause anything to get into the bag but because those are steering wheels, gravel gets thrown around at different angles and can hit areas inside the wheel well at different angles, it is very possible for a stone to bounce off something and get thrown into the bag. Street only driving, not likely but any dirt roads could definitely cause it. I have found dirt and stones in some very weird places in different vehicles and think, "how the heck did that get there?"

Good luck!
Oh they absolutely throw stuff around, I was just saying they aren't getting directly sprayed on.
 
Big truck stuff is heavy and really tight..... And we are supposed to get 1.5" of rain today.... So I worked late last night to get as much done as possible.

Front end work list:
Check alignment again, add more toe.
Replace track bar (re-center axle)
All new brake components (after seeing how bad the rears were.....)
New tire balancers
New wheels/tires


First find 30mm socket, and proceed to bend breaker bar....


Track bar was supposed to be the easy part. As soon as I disconnected it, everything moved ~3" to the DS. Remember big truck stuff is heavy?? A bottle jack between the tire and fame wouldn't move the axle... Ended up having to block the frame up, take the wheels off, use floor jack under front axle (after dumping all air and taking it off jack stand) a BIG ratchet strap between the axle and frame, and as much strength as I had to get it back centered. And now to bitch about the track bar. Its nicely made, but its just a hiem joint on one end for adjustment. IE one side must be unbolted to spin it.... So no adjustment when its installed..... Hopefully I got it close, because this is a HUGE paint to get out apparently.




But its in....


On to brakes. They are big and heavy, and hold a lot of fluid.... Kept the rotors, they are in good shape, and no grooving. Other side looks the same, just later and darker....


Did not get to alignment, tires or balancers....
 
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My roof creates a super low pressure zone right where my front fan is. Its constantly pulling up on the lid. I have left it open a few times which probably didn't help either..... But the lid is cracked, hinges ovaled out, and a weld broken.... Duct tape held almost all the way home....




New maxxfan acquired. But first lets deal with a little issue with them. Here you can see the circuit board that runs everything. I have had one fry due to condensation getting on it in the winter. Maxxfan replaced it for me under warranty, bu this time I will take a little action to try to prevent it. There are 4 screws under the screen, and one in the crank knob. Pop those out and you can access the board. Its held in by three screws. Remove those. Cover the comm ports with a bit of tape and hose the whole thing down with some conformal coating. Should help a little anyway I hope. Reassemble and install.





Much better.


On to the next project. After alignment and shifting the axle over the steering wheel was off center a fair bit. Well go figure that adjuster was nice and rusty..... Lots of PB, a torch, a 2' monkey wrench and 5' cheater bar and it finally started moving..... But that took a long ass time.


Better. Weekend time now.


Centramatic and new tires on the front as well.

 
Pretty sure fuel filters are not supposed to be that color.... changed 10k ago ish I believe.





But I did get the roof coated and done. It was a little bit of a poop show, because of course I wait till last minute and rain is expected....



I've been putting off coating (DON'T USE SIKA ON THE ROOF....) the roof, this is the last week of ok weather before rain.... But it cooled way down and is overcast...

Scrubbed the fuck out of it. Leaf blower towels and pray for it to dry....



This is why, the shit gets all soft after water/UV exposure.



Mask off the universe. Didn't want epoxy dripping down the sides.


Mix part A and B of the epoxy primer. Here is fuck up number one.... Part A had settled.... I didn't realize it till I dumped what I needed out of the bucket. There was a ton of solids on the bottom. I scooped some out and tossed it in my mix..... Hoped for the best. Should have grabbed a bigger clean bucket to mix it all in. Didn't even think of that.... fawk.


Rolled it on. It was skinning a little bit in the tray etc, so I thought it would be ok.



Went out this morning, and its soft still...... It got a fair bit of dew, but the temps stayed above 55 (truck said 58 this morning). Called the tech line, they said if it was under 50 it will REALLY slow the cure. If it doesn't I have a huge fucking mess to clean up. And its not water proof.... And its supposed to rain tomorrow. fawk. I need two top coats on it today...... The primer wasn't required even for the coating, but I figured it couldn't hurt to use it....


Well I got one coat on before rain. So I am happy as hell. Headed to the desert this weekend, so ill bring the other gallon with me and do it there.




It's cured up nice and beads like crazy right now!

 
How all the fun begins!





Camp!


Got a little snow over night. Got real cold tho


Did some snow shoeing, lots of sledding.



Ill take that for a cold start win! 12.4F


House batteries were getting low.... They don't like the cold. Alternators were doing 70-90 amps at idle while it warmed up.


Idled down without any drama.
 
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