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Old 03-23-2021, 11:10 PM   #21
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It did work out very well. Pleased. I can't remember exactly but the caster is now at 6.3 and 6.6. There is a huge difference in the feel of the steering wheel. Around town corners require more effort but I always thought the power steering was over done so I don't mind that. Feel on the highway is a marked difference. We came home today on a highway with a lot of truck traffic on lanes that had been reduced in width by construction and cruised along with minimal correction.
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Old 03-26-2021, 05:04 PM   #22
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So I went to the truck tire alignment shop where I had an appointment. Their truck alignment rack “broke” that morning so they could not do the work. They expect that rack will be repaired early next week. We leave Sunday for a 4 night shake down trip. So, I’ll get the alignment done sometime.
It drives “okay” now that I lowered the tire pressures on the front tires.
BUT!!! It will get the proper alignment before we leave for our summer trip.
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Old 03-29-2021, 04:21 PM   #23
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One issue I had when getting my 2000 Four Winds on an E350 was the shop at the Ford dealer "knew better" than I did as far as the caster. It didn't drive significantly better afterwards, but I learned three valuable lessons:

1) If they won't accept your request for maximum +caster, take it elsewhere. Don't let the "experts" tell you otherwise - there's way too much evidence these units need a lot of +caster, the more, the better.

2) Don't go to Ford dealers. They wanted x amount of $ to do the alignment, that should have been it. But no, 10 minutes into the alignment, they tell me it needs parts to change the alignment... $75 more please! I replied they quoted me a price, that should include everything needed to align it. I agreed to a small amount, but not $75 more. Nearly all Ford dealers are bad for this behavior.

3) If you go to a Ford dealer, don't trust they torqued the fasteners. We were in Arches national park, a thousand miles from home when the front end fell apart. After finding the bushing a couple miles away from where I finally found a parking area, I re-installed it, set the camber to an eye-balled zero, and tightened it. Then I checked the rest of the fasteners, only to find they were all loose. I was, and still am furious. I had quite the conversation with the service manager when I got back home. He was supposed to get back to me a week later, and never called. My second phone call to him was cordial, but he could tell, I was not gonna back down.

Those experiences coupled with other Ford disasters is why I now own a Sunseeker on Chevrolet chassis. I've not spent one red dime on the front end, because it doesn't need the kind of work Ford always requires.
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Old 03-29-2021, 04:35 PM   #24
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The ford dealer was the last resort for an alignment. Luckily the installed had someone that was willing to see if it would sit on his machine and was fine with settings that are outside of Ford specs.
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Old 04-02-2021, 03:35 PM   #25
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So I went to the truck tire alignment shop where I had an appointment. Their truck alignment rack “broke” that morning so they could not do the work. They expect that rack will be repaired early next week. We leave Sunday for a 4 night shake down trip. So, I’ll get the alignment done sometime.
It drives “okay” now that I lowered the tire pressures on the front tires.
BUT!!! It will get the proper alignment before we leave for our summer trip.


I am back at the shop. I sure hope those alignment settings are good as they took a picture of them and will set my E450 to those numbers.
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:12 PM   #26
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FORD E350/E450 alignment, Wandering, Caster, Play in steering wheel

After three trips to the alignment shop, they were finally able to complete the job today. There is a difference in how it handles now. Not really a major improvement but it easier to drive and I can get by with one hand on the wheel most of the time. I am satisfied with it.

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This is the current settings. I know they are a little off from the recommendation, but caster is right on. Any thoughts anyone?
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:46 PM   #27
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This is the current settings. I know they are a little off from the recommendation, but caster is right on. Any thoughts anyone?
I don't feel they are off. As long as your caster is at +5 and your toe within spec, you're good. If someone can achieve more caster, it should also be fine. Your camber is even better than mine, but we both neutral. (LINK)
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:47 PM   #28
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Glad it worked out for you. Were the castor shims maxed out at 5 degrees?
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:54 PM   #29
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If I understand your question correctly, the factory caster shims are non-adjustable. They were replaced with adjustable shims to allow the needed settings.
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Old 04-27-2021, 08:51 AM   #30
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Ball joint wear?

I talked to 2 different truck/RV suspension shops about the
E450 caster bushing sleeves & they both warned me that the
3 1/2* bushings (that I want) could cause excessive ball joint
wear. Has anyone else heard or experienced this?
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Old 04-27-2021, 11:27 AM   #31
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I talked to 2 different truck/RV suspension shops about the
E450 caster bushing sleeves & they both warned me that the
3 1/2* bushings (that I want) could cause excessive ball joint
wear. Has anyone else heard or experienced this?
They are incorrect.

Automotive ball joints are capable of moving up to 45 degrees in operation. When a "Caster BUSHING (not shim)" is installed the upper ball joint angle only changes a fraction from it's original position and the lower ball joint a similar amount.

The ball joint's primary job is to allow the spindle to turn for steering and to allow slight angle changes when suspension travels up and down.

The "shop" is theorizing that if you increase caster to 6 degrees (which Ford uses on several of their F-series) the load will be carried more on the side of the ball joint and cause wear. Funny thing, in a ball joint all surfaces inside the joint (within it's design limit for angle travel) will carry the load the same. it's a BALL joint).


FWIW, bushings should be selected to add or subtract the desired amount of angle from what exists from the factory. It's not a matter of installing a 6 degree bushing if you want 6 degrees of Caster. If you already have 5 degrees you will only want to install a bushing that is 1 degree greater. (bushings are marked for max angle and aftermarket bushings are designed so both Camber and Caster can be adjusted by proper "clocking".
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Old 04-27-2021, 08:57 PM   #32
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E450 caster bushings.

Excellent info & many thanks. I already had 1 1/2* bushings in it
with 4 1/2* caster. The shop I took it to only had 2 1/2* bushings
and got me 5 1/2* caster. Its noticeably better but not the 6 1/2*
I wanted. So I'll buy the 3 1/2* bushings myself and go back for
another round. Stay tuned....
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Old 04-28-2021, 12:42 PM   #33
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Thrashing

I must be missing something as I cannot figure out why those who want to increase caster while preserving camber do not just use a pair of Moogs.
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Old 04-29-2021, 02:39 PM   #34
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RideRite Bags

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Originally Posted by RVrover View Post
My new 2017/2018 Sunseeker 3010DS had an issue after I bought it with these airbags. The passenger's side bag failed due to bad design that they corrected in the subsequent years. They sent me a new kit (both sides) where the new bags set differently. New placement is directly on the axle, inside and next to the leaf springs. Old one placement was on top of the leaf springs, which crushed it as you can see from the last photo.

This damage also effected the springs on the passenger's side (sagging further than the driver side) as I had to drive on it with a damage bag for few hundred miles after waiting for couple months until I located someone that can work on it. Most Ford dealers won't touch motor homes even if they are listed on Ford's website that they do, which doesn't make any sense.

This new placement also reduced the clearance, which something that bothers me and almost everyone else who owns this model or others with similar length (including hunter99). I hope I could got much higher clearance from FR without having to pay a fortune for after-market mods. Dragging the rear on an unforeseen slanted street is no fun. Now, I watch like a hawk to see the obvious dragging on the ground by previous victims and skip gas stations, stores and even some boondocking spots because of poor access to avoid dragging.

I am glad to hear that they improved some elements in the current models and hope they will improve clearance for new owners.
RVRover, I also have a 2017/2018 and am not aware nor could I find any defect info on the bags. (6781’s). The 2153 kit is still listed for our application and still uses the double convoluted 6781 bag. I recently had to disassemble both sides to fix poor installation leaks and took some photos. In looking at your photo and comparing it to mine, I see nothing “crushed”. Just saying…

Photos are left side, right side with and without bags.
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:01 PM   #35
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RVRover, I also have a 2017/2018 and am not aware nor could I find any defect info on the bags. (6781’s). The 2153 kit is still listed for our application and still uses the double convoluted 6781 bag. I recently had to disassemble both sides to fix poor installation leaks and took some photos. In looking at your photo and comparing it to mine, I see nothing “crushed”. Just saying…

I agree, after reading the post regarding crushed air bags, I checked my 2017 and they look fine, it is identical to the photos Ducky posted. I also called Firestone and they knew nothing about the issue and still offer the kit as you found out as well. The kit as installed looks very robust and is working well, kind of a mystery to me.
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Old 05-02-2021, 08:01 AM   #36
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Similar experience here, I was lucky to find a shop that commonly works on commercial vehicles, they knew I needed the sleeves before it even went on the rack. Don't bother with a tire store alignment, you need more than a 'toe and go' alignment with these things.


I have had handling issues with my 2020 Sunseeker 3010 DS since we bought it new. Experimented with different ride rite air bag psi pressure, with no improvement on handling. I have an appointment with a truck alignment shop that has an outstanding performance record for decades. I actually had a tri axle dump that I owned back in the 90’s and they corrected my extreme front steering tire wear. Didn’t know if they would do campers so gave them a call. Talked to a technician and is familiar with E 450 handling issues so we shall see.
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Old 05-02-2021, 08:54 AM   #37
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Please keep us posted. And if possible post a pic of the final alignment settings. I am still not happy with my E450.
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Old 05-02-2021, 12:43 PM   #38
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Please keep us posted. And if possible post a pic of the final alignment settings. I am still not happy with my E450.


Will do. My appointment is for May 17th. Newbie wheel and alignment, New Bethlehem PA.
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:21 AM   #39
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I must be missing something as I cannot figure out why those who want to increase caster while preserving camber do not just use a pair of Moogs.
What is the difference between your option @ $36.75 from Amazon at time of posting than what others are using (LINK)? - Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:52 AM   #40
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RVRover, I also have a 2017/2018 and am not aware nor could I find any defect info on the bags. (6781’s). The 2153 kit is still listed for our application and still uses the double convoluted 6781 bag. I recently had to disassemble both sides to fix poor installation leaks and took some photos. In looking at your photo and comparing it to mine, I see nothing “crushed”. Just saying…

Photos are left side, right side with and without bags.
Ducky, probably my bags were not as lucky as yours and fobagbob. I am glad to hear that yours are working fine. After my passenger side bags were crushed (photo attached doesn't give it justice), FR sent me a different design as I mentioned. I confirmed with a friend who bought the next year model to mine (2018/2019) that FR installed the updated design kit in his. I hope others with late models or FR may post and confirm which design they have.

I attached the installation manual for the older model and the new one.
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File Type: pdf W217602430_RRInstallManual_EN(2).pdf (3.15 MB, 26 views)
File Type: pdf New Firestone Air Bags.pdf (9.45 MB, 40 views)
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