02 leaf sprung E350 wanders **FIXED**

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
2002 E350 Salem Koger conversion on leaf springs wanders. 118K miles. It always has wandered and is only a problem if I'm tired or if the wife drives. Everthing seems tight and Van is never "off roaded". I increased caster to 5 plus degrees and installed a steering stabilizer. That helped. I'm going to add some more tow today with a measuring tape on the tire. 1/4" toe in on the tread sound right? Anything else on these vans to look at for a slight wander?
 

Stitebunny

Adventurer
I don’t have an answer for you but i do have the same van and am curious about your results.
Did you use caster wedges or inserts or something else?
I have been thinking about adding some more caster as well.
I seem to get a bit of bump steer as well. Large bumps kind of make the steering wheel go back and forth before centering again.
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
Mine came with a castor shim but it only gave 3 degrees of castor so I added another shim. The more castor the less wander but more castor can induces death wobble. Mine felt a little shaky on a few really beat up sections of interstate after I added castor so I added a Moog stabilizer and bracket kit from Rock auto. It was very cheap and bolted right on. That helped a lot but I ran it for 10 years without any steering stabilizer. Put one on if you don't have one. if you park on flat ground and use a harbor freight angle finder on the flat part of your steering knuckle you can read your current castor. I think U joint Chris mentioned 6 degrees or more if you can get it without other issues like bind would be great.
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
I fixed it! Tow was about 1/8" measuring from the tread so I increased it to almost 1/4". Its not new so more tow works well if you have some wear. For good measure I greased it, shook down the whole front end looking for loose components and was able to get between an 1/8 and half turn on ubolts and spring mounting bolts. Basically nothing was worn or loose. No major change after I test drove it but it was better.
The steering box always had a smidge of play but I never considered it "loose". A 5/8" flex head gear wrench, super bright flashlight and American ball end Allen wrench on the end of vise grips allowed me to adjust the steering box. Most will say if it's loose replace the box and you can destroy a box by over tightening but what the heck I've done it on other vehicles without problem. The box is burried way down under hoses and lines of every flavor but it can be adjusted once you get way down too it. I turned the adjustment about 1/4 turn is all. It drives better than when I bought it 12 years ago. You must hold the nut and tighten the center screw and it's a pita. Here is a short vid I just found that shows the adjustment. Do it exactly like this vid and don't tighten that center screew tight. Just run it down a little bit. All boxes are the same and have this adjustment. I should have done this when I bought it because I've been hearing Ford steering boxes are often a little loose.

 
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