Bilstein 7100 valving?

stormlover

Adventurer
Current valving profile on my 4x4 E350 with a 4" lift is:
360/80 linear (Front) and 360/240 digressive (rear). This is what was spec'd from Deaver Spring when I upgraded to their spring package.

Has anyone tried 400/100 valving? My rig feels a bit undershocked and has some pogo action. Bilstein's generic recommendion is 360/80 for full size front solid axle 4WD w/ coil spring. Not sure how the spring rate is different with leaf springs but all loaded up I'm 4600lb over the front axle and 5400lb over the rear axle. From googling around the 400/100 profile is very popular with the rover community, heavy sprung and top heavy when geared up for offroading and camping. Just wondering it it's wasted effort for what might be a limited improvement. The shock valving business seems rather secretive.
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
The valving they recommended and you bought was for a stock weight truck to give a stock like ride. Can you imagine how many dorks would complain if the "ride" changed? It's not worth the hassle to them. Here is the deal and I don't give a rats ******** what any suspension company, spring salesmen or web wheeler tells you.... You start all tuning with spring rate. Period. You will hear utter nonsense that claims that all the spring does is hold up the vehicle and shocks do the rest. That common statement was a sales pitch myth to get you to buy bypass shocks. Bilstein is the worst at telling you what you need but are the best at telling you what to "buy". By your post I'm thinking you may have leafs up front. A proper spring rate on front leafs can be run without shocks. You won't love it without shocks but it should ease around town just fine. Pulling off your shock and driving it will tell you exactly what you need more of. If it's diving and bouncing you then you need another leaf added to the pack. Pogo is caused by two things. Seriouse lack of rebound damping or you are blowing thru your travel and rebounding off the compressed tires and bump stops. Tires and bump stops rebound violently and shocks should not be asked to control it. You need to control the compression thru spring rate first. Now if you want the "parts man" answer that will give you a smidge of satisfaction? Buy the higher valved Bilsteins and be happy that you are running "better".
 

stormlover

Adventurer
Thanks for the reply. Yes, I have leaf springs on the front. The spring pack is thick and has a progressive rate. I have the rebuildable Bilsteins so I don't need to buy anything. Just looking for info from those that have changed their valving and experiences. Maybe pogoing isn't the right description. More like wallow and bounce. Could just be the nature of the beast and not sure I'll get a better ride for a straight axle leaf sprung 10k pound van.
 

comptiger5000

Adventurer
I run 400/100 in the front of my Jeep ZJ (coils, about 280 lb/in, about 2000 lbs sprung, 400 unsprung in the front). The valving works quite well.

As far as weird suspension feelings, if the suspension is soft, that might just be the nature of the beast. Or you could be feeling tire flex.
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
I run 400/100 in the front of my Jeep ZJ (coils, about 280 lb/in, about 2000 lbs sprung, 400 unsprung in the front). The valving works quite well.

As far as weird suspension feelings, if the suspension is soft, that might just be the nature of the beast. Or you could be feeling tire flex.
If that valving works well on a JK then the van probably needs more. I have a similar van. 02 E350 V10 Dana 60 front on leafs. Make sure the frame rails on the front are really beefed together well. A bumper alone is not stiff enough on the front. Weld a bar across it near or on the spring hanger and look at UJoints site for his front frame stiffener. It bolts the bumper brackets together with a nice plate. The conversion bolts the front spring hanger in front of the flexy frame crumple zone is why and the end of frame was never designed to mount a leaf too. Plating across the crumple zone could not hurt as well but I did not go to that extream. Castor could also be a problem. Park on flat ground. Put a harbor freight angle finder on your knuckles. These leaf vans can get wicket death wobble and the cure is to reduce castor. I'm afraid whoever did your front end could have put in too little castor like mine. That causes these beasts to wander. Too much castor causes death wobble. I'd say put in as little as you can stand with angled spring shims but 4-5 degrees works on mine. I think ujoints recommended more like 6 plus on his conversions so just remember you can adjust it and one size does not fit all. More castor is stable if you can clear stearing components and have OK drive line angle but watch for wobble. Rock Auto sells a bolt in steering stabilizer kit with brackets. It's made by Moog and they make great stuff. Grind the metal sleeve between the rubber/polyurethane bushings so the bushing squashes a little bit. The sleeves are often too long on stuff like this and that leaves slop. Mod yours if you have one and if not, don't pass go until you get the best bang for the buck Moog or whatever stabilizer you like. One more on castor. A lot of castor is better for the hiway. A little castor is good for quick turning in trails. I only run 1.5 degrees on the desert car. It pitches sideways at will but at 80mph I'm on my toes like its on ice.
These things are no where near stock so all this is important to understand if you want a dialed in rig. I love driving mine.
 

stormlover

Adventurer
If that valving works well on a JK then the van probably needs more. I have a similar van. 02 E350 V10 Dana 60 front on leafs. Make sure the frame rails on the front are really beefed together well. A bumper alone is not stiff enough on the front. Weld a bar across it near or on the spring hanger and look at UJoints site for his front frame stiffener. It bolts the bumper brackets together with a nice plate. The conversion bolts the front spring hanger in front of the flexy frame crumple zone is why and the end of frame was never designed to mount a leaf too. Plating across the crumple zone could not hurt as well but I did not go to that extream. Castor could also be a problem. Park on flat ground. Put a harbor freight angle finder on your knuckles. These leaf vans can get wicket death wobble and the cure is to reduce castor. I'm afraid whoever did your front end could have put in too little castor like mine. That causes these beasts to wander. Too much castor causes death wobble. I'd say put in as little as you can stand with angled spring shims but 4-5 degrees works on mine. I think ujoints recommended more like 6 plus on his conversions so just remember you can adjust it and one size does not fit all. More castor is stable if you can clear stearing components and have OK drive line angle but watch for wobble. Rock Auto sells a bolt in steering stabilizer kit with brackets. It's made by Moog and they make great stuff. Grind the metal sleeve between the rubber/polyurethane bushings so the bushing squashes a little bit. The sleeves are often too long on stuff like this and that leaves slop. Mod yours if you have one and if not, don't pass go until you get the best bang for the buck Moog or whatever stabilizer you like. One more on castor. A lot of castor is better for the hiway. A little castor is good for quick turning in trails. I only run 1.5 degrees on the desert car. It pitches sideways at will but at 80mph I'm on my toes like its on ice.
These things are no where near stock so all this is important to understand if you want a dialed in rig. I love driving mine.
Thanks for the info but my rig tracks straight with no death wobble. The Sportsmobile 4x4 conversion is pretty bomber and IMO on par with a Ujoint conversion. Tire wear is even. Maybe I'll try the stiffer valving and adjust from there. Tinkering and upgradeitis is half the fun.
 

comptiger5000

Adventurer
A heavier rig may or may not need more valving than a lighter one. It depends on weight relative to spring rate mostly (for rebound valving at least).
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
A heavier rig may or may not need more valving than a lighter one. It depends on weight relative to spring rate mostly (for rebound valving at least).
Not many like the way a leaf sprung 4x4 van drives. The steering box is mounted marginal for a stock 2wd van but when you put all the stress from the lift and big tires on it it flexes all over the place. Add a leaf mount on the frame horn in front of the box to twist it even more plus thousands of pounds of extra weight and you have a real pig. Stiff shocks, Deaver leafs and a steering stabilizer are great but none of the lift companies completely address the problem with the flexy steering box frame mount area. Park on concrete and have your wife turn the wheel from lock to lock and look at all the movement. Now imagine flying that flex down the road and tell me shocks and springs will fix it.
 

stormlover

Adventurer
Stump, I'm not discounting what your saying but I have no issues tracking between the white lines at 80 mph. My rig is heavy so I was just wondering if I was under shocked that's all. Unladen it's fine but generally when I'm using my camper van with everything including the kitchen sink it feels soft. Thus, the question about running higher valving like 400/100. It might be more optimal in my situation with a locker and rock crawling to get to a cool campsite.

Thanks for the replies guys! I'm about to upgrade to 35 spline axles and 14" rotors on the front so lots of front end work is about to commence!
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
Perfect example of why tuners don't give info. People don't listen even if you explain it. The OP says he is too soft for rock crawling yet asks if higher valving will cure it. Rock crawling and trails need lighter valving and fast action. In 10 minutes he can pull the shocks and see if he blows thru the leaf travel as suggested. That will prove his spring rate is too low for a 5 ton truck. Not going to do it so he will increase the damping anyway giving a worse ride off road and claim victory because he is not on the bump stops as fast. Add a locker, heavier breaks, big tires to rock crawl and the simple steering box and frame stiffening to cure the weak frame wallowing problem that he and I mentioned is not a problem because it goes straight at 80. Not trying to single out the OP because it's typical and why people that can tune suspension should just ********. I'll be at Glamis CA, pad 2.5 tomorrow thru the weekend if anybody wants a ride. You can talk to Baja Racers, Mint 400 podium finishers, Supercross racers and Parnelli Jones Indy car builder. That's my group. Those guys know suspension, they know tow and heavy rigs and they know fast. Bring your Van and go for a ride. I got 20 bucks that says we can make you puke! Lol.

image.jpg
 

1v6pony

Adventurer
The valving they recommended and you bought was for a stock weight truck to give a stock like ride. Can you imagine how many dorks would complain if the "ride" changed? It's not worth the hassle to them. Here is the deal and I don't give a rats ******** what any suspension company, spring salesmen or web wheeler tells you.... You start all tuning with spring rate. Period. You will hear utter nonsense that claims that all the spring does is hold up the vehicle and shocks do the rest. That common statement was a sales pitch myth to get you to buy bypass shocks. Bilstein is the worst at telling you what you need but are the best at telling you what to "buy". By your post I'm thinking you may have leafs up front. A proper spring rate on front leafs can be run without shocks. You won't love it without shocks but it should ease around town just fine. Pulling off your shock and driving it will tell you exactly what you need more of. If it's diving and bouncing you then you need another leaf added to the pack. Pogo is caused by two things. Seriouse lack of rebound damping or you are blowing thru your travel and rebounding off the compressed tires and bump stops. Tires and bump stops rebound violently and shocks should not be asked to control it. You need to control the compression thru spring rate first. Now if you want the "parts man" answer that will give you a smidge of satisfaction? Buy the higher valved Bilsteins and be happy that you are running "better".
Stumpalump Wow hoping you can help me with my current set up with valving on a 7100.
Rig is a 1982 Toyota sunrader 4x4 conversion on 33's.
Current springs are 5/1 2025lbs with a 1500lbs add a leafs (Carry sm motorcycle and need the 2in lift)
rig weight is 5800 lbs, Shock valving is 360/80, My trouble is when i drop the rear tire into a hole (low speed) it seams the whole rige wants to drop sideways instead of the oposite side compressing to offset the roll. You stated that taking the shock off for the front is a good test, can that be done with the rear also?? or do you have a better recommendation? or other thoughts Thanks glad i found this postnew rader.JPG
 
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Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
1V6pony, You could unbolt shocks to see if they are limiting droop. That would cause that problem. Hitting the bumpstop on the other side or bottoming out the shock too early can also add to the problem. Shock length never needs to limit droop or compression. Period. It needs to be checked while the rig is severely twisted like on an articulation ramp. Relocating a shock mount is cheaper than buying a shock if you have a welder. A monster sized rear sway bar also limits articulation and I think that RV chassis has one. If you are off road a lot you can address a sway bar but at the expense of hiway handling. A wider offset rim or wheel spacers helps more than you would think as long as that has not been done already. On my heavy E350 4X4 extended van I still notice how the weight is loaded. I won’t even put a heavy can of soup up high. It goes down low. Keep upper storage areas for hauling comforters and toilet paper and everything else needs to be kept as low as possible. Clean it out once in a while and remove extra weight. Consider weight on everything you carry. I even bought an aluminum pipe wrench at a yard sale for adjusting tie rods to save a couple of pounds. If you think all those areas are well sorted then you can mess with valving to fine tune it. Call the Bilstein tech line and run your numbers by them to get another opinion. Last time I called they were great. Thay had an East and West coast phone number at the time so call the other one if you do not get a good answer. Hopefully you can just lighten your compression. Take big swings at adjustments. Like reducing compression by 50 for example. Good luck and remember these big beasts need to run slow. Thats why big trucks have air ride seats. I just replace the lower seat foam and springs on mine and it made a world of difference over the bumps. Good luck!
 

1v6pony

Adventurer
1V6pony, You could unbolt shocks to see if they are limiting droop. That would cause that problem. Hitting the bumpstop on the other side or bottoming out the shock too early can also add to the problem. Shock length never needs to limit droop or compression. Period. It needs to be checked while the rig is severely twisted like on an articulation ramp. Relocating a shock mount is cheaper than buying a shock if you have a welder. A monster sized rear sway bar also limits articulation and I think that RV chassis has one. If you are off road a lot you can address a sway bar but at the expense of hiway handling. A wider offset rim or wheel spacers helps more than you would think as long as that has not been done already. On my heavy E350 4X4 extended van I still notice how the weight is loaded. I won’t even put a heavy can of soup up high. It goes down low. Keep upper storage areas for hauling comforters and toilet paper and everything else needs to be kept as low as possible. Clean it out once in a while and remove extra weight. Consider weight on everything you carry. I even bought an aluminum pipe wrench at a yard sale for adjusting tie rods to save a couple of pounds. If you think all those areas are well sorted then you can mess with valving to fine tune it. Call the Bilstein tech line and run your numbers by them to get another opinion. Last time I called they were great. Thay had an East and West coast phone number at the time so call the other one if you do not get a good answer. Hopefully you can just lighten your compression. Take big swings at adjustments. Like reducing compression by 50 for example. Good luck and remember these big beasts need to run slow. Thats why big trucks have air ride seats. I just replace the lower seat foam and springs on mine and it made a world of difference over the bumps. Good luck!
Thank you so much I will get those things checked out, As far as a monster sway bar, Yes i have one but i also use disconnects when offroad, Did contact bilstein and he wants me get the spring issue resolved first, says that a 1 ton spring with a narrow spring perch axle ( not as wide a 1 Ton) it is to much for my rig and needs lighter springs..in order for it to drop out... I have varying opinion of that statement from other qualified tech. Thanks again
 

jgaz

Adventurer
1V6pony, You could unbolt shocks to see if they are limiting droop. That would cause that problem. Hitting the bumpstop on the other side or bottoming out the shock too early can also add to the problem. Shock length never needs to limit droop or compression. Period. It needs to be checked while the rig is severely twisted like on an articulation ramp. Relocating a shock mount is cheaper than buying a shock if you have a welder. A monster sized rear sway bar also limits articulation and I think that RV chassis has one. If you are off road a lot you can address a sway bar but at the expense of hiway handling. A wider offset rim or wheel spacers helps more than you would think as long as that has not been done already. On my heavy E350 4X4 extended van I still notice how the weight is loaded. I won’t even put a heavy can of soup up high. It goes down low. Keep upper storage areas for hauling comforters and toilet paper and everything else needs to be kept as low as possible. Clean it out once in a while and remove extra weight. Consider weight on everything you carry. I even bought an aluminum pipe wrench at a yard sale for adjusting tie rods to save a couple of pounds. If you think all those areas are well sorted then you can mess with valving to fine tune it. Call the Bilstein tech line and run your numbers by them to get another opinion. Last time I called they were great. Thay had an East and West coast phone number at the time so call the other one if you do not get a good answer. Hopefully you can just lighten your compression. Take big swings at adjustments. Like reducing compression by 50 for example. Good luck and remember these big beasts need to run slow. Thats why big trucks have air ride seats. I just replace the lower seat foam and springs on mine and it made a world of difference over the bumps. Good luck!
Good to see you on here again Mike. Hope all’s well
 
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