Highway handling improvements

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by Will Randolph, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. Will Randolph

    Will Randolph Member

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    Good day,

    Have a 99 stock 4 wheel drive first generation expedition that I like off-roading and hunting in, but when coming back down those curvey highways , especially tired, it just doesn’t feel the most safe to handle. The last tires I put on it are cheaper highway all terrain tires, which I know may have an affect, but would changing out all the control arm bushings and everything else listed by my local ford dealer make a world of difference worth the 1200 bucks? Immediatly after, I went to a local reputable alignment place where he showed me the bushings were decent for a truck with 160k miles on it, and upper control arm bushings and ball joints were replaced previously at 115 K miles.
    My alignment was also in check.

    All in all, I’ve googled other threads were people have complained also about the overall “light felt” and over sensitive steering, such as not stiff enough on the highway, which I feel the same way. It’s like your floating and have no grip from your hands on the steering wheel to the road. So would rebuilding my front end with new bushings make andifference, or is that just how Ford Expeditions handle, I’ve had the truck 3 years. Any insight is helpful, almost to the point of selling, but I don’t want new truck payments either. Great in the country, highway is spookey.
     
  2. 1955moose

    1955moose Full Access Members

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    I'd save the money on the front end work, if all the parts are tight. That said, what I would do is invest in a top level set of front shocks, rears too. Rancho suspension adjustable are good. I like anything adjustable, because the others are either too soft, or stiff. Is your steering box loose? Is their play? That will definitely add to your wandering. Also you might want to change your front sway bar bushings with some polyurethane ones. Lastly, a good all terrain tire, like Bf Goodrich, or Michelin, will help plant your tires. I have the same SUV, one year newer, and mines ok except in heavy wind. It's taller than stock. Tires and good shocks can make a significant difference.

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  3. Will Randolph

    Will Randolph Member

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    The alignment shop said I didn’t really have any play, but can items in the steering box actually be tightened or would the whole thing need to be replaced. I’ll try those those polyurethane few bushings you mentioned and shocks, see what that does, thank you for responding.
     
  4. Adieu

    Adieu Full Access Members

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    The entirety of the front end suspension, much less bushes alone, does NOT cost $1200
     
  5. ManUpOrShutUp

    ManUpOrShutUp Full Access Members

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    I'd be looking at ball joints. The truck really shouldn't be sloppy at all. That's Chevy's MO.
     
  6. Adieu

    Adieu Full Access Members

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    Yeah, dunno about 1st gens, BUT... 3rd gens, while not quite up to aggressively cambered bimmer handling, are stabler and tighter than Toyota or Nissan SEDANS.
     
  7. Will Randolph

    Will Randolph Member

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    Camelback ford in Phoenix of course will recommend to do everything, ball joints have been done, sway arm links are intact, I’ll have to figure out where these sway arm bushings would go in the rig, maybe that will do it. Can the steering box be actually tightened? Thanks guysth.
     
  8. 1955moose

    1955moose Full Access Members

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    Why change ball joints that are tight with 0 play? Shops make their money changing parts, if they say theirs no up/down movement leave em be for now. Yeah the 99-02 seem to have early failures of steering box. Mine was replaced at around 45k miles before I bought vehicle. The reman one they put in started having play at only 80 k. It's not easy but I adjusted it using a small pair of locking vise grips, and a 5/8 inch wrench. The steering is tighter feeling than stock now, but theirs no play. If your box has play, try adjusting the screw on top of box. Just don't overdo it, you can damage box. I did mine in small increments till it felt right. So far at 103k, all is tight.

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  9. Will Randolph

    Will Randolph Member

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    Well hot dog 1955moose, just found out my uncle who previously had this vehicle had the sway arm bushings previously done with polyurethane, and placed Bilstein shocks on the truck. I guess I could get a second opinion on all four tie rod ends, and the Pittman and idler arms. How much in increments did you adjust the screw on top of the gear box. I think I’ll just have to accept that’s how the steering is in these, but if there’s anything I can do to make the long haul down the hills from chase big bucks and and bulls up high, I’m all ears. Gracias.
     
  10. Trainmaster

    Trainmaster Old School Member

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    It ain't never gonna handle like a Maserati, no matter what you do.
     

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