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Old 07-13-2019, 10:58 PM   #1
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I Cant Take This Suspense...sion.... get it suspension!!!

Hey all,

Ive got a 2005 ford e350 short bus and the ride is really rough.... any suggestions how to improve it?! Or soften it?!
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Old 07-14-2019, 03:30 AM   #2
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Air ride conversion is a good start...
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:45 AM   #3
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Oil?

I know this sounds too simplistic to actually work but it has worked very well for me me on any vehicle with leaf springs. Oil your springs with an oil can and SAE 5W30 motor oil. The friction between the leaves from rust and road grime can keep them from flexing properly and making the ride rough. I got this tip from a mechanic and it really does make a difference. And it's a very cheap trick to try. You have to drive around a bit to let the oil work in between the leaves before you feel the difference, but you will.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:34 AM   #4
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alot depends on what you consider rough.its a relative term.. if you are used to driving a full size pickup truck or van and you say your E350 is rough.. or are you used to driving a sedan and say the bus is rough?


typically one of the things people notice about their busses if they havent driven one before, even the can cutaways is the "harshness" of the ride.. part of it is tire pressure.. Busses are heavy and typically require much higher tire pressure than a regular pickup or van.. this translates to filling every bump and divet in a highway..



if you have excessive Bounce, or bad Bump-steer (wheel jerks on a bump).. buis wants to wnader.. steering is lose, etc then those are things that can be improved upon..


every bus i have bought came wit ha nice set of SHOT shocks,, every bus I have bought has been out of alignment when i got it...


with an E-350 my first stop would be Lube the chassis fullly, then to an alignment shop and then to change your shocks to a good heavy duty set..


the alignment shop will not only work on aligning your front end but will also say "hey this is loose, thats loose, etc..."..


thats where I start my baseline and then work from there..


on leaf springs I use Garage door spring Lube.. my garage door guy told me for metal on metal l.ike door springs and such that a silicone based lubricant is better than just oil..
-Christopher
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:27 AM   #5
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Cadillackid makes a good point that it would be an unrealistic ezpectation for a school bus to ride like a Lexus. I would add that like most trucks in this weight class, they actually ride worse when they're empty because they're built to carry several tons more weight so those heavy springs are basically untaxed when empty and offer no real flexibility in that state. This is a key difference when comparing a typical school bus to a motorcoach or other vehicle that utilizes an air ride suspension. Air offers a lot of advantages and one is its adaptability to load conditions. I've long considered that depending on what the manufacturer rated the bus weight versus when a finished skoolie conversion ends up weighting out, a lot of ride comfort may be accomplished by simply eliminating one of the leaf springs, reducing the overall carrying capacity but bringing its comfort level into check because the remaining leaf springs will resume flexing under the vehicle. I will add the disclaimer though that you would never want to just tackle such a task yourself based on someone's online feedback but rather consult with a qualified truck spring and brake shop for the best approach to solving your problem. We can have lots of ideas here based on our interpretation of your concern but we're not experiencing what you are and we're not taking the risks if modifications made put your rig into an unsafe condition to be operated. So all that to say, check with a local truck spring shop and get their input because they'll be able to accurate manage your expectations.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
Cadillackid makes a good point that it would be an unrealistic ezpectation for a school bus to ride like a Lexus. I would add that like most trucks in this weight class, they actually ride worse when they're empty because they're built to carry several tons more weight so those heavy springs are basically untaxed when empty and offer no real flexibility in that state. This is a key difference when comparing a typical school bus to a motorcoach or other vehicle that utilizes an air ride suspension. Air offers a lot of advantages and one is its adaptability to load conditions. I've long considered that depending on what the manufacturer rated the bus weight versus when a finished skoolie conversion ends up weighting out, a lot of ride comfort may be accomplished by simply eliminating one of the leaf springs, reducing the overall carrying capacity but bringing its comfort level into check because the remaining leaf springs will resume flexing under the vehicle. I will add the disclaimer though that you would never want to just tackle such a task yourself based on someone's online feedback but rather consult with a qualified truck spring and brake shop for the best approach to solving your problem. We can have lots of ideas here based on our interpretation of your concern but we're not experiencing what you are and we're not taking the risks if modifications made put your rig into an unsafe condition to be operated. So all that to say, check with a local truck spring shop and get their input because they'll be able to accurate manage your expectations.

Thanx for the freed back! To you and those above.... when you say air ride, are you talking about those bolt on air "lifters" the ones you pump and adjust with a bike pump or home compressor?

And if its more complicated than that where would you suggest i go to get a quote/get it installed. A local diesel mechanic? Or like a RV/bus service center?
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simmssg View Post
Thanx for the freed back! To you and those above.... when you say air ride, are you talking about those bolt on air "lifters" the ones you pump and adjust with a bike pump or home compressor?

And if its more complicated than that where would you suggest i go to get a quote/get it installed. A local diesel mechanic? Or like a RV/bus service center?

"Air ride" suspensions completely eliminate springs but yes, they are similar to the assist kits you are referring to. Factory installed setups are *MUCH* more robust and the weight of the vehicle is entirely supported by the "air bags" and associated parts.


This is one modification best left to professionals because you'll need some big tools and know how to do the job safely and properly and many insurance companies/policies will void any coverage if it's not done "professionally" (by some company with their own insurance, that can be sued if it causes a crash), for obvious reasons. On a full size bus, it will consist basically of cannibalizing a suspension from a donor vehicle and refitting it under yours. This would be an excellent time for an axle/gear ratio swap if one is planned.
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