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Ford E-150 Econoline Club Wagon Leaf Spring

Signs of a Broken Ford E150 Econoline Cargo Van Leaf Spring

Nobody wants to ride an uncomfortable vehicle that's supposed to be a high-capacity passenger. When your Ford E-150 starts making people dizzy, it could be because something broke in your suspension system. It could be a damaged leaf spring at the rear of your Ford that's supposed to hold the axle in place. Here's how you can find out if your Ford E-150 econoline cargo van leaf spring is in need of a replacement:

Specify the symptoms

You need to find out what kind of suspension performance problem you're dealing with by specifying what kind of symptoms you're experiencing with while driving your E-150. A broken leaf spring can make you feel as if the van is swaying from side to side. You could also be experiencing a spongy ride that bends with heavy loads as well as uneven tread wear on your tires. However, these symptoms could also be indicative of problems with the brakes, so you need to get down and inspect your leaf springs to confirm that they're really the broken parts.

Do a diagnostics test

Park your E-150 on a flat surface and compare the measurements of its rear wheels from the ground to the top of the wheel well. Then, inspect the u-bolts that hold the spring to the van for signs of rust and deterioration. Finally, lift the van up onto jack stands and inspect it for cracks and any outward swinging. Multiple leaf springs like the ones on your Ford should not hit the tire, otherwise they'd definitely be broken.

Know when to replace your leaf springs

Larger vehicles, like your E-150, need to get their leaf springs replaced more often than smaller automobiles. Seasoned mechanics can tell if it's time to replace a leaf spring just by inspecting the clearance between the chassis frame and the ground, and if your van tilts in any way. If there's any discrepancy in the measurements of the two rear wheels, if your chassis frame is lower than it should be and if your van is tilting to one side, then it's time to replace your leaf springs with new ones.

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  • How to Maintain a Ford E-150 Econoline Club Wagon Leaf Spring

    Despite the fact that they won't win any beauty queen pageants, there's something about the Ford E-series vans. As the owner of a E-150 club wagon, you know that the manufacturer hasn't made any major changes to the truck chassis. This is why it's only natural that you have leaf springs that hold your rear axle in place. While the springs were constructed to be strong and simple, they do require some maintenance to ensure that they last longer while providing a more comfortable ride. Here are some tips that you can use on your Ford E-150 Econoline club wagon leaf spring:

    • Adjust your spring's stiffness and load

      Even though E-150 leaf springs can come in different weight ratings, they all have the same 2.5-inch length and adjustability to give you your desired ride. If you want a stiffer ride on your Ford, you'll need to increase the springs' rigidity by adding another spring or a metal helper that can go above or below your existing parts. More rigid springs can prevent the back of your van from sagging, reduce the stress on your rear axle, and allow you to carry greater loads. Meanwhile, if you prefer a softer ride and if you don't need to carry a lot of weight, you can remove the second leaf above the bottom plate or replace the bushings.

    • Tighten your nuts and u-bolts

      The key to good preventive leaf spring maintenance is to ensure that it is held in place by u-bolts and nuts. Check the tightness of the attachment between these two fasteners by rapping on both parts with a steel tool. Be sure to properly tighten up the u-bolts every 1,000 miles or so with a torque wrench. Otherwise, you could damage your suspension system seriously with a slack spring.

    • Lubricate your springs

      It's a fact of life that metal parts corrode over time because of their exposure to the elements. In the good old days, you would have tried to avoid rusting up your leaf springs by wrapping it. Nowadays, regular maintenance can simply involve coating it with a lubricant. Apart from a penetrating oil and water-displacing spray, many Ford E-150 owners use other concoctions like wax oil or high-impact grease in an aerosol can.