Front suspension comparisions Ford trucks coil or leafs

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Gravel Rat, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    I'am weighing the pros and cons between the two. The 05 and newer trucks have a radius arm/coil spring suspension on the 4x4/ 450-550 trucks.

    Has anybody have had both a 99-04 Superduty with the front leaf springs and a 05-09 Superduty with the coil springs.

    The suspension used in the newer trucks is a flash back to 1975-1979 Ford F-150/Broncos a radius arm and coil springs. Works good and handles good just the track bar was very important to keeps the axle from going side to side.

    Here is the why I'am asking the old leaf springs on the front suspension makes the truck ride really rough. With 19.5 tires you have to have them absolutely balanced if not if you get a bouncy tire it shakes the whole truck. Even driving down the road you can feel every bump in the road. Hit a small pot hole and it feels like being kicked in the ribs.

    Is the new coil springs vast improvement in ride and handling ?

    I also been told that the turning radius is better I know my truck doesn't turn sharp and it has a shorter wheel base than a crew cab dually long bed.

    How about axle articulation ?
  2. CAT powered

    CAT powered LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    I know they turn tighter. I've noticed no difference in ride quality between my 2000 7.3 and 2006 6.0 set up identically except color.
  3. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,782

    i had '97 super and '05 and '08. Later is much smoother, turns better and is quieter on the front end. don't know about axle articulation. what do you mean by that?
    if this helps, having the coil springs and tigher turning will allow you to park at Walmart.
  4. Shadetree Ltd

    Shadetree Ltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    05 and up is way nicer. Much smoother, much tighter radius. No real comparison, sucks that there easn't a year with them available with the 7.3. The 05's feel like the wheel can turn one whole extra revolution compared the the 99. As for axle articulation, crew cabs weren't meant for the bush and the 450 is a pavement princess unless it is snowing so I do not know.
  5. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    If I park anywhere I park in a open spot and walk need the exercise anyhow.

    Just wondering if the coils make a difference in ride.

    I know the turning radius as improved it would make some difference in my situation lots of time I'am doing a 100 point turn. Even navigating through traffic some corners you have to cut across 2 lanes to make a turn. My F-450 has a 165 wheelbase but the truck turns very wide I'am used to it now.

    The only cons I do see about the coil springs is the radius arm bushings would see lots of wear along with the track bar.

    As for the axle articulation by that I mean does the the suspension give as one tire rides up a obstacle say crossing a swail in the road I'am not offroading just if the driveway has some dips or shallow ditches you have to cross..

    With the current leaf spring suspension the front axle is pretty rigid as the front twists it twists the frame and the rear axle lifts a little bit. You can hear the cab creaking there is no give in the suspension especially the front and the cab and frame takes the twist.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  6. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,782

    make sure you get 4x4. my helper got stuck yesterday on a dirt road with some grade. I pulled my truck and trailer up same grade with 4x4
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The 03 F-550 4x4 is back on my mind after the bank gave me the figures on what a loan would be on a newer truck. Ouch :cry:

    If I sell my other truck as planned for 15-18,000 and put it towards my loan it will leave me with 15 grand in my loan. I can sell my truck to the sea food haulers they are looking for flatdeck trucks to put live haul tank on to haul maggots of the sea aka Spot Prawns.

    The truck I'am looking at is a 2wd 2007 F-450 with low kilomters 6.0 automatic. The truck will have warranty and the 05 and newer F-450s have 1000lbs more legal gvw the rear axle is rated 1000lbs more. They have larger brakes than my 03. It would be something I can pull a trailer with a rental skid steer or a mini excavator on. If the job is in a tough spot a machine is going to get used.

    I would like a 6.0 I do like the power of them and they are considerably quieter. Yes the 6.0 has a bad reputation but they are not all bad. The Ford dealer here is pretty good at working on 6.0s if need be.

    My diesel mechanic buddy says not a problem to head stud and remove the emmissions crap.

    Had my brothers 2001 F-350 srw 4x4 7.3 beside my 03 6.0 my brothers 7.3 is loud enough it drowns out my 6.0 completely. Even riding in my brothers truck you can hear alot more engine noise. My 03 6.0 all you hear is the 03 turbo whistle.

    If I buy the 550 with the 7.3 it will have a 6 spd manual transmission swap.

    I never did like the way the 2002 F-550 company truck I drove shifted with the 4R100 shifted. With only 4 speed auto and 4:88 gears the engine screams and you end up with 9-10 mpg. Compared to my F-450 I can out run the 2002 F-550 I used to drive by a long shot.

    The reason why I asked if the new suspension makes the truck ride better, I wouldn't mind a smoother ride. These 450-550s with the leaf spring front suspension they ride like tanks. You have to be carefull if your on dirt roads with wash board or pot holes you can hit a pot hole hard enough you may damage something.
  8. Shadetree Ltd

    Shadetree Ltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    You are nuts...
    The 03 would give you 4X4 and almost eliminate the truck debt. You are willing to gamble the 6.0 and put the same $$ into it that the 03 might need down the road. Where could I find the 03 to look at for myself.
  9. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    And essentially all your getting for the newer truck is a sh*t load more debt, and 1000 extra pounds. Your are nuts if you get that. Why would you? Save your money and buy your skid steer! You will come out ahead of the game.
  10. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    Gravel, any idea what a trans oil cooler should cost for a 03 f250. I understand my truck has two of them i am told, and i need the larger one. $759 from ford . Any idea if there is a universal cooler or something like that

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