Brutal ride

Themajickman

New member
I just purchased a 2007 Dodge sprinter 2500 passenger van and had it modified with a lift and tiedowns that serves as my handicap vehicle. I ride in the back in my wheelchair and I realized after my first ride that it was totally brutal on my body and kidneys especially. I would like any suggestions on how to soften the ride. It's my understanding that airbag suspension runs about $8000 which is completely out of the question. Also, since my van was "born" as a passenger van rather than a cargo van it already has the softest Springs available so, new Springs would not be helpful. My next area would be maybe tires. Does anybody have any suggestions about different tire sizes, etc. etc.?



The ride is so rough that I would sell the darn thing if I can't fix it
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
What are your current tires, and the tire pressures front & rear?

Do you know if the the van had any spring modifications done to stiffen?
 
do passenger and cargo van's have different springs?

check the air pressure. Tires make a difference-there is a chance that getting a new set of Michelin's (my choice) would help.
 

ctmcdaniel

Cross Member
Yeah, give us some air pressure numbers to work with.

Where exactly do you ride in the back?

How much does the lift equipment weigh? Or what the total amount of weight the van is carrying when it's beating you up?

Can you describe the nature of the roughness? Give some examples?
 

Mrdi

New member
The farther forward you can move the smoother the ride
You could also ADD WEIGHT TO THE BACK TO DAMPEN THE"JUMP".
 

CJPJ

2008 3500 170"ext. 3.0 V6 OM642.993
I can tell you that riding behind the rear axle is always the worst ride, the bumps are amplified back there. Your ride will improve by positioning the chair forward of the rear axle.
 

Themajickman

New member
What are your current tires, and the tire pressures front & rear?

Do you know if the the van had any spring modifications done to stiffen?
My current tires are Michelin LTX M/S 245 x 75 x 16. And they have about 80% tread left
no modifications have been made to the Springs to my knowledge
 

Themajickman

New member
do passenger and cargo van's have different springs?

check the air pressure. Tires make a difference-there is a chance that getting a new set of Michelin's (my choice) would help.
according to this company I spoke with apparently cargo vans and passenger van do have different springs. And, I do have a set of new Michelin's. Air pressures were said about 65 pounds. I'm thinking of trying to lower the air pressure and see if that will help
 
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Themajickman

New member
Yeah, give us some air pressure numbers to work with.

Where exactly do you ride in the back?

How much does the lift equipment weigh? Or what the total amount of weight the van is carrying when it's beating you up?

Can you describe the nature of the roughness? Give some examples?
as soon as I get back home I can work with some air pressure changes to see if the ride improves without adversely heating up the tires.
I ride a little bit in front of the rear axle offset a little to the left of center line. We leave in the rear set of three seats so I ride in front of them.
Me, my chair and the equipment weigh 750 pounds (approximately).
The roughness is like riding on a solid tire and no suspension.

The farther forward you can move the smoother the ride
You could also ADD WEIGHT TO THE BACK TO DAMPEN THE"JUMP".
I really don't have a option as to where I can sit because the tiedowns are fixed in the floor. As it is there is barely room to squeeze between my feet and the front seats so I really can't move much more forward.

I can tell you that riding behind the rear axle is always the worst ride, the bumps are amplified back there. Your ride will improve by positioning the chair forward of the rear axle.
Thanks, but I'm riding in front of the rear axle.

I think my best bet is to try different air pressures once I get out of the hospital and see how that works..
 

Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
FWIW,

Man that just sucks.... We gotta get you a gentler ride.

I'd set the tires to the pressures shown on the driver door placard. No need to go higher... That's the recommended pressure for the rated load.

I'm assuming you are seated either over or behind the rear axle....???? That's not the smoothest ride in any vehicle. Really bad on one with heavy springs and shocks.

Can you move farther forward? Possibly midship between, or nearly so, the two axles. With the Sprinter's flat floor you should be able to get farther forward... Oops! Do you have a second row seat?

That would be my start points.

My RV on a 2500 chassis rode pretty well except for the sofa about 20" from the rear doors. It was kind of bouncy depending on road surfaces. Much smoother between the wheels! Honestly... I don't think changing springs, air bags, shocks will make a whole lot of difference in the ride over or behind the rear axle.
 

Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
Questions answered in another post... OK, so you are midship just behind the front seats and in front of the second row seating. That sounds really good... Where you want to be.

IIRC, Michelin LTX have a stiffer sidewall than other brands. So, check your TPs when you get a chance. Stiff sidewalls and over pressure will give you an oxcart ride.
 
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Mrdi

New member
The vans have a propensity to hop in the rear if there is no weight in the back.
The truck is suspended to carry load.
Put several hundred pounds of (sand/cement/large girls) in the very rear.
My favorite is several large ladies who sing harmony.
This will eliminate much of the hop. :thumbup: Too hip.
 

Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
The Michelin XTLs.... Were they the original equipment tire?
 
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SullyVan

2005 T1N Conversion
Second the idea of weight in the back. My T1n rattled around badly back there until i built the rv into it. Smoothed right out with the extra weight.

If you still get ba bad ride, your chair placement got me thinking....

Put your chair or chair anchor platform on some heavy weights, which are suspended above the floor by air bags or some other shock absorbing devices.
 

Brian12345

New member
The Michelin XTLs.... Were they the original equipment tire?
I doubt it but those tires are a great tire. Smooth, quiet, and tread wear is outstanding. That was a oem tire on my lincoln aviator and bought 3 sets of them because they are so good. No way that tire is causing a bad ride unless they are over inflated by 100 psi..lol
 

NelsonSprinter

Former Nelson BC Sprinter
I would try 50 PSI front and rear for a comfort ride
 

Themajickman

New member
Questions answered in another post... OK, so you are midship just behind the front seats and in front of the second row seating. That sounds really good... Where you want to be.

IIRC, Michelin LTX have a stiffer sidewall than other brands. So, check your TPs when you get a chance. Stiff sidewalls and over pressure will give you an oxcart ride.
sorry it takes this long to post but since I'm in the hospital my computer access is limited.
oxcart ride is exactly how I would put it

The vans have a propensity to hop in the rear if there is no weight in the back.
The truck is suspended to carry load.
Put several hundred pounds of (sand/cement/large girls) in the very rear.
My favorite is several large ladies who sing harmony.
This will eliminate much of the hop. :thumbup: Too hip.
it's not so much that it hops but it's very rough when it hits a bump or something in the road.

The Michelin XTLs.... Were they the original equipment tire?
I'm not sure if they were the original brand tires were not. These are not the original set because it has 58,000 miles on it and these are brand-new

Second the idea of weight in the back. My T1n rattled around badly back there until i built the rv into it. Smoothed right out with the extra weight.

If you still get ba bad ride, your chair placement got me thinking....

Put your chair or chair anchor platform on some heavy weights, which are suspended above the floor by air bags or some other shock absorbing devices.
that sounds a great idea however, it's not recommended to modify or change the mounting system for the wheelchair due to safety reasons.
Na.. Uh... Anything than 60 rear will trigger the TPMS
I was thinking of lowering the air pressure but I didn't realize that below 60 pounds would trigger the TPMs darn because I was thinking of going down to like 55.
I want to thank everybody for their feedback so far. It looks like I'm going to be here in the hospital for a while. As soon as I get back on my feet (in my chair rather) I'll do some experimenting in but everybody know how it comes out.
 
I don't know about all years but with my ' 12 I can set my tire pressures wherever I want then initialize the tpms to that.

Also, with my 2500 empty I find the 300# of sandbags I put over the rear axle for snow traction improves the ride immensely.

Sent from my Galaxy S4
 

Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
No worries Majick! Write when you can..... Ok.... Maybe a couple more questions...

Is it the sharp up and down bumping, jerking that's a problem?

Or, is it the roughness, vibration, un-smoothness in general?

How does your chair sit in the van? Is it on a track/ pad system or does it just roll on the floor and then is tied down?

Does your chair have pneumatic tires like many I've seen?

Could there be an issue in how the chair is being secured? Understand you don't want it coming adrift in an accident or while you are moving but the pneumatic tires on your chair should be able to dampen some (or a lot) of the small vibrations and jerkiness. If the chair is cranked down really tight that would keep the tires compressed where the don't flex enough. OTOH, if it's not tight enough it may allow the tires to be too springy and amplify the jerkiness.

Maybe another thought... How is your driver? Smooth and graceful? Or, candidate for the Daytona 500 and demo derby? The driver doesn't feel as uncomfortable as a rear passenger. Slower speeds and anticipating road surfaces should give a smoother ride. Just sayin! They got to be this smooth.....

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uw2qPLEgKdQ&desktop_uri=/watch?v=uw2qPLEgKdQ
 
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