The quigley's look great, I believe they do an excellent job in the converstion process and from those owners I have talked to they love them. I'm just not happy with the late model vans that GM and Ford have been rolling out. Not to mention $11,000 on top of base van + Diesel + 4x4 = BROKE.
I have been driving a 4x4 van since 1976 so you might say I've a bit of experience with them. Mine are used as dirt bike and quad haulers and as campers. Much better, to me, than a pickup/camper combination and then having to haul a trailer for the bike or quad. Or pulling a camp trailer and hauling the bike/quad in the bed of the truck. You are absolutely right - when the front end of these things sink in soft ground (especially with that heavy diesel engine) a rear locker will be of minimal help. You need those front tires working to pull it free.
There's a guy on here with the handle of Ujoint who I believe offers some kind of kit to convert vans to 4x4. Do a search and look at some of the photos of his van. His conversions are leaf spring instead of coil as most all of the conversion outfits except for Sportmobile use now, and I believe that leaf springs are the better way to go. If you want to know why, do a search for "death wobble" on this site or the Sportmobile forums site. www.ujointoffroad.com
I have a 2007 Quigley with the coil front end and I surely wish it had the leaf springs up front!
Last edited by deserteagle56; 06-15-2010 at 10:59 PM.
Sure, you can get a higher payload with leaf springs, but that's generally not the case up front. When using a good quality spring & shock, leafs can ride just as good as coils. Sure, there are certain situations that a coil acts better, but there's no perfect setup. The leaf setup is the best scenario for simplicity, cost, durability, and easier to modify in the future.
By using a long spring (52") that is custom built to each individual van, the ride quality can be dialed in pretty well.
And another thought..... ride quality is always subjective!!!
We have two Quigley 4x4 vans, and use them mostly for surf fishing. Being able to store the long fishing rods inside the van without taking them apart is a real bonus.
The 1995 Chevy G20 has the 5.7 L gas engine and 3.73 gears. It pulls real well in the sand - for soft sand like in Hatteras we have to air the tires down to about 20 psi.
Since we pull a 7000 lb. travel trailer, we recently pick up a 2005 Ford E-350 with the 6.0 L diesel and 4.10 gears. A couple of weeks ago was the first time we had it on the beach in Hatteras. While not as nimble as the gasser, the Ford did just fine - never got stuck, never even had to put it in low range. Again, the tires were down to 20 psi.
The plan is to keep the Chevy for everyday use - it is already showing rust - and only use the Ford when we are traveling with the trailer .....
Same beautiful wife, same dogs, different vans!
Towing: 2005 Ford/Quigley 4x4 E-350 Super Duty, 6.0L Power Stroke
Fishing: 1995 Chevy/Quigley 4x4 G20, 5.7L gas
What is better about leafs? Do you get a higher GAWR on the front or what?
I would assume it rides a lot rougher?
As Ujoint stated, what's better is the simplicity and durability. My first 4x4 van, leaf-sprung front end, I drove for 32 years, pounded it over mainly dirt roads all that time, and one set of ball joints is all I ever had to replace. Never any problems of any sort.
The reason I asked the original poster to research death wobble is that it almost never happens to leaf-sprung front ends and seems to be a common problem with coil sprung. Coil sprung front ends depend on multiple linkages all using some type of cushioning bushing, all of which age and wear and loosen and eventually need replacing. Those loose bushings are the primary cause of death wobble. Not long after Ford pickups went to coil front ends back in 2005 Ford had to issue a TSB on how to minimize wobble. My Quigley has only 24,000 miles on it. It too spends most of its time on dirt roads and though I have yet to experience death wobble - I can feel it is only a matter of time. It feels as though it is on the verge of shimmying all the time now, especially if I air down. (Tire size is LT285/70R17 on my rig - don't know if stock size tires and wheels will help the wobble problem)
As far as ride - I can't say that my Quigley rides any better than my old van did with the leaf springs. Matter of fact, the ride might be even a bit more harsh because I am afraid to air down.