Econoline E350 1 Ton V8-5.4L Prop SOHC VIN Z (1998)
Strut / Shock Tower: Customer Interest
Suspension - Spring Tower Flange Cracking
SPRING TOWER WELD REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT PROCEDURE
1997-2006 E-350, E-450
This article supersedes TSB 05-1-1 to update the vehicle model years and service procedure.
Some higher-mileage E-350 and E-450 cutaway vans may exhibit cracks in the left or right spring tower flange.
Certain front spring tower cracks can be repaired effectively by welding a reinforcement plate at the crack following the Service Procedure in this TSB.
If the crack does not meet the criteria for this reinforcement plate repair, the spring tower should be replaced.
SPRING TOWER CRACK REPAIR PROCEDURE
SPRING TOWER CRACK REPAIR USING THE REINFORCEMENT PLATE WELD PROCEDURE SHOULD ONLY BE PERFORMED IF
THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS ARE MET.
The crack must exist in a location that is accessible and allows proper repair. Use the reinforcement plate procedure to repair areas where a welded
reinforcement plate can be installed while maintaining adequate clearance to the spring and other components
The crack must have no branches. Flange edges shall be separated or misaligned by no more than 1/8" (3 mm)
LH front spring tower cracks must be no longer than 1.5" (38 mm)
RH front spring tower cracks must be no longer than 1.25" (32 mm)
If any of the above conditions are not met, see the Spring Tower Replacement procedure at the end of this bulletin.
MIG welding equipment is required and should be capable of 150 amps or greater using ER70-6 welding wire
A straight or right angle die grinder is effective for repair preparation
REINFORCEMENT PLATE REPAIR MATERIAL SPECIFICATION
Reinforcement plates used in this repair procedure can be made from low carbon steel of the correct grade and thickness, similar to the front spring
tower. They should be roughly rectangular shape. Other shapes may be cut and used for improved fit to the affected area of the flange, or to provide
improved reinforcement. Repairs to non-flat areas of the spring tower flange require reinforcement plates to be formed to fit the contour of the spring
tower. In some cases, the service spring tower part may be suitable as a source for the reinforcement plate
The spring tower is made of low carbon steel (SAE J403, grade 1008-1010). Spring tower material thickness is approximately 0.19" (4.8 mm)
Reinforcement plate material thickness should be in the range of 0.18"- 0.23" (4.6-5.8 mm) Approximate reinforcement plate size should be 4" +/-
3/8" long, by 5/8" +/- 1/8" wide (102 +/- 10 mm long, by 16 mm +/- 3 mm wide)
Reinforcement plates should be uncoated, free of rust or oil, and have smooth edges and surfaces
A REINFORCEMENT PLATE IS REQUIRED TO REPAIR EACH CRACK.
Disconnect the battery. Use precautions to protect vehicle and customer installed equipment from damage during welding.
Support the vehicle on a frame hoist.