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Old 12-26-2020, 10:45 AM   #1
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Front Axle Load Restoration question

I have a 2019 Ford Expedition Max (XLT, 4x4). In the Ford towing guide (https://www.ford.ca/cmslibs/content/..._guide_ENG.pdf) on page 37 it provides guidance that the target for dialing in the WDH is 50% in terms of returning weight to the front. Also in my manual it makes reference to assumptions about WDH providing 50% of weight restoration.

What is it that on some vehicles the target for FALR is 50% vs 100% and in some cases it is 25%?

I have been trying to get more than an 50% FALR as I have some available payload on my truck (front axles) and I am trying to find ways to bring along some additional gear. My hitch can provide 53% without running into its own limits (red springs on Andersen hitch) but now I am wondering if I should be trying to shift any more than the Ford recommended 50% of FALR.

What is the safety issue with adhering to the truck’s guidance? Too little weight on the rear results in problems?

Thanks for any help with understanding this!
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Old 12-26-2020, 01:37 PM   #2
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I was able to get the front axle back to 100% on my F250 diesel. Had 1 inch rise without WD, back to zero rise with WD. Rear squat went from 2 inches to 1 inch.
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Old 12-26-2020, 01:44 PM   #3
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The reason for the 50% recommendation is that too much transfer makes the setup more vulnerable to jackknifing. Basically they now want additional weight at the rear to help control the trailer.

Years ago when I got my TV the recommendation was for 100% and I came close to that. Been running a little bit under that for years. Now I have lost track of how much I am actually transferring.
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Old 12-26-2020, 02:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
The reason for the 50% recommendation is that too much transfer makes the setup more vulnerable to jackknifing. Basically they now want additional weight at the rear to help control the trailer.

Years ago when I got my TV the recommendation was for 100% and I came close to that. Been running a little bit under that for years. Now I have lost track of how much I am actually transferring.


Thanks for clarifying the reasoning for the guidance. Very helpful. Does the increased vulnerability to jackknifing relate to oversteer issues? I am trying to understand some of these terms so please feel free to correct my use of these terms.

Have people run into events causing them to dial back the amount of FALR and found it necessary/helpful?

Thx!
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Old 12-26-2020, 03:59 PM   #5
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"Does the increased vulnerability to jackknifing relate to oversteer issues"

Yes. I think that is correct.

But I think the big concern is that during a lane change with hard braking the trailer can just push the truck around. Maybe that is saying the same thing but I just cannot relate to thinking about driving in a circle faster and faster until it wrecks.
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Old 12-26-2020, 04:37 PM   #6
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If I don't adjust 'til the porpoising disappears any trip can be very tiring.
As it turns out, that is 200-250lbs less than the loaded TV alone FA weight.
YMMV

Bob
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Old 12-26-2020, 07:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
If I don't adjust 'til the porpoising disappears any trip can be very tiring.

As it turns out, that is 200-250lbs less than the loaded TV alone FA weight.

YMMV



Bob



Thx for the info.

Do u happen to know what is the total difference in weight (for front axle) between TV alone vs TV+TT (noWDH) in your setup? Curious to know what does 200-250lbs lower than loaded TV means relative to FALR.
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Old 12-26-2020, 09:58 PM   #8
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The 50% guidance applies near or at max towing limits and is to prevent oversteer as you have been discussing.As Bill indicated the trailer can push the rear of the tow vehicle around if the trailer is large and vehicle is small. So any load removed from the rear axle just makes the problem worse. So if you are near max towing limits, follow the guidance. If your trailer is 25% or more under, you will benefit from returning more load to the front. Tow vehicle heft is why the guidance varies.

Andersen hitches are sensitive to slop in the towing system so you will have difficulty obtaining 100% FALR without getting rid of the slop and movement in the ball, and shank and any flex as well. You could slightly exceed the Andersen spring deflection guidance but better would be to shim the shank and receiver and the coupler fork ramp.
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Old 12-26-2020, 10:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeysmith View Post
Thx for the info.

Do u happen to know what is the total difference in weight (for front axle) between TV alone vs TV+TT (noWDH) in your setup? Curious to know what does 200-250lbs lower than loaded TV means relative to FALR.
Seeing is easier...here is a set of tickets from a moderate load trip.

Note the loaded TV alone front axle weight and the final weight with WD set.
With the weight on the TV rear axle @ 4440 I'm not worried about it being 'too light'.

Bob
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Old 12-26-2020, 10:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
The 50% guidance applies near or at max towing limits and is to prevent oversteer as you have been discussing.As Bill indicated the trailer can push the rear of the tow vehicle around if the trailer is large and vehicle is small. So any load removed from the rear axle just makes the problem worse. So if you are near max towing limits, follow the guidance. If your trailer is 25% or more under, you will benefit from returning more load to the front. Tow vehicle heft is why the guidance varies.

Andersen hitches are sensitive to slop in the towing system so you will have difficulty obtaining 100% FALR without getting rid of the slop and movement in the ball, and shank and any flex as well. You could slightly exceed the Andersen spring deflection guidance but better would be to shim the shank and receiver and the coupler fork ramp.


Thanks for the info. When u reference max towing limits, is this referring to a particular limit or in general. Across the various constraints, I am getting close to my Rear Axle Weight Rating (at 4240lbs out of 4380lbs limit). Other #’s have margin so far. My TV is rated for 9000lbs trailer (whereas I am at 5500lbs) with hitch weight limit of 900lbs (whereas I am at 680lbs). When u mentioned that if my trailer was 25% under the limit was that referring to the total trailer weight limit? For my case of a 9000lb limit this would mean if my trailer weight was 6750lbs or less I might be alright to have an FALR of > 50 %?

BTW, I have been following another Andersen related thread and have put a hitch clamp to help reduce some of the slop on the shank/receiver. Still trying to figure out the coupler part...
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Old 12-26-2020, 10:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Seeing is easier...here is a set of tickets from a moderate load trip.



Note the loaded TV alone front axle weight and the final weight with WD set.

With the weight on the TV rear axle @ 4440 I'm not worried about it being 'too light'.



Bob



Thanks for taking the time to post the CAT scale tickets. Very helpful to see the #’s!
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Old 12-27-2020, 06:29 AM   #12
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I was referring to the maximum allowable trailer weight of 9000 lb since your trailer is well under that weight and well below maximum tongue weight, your vehicle is not at high risk for oversteer. You can further reduce that risk by running the rear tires 5-7 psi over the Ford loaded weight tire pressure guidance. Keep the front tires at or 2 psi below the guidance. You can safely go up to 100% FALR to achieve as comfortable and steady ride as possible. The best way to get more load on the vehicle front axle is to bias the cargo weight forward as much as possible. It will give you the best handling and suspension performance and will further reduce sway and oversteer tendencies. Can some of the heavier compact items fit in the passenger area?

You still have the issue that the Andersen hitch is not efficiently transferring load. I presume the springs are compressed to 1 3/4 inches which is the Andersen guidance. You can compress them to 1 1/2 maximum but they will wear out a bit faster. Before you do that, remove the excess play in the hitch components and ensure the frame rail attachments are as far rearward as possible. Consider adding a chain link or two so you can move it further back.
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Old 12-27-2020, 12:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
I was referring to the maximum allowable trailer weight of 9000 lb since your trailer is well under that weight and well below maximum tongue weight, your vehicle is not at high risk for oversteer. You can further reduce that risk by running the rear tires 5-7 psi over the Ford loaded weight tire pressure guidance. Keep the front tires at or 2 psi below the guidance. You can safely go up to 100% FALR to achieve as comfortable and steady ride as possible. The best way to get more load on the vehicle front axle is to bias the cargo weight forward as much as possible. It will give you the best handling and suspension performance and will further reduce sway and oversteer tendencies. Can some of the heavier compact items fit in the passenger area?

You still have the issue that the Andersen hitch is not efficiently transferring load. I presume the springs are compressed to 1 3/4 inches which is the Andersen guidance. You can compress them to 1 1/2 maximum but they will wear out a bit faster. Before you do that, remove the excess play in the hitch components and ensure the frame rail attachments are as far rearward as possible. Consider adding a chain link or two so you can move it further back.


Thanks for the guidance. I did confirm the rail attachments are as far back as the 29” noted in the installation instructions. Going to look at removing play in the coupler next.

I am mainly trying to shift more weight to the front to regain payload to carry more items. The options I am looking at are:
1. Tune the Andersen hitch to give me 100% FALR
2. Buy another hitch
3. Install a front hitch receiver and use a cargo carrier in the front of my TV

Ideally #1 will work out but so far I am just getting 53%.

Any suggestions for another hitch (not pro pride). I have seen references to Husky Centerline and Equalizer. Have seen issues mentioned about Equalizer being rougher on the trailer.

Any gotchas or safety issues with trying #3?
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Old 12-27-2020, 01:14 PM   #14
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With only 680 on the tongue, I estimate maybe 400 lb removed from the front axle at most and you mentioned 53% returned so you're only getting 200 lb max from option 1. if that's enough, I'd shore up the slop as much as possible and just crank the springs a bit tighter. the 1/4 inch compression guidance is more of a guideline. You'll have about 1/8 inch movement while driving so you can really go to 1/2 with no issue.

The Andersen hitch is easy on the trailer and gives really nice sway performance, I'd work a bit more with it before giving up.

I'm not a big fan of stuff out front, combination handling and stability is not an issue. I'll let others chime in on storing stuff out front who do it. I know the bug and grime issue is the big one for me. Can't speak about clearance and object hazards since I have not tried it.
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Old 12-27-2020, 01:38 PM   #15
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Get a weight distribution hitch.

https://www.ajdesigner.com/apptraile...20hitch%20ball
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Old 12-27-2020, 02:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeysmith View Post
Thanks for the guidance. I did confirm the rail attachments are as far back as the 29” noted in the installation instructions. Going to look at removing play in the coupler next.

I am mainly trying to shift more weight to the front to regain payload to carry more items. The options I am looking at are:
1. Tune the Andersen hitch to give me 100% FALR
2. Buy another hitch
3. Install a front hitch receiver and use a cargo carrier in the front of my TV

Ideally #1 will work out but so far I am just getting 53%.

Any suggestions for another hitch (not pro pride). I have seen references to Husky Centerline and Equalizer. Have seen issues mentioned about Equalizer being rougher on the trailer.

Any gotchas or safety issues with trying #3?
I'm not clear on how 'moving' weight forward to the TV steering axle will increase payload. Payload is fixed and can't be increased buy moving weight.

Our numbers...
1200lb tongue weight, unhitched, loaded on Sherline scale.
760lb off the TV front axle with no WD and a loaded for camping rig.
560lb returned to the FA with WD set, 200lb light
AS axles 7480lb with no WD, 7640lb with WD, 160lb moved.
560+160=720lb total weight moved,
TV rear axle +920lb with WD set.
Hensley Arrow with 1000lb round bars.
2006 Suburban 2500 8.1L

Bob
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Old 12-27-2020, 04:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
With only 680 on the tongue, I estimate maybe 400 lb removed from the front axle at most and you mentioned 53% returned so you're only getting 200 lb max from option 1. if that's enough, I'd shore up the slop as much as possible and just crank the springs a bit tighter. the 1/4 inch compression guidance is more of a guideline. You'll have about 1/8 inch movement while driving so you can really go to 1/2 with no issue.

The Andersen hitch is easy on the trailer and gives really nice sway performance, I'd work a bit more with it before giving up.

I'm not a big fan of stuff out front, combination handling and stability is not an issue. I'll let others chime in on storing stuff out front who do it. I know the bug and grime issue is the big one for me. Can't speak about clearance and object hazards since I have not tried it.
Thanks for the feedback on cranking the springs a bit tighter.
When I compared the following:

(TV ONLY)
Steer: 3140 lbs, Drive: 3460 lbs, Total: 6600 lbs
(TV+TT, No WDH)
Steer: 2840, Drive: 4440, Trailer: 4880, Total: 12160 lbs
(TV+TT, WDH 10threads)
Steer: 3000, Drive: 4240, Trailer: 4940, Total: 12180 lbs

When attaching the trailer, I see 300 lbs removed off the front axle.
I am able to return 160lbs (this is where I computed the 53%)...
If I could get another 50-100 lbs, that would be sufficient for what I am
planning to bring.

When I did tighten another thread (11 threads) during my last weighing, I was able to squeeze another 20 lbs (from rear to front) but the spring compressed to 1 11/16" (which is just 1/16th " more than Andersen guidance). I'll be working to tighten things up at the coupler and see how much the hitch clamp helps as well.

Anyways, based on the setup and feedback so far, looks like I'll be tinkering a bit further with the Andersen to see if I can balance things out alright.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-27-2020, 04:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
I'm not clear on how 'moving' weight forward to the TV steering axle will increase payload. Payload is fixed and can't be increased buy moving weight.

Our numbers...
1200lb tongue weight, unhitched, loaded on Sherline scale.
760lb off the TV front axle with no WD and a loaded for camping rig.
560lb returned to the FA with WD set, 200lb light
AS axles 7480lb with no WD, 7640lb with WD, 160lb moved.
560+160=720lb total weight moved,
TV rear axle +920lb with WD set.
Hensley Arrow with 1000lb round bars.
2006 Suburban 2500 8.1L

Bob
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I must have used the wrong terminology in my earlier postings.
I did not mean to say I was trying to increase the payload...

My TV's payload info (i.e. sticker on the TV) indicates 1767 lbs of available payload. I am using up around 1290 lbs of the payload. However, I am within 140 lbs of my Rear Axle Weight Rating and I do not have a way to add more to my Front axle (which has much more margin).

I was trying to figure out a way to dial in my WDH so that it could distribute the weight from the rear and towards the front so that I can add more to the trunk of my TV...

My numbers (using your format):
680lb tongue weight, unhitched (based on CAT scale 3 pass weighing)
300lb off the TV front axle with no WD and a loaded for camping rig.
160lb returned to the FA with WD set, 140lb light
AS axles 4880lb with no WD, 4940lb with WD, 60lb moved.
160+60=220lb total weight moved,
TV rear axle [TV only] +780lb with WD set.
Andersen WDH
2019 Ford Expedition MAX, XLT, 4x4
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Old 12-27-2020, 04:25 PM   #19
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^
Get a proper WD hitch. One that uses vertical leverage rather than horizontal force concentrated around composite bushings.🤔
They seem to be better at sway control than WD.
If you have a poorly designed receiver, or a shorter wheel base TV. It can be even more problematic.

Bob
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Old 12-27-2020, 06:31 PM   #20
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Don't mind Bob he is not a fan of the Andersen hitches. He does have a valid point, the Andersen is a bit finicky, many people want their hitches to be less of a fuss. But every hitch has its quirks. His points about vehicle geometry are correct also so your setup does make the Andersen have to work that much harder. Me? I like the hitch for its performance once you have it set-up well.

Anyway do move the frame mounts back, the 29" is another guideline that is not a rigid rule. When my springs are compressed 1/4 inch I have about 3 threads showing behind the nut. The further back the mounts are the more leverage the hitch has to move weight. Another 2 inches back will give you 7% more leverage for the same tension. As long as you're moving them consider adding another chain link or two. Also look into shifting cargo forward inside the vehicle if possible. Can you put heavy stuff in the rear seat area? That is the best way to get weight on the front axle.
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