Leaning 404 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 07:35 PM
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Leaning 404

My 404 is leaning to the right rear. I just changed the springs and shocks but it is still leaning. It's a good 2" difference between the left and right side. What else could it be?
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 07:46 PM
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Bent Bed frame? Broken or bent bed mount?

Measure Frame from ground and compare sides to see if it is bed alone or chassis too.

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#3 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 07:49 PM
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Leaning 404

That sounds expensive. I looked briefly and didn't notice anything. Ill look more in depth tomorrow.
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#4 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 08:25 PM
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When you say you changed the springs....did you put new ones on both sides of the rear,
Or swap the existing ones from side to side ?
The shocks should make no difference.

The frame COULD be bent, but a tape, a 3'or 4' straight edge and some time down under
There on your back should reveal something that would produce a 2" difference, if it is the
Frame. Look for a buckled surface on the vertical chord of the frame channel. Look for
Ripples or waves in the horizontal parts of the " c" that don't belong there. For it to bend,
Something has to give.
Look for linear cracks in the paint , or maybe circular cracks in the paint, where the paint did not Flex as much as the frame did...sometimes your fingers can feel a bulge or an imperfection
That your eyes miss.

If you replaced both rear springs, I'd suggest swapping them from right to left. If you
Still lean, then you an eliminate the springs. A simpler way is to park the thing on level
Ground and get an accurate measurement of the installed spring length. You can make
A cheap caliper out of a couple of small framing squares or similar ( plywood strips..)slide them tight and quick Clamp them- as long as you can accurately establish the overall
Length of the spring ....double check the spring length, then measure the other side. With two inches Of lean, you may be able to visually see a difference in the space between the coils themselves. I assume the springs matched when they were out of the truck, if stood up
Side by side, but if the rates are off, it won't show up until they are in and carrying a load.

Also - look at the spring mounts themselves - are they both the same, or has something in the
Seat shifted ? Is there a spacer on one side that is rusted in, and looks like part of the truck ?
It has happened.

If the springs match, and the frame doesn't show any signs of being bent, and you can't
Find any measurements that are off....
The next place to check is the bed to frame mounts. Are the three point pivots all good?
Bushes ok, not worn out or missing ? Is the platform frame itself bent ? Your springs and frame might be fine, but if the deck is bent, or the mounts are worn out, you might get droop.

Tires/ wheels - are they the same diameter ? Air pressure ? Wheels identical ? Tires identical?

Axle straight ?

The last thing I can think of is any cargo load in the bed/ on the deck. A spare tire on one
Corner can definitely make for a low corner.

Last edited by TRUKTOR; 02-16-2013 at 08:32 PM.
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#5 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 09:24 PM
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Leaning 404

Ill measure the frame when I get home. All 4 springs are from EI. So they should be good springs. If its a mount are they hard to change? Can you still get them?
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#6 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 09:52 PM
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Leaning 404

The whole truck is leaning to the right. The left side tire pressure is 5 pounds less than the right. When it's daylight out ill look at the frame.
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#7 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 11:22 PM
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I agree- I would not worry about the springs.

Here is what I would do first - measure the distance between the top of axle tube and the bottom Of the frame rail , and compare those measurements, left to right.
If the LR axle-to-frame measurement is the same as the RR measurement , then it
Is probably safe to assume that the springs and their mounts are OK. Same with the front.
Just left to right, not front to back. If the top of the axle to the top of the frame are also equal,
Or to the top of the shock tower,Say, then that is better yet- then your problem would seem to be from the frame up, or in The bed / body mounts.
Then go a little higher, axle tub to bottom of bed, or front axle tube to bottom of cab
Sheet metal, left to right.
Eventually, you'll come across the two inch anomaly . Then you can narrow down what
Is causing it.

If you do not get axle tubes that are parallel to an imaginary ( or actual- a stick clamped there) line across the Bottom ,or top, of your frame rails, then start looking at the frame , spring mounts, springs.

For instance, say that both of your right side axles are 2" closer to the frame rail than the
Axle tube are on the left side. If you swap the springs left to right, and you
Get the same results, the problem is above the springs, or both axles are big
Bananas.

A severely bent frame will often show up in uneven tire wear. Also,
The truck might "crab".It may seem like it drives straight from the driver's seat,
But to a friend driving behind you, you truck might look like it is going down the
Road skewed a little sideways.

I assume that you put new springs in all around to eliminate the lean. A possible scenario: If the truck was traveling along, and drifted off the road, for instance, and both right side tires took a huge Hit, on a square edged concrete culvert, it would be possible that the springs bottomed Out, and the top spring mounts were bent out of level. That would effectively lengthen The spring (since the mount is bent up), which would induce the same amount of droop Front to rear, 2" in this case.

This is all a big maybe, but that sort of event, where the travel is all used up, and a lot of
Force is transferred to the now-solid suspension, is when things can bend. I have no idea,
Of course, but that is something that could have happened in a previous life. I don't think
Twisting it up rock crawling would get the front and rear tweaked the same amount, but
The 404 guys on here would know about that.
Good luck.

Last edited by TRUKTOR; 02-16-2013 at 11:28 PM.
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#8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 04:17 AM
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How is it with the driver sitting in it? My old doka would sway massively with just one person moving around in the cab. I don't mean jumping either. Probably 2-3 inches in total.
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#9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 07:34 AM
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Leaning 404

Form the bump stop to the top of the axle is roughly an 1.5" difference between the left and right side. Thank you all for the replies. I am going to do some more measuring. Ill sit in it and see how it measures out.


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#10 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 09:20 AM
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Leaning 404

Could it be to compensate for the driver and spare tire being on that side? My spare is now in the bed. So that weight is no longer there.


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