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Posted: 10/8/2005 4:18:28 PM EDT
   What is Ford Twin Traction Beam? Why is it so bad. I've looked but I can't figure out why they are so bad? I mean they used it for 16 years.
Link Posted: 10/8/2005 4:32:47 PM EDT
[#1]
It was their way to make cheap IFS, but it was not true IFS.  IT was more like a scissored straight axle.  I think they went with it for so long because it did not require a bunch of engineering and used alot of off the shelf parts to make it work, and would fairly easily mount up to existing ladder frames with little modification.  It may even be that the system would mount up to 2WD frames fairly easily.

It offered the worst of both worlds in reality, poor ride and handling, rotten camber characterisatics, and low durability.
Link Posted: 10/8/2005 5:01:06 PM EDT
[#2]

Quoted:
It was their way to make cheap IFS, but it was not true IFS.  IT was more like a scissored straight axle.  I think they went with it for so long because it did not require a bunch of engineering and used alot of off the shelf parts to make it work, and would fairly easily mount up to existing ladder frames with little modification.  It may even be that the system would mount up to 2WD frames fairly easily.

It offered the worst of both worlds in reality, poor ride and handling, rotten camber characterisatics, and low durability.


Oh.  Low durability? I heard it was very durable on some pages. Oh well. They could be wrong.
Link Posted: 10/8/2005 5:08:09 PM EDT
[#3]

Quoted:
It was their way to make cheap IFS, but it was not true IFS.  IT was more like a scissored straight axle.  I think they went with it for so long because it did not require a bunch of engineering and used alot of off the shelf parts to make it work, and would fairly easily mount up to existing ladder frames with little modification.  It may even be that the system would mount up to 2WD frames fairly easily.

It offered the worst of both worlds in reality, poor ride and handling, rotten camber characterisatics, and low durability.



Shhh... Don't tell my Bronco. It has 175,000+ miles on it, it's on it's fourth set of tires, and all I've ever replaced was one upper ball joint, and the radius rod bushings. It's dead stable on the highway, ride quality is a bit rough, but I expect that from something with such a short wheelbase, that's sprung like a 1/2 ton truck with a towing package. Being a SUV, I've never tried to slalom it yet, so I can't comment on that. I'd buy another one without hesitation.

Bob
Link Posted: 10/8/2005 5:16:09 PM EDT
[#4]
Compared to a good old fashioned solid axle, yes, low durability.  I hate all IFS systems.  I swear the truck companies switched to them so they would have another acronym to sell.  EFI, IFS, ABS, PB, PS, AT blah blah blah.  It is easy to make a  feature in a car sound impressive by giving it a big important sounding name and then shortening it to an acronym.  
Link Posted: 10/8/2005 5:18:09 PM EDT
[#5]

Quoted:

Quoted:
It was their way to make cheap IFS, but it was not true IFS.  IT was more like a scissored straight axle.  I think they went with it for so long because it did not require a bunch of engineering and used alot of off the shelf parts to make it work, and would fairly easily mount up to existing ladder frames with little modification.  It may even be that the system would mount up to 2WD frames fairly easily.

It offered the worst of both worlds in reality, poor ride and handling, rotten camber characterisatics, and low durability.



Shhh... Don't tell my Bronco. It has 175,000+ miles on it, it's on it's fourth set of tires, and all I've ever replaced was one upper ball joint, and the radius rod bushings. It's dead stable on the highway, ride quality is a bit rough, but I expect that from something with such a short wheelbase, that's sprung like a 1/2 ton truck with a towing package. Being a SUV, I've never tried to slalom it yet, so I can't comment on that. I'd buy another one without hesitation.

Bob


Ok. So it not as bad then. Im only asking because I want a Ford bronco, Expedition, or a GMC (2 dr.) Yukon.
Link Posted: 10/9/2005 12:24:58 AM EDT
[#6]

Quoted:
Ok. So it not as bad then. Im only asking because I want a Ford bronco, Expedition, or a GMC (2 dr.) Yukon.



TTb is on the broncos, but I think the Expedition is the same IFS that came out when the newer bodystyle f150's came out, it is a different beast altogether and IIRC is a torsion bar system similar to the GM IFS.

I have a 90 Chevy with IFS, and it is a smoother ride than the older model straight axle chevy's, but the jeep GC prooved to me that a straight axle can be made to be as smooth as an IFS.
Link Posted: 10/9/2005 1:43:02 AM EDT
[#7]
I beg to differ with you yekimak,  the ttb was a step up from straight axle design when it first came out. It offer more wheel travel then straight and a better ride. This was designed for a truck not a highway cruiser as todays pickups are. It offered a very robust set up with fewer parts then the GM wishbones. Was it perfect, hell no, but given the time period of the design it was very good and ford stayed with a design that worked. You did not even need shims for alignment , the beams were heated and bent into spec with a jig.
Link Posted: 10/9/2005 2:20:48 AM EDT
[#8]
Actually it wasn't a terrible design , but it did have
three weak points .

1. The camber changed with wheel travel and was engineered
to be zero at factory ride height . So if you carried a load front
or rear it wore the tires quickly  .  As the trucks aged the springs
sagged and changed the camber also .

2. The pivot bushing and its cross member mount are wear
items that required frequent changing on trucks that were
worked hard .

3. The stress on the steering linkage caused accelerated
wear on the rod ends , In fact someone came up with
an aftermarket system that used a double idler arm setup
that corrected the defect in the factory setup .

The easiest way to see if your TTB is worn , is to back up
30 feet in a straight line . If the tires toe out its bad .
It's usually quite noticeable , so you don’t even have to measure it .
Link Posted: 10/9/2005 2:27:34 AM EDT
[#9]

Quoted:
I beg to differ with you yekimak,  the ttb was a step up from straight axle design when it first came out. It offer more wheel travel then straight and a better ride. This was designed for a truck not a highway cruiser as todays pickups are. It offered a very robust set up with fewer parts then the GM wishbones. Was it perfect, hell no, but given the time period of the design it was very good and ford stayed with a design that worked. You did not even need shims for alignment , the beams were heated and bent into spec with a jig.



That was twin I Beam , not twin traction beam .
TTB was the 4WD system with a modified solid axle
design that made it pivot off center  to keep the
front driveshaft plane vertical .
Link Posted: 10/9/2005 4:59:57 AM EDT
[#10]
Yes, the TTB suspension is worthless    .  On my 95 Ranger 4x4, I've had to replace 1 ball joint, 1 radius arm bushing, wheel bearings, and new shocks, after I put 2" leveling springs in it.  My truck has ONLY 159,000mi.  A good part of that has been on pothole and washboard filled gravel roads, and it has seen it's fair share of mud, snow, and making ruts by dragging the differentials on the ground.  It now has 31x10.5" BFG Muds on it, and will go anywhere I want it to.

Seriously, I've had few complaints about the front end, other than the entire suspension is pretty rough.  The one thing that is absolute shit IMO on this style of vehicle is the automatic Ford 4x4 hubs.  I had brand new ones installed right before I bought my truck, because the hubs were shot and wouldn't lock into 4wd.  They lasted about a year if I'm thinking right.  Bought and installed a set of Warn hubs, and have had no problems with them at all.  If you do get a bronco/explorer w/ auto hubs and you plan on using 4x4 more than a couple times a year, or plan on going off road AT ALL, I'd suggest getting a set of Warn hubs before the auto ones fail on you and leave you stuck somewhere you'd rather not be.
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