New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

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RINNY
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New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by RINNY » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:36 pm

OK so I just purchased a 2003 with 110,000 on it . Solid vehicle. I want to lift it enough to run Hummer h3's with 31 or more preferably 33" tires. So far i think I want to put bronco rear springs and the nylon body spacers. Not sure what I need for shakles and if I want to put blocks under the springs. do I need to move the ball joints and should I consider spindles from a 1500. I am capable to an extent but not a fabricator. Any input would be greatle appreciated, Cant wait to get started. Picking it up this Saturday. Little overwhelemed about all the different information out there. Would like to keep it simple and solid. Thanks [-o<

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Re: New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by akforceten » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:35 am

Well I to am lifting my van to fit 31's underneath an i'm keeping it simple an doing it on a budget
viewtopic.php?f=48&t=9942

here is my build thread hope this helps
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1995 GMC Safari 4x4 lifted 5"

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Re: New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by RINNY » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:38 am

Thanks for the post. Are shakles available that you do not have to modify? and are the s10 blazer springs the heavier load rating ones out of the s10 choices?

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Re: New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by akforceten » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:21 pm

Well I bought my shackles from auto zone I had to make some spacers to fit in the astros spring pocket. I used several different leaf packs an built my own leaf pack
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Re: New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by Herbie » Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:36 pm

Do a little poking around, all the answers you seek are here. Yes, there are off-the-shelf shackles available. Both OE S10 springs and a HD S-10 spring pack are available. Standard rate is included in the "normal" overland vans kit, but I think they'll order the HD ones if you really need them. I'm running the "regular" version and it's plenty of lift in the rear, even with my medium-heavy load. I'm still on the lowest setting on the shackle. For the first year post-lift I had to use the OEM shackle because there was almost too much lift just from the spring pack.

As you've read in the other thread, 2" body pucks + torsion bars on the front is about the max lift before you get into fabrication land. 3" pucks have a number of problems, not the least of which being the length of some of the steering lines, etc. (you'll be stretching things there).

I'm running just under a 30" tire, and a lot of guys are running 31"s, and we're all doing fine off road. I've had to do some trimming, and probably need to do a bit more. I'm currently on stock torsion keys, maxed out. If I was running 31's I'd have to trim a bit more and probably swap to re-indexed keys (have them in the box), but don't want those extreme CV angles if I can avoid it.

Like TLow, I'm running a bolt-in 2-Speed NP233 on my van, and it makes a huge difference, just to be able to run a bit slower and pick your line, much more than the lift.
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Re: New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by RINNY » Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:57 pm

So I am starting to get it. 2" spacers, move the ball joints, new torsion bars and the s10 springs with the s10 hangers will give me 4" of lift and I proberly could run 31's with enough wheel well modification? I am using the van to traverse moderatly washed out gravel roads at a slow speed and some beach travel to get to my surf fishing spots. Just dont want to get stuick, not really 4 wheeling. You guys are great here and I am feeling better with every post. Perhaps the transfere case next year if it all goes well. Am I on the rite track now?

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Re: New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by Herbie » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:48 pm

Getting close. Depending on how worn your torsion bars are, you might be able to get up to ~4" of lift with just 2" body pucks and cranking the adjusters on your stock keys. If the torsion bars are worn, you might need new reindexed KEYS to get the extra 2". Replacing the torsion bars themselves is only needed if they are VERY worn.

In the rear, you'll pick up 3+ inches from the S-10 leaf pack. (It's hard to say how much due to differences load, etc. seem to make). If you need the extra inch or two, then you'll add the lift shackles. To get 31" tires, you'll need to do serious cutting.

However, if all you're running is gravel roads and the occasion beach, 30" tires or less could be fine...
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1995 Safari GTRV Organ donor - gutted and gone.
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Re: New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by RINNY » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:50 am

I have been looking around and I think I am going with the Journey 7" lift kit. I might substitute the 3" blocks for 2" and forget about the s10 springs. What do you think?

This was my last 4x4 van

2006
Ford E350
Extended
6.0L
Quigley 4x4

http://s248.photobucket.com/user/BobCel_photos/library/?

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Re: New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by mdmead » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:08 pm

RINNY wrote:I have been looking around and I think I am going with the Journey 7" lift kit. I might substitute the 3" blocks for 2" and forget about the s10 springs. What do you think?

This was my last 4x4 van

2006
Ford E350
Extended
6.0L
Quigley 4x4

http://s248.photobucket.com/user/BobCel_photos/library/?
Cool van!
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Selah, WA
-96 GMC Safari AWD Hi-Top Conversion -->Stalled 5.3L swap & 5" lift
-74 Ford Bronco -->Far from perfect but mine!
-99 V-10 Ford Super Duty Super Cab 4x4 -->Stock with 285 Cooper ATs
-00 Ford Focus Wagon -->The Red Turd
-95 Ford 24' Class C Motorhome -->My big block sleeper
-07 Can-Am Outlander XT -->My yellow 4x4 quad for work & play
-04 Ski Doo REV Summit -->Still several chassis behind!


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Re: New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by doyoulikeithere » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:41 am

My favorite motto is:
It aint the fashion, its the function that really counts.

Personally, I think using shackles instead of higher arc springs is a mistake.
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2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 - Red.
1990 Astro - AWD
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd.

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Re: New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by RINNY » Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:50 pm

OK this is where I am at:

S10 HD spring stacks with shims to realign the pinion if nesc with new stock hangers and shackles if nesc

2" aluminum ( or stainless) body spacers with the smaller diameter bolts because the larger diameter ones will shear instead of bend (straight from Mike at Journey lift kits) and new bushings as nesc.

Move (probably new) ball joints to the bottom of the a frame, and perhaps replace the lowers at the same time.

Reindexed keys

Bumper relocation kit from Ovl if I can get it.

H3 wheels and BF Goodrich AT ko2 around 31"

Opinions Very welcome
Last edited by RINNY on Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by Astrophysics » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:31 pm

Does Journey 2" alum spacer actually use a upper and lower separate bolt? I have Overland 2" spacers installed now. I may switch them to alum if the long bolt concern is valid.
Who has a photo of alum spacers?
Thanks
AP

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Re: New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by RINNY » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:17 pm

The aluminium spacers are fabricated. Going to buy the stock cut to 2" from metal supermarket and have my machinist drill them out. One thru bolt. I was told from Mike at Journey that the larger diameter bolts have a tendancy to shear rather than bend.

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Re: New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by Slicky » Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:05 am

Honestly the plastic body spacers are fine and I bought mine for half what aluminum stock would have cost me . Are you talking about using a smaller diameter body bolt than what came stock?

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Re: New 2003 AWD asto owner wants to lift

Post by Astrophysics » Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:20 am

In addition to subframe spacers for the 2" lift, i would like to add a backup bracket to secure the body to the subframe using some uni strut steel fittings. Another thought is to get some sway bar end links with bolts and bushings. The idea is to connect the uni body to the sub frame. I fabricated a 70" long 2"x2" steel box tube frame extension that connects the leaf spring hanger bracket and also bolts to sub frame. I may attach links from 2x2 box to the uni body.

AP

See photos under post for sub frame extension.

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