Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

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gabequest
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Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by gabequest » Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:20 am

Hi everyone!
Its been a long time! And a longer time when considering IFS lifts since that one fateful day that I decided to go SAS with TROUBLE. Well now that he is sold, I'm looking for another Astro, but this time I aim to keep it quite mellow. I need more of a road trip rig vs. bad ass offroader (no van I own will ever compare!) And while I haven't found the van yet, I'd like to get the parts lined up.
This van will hopefully be a poptop. Headroom was always an issue in Trouble. It will also be camperized with bed, fridge, sink and solar.
I'm thinking 29-30" tire on a 17" rim (I like the look), with 3-4" lift.
I see some postings about using S10 springs to avoid OV shackles, along with 2" body spacers and some torsion bar torquing. Is the ride harsh with bars torqued like this?
Airbags for sway?
I also see re-gearing to 4:10 is a current trend.
I'm not trying to be lazy here, but could use a nice "this is how we are doing it now" since I've been out of the loop for so long.
thanks! and yes, I need to change my signature...
2004 Astro AWD
4inch Overland lift, 265/70/16, Poptop Colorado CamperVan, 11inch Roof Fan, Custom Bumper...more to come on the interior

Slicky
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Re: Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by Slicky » Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:52 am

Hey there , I went the build your own route . Sourced out the lift pucks from a local 4wheel supply and new body bolts from fastenal . I had a local shop fab up some s10 leafs and and set to installing the pieces . The leafs ended up being a bit soft and I only got around 2 inches of lift in the rear so I never adjusted the torsion bars . I drove it this way for the last year.It road nice and soft if not a bit too soft . I wanted to put a bit more preload on the torsion bars so I recently rebuilt my leaf pack by adding another leaf from an old pack I had lying around . That netted me another inch in the rear and I was able to crank the torsion bars a couple turns . The van rides great now and I am running the 235/75/15 at3s

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Re: Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by Herbie » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:43 pm

My experience with the S10 springs ( UCF America 22-687-ME from SDTruckSprings.com, rated at either 1350lbs or 1450lbs, depending on version), is that you'll get 3-4" of lift in the rear when new, but they'll settle down to about 3" after a bit.

I initially installed the OLV kit with those springs and the shackle together, and the rear was WAY high. Swapped back to the OEM shackle for a year or two. Over that time, things settled, and now I'm back to usingthe OLV shackle on the setting that provides only about 1" additional lift over stock, just to make it level with where the front is.

My 245/70-16 (29.7") Geolandars fit fine with or without the extra inch in the rear, however the front was a different story. I'm running the 2" pucks and stock torsion keys just about maxed out. Between that and some pretty significant trimming and whacking, things are pretty good (although I still have a slight rub on full-lock-left that probably needs some attention).

So, I couldn't really go any lower in the front. I could go lower in the rear (S10 springs only), but it would be tail-down slightly at that point. Hopefully that helps sets your expectations about what parts

Lastly, since you're asking about the current "state of the art" for lifts, the other thing that's come up lately is the geometry of the rear shocks vs. the bumpstops. Like many people, I installed the OLV shock relocation tabs to move the lower shock mounts up about 4". But after some reflection, and talking to other people, I think this is a mistake, because you create a situation where you can bottom out the shock. Raising the rear 4" moves the bumpstop 4" farther away from the contact point. Relocating the shock tabs restores the stroke length of the OEM shock, but now there's no protection. If I were to do it again, I'd probably skip the shock tabs and get a longer travel shock after checking the geometry. As it is, I'm considering building a perch to raise the bump stop back up a bit...
"My minivan is cooler than your bro-truck"
2003 Astro AWD Astrolander/ZMB - GTRV Top Transplant, 4" OLV Lift, NP233 T-case, evolving interior
1995 Safari GTRV Organ donor - gutted and gone.
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Re: Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by T.Low » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:15 am

If you haven't bought a van yet, maybe take a look at this one .

http://denver.craigslist.org/cto/4952807434.html

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My tires are 245/75 16.

W/ reindexed keys and the body lift, minimal rubbing on the front fender cladding, A little trimming took care of that.

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This only time they have in the rear, and this was under extreme duress, I got stuck at the top of this hill

http://youtu.be/4gHNWUSQPUU
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Re: Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by gabequest » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:11 am

Thanks for the posts fellas. Worthy Astro Vaners!

T Low!!! My Man! You just made my life amigo! Thanks to you I'm flying to Denver to buy Levi's van!!! I spent months drooling over it online via its appearance on RelayRides, but didn't know it was for sale. I actually have 10 craigslist cities emailing me every time a new astro 2003-2005 comes up, but for some reason Levi's snuck by; maybe because it was listed AWD Astro Camper and my search said AWD Astro.

Regardless, its exactly what I was looking for and totally stoked to saddle into a van that I dont have to customize. Aside from suspension upgrade and fridge/sink/solar/bed set up, he's done all the work!

So T low... next time I'm heading up to BC to climb... I owe you a beer man!!

I'll post when I've got the van.
2004 Astro AWD
4inch Overland lift, 265/70/16, Poptop Colorado CamperVan, 11inch Roof Fan, Custom Bumper...more to come on the interior

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Re: Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by T.Low » Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:36 am

Sweeeet! Now you'll have owned two of the coolest Astros ever. :cheers:
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gabequest
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Re: Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by gabequest » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:39 pm

I know... I'm giddy! \:D/ :muhaha: :muhaha: :muhaha: :muhaha: :muhaha:
Its actually embarassing. :-$
2004 Astro AWD
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Re: Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by AstroWill » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:46 pm

That is a beautiful Astro pop top. In my opinion that is about as perfect as you could go with an Astro. Congrats on the new purchase! I was hoping that there was a write up on it somewhere.

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Re: Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by doyoulikeithere » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:06 pm

Gabequest, I'm jealous buddy !!
Stop by if on the island some day...
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1990 Astro - AWD
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd.

gabequest
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Re: Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by gabequest » Wed May 13, 2015 4:55 am

Alright fellas... I did it!
Flew one way to Denver and bought the pop top about a month ago. Already had to replace passenger front hub assembly, which was a PITA!!! and employed some red neck science to get it off. I'll have to post that some time when I get.. some time!

For some reason the "board attachment quota has been reached" so no pics as of now. If anyone knows how to remedy this, please share.

T LOW!!! I owe you big time bro! Thanks so much for pointing the van out to me!
She's a real beauty!! Named her Granite, because she matches the granite rock that surrounds me here in Truckee.
2004 Astro AWD
4inch Overland lift, 265/70/16, Poptop Colorado CamperVan, 11inch Roof Fan, Custom Bumper...more to come on the interior

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Re: Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by AstroWill » Wed May 13, 2015 6:23 pm

Congrats! Time to update your signature.

gabequest
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Re: Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by gabequest » Wed May 13, 2015 6:52 pm

Thanks Will; just updated the signature and its feeling a bit short compared to my other one! But thats the point this time around I guess. Less modifications [-X
2004 Astro AWD
4inch Overland lift, 265/70/16, Poptop Colorado CamperVan, 11inch Roof Fan, Custom Bumper...more to come on the interior

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Re: Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by doyoulikeithere » Sat May 16, 2015 6:45 am

by next year Gabe, youll be plannin your next mod to get more lift or better ride or somethin. lol.. Have a good ride bud.
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 - Red.
1990 Astro - AWD
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd.

gabequest
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Re: Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by gabequest » Sat May 16, 2015 7:03 am

Actually.... I just contacted a local offroad fabricator about potentially churning out some 1 ton equivalent idler arms for our vans. He's looked at this website and is deciding if it makes sense. I think if we could guarantee selling 15-20 sets, he'd do it. I think we could do that no problem.

But thats funny you read my mind! I actually think we'd do much better if all the steering components were re-engineered to 1 ton!
And my take on the gear boxes: After working with AGR on Trouble's gear box for two rebuilds, I really think they could be a nice option for more of us even on the IFS vans. They are much more durable with larger piston and whatever else they do, but the main benefit other than durability was changing to a 4 turn Lock-to-Lock; which took care of the twitchy feeling at higher speeds due to these vans' geometry. If (and when I'm sure) I wear my box out, I'll probably go that route again. About $750.

Although this time.. I'm really trying to keep the van "road" tripable. But I can't help it.. they've got some weak links for sure and I HATE the feeling of a loose van! I just installed new torsion bars but do feel a heavy duty version would be better for body roll. The 500# coil overs on Trouble really helped roll. I didn't run a sway bar and it was pretty sweet. Yes.. stiff, but not as bad as one might think.

I'm thinking that as I roll now.. I need new subframe mounts, idler arms (thinking about just going mood with the whole semi-rusty steering setup) and need to level out the rear sway bar. The links are too short... kinda like it was installed before Levi lifted it and they never got lengthened. There is a new sway bar in it, but the subrame mounts are rubber and actually look kinda compressed up a bit. I think the links (metal sleeves that is; not bolt) could be a bit longer or something to set it more level on the mounts. I have a set of urethane to go in once I figure out if I'm going stock idlers.

I also may go the chasis stiffener route. The poptop adds weight up high and I can feel that. Again... HATE sloppy handling!! I wonder if air bags would help out that rather skinny rear sway bar.

The motor is sagging.. so yes.. mounts are in order as well as a relatively slow oil pan gasket leak and oil cooler lines leak.

Its climbing and mountain bike season and I still need to figure out how to camperize the interior (built around an ARB 47qt fridge), so I'm temped to pay a local shop and save time. I would feel kinda guilty about that and its not really in my (over) budget!!!

So long story short... While I'd like to have a custom fabricated complete 1 ton IFS setup... I'm likely to just go with the status quo. TLow and others seem to push these rigs fairly hard without too much complaint of sloppy van syndrome... and... I'm keeping it AWD so hopefully I can be content with a rig that gets me there.. without being BAD ASS offroadable.

For now that is :muhaha: :muhaha: :muhaha: :muhaha: :muhaha: :muhaha:
2004 Astro AWD
4inch Overland lift, 265/70/16, Poptop Colorado CamperVan, 11inch Roof Fan, Custom Bumper...more to come on the interior

Slicky
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Re: Current consesus on 4" lift with 30" tires?

Post by Slicky » Sat May 16, 2015 2:13 pm

My last ride before the Astro Van was an Xterra which has similarities to our vans in regards to suspension . Part of the lift the Nissan cumminity recommends included upgraded hd torsion bars . That addition made the truck ride so rough compared to stock . In the pursuit of better handling I think you are better off with good quality shocks ,and making sure the rest of the steering and suspension components are tight and in good shape . Tire design and pressure can greatly greatly effect handling as well .


I never thought of swaping out the steering box out for one with a different ratio . That is a mod that interest me and I agree it would take the twitchy feeling away at highway speed .

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