THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by timelessbeing » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:46 am

97CargoCrawler wrote:Just another BOOOOOOORING lifted white van.
Your van is far from boring, Cargo. It's looking pretty badass.

Mine isn't much yet, but I have plans. If only I had more time and money ...

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by 97CargoCrawler » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:49 am

I wonder if you will need to chop up the rearmost plastic fender piece like I had to. With 4" and 30" tires I think you might need to. I can post some pix of how I massacred that trim piece and chopped up and reused the metal bracket that holds it on. It worked quite well.

Here's a not so great photo of the bracket and cutting I'm talking about. Hopefully you won't need to cut anything, but if you do I can post more pix of what I did.

Image

EDIT: Oh yeah, the shot above is from inside the drivers side wheel well, with the body seam cut back several inches. Like this (passenger side):

Image

Hopefully you won't have to do this.

Thanks for the props. I wish I had the AWD passenger van. So much so I might be getting one!
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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by timelessbeing » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:17 am

And some older pics and videos...

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And just for fun ...
http://video.google.com/googleplayer.sw ... 8024236623

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:49 am

That's better! Once you get the lift all buttoned up, go video yourself going down the same small hill as in the last video you posted. That little rock your buddy moved won't even be an issue. Thanks for posting pics.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

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Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by timelessbeing » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:17 pm

I went to get my new 30x9.5" BF Goodrich All-Terrian T/A KO tires from Costco yesterday, and the guy at the counter asked me what kind of vehicle I drive. So when I told him it was an Astro, he goes HOLD IT we can't put these on for you. I said, yes you can because I lifted the body up. He said no we can't because company policy is that they can only mount tires that are within 3% of stock size for liability reasons. BUT, he said, if you bring in loose rims then they put down "loose" on the paperwork and they are exempt for liability. Fine, I said, that's what I'll do. And I did. When they were done balancing, the shop hand informed me one of my rims was bent and wobbling like crazy. That must be from the time I slid into a curb last winter. Great! (So if anyone has an extra steely in Vancouver please let me know! Actually, make that two because I need another as a spare). Anyways, so I took them home and put them on the van. (They are much heavier than the original!)

I cranked the stock torsion keys the rest of the way, and I decided to leave the rear springs at max height for now. The back looks great. Lots of room in the wheel well there. Front ... not so good. The passenger side apppears to sag a bit more, which means I'll have to lower the driver side as well to level it out, and it was already pretty tight to begin with. I already noticed the front passenger tire hitting the plastic curtain on an inclined turn, which means I'm going to have problems in more extreme situations.

Nonetheless, I dropped off the vehicle the alignment shop today so I can start driving already. The guy there had no problem at all with the vehicle being raised. I told him about the knockouts on the control arms. At first he was surprised, because he thought it used shims, but after a quick glance at the arms he agreed with me. That's gonna cost $60 extra per side, he said. )>) Damn it! Burned again. I *&$%* wish I knew about those when I had the control arm off. But I said, fine just do it, because by now I've had it with this job and I'd rather just part with a bit more money than start mucking about again. (it gets dark very early here).

So tomorrow I'll pick it up from the alignment shop (I'll take some more pictures for you guys so you can see the result) and then I'll be faced with a dilemma for dealing with front wheel well clearance.
A) Put Dan's torsion keys in (really not excited about doing that job. Had enough struggle with rust already), get everything aligned AGAIN, and have to deal with joints, axles and steering components wear out on a regular basis.
B) Attempt to modify wheel wells.

Good times. And that's just the critical stuff. Then there's the exhaust (Cargo, do you have pics of the hanger you made). Also, somewhere during this lift install my alarm/remote entry stopped working! Power lock buttons on the doors work but the alarm system seems to be complete unresponsive, and won't recongnise my fob even when I try to reprogram it. The blinky red light is just off.

Updates tomorrow ...

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:32 pm

Sounds like it went perfect...well except for the tire place...dummies.

You will have to do some trimming and cutting in the front wheel well area...with 30" tires or larger this is a MUST! There is no way around it. Well, except for adding another 2-3" of lift and even then in extreme articulation events the tire will still grab the plastic and steel in the front well.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by T.Low » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:43 pm

Your van is officially exciting. Loved the little side slide on the hill. As Dean, says, film it doing the same hill, but next time with me and Phrisk. What could be more fun than three lifted Astros doing some hills!

Looking forward to your BFG ATs.


Mr Cargcrawler, you van is looking most impressive indeed sir! Sweet.
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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by Jersey John » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:09 am

97CargoCrawler wrote:Just another BOOOOOOORING lifted white van.

Image

I'd like to see some pix of your boring ass van too. If for no other reason than putting me to sleep and reassuring me that my boring white van is still the ugliest pile of crap on the road.

PIX.PIX.PIX.PIX.PIX. :muhaha:

Last weekend I cut the pipe hangar and welded in a 2" steel spacer to keep my pipe off the springs. It really sound like $hit! All good now.
Where did you get the push bar? Is it for the Safari?
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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by timelessbeing » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:07 am

97CargoCrawler wrote:I massacred that trim piece and chopped up and reused the metal bracket that holds it on.
Can you please post pics of how you did this?

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by 97CargoCrawler » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:02 am

The grille gaurd was designed for the '03-'06 GMC Sierra pickup truck. I figured the grille and headlights had the same dimensions or close enough. I wasn't sure if it was going to work at all when I bought it. The mounting brackets of course didn't match up to anything on my van, but I modified them slightly and made them work. I don't want to hi-jack this post with all the details. Perhaps I will create a new topic on it when I have the time. It took me longer to cut the holes in the bumper fascia than it did to modify the bumper and brackets.

I bought it over a year ago, but I believe this is the same one currently for sale on Ebay, and it's cheap!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/03-04-05 ... enameZWDVW

***EDIT: I changed the above link. The one I bought was for the '03-'06 GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500HD, not the 1500 series trucks.***

I don't have any pix of the exhaust hanger mod yet, but it was simple. Well....... simple if you can weld. I only modified the hangar at the very end of the pipe near the leaf spring. I bought a 2" long hollow steel spacer at the local hardware store. I suppose a shock eyelet insert might have worked just as well for this if you have any laying around, but it needs to be 1/2" inner diameter. I hack sawed the hanger in two close to the pipe, leaving about 1/2" sticking up to set the spacer on so I didn't have to hold it while tack welding. I tacked it in place, then I slid and held the upper part of the cut off hangar into the top of the spacer and tacked that. Then I spent another two hours trying to weld all around the spacer top and bottom to make it solid. I have welded about 4 times in my life. It looked like shit but it's on there! It dropped my pipe down about an inch and it no longer rubs. Another alternative would have been to get a longer hanger or bend up a long steel bolt and weld that on. That would have been easier. But keep in mind pulling the pipe down any more than two inches or so will put some serious strain on the rubbers holding the rest of the pipe. So make the spacer or hangar long enough to fix the rub, but short enough to prevent stretching the other parts further down the pipe.

I know, useless descrption without PIX. I will edit this post once I have the chance to take some. I don't have pix of the chopped up bracket for the fender either. Looks like I need to go take some! Will try to post those by this weekend.
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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by timelessbeing » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:54 pm

Picked up the van from the alignment shop today. He said everything went smoothly. He didn't have to knockout anything. Said the holes were already slotted (???). The camber is slightly off because the back end is up higher, but everything is within factory spec. Driving it home, it felt more like swimming than steering. I may want to put in a rear swaybar eventually. Front wheel wells still rub. I didn't take pictures yet because it's pouring rain out here, but I will soon.

T.Low how difficult was it to put in your t/c?

Cargo, I look forward to your pics.

Updates soon...

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by lockdoc » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:14 am

Do you drive in the snow a lot and do you like how your van drives in the snow?
Current:
01 AWD - Stock
98 AWD - Stock
Past:
93 4WD - 305 V8 - 5" lift - 31" tires
98 4WD DHC - 10" lift - 33" tires - Onboard air and Hydraulics - Snowplow
92 RWD - 350 V8 - lowered - 97 front clip
92 RWD - 350 V8 - converted to AWD - V6
91 AWD - 350 V8 - conversion van
94 RWD - 350 V8 - sons van
92 RWD - stock - sons van
93 RWD Shorty - project
89 RWD Shorty - parts van

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by timelessbeing » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:45 am

lockdoc wrote:Do you drive in the snow a lot and do you like how your van drives in the snow?
We don't get a LOT of snow here on the wet coast, compared to Ontario lets say. But last winter we got a decent dumping and the van handled it marvelously! Tanked through the deep stuff and never got stuck, even on steep hills. I even had to go rescue my brother because his RWD cougar wouldn't get up the hill.

Why do you ask?

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by lockdoc » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:28 am

I asked because you asked about a transfer case install. The full time AWD unit in these vans is far more pratical for everyday use especially if you drive in a lot of snow. Unless you want to go out rock crawling, etc. I would think about keeping the AWD unit. I often think about converting back one of my vans. The AWD TC couples the front drive different than a 4WD TC. There is more "slippage". It is not a direct drive like the 4WD. The 4WD TC tends to be grabby in the snow and it does not handle as well as the AWD. You need to drive slower to keep control and not wander or pull off the road.

To answer your original question though, it is a fairly easy swap. Alot easier than a lift. If you use an electronic TC like T.Low you will have to do some creative wiring. Mine is manual. You will need a front drive shaft made up for you but you may be able to use the stock rear driveshaft. I was able to.
Current:
01 AWD - Stock
98 AWD - Stock
Past:
93 4WD - 305 V8 - 5" lift - 31" tires
98 4WD DHC - 10" lift - 33" tires - Onboard air and Hydraulics - Snowplow
92 RWD - 350 V8 - lowered - 97 front clip
92 RWD - 350 V8 - converted to AWD - V6
91 AWD - 350 V8 - conversion van
94 RWD - 350 V8 - sons van
92 RWD - stock - sons van
93 RWD Shorty - project
89 RWD Shorty - parts van

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by T.Low » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:54 am

My transfer case was pretty simple, the only thing that could have been a time hole was needing to notch the crossmember for the front shaft. My brother in law made quick work of that, so no probs. Well, I went electronic shift, so the wiring and wiring schematics could have been challenging but he made quick work of that too.

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=2586

I agree with locdoc regarding the AWD T case. My reason for going 2spd is that I actually do get out in the mountains and need the low range. Haven't yet driven on street snow since doing the swap. But my van is more a rec vehicle as I have a company F-150 for daily driving and I bought my Fiancee an AWD Nissan Murano, so she drives my arse around a lot, too.
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