SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

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DorisTheFunkasaurus
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SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by DorisTheFunkasaurus » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:31 pm

So I've been driving my new big white conversion for almost a month. Have discovered a few little issues (no heat! replaced the thermostat, next is to try and flush the core and see if it helps...busted door latch...busted fan switch, either high or nothing). Nothing detrimental to the cause yet. My mechanic brother in law has been jerking me around regarding the lift kit- I've bought the 2" kit from Overland and I can't get him remotely interested in even looking at the instructions. So, I fired him- and I finally found a dude that's willing to help. He's also a mechanic, has a few buddies with custom Astros and he modifies cars in his free time. Has done lifts, hydraulics, builds big RC planes and trucks and helis... he's a gearhead through and through. So Sunday, I drop it off at his house. I'm a little nervous because I don't really know him- but I do know that he's been really polite and informative, has answered every question and call from me and seems to really know his stuff. I also know where he lives, works, and my husband is a foot taller than he is and has about 50 pounds on him... I can't imagine he'd be planning all of this just to rip me off. He's just a mechanic trying to make some extra money for his family with some side work, which I can respect. He wouldn't quote me an estimate or commit to anything without seeing my van and the parts, which I also appreciated. He's been a million times nicer and more helpful than my own brother in law. So, it's on.

I need to get my wheels and tires ordered this weekend- he's going to leave the existing shoes in place and we're going to take it straight in to his shop after the lift to have them installed/balanced/alignment done. I just sure wish I was more certain about the wheels- everywhere I've read tells me 5 X 5 with 127mm offset- but I have a conversion and I'm worried that they might not be stock wheels under the lame plastic covers. Am I giving them too much credit to think they would have swapped out the wheels?

I will miss you, van. Back to the Jeep for next week. But when I get you back, everyone else will start to understand what I've been after all this time. Will post before and after pictures when I get it back. Then I get to work stripping pinstriping and thinking about paint...
:supz:
1999 2WD Astro high-top conversion
Undergoing surgery for a 2" OV lift kit and some new shoes

97CargoCrawler
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Re: SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by 97CargoCrawler » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:47 pm

Installing a 2" lift should be a piece of cake for anyone who can wield a wrench. It takes a few hours to do it safely and properly. I wouldn't pay anyone more than $200 to do it. If it's a friend a case of beer is usually enough.

I seriously doubt you have 127mm offset. Typical numbers are 0 to +/- 25mm. I think rather you are referring to bolt circle diameter. In that case, you are confusing similar wheel measurements. 5X5 and 5X127mm are both the same thing. They both refer to a 5 lug wheel pattern on a 5" or 127mm bolt circle.

The offset is important if you are putting on wider wheels or if you want to drastically change the track width of the vehicle. I suggest you look into it a bit further to make sure you didn't order wheels with a drastically bizarre offset as you may not like the results. The photo they show of wheels on a website etc. will have a similar look to what you might order but they could be much deeper set back or forward than what's pictured. Best to figure out what you bought BEFORE the tires are mounted because after that they cannot be returned. I wouldn't worry too much about it though, you really need to try to find wheels with funky offsets. Typically someone can order them without a clue and end up with something that works.

I don't know the year of your van. Keep in mind the later years have a 6 lug wheel.

Can't wait to see the results!

DorisTheFunkasaurus
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Re: SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by DorisTheFunkasaurus » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:40 pm

Thank you very much! Fortunately, I haven't bought anything just yet and I have no doubt that I'm misunderstanding offset vs. bolt circle diameter. I'm trying to teach myself about these things via lots of web research and relying on nice people like you to show me the way. Thanks for the clarification. That's one of my biggest fears- that I order wheels and tires, get my van up on the lift and find out that I messed up and ordered wrong. What a fiasco.

The wheels I had picked out were Pacer 162M polished aluminum, 15 X 7 (5 bolt circle available, hoping the diameter is correct, need to check for sure)
Falken High Country 215/75/15 (my lift kit said I can go as big as 29"- these should be 28.3 X 8.9)
Found a site that tells me the two are compatible with each other, now I need to make sure they're compatible with the van itself. Unless someone tells me Falken makes crappy tires...which I'd sure like to know now. I won't be taking it off road, it's primarily for looks. That may damage what little street cred I have, but hey- I'll take some flak for it over driving something lame with no character.
1999 2WD Astro high-top conversion
Undergoing surgery for a 2" OV lift kit and some new shoes

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Re: SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by 97CargoCrawler » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:05 pm

I have that similar style wheel on my Land Cruiser. Looks absolutely bad-ass with BFG AT KO's on it. Still an AT tire but with a little more aggressive looking tread on the sidewall. They tend to last a long time too. The one thing I REALLY love about the BFG's is the built in rim guard. The tire has a raised ring of rubber around the tire bead where it touches the rim. It keeps the rim safe when you rub up against a curb. Something to look into. Perhaps you have already. Most chain tire stores carry the BFG's nowdays.

That wheel would look really good with a negative offset. Not sure how much you could get away with, maybe -25mm. That would keep the larger tires from rubbing the wheel well and would give you a slightly wider track width (like 2"). You may need to trim the bumper cover and fender a bit though.

I guarantee you that the guy at the tire shop isn't going to like your setup. If it's a chain store that's not a 4x4 shop they try to sell you what their computer suggests, which is very close to stock. They don't want you coming back with issues like rubbing etc. On the other hand, the guys at the 4x4 shop might think you're nuts too. Basically EVERYONE thinks I'm nuts when I order tires. I gave up on trying to explain what they were going on.
Last edited by 97CargoCrawler on Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:15 pm

The 15x7 wheels are fine as would be the 15x8's. You posted the stock tire size for the upgrade. I would recommend you go to a 235/75/15. These are closer to 29". The 215/75/15 will only be in the 27.7" range.
Current rides:
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2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

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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
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Re: SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by timelessbeing » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:21 pm

A picture is worth a thousand words.
"OFFSET" is hard to see. It's labelled below center line. Sometimes the term "backspace" is used which is called "REAR SPACING" in the diagram.

edit: terminology
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tech-wheelterms.gif
Last edited by timelessbeing on Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by 97CargoCrawler » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:33 pm

Backspace and Offset are always quoted in wheel spec's since they are two different measurements. They are related but not used interchangeably. I think you know that but the way you worded it makes it even more confusing.

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Re: SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by DorisTheFunkasaurus » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:38 pm

Thank you!
I did wonder if I might not get away with slightly bigger tires...I was erring on the small size for fear of rubbing, but then I read a for-sale listing where the guy had a 2" lift and 31" tires. Overland said the 2" kit would fit up to 29".
Will check out the BFG and think about going up a little in size. I don't mind trimming if I need to. The bigger the better.

And thanks for the diagram timeless.. you're right. I needed to see it. Makes sense.

Everyone thinks I'm nuts, and not to cry foul, but I feel like even more so since I'm a chick. I've been getting very little help from any local 4X4 shops and I hadn't even tried any tire stores yet- I know I'll hear "well, ma'am...you KNOW those aren't going to fit on your minivan..." My mom just keeps asking me how many miles are on my tires, and saying they don't look like they need to be replaced...

Fortunately, the guy doing my lift will be installing my wheels/tires at his place of employment- so I get to avoid any further explanation. He knows exactly what I'm up to. He also thinks I'm crazy, but he has a friend with a dropped and chopped astro with lambo doors. He's seen crazier.
1999 2WD Astro high-top conversion
Undergoing surgery for a 2" OV lift kit and some new shoes

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Re: SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by timelessbeing » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:57 pm

You're right, "reverse" was a bad choice of words. Only one spec really needs to be listed since you can easily figure out one from the other.

BS= center + offset
Subtract for negative offset (think of deep dish BMW wheels)

So an 8" rim with 4" of BS has no offset.

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Re: SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by timelessbeing » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:01 pm

Doris, I'm a guy and I too got funny looks from people when I told them what I wanted to do. I still do. "You want to do what to an Astro?" and "you drive a minivan" etc. It's our job to educate these people!
The cool people come up and talk to me, give the thumbs up at intersections or on the trails etc. :supz:
Some of my friends drive complete frankenstein (Toylets, Toyaudis etc.) vehicles, so they know what's up.

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Re: SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by 97CargoCrawler » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:35 pm

DorisTheFunkasaurus wrote:My mom just keeps asking me how many miles are on my tires, and saying they don't look like they need to be replaced...
My 235/75 BFG's and 2" lift were on for only 6 months before I had to have 6" of lift and 31's! Now I gotta have 33's. It's a natural progression.... :muhaha: :muhaha: :muhaha:

DorisTheFunkasaurus
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Re: SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by DorisTheFunkasaurus » Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:11 pm

I've given up trying to explain, but I think my mom will stop bugging me when they get my old tires to stash away for my dad's work van. They're fine...yes, lame...but fine. Will save them some coin when he needs new shoes in the near future.

And you saved me from making a big dumb mistake, thank you. You're absolutely right. That IS the exact tire size I already have. I'm embarassed to say I hadn't even looked yet. I was planning to, I swear! This weekend I'm popping off the wheel covers to make sure I know what I'm ordering is right.

It's comforting to know that you guys get flak, too. But even with my van the way it is, still on whitewalls, the right people can already see the possibilities. I had a guy offer to buy it from me at the gas station this week. He was already driving a '99 Safari. The older I get the more I realize where I fit in the world and I'm pretty happy about it. There are only two categories of people- the ones that get it, and the ones that don't. The ones that get it...those are the ones that fall into the small army right along with me and I find that they're good people. The ones that don't get it...well, they're the ones I tend to naturally avoid in my non-work life anyway. Can't please 'em all.
1999 2WD Astro high-top conversion
Undergoing surgery for a 2" OV lift kit and some new shoes

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Re: SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by astroturf » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:00 pm

Haaaaaaaay Doris,

Have a looky at this before you spend any money.

http://www.rimsntires.com/specs.jsp

Jim

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Re: SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by 97CargoCrawler » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:40 pm

Be sure to snap a "before" picture. One of my biggest regrets is not having taken a bunch of photos of my van before I started lifting it. Now I don't really have a reference point.

:cheers:
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DorisTheFunkasaurus
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Re: SUNDAY I GET AN EXTRA 2"!

Post by DorisTheFunkasaurus » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:20 pm

VERY cool. Really helps being able to see it like that...I will be spending some more time on that site later tonight. When I'm NOT supposed to be working...

I haven't pulled the trigger yet on the wheels/tires, but planned to tonight. As soon as I can confirm where I'm having them installed. Dropped the van off for the kit install yesterday. Missed it in the driveway this morning. Feels weird to be driving the Jeep again. Small and bumpy.

Hope to have it back by the end of the week, significantly cooler than when I last saw it. Appreciate all your help guys.
1999 2WD Astro high-top conversion
Undergoing surgery for a 2" OV lift kit and some new shoes

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