lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

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Re: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:35 pm

suntinez wrote: So on to questions (finally)
REAR:
Atlas will add a couple leafs (or make all new) and get me the lift in the rear, maybe adding a block? Do I want to use a shackle for offset or just have them make me a set of leafs and bolt directly? Pros/cons?


I would get the proper leafs whether it be adding 2 or 3 more until you get the correct height based on your fully loaded weight. Try not to get 1 single HD overload as you will lose flex when off-road. It will also ride rougher. Skip the axle blocks completely unless you are going to use it as a traction bar at the same time. If the block is done wrong, the thin axle tubes and axle mount ears will rip out and the axle will rotate, destroying at the minimum your rear u-joint. Skip the shackle as you may/may not get vibrations. Properly built leafs will take care of the lift. You can also get them made to center the rear axle better. If you just lift a normal M/L van 4", the axle will sit about 1/2" - 3/4" forward of the wheel well center. New leafs can be made with the center bolt back 1/2" to correct this.
suntinez wrote: FRONT:
I’m not a fan of subframe spacers but after looking at this install of the 2” OV kit, I’m not opposed to doing that.
http://chevroletforum.com/forum/astro-d ... ans-25553/

My spacer bushings are hard and cracked they were on the list for destruction anyhow. But I’m not sure I can even do larger spacers because of the attachment of the Tiger coach. I’m digging thru SnoDrtRider’s thread for the home-brew approach, great info!


The 2" blocks are a perfect way to get room for the 29 - 30" tires you have as well as making normal engine maintenance much easier! You can actually get to the throttle body as well as plugs, wires, cap and rotor easier too. Since the body mount bushings are hard and cracked, I would look at replacing them with new ones while doing the job. Get a 90 - 95 2WD Astro/Safari intermediate steering shaft off E-bay or from a junk yard.
suntinez wrote: Have a call in to Gerald for the torsion keys – does ANYBODY else make a re-indexed key for the long arm Astros?
Please skip the keys unless you really NEED the extra lift. You will be replacing idler arms after every off-road expedition if you go too steep on the angles.
suntinez wrote: FRONT SHOCKS:
I know that Rancho 5000 is what OV sells with their kit. Not a fan of the Ranchos. Any other good options? Clearance in the front seems pretty tight, based on the install of the Bilsteins not sure what I can squeeze in there.
I just got KYB's and don't think they are any better than Rancho's. From what has been said on here, the Bilsteins are the way to go. I personally like Rancho's.
suntinez wrote: GEARING:
For a 4” lift (if I can get that), what is suggested for re-gearing front/rear. My drivetrain is definitely struggling already, don’t want to add to the problem.
Definitely 4.11's minimum. There won't be much difference going from your current 3.73's. Since you are pushing 3 tons almost, I might consider 4.56's as long as you are not hammering on it when off road. The pinions will become the weak point due to the small diameter head and smaller contact patch on the gears. You can easily modify the DRAC (search it here) to compensate for tire and gear changes.
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: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by suntinez » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:58 pm

Many thanks, what a great site :)

Ordering parts now - blocks/bolts/steering ext/leaf corrections - will check back in. Still pondering shocks, relocation or TBD new ones.

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Re: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by 1Gary » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:29 am

Linda,
The honest answer to any mod is your always going to have to pay to play.One of the attractive features of the Tigers as a motor home is the outstanding gas mileage you get as long as it is tuned right.Now I know first hand how anyone can get wrapped up in a mod and all I try to do(not raining on anyone's parade) is get whoever is doing the mod to make that decision with the end result in mind.So that said,with larger tires there is a chance your going to give up some of that gas mileage.The 4.56's for off roading,well,ok,but I would suggest those wouldn't be too good for cruising on a LA freeway.And yet those would help offset the increase tire sizes.So that kind of decision is what I am talking about beyond just the costs of the mod.What are you giving up as a trade off to the mod for the long term??.As long as your good to go with that,then have at it and I am hoping you post a build thread with pictures as you have so far. =D>
1979 Malibu drag race only car
1999 Sonoma 4.3 5 speed-Rufus
1989 Astro-Ole Yellar cancelled-still selling off parts
1985 Astro-shop van R.I.P. my friend
1994 Astro LT RWD W4.3 rod knock RIP
1982 Winnebago single rear wheel-Chevy 350 Scraped 1/28/13-broken dreams......


Rochester,NY

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Re: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by suntinez » Thu May 03, 2012 6:13 pm

Got the rear up, these 6+1 springs >should< hold the weight when loaded. Atlas Springs warrantied their labor, and only charged me for parts on the rebuild. One of the leafs on the left is heavier gauge to compensate for the left rear lean because of all the coach stuff and gas tank. Waiting on parts to do the front.

Here's the beef:
Image

I actually like this stance, but I can't see cars directly behind me through the rear window. Now I'm at 31.75/32/34/34.25 - that's with empty holding tanks, 1/2 tank of gas. It should settle some.

Image
Image

The front angle has improved considerably.
Image

The center-center shock measurement on the driver side is 20.5", passenger side is 22". This seems like a large difference, not sure if this was a change courtesy of Provan but it doesn't look like any new holes in the frame. Maybe all astros have this difference?

I realize these shocks (Fox 980-24-031-A) are overkill, but it was fun and got a great price on them.

Image

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Re: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by T.Low » Thu May 03, 2012 6:34 pm

Wow. That is the phashizzle! :cheers:


How is the ride, has it changed much?


Edit: I need to add a major effing OMG!
Last edited by T.Low on Fri May 04, 2012 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ImageImageImageImage
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Re: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by suntinez » Thu May 03, 2012 10:32 pm

Thanks T, it's riding better than ever. Smooth handling in the turns, and it feels good. No more porpoising.

It's a little squirrely up front still since idler arms/draglink replacement, thinking because I haven't done an alignment yet, was waiting until all the changes are in to do that.

I still have rubbing up front on bumps/curbs when turning (esp on right). Cranked the stock torsions to max to squeeze in the tires and trimmed 1.5" of metal and plastic off the rear of the wheel well. Torsions have settled some, found more shredded plastic last night so trimmed it again. Does fine fast on bumps as long as the wheels aren't turned.

Will break out the hammer soon for some feel-good thumping of the wheelwells. Or maybe I'll be patient and wait for my spacers to come in.

Taking it offroad a bit this weekend, we'll see. Trying to test it without damaging new rubber is tricky.

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Re: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by astrozam » Fri May 04, 2012 2:01 am

Good stuff! glad it worked out for you, looks much better... :cheers:

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Re: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by doyoulikeithere » Fri May 04, 2012 2:06 am

I Love it ! So will your dog...
Image
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2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 - Red.
1990 Astro - AWD
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd.

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Re: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by timelessbeing » Fri May 04, 2012 2:19 am

Looks good. Image

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Re: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by 1Gary » Fri May 04, 2012 7:20 am

Well done.Sure looks nice. =D> :cheers:
1979 Malibu drag race only car
1999 Sonoma 4.3 5 speed-Rufus
1989 Astro-Ole Yellar cancelled-still selling off parts
1985 Astro-shop van R.I.P. my friend
1994 Astro LT RWD W4.3 rod knock RIP
1982 Winnebago single rear wheel-Chevy 350 Scraped 1/28/13-broken dreams......


Rochester,NY

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Re: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by doyoulikeithere » Sat May 05, 2012 6:27 am

Those new leaf springs looked like really heavy duty units !!! Nice
I could see in one of the 'Before' pictures where the back tires had rubbed the top of the wheelwell shiney.
and those old leaf springs were just about as hosed out as possibly could be :yikes:
Its good to see it getting all beefed up again...

When you put some 2" blocks up front, it will be totally Awesome! and you might like a bush bumper for it.
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 - Red.
1990 Astro - AWD
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd.

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Re: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by suntinez » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:14 pm

I’ve been meaning to finish this thread, you guys were great in helping me sort it all out.

I added the 2” spacers from OLV in front and the steering extension – no surprises, everything went in easy. Make sure the steering extension is seated snug up against the gearbox, otherwise you'll get the same pop-popping I did until I found the problem. So a little tedious, but overall easy.

None of the rumors I'd heard about not being able to do this because of the Tiger coach turned out to be true. It sits level, and drives like a dream.

Image

Image

I wound up keeping the bushings that were there, they look a little cracked on the outside but were perfect inside.

Image

So from the time I got it until this point, up a net 9” in the rear and 5” in the front. And it handled better than ever, a night and day difference from when I got it.

Image

Image

But then I sold it, and got another Tiger – this time one on the F250 platform. Here they are together.

On the day they met -
Image

Image

And the day they parted –
Image

Image


So I’m fresh out of Astros, but I know where to come for help now. This is a great site! Thanks much.

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Re: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by doyoulikeithere » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:55 am

Wow, such an awesome rig !!! OMFG! but a bittersweet kinda ending?
Did you point the lucky new owner to the site?
I bet the long style torsion bars will break soon if it still has the long style.
You might wanna have a good look at your new Furd.
If Tiger left such wimpy rear leaf springs in the astro , I hope they didnt do the same... :whistle:
but now you know some good spring builders :supz:
:cheers:
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 - Red.
1990 Astro - AWD
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd.

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Re: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by maestro » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:38 pm

Wow, kick-a$$ rig, very nice! Do you remember what size rubber you were running?

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Re: lifting a 91 AWD Tiger

Post by suntinez » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:05 am

Thanks. They are Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor Pro 225/75/16 load range E. I wanted the higher load range because of the added weight and frequent offroad trips, and went to 16" rims because nothing in 15" rims was available. It's my new favorite tire, I put them on the Ford Tiger too - they've handled great in every terrain so far.

The Ford leafs are extra-beefy (1500lb rating over GVW) , no need for anything there. The new owner is aware of this site, he may pop up sometime.

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