Lowered my front axle

THIS FORUM IS FOR ANY QUESTIONS ON THE 7.25" IFS FRONT DIFF, CV HALF SHAFTS AND FRONT DRIVE SHAFT.

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racrx7
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Lowered my front axle

Post by racrx7 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:25 am

After lifting my van and using aftermarket torsion bar keys, the inner CV joint angles were quite severe and causing the CV joint boots to destroy themselves over time. So I decided to lower the front axle 13/4" to lessen the angle of the CV shafts. This also gave better clearance between the right side axle tube and the oil pan. Here's some pics of how I accomplished this.
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Cut off left rear axle mount from lower control arm mount
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Fabricate plate from 3/16 thick material and reweld, lower by 13/4", rear axle mount that was cut off.
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Welded back in place on lower control arm mount
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Fabricate the remaining 3 axle mounts from 3/16" x 2" wide flat bar purchased from lowes
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Right rear mount
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Right front mount
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Left front mount
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Idler arm spacers made from 1 1/4" square cold rolled steel
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Oil pan to axle clearance much improved
O3 Astro 4X4
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Dropped front IFS axle
Journeys rear spring hangers and shackles, S-10 leaf springs, 2" body lift
255/70-16 BFG KO2's on 16x8 Fuel Revolvers

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Herbie
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Re: Lowered my front axle

Post by Herbie » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:12 am

Very cool.

I figured someone would get around to doing something like this. It's a shame the left rear mount is so involved - otherwise this looks pretty straight forward.
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2003 Astro AWD Astrolander/ZMB - GTRV Top Transplant, 4" OLV Lift, NP233 T-case, evolving interior
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racrx7
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
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Re: Lowered my front axle

Post by racrx7 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:01 am

Thanks!!
It's a shame the left rear mount is so involved
In all reality, the axle felt solidly mounted while just hanging on the three mounts. Probably could just scab some 3/16" plate to the bottom of the existing mount, drill a new hole and cut off that 90deg piece and run a bolt thru it. Or bend and drill a new 90deg piece and weld that onto the scabbed on piece of metal. Either way, welding will be involved.
O3 Astro 4X4
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Dropped front IFS axle
Journeys rear spring hangers and shackles, S-10 leaf springs, 2" body lift
255/70-16 BFG KO2's on 16x8 Fuel Revolvers

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FRAM
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Re: Lowered my front axle

Post by FRAM » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:40 pm

New to Astro Lifting and owning. Been mostly a Jeep XJ and ZJ guy until I came across T. Low's Astro van online last summer. His pop top ride and his stomping around in my backyard inspired me to make the change.

I've been reading as much as I can for many months which helped me buy my 99 Astro and have been gather parts like a 236 for my AWD conversion thanks to the great write ups around here. Thank you!

At this stage I'm about to order the parts for the lift now the van has been brought up to normal working order. I've been looking at this axle drop and I'm wondering if this negates 3.25" of body lift in the process? I have the welding help that can fabricate and make these parts. I am trying to figure out how to adjust what I am ordering for a 4" lift if I incorporate this IFS drop from the start?

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Re: Lowered my front axle

Post by timelessbeing » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:23 pm

Lifting the suspension raises the entire chassis. So your axle comes up, oil pan, subframe etc. 2" of lift gets you 2" of clearance.

A body lift itself doesn't move the chassis at all. The idea is that you make room for bigger tires, which then give you a bit more clearance. But realistically, there are limits. You can get 1" bigger tires, maybe 2". But that's diameter. So 1" bigger tires actually only get you a 1/2" more clearance. There are other benefits though like making it easier to work on the engine.

You could try asking racrx7 what kind of lift he had, but I'm sure it will be similar to yours. You could just install your lift first, and then see where you end up. I don't think the axle drop requires absolute precision because it's IFS. You can always add shims later anyway.

The front axle is attached to the frame not the body, so no negation there. The axle drop sacrifices a bit of clearance for not having to change your CVs every couple of years. Personally, I found that doing a mild lift with the stock keys was more than enough and I didn't have to deal with any wear problems.

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