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 Post subject: Shocking thought about stock shocks
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:45 am 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:52 am
Posts: 17
I've been shopping for shocks for my 01 Astro and have to enter the vehicle info at various sites, those pages then take me to selections of recommended shocks, I know everyone is familiar with the process.

Today I ordered the 2" lift kit from Overland after buying 4 Jeep wheels with 235/75/15's on them.

I began the hunt for shocks and then thought, hey, my van isn't stock with wider wheels and bigger tires and a lift! :yikes:

So, now I question the manufacture's recommendations, what we are left with are assumptions about shocks that were designed according to the OEM requirements.

After going through the shock threads, getting some great info, no one seems to mention the compressed or extended length that we should have with a lift modification and more weight at each corner.

Would other shocks be more appropriate than those in the Astro/Safari basket, like for an S-10 or Blazer, or a 1500 truck???

Makes me wonder too about the guys running 31 or 32's on their vans, being much heavier and larger with Pro-Comp or Ranchos or Bilsteines that were engineered for stock vans.

Not much mention about twin tubes vs. mono tubes vs. air adjustable or spring assist either, seems the "accepted" shock is one of the popular names, name recognition has a lot to do with marketing among the lifted crowd. :drinkers:

Just because Bob has Rancho 7000 series on his van doesn't seem to be much of a justification to put them on mine. Bob may be an aggressive driver off road and not care so much about hauling grandma to the store. Bob has a different lift, different wheels and tires and his suspension parts may be shot or brand new.

I have only found descriptions for shocks using objective phrases, "nice ride" "stiffer" "rides`like a caddy" "hard ride" while such descriptions convey an opinion it doesn't really say much to base a $500.00 purchase only to find out later, he was talking about a 1959 Caddy!

Is there any numeric scale for different categories of ride, comfort, rebound response time etc. for shocks and how do you compare differently equipment on vehicles, lifts, shackles, springs to give a better clarification to "works great, rides nice and takes bumps ?

At least a survey of members here stating their lift mods would give a clearer picture for an informed decision on an expensive maintenance and safety aspect of our vans.

So, the same question that's already been asked.....what's the best shock for a 2" lift. That really hasn't been answered fully.

:cheers:


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 Post subject: Re: Shocking thought about stock shocks
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:51 am 
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Hi,

Very good questions. Thank you for trying to tabulate the true performance specifications.

The tuning of shocks is interesting and seems to be a well kept secret. Fox and expensive shocks are often tuned for compression and rebound damping. The oil passageways, and valving are the stuff of engineering specifications.

Perhaps the Rancho adjustable shocks are the way to go.

AP


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 Post subject: Re: Shocking thought about stock shocks
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:14 pm 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:52 am
Posts: 17
Yes, I suppose it would be nice if we had a survey listing the height of the lift, tire size and shocks used, might not hurt to mention rear spring mods. Combinations are endless and it's hard to analyze through chatter.

Since there is no quantitative data, all we can do is rely on the experience of our members, the only thing with that is for descriptions to be consistent, perhaps relating terms to something we are all familiar with. From spine crushing to a water bed ride, LOL.

I'm not into drifting or running the skid pads, but being an old has been competitive road racer and autocross runner, I'd say I'm still an aggressive driver when I'm alone, I'm looking for flat cornering on the road and raising the van seems to defeat that goal, even at two inches. But, the tires should compensate too.

:cheers:


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 Post subject: Re: Shocking thought about stock shocks
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:17 pm 
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Couple questions Ozarker, is you van AWD? have you lifted already?
I ask because both mine are 2wd and have been tweaked to handle very nicely w/o any lift. I run staggered sizes so that would not fly on AWD but the tire size in front, LT 235/70 15, on a 7" 0 offset wheel, no rubbing, more rubber on the road with a stiffer sidewall.
Heavy duty gas shocks,
the Monroe are great for grandma, :toimonster: not for me.
Rancho doesn't make 2wd front anymore, #-o
KYB have been my alternative.

Rear sway bar!

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'97 Safari, 280,000 miles,,, still kicking!
'93 Safari shorty, 350 swap


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 Post subject: Re: Shocking thought about stock shocks
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:15 pm 
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I think you should search a bit more, there has been much discussion on shocks for lifted vans, technical and otherwise so you are certainly not the first person to ask these questions.

I've documented my thoughts and experiences with shocks for lifted van pretty well in my build thread on ExPo. Coming from a motorcycle performance and racing background, I probably spent more time researching and comparing shock specs than any other part of the lift experience, not to mention discussing with various brand technical departments to try to find shocks with suitable valving characteristics with the correct amounts of length, extended and compressed travel.

Ideally, you would finalize and complete your lift - springs, wheels, tires, loaded weight and have your van weighed on corner scales then measure the extended and compressed limits of each corner and provide all that information to a company that will build custom shocks for you.

That being said, for a 2" lift, shock selection isn't as critical as with additional lift. Also, it becomes very subjective when you likely don't have much to compare your new shocks to other than the "old" shocks you just replaced.

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2004 Astro LT AWD Stroverlander


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 Post subject: Re: Shocking thought about stock shocks
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:05 am 
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Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Ozarker wrote:
So, the same question that's already been asked.....what's the best shock for a 2" lift. That really hasn't been answered fully.

The reason you'll never "fully" find an answer is because I believe your question is invalid.

Shocks are chosen based on several things...driving style, terrain and usage, suspension spring load... but NOT chosen based simply on 2" of lift. You are WAY over-thinking this. You do have to find a shock that "fits" your application (and vehicle)... but simply asking for the "BEST" shock is totally invalid. What's "best" for one person's style of driving, may NOT be the "best" for everyone else.

I like a "firm" ride. My lift includes firmer rear springs... and that usually requires a firmer shock to match properly. I'm a HUGE fan of KYB's... REGARDLESS of how much basic lift you have. They use 200 psi Nitrogen valve-sensing technology that adapt to different road and load conditions, depending on velocities and rates. Firm on regular recoil, yet they absorb hard bumps. They may be the "best" for me in a "general all-purpose" type application... but they may not be the "best" if you want a soft gentle ride... or if you "baha in the desert", or if you do heavy duty off-roading on rough terrain. Again, the "right shock"... for the "right application"... and one that suits your "ride preferences" personally. The "best" shock may even be a "value priced" shock for some (good performance at a good price) ... the "best" shock for some may be an extreme performance shock at any price.

"BEST" is a "relative" term... there is NO one right general answer.

PS: 2" of lift isn't really that much... the stock length shock may still work well within it's design range...

Good luck in your search for answers.

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2000 Chevy Astro LS AWD | 31" LT265/70R17 Tires | 8" LIFT | 10" TOTAL
92 Chevy Astro Shorty | V8-350
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 Post subject: Re: Shocking thought about stock shocks
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:45 pm 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:52 am
Posts: 17
Yes Woodbutcher, mine is an AWD, so different sizes is not happening, the RWD can have a different stance and can look pretty good.

Stroverlander, totally agree, it is the subjective nature of comparisons that drove my thought as to defining "best" there isn't a "best" for anyone as Musician points out. I've seen your Expo build thread, awesome, I'll try to follow your lead as closely as I can for a much milder off road capable van.

There's another subjective term; "off road capable", LOL.

Selecting shocks is a guess, but I believe I a solution for the right choice;

I'll write down the name of those in contention on a piece of paper and nail that to a tree. Get 25 yards away and fire my 12 gauge with bird shot. The shot the comes closest to the name is the winner and if there is a tie, just repeat the process again! :muhaha:

It's a turkey shoot!

In my search for data, all I've found is opinion which Musician covered very well, thank you, and probably the data is a secret held by manufactures to eliminate across the table comparisons, just guessing.

I think I'll write down KYB, Bilsteine and Monroe in larger letters than Rancho and see what happens :supz:


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 Post subject: Re: Shocking thought about stock shocks
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:28 pm 
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FWIW, I went with Rancho RS9000XL adjustable shocks not because of the brand but to get some suitable length shocks on my van that I also had the ability to "fine-tune" the valving control somewhat.

Without being able to see valving specs on all the various shocks that fit my lift/suspension travel parameters, the adjustability was the deciding factor at the time.

I don't think Rancho quality is not comparable to Bilstein, KYB makes some decent stuff and Monroe has always been fairly disposable whenever I've use their products. Another member (racrx7) in the recent past found some Bilstein 5100s that seemed to work for his setup.

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2004 Astro LT AWD Stroverlander


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 Post subject: Re: Shocking thought about stock shocks
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:28 pm 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:52 am
Posts: 17
Stroverlander wrote:
FWIW, I went with Rancho RS9000XL adjustable shocks not because of the brand but to get some suitable length shocks on my van that I also had the ability to "fine-tune" the valving control somewhat.

Without being able to see valving specs on all the various shocks that fit my lift/suspension travel parameters, the adjustability was the deciding factor at the time.

I don't think Rancho quality is not comparable to Bilstein, KYB makes some decent stuff and Monroe has always been fairly disposable whenever I've use their products. Another member (racrx7) in the recent past found some Bilstein 5100s that seemed to work for his setup.


Thanks that's worth a lot, I like the idea of adjustable shocks especially for the rear. I'll look at those again.

Did you put the 9000's all the way around?

I'm not sure I want to play the combination game.

Any words for Pro Comp? :-k


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 Post subject: Re: Shocking thought about stock shocks
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:47 pm 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:52 am
Posts: 17
Stroverlander wrote:
FWIW, I went with Rancho RS9000XL adjustable shocks not because of the brand but to get some suitable length shocks on my van that I also had the ability to "fine-tune" the valving control somewhat.

Without being able to see valving specs on all the various shocks that fit my lift/suspension travel parameters, the adjustability was the deciding factor at the time.

I don't think Rancho quality is not comparable to Bilstein, KYB makes some decent stuff and Monroe has always been fairly disposable whenever I've use their products. Another member (racrx7) in the recent past found some Bilstein 5100s that seemed to work for his setup.


Thanks that's worth a lot, I like the idea of adjustable shocks especially for the rear. I'll look at those again.

Did you put the 9000's all the way around?

I'm not sure I want to play the combination game.

Any words for Pro Comp? :-k


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 Post subject: Re: Shocking thought about stock shocks
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:26 pm 
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Sorry, my post was slightly confusing... I don't think Rancho (Tenneco) are comparable to Bilstein in terms of quality is what I was trying to say.

The RS9000XL perform well, quality is just okay and the adjustment knob does have a noticeable affect in terms of damping control. However, twin-tube shocks are not necessarily the best option for a couple of reasons. If using off-road, twin-tube shocks can possibly overheat and damage the damping control so monotube shocks are better in this regard. Also, the shock body on the RS9000XL is larger diameter than monotubes and so the upper control arms may contact the shock body and dent it on full extension. It's more of an annoyance than a major issue being that they are twin-tubes and so doesn't affect the piston traveling on the inner tube (not outer tube) whereas if you dented a monotube shock body.

I went with RS9000XL all the way around, RS999152 in the front (slightly longer) and RS999147 in the rear (stock-ish length) but I also relocated lower shock mounts. For close to stock length front shocks, RS999150 is the part number.

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 Post subject: Re: Shocking thought about stock shocks
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:23 am 
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I sleep in my van

Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:23 am
Posts: 523
Thank you for info on the Ranchos.

I have KYB Gas Adjust on front of my 2003 AWD with 2" lift.

On the rear I have Monroe air shocks.

These shocks have about 60,000 miles on them.

I may get some new shocks soon since the parts for Astros could start to be a bit harder to find.

AP


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 Post subject: Re: Shocking thought about stock shocks
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:00 pm 
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I sleep in my van

Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:23 am
Posts: 523
Hi,
My front shocks are KYB gas adjust with about 70,000 miles on them. My 2003 AWD has 2" lift but I have heavy front bumper and heavy front grille guard.
I think I will try Bilsteins.

Astro Physics

Bilstein prices seem to be about $100 per shock.
My rear Monroe air shocks are probably worn out too .

My 2003 Astro has 130,000 miles.


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