New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

FROM FIBERGLASS MONOLEAFS TO AIR BAGS, STOCK HEIGHT TO BODY SLAMMED, EVERYTHING EXCEPT LIFTS GO HERE.

Moderator: leadtrombone

Post Reply
photo_van
I sleep in my van
Posts: 591
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 11:38 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: 7000' in the Mountains of California

New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by photo_van » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:11 pm

This summer while I had the van torn apart for new suspension bushings, gears etc, I decided to replace the 3" blocks and tired 2+1 leaf springs that I'd been running for the last ten or so years. I was tired of the tire scrub I was getting from spring wrap, particularly up hill. The front end seemed like it was sagging as well, whether due to old torsion bars or the 80lbs of brush guard I hung on the front.

Unfortunately, ten years ago, when I first did the lift, I failed to measure the ride height. But these are the numbers I had with the old suspension:

33 LF
33.5 RF
35 LR
34.25 RR

This was carefully measured on flat ground after a rolling stop (no brakes), no load. The van had 2" spacers with torsion bars cranked to the max up front with 3" blocks and front hanger relocation in the rear. **The remount on the front hanger moves the front of the spring down ~1.5" offering 3/4" lift. Ideally I would add 1.5" in rear shackle to keep the pinion angle correct, but I've been running it that way for several years without vibration). Tires are 31" BFG's (that measure closer to 30")
_MG_0461.jpg
Un-loaded the new S-10 leaves (3+1) measured 3" more arc but I was thinking since they were new they would provide more than 3" of lift. The torsion keys that I got off ebay (Air Bagit) are very nice machined (rather than cast) keys. They are advertised as 1-3" lift. Though in talking with them they say they aren't as much designed for lift as they are for leveling tired T-bars.
_MG_9430.jpg

The keys have a re-indexed rotation of ~1"

Since I had the front end all apart, putting in the new keys was simple with no big clamp necessary. The leaf springs were a direct bolt up and I slammed the rear axle all the way forward to make up for the rearward shift that is a result of the lower (farther back) hanger hole. I screwed the bolts on the torsion keys about half way in for starters.

33.5 in front
35 rear

So the S-10 leaves did only provide 3" of lift. Two more full turns on the key adjusters and the front is at 34" with the adjuster bolt about 2/3 of the way in.

The end result
Screen Shot 2012-09-29 at 1.58.35 PM.png
And it took care of the tire rub.

Anyone looking for an additional or quick 3" lift, I've got a good deal on some blocks and u-bolts!!
1998 AWD/4WD
4" lift, 31x10.50's, NP 242j/c hybrid, 4.10 gears, S10 front disconnect, rack & pinion steering, trans cooler, rock sliders, ARB fridge, house battery and 100w solar, swing out rear rack with foldout camp table, bed and passenger swivel chair
dirt bag camping rig
1981 Toyota 4x4 pu
1974 John Deere 710
Image

LiftedAWDAstro
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4430
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:35 pm
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: New Haven, NY

Re: New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:47 pm

Van looks great! Nice stance and I like the way you shifted the rear axle back.
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

User avatar
doyoulikeithere
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 2087
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:27 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: Misty Mountains of Cowichan BC.

Re: New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by doyoulikeithere » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:55 pm

Ditto... Looks great. rides a LOT better eh?
:withstupid:
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 - Red.
1990 Astro - AWD
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd.

User avatar
H2OJoe
I finally get the smurf thing
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:49 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: White Salmon, WA

Re: New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by H2OJoe » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:40 pm

Nice job! Van looks great! :cheers: :guitar:
2001 Astro LT AWD "Redneck Edition", 4" Custom Lift, 30x9.5R15LT on stock wheels, Hightop conversion, custom interior, custom roof racks, external solar shower, front recovery points

User avatar
mdmead
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 2151
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:45 am
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: Selah, WA
Contact:

Re: New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by mdmead » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:36 am

Very nice. Will keep this in mind when I put together my rear lift.
Matt
Selah, WA
-96 GMC Safari AWD Hi-Top Conversion -->Stalled 5.3L swap & 5" lift
-74 Ford Bronco -->Far from perfect but mine!
-99 V-10 Ford Super Duty Super Cab 4x4 -->Stock with 285 Cooper ATs
-00 Ford Focus Wagon -->The Red Turd
-95 Ford 24' Class C Motorhome -->My big block sleeper
-07 Can-Am Outlander XT -->My yellow 4x4 quad for work & play
-04 Ski Doo REV Summit -->Still several chassis behind!


No new projects until the current ones are done!

photo_van
I sleep in my van
Posts: 591
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 11:38 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: 7000' in the Mountains of California

Re: New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by photo_van » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:34 am

Thanks all! Ya, it rides nice, not so spongey in the rear and I'm guessing it will keep a taller stance when I load the camping gear. Only one (rough) test drive so far; the only tire scrub now is from the inside rear when it gets way up in the fender well!
1998 AWD/4WD
4" lift, 31x10.50's, NP 242j/c hybrid, 4.10 gears, S10 front disconnect, rack & pinion steering, trans cooler, rock sliders, ARB fridge, house battery and 100w solar, swing out rear rack with foldout camp table, bed and passenger swivel chair
dirt bag camping rig
1981 Toyota 4x4 pu
1974 John Deere 710
Image

User avatar
Tegnus
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:14 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by Tegnus » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:59 am

Did you use specific torsion bar compression tool or just a C clamps to swap keys?
2004 Astro AWD, 90k miles, 2" Lift, 225/75R16 Cooper Discoverer A/T3, Tru-Cool LPD-4490 Trans cooler

photo_van
I sleep in my van
Posts: 591
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 11:38 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: 7000' in the Mountains of California

Re: New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by photo_van » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:37 pm

I had the ball joints out so the lower control arm was completely relaxed and the key as I recall, didn't need compression in that position. If they did it was very little and at some point in the past I seem to remember using a hydraulic "bottle jack" on blocks. I also seem to remember that seeming kinda dangerous so don't quote me on that. In any case, I do know for certain (as certain as anyone close to 60 can be about past events), that I have never used a compression tool or c-clamp.

Hope that helps #-o
1998 AWD/4WD
4" lift, 31x10.50's, NP 242j/c hybrid, 4.10 gears, S10 front disconnect, rack & pinion steering, trans cooler, rock sliders, ARB fridge, house battery and 100w solar, swing out rear rack with foldout camp table, bed and passenger swivel chair
dirt bag camping rig
1981 Toyota 4x4 pu
1974 John Deere 710
Image

User avatar
mdmead
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 2151
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:45 am
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: Selah, WA
Contact:

Re: New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by mdmead » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:05 pm

How are the rear springs holding up? Just wondering if the height has settled or if the original after-lift measurements have remained the same. (I'm thinking I will go this route with springs, plus a 1"-2" block, to get the 5" of lift I'll need to match the front.)
Matt
Selah, WA
-96 GMC Safari AWD Hi-Top Conversion -->Stalled 5.3L swap & 5" lift
-74 Ford Bronco -->Far from perfect but mine!
-99 V-10 Ford Super Duty Super Cab 4x4 -->Stock with 285 Cooper ATs
-00 Ford Focus Wagon -->The Red Turd
-95 Ford 24' Class C Motorhome -->My big block sleeper
-07 Can-Am Outlander XT -->My yellow 4x4 quad for work & play
-04 Ski Doo REV Summit -->Still several chassis behind!


No new projects until the current ones are done!

photo_van
I sleep in my van
Posts: 591
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 11:38 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: 7000' in the Mountains of California

Re: New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by photo_van » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:12 pm

Matt

I'll measure it next time I have it out on a flat paved surface.
1998 AWD/4WD
4" lift, 31x10.50's, NP 242j/c hybrid, 4.10 gears, S10 front disconnect, rack & pinion steering, trans cooler, rock sliders, ARB fridge, house battery and 100w solar, swing out rear rack with foldout camp table, bed and passenger swivel chair
dirt bag camping rig
1981 Toyota 4x4 pu
1974 John Deere 710
Image

User avatar
Tegnus
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:14 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by Tegnus » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:13 pm

mdmead wrote:How are the rear springs holding up? Just wondering if the height has settled or if the original after-lift measurements have remained the same.
I would be interested in this as well.
2004 Astro AWD, 90k miles, 2" Lift, 225/75R16 Cooper Discoverer A/T3, Tru-Cool LPD-4490 Trans cooler

photo_van
I sleep in my van
Posts: 591
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 11:38 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: 7000' in the Mountains of California

Re: New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by photo_van » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:11 pm

I had the van unloaded the other day and re-measured the rear; came up with 34.75. I do have new tires that seem to be a little bigger than the old ones, so the test is not exactly accurate. My guess is the springs have relaxed a bit.
1998 AWD/4WD
4" lift, 31x10.50's, NP 242j/c hybrid, 4.10 gears, S10 front disconnect, rack & pinion steering, trans cooler, rock sliders, ARB fridge, house battery and 100w solar, swing out rear rack with foldout camp table, bed and passenger swivel chair
dirt bag camping rig
1981 Toyota 4x4 pu
1974 John Deere 710
Image

User avatar
mdmead
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 2151
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:45 am
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: Selah, WA
Contact:

Re: New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by mdmead » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:38 am

Thanks for the info!
Matt
Selah, WA
-96 GMC Safari AWD Hi-Top Conversion -->Stalled 5.3L swap & 5" lift
-74 Ford Bronco -->Far from perfect but mine!
-99 V-10 Ford Super Duty Super Cab 4x4 -->Stock with 285 Cooper ATs
-00 Ford Focus Wagon -->The Red Turd
-95 Ford 24' Class C Motorhome -->My big block sleeper
-07 Can-Am Outlander XT -->My yellow 4x4 quad for work & play
-04 Ski Doo REV Summit -->Still several chassis behind!


No new projects until the current ones are done!

Neacail
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:38 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada

Re: New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by Neacail » Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:49 am

What year of S10 springs did you use? I'd like to do a similar lift, and would like to know what to look out for.

Thanks!
2001 Safari AWD SLT, 2" lift via overload coils in rear, and torsion bar cranking up front.
rallye 1000 driving lights, SportRack roof box
More to come
Image

User avatar
Tegnus
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:14 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: New S-10 rear leaves and Torsion keys

Post by Tegnus » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:20 am

Neacail wrote:What year of S10 springs did you use? I'd like to do a similar lift, and would like to know what to look out for.

Thanks!
Most people use these, incl. me on my 2003 AWD:
http://www.sdtrucksprings.com/index.php ... caf0cefd46

Some use these, which are meant for bigger weight:
http://www.sdtrucksprings.com/index.php ... caf0cefd46
2004 Astro AWD, 90k miles, 2" Lift, 225/75R16 Cooper Discoverer A/T3, Tru-Cool LPD-4490 Trans cooler

Post Reply