S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby MI_GhostMI_Ghost is online! » November 14th 2016, 8:10am

MI_Ghost wrote:Either custom built upper control arms or major restructuring of the frame will be necessary to make this style of lift work on the AWD subframe.


But all is not lost!
If you look through the lift kits available for the 88-98 K1500.
http://www.fourwheeler.com/features/129-0303-chev/
You will notice that 3 kit manufacturers (Fabtech, RCD, Tuff Country) offer kits that do not relocate the upper control arm. They instead provide extended length steering knuckles.

A quick check on the cross reference for the ball joints show that both upper and lower ball joints are the same on both the Astro and K1500.

Ball Joint - Upper - Front Susp - NAPA
Proformer Chassis PART # PCC 104100
Chevy Astro 1990 - 2005
Chevy K1500 1/2 Ton 4WD - Pickup 1988 - 1999

Ball Joint - Lower - Front Susp - NAPA
Proformer Chassis PART # PCC 104106
Chevy Astro 1990 - 2005
Chevy K1500 1/2 Ton 4WD - Pickup 1988 - 1995

This in theory will give us relocated lower control arms and differential providing 6" of front suspension lift using extended length knuckles with the stock upper control arms.

But we are not through yet!
Lets get the steering connected. This is bad news/good news.
The bad news is the outer tie rod ends are different between the Astro and K1500.
The good news is that the inner tie rod ends are the same. This also means the sleeves are the same.
It is a simple matter of using the K1500 outer tie rod ends to attach the steering to the knuckles.
The tie rod mount is moved up on the extended steering knuckles so no further problems should exist.

If you are going to this length to build the suspension. Why not improve the steering also.
Here is one idea.
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=91049


.
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby TurnNburn » November 14th 2016, 8:22am

MI_Ghost wrote:
MI_Ghost wrote:Ball Joint - Upper - Front Susp - NAPA
Proformer Chassis PART # PCC 104100
Chevy Astro 1990 - 2005
Chevy K1500 1/2 Ton 4WD - Pickup 1988 - 1999

Ball Joint - Lower - Front Susp - NAPA
Proformer Chassis PART # PCC 104106
Chevy Astro 1990 - 2005
Chevy K1500 1/2 Ton 4WD - Pickup 1988 - 1995

.


Interesting find concerning extended knuckles. But am I missing something though? Because those part numbers are not the same.
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby MI_GhostMI_Ghost is online! » November 14th 2016, 8:25am

Note that they are upper and lower.
Reference pulled from NAPA
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby TurnNburn » November 14th 2016, 5:34pm

:doh:

I swear... if it was a tiger it would have bitten me...
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby MI_GhostMI_Ghost is online! » November 15th 2016, 5:19pm

Time to finish this off.
Now that we got the control arms an differential relocated and turning. It is time to stuff in some CV shafts and hang the hubs and brakes on it.

The CV shafts are where everything becomes real tricky. Incorrect length can cause the CV shaft to bind when compressed or pull apart when extended. Be very careful with the CV shaft length.
The K1500 extended length knuckles increase the track width by 2" on each side. The kits using these knuckles handle this by providing a spacer ring for the CV shafts. This will work for the 90-96 AWD differential which is also a bolt on flange style CV shaft, but not for the 97-05 which has a female stub shaft style inboard mounting.
Note: I have not looked into the possibility of fitting the flanged output shafts of the early 90-96 differential to the later 97-05 differential. This may be a possible option to look into.
Note 2: The 03-05 steering knuckle also increased the axle width by 1 1/16" on each side. This still leaves the CV shaft approx 15/16" short of being long enough for the extra width needed. Custom built CV shafts will likely be needed for the 97-05 differential.

Moving out to the Hub assemblies.
The K1500 Hub assemblies are a given but you will lose the ABS speed sensor as it is part of the CV Shaft on the K1500.
Another possible option is the 03-05 Astro hub assembly that retains the ABS sensor in the hub. I have been unable to confirm if it will bolt to the K1500 steering knuckle. Both are 1.35" diameter 33 spline hub for the CV shaft.

As far as the brakes.
The K1500 big piston caliper is the upgrade to the stock Astro AWD brakes. This is a no brainer. The K1500 rotors and calipers are the same for the 03-05 Astro AWD.

So there you have it. A complete theoretical exercise on using the K1500 lift kit for a 6" suspension lift on the Astro.

Let it not be said that this only theory following part specs and identifying possible problem areas. Anybody attempting to follow such foolishness to fit larger than stock tires to their vehicle does so of their own will. No liability or responsibility can be held to the administration or members on this forum who may or may not have offered information through this exercise. The Administration, and moderators are free to further this disclaimer as they feel necessary. I am not responsible for you modifying your vehicle.
Last edited by MI_GhostMI_Ghost is online! on November 15th 2016, 5:32pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby MI_GhostMI_Ghost is online! » November 15th 2016, 5:30pm

And to answer the original question.
Wimpazz wrote:What question? This one...

Is it feasible to use most or all of an 'off the shelf' S10 or Blazer lift on our vans?

The S-10/Blazer is definitely a NO!
The K1500 on the other hand is a definite, possible, maybe!

As I have hijacked this thread and turned it into a theoretical exercise to prove the possibility of using the 88-98 K1500 lift kit for a 6" suspension lift on the Astro. I would now like to hand the ball off to anyone more capable in suspension design to carry it further in the hope of developing a kit for the Astro/Safari.
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby MI_GhostMI_Ghost is online! » November 15th 2016, 9:45pm

Looked into retrofitting the early 90-96 flanged axle shafts into the late 97-05 differential. This should be easily done with the following pieces.
SHAFT. Front Axle RH GM Part Number: 26013559
SHAFT. Front Axle LH GM Part Number: 14041986
HOUSING. Front Axle and Axle Center RH GM Part Number: 26013555
COVER. Front Axle LH GM Part Number: 14054919

The carrier and spider gears are the same. This should be a direct swap.
The flanged style differential was widely used in the S-10/Blazer/Jimmy/Bravada in the same 88-96 time period. Finding a complete differential should not be a big issue.
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby TurnNburn » November 15th 2016, 9:57pm

So that's it then?! You have done it!? The K1500 works. IF you buy the whole kit with the extended knuckles (assuming the hubs are compatible), and then swap front diff and axles, and outter tie rods.

You just earned some kind of astro star! :greetings-clappingyellow:

If all of those things were good on your van and it was already AWD it would be quite expensive compared to the other way to lift it 6 inches like I did, but would be reliable and drive like stock without all of the over stretched ball joints and idlers and axle angles :blah:.

You have to see this thing to the end! But with that being said... when are you buying your kit?! :happy-jumpeveryone:
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby MI_GhostMI_Ghost is online! » November 15th 2016, 10:26pm

Never said it would be cheap but it definitely gets away from the torsion bar/ ball joint problem.
There are still some issues to work out but from what I see it is a workable solution without having to resort to major modifications.

Should be able to easily fit 31-32" tires.
The only draw back would be the 6 bolt front, 5 bolt rear. But a rear axle swap is certainly doable.
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby MI_GhostMI_Ghost is online! » November 15th 2016, 10:38pm

TurnNburn wrote:You have to see this thing to the end! But with that being said... when are you buying your kit?! :happy-jumpeveryone:
As soon as I get an AWD or do a subframe swap on my RWD :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

I believe chaos will likely be the first. He is probably already searching for parts :lol:
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby Corsemoto » November 16th 2016, 2:26am

Did you say the 1500 lift spindles widen the track by 2"? What are you going to do for the rear, spacers? I wonder how that is going to work in the rear with big tires and sliding door clearance?

You can fit 31's with 3" body lift and mild torsion lift (stock keys), even a diff drop if necessary without a ton of work. For me, 31's are at the limit of stock 3.73 gearing, beyond that would require re-gear for sure.
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby MI_GhostMI_Ghost is online! » November 16th 2016, 5:52am

Corsemoto wrote:Did you say the 1500 lift spindles widen the track by 2"? What are you going to do for the rear, spacers? I wonder how that is going to work in the rear with big tires and sliding door clearance?

You can fit 31's with 3" body lift and mild torsion lift (stock keys), even a diff drop if necessary without a ton of work. For me, 31's are at the limit of stock 3.73 gearing, beyond that would require re-gear for sure.


Until someone actually does the lift. It would be hard to say exactly what needs to be done.

It is not uncommon for differing track widths front and rear. It is purely an aesthetics issue and does not reduce the functionality. 03-05 6 bolt Astro wheels are +31 offset wheels. This will reduce the extra width by 1.25" leaving only the last 0.75" moved outward. Staying clear of the heavily lugged tires like the Super Swampers and Thornbirds will limit the interference. Worst case you could always add the 3" blocks in it front and rear to take it to 9" total lift and still not kill the ball joints by cranking up the torsion bars.

Re-gearing is always an option, and so is re-powering with a V8. Just another piece of the puzzle that comes with modifying a rig. You can't modify one part of a vehicle without it affecting other parts.
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby TurnNburn » November 16th 2016, 5:22pm

I am about a quarter of an inch from the slider door to the tire in the rear. And that's without the stock panel on the door. And for what its worth I have 3.42s and its not all as bad as everyone says it is.
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby Corsemoto » November 16th 2016, 11:56pm

MI_Ghost wrote:Until someone actually does the lift. It would be hard to say exactly what needs to be done.


True true. I've spent quite a bit of time cross-referencing a lot of Astro things myself so appreciate the legwork on this stuff. :thumbup:
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby WimpazzWimpazz is online! [OP] » November 17th 2016, 6:54pm

Team work at its best!

TurnNBurn and I are building up a 3+1 lift as we speak, which uses Corsemoto's RWD steering shaft idea! I will do a complete DIY thread on to share with our friends here.

I'm also doing a top to bottom tcase swap with push button control thread when I'm ready, all based on others input.
Heck maybe someday I'll do that DIY pop top too haha

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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby MI_GhostMI_Ghost is online! » November 17th 2016, 9:11pm

UPDATE !!!

Out running around today I stopped by to see my buddy at the LAPS and did a little hands on comparison with the hub assemblies.
1990 K1500, Moog Part No. 515001
2000 Astro AWD, Moog Part No. 515019
The 03-05 Astro hub was not available to check.

Comparing the hub diameter, hub depth, and hub mounting circle the 2 hubs are virtually identical. The only notable difference other than the Astro being a 5x5 hub and the K1500 being a 6X5.5 hub is the speed sensor which is part of the CV shaft on the K1500 and the wheel hub on the Astro. In my experience I would have no issue with these parts being swapped based totaly on the mounting. The Astro hub should be no problem mounted to the K1500 knuckle.

Based on the info I have been able to find. The 88-98 K1500 knuckle style lift kit should be able to be adapted to work on the Astro.
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby 97cargocrawler » November 18th 2016, 12:28am

That guy here with the 130+mph van put K1500 (2500, 3500 whatever) knuckles (spindles if you prefer) on his van years ago. A few years later he still had no front drive capability. Not sure what came of that, have not seen him around. He even had the full floater 14bolt axle in back and topped it all of with dual exhaust piped with aluminum dryer duct :D

He's got a build thread someplace. Search "junk that POS" or something like that...I had suggested that to him at one point.

EDIT: Oh..it's this guy

http://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=16253&hilit=junk+that+pos

Search his threads.
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Re: S10/ Blazer Lift on Van?

Postby MI_GhostMI_Ghost is online! » November 18th 2016, 2:43am

Looked more like a bunch of barnyard fabrication but umm..... yeah.
3/4 or 1 ton hubs on 3/4 or 1 ton knuckles. Did not sound like he was even sure about what the were.
Was there ever a front diff in it?
To many questions. No answers.
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