2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Bread Van » June 18th 2012, 4:56pm

Corsemoto wrote:No way dude! What's it worth to ya? :shifty:
:wave:
Front RS999152 Extended length: 17.875" Compressed length: 12.250" Travel: 5.625"

Rear RS999147 Extended length: 23.010" Compressed length: 15.060" Travel: 7.950"


This is a bit off topic but I thought it would be good to add this information to one of the more thorough lift threads. These posts got me curious about the specs on the shocks I installed back when I bought my van. I purchased Rancho RS5000s from my LAPS. I don't have the receipt in front of me be a quick search of the specified unit for an AWD Astro shows:

Front RS5150 Ext. length 11.56" Comp. length 16.68" Travel 5.125"
Rear RS5147 Ext. length 23" Comp. length 14.54" Travel 8.46"

I was certainly happy to see good rear travel in the spec'd RS5000 but would like to have a little more travel up front, especially since I've added about 1.5-2" lift in the front using Tbars. I can't say I've noticed any ill effects from the t-bar crank except I do hear the shocks reach max extension when I go over speed humps on residential roads, so any added travel would be nice. I also wouldn't mind a little more stiffness overall as the van wobbles back and forth when you go over deep driveway drainages. I've put about 20k on RS5000s and they have performed well but I sometimes wonder if they are getting worn. If I was doing it all over again I'd probably get the RS9000XLs mentioned in this thread. Maybe if it gets worse I can warranty them and get 9000XLs.

Interesting side note:
The LAPS store search shows the same part number Corsemoto used for an RS9000XL Rear, BUT lists RS999150 for the front. I don't know the difference btw the two but I imagine Corsemoto found units with proper mounts and more travel than the actual specified units. In any case make sure to double check the spec sheets to get the length and travel you desire when ordering an RS9000XL.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » June 20th 2012, 12:39am

Bread Van, I did quite a bit research before ordering shocks, speaking with Bilstein and researching Rancho specs. One thing to note is that in listing your shock specs, the extended and compressed lengths are reversed.

In most cases, I found that the part #'s transfer over from Rancho RS5000 (RS5147 rear shock) to RS9000XL with different prefix (RS999147) remove the first #5 and add #999 and the upper/lower mounting points tend to remain the same. Also note that this doesn't mean the shock specs are the same as I've found that travel, extended and compressed lengths vary between a similar application RS5000 and RS9000XL.

Here are the comparison specs for the AWD front shocks:

http://www.my4by.com/rancho-rs999152-shock-p-3415.html is a good site for plugging in part #'s and researching shock specs.

Front RS999152 Extended length: 17.875" Compressed length: 12.250" Travel: 5.625"

Front RS5152 Extended length: 17.750" Compressed length: 11.625"" Travel: 6.125"

RS999150 Extended length 15.750" Compressed length 11.500" Travel 4.250"

Front RS5150 Extended length 16.68" Compressed length 11.56" Travel 5.125"

As you can see, the reason I didn't go with the RS999150 is because it has less travel and extended length than the others. With the RS999152, I gained just over and inch of length and 1/2" of travel, however the one thing you need to be careful of is that the compressed length of the shocks are not too long that the shock bottoms itself internally before the suspension itself or it can damage the shock.

One item to note, (I may have mentioned earlier in thread but probably good to rehash) is that I originally was going to keep the stock rear shock mounts and use longer shocks, however longer Rancho RS9000XL RS999112 rear shocks are the massive 2.75" diameter tube (instead of 2.18") and do not fit because of their larger diameter. They looked really tough being so big, and I did test fit them upside down, however this isn't something Rancho recommends for this style shock so decided to the shock tab relocation instead.

With regards to rear shock mount relocation, we spent quite a bit of time measuring shock lengths, axle movement and shock tab position before deciding on where to weld them in place. I haven't had the shocks bottom or top out that I'm aware of in all my driving so far - empty, fully loaded and/or trailer towing.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Bread Van » June 20th 2012, 6:08am

Corsemoto wrote: One thing to note is that in listing your shock specs, the extended and compressed lengths are reversed.

whoops, nice catch :oops: I was trying to follow your basic format but had jotted the numbers differently in my notes.
Corsemoto wrote:In most cases, I found that the part #'s transfer over from Rancho RS5000 (RS5147 rear shock) to RS9000XL with different prefix (RS999147) remove the first #5 and add #999 and the upper/lower mounting points tend to remain the same. Also note that this doesn't mean the shock specs are the same as I've found that travel, extended and compressed lengths vary between a similar application RS5000 and RS9000XL.


Noticed this about the mount style too but good point to indicate travel ext. and comp. lengths may vary

Corsemoto wrote:Here are the comparison specs for the AWD front shocks:

http://www.my4by.com/rancho-rs999152-shock-p-3415.html is a good site for plugging in part #'s and researching shock specs.

Front RS999152 Extended length: 17.875" Compressed length: 12.250" Travel: 5.625"

Front RS5152 Extended length: 17.750" Compressed length: 11.625"" Travel: 6.125"

RS999150 Extended length 15.750" Compressed length 11.500" Travel 4.250"

Front RS5150 Extended length 16.68" Compressed length 11.56" Travel 5.125"

As you can see, the reason I didn't go with the RS999150 is because it has less travel and extended length than the others. With the RS999152, I gained just over and inch of length and 1/2" of travel, however the one thing you need to be careful of is that the compressed length of the shocks are not too long that the shock bottoms itself internally before the suspension itself or it can damage the shock.


excellent point, I hadn't thoroughly considered the bottoming out aspect

Corsemoto wrote:One item to note, (I may have mentioned earlier in thread but probably good to rehash) is that I originally was going to keep the stock rear shock mounts and use longer shocks, however longer Rancho RS9000XL RS999112 rear shocks are the massive 2.75" diameter tube (instead of 2.18") and do not fit because of their larger diameter. They looked really tough being so big, and I did test fit them upside down, however this isn't something Rancho recommends for this style shock so decided to the shock tab relocation instead.

With regards to rear shock mount relocation, we spent quite a bit of time measuring shock lengths, axle movement and shock tab position before deciding on where to weld them in place. I haven't had the shocks bottom or top out that I'm aware of in all my driving so far - empty, fully loaded and/or trailer towing.


Glad you revisited this as I kept scratching my head over why you relocated. I knew I read it but kept overlooking the original comment. Great reminder for those considering the RS9000XL. In light of that, I'm surprised the online parts guide shows RS9000XLs that fit the rear...because that was not simple shadetree modification you did!

Again, thanks for the very informative thread
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » June 20th 2012, 6:27am

Bread Van wrote:Glad you revisited this as I kept scratching my head over why you relocated. I knew I read it but kept overlooking the original comment. Great reminder for those considering the RS9000XL. In light of that, I'm surprised the online parts guide shows RS9000XLs that fit the rear...because that was not simple shadetree modification you did!

Again, thanks for the very informative thread


Yeah, no problem it's been fun and informative for me as well. :handgestures-thumbup:

Rancho lists the RS999147 rear shocks in the fitment guide as 2.75" diameter but they are actually the smaller 2.18" so they fit fine. Ideally, just need to be mounted higher to compensate for additional lift. The Rancho guide is weird, I think you have to select "GMC Safari" to be able to select "AWD" option for shocks.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » June 20th 2012, 7:24am

I wanted to update a bit on my new Treadwright Warden A/T tires...

I started out at 50psi (E load rating) when I installed the wheels/tires and test drove which was too much pressure as it road like a brick and had me questioning my purchase decision! Once I dropped the pressure down to approximately 40psi cold (42psi hot) and adjusted the shocks one click softer on the adjustment knobs to try and compensate for the stiffer tire the ride improved significantly. I'm now getting used to the larger, stiffer (and heavier) tires and there is a bit of squirm while cornering probably due to the huge difference in tread depth (17/32 vs 13/32) and taller sidewalls. They definitely tackle water and big puddles very well down here with all the rainstorms we've been having. I'll be ordering the full size spare soon from Treadwright, I wanted to test them out before committing any further resources without knowing if I would be satisfied with them.

Due to some occasional vibration, I am going to have the wheels and tires static balanced (Treadwright recommended procedure) with weights as at this point I'm not really completely satisfied with the performance with the Innovative Balancing Dyna Beads. I'd also like to confirm that I don't have an issue with a tire which the balancing should be able to tell. In retrospect, I should have started with static balancing with weights and perhaps tried the Dyna Beads in a maintenance level application later on.

I feel the van is certainly not under-tired any longer and probably verging on nearly over-tired.If anything, the new tires may highlight the fact that I should consider replacing upper & lower control arm bushings sooner rather than later to see if that cures the slight amount of wandering under braking load.

I reset the computer with my Jet Performance programmer for 31" tires (previous set for 29.5") to try to get as accurate speedometer reading as possible. I can play with setting different shift points (+/- mph) which I haven't done yet. I also haven't really driven enough to get an accurate representation of fuel economy as I've mostly been city driving/short trips but soon should have some data.

I also can't say enough about the Orange Electronic tire pressure monitor system so far. Quick and easy to install and setup, I really like seeing live pressure data and tire temperature readings while driving but I'm a bit of tech nerd when it comes to keeping tabs on these sort of things anyway.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Bread Van » July 21st 2012, 10:50pm

How did you get the shims in with the leaf through bolt in the way?
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » July 21st 2012, 11:04pm

Did you remove the leaf springs or are they still connected at the front mount and rear shackles?

I set the rubber pad and shim on the axle and then set the leaf spring pack on top of shim and centered it.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Bread Van » July 21st 2012, 11:16pm

Still connected in front, now removed in back. The nut on the spring pack through bolt is too big for the hole in the shim. And I can't find a drill bit big enough to enlarge the hole. Need at least 5/8.

I think I'm in way over my head. I have both sides of the axle disconnected from the leafs and now the axle is sitting at an extreme angle and I'm not sure how I'll get it all lined up again.

I think I need to stick to VWs
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » July 21st 2012, 11:38pm

Easier to completely unbolt the leaf spring pack and you want to have the round head of the center pin (bolt) at the bottom with the nut at top for the clamshell bracket to fit over.

You really want to install the leaf springs centered on the axle before bolting the ends in place. Once you get the leaf spring centered where it should be and clamshell installed, start adjusting the jack to get the front leaf spring mount close and I used a pry bar in between the mount and spring to align and slide bolt in place. Same thing for rear and getting the leaf into the shackle.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » November 19th 2012, 7:42pm

Updating the evolution of lift gif:

Image

Collated lift measurements throughout build:

OLV 2" lift, with 235/70-16 (29.2" OD) tires (ground to fender):

LF 33"
RF 33 1/4"
LR 34 1/8"
RR 34"

OLV 2" with FTS202 leaf springs installed:

LF 33 1/4" (+2 turns preload on torsion bar as this side was sagging again, same as pre-lift)
RF 33 1/2"
LR 35 5/8"
RR 35 5/8"

Additional front lift via torsion bar adjustment (stock torsion keys):

LF 34" (+4 turns, approximately 2 turns remaining before bolt bottoms)
RF 34" (+2 1/2 turns, only 1/2 turn remaining before bolt bottoms)
LR 35 5/8"
RR 35 5/8"

In between above and below there was a bit of fiddling with torsion bar adjustment for final tweeking before alignment (no records kept) but there isn't much left to adjust with stock torsion keys.

Current lift measurements with 245/75-16 (30.7" OD) tires, full 27 gallon fuel tank (max torsion lift, stock keys):

LF 35"
RF 35 1/8"
LR - 36"
RR - 36 1/4"

^ It appears the leaf springs have settled and sagged a bit after add-a-leaf install with some towing and hauling duty this year as the new tires should have gained 3/4" of lift alone but close enough and there is probably some margin for error for full fuel tank, uneven ground, etc.

Continuing work in progress and will include installing new leaf springs for the load support as my original springs are fairly shot even with the add-a-leafs. S10 leaf springs, either #22-687 (3+1 1350 lbs) or #22-687HD (4+1 1710 lbs), still not sure as I don't want less load capacity than stock (1410 lbs) but also don't want extreme lift from the HD springs even though I can still adjust height lower 1" to 2" via the adjustable lift shackles (currently in max lift - bottom hole for 2" lift)

Not sure if I want to install lift torsion keys or not in order to gain a bit more flexibility in adjustment potential as torsion bars are now at max lift or close to it with stock keys. Also considering 1/2" to 1" longer body lift spacers (and probably slightly longer brake and power steering lines) and adjusting torsion bar lift back down to compensate to relax front axle angle some and move the suspension back towards middle range of movement.

I'm not interested in lifting the van any higher and certainly not reinventing wheel with any of this as it seems to have been well sorted for the most part by OLV and others. I do prefer to find a good compromise for my needs with good load support, handling and the least amount of stress on front suspension/steering components and axles.

We'll see...
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Philly758 » November 20th 2012, 3:45pm

Corsemoto wrote:Continuing work in progress and will include installing new leaf springs for the load support as my original springs are fairly shot even with the add-a-leafs. S10 leaf springs, either #22-687 (3+1 1350 lbs) or #22-687HD (4+1 1710 lbs), still not sure as I don't want less load capacity than stock (1410 lbs) but also don't want extreme lift from the HD springs even though I can still adjust height lower 1" to 2" via the adjustable lift shackles (currently in max lift - bottom hole for 2" lift)


I know you've asked me about my #22-287 springs before and I too went through the same decision making process "why would I want to reduce the capacity of my springs?". My thought was, there is only a 60 lbs or 4.25% difference in load capacity. My current springs were unbelieveably worn and were basically bowed the wrong way with no load, so who knows what their current load capacity was (I'm sure it was well under 1350 lbs). Even though there is a small reduction in the load capacity, you do gain an overload spring which I would think helps more than the extra 60 lbs of capacity. I also figured worst case I could always add load adjusting shocks in the rear.

In short, I don't think a lot is lost with the lower lower capacity springs. I'd rather take a minor loss (if any) and maintain a relatively stock ride than increase the rear springs by 17.5% capacity and have a harsh ride.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » November 21st 2012, 1:39am

All good points Philly and I don't really think there is much in it between stock springs and the 22-687 either. My stock springs were pretty well flattened out with no load and have improved a bit with the Fabtech add-a-leaf springs. The van rides well now empty but still sags too much when loaded but according to Fabtech these add-a-leafs are designed for lift and comfort and not much additional load support.

I'm trying to see down the road to where I will end up with the van and my thinking is that I can always remove a leaf from the HD springs or mix and match with what I already have to come up with a good compromise. I believe Shad0wXCalibur said he got approximately 4" of lift from the HD springs alone and I believe he removed the overload spring to fit the stock spring brackets.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Shad0wXCalibur » November 21st 2012, 9:16am

Yep. I still have them sitting around. Not exactly a lot of Astro enthusiasts around here looking to lift them. I had them on my van for a bit before I built a leaf spring pack out of various leafs to lower it but keep the capacity. The HD S10 packs do have an extra leaf but it does NOT make it ride harder. If anything, it felt better to me. Less sloppy. Corsemoto is right. I removed the 5th overleaf leaf to fit them in the stock brackets. It isn't really needed. They have so much arch and load capacity to them, there's no way you could really completely flatten them out. If you were still interested in those springs, Corsemoto, maybe there's some way we could meet halfway one day to sell them since UPS wants a ton of money to ship them things. :banghead:
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Philly758 » November 28th 2012, 5:42am

Just came up with an idea tonight, 22-687's plus Timbren bump stops. Timbrens seem to be a bit much for stock springs. But they might be perfect for the slightly lesser load greater arch springs.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » November 28th 2012, 9:50pm

Not sure where the Timbrens would come into play with the additional lift of the 22-687 springs and lift shackles. They may not be long enough to be really effective although they could be spaced differently and/or perhaps a longer bumpstop from Timbren. Not sure how much, if any they would affect axle articulation but I don't necessarily see flexing my van to the limit very often. Image

I looked into longer bumpstops from Energy Suspension when I installed the add-a-leafs but never really pursued it any further.

Shad0w, I'll keep that in mind when I'm ready to replace the springs again.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby nog00der » November 29th 2012, 6:54pm

are you guys with cranked up torsion keys wearing out CV joints as fast as i am? i got about 6 months out of the last set. when i look under the car, the angles seem pretty extreme.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » November 29th 2012, 8:51pm

No, installed new cv axles in March but I don't have alot of miles on them. I bought GSP #NCV10210 from Advance Auto, though they are now branded ToughOne with the same part number. After googling "GSP Axles", I see why they may have changed the name... They are lifetime warranty so that helps and I still have the original cv axles I can install if I need to. I do have issues with leaking axle seals and van is on third set.

What kind of problems are you having and what brand are you using?

There was some talk of the aftermarket axles being shorter than original which could be a problem, especially with the lift but I don't know if it was ever proven or not.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby nog00der » November 29th 2012, 8:57pm

I'm using a brand called mastercraft this time. it's the o'reily auto parts in house brand I believe. they are lifetime guarantee as well. we shall see.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » November 29th 2012, 9:30pm

The amount of torsion lift, cv angle and where it puts the control arms in range of travel is mostly why I want to try increasing body lift/decrease torsion lift.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD to 4" Lift to 5" Lift

Postby Philly758 » December 3rd 2012, 2:59am

Corsemoto wrote:Not sure where the Timbrens would come into play with the additional lift of the 22-687 springs and lift shackles. They may not be long enough to be really effective although they could be spaced differently and/or perhaps a longer bumpstop from Timbren. Not sure how much, if any they would affect axle articulation but I don't necessarily see flexing my van to the limit very often. Image

I looked into longer bumpstops from Energy Suspension when I installed the add-a-leafs but never really pursued it any further.

Shad0w, I'll keep that in mind when I'm ready to replace the springs again.


Hmmm I forgot about your shackles....

So for me, with leafs only, I was thinking the following. For normal driving the timbrens wouldn't do anything. When loaded or towing the rear will sink into the travel, since its lifted and the spring capacity has been reduced by 100 lbs it will sag more. Without going to the extreme of relying on the overload spring, which at that point it would probably look awful compared to the front, the timbrens could help reduce or stop the sagging that that point. I guess I would need to take measurements and really figure it out, but I have a feeling my current bump stops are pretty useless and I think the timbrens would do more than that. :shrug:

Corsemoto wrote:The amount of torsion lift, cv angle and where it puts the control arms in range of travel is mostly why I want to try increasing body lift/decrease torsion lift.


Do you think that the decrease in ground clearance, increase in body lift, creating more issues with hoses/steering/etc will outweigh the CV joint wear issues?
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