Body lift vs. A Arm (torsion) lift..which way to go

Body lift vs. A Arm (torsion) lift..which way to go

Postby Meterpig [OP] » August 6th 2015, 11:38pm

So far I have the A arms relocated (huge, huge improvement), 1 inch torsion lift and 2 inch body lift.

I want to go higher but can't decide which way to go higher with. My options are:
a)Lift torsion bars with new keys and rear shackle
b)Lift body and rear shackle

After doing just a tiny 2 inch lift (1 inch keys, 1 inch a arm relocation), I found the stock KYB's did not allow that much more room for downward motion of the a arms. I assume Bilstiens provide more. Haven't looked. Also, the other issue is CV angle. Nothing sucks more than changing CV joint because they failed from angle. Right now my A arms are fairly neutral..my cv joints (if they were a person) would be happy. Also, pushing the A arms downward sucks the tires in which seems counter productive for handling.

I have read many doomsday scenarios of going to 3 inch pucks. Read on this website, this means longer steering shaft, longer hose to/from Hyrdoboost, brake lines, Hyenas falling from the sky. But..it's a known quantity and Lumpy has proven the sky is literally the limit. A Arms have a limit. But..I have read many happy body lifters too who say "it's no big deal". To date, I have seen one post about actually changing the steering shaft with photos. Are there more?

What do I want to accomplish? Tire clearance and bumper clearance (approach angle). Right now my garage has 6 inches of clearance-total (no cheesy roof rack)..so that's sort of the limit.

Thoughts from the collective?
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Re: Body lift vs. A Arm (torsion) lift..which way to go

Postby 97cargocrawler » August 7th 2015, 12:41am

Body lift requires only direct bolt on parts and no changes in ride aside from CG and gives tons more space in the engine compartment. Not much creativity or engineering required.

Lump and I have 4" body lifts.
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Re: Body lift vs. A Arm (torsion) lift..which way to go

Postby Lumpy » August 7th 2015, 12:55am

There's no particular grief with a big body lift. It's all small stuff. Steering shaft, no prob. I modded mine, Cargo replaced his. Fuel filter, I moved it by a couple inches with a simple little hardware bracket. No new plumbing or electrical. Just watch it all as you lift it.


Shocks - No BRAND of shock will give you any more or less travel than some other brand, if the two of them are the same dimensions. So when you go to shock your van, either measure the new travel or measure the old shock and add the new travel dimension. Then just pick the shock of your choice with those new dimensions. And you may not have to change them at all. I have something like 4 or 5 inches of control arm lift and I'm still with stock dimension shocks. With an AWD it might be a little different because your shocks sit outboard farther than RWD front shocks.

I think the "worry point" with a control arm lift is camber. As you lower the LCA, your camber becomes more and more positive (top out, bottom in), the opposite of the extreme ghetto mobiles. I'm not even sure how AWD upper control arms adjust for camber. But I'm sure there's a limit.


As always, I suggest paging through $uperJoe's build. Something like 36" lift, much of it body. He has, of course, had to relocate a lot of hoses and wiring. But even still, nothing un-doable. And for me at least, looking at a 36" lift lets me know what to face for a simple little 11" lift.


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Re: Body lift vs. A Arm (torsion) lift..which way to go

Postby Vandiction » August 7th 2015, 2:57pm

FWIW:
Here's what 2" keys looks like with a 29.5" tire. Keys aren't cranked up. Hub center to wheel well is 18.5".


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Re: Body lift vs. A Arm (torsion) lift..which way to go

Postby Corsemoto » August 7th 2015, 10:06pm

On my 2004 AWD, for 3" of body lift (besides the 3" spacers and longer hardware) I installed longer p/s lines, longer p/s reservoir to pump hose and used RWD steering shaft. I also adjusted all tubing on the factory air intake to relieve a bit of stress there as well. Spark plug access is as simple as reaching in through wheelwells (no splash guards), no removing wheels or jacking up necessary.

I ordered 170mm length 10.9 hardware but realized I could have gone with 155-160mm length and been fine after seeing the 130mm length bolts provided with OLV 2" kit. I also installed Energy Suspension poly body mount bushings at the same time and bumper bracket lift was as easy as relocating the brackets to the next set adjustment holes.

I researched p/s lines on Rock Auto for hours comparing shapes, lengths and end configurations. In the end I went with the same lines Cargo used even though the line to p/s pump end was slightly different and made them work with a few hours of bending and test fitting. I was replacing p/s pump and leaking lines anyway so not really that much additional effort.

I also installed those Walker exhaust insulators (hangers) as well which helped reduce the tension and put exhaust back into a more natural position along with reduced vibes.

At 3" of body lift on my van, the stock AWD steering shaft was maxed out with 1" of overlap and the RWD steering I installed gave 2 1/2" of overlap and both ends are splined/located the same so easy swap.

I still plan on installing the Airbagit lift torsion keys (chassis_tech on ebay) I have on hand just to provide the additional adjustability for future torsion bar sag.

Any stock shock, Bilstein or otherwise probably isn't going to have enough extension once you relocate the upper bj's and have (albeit slight) additional downward travel.
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Re: Body lift vs. A Arm (torsion) lift..which way to go

Postby Meterpig [OP] » August 8th 2015, 8:45pm

Hey Corsemoto-thank you for the detailed info. Sounds like an A arm lift is the "easiest" at this point and the shock problem is related the a arm relocation. I am quite happy with that mod...but didn't account for the additional travel. To accommodate, I settled on a slight front lift. But...it doesn't bind and dropping into holes doesn't bother me at all.


It sounds like I can just get the RWD shaft and be "ok" but not perfect. Hadn't thought about the exhaust piece at all.

Thanks.
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Re: Body lift vs. A Arm (torsion) lift..which way to go

Postby Corsemoto » August 9th 2015, 7:27am

Hey, no problem. After re-reading my post, I should clarify that I have the OLV bumper brackets so that's what made the extra bumper lift easy.
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Re: Body lift vs. A Arm (torsion) lift..which way to go

Postby Lumpy » August 9th 2015, 8:47am

Meterpig wrote:
Sounds like an A arm lift is the "easiest" at this point...

It sounds like I can just get the RWD shaft and be "ok" but not perfect. Hadn't thought about the exhaust piece at all.



If you're doing a torsion bar lift, but not a body lift, then steering shaft and exhaust hangers is not a factor. Those will remain exactly where they were before and after the lift.


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Re: Body lift vs. A Arm (torsion) lift..which way to go

Postby Corsemoto » August 9th 2015, 8:06pm

Good pointsitis by Lump.

If you do decide to go with 3" body lift, replace (or disconnect) the steering shaft first as it will be maxed out by lifting the body to install the 3" spacers on an AWD and the only thing holding it together is a small set screw.

With 2" body lift, the Walker insulators would help, the third hole would give just a bit more breathing room to reduce stress.

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I ordered extra so I could double them up for a bit more security too.

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Re: Body lift vs. A Arm (torsion) lift..which way to go

Postby Meterpig [OP] » August 9th 2015, 10:26pm

Thanks for the advice. Despite the pain of going higher on the body, I think the best plan is to go ahead and do a higher body lift.

The front wheels, for me, are already sucked in enough and going higher will only bring them in more.
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Re: Body lift vs. A Arm (torsion) lift..which way to go

Postby Lumpy » August 9th 2015, 10:36pm

Meterpig wrote:Despite the pain of going higher on the body, I think the best plan is to go ahead and do a higher body lift.



What "pain"?


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