Chevy Astro and GMC Safari Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello! I am currently installing what is probably the second to last step in my vans lift and I wanted to share. I was offered some CST 3" lift spindles for the 1500. Price was good and it came with upper and lower arms. I am currently sitting at 3" body lift, 3" spring spacer, and a 1.5" ball joint spacer. Running 265,70,17 tires. Sawzall took care off the rubbing.

The lift spindles seem to be the exact same as far as lift goes compared to my factory spindles. The only difference being the 1500 spindle has (what I call) a top mounted ball joint. Where as my astro spindle is bottom mounted. Also the tie rod end is flipped but that's super easy. The top factory ball joint matched the taper of the CST, the tie rod matched, the brake caliper matched, the wheel bearing matched. Hell even the lower ball joint taper matched it was just upside down.

I am left with two options. I am either going to weld in a plate on the lower control arm to be able to mount a 1500 lower ball joint (which is a bolt in style) or press out my ball joint and flip it. Obvious concern with flipping the factory ball joint is that there is no circlip to hold the ball joint pressed in in that direction. Easy option being take the Dremel for a drive and add a ring or weld it in. Thinking it might be easier to just weld the plate in and bolt in the 1500 ball joint.

Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Car Vehicle

Tire Wheel Plant Automotive tire Vehicle
Shoe Jaw Wood Automotive design Sculpture
Wood Motor vehicle Art Automotive design Working animal
Wheel Tire Automotive tire Tread Motor vehicle
Wood Bicycle part Red Tool Crankset
Wood Art Tool Motor vehicle Auto part

Wheel Tire Automotive tire Tread Motor vehicle


Wood Art Tool Motor vehicle Auto part




Wood Gas Bumper Hardwood Carmine
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
Joined
·
6,007 Posts
You should be aware that upper ball-joint spacers do not provide lift.
They merely correct the upper control arm positioning and angle with suspension lifts.
The lift spindle may or may not be designed to work with it.

I did 2wd full size van lifts back in the 80's

Interesting project!
Anything is possible with the right tools and skills.
Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You should be aware that upper ball-joint spacers do not provide lift.
They merely correct the upper control arm positioning and angle with suspension lifts.
The lift spindle may or may not be designed to work with it.

Interesting project!
Anything is possible with the right tools and skills.
Good luck
Yeah I know. Thanks! They are just in because I needed a bit more room for the upper control arm to move around. Camber is definitely way off atm because of them. Figuring out alignment at the end of all this will be it's own adventure. They will likely come out because the new spindles are a lot taller. I really appreciate the good information. Please keep it coming!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
New light. I found a gm lower ball joint I think I can use. 12475477 is the part number. Gonna try and find measurements before I waste another 30 bucks on rock auto.
 

·
Registered
2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
Joined
·
6,007 Posts
I always found it best when I'm "experimenting" or test fitting normal parts to buy them over the counter locally.. that way they are easily exchanged or returned. I've even made lists and measured them at the counter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The same ones at the local shop are 40 a piece and these are ten. I typically buy the cheapest i can find to test fit and beat the hell out of then replace them once its working properly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I always found it best when I'm "experimenting" or test fitting normal parts to buy them over the counter locally.. that way they are easily exchanged or returned. I've even made lists and measured them at the counter
Took the lowers into the local parts shop and matched them to a 1500hd 2wd lower. Same taper and diameter. To see if the hubs would fit I pressed in the lowers upside down to test fit everything else. Going to have contact between the sway bar and pretty much everything. I am going to go with a much short sway bar end link to pull it out of the way. This is with everything but the sway bar attached.
Tire Automotive parking light Wheel Automotive side marker light Vehicle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Automotive parking light Tire Wheel Car Land vehicle


The solution ended up being welding in factory lower ball joints upside down. Need to remove some shims to bring the top of the tire out but this is the final ride height. Sitting at 39.75" at the top of the fender. Rear is sitting at 40.25". 265 70 17 almost look too small sitting in there now. Gonna finish up the other side and start working on all the rust. Have fun everyone!
 

·
Registered
2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
Joined
·
6,007 Posts
Wow! Great job!
Welcome to my world.
You're going to LOVE the view!!!

You're running the same size 265/70-17 tires I "was" running when I started (at about the same lift). I dropped down one size to highway touring tires since then. It's cool to see a big suspension & body lift combo! That means you got some pretty good ground clearance too.

How did you get the rear to match?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow! Great job!
Welcome to my world.
You're going to LOVE the view!!!

You're running the same size 265/70-17 tires I "was" running when I started (at about the same lift). I dropped down one size to highway touring tires since then. It's cool to see a big suspension & body lift combo! That means you got some pretty good ground clearance too.

How did you get the rear to match?
The rear I drilled and lowered the bolt hole on the front leaf spring bracket, stock rear shackles, generic s10 lift leafs, and 3" lifting blocks. Now that I am done with the front the lift blocks are coming out and being replaced by longer shackles and front brackets. Really wanting to extend the front subframe to at least the front leaf spring brackets. Need to get in there and measure some things. Got several yards of 2" square tubing that's 3/16 thick. Was planning on doing rock rails out of it at the same time.
 

·
Registered
2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
Joined
·
6,007 Posts
Amazing what you can do with welding skills...
The sky is the limit!

PS: I have no issue with blocks.. I have 5" blocks plus S10 springs rear.
But there is always more than one way to lift.

Have fun
 
  • Like
Reactions: Shitboxastro

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update for fit and finish. The inside of the tire was rubbing the upper control arm. Added 1.5" wheel spacers until I can figure out what offset rims I need. Needed to pull every shim out of the upper control arm camber adjusters. It's pretty close to being straight. It's straight enough for me.

The factory brake lines reach at full droop. I bent my brackets and lines down a long time ago to give me a couple extra inches on the hard line side. The factory caliper bolts are too long. Added washers for now to test things out. Probably need to be half an inch shorter.

Super stiff ride. I have factory 3500 van shocks on all four corners. The back isn't bad at all. The nose is bumpy but doesn't dive when slowing down so I'll take the trade off.

I'm not done trying to find a better ball joint solution. Going to keep looking.

Overall super happy with it. I've got about $500 into the lift. Before I put the spindles on, the back was a lot higher than the front. I really liked that look. Probably gonna leave the lift blocks in and shackle the leafs to raise it back up.
Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Automotive side marker light Car

Plant Road surface Asphalt Grass Wood

Funniest issue to have is that I now have to make that 28" step into the cab.

Anyone got a set of 33s with a better offset they'd trade?
 

·
Registered
2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
Joined
·
6,007 Posts
Maybe you saw how I did my driver-side step?
It's been a life saver! (couple years ago it wasn't an issue.. lol)
(I carry a portable step for any one else who might only ride occasionally)
Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Vehicle Land vehicle


Here's my link:
 
  • Like
Reactions: CopperFiremist

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Maybe you saw how I did my driver-side step?
It's been a life saver! (couple years ago it wasn't an issue.. lol)
(I carry a portable step for any one else who might only ride occasionally)
View attachment 285411

Here's my link:

That's awesome! I came across 4 of the cheap aluminum cast truck steps a couple years ago that have been sitting around. I've mocked them a few times and can't like the way it looks. Gonna have to figure something out. Was originally thinking do a standard cab truck step on the driver and a king cab length one on the passenger side.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top