Things Got Real - Juanita the Van in Progress

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Things Got Real - Juanita the Van in Progress

Postby DubaiAstro [OP] » December 20th 2020, 12:23am

Finally work is underway...

Over the last 3 days after waiting for a month to get parts and kits shipped in, the project is under way.

My Van AKA Juanita, is 2000 AWD with 61K KM on the odometer, and she is amazing. My wife hated it when I got it, but I guess they all do, now she wants to get it prepared for camping and hiking trips.

I got it early March and been enjoying it ever since, and its time to take it to the next level as the desert wilderness is calling.

First task was to lift the Van with 3-5 inches, got JOR Kit "Super Ride Lift", KYB Shocks, and while I was at it, a lot of components for the front end was needed, mainly, arms, steering parts etc. Kept the leaf springs at the lowest point at the shackles and the spring hangers giving it the maximum lift.

Also, if you gonna do it, do it big, so opted for 31x10.5x15 AT tires, Yokohama Geolander.

Check the photos out...

Now, I do have a couple of questions for the veterans amongst us: :?:

1. Why is it squeaky after the build? Have I Missed something?

2. The rear is very bouncy and rigid, i think it has to do with the shocks installed. I installed KYB 565063 and its very stiff for some reason. Did I order the wrong shocks, or maybe there is a better softer option to have?

3. Did anyone experience issues with the exhaust system? The hangers are just to short and the end tail pipe was rubbing against the leaf springs shackle. had to temporarily bend it until i got it one properly, a bit of restriction due to the bend, but its for a while only.

4. The engine sounds a bit louder, anyone faced this issue?

5. The skirts, or mud covers in the front suspension portion don't fit due to the lift, any suggestions? or just remove them?

Any advise would be appreciated :)...

Will keep you posted on the progress.
Attachments
WhatsApp Image 2020-12-20 at 3.13.37 AM (2).jpeg
Just about to start
WhatsApp Image 2020-12-20 at 3.14.25 AM (6).jpeg
Front end stripping
WhatsApp Image 2020-12-20 at 3.14.25 AM (4).jpeg
3 Inch Spacer installed
WhatsApp Image 2020-12-20 at 3.14.25 AM (2).jpeg
Rear lift work and wheels getting painted
WhatsApp Image 2020-12-20 at 3.14.25 AM (3).jpeg
Glossy Black is Back
WhatsApp Image 2020-12-20 at 3.14.25 AM (1).jpeg
Rear Done
WhatsApp Image 2020-12-20 at 3.14.25 AM.jpeg
Front Almost Done
WhatsApp Image 2020-12-20 at 3.14.00 AM.jpeg
Just finished
Original Poster [OP]
DubaiAstro
Fueling (Empty tank)
Fueling (Empty tank)
Posts: 7
Topics: 2
Images: 5
Joined: April 2020
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Monkey Dubai
Van Model Year: 2001
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LS AWD

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Re: Things Got Real - Juanita the Van in Progress

Postby Rod's Trucks » December 20th 2020, 1:26am

Looking good!
Nice progress.
I am very jealous of the low mileage.

Rod J.
Issaquah, WA
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Re: Things Got Real - Juanita the Van in Progress

Postby Brewtus » December 20th 2020, 2:16am

DubaiAstro wrote:Finally work is underway...

Over the last....


Juanita is looking good! I enjoy looking at your photos. Good choice on the 31-inch tires! :D Vivian and I installed them on Brewtus, too.

What part of the vehicle do you hear the squeakiness? Also, when do you hear it?

I'm excited to read about some of your adventures!


Best,
Dylan
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Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Things Got Real - Juanita the Van in Progress

Postby Mmusicman » December 20th 2020, 2:46am

DubaiAstro wrote:1. Why is it squeaky after the build? Have I Missed something?

Depends on where the squeak is coming from...

2. The rear is very bouncy and rigid, i think it has to do with the shocks installed. I installed KYB 565063 and its very stiff for some reason. Did I order the wrong shocks, or maybe there is a better softer option to have?

Did you change the springs?
Is the van empty? This could be most of the reason?
Shocks? They typically "dampen" bounce. But KYB's are "firm" shocks. Maybe too firm for you?
A firmer tire may be the culprit too?

3. Did anyone experience issues with the exhaust system? The hangers are just to short and the end tail pipe was rubbing against the leaf springs shackle.

Yes.. I had to make some "adjustments".. and some of the stock hangers no longer reach.
I also had to tweak the tailpipe.. no big deal.

4. The engine sounds a bit louder, anyone faced this issue?

Maybe you created a leak with the exhaust hanger issues?
Maybe muffler (at different distance from floor) creates a different resonance?

5. The skirts, or mud covers in the front suspension portion don't fit due to the lift, any suggestions? or just remove them?

Mine don't fit properly.. but they are still better than nothing.
I have the top part attached and they hang where they hang.
I've considered adding flaps to the flaps.

Lifting a van (more than 2") requires corrective mods and creativity.
Whatever it needs!

Van looks GREAT! Nice job! :thumbup:
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Re: Things Got Real - Juanita the Van in Progress

Postby MechBob » December 20th 2020, 3:05am

Nice shop,nice pics,nice work! Would be nice if I could ever visit over there,one day,but do not see it happening,on my poor income.Now,did not research your lift kit parts,but most lube all bushings,not like old days,and,from my experience,any lifted vehicle puts more stress on doors and such,more chance for noise.Am interested in the rear bumper?Looks like an old style steel part,with just a top plastic cover,but the built in reverse lamp? Did you build that?
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Re: Things Got Real - Juanita the Van in Progress

Postby DubaiAstro [OP] » December 20th 2020, 11:36pm

Now,did not research your lift kit parts,but most lube all bushings,not like old days,and,from my experience,any lifted vehicle puts more stress on doors and such,more chance for noise.Am interested in the rear bumper?Looks like an old style steel part,with just a top plastic cover,but the built in reverse lamp? Did you build that?


MechBob, Thanks... Yep all bushes are lubed, the squeak is very short high pitched squeak, I will dig more into it, and let you know.

The bumber actually is stock, but the plastic cover fell off, never seen it as i bought the car without it...
I will have to do something about that soon... Will keep you posted.

Van looks GREAT! Nice job! ..... Depends on where the squeak is coming from...

MmusicMan, Thanks mate :)

So far i know its coming from the front driver section of the van, i think it might be the spacers, but not sure, its high pitch almost constant squeak...

Did you change the springs?
Is the van empty? This could be most of the reason?
Shocks? They typically "dampen" bounce. But KYB's are "firm" shocks. Maybe too firm for you?
A firmer tire may be the culprit too?


MmusicMan, Springs are stock, i went today to do an alignment, the springs look almost flat, maybe its to low on the shackles and the springs hangers setting. No idea :doh:

The van is empty of any additional things, it has the 2 row of seats and thats it.

As for the shocks from KYB, i can replace them with the stock shocks just to see any difference. would that be wise to compare and do?

As for the tires, they are Yokohama Geolander AT G015 (31x10.5x15), wouldn't know if there is a firmness rating on tires honestly.

Yes.. I had to make some "adjustments".. and some of the stock hangers no longer reach.
I also had to tweak the tailpipe.. no big deal.


Yeah, so Still need to visit an exhaust specialist to tweak it correctly and come up with longer hangers, and most likely adjust the tailpipe outwards under the shackle behind the rear tire, and just add a nice tip.

Maybe you created a leak with the exhaust hanger issues?
Maybe muffler (at different distance from floor) creates a different resonance?


I will check it after adjusting and placing the exhaust and muffler correctly.
Also i asked a friend to give me a 3M Noise Dampening foil tape and slap it on body panels, floor board, the frame maybe, anywhere that i can just to bring noise to a minimum.

Thanks MmusicMan

What part of the vehicle do you hear the squeakiness? Also, when do you hear it?

Brewtus, Thanks Dylen,

So the squeak is front driver side area, and its heard almost all the time.

You can count on nice pictures and trips to golden sandy dunes, with a van stuck in them :)

Thanks all for your comments and help. :thumbup:
Original Poster [OP]
DubaiAstro
Fueling (Empty tank)
Fueling (Empty tank)
Posts: 7
Topics: 2
Images: 5
Joined: April 2020
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Monkey Dubai
Van Model Year: 2001
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LS AWD

Re: Things Got Real - Juanita the Van in Progress

Postby Brewtus » December 25th 2020, 5:28am

You're welcome. :D Is in a "spinning" squeak or when you hit bumps?
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Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Things Got Real - Juanita the Van in Progress

Postby AstroWill » December 25th 2020, 9:19pm

Is that like a shared workshop?

Some nice ones in Germany, rent a bay with all the tools, expert mechanics are available for 1euro per min. We have them over here at a lot of military bases, but rare to see outside of that setting.

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