235/70/16s on an 04 AWD with 2" lift

235/70/16s on an 04 AWD with 2" lift

Postby vtstang66 [OP] » January 21st 2018, 3:37am

I put this in this forum because I think it's more relevant to the "tire fit with lift" theme than it is to the wheel and tire forum.

So I did the basic 2" lift with new 1195 HD 1700# Astro springs from General Spring, 2" pucks, and lift shackles. Then I bought some 235/70R16 Yokohama Geolandar A/Ts and put them on the van. Then I took some pictures and measurements, and here they are!

First, a side shot:
IMG_20180120_130227854.jpg

Rear wheel:
IMG_20180120_130245859.jpg

Front of rear wheel:
IMG_20180120_132251441_HDR.jpg

Rear of rear wheel:
IMG_20180120_132307271_HDR.jpg

Front wheel:
IMG_20180120_130305423.jpg

Front of front wheel at minimum clearance; it's about 3/4" to the plastic and another 1/4" to the metal bumper support:
IMG_20180120_132449633.jpg

Rear of front wheel at minimum clearance; 1/2" to the plastic and another 1/4" to the metal. Mine is slightly mangled from when someone who may or may not have been me drove it off the front of some ramps :doh: Yours might vary slightly:
IMG_20180120_132709222.jpg


Here's a shot from the front:
IMG_20180120_131954571.jpg

And one along the side:
IMG_20180120_131748593.jpg


Thoughts:
These 235/70/16 tires are advertised and measure 29" diameter exactly. I had to do zero trimming and had room left over.
-A 245/70/16 tire is advertised at around 29.5"; theoretically I could have installed that size, still not had to trim at all, and had around 1/4" minimum clearance and a wider tire. I think a wider tire would look nicer on these 16x7 wheels.
-A 235/75/16 is advertised around 29.9"; this would have been pretty much just touching in some places. I could have probably installed this size without having to cut any metal, maybe just cut some plastic and gentle hammer massaging in a couple places (rear of front wells) for insurance. The wheel wells would be FULL though.
-A 225/75/16 is advertised at 29.2-29.3". This diameter would also fit fine, but I am glad I didn't go skinnier than these 235s.
-255/65/16 is advertised 29-29.1", 255/70/16 is advertised 30". Now the shoulder width starts coming into play so you're on your own there. I think they'd work with minimal trimming.

The slider has about 1.5" of clearance with these BTW, so 245s would have no problem there. The sway bar is another point that could possibly start rubbing with wider tires at full lock. I couldn't get a measurement because the wheel won't stay at full lock without somebody holding it and I couldn't be two places at once. However I think it would also accommodate 245s just fine; worst case you just don't drive around at full lock too much. I know lots of people run 245/75s with larger lifts.

I am happy with this size. When speedometer reads 65, actual speed is 67 mph per the GPS. I don't have a tach but the engine feels like it's pretty happy. I was running a 26.6" tire before so it feels like it's lugging a little to me but that's probably just me getting used to the designed gearing. These are the 3.42 gears or whatever the common ratio is. I wouldn't want to run any bigger tire for the type of driving that I do, which is mostly city/highway with the occasional trailer. I'm not fording streams or climbing rock piles. The 245 would look nicer I think with maybe a little shaving of some plastic, so that's about as big as I'd consider personally at this time. There's a member on here I saw running the 245/70s with what appears to be the same lift, and they look pretty nice.

Hope this helps some folks.
Last edited by vtstang66 on January 21st 2018, 4:24am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: 235/70/16s on an 04 AWD with 2" lift

Postby 1lowcab » January 21st 2018, 3:47am

Good post! :thumbup:
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Re: 235/70/16s on an 04 AWD with 2" lift

Postby GreatWhite » January 21st 2018, 6:38am

Yeah Bud! Well written, good info in there.
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Re: 235/70/16s on an 04 AWD with 2" lift

Postby 97cargocrawler » January 21st 2018, 8:21am

vtstang66 wrote:So I did the basic 2" lift with new 1195 HD 1700# Astro springs from General Spring, 2" pucks, and lift shackles.


So with new HD springs and lift shackles you're only getting 2" of lift in the rear?
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Re: 235/70/16s on an 04 AWD with 2" lift

Postby konybravo » January 21st 2018, 11:24am

Nice, detailed wright up! I was, just wondering about these variations, as well, so it's pretty helpfull to me. Thanks! :thumbup:
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Re: 235/70/16s on an 04 AWD with 2" lift

Postby vtstang66 [OP] » January 21st 2018, 2:46pm

97cargocrawler wrote:
vtstang66 wrote:So I did the basic 2" lift with new 1195 HD 1700# Astro springs from General Spring, 2" pucks, and lift shackles.


So with new HD springs and lift shackles you're only getting 2" of lift in the rear?


When I installed the HD springs, I gained roughly an inch over the sagging stock springs. I didn't measure at the time, but after 6 months of settling, the top of rim to top of wheelwell measurements were 10-1/8" on the left and 10-1/2" on the right. This is with no rear or middle seats, full tank of gas, and maybe 100# of stuff in the van.

Then I installed the shackles that same day, and the new measurements were 11-7/8" and 12". This is an increase of 1-3/4" LHS and 1-1/2" RHS from the Airbagit shackles.

Yesterday, a month later with a middle seat and another 50# of stuff in the back, rim-fender measurements were 11-3/4" both sides.

Actual measured OD of the 16x7 aluminum rims is 17-3/8". So if you want to standardize the rim-fender measurements to the CL of the hub, add half of that, or 8-11/16"

Yesterday I did TnB's spring hanger mod, so I'm expecting maybe another 1/2" from that, will report back once I get the wheels back on.

*edit* I should add a couple things:
-In the first pic of the post, I think the ground isn't 100% level. You can see from my "along the side" shot that there is more clearance in the LHS wheel well than the RHS. I think the rear axle is cocked over a little; on level ground the RHS sits slightly higher.
-The above measurements I gave were all taken on a (hopefully level) garage floor for accuracy.
-The torsion bars have been moved all over the place in the last year as I tried to level the van, installed front end components, etc. I'm getting them final-dialed for an alignment tomorrow. But they make a big difference in how the van sits, and any inconsistencies from corner to corner and side to side I'll blame on those and the weight distribution inside the van.
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Re: 235/70/16s on an 04 AWD with 2" lift

Postby WimpTech » January 21st 2018, 5:27pm

Nice write up!
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Re: 235/70/16s on an 04 AWD with 2" lift

Postby Corsemoto » January 22nd 2018, 1:31am

Yeah nice write-up.

That is what I started with several years ago when I first lifted my van. Thread here: https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=13131 but all the pics were probably Photophucked so nice to see yours with 2” lift & 235/70-16 tires. :thumbup:
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Re: 235/70/16s on an 04 AWD with 2" lift

Postby SilverSafari » May 25th 2018, 9:17am

Awesome looking van! I see you got new springs, 2" pucks and shackles; what was the total lift on the van? Did you torque the torsion bars at all?

I am just starting the process of lifting my 2005 AWD Safari van and believe that somewhere in between 2-4" is the sweet spot. I want to do backcountry roads so want to have a bit more burliness with new springs rather than the full body lift kit.

Once again - great looking van - great post - thanks!
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Re: 235/70/16s on an 04 AWD with 2" lift

Postby Mmusicman » May 26th 2018, 1:53pm

Excellent post! You have obviously done a LOT of homework on this and share it well with measurements and photos!

One observation you clearly point out (that I'm always trying to say) is in the photos you show how close the tires are to the bottom of the fender openings, not how close it is to the top. A lift of a couple inches really has NO affect on this lower clearance issue. This is one of the main reasons for the tire size "limitation"... is that the fender openings just don't offer much open area (like they do on pickup trucks etc). Top to tire isn't the issue... it's more lower front and back of fender area to tire (as shown by your tape measure photos).

And while these close areas "can" be trimmed up somewhat.. this modification will still only offer "some" minimal additional front and rear clearances. There is both functional and aesthetic value in attempting to resolve this however.

Of course there are also clearance issues with regard to suspension and frame in tight turns too. The width of the tires can affect this clearance issue too. I still have the rub marks on my sway bar and frame from when I was running 31's. (I've downsized to a 30" 245/70-17 which is still a lot even with my lift)

Body moldings are a bit harder to trim... but the bumper cover can actually be trimmed by hand easily with a razor knife. The trick is doing the trimming so it doesn't look like you've trimmed it.

As far as the van being a little more lugging and sluggish... this is a fact with taller tires. Doing so with moderation can offer "acceptable" results, but going excessive WILL hurt performance and fuel economy. Trust me... I know! Of course a gear change will give you back the pep and torque you sacrifice... going from a standard 3.42 to 3.73 is a GREAT option. But it is TWICE as involved and clostly if you have an AWD! Measuring with GPS... mine is exactly 10% off.

One more IMPORTANT NOTE:
Anyone driving an AWD... you MUST get a MATCHING SPARE TIRE!!!

I am guilty of not doing this.. and have driven short distances on a wrong sized spare. I do at least have a 29" spare on 15" rim. How far you can go like this is uncertain. This can damage the transfer case (even quite possibly with the AWD disengaged, although it might take longer). My AWD is on a toggle switch. At the very least, anyone in this position should pull the ATC fuse.

I recently found an identical (brand and size) used matching spare tire for mine. But now I'm still looking for 17" wheel to put it on. 17" wheels with 5x5 bolt pattern are uncommon.. so it looks like I may have to buy a new rim. It appears that it will all just barely fit underneath with my trailer hitch.

Thanks again for the GREAT write-up and photos!!! :)
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Re: 235/70/16s on an 04 AWD with 2" lift

Postby vtstang66 [OP] » July 9th 2018, 8:47pm

SilverSafari wrote:Awesome looking van! I see you got new springs, 2" pucks and shackles; what was the total lift on the van? Did you torque the torsion bars at all?

I am just starting the process of lifting my 2005 AWD Safari van and believe that somewhere in between 2-4" is the sweet spot. I want to do backcountry roads so want to have a bit more burliness with new springs rather than the full body lift kit.

Once again - great looking van - great post - thanks!


Sorry, I just saw this. With the Airbagit 2" shackles, I got right at 1.5" of lift. This makes sense if you consider that the middle of the springs (axle) will move about half the distance that one end of the spring moves, and the shackles are only about 3" longer than the stock ones. I don't know how that's a thing, but it is. They're really 1.5" lift shackles. I then did the TurnNBurn "spring hanger mod." You can search for that on this site but basically you drill new holes in your forward spring hangers to give a little more lift and move the wheels slightly rearward in the wells. I got about 1/2" more doing that, for a total of just about 2".

I say "about" a lot because my measurements (especially my initial measurements) were not too accurate. But it's pretty close. Of course how much gas you have, what's in the van, phase of the moon, how you hold your mouth, etc. will change your measurements as well.

I did crank the torsion bars at every stage, and settled on about 3/4" rake from back to front. Lots of people say 1" is good but these 1700# springs don't really move much and I could have gotten away with a little less. I am currently about 2.5 turns from max on the torsion bars. When I go over big speed bumps sometimes I feel the suspension top out, so I wouldn't recommend going any further than that. Some people say cranking the bars makes the suspension ride harsher, others say it shouldn't because you're not changing the spring rate, just moving the springs. I agree with all those people! Make sure you like where the torsion bars are before you get an alignment, because they change your camber and possibly toe as well. Also when you turn those bars up and down, shoot some lube on them and take the weight off the suspension.

The pucks are exactly 2" thick, so in theory you should get exactly 2" of lift in the front without doing anything. I measured slightly less than that but I'm going to assume that's just my measurement error.

With these tires and the lift, the top of the luggage rack is 80" off the floor on the driver's side and 80-1/4" on the passenger's side. I barely fit into a parking garage yesterday and I'm glad it's not 1" taller!

For your purposes, I would recommend you look at S-10 springs. They'll give you 3-4" lift I believe, and you can get new ones or used. Either way it's a cheaper and simpler alternative than new Astro springs + shackles. At that point you should also get a longer rear brake hose so you don't have a big ol' problem 5 miles down some back road.
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