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

Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Shad0wXCalibur » December 17th 2011, 7:45pm

Your van's rake looks almost just like mine. I like it in a sense that if it's heavily loaded down, instead of looking like it's sagging, it'll just level out. Those tires don't look bad with that lift. My stock tires measure at about 27" or something so they look tiny :x
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » December 18th 2011, 6:52pm

Yep, when loaded it's still just a bit higher in the back than front, I like it.

Couple pics of the leaf spring install, after cutting the long installation bolts down, welded the nut to bolt to keep from moving as the fine threads on those bolts aren't very sturdy.

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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » December 22nd 2011, 1:42am

After installing the add-a-leaf springs, new u-joints for the rear driveshaft and lubing splines on front driveshaft, I thought the van drove nice on the way home. After driving today, it turns out I've got a pretty good vibration/rumble at about 60-65mph. Probably didn't notice it on the way home before because I accelerated onto highway and was cruising about 80 all the way and today's drive was all about 55-65 with traffic so was very noticeable.

Tonight I checked driveshaft alignment and pulled the shaft again to check on my new u-joints. I noticed the one on the front of the shaft connected to the yolk was a bit tight in one direction so tapped on the ears with my 30lb hammer until it loosened up about the same as the others. I also tried rotating the rear diff yolk 180 degrees when re-installing driveshaft and went for a test ride with no appreciable difference in the vibration.

I'm thinking it's related to the pinion angle and lift shackles in combination with installing the add-a-leafs. When I first installed the 2" OLV kit, I had a bit of vibration under acceleration from take-off to about 20-30mph which disappeared and replaced with the new vibration at 60mph. Tomorrow I'm going to adjust the shackles to the lowest position and test drive with it like that to see if the vibration changes or disappears. If it does, then I'll remove the leaf spring packs again and install the 4 degree pinion shims and see if that solves the problem.

I'm liking the idea of the heavy duty S10 leaf springs and stock shackles more and more every day.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Shad0wXCalibur » December 22nd 2011, 2:15am

Corsemoto wrote:I'm liking the idea of the heavy duty S10 leaf springs and stock shackles more and more every day.


I didn't even know shackles were a big issue with vibes so I'm really glad I went the new spring pack route :D
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » December 22nd 2011, 2:22am

Yeah, it will be interesting to see what happens when set the shackles to the low position and then if the pinion shims do the trick.

I'm going to use longer u-bolts and bolts on the leaf springs too because with the add-a-leafs I left the rubber pads out in order to have enough room to tighten the clamps and didn't have time to go get new hardware.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Mr_Bowtie » December 24th 2011, 3:33am

Are you going to use longer U-bolts with the stock clamshells? If so I would just like to see a pic of how it works out for you. I have been putting off installing my 2" leaf blocks cause I'm not sure what to do to hold them in....stock clamshells or something else?

I have a little vibration sometimes with my shackles. Its not everytime and doesn't seem to be at one certain speed. So, I like your idea of just getting big enough leaf packs you don't have to mess with anything else and can get rid of the shackles.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » December 24th 2011, 4:05am

Yes, I'm going to keep the stock clamshell brackets and possibly use longer u-bolts and bolts, it just depends on how everything fits once I have the leaf springs with shims and rubber pads. I didn't have much time to play with it when I had it apart the first time so opted to leave out the rubber pads and bolt everything back together knowing I might have to take it apart again to install the shims.

I haven't even had a chance to adjust the shackles yet but I'll be sure to post photos when I'm done.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » January 12th 2012, 6:57am

Let's see, where to start?

Guess I'll start with trying to cure the driveline vibration from 55-70mph by installing 4 degree pinion shims. When originally installing the add-a-leafs, I left out the rubber pads that sit on the axle and on top of the leaf springs under the clamshells. I removed the leaf springs again and installed the 4 degree pinion shims (fat end towards front) on top of the lower rubber pad, put the leaf springs back in with top rubber pad and set clamshell on top.

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Because of the additional leaf and pinion shim, the pack is quite a bit thicker than before so I compressed the clamshell with c-clamps and installed the outer u-bolts. I then had to cut off and drill out the inner lower clamps and use longer bolts.

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I didn't have access to a great selection of hardware so will be replacing with different nuts and bolts as I had to shim them with washers due to only being threaded halfway. Going to replace the u-bolts with longer ones as well.

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Curiously, the shims didn't really affect the driveline vibration, maybe slightly less but not cured. Perhaps I should install the shims directly on the rear axle instead of between the rubber pad and leaf spring. I'll also try dropping the shackles to the middle position and see what, if any effect that has on the situation.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » January 12th 2012, 7:13am

I did rear shock mounts at the same time as the shims using these nice pieces from Ruff Stuff. Inexpensive yet heavy-duty and nice group of people to talk to and deal with.

http://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/catalog/SBRKT-3.html

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Cut the low hanging shock mounts off leaving the tabs behind for mounting e-brake cable brackets:

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Cleaned up and ready for welding:

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My good friend welding (and trading out work he owes me!) the new mounts in place:

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His very nice work:

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Painted with Rustoleum rust converting satin black paint to finish it off:

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I also took to task my wobbly trailer hitch receiver by drilling and tapping sides and bottom and installing bolts and locknuts to take up any play. Probably going to have to paint the trailer hitch and my rear diff cover next!

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Late afternoon shot, finished up out in front of his workshop:

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Last edited by Corsemoto on January 12th 2012, 7:28am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby kus » January 12th 2012, 7:22am

looks great. was just going to post my pix u had asked for in the other thread and here I see the vibration you got is gone.....with adding another leaf?? how do you figure this happened? :o I want mine gone too now :evil:
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » January 12th 2012, 7:26am

Hi Kus. I still have vibration, the shims didn't do anything to get rid of it.

I'm kind of coming back to that it might be in the front from a cv axle or even my bad front wheel bearing. First, I really need to rule out if the lift shackles are the issue by lowering them, or even installing the stock shackles. If that's not it, I'll try dropping the front back down and I'm even also considering having the driveshaft balanced.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby kus » January 12th 2012, 8:01am

Crap, I still have mine (which was NOT there before the 2" OV lift) and another at 130-140km/h.....the last one only reminds me that perhaps the thing wasn't built in Italy and I should slow down and live..... Anyway, not to hi-jack your awesome thread, here are a couple of my lift pix.

2" Overland body + 1" torsion bar front = 3", S10 new spring packs in rear for 3 1/2" (I was told, still got to measure it again but it looks about right).

Added the 235/75 R15's and painted the chipping silver rims flat black. The painting was done in 20 minutes of reasonable hand sanding, spray bombing, no clear laquer, I am surprised how well they turned out. Polished up the chrome wheel caps, voila. Added window shades, they make the truck go Vroom Vrooom....and the map pocket and cracked arm rest doesn't fill up with rain when ya open the windows a bit for some air :idea:

Now if only I could find an AWD rear swaybar.....All the ones I can locate strangly warn RWD only :evil: I didn't think the rear would be any different, WTH :?:
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Philly758 » January 12th 2012, 3:09pm

kus wrote:Now if only I could find an AWD rear swaybar.....All the ones I can locate strangly warn RWD only :evil: I didn't think the rear would be any different, WTH :?:


They shouldn't be any different. I just installed a Hellwig on my AWD. Check out my thread: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=13627

EDIT: You if you go to Hellwigs website ( http://www.hellwigproducts.com/products ... sway-bars/ ) and search for Astro or Safari, it says 7556 for front w/o AWD and 7534 for rear. They are two different part numbers. You may be confusing the AWD mess with the fact that no company makes an aftermarket front sway bar for AWD. I had replace my front recently with a Dorman solid sway bar since it was the only option. I hope that makes sense, good luck.
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » January 12th 2012, 5:02pm

kus wrote:Crap, I still have mine (which was NOT there before the 2" OV lift) and another at 130-140km/h.....the last one only reminds me that perhaps the thing wasn't built in Italy and I should slow down and live..... Anyway, not to hi-jack your awesome thread, here are a couple of my lift pix.

2" Overland body + 1" torsion bar front = 3", S10 new spring packs in rear for 3 1/2" (I was told, still got to measure it again but it looks about right).

Added the 235/75 R15's and painted the chipping silver rims flat black. The painting was done in 20 minutes of reasonable hand sanding, spray bombing, no clear laquer, I am surprised how well they turned out. Polished up the chrome wheel caps, voila. Added window shades, they make the truck go Vroom Vrooom....and the map pocket and cracked arm rest doesn't fill up with rain when ya open the windows a bit for some air :idea:

Now if only I could find an AWD rear swaybar.....All the ones I can locate strangly warn RWD only :evil: I didn't think the rear would be any different, WTH :?:


Van looks good Kus!

To clarify, the vibration I had from takeoff to about 25mph after installing the 2" lift and cranking torsion bars to match disappeared after installing add-a-leafs and further cranking torsion bars. The vibration I have now starts at 55mph and continues to about 70mph, other than that my van is super smooth and rides great. :think:
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby AWDASTROVAN1999 » January 12th 2012, 5:13pm

Nice job.. Nice van.. And really Nice dog .. What is it and whats Its name? I have Bloodhounds and labs
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Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » January 12th 2012, 6:10pm

I really wanted to keep the stock length Bilstein HD shocks on my van because they were still fairly new and in excellent condition but realized I was going to need different length shocks if I went over 2" of lift. After consulting with a Bilstein rep, we couldn't really determine suitable shocks that had the right rebound and compression characteristics, even if extended and compressed length were good so started looking at Rancho RS9000XL adjustable shocks. First I listed my Bilstein shocks in the classifieds here to make sure I'd be able to sell them and recoup some of the investment of replacement shocks. I wasn't really expecting them to sell as fast as they did - the power of AS.com! I'm also glad the new owner was patient in waiting on the shocks as I went through the process of figuring out the correct shocks, thanks Dan. :thumbup:

The first Rancho rear shocks I ordered were longer shocks as my plan was to retain the stock lower mounting brackets. After researching shocks for awhile and shopping around I ordered longer Rancho RS9000XL rear shocks. When I received them to test fit they were the massive 2.75" shock body and wouldn't fit into the stock brackets unless I mounted them upside down, which Rancho doesn't recommend. They looked tough being so massive but didn't fit so returned those and went back to the drawing board.

For the rear, I just decided to stay with stock length shocks, replace and relocate the lower shock mount brackets higher on the axle.

In the front, after installing the add-a-leafs and cranking the front torsion bars for more lift I noticed the front felt like it didn't have enough rebound damping anymore over bumps and was a bit harsh so definitely wanted to install longer shocks and was hoping the adjustable RS9000's would have better damping characteristics for the lift.

As a side note, I tried to find out more information on the adjustability of the Rancho shocks by emailing them three times and never received a single response. That is in stark contrast to Bilstein which replied in a timely manner so that really put me off on the Rancho's a bit - not being able to receive a response or any additional information on their product. They could probably stand to up their customer service game.

New shocks in hand, I was finally able to install them and see how they worked! I set them all to #9 setting which is the firmest setting.

Here's a comparison of the stock length Bilstein HD and longer Rancho RS9000XL front:

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Installed in the front:

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Installed in the rear:

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I set the shocks the #9 setting which is the firmest setting and went for a test drive. Definitely a bit more firm than the Bilstein with reduced body roll but not too firm for me. The harshness in the front rebounding from bumps is gone and just has a nice overall feel.

Overall comparison between the Bilstein HD and Rancho RS9000XL adjustable shocks - For starters Bilstein has nicer build quality, just everything overall (welds, bushings, roll pins, fit/finish, paint, etc.) while the Rancho's are acceptable. Pretty much what I'd expect in the difference from German and American companies. :mrgreen: The Bilstein still function like new with 30K, hopefully the Rancho do the same and they have a lifetime warranty as well, hopefully won't have to put to use. My initial driving impression with the Rancho shocks is impressive and that's what really counts.

I have to say I did pretty well on this lift excursion, purchasing the OLV 2" kit used and un-needed add-a-leafs both from members on this forum saved me quite a bit. Selling my Bilstein shocks and finding a great deal on the Rancho shocks definitely helped offset the costs involved there. Having a friend capable and trustworthy enough to weld on my van and trading out work instead of $ is always great! Tires were by far the most expensive item but had to be replaced anyway so not really counting those with the lift! I have very little invested money wise in this lift which is surprising, having the resources of this forum to help educate and fall back on if necessary was a great motivator as well and being able to perform all the labor myself (sans welding) and knowledge gained very gratifying. :thumbup:

One last photo - AWD x2!

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Corsemoto
AstroSafari Pioneer
AstroSafari Pioneer
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Years of Membership: Corsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full years
Posts: 2648
Topics: 39
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Van Model Year: 2004
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LT AWD

Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » January 12th 2012, 6:36pm

AWDASTROVAN1999 wrote:Nice job.. Nice van.. And really Nice dog .. What is it and whats Its name? I have Bloodhounds and labs


Thanks man. That's my friend's shop dog Clarence. Think he's a great dane, big fella for sure but super friendly!
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
Corsemoto
AstroSafari Pioneer
AstroSafari Pioneer
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Years of Membership: Corsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full years
Posts: 2648
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Van Model Year: 2004
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LT AWD

Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Shad0wXCalibur » January 12th 2012, 6:49pm

Nice. Looks pretty much just like my van as far as stance except mine is more show than go being RWD with no posi :(
1987 Astro
2000 Safari
Shad0wXCalibur
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L2)
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L2)
Years of Membership: Shad0wXCalibur has been a member for 9 full yearsShad0wXCalibur has been a member for 9 full yearsShad0wXCalibur has been a member for 9 full yearsShad0wXCalibur has been a member for 9 full yearsShad0wXCalibur has been a member for 9 full yearsShad0wXCalibur has been a member for 9 full yearsShad0wXCalibur has been a member for 9 full yearsShad0wXCalibur has been a member for 9 full yearsShad0wXCalibur has been a member for 9 full years
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Extra Info: Lifted 2wd

Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby unrreal » January 12th 2012, 10:12pm

corsemoto could you post the part # for the front shocks, im in the market for longer front shocks right now.. appreciate it in advance... :poke:
User avatar
unrreal
Firing on 3 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 3 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: unrreal has been a member for 11 full yearsunrreal has been a member for 11 full yearsunrreal has been a member for 11 full yearsunrreal has been a member for 11 full yearsunrreal has been a member for 11 full yearsunrreal has been a member for 11 full yearsunrreal has been a member for 11 full yearsunrreal has been a member for 11 full yearsunrreal has been a member for 11 full yearsunrreal has been a member for 11 full yearsunrreal has been a member for 11 full years
Posts: 339
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Location: salt lake city, UT
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Van Model Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 4.3L LS AWD

Re: 2" OLV Lift Install '04 AWD

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » January 12th 2012, 10:49pm

No way dude! What's it worth to ya? :shifty:
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: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"
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
Corsemoto
AstroSafari Pioneer
AstroSafari Pioneer
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Years of Membership: Corsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full years
Posts: 2648
Topics: 39
Images: 13
Joined: June 2008
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 2004
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LT AWD

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