Astro Van AWD - 2" or 4" lift?

Astro Van AWD - 2" or 4" lift?

Postby Robesine [OP] » February 5th 2020, 2:35pm

Hey gang, I'm planning on a lift for my '93 AWD Astro but am really torn between the 2" and 4" options. I don't want to do any major rock crawling or severe trails, but I do want to be able to do pretty gnarly roads.

I have a book: "Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails" by Charles Wells and Matt Peterson. I'd love to be able to do all the routes in that book, but will probably never need to do anything rougher. He also has a book on Moab and maybe some others as well. I'm assuming the stock van could do all the easy rated trails and many of the moderate ones, and a 2" van could probably do all the moderate and some of the difficult. Would a 2" lift and some good skid plates be enough?

The reason I refer to the book is that so far I haven't done any off-road traveling, or very little anyway. So I don't have a lot of personal experience to relate. I'm excited to get into it though!

Any input on how to decide on the lift? The reason for not just going with 4" if it's not necessary is because I want to keep the thing as easy to get in and out of as possible, and also to keep cost and installation effort down as much as possible.

Either way, I plan on new tires and shocks. The van currently has the fiberglass leaf springs in back. It's 1993, so it has the older transfer case, torsion rods, and front end bodywork. Also, it has the G80 rear axle with 3.73 gears according to the tags in the glovebox
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Re: Astro Van AWD - 2" or 4" lift?

Postby tungtidetungtide is online! » February 5th 2020, 2:51pm

until you get really into it. All you are really doing is lifting the body. My vote would be the 2 plus one and some 29 inch tires. Good luck
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Re: Astro Van AWD - 2" or 4" lift?

Postby AstroWill » February 5th 2020, 3:37pm

Start with the 2" lift, it's the easiest/cheapest way to get started.

See the stickies in this section, most of it is the same concept. You can buy the body lift pucks for like $25 shipped(they used to be $3 each, now $4), bolts are like $30 for all 6, and a set of shackles are ~$50. So about $100 in parts and you can have a basic 2" lift done.

Rocky areas think about a skid plate, I have some good links in my signature/profile that you might want to check out.

Not sure about the trails that you are referring to as I don't have that book, but start with the easy trails and work your way up, you will learn the limits of both yourself and your vehicle. :)

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Re: Astro Van AWD - 2" or 4" lift?

Postby MmusicmanMmusicman is online! » February 5th 2020, 7:22pm

Since you KNOW you plan on doing some serious 4x4 off-road mountain trails.. I'd probably just go with the 4" lift. One of the reasons is that with taller tires you'll almost be certain to have some rubbing due to articulation (with only 2" lift) on seriously uneven surfaces. Normal dirt roads however, you'd be fine. But If you go only barely larger tire, then 2" would probably be adequate... maybe. Again, this really just depends on the terrain you plan to travel.

But there are plenty here who started with 2".. and in short time realized they wanted more.
Maybe just save your self that extra step?

I assume some here with only 2" lift and taller tires live with some rubbing.
For me.. if it rubbed once I would have to fix it.

Tire rubbing in my opinion, completely defeats the point of taller tires.
Heck the stock tires on these vans actually do quite well.
But that also seriously depends on the level of "off-roading" you plan to do.

On the other hand.. it's not difficult to go from 2" to 4" later if you need more (which I think you will)

Be aware "body lift" does not really raise your front sub-frame (or rear axle).. that only comes with taller tires.
With body lift, front suspension and trans support still remain same height.
Lift is mostly done to facilitate taller tires.
Moderation (within reason) is also important (for the overall experience) in my opinion.

Stock length shocks for the front remain the same (since you are doing body lift front) regardless of lift amount.
Rear shocks you "can" get away with 2" lift and keep stock length shocks. But since you intend to buy new shocks regardless.. another possible reason to skip the 2" lift and go 4".

Understand this.. 4" is NOT "extreme" by any means.. but it may require a few more minor mods.
The lift will not affect your daily driving... mine rides great!

PS: I strongly recommend KYB Gas Monotubes (unless you already have another preference)

Just my opinions.. there is no right or wrong answer here!

Cheers!
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Re: Astro Van AWD - 2" or 4" lift?

Postby stent » February 5th 2020, 10:41pm

hi Robesine,
looking at your profile picture -- you wouldn't be pulling our leg about "haven't done any off road traveling" would you??????????
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