Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby cerickson [OP] » October 24th 2013, 6:22pm

Howdy, noob to the forum here. Have learned lots lurking about...

Have really wanted a modest lift to get around on dirt roads and through the snow and clear the tires.

Just purchased this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Astro-Safari-2-3-Lift-kit-W-Bumper-Relocation-Kit-/121065703961?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item1c30140a19&vxp=mtr

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Talked to Mike at Journeys offroad the other day and got pretty jazzed to try out his kit.

I tried searching astro/safari for "journeys off road" but always came up empty...? Am I missing something? Are you guys already aware of JOR?

http://journeysoffroad.com/index.html

I will post progress here on my install...

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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby icebrrg3rd » October 24th 2013, 10:17pm

Since I don't have AWD nor am I interested in lifting my van, I never looked for lift kits. That said, I know people have used Overland Vans for their lift kits, or have pieced them together from misc suppliers. Without knowing the price (I couldn't get thru to the ebay link) I can't say which is the better buy. But looking at the JOR site, I did like the lifted 60's Chevy van...

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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby cerickson [OP] » October 24th 2013, 11:44pm

Journey's ebay price $225.00, free shipping AND includes bumper brackets so roughly $150 less than Overland when I last looked...
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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby 97cargocrawler » October 25th 2013, 1:29am

Hmmmmmmm. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. It's nice to see someone else getting in on the Strofari lift kits. This is the first I have heard or seen of this place.

Don't compare those bumper relocation brackets to Overlands, there is no comparison. Overland's bracket is massive and heavy duty as all hell and seriously maintains the bumper function of being a real bumper. These brackets I see at Journeys are crap in comparison. They will raise the bumper but are definitely inferior. I think they have a lot of room for improvement.

It's nice they are offering what looks to be some custom spring hangers. Good job with the only exception that they do not have any bushings in them. Stock hangers have massive rubber bushings. Will it make a difference...I dunno. They may work but who knows about the ride quality.

The shackles look ok. Not as much adjustment as Overlands but they look to be made better. Overland shackles are not custom, just drop shipped from another manufacturer. Maybe these shackles are custom. The one thing I see that I like about them is that they have a bit of offset from eye to eye which will give better clearance to the frame for spring compression (articulation).

The shock tabs can be found elsewhere for super cheap. I doubt they are making those themselves.

Anyway, like I said it's nice to see another guy out there giving it a shot. I'm sure they are reading this too.

The kit looks complete for an entry level lift.

:thumbup:
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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby icebrrg3rd » October 25th 2013, 2:40am

Didn't lumpy do a shock mount thing with his original mounts, just cut them, bent them and drilled a few holes and got them in a different position AND it also got rid of them being low hanging obstacles. Check out his leaf spring thread.

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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby cerickson [OP] » November 5th 2013, 4:12am

I got my parts from Journeys Off-road last Thursday exactly one week after I ordered it via USPS priority mail. 11122 (I gotta say I don't have the pics figured out yet on this forum but appears you can click to enlarge)

Parts looked good here's a close up of the welds on the rear shackle. 11546

Here's the "before" 11498

Went into work on Saturday to use the warehouse and a few extra "tools" to make the job easier. 11522 Okay don't hate me because I work at a brewery (http://www.snakeriverbrewing.com) Yes, the warehouse is full of empty cans, yes, a keg makes a pretty good jack stand, yes this work area is just a few steps away from eight taphandles of delicious microbrew!

I had sprayed all the rear bolts with Liquid Wrench last weekend and everything came apart easily, we're not in a bad area for rust though... 11530 On my 99 AWD, the shackle bolts take 21mm wrench and you need an extension to reach through the channel of the unibody.

After the stock shackles were out I compared to the JORs. 11458 The first hole is about 2 1/2 inches and the second about 3 1/2. Since you guys got me so paranoid about pinion angle, I picked the first hole and bolted them back in. (I already have monroe air shocks that let me fine tune a bit) 11514

So she looks like this with the rear complete. 11554
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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby cerickson [OP] » November 5th 2013, 5:32am

On to the front then. As stated elsewhere, the e-brake cable and the fan shroud will cause interference as you separate the body from the subframe. I relied heavily on these existing posts: https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=7256 https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=17233 https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=8388

ADV Astro clued me into to the front end removal over here: http://chevroletforum.com/forum/astro-diy-useful-threads-75/discussion-2-astro-lift-install-write-up-25543/ I felt completely comfortable jacking the body away from the subframe right under the head lamp. (just not with the forklift this time!) 11538 In this photo the puck has just been inserted.

JOR bolts were 8.8 metric strength, GM oem bolts that came out = 10.9. Not as strong? but strong enough?? Opinions? Everybody's got one... https://www.tessco.com/yts/customerservice/techsupport/whitepapers/pdf/bolt_grade.pdf

18mm and 21mm sockets to get the old ones out and 19mm and 22mm to put the new ones in. As noted by so many others here, loosen all six, do one side at a time, snug all back down, when done, then individually go back around, one at time, remove, add locktite and replace. I found somewhere here that Lumpy said Overland kit spec-ed 66 ft/lbs torque on the fronts and rears and 114 ft/lbs on the fatter middle bolts so that's what I did.

On to the bumper brackets. JOR took the simple solution and provides a three hole piece of flat stock along with a spacer tube. So you unbolt the stock brackets and move them up one notch using the bracket and put the spacer tube on the top bolt (which no longer passes through anything) and add a 3/8 bolt down below in the "third" hole. 11442

11562

I think it is a satisfactory method, it's the stock bracket and it still is attached by two bolts and that front bumper is really just a glorified license plate holder anyway...

Unfortunately the JOR supplied bolts were not long enough, fortunately I had some others laying around.

No pics but I followed one of JOR's suggestions on the fan shroud and undid the bolts from up top, under air filter box, then from under drilled a couple holes, hinged it back out of the way and ziptied it to sub frame member just below.

So with everything back together here's the after: 11506 About six hours total time for me.

I took her out for a little spin up to 60mph with no vibrations. Looks a lot less "Soccer Mom", got rid of my tire rub up front. I'll give a few more days and re-torque, reef on everything.

The kit seems like a good economical solution. He does include some rudimentary typed out instructions, which would have been trickier to follow were it not for the awesome posts on Astro/Safari.com. Needs the proper length bumper bracket bolts and go up a grade on the subframe bolts.

Thanks to the members of this forum for pointing the way!!
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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby chevymaher » November 5th 2013, 1:50pm

cerickson wrote:
JOR bolts were 8.8 metric strength, GM oem bolts that came out = 10.9. Not as strong? but strong enough?? Opinions? Everybody's got one...

Get a torch heat them up red hot and drop them in oil.
That will raise the hardness.
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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby 97cargocrawler » November 5th 2013, 5:44pm

Considering the new bolts are at least 2" longer and have less tensile strength than what you pulled out....yeah I'd get new bolts. 8.8 might be dandy until you hit a curb or something and leave the frame behind you. We have heard lately that those bolts do indeed bend and break in collisions. For normal driving I'm sure they are fine as long as they are not over-torqued. Just add some bolts to your shopping list.

Your van is looking good! :thumbup:
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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby grond » April 21st 2014, 8:00pm

Can't wait to do this lift in a few weeks!
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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit Wheel question??

Postby SandpointSafari99 » July 14th 2015, 1:47am

Great Looking van!

OK While I wait for my van to arrive from the east coast, I am trying to pull parts together for its new life in northern Idaho.

I think I'm sold on this exact lift. Bang for the buck and This will be a daily driver for my wife and kids.

I would like to go with 16" wheels to give it a new look and at this point I am looking at 235/70R16 Hercules Terra Trac AT2. For mild forest roads and snow and Ice driving. The question I have is what offset to get on the wheels. Most 16's come in 8" width.

Without generating lots of "You should", "I think" and "I've seen" comments, I'd love to hear from people actually running this lift and wheel/tire size.

What wheel are you running?
What back spacing are you running?
How does it ride?
Do you have any rubbing?

Thanks
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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit Wheel question??

Postby 97cargocrawler » July 14th 2015, 8:28am

SandpointSafari99 wrote:
Without generating lots of "You should", "I think" and "I've seen" comments, I'd love to hear from people actually running this lift and wheel/tire size.

What wheel are you running?
What back spacing are you running?
How does it ride?
Do you have any rubbing?

Thanks


I think you're gonna get answers like, "every van is unique" ...so how could we possibly predict how yours will turn out? Tires make a HUGE difference in how a van rides, even ones of the same exact size. Rubbing depends on weight and wear.

I think you should put the big girl pants on and step into the unknown because I've seen that works for most people. Welcome to the forum! Reading a few lift threads before you plan is in your best interest.
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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit Wheel question??

Postby Lumpy » July 14th 2015, 10:34am

97cargocrawler wrote:
SandpointSafari99 wrote:
Without generating lots of "You should", "I think" and "I've seen" comments, I'd love to hear from people actually running this lift and wheel/tire size.

What wheel are you running?
What back spacing are you running?
How does it ride?
Do you have any rubbing?

Thanks


I think you're gonna get answers like, "every van is unique" ...so how could we possibly predict how yours will turn out? Tires make a HUGE difference in how a van rides, even ones of the same exact size. Rubbing depends on weight and wear.

I think you should put the big girl pants on and step into the unknown because I've seen that works for most people. Welcome to the forum! Reading a few lift threads before you plan is in your best interest.


There is no more subjective question in all vehicle speak than "how does it ride". Cargo and I both have huge lifts. Both have big lug mud tires. Both have frankenleaf built up leaf springs. Both have stiffer aftermarket front coils. Both have the exact same adjustable shocks. Both weigh the same. Both operate our vans with no other passengers. He sets his adjustable shocks on 9, I set mine on zero. "How does it ride?" is apparently a totally different set of parameters for him than for me.

Wheels, backspacing and rubbing - There is only ONE sure way to know. That's install the actual wheels and tires. That's not exactly practical. So the 2nd best way to know is to look up the dimensions. Every wheel and tire manufacturer publishes their dimensions. Armed with that, get busy with your measuring tools and measure YOUR van. Build a dummy cardboard tire, jack up each corner, mount the dummy and SEE if it fits. Your prospective tires and wheels are going to occupy YOUR space, not mine, not anyone else's. You would not be a happy camper if I said "Sure those will fit". Then you spent a couple grand and realized they fit as long as you don't turn the steering wheel.

You're about to become an automobile (re)engineer/designer. You're modifying your van way past where the experts designed it to go. And where NOBODY else has gone. YOU will now become the expert in YOUR van. You'll not only know more about your van design than me or anyone else on this forum, you'll know more than the GM designers, the trained technicians, the guys at Journey or Overland, or anyone else. If you keep that attitude in mind, then think about every mod you make and ask yourself "Is this mod being made because of a sound theory that an educated designer (you) conceived? Or is this mod being made because a total stranger posted three lines in a forum that said ""Sure that'll work""...". Lots of midnight oil cramming to teach yourself to be a designer. The other guys went to school for years and then worked on the job for years to get there. You have to cram it all in in a couple days.

Do what Cargo suggests. Read all the other extensive threads on lifts. $uperJoe has a monster lift thread that's dozens of pages long. I've posted about 300 photos of my front and rear lift. Cargo's posted in great, great detail. And if there's something you don't quite understand about his lift, he'll post a few dozen more pics of the same thing from different angles. He'll even come to your house, bring burritos, help you do the work and drive you to the LAPS for last minute parts.

Every one who has done any kind of lift, mild to monster, has faced challenges. We may not all have resolved those challenges the same way. There is more than one way to resolve the anticipated and the un-anticipated challenges. YOU get the chance to resolve them in YOUR way.

No stock answers. No fair saying "I only want the true answer". Welcome, fellow automobile design engineer... :rockon:


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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit Wheel question??

Postby Meterpig » July 14th 2015, 5:42pm

Astro vans, as a group, ride car soft from the factory...useless for anything other than going to the store with 2 people. If you want truck like use, you need truck like leafs and truck like shocks. That will make the astro ride "rough". You can leave P rated tires on..but then you have P rated capabilities and P rated tire vulnerabilities. Then again, that's fine for most.

You can do a lift all day long and maintain the same ride. For me, I didn't want to have a heavy metal body lifted 4 inches higher in the air with stock van suspension. it's all up to you.


SandpointSafari99 wrote:Great Looking van!

OK While I wait for my van to arrive from the east coast, I am trying to pull parts together for its new life in northern Idaho.

I think I'm sold on this exact lift. Bang for the buck and This will be a daily driver for my wife and kids.

I would like to go with 16" wheels to give it a new look and at this point I am looking at 235/70R16 Hercules Terra Trac AT2. For mild forest roads and snow and Ice driving. The question I have is what offset to get on the wheels. Most 16's come in 8" width.

Without generating lots of "You should", "I think" and "I've seen" comments, I'd love to hear from people actually running this lift and wheel/tire size.

What wheel are you running?
What back spacing are you running?
How does it ride?
Do you have any rubbing?

Thanks
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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit Wheel question??

Postby Lumpy » July 14th 2015, 5:44pm

Meterpig wrote:
...it's all up to you.



This ^^^


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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby oman » July 14th 2015, 6:04pm

Hey Lumpy,

do you keep that wall of text in a file to copy and paste, or do you retype it every time?
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Extra Info: AWD

Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby SandpointSafari99 » July 15th 2015, 6:38am

And another forum where people can't answer a question??? And people like to hear themselves talk.

I know every van is a little different.

If you are running 16's 2in lift and 235/70r16 tires What offset did you go with?
Did you have any rubbing?
If you are not?
No reply needed It is a simple question.
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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby Lumpy » July 15th 2015, 7:04am

SandpointSafari99 wrote:
If you are running 16's 2in lift and 235/70r16 tires What offset did you go with?
Did you have any rubbing?
If you are not?
No reply needed It is a simple question.


It's not a simple question. It has no simple answer. No matter how little energy you want to put into the project, you have to do the work. Nobody can answer it for you.


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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby Lumpy » July 15th 2015, 7:20am

oman wrote:Hey Lumpy,

do you keep that wall of text in a file to copy and paste, or do you retype it every time?


No, I don't copy and paste. I re-learn it every single day as I work on my van. That's just what you have to do when you start pushing the parameters. Imagine me or Cargo taking our van to a dealer and saying "I've got a noise when I turn left".


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Re: Journeys Off Road 2-3" lift kit

Postby SandpointSafari99 » July 16th 2015, 6:51am

Copy that. Lumpy has no data to supply for this inquiry. Thanks. Moving on now.
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Van Model Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: AWD SLE Hi-Top

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