Trying to achieve a smooth ride

Trying to achieve a smooth ride

Postby Shadow98 [OP] » October 24th 2012, 8:32pm

My Astro rides to hard and would like to get it to feel as smooth as an SUV or close to it. I don't know much how I could get there. I was thinking more of getting the most expensive shocks (Best brand, Best reviews). But then again I don't know how the suspension works in detail and might not make a really big of a difference. At my local Autozone they told me as long as the shocks say there are more like for trucks they are better because they are design for heavy weight, well something like that.
Can I just add really good shocks and get a way better ride? Really want to get as close as possible as how an SUV rides.
:ty:
-Shadow
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Re: Trying to achieve a smooth ride

Postby chevymaher » October 24th 2012, 8:45pm

Everybody got their own formulas.
I got gas shocks up front.
Air shocks with dual lines in the back.
Rides the same as my durbango.

My friend who owned one, said it rides like a car now.

It rode horrible when I got it.
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Re: Trying to achieve a smooth ride

Postby Lumpy » October 24th 2012, 9:01pm

Lower your tire pressure to as low as you think you can get away with. That will soften up the ride. Your MPG will suffer and probably tire life as well.

I wouldn't think "Best shocks" would be a very productive approach. That could give you "Best sportscar handling" or "Best offroad rock crawling" or "Best highway/high speed" etc. I think springs would make the biggest difference in ride, but that's not a particularly simple thing to change.


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Re: Trying to achieve a smooth ride

Postby Shadow98 [OP] » October 24th 2012, 9:51pm

Tire pressure I notice that one time I had them all really low and dint notice. It really did impact MPG but bumps felt way less.

That's how I was thinking about it Lump, Shocks would affect more the handling than the ride. So you said that you believe the major thing that would impact how soft it will ride is the springs? meaning I can leave the same shocks in and just replace the springs and might feel a difference? I would be up to changing the springs if it would make a difference all I need is time.

Does the Astro 94 Z have springs in the rear shocks????? Mine doesn't its just the Shock itself.

Could you guys make me a list of the parts that would have the most difference to the least for a smooth ride please?
Thank you

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Re: Trying to achieve a smooth ride

Postby Lumpy » October 24th 2012, 10:36pm

The springs in the rear of your van are the leaves. In your van it's a single, fiberglass leaf spring. Changing that to steel leaves is not impossible, but not simple. Quite a few threads on replacing the glass springs with steel.

Front springs in yours are coil springs unless you have an AWD. Coil replacement is the same - not impossible, but not simple.

Replacing the springs seems like a pretty huge job if you're simply seeking a smoother ride. How about load up the rear of your van with a few bags of sand from HomeDepot or Lowes. That's cheap and can sometimes give you amazing results in softening the ride.

Another direction to go would be install wider and taller tires. That puts a bigger rubber and air cushion between the van and the road. Maybe consider that next time your existing tires wear to the point of needing replacement.

But try the sand first. For eight dollars or so you can get about 200-300 lbs of sand. If you end up not liking it, build a mini beach for your GI Joes.

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Re: Trying to achieve a smooth ride

Postby smokinjoe » October 25th 2012, 4:45pm

I changed my fiberglass rear springs to steel. Really made a huge awesome improvement in ride quality and handling. BUT, I was quite brave to attempt it by myself with only hand tools and one bottle jack in my driveway.

You should change your shocks to sensa tracks and check on your front sway bar bushings. You gotta go through and check tie rods, ball joints, wheel bearings etc. to tighten the ride up.
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