Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby lupulinshift [OP] » December 11th 2020, 7:02am

Hey everyone,
hoping I can get some help here as a long time lurker and one year owner of a 99 awd astro. So I bought this thing not having much knowledge of working on cars at all. Well that has changed quite a bit and have been fixing everything from the AC, idler arms, fluids, to power steering gear box (really sucked changing out) etc. This brings me to where I am now. I recently put a 2 inch lift with shackles and body pucks from JOR. Shortly after adding the shackles I noticed my leaf springs were completely flat. I went to the junkyard yesterday and pulled some nice looking leaf springs off a 2000 Safari and installed them today. Come to find out that they are actually s10 leaf springs and now my lift just got crazy high haha. It looks awesome in the back but the front is considerably lower. My issue that brings me here today is that my new shocks don't fit anymore due to how high the lift is. They are some KYB Monomax's. Do I need to buy new shocks now to keep the lift? Should I head back to the junkyard to pull off some stock shackles instead of the JOR ones? Should I pull some other stock astro/safari leaf springs instead of the s10's? I'm not sure the best avenue to go from here and was hoping for some direction from the community. My goal was to have some decent lift to head out into the mountains but nothing crazy where I need to worry about replacing front suspension parts. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby lupulinshift [OP] » December 11th 2020, 7:13am

I think I might have just stumbled on an answer. I think I can just drill new holes a couple inches up to mount the shocks? Also, I think I have the torsion keys cranked pretty high but I might be able to slightly level it out a bit more if I go higher.
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby AstroOafAdventurerAstroOafAdventurer is online! » December 11th 2020, 7:28am

I'm not 100% about the best course of action to take on the rear altitude, one thing I can say with certainty, with fluids, don't fix them, change them!
:banana:
GL, a real answer will be along shortly...
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby lupulinshift [OP] » December 11th 2020, 7:44am

haha you can't fix fluids?!?!?! They lied to me at my local autoshop! Appreciate the reply, hope I can sort this out soon
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby stent » December 11th 2020, 7:50am

:banana-gotpics: :banana-gotpics: post pictures so we can see what you're doing........... :text-worthless:
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby lupulinshift [OP] » December 11th 2020, 7:52am

Will do tomorrow am! I realize that would help way more than anything I try to articulate through text haha sorry
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby dcsleeperdcsleeper is online! » December 11th 2020, 9:47am

If you still have your stock shackles, put em back.
You can do the lumpy shock mount mod.
103328
103330
cut then drill as these pics show, then fold the bottom up so the holes meet.
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby SportsBoy » December 11th 2020, 3:52pm

lupulinshift wrote:I think I might have just stumbled on an answer. I think I can just drill new holes a couple inches up to mount the shocks? Also, I think I have the torsion keys cranked pretty high but I might be able to slightly level it out a bit more if I go higher.

^This is good word.
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby lupulinshift [OP] » December 11th 2020, 8:59pm

dcsleeper wrote:If you still have your stock shackles, put em back.
You can do the lumpy shock mount mod.
103328
103330
cut then drill as these pics show, then fold the bottom up so the holes meet.


This is exactly what I needed! Couldn't find pictures on the other lumpy shock mount thread. Thanks! I don't have my stock shackles anymore but like I said I could always pull some off at the junkyard. I attached a picture to show just how close I am to getting them on.
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby sixsix » December 11th 2020, 9:27pm

Do you have the Van jacked up with the Axle/Housing/Diff just hanging down by the Springs ?

If so, are you not supposed jack up Stuff to reach ? Just wondering and asking...
I did see you had Stands there.


and...
:banana-gotpics: :banana-gotpics:

:text-worthless:
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby dcsleeperdcsleeper is online! » December 11th 2020, 9:34pm

If you buy shackles and drill higher holes, you can bring it back down to a stock shackle lift height. Then you shock mounts would probably be ok without mods.
If you google 'CA-20 shackles' it will find them straight away. These cost me $28
102844

I tend to not like to change torsion bar settings due to needing alignment after.
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby lupulinshift [OP] » December 11th 2020, 9:36pm

sixsix wrote:Do you have the Van jacked up with the Axle/Housing/Diff just hanging down by the Springs ?

If so, are you not supposed jack up Stuff to reach ? Just wondering and asking...
I did see you had Stands there.


and...
:banana-gotpics: :banana-gotpics:

:text-worthless:


I've jacked the axle up as high as my floor jack will go, it still doesn't quite reach.
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby lupulinshift [OP] » December 11th 2020, 9:40pm

dcsleeper wrote:If you buy shackles and drill higher holes, you can bring it back down to a stock shackle lift height. Then you shock mounts would probably be ok without mods.
If you google 'CA-20 shackles' it will find them straight away. These cost me $28
102844

I tend to not like to change torsion bar settings due to needing alignment after.


These are the shackles I currently have on (JOR) set to the lowest setting. I guess I can't use the combination of the shackles and s10 leafs with stock shocks huh?
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby dcsleeperdcsleeper is online! » December 11th 2020, 9:55pm

" guess I can't use the combination of the shackles and s10 leafs with stock shocks huh?"

You can't use the combination of the shackles and s10 leafs because it is too high for you.
Once you have stock length shackles, I bet the shocks will reach.
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby lupulinshift [OP] » December 11th 2020, 9:58pm

dcsleeper wrote:" guess I can't use the combination of the shackles and s10 leafs with stock shocks huh?"

You can't use the combination of the shackles and s10 leafs because it is too high for you.
Once you have stock length shackles, I bet the shocks will reach.


Sorry, that's what I meant. S10 leafs combined with JOR shackles won't work with my stock shocks. I'll just have to grab some stock shackles like you said.
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby stent » December 12th 2020, 6:52pm

rake...crank those torsion bars DOWN!!!
king-of-the-road-album-cover-sticker__26534.1539884927.jpg
fu

91DWKHJ4qXL._SL1500_.jpg
manchu

:text-link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9IR8Xw ... 42SUDy16K2 :character-beavisbutthead:

mmmmm.jpeg

its so close !!!!!!!!!!!! but it's at maximum extension with the van at rest.....

mmmm.jpeg

somehow i don't think that this is what JOR intended.....

all kidding aside - measure the compressed & extended length of your rear shocks. go back to the JY before they crush the van you got the springs from, and get the shackles they used to use on your project. while you're there measure the compressed & extended length of the JY van shocks, the previous owner might have done some homework on the suspension & found a shock with better travel range for his/hers modded rear. if you like the looks of those shocks you could get them cheap. if you mount shocks that are stretched out with the van just sitting they will act like suspension travel limiting straps and guarantee a lousy ride. your'e doing all kinds of stuff to your van & learning quick - keep it up & enjoy what your'e doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:rockon:
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby lupulinshift [OP] » December 14th 2020, 1:46am

stent wrote:rake...crank those torsion bars DOWN!!!
king-of-the-road-album-cover-sticker__26534.1539884927.jpg

91DWKHJ4qXL._SL1500_.jpg

:text-link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9IR8Xw ... 42SUDy16K2 :character-beavisbutthead:

mmmmm.jpeg

its so close !!!!!!!!!!!! but it's at maximum extension with the van at rest.....

mmmm.jpeg

somehow i don't think that this is what JOR intended.....

all kidding aside - measure the compressed & extended length of your rear shocks. go back to the JY before they crush the van you got the springs from, and get the shackles they used to use on your project. while you're there measure the compressed & extended length of the JY van shocks, the previous owner might have done some homework on the suspension & found a shock with better travel range for his/hers modded rear. if you like the looks of those shocks you could get them cheap. if you mount shocks that are stretched out with the van just sitting they will act like suspension travel limiting straps and guarantee a lousy ride. your'e doing all kinds of stuff to your van & learning quick - keep it up & enjoy what your'e doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:rockon:


Appreciate your reply! This definitely sounds like the best course of action. Really thought I was grabbing stock safari leaf springs haha it's always something. I've been browsing what size wheels to get after I finish the lift, any recommendations?
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby stent » December 15th 2020, 7:47am

lupulinshift wrote: Really thought I was grabbing stock safari leaf springs haha it's always something. I've been browsing what size wheels to get after I finish the lift, any recommendations?


i remember reading about s10 springs but i think yours are the first i've seen swapped in. i'm looking forward to seeing how your van sits with the S10 springs and the stock shackles - give us a side shot picture like the one below. i don't remember if it is recommended to put a tapered shim between the spring & axle mount to lessen the angle of the u-joint.
i can't help much with wheels - my van is a 2wd with no lift. i made up a good set of the factory astro "chrome clad" wheels & center caps on a few JY trips, the size is 15" x 6-1/2" i believe. i got the van with good tires in the stock size of 215/75r15 and had them mounted on the chrome wheels so i'm just using up the miles left on them. i wanted to have a stock look & they work for me :
roof8.jpg


check out the build threads for AWD & 4WD vans here on astro/safari for what you can fit with your lift.
also check out this website for comparing wheel & tire combinations :
:text-link: https://tiresize.com/comparison/
i played around with the comparo's and got interested in this one :
tires.jpg

stock 27.7" diameter size on the left (1), 29" diameter on the right (2). i've been wanting to find a worn out pair of 255/70r15 tires cheap to see just how much hacking it would take to mount them on my van. the 255 size is the maximum width i could mount on my size WHEELS. i like aggressive treaded all-terrain type tires, here's a pic of General Grabbers in the 255 size :
s-l1600-2.jpg
s-l1600-2.jpg (72.39 KiB) Viewed 437 times

- dunno about the feasibility of fitting them to the van, might be a pipe dream. if/when i can find a cheap pair i'll post about them - for sure they would be easier to mount on a lifted van.
:wave:
Last edited by stent on December 15th 2020, 8:52am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby stent » December 15th 2020, 8:50am

just saw this thread & it is applicable to you so i'll link it :
:text-link: https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=58137
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Re: Help with decisions on my 99 lifted Astro

Postby lupulinshift [OP] » December 17th 2020, 1:02am

Went to the junk yard today since it finally stopped snowing and I was eager to get it done. Grabbed the stock shackles and put it all back together. Rides fine and am happy its back on the road. Thanks for everyone's replies.
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