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Old 06-14-2018, 01:32 PM   #571
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Garage
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Just wanted to send a thank you note for putting this thread together. It took me a couple days to read it, but lots of information. I just dropped off a 2018 4X4 144 High Roof Crew Van for conversion (RB 150S), and have several pages of notes from this thread for when I pick up the van in three months.
G'day, CONGRATULATIONS, on a whole new journey!

Is this your first van adventure?

My US/New Zealand/Australian build has taken 4 years and about to go on a weekender
with my youngest son, Nick 30yrs, as a systems test run in our State Forrest with Getaway 4WD Club up in Dwellingup in the only right hand drive E350 Ford 6.0 V8 diesel in the world.

Cheers Doug
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:49 PM   #572
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Originally Posted by whwv View Post
Just wanted to send a thank you note for putting this thread together. It took me a couple days to read it, but lots of information. I just dropped off a 2018 4X4 144 High Roof Crew Van for conversion (RB 150S), and have several pages of notes from this thread for when I pick up the van in three months.
Sorry I haven’t had a chance to reply sooner, we are out on the road with another week of Flint travel to go! We often go south, this time north, and it is suprising how many fewer SMB’s we are seeing here. Saw a nice one in Stanley Idaho last night, will continue looking.

Really interested to hear your design decisions and your build design basis. The more we drive (turned 26k today) the more we love our van and the way it is built. We are currently sitting outside Van Compass’s Shop in Post Falls due for their 2” Striker lift tomorrow, can’t say enough for the after-market suspension upgrades that are available and for how much they improve the ride on a fully built out SMB.

Keep us posted on your design decisions and build status and feel free to send any questions my way. If I can’t answer somebody here more knowledgeable than I will!
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Old 06-18-2018, 04:22 PM   #573
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Thanks all. We are very excited, and it's our first van. We have a Four Wheel Camper which we bought last year and have almost 100 nights. The FWC is really nice, except for when there's 12"+ of snow on the top. Plus, the SMB is much more dog friendly which will be nice.

I'm still researching if we are going to Agile or Van Compass for suspension upgrades, although the VC skid plates are going to happen ASAP. We only had the van for a day before we dropped it off at SMB Fresno, so we can't wait to see it again!
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Old 06-24-2018, 02:46 PM   #574
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Van Compass 2" Striker Lift Installed

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We are currently sitting outside Van Compass’s Shop in Post Falls due for their 2” Striker lift tomorrow, can’t say enough for the after-market suspension upgrades that are available and for how much they improve the ride on a fully built out SMB.
The Van Compass 2" Striker lift was installed on Flint this past Monday, with the alignment done Tuesday at the (very convenient) MB of Spokane that is located just down the road.

After the installation the van saw a combination of on and off road, dirt, gravel and pavement as we worked our way south, plus we experienced strong cross winds at speed on I-5. We rolled out on the same tires as we rolled in on, BFG 265 17 KO2's, and I can honestly say that there is no discernable handling difference in the van pre vs. post lift.

I plan to keep the same Method wheels and I want to stay within spec of their 7.5" width, thus I suspect we will eventually move to 285's (possibly 295's) when the time seems right. For now the van looks good and rides great!

I am pleased to report that we are very happy with the lift!
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Old 06-25-2018, 10:03 AM   #575
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The Van Compass 2" Striker lift was installed on Flint this past Monday, with the alignment done Tuesday at the (very convenient) MB of Spokane that is located just down the road.

After the installation the van saw a combination of on and off road, dirt, gravel and pavement as we worked our way south, plus we experienced strong cross winds at speed on I-5. We rolled out on the same tires as we rolled in on, BFG 265 17 KO2's, and I can honestly say that there is no discernable handling difference in the van pre vs. post lift.

I plan to keep the same Method wheels and I want to stay within spec of their 7.5" width, thus I suspect we will eventually move to 285's (possibly 295's) when the time seems right. For now the van looks good and rides great!

I am pleased to report that we are very happy with the lift!
Good info! Any pictures with the lift? I would be very interested in a follow up review once you've spent some more time with the lift.
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Old 06-25-2018, 11:16 AM   #576
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Good info! Any pictures with the lift? I would be very interested in a follow up review once you've spent some more time with the lift.
I will find a suitable pre-lift picture and then stage an identical shot in order to give a good contrast between the pre and post case. We just got back from two weeks on the road (Great Trip!), I have a few things to catch up on first. To be continued.....
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:38 PM   #577
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Pre & Post Van Compass 2" Striker lift pictures

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I will find a suitable pre-lift picture and then stage an identical shot in order to give a good contrast between the pre and post case.
Pre (upper) and post (lower) lift pictures, sitting on the same BFG KO2 265/70R17's on Method Standard wheels. As you can see, the difference is there but it doesn't scream out at you. In person, the van just looks "better". You can definitely feel the difference when stepping up into the van, and other than more clearance when off road there is no discernable handling difference, either when crawling along or rolling down the freeway at speed.

I haven't decided on the next set of tires yet, but as I said above they will most likely be 285's, which will add another inch to clearance and ride height. For now we have plenty of rubber left and the van handles great, thus we don't feel pressed to change anything. We are happy with the lift, and would recommend it to anyone who likes to get off the beaten path and get their van dirty.

FYI, the upper picture was taken in northeastern NV on a trip earlier this summer, the lower picture was taken at Milton Lake in the CA Sierra this past weekend.




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Old 07-09-2018, 10:50 PM   #578
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I've been waiting for this, many thanks! In pictures, the difference looks substantial (and it looks great). Plenty of room for some larger tires and greater articulation. I think this is on the to-do list once SMB West is finished with the van.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:37 AM   #579
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I think this is on the to-do list once SMB West is finished with the van.
We are both in the Bay Area, feel free to come over and look at the lift in person. I've got a creeper and a flat piece of concrete, you can roll around under the van and look things over to your hearts content!

BTW, when is your delivery date?
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:23 PM   #580
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We are both in the Bay Area, feel free to come over and look at the lift in person. I've got a creeper and a flat piece of concrete, you can roll around under the van and look things over to your hearts content!

BTW, when is your delivery date?
Thanks, that's very kind of you. Early September is what we are expecting, and once we get it, I'd like to take you up on your offer!
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