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Old 07-26-2015, 01:41 PM   #1
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2" Body Lift - Good, Bad, or just Ugly?

I am threatening to get back to working on my 2002 E350 7.3L PSD Extended Body van. The work which I hope to be completing will be limited to replacing all 8 injectors.

So, for any of you who care to know, getting the HEUI injectors out of an E-Series engine which is totally enclosed by the body tunnel is not as easy as removing them from an F-Series where the top of the engine is exposed under the massive pickup truck hood.

And quess what? Removing the driver's side injectors is cake compared to the passenger side injectors. Some people recommend using a sledge hammer to punch out the tunnel!!! Which I am not going to do.

So with the idea of increasing working room before I do the injector install -- hopefully it will be limited to only an injector install because I don't know how you could replace injector cups in a van with the 7.3L PSD in place -- I thought I would use some pucks commonly used to raise the floor to accommodate a wheel chair lift. They come in 1", 2" and 3" heights and because I believe in moderation in all things (except politics) I purchased the 2".

And adding 2" from the body to the frame would give me a little more room for the tops of the frame rail house and starting batteries on the passenger side.

I know I have to disconnect the steering linkage and install a steel linkage extender but that is available since they use them on wheel chair vans.

There are stories at ford-trucks.com where people say they are not "fans" of body lifts because the body can be thrown off the frame in an accident with resulting fatalities. mgmetalworks recently posted that he is not a fan of body lifts and will avoid it all costs.

But weren't the guys who gave body lifts their Bad reputation going for bigger lifts than me? Aren't those guys going for a lifted "look" (I don't want a lifted look. My van is already a 4x4" with the minimum converter installed 4" suspension lift.)

Also, Chris at UJoint already warned me that he is not a fan of body lifts especially since the Ford van frame (which is supposedly the strongest of all van frames) is a relatively weak C-channel subject to flexing. But I don't do offroad with a 20' van!!! I have a Bronco if I ever wanted to do that.

So, should I add more attachment points to compensate. Or will that just stress the frame, etc.

I would like to hear what you guys and gals have to say.
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:47 AM   #2
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Re: 2" Body Lift - Good, Bad, or just Ugly?

IMHO if the frame is weak its unlikely adding attachment points between it and the body would do much to reduce flexing or overcome any other inherent weakness. Since in theory the frame is stronger than the body adding more mounting points would not strengthen the frame.

I would think going to the relatively extreme measures of lifting the body just to gain access to the injectors and house batteries would be overkill, not the good kind either. While I'm one to advocate front seat removal to change gasser spark plugs and many think that's extreme given that tasks infrequent occurrence if it were "impossible" to remove the seats I could/would tough it out.

Then again I've never worked on a PSD so maybe a body lift isn't as extreme as it sounds?
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:30 AM   #3
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Re: 2" Body Lift - Good, Bad, or just Ugly?

"Chris at UJoint already warned me"
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:27 AM   #4
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Re: 2" Body Lift - Good, Bad, or just Ugly?

Pull out the front seats to give you more room to access the motor from the dog house.
Remove the turbo and you will have all sorts of room
To r&r injector #3 pull the coil off
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:35 AM   #5
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Re: 2" Body Lift - Good, Bad, or just Ugly?

I definitely fall into the "generally not a fan" of body lifts, but done properly I don't feel like they reduce the integrity of the van. Properly means proper-rated hardware, sleeved or cast lift pucks (not exhaust tubing trimmings... basically it needs to keep the bolts out of bending, only tension or shear), proper strain relief of wiring harnesses etc.

I think this is one of those cases were a body lift could have extra advantages over just making the rig look taller. And... MANY E-series vans have been lifted without issues. And they have been crash-tested, to meet their FMVSS/ADA compliance.

[youtube:36qha7hl]
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:38 AM   #6
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Re: 2" Body Lift - Good, Bad, or just Ugly?

I had a 3" body lift on my 1997 Tahoe. Not only did you have to extent the steering linkage, but I also had to extend the fuel filler neck and split the radiator shroud in half horizontally to accommodate the radiator moving up with the body and the engine remaining in the same spot. I only had it in a month before I took it out. I was not a fan to all of the gaps and frame hanging out and I experienced more body roll.
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:26 PM   #7
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Re: 2" Body Lift - Good, Bad, or just Ugly?

Thanks to everyone who has posted here. And to others, please also post your comments.

carringb: great video. Thanks! did you mean to say "without issues"? (I hope so.)
The pucks I bought are plastic. I can either make or probably source and buy aluminum and drill press the center holes. I will look into this. And I can certainly buy 10.9 hardness bolts.

scummy: Fuel filler neck and vent are stainless tube - to rubber hose - to tank tubes. So I think I will only have to extend the rubber hose portions. Same for the radiator hoses I suppose. I never thought of splitting the radiator shroud. I get that. I was thinking of moving the whole unit downward. Maybe fuel lines, maybe brake lines will need to be extended ...

hogasm: Your point is well taken, but both seats are out. Ever since reading your post, I have been looking for the coil but can't find it.

twogone: Since UJoint is probably not going to add anything to his previous warning to me, you have likely done his job for him here.

JWA: A HEUI injector is an impressive thing to hold in your hand. It will make you question your manhood. And there is really very little room between the head and the tunnel on the passenger side.

If I do this, I will post pictures and a build thread. I already fooled around with trying to remove one of the chassis bolts, and just getting those rusted in place things out will be a challenge likely worthy of a straight or angle grinder...
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Old 07-27-2015, 04:56 PM   #8
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Re: 2" Body Lift - Good, Bad, or just Ugly?

The coil is the brown square part on the injector
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:08 PM   #9
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Re: 2" Body Lift - Good, Bad, or just Ugly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogasm
The coil is the brown square part on the injector
Got ya. Are there any little parts which will separate when I do that?
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:26 PM   #10
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Re: 2" Body Lift - Good, Bad, or just Ugly?

A longer rubber tube was used to extend the fuel line and the vent. Did not have to mess with the radiator, fuel, or break lines for the install. Not sure how the Ford radiator shroud is together, but the Chevy shroud is a 2 piece shroud bolted together on the horizontal. I used spacers and longer bolts to get the required clearance for the rad fan.
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