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Old 05-05-2012, 11:46 PM   #11
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Re: 2WD lift kit-Instal and Review part I, II

------------------------------PART II---------------------------------------------
O.K. Finely the weekend is here and I can get going on the lift. Although I could do this at work with lifts and all the air tools I would need. I wanted to see how easy this would be to do for the normal guy working from home using normal tools. Plus it gave me a good reason to hang out with my best friend, have some pizza and beer, and put in a lift kit.

Here is the van at the start of the day.


here is the stock height of the front and rear wheels.



I decided to start with the rear lift, since I knew it would be the easiest to do.

This was pretty straight forward, jack up the back, remove the old u-bolts, let the rear end drop down with the van supported on jacks.


Here is a shot with the blocks installed.


Now on to the front of the van. Removal of the front suspension was also pretty straight forward. Just fallow the directions that come with the kit and you can't go wrong.




The only part of the removal that require any special attention, is when you remove the front pivot brackets. They are riveted on. Not with little pop rivets either, these are big steel, solid rivets. You can grind or cut them off. I decided to torch the heads off. They came off pretty easy, knocked the brackets off with a hammer and knocked out the rest of the rivet with a punch.


Here is what you have when everything is removed.


what it looked like with the rear done and the new front suspension ready to go on.


And some side by side comparisons of the stock stuff, next to the new stuff.








Tomorrow the finish. Like the monkey said when he cut off his tail. "It won't be long now"
P.S. still no contact from J-Flame......
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:12 PM   #12
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Re: 2WD lift kit-Instal and Review part I, II

*******************PART III*********************************************

O.K. the job is done. I would say overall this is a very doable project for someone with above average mechanical skills and the right tools to do the job. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being, changing your oil and 10 being, rebuilding your motor after you never changed your oil; installing the lift kit would be about a 5-6. Everything is pretty straight forward with the directions. The only things that I came across that were harder to do was removing the rivets that held in the stock pivot arm brackets. Also when installing the new pivot arm bracket you will have to jack the motor up about 3" to be able to drop the bolts in from the top of the cross member and the hardest part of the whole job was removing the stock Pittman arm. Now mind you it VERY clearly states in the directions to purchase a specific Pittman arm puller from Snap On, but who wants to spend that kind of money when you can just rent a puller from O' Riley's auto parts.....trust me it didn't work, get the right tool for the job.

Here is the before and after shoot of the van.




The tire clearance before and after.

rear tire




front tire




and some shots of the kit installed.





****************THE VERDICT**************************************

In my opinion, whether you install the kit or have it done I highly recommend it. The quality of the kit was outstanding. The installation is straight forward and can be done in one weekend. With the kit installed you will need a front end alignment, but the ride quality is great. It rides way better than stock. The height seems just right for everyday use around town as well as the trips off the beaten path. Please fill free to ask as many questions as you would like. It's a chunk of change to put down, but worth every penny.
As you may have guessed, I never did hear from J-Flame.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:34 PM   #13
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Re: 2WD lift kit-Instal and Review part I, II, III and verdi

Good job. And good report. Thanks!
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:35 PM   #14
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Re: 2WD lift kit-Install and Review part I, II, III and verd

Great Post!

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Old 05-07-2012, 11:38 PM   #15
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Re: 2WD lift kit-Install and Review part I, II, III and verd

Thanks for the very good write-up..... The detailed information and installation pictures will are really useful to many people who might want their van a bit taller without four wheel drive. I like the fact that it rides better thats an unexpected plus for sure. Your van loks great with its new altitude.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:20 AM   #16
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Re: 2WD lift kit-Install and Review part I, II, III and verd

Thank you guys very much. It was my pleasure.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:14 PM   #17
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Re: 2WD lift kit-Install and Review part I, II, III and verd

what was the difference in the radius arms???? i couldnt see any difference in the pics...

looks great
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:11 PM   #18
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Re: 2WD lift kit-Install and Review part I, II, III and verd

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWicked
what was the difference in the radius arms???? i couldnt see any difference in the pics...

looks great
Thank you MrWicked. I guess women haven't been lying all this time when they say 4 more inches makes all the difference in the world. jk.
The difference in the radius arms is on the ends where the bolt goes through, they are slightly bent and there is a small spacer welded on. You can see it in the picture, even though it's one left and one right radius arm.

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Old 05-23-2012, 10:29 PM   #19
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Re: 2WD lift kit-Install and Review part I, II, III and verd

They do that to correct the Caster Angle, which otherwise would be less positive because of the lift. It is a very common practice to do this. Even better is a longer radius arm so that there is less caster change throughout the suspension cycle. Drop pivot brackets can also help correct the same issue but is not as good of an option.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:23 PM   #20
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Re: 2WD lift kit-Install and Review part I, II, III and verd

Too bad they haven't adopted the Hyme joints like the newer vans have. MUCH better long term than the ice-cream sandwhich bushing setup.
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