Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

FROM FIBERGLASS MONOLEAFS TO AIR BAGS, STOCK HEIGHT TO BODY SLAMMED, EVERYTHING EXCEPT LIFTS GO HERE.
User avatar

Topic author
snapple
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 368
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:20 pm
Location: Ithaca,NY area

Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by snapple »

Well as the title states,this is my lift kit install thread! I ordered my kit from Overland Vans.I'll go over some of the main steps and instructions that Dan included with the kit,with photos.I thought I took more pics,but I guess I got so involved with the job that I didn't snap as many as I thought! So if anyone would like any more detailed pics that aren't here,let me know and I'll add it or send it to you.Anyways on with the install!
I started with the replacement of the rear composite monoleaf springs.The photo below shows how they start to fray over time.This past winter I noticed a significant amount of rear sag!
Image
Following pics are of rear spring removal and a comparison shot.
Image
Image
Image
A quick note on the drivers side spring hanger.You either have to drop the gas tank or cut the spring hangers bolts to get the old one out!I dropped the tank.You can mount the new hanger bolts from the other side,but I mounted mine back the same way so Dean can mount a bracket for the rock rails he built for me.
Image
A few pics of the new heavy duty springs installed!
Image
Image
Image
I then moved to the front for the body lift blocks.Pretty straightforward stuff here.Need to disconnect shift linkage from tranny.Also need to add,once blocks are in and reconnecting shift linkage.The directions and my factory service manual wrongly state that park is all the way forward.My FSM even shows a pic & diagrahm of it this way.In fact its the exact opposite.Thought that if I included this info,it might save someone a little aggravation.I did this whole job solo,and made a few trips back and forth under the van.Before I realized it had to be wrong! :-s Okay back to the lift blocks.Remove the 6 subframe bolts,and install lift blocks with new longer subframe bolts.Easy right?It only took me about a day to complete! :yikes:
The front drivers side subframe bolt was spinning!I had to cut an access hole in the radiator support pillar next to the headlight to get on the other end!I purposely didn't take any pics of this,because I made a mess of it! :D
A couple pics of the lift blocks installed...
Image
Image
After installing the lift blocks it was necessary to trim the lower fan shroud for fan clearance.Also had to replace the intermediate steering shaft with a longer one supplied with the kit.Sorry no pics of the steering shaft change.
Image
Image
I didn't change the torsion keys with the hi lift keys that come with the kit(yet anyways).I maxed out my stock ones,the front end sits about a inch lower than the rear with the new springs. Currently happy with this setup.I also got the rear shock relocation tabs to give the axle a cleaner look and also add more ground clearance.However,there not welded in yet,my buddy's going to weld them up soon I hope!I'll post some pics once done.I also bought a bumper with grille guard from Overlands,so the bumper relocation step wasn't necessary for me.I plan to do a seperate post on the new bumper and front end mods in the near future.
Here's some pics of the dreaded fender trimming...
Wasn't to bad actually with a grinder and a cutting wheel.I've never used one and managed just fine.
Image
Image
Image
This pic shows how I was cautiously nipping pieces on the drivers side fender(pile on right of grinder).The other side went much quicker,as you can see by the pile on the left! :D
Image
Here's a couple shot's lift complete with my new BFGoodrich All-Terrain 31x10.50's!
Image
Image
This project was a long time coming!Ever since I first seen pics of the SPB and Overlands website.The past week I've been loving just cruising!I love the looks and double takes my van gets now!Have gotten many comments seems every time I stop for gas! :D
Well hope you guys like it!Any questions?I'll do my best to answer! :guitar:
Peace, Bill
Last edited by snapple on Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
'94 Astro AWD EXT LT - Over 211,000 ,parts van now!
DHC Rock rails
Overland Vans 4" lift kit and bumper w/grille guard
Fiamma awning

'95 Astro AWD EXT CS - Just over 99,000 miles

LiftedAWDAstro
I have my van tatooed on my cheeks
Posts: 4379
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:35 pm
Location: New Haven, NY

Re: Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by LiftedAWDAstro »

Looks AWESOME Bill! Can't wait to see it at NECO! :supz:
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy
User avatar

WVKayaker
I sleep in my van
Posts: 427
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 9:30 pm
Location: Bowie, MD
Contact:

Re: Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by WVKayaker »

Awesome....I like the wheel choice too....congrats!
1999 AWD Astro purchased January 2007
2" Overland Vans Lift Kit, Add-a-Leaf, Shackles, Torsion Bars Cranked 1"
AGM Deep Cycle Marine Battery w/Isolator
Helwig Rear Anti-Sway Bar
Auburn Gear Pro Series Limited-Slip Differential
BFG AT KO 235/75/15
Cragar Nomad I Wheels

Dearly Departed 1990 RWD Shorty owned since day one.
Sold Feb 2007 with 193k miles.

Image

astrozam
I have my van tatooed on my cheeks
Posts: 2769
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:57 am

Re: Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by astrozam »

I'm diggin the lift, the info and the pics. Nice job Bill, now the rock rails Dean built for ya look like they belong on there.

These vans were meant to be lifted, they look 10X better :cheers:

lockdoc
I sleep in my van
Posts: 704
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:50 am
Location: Plymouth Township, PA

Re: Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by lockdoc »

Sweet!
Current:
01 AWD - Stock
98 AWD - Stock
Past:
93 4WD - 305 V8 - 5" lift - 31" tires
98 4WD DHC - 10" lift - 33" tires - Onboard air and Hydraulics - Snowplow
92 RWD - 350 V8 - lowered - 97 front clip
92 RWD - 350 V8 - converted to AWD - V6
91 AWD - 350 V8 - conversion van
94 RWD - 350 V8 - sons van
92 RWD - stock - sons van
93 RWD Shorty - project
89 RWD Shorty - parts van

97CargoCrawler
I sleep in my van
Posts: 754
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:50 pm
Location: Near Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Re: Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by 97CargoCrawler »

Awesome job dude! :supz:

How does your steering feel with those tires on?
1997 SAFARI 2WD CARGO
Image
"I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." Nikola Tesla
User avatar

T.Low
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 1768
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:11 pm
Location: Bellingham, Wa

Re: Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by T.Low »

It really looks great. I like the color combo's and the wheels with the colors of the van. Its a brute.

How is your rear shackle angle on the springs? Is it close to the frame, or is it only at a slight angle?

Wish I could meet you guys at NECO but its just a we bit too far from the Northwest corner of the country.



The vans certainly get the looks when lifter. My favorite looks are the guys in the Vangaons who, you can tell, feel a little upstaged or something.

Looks great, well done.
ImageImageImageImage
AstroLander Build Slideshow
Church bells ringing in the middle of a gunfight.

97CargoCrawler
I sleep in my van
Posts: 754
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:50 pm
Location: Near Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Re: Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by 97CargoCrawler »

If you happen to notice any vibrations from the driveshaft due to the shackles, I can tell you that the 4 degree shims I put below my leaf packs solved that problem completely. Now it has a nice smooth acceleration from a complete stop, I don't feel any vibes that weren't there from before the lift. I know at first the vibration seems like something you can live with, but after a while it gets annoying. :-k

Just curious.....How you gonna mount those rear shock tabs with the sway bar bolted to the top of the axle? Will you take it off or weld the brackets parallel to the ground? I welded mine on top of the axle.....but to be honest I didn't read the instructions! I think it will work either way. I measured both position out and it made minimal difference in shock extension length.
User avatar

dunedog
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 686
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:22 pm
Location: Pioneer Valley WMass

Re: Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by dunedog »

=D> Nice,love the color combo.....bring some before pics to NECO
1999 LS AWD 3" Lift,4.10's,Snowplow,9500lb Ramsey winch
User avatar

Topic author
snapple
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 368
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:20 pm
Location: Ithaca,NY area

Re: Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by snapple »

Thanks for the compliments everyone!
97CargoCrawler: Steering feels good,on sharp turns it sticks for a moment in one spot.
No real noticeable vibrations.Biggest thing I notice is the initial acceleration loss!Next investment will be changing over to 4.10 gearing.Besides the toolbox I'm buying from Dean at NECO! :D Currently don't have the rear sway bar installed,but it doesn't look like it will be an issue with the shock tabs.
T.Low: Rear shackle is at a slight angle,if I'm understanding your question correctly.I'm really happy with the color combo too,I bought the rims almost a year ago!Now I need to clean up the frame with some flat black or something,rust looks nasty!I have some body & paint work also.It was a rough winter,way to much salt! :yikes: I have a matching spare,and am still working on a spare tire carrier that should debut sometime mid-summer.Once I get Deans toolbox installed.I can fine tune my bed ideas!
Dunedog: I originally wanted to post some before pics with this thread.But all my previous pics are currently stranded on my other computer!I'm terrible at backing stuff up! #-o Working on reclaiming my files from that pc this week sometime. [-o<
Look forward to meeting as many of you guys as possible at NECO! :guitar:
'94 Astro AWD EXT LT - Over 211,000 ,parts van now!
DHC Rock rails
Overland Vans 4" lift kit and bumper w/grille guard
Fiamma awning

'95 Astro AWD EXT CS - Just over 99,000 miles

stomp13
I finally get the smurf thing
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Quakertown PA

Re: Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by stomp13 »

Looks great! thanks for the write up. I really like the black wheels. They work well with how your van is painted. From light gray/silver on top, to darker on the body then black wheels.
99 Astro LS AWD. 200k. Overlands 2inch lift. No name 29inch LT tires.

jmoney
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:15 am

Re: Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by jmoney »

I had to also chime in with great paint /wheel combo! =D>

Quick question about your rear sway bar...
Did you notice a handling improvement after installing?
And have you reinstalled it since the lift and shock relocation?
I too am doing an OV lift kit and shock relocation and hadn't considered the sway bar because of shock tabs.

Thanks!
John
User avatar

T.Low
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 1768
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:11 pm
Location: Bellingham, Wa

Re: Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by T.Low »

Thanks to jmoney for bringin your thread back to the top, I just realized you said you did not use the high lift torsion bar keys. Why not?

Are you afraid of ball joint issues while wheeling?
ImageImageImageImage
AstroLander Build Slideshow
Church bells ringing in the middle of a gunfight.

Moreforles
I sleep in my van
Posts: 354
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:35 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by Moreforles »

I like the stance, the front wheel looks a little close to the back of the front fender though.

I like the black rims, with chrome lugs and center, topped off with raise white letters......

when it was all said and done.... would you do it again, or pay someone else to do it for you...?
2000 Astro, passenger van. Converted into a cargo van, used for Carpet cleaning (10 lbs of crap, in a 5 lb bag)
User avatar

WVKayaker
I sleep in my van
Posts: 427
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 9:30 pm
Location: Bowie, MD
Contact:

Re: Overland Vans 4-5" lift for '85-'94 install

Post by WVKayaker »

What's your average MPG now?
I dropped 4 MPG going to 29" BFG's...
1999 AWD Astro purchased January 2007
2" Overland Vans Lift Kit, Add-a-Leaf, Shackles, Torsion Bars Cranked 1"
AGM Deep Cycle Marine Battery w/Isolator
Helwig Rear Anti-Sway Bar
Auburn Gear Pro Series Limited-Slip Differential
BFG AT KO 235/75/15
Cragar Nomad I Wheels

Dearly Departed 1990 RWD Shorty owned since day one.
Sold Feb 2007 with 193k miles.

Image
Post Reply