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Discussion Starter #81
This is a quick “how to” on the lowering. I’ve never done suspension work before and excuse me if my terminology isn’t exactly correct as well. You need larger sized sockets and wrenches / hammers / few other typical mech tools to make it easier. So I’ll start off with the fronts. I blocked rear tires ,jacked up both sides and put jack stands on each front frame rail. I have a pretty nice Daytona jack and another smaller one really helps to lift the rotors when needed while working on each side. I recommend taking off the strut bolts to the LCA first and disconnecting the outer tie rod ends to get more swing movement from the rotor/knuckle to access the backside of it to break loose the ball joints. Disconnect the sway bar and pull it out the way. Undo the lower shock bolts or just remove the whole shock through the hole in the lca. Remember to keep all the bolts and nuts to clean/reuse. I loaned a pickle fork and spring compressor from local auto stores ( none had both) although I don’t think you really need a spring compressor. I used it more as a safety device as it’s a tight area and hits the control arms trying to compress the spring. The moog LCA part numbers are RK 620243 and 42 for the drivers side. They are a pressed in ball joint instead of the better discontinued CK versions. I also sprayed down all the bolts I’d be working on with penetrating oil long before hand.

Next remove the ball joint cotter pins and nuts. Support the knuckle with some wire tied off to the frame so when it does break loose it’s not hanging off the brake line. Have a jack supporting the lower control arm slightly and the spring pressure can help separate the lower connection. The pickle fork comes in handy here and a mini sledge hammer- don’t smack the knuckle as much as it can be a pita job. The spring compressor was just snug installed on the spring Incase off it potentially flying out and causing damage. Use the jack to change the ball joint angles if it’s fighting you while removing.

Separate the uppers and lowers and now you can remove them. Make note of the camber bolt positions

I got custom upper control arms made (Brandon fruth). Took a while to get them but they are to correct the bad ball joint angle after lowering with the van arms. Some custom work needs to be done to the lowers - shaving off the steering stop or bump stop raised part ( dunno what it is ) and drilling new holes for the strut rod. I did test fit the lowers to get the new strut rod hole locations. This is a comparison from the trucks original to the vans with the deeper spring pocket.

Modified LCA


The van LCAs have a 3/4 bolt that mounts them to the vans frame whereas the trucks bolt is 5/8. A lot of people drill out the frame mounting hole but I used these bunting bearings to make the 5/8 bolt work and I can always revert back to stock easily too if the lowered truck doesn’t work out.

Not sure if they come in longer sizes but I needed 3 packs and 4 of the 3/4s on each side fit the LCAs perfect.

Now would be a good time to remove the bump stop. I just removed the rubber bolt on part but later discovered that the metal hanger part was still so close that it would hit the LCA on bigger bumps. So I ended up cutting the whole piece off after it was all together. This is doable but just a lot easier while it’s accessible.
Could even cut a section out and weld it back on to keep the rubber bump stop but for now I’m not worried about removing it all together.



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Discussion Starter #82
Shock part numbers front and rear respectively kyb-kg5403 and kyb-kg5523. The old shocks were shot and the new ones even paint match the truck. Front top rubber bushings are a different design so old ones have to be completely removed and install the new bushings top and bottom of the top hole.
At this point it’s just a matter of putting everything thing back together and torque to spec. I did replace my outer tie-rod ends (Napa) too as I busted one of the boots with the pickle fork while separating the ball joint. Drivers side was a right hand thread and the passenger side was left hand.
IMG_5286.JPG



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Would the piece you ground off the LCA be the van's steering stop?

Steering on the van is from ahead of the axle while the strut rod goes behind the axle.

You don't mention what you did with springs...

And. for the record, I wouldn't leave it too long without bump stops.
 

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Discussion Starter #84 (Edited)
Notice the bump stop bracket is still attached in the previous picture which was later removed. I marked the original tie rod ends with tape so when installing the new ones I could replicate the original adjustment. This is a pic of the new setup I cleaned and painted abit too to tidy it up some.

Pic of it on the ground so you can see the nice ball joint angle the custom uppers give.
 

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Discussion Starter #85
I reused my original springs and yes it very well could be the steering stop that needs to be removed off the LCAs. Tires hitting the wheel well is my new bump stop 😁. The plan for the rear was an axle flip. Needed Mopar Performance P4120074 spring perches and a longer set of square U bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #86 (Edited)
For the rear I jacked one side up at a time and left the tires on. Disconnect the shock and remove. Use the smaller jack to assist moving / holding things. This is the original setup for reference.
Undo the 4 bolts on the U bolts holding the springs to the axle. I actually removed the whole leaf spring to be able to place it under the axle.

There is a plate that is normally on top of the leaf spring that has a hole in it that centers itself on a stud (bolt) that goes through the leafs. I welded this to the bottom shock mount plate as it needed something similar to rest again the leaf.


I measured the angle of the original spring perches (7*) and lined up the new ones at an angle so they would be parallel with the original ones - welded in place. In the middle of the leaf springs the bolt head on top can now be used to center on the perch. Put the longer U bolts on and basically put it back together ( trim up U bolts). Couple things to note - the U bolts that were originally on it were not original and were slightly larger than the 2 1/2 perch diameter (2 3/4). I got similar size ones but longer as there is an extra perch height added now. Not sure if this is correct or will be an issue but it is a bigger bolt diameter than the 2 1/2s size ones and it was working before. I’m not sure if I’m happy with the way U bolts sit on top of the original spring perches too. The plate that I welded to the shock mount had grooves where the bolts would sit/fit in and I just feel like there is a chance that the U bolts could slip off ?? Not sure if it’s valid but might have to find some more plates for the top too just to make me feel better about it. This is the end result.




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Discussion Starter #87 (Edited)
And the final stance before and after.


The 255/70/15 in the front are too wide now - it’s just about touching the outer inner fender at rest. So found some cheap used 235/70s that work and put them on the fronts. I’m planning on changing the wheels and tires now all together but this will be a temp fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #88
I didn’t like how the rear U bolts were set up and after some more research there are better ways. I got some different U bolts that wrap around the axle which looks a lot more secure. Another option is to use an old mopar cars shock plate that has rear leaf springs. It has a (axle over) flat design so I wouldn’t have to use the welded plate to my original rear shock mount. I went to the local yard to get these but the car had been crushed I was after so will keep an eye out for a set. Until then I still swapped out the U bolts - used a ratchet strap on the shock for easier installation back on the mount.

The front end got some attention too. The plan was to paint the spare grille I had picked up a while ago black. Ended up doing some repairs to a damaged corner and painting it a dark grey metallic. Smoked the marker lenses too. Attached a Chevy suburbans chin spoiler to the bumper (going to replaced soon). Mark the bumpers alignment on the truck if you are removing it to work on for quick alignment on install.

Had to notch out the chin spoiler to get it to sit flush with the bumper. Drilled new holes in the bumper and new hardware to attach.

Didn’t even realize till after I painted the headlight surrounds that one was different. Had different mounting hole locations and shape - so modified it to fit. Not sure if I like the end result but it’s different and can easily return to the original stuff. I will run it for a bit and see. Before and afters

And with other grille



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Discussion Starter #89 (Edited)
New wheels and tires time. The AT tires just didn’t fit the lowered stance anymore and I kinda wanted bigger rims too. Ended up going with some American racing tto rims 17”x 7”wide in front and 8” in the back. These were reasonably priced and offered a slight staggered look even tho I would like to go wider in the rear. They don’t fit the center hub just like most rims in 5x5.5 but I have a skilled machinist just around the corner that could open up the hubs to 90mm. Before and after pics show how little material was needed to be removed - I’m not worried about strength weakening.
Before

After


Tire size was a worry as I wanted to get a perfect tuck/ look without rubbing issues. Ordered 235/ 65/17 for the fronts and 275/60/17 rear Goodyear rsa tires - not my 1st choice but the tires sizes made my choices limited. What’s strange is after lowering the truck I notice I have the driver side lean. I could swear it was level previous but maybe it’s just more noticeable now it’s lowered ?

Im now looking at either putting new springs in or a spacer to fix it. I don’t have rubbing issues except on a bump on a right turn the driver side will scrape. Will look into my options to fix the lean and fender clearance issues. The ride quality has increased with the new tires so that’s a plus. Overall I’m happy with the stance and look, color matches the truck pretty good - May need to fine tune tire size and a few other things like the center caps - ( don’t like the oversized plastic chrome look ) . I also had to get all new correct lug nuts from summit along with the rims. Last couple weeks I’ve tried to get an alignment but that has been another story. Need to get the alignment done and then I’ll be looking to get it to the track to see what it can do.


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Discussion Starter #90
The new front bumper came in from LMC. I ordered the older tin grille style as I like how the ends cut in making it more sleek- but what I didn’t know is that I need the brackets off an older truck too. Nobody makes these bumper brackets either so I went to go see the yard where the truck was that I got the hood from. Turns out they had another one there with a front bumper in better condition too. I removed the front bumper and brackets

Of course I had to take that grille too.Below is the brackets new bumper and grille. ($40 score for brackets and grille!)

I always had in the back of my mind of doing a tin grille swap and this could be a good candidate even tho my favorite is the 72/73 (think this one is a 75). Once I got the correct brackets it was an easy bolt off and on - reusing my original hardware. Before:

After:

I didn’t put the air dam back on as I didn’t really like the look - plus it’s kinda old and warped/scuffed up. Was fine on the older bumper but wasn’t going to look right on a nice new one. Another thing that bugged me was the lines at the end didn’t flow well with the trucks body. So will be looking into other chin spoiler options as I’d still like to have one.


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Looks good, Don't understand why they went to those "boxy" bumpers any way. Did you ever consider looking into getting the "LE" chrome grill pieces? I think it would make an improvement.
 
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