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Old 04-16-2018, 05:31 AM   #371
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Default Clarification...

I see where you answered the Coils needing to be purchased new. Not the Erb springs reused.

Also see where you mention using gm mounts & throwing away the bilsteins *if they have to improved.

If I need a longer shock & perhaps I did hear it topping out sometimes, is Silverado shock size the best option?

Can a shock be too long?
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:32 PM   #372
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I see where you answered the Coils needing to be purchased new. Not the Erb springs reused.

Also see where you mention using gm mounts & throwing away the bilsteins *if they have to improved.

If I need a longer shock & perhaps I did hear it topping out sometimes, is Silverado shock size the best option?

Can a shock be too long?
I would not use the Erb coils over, they have proven that they can't handle the job and will continue to drop, I think.

On the top shock mount, the only one that seems to survive is the GM stock top mount. If you go to Bilsteins, which I think is a good idea, they may or may not come with the GM mount. If they don't come with the GM style mount, don't use the Bilstein parts, go and get the GM top mounts.

If you are at 2" of lift or 35.5-36" at the wheel well, the stock length Bilsteins will work, even though a touch longer would be a bit better. Many of us have a few washers on the rod to make them a bit longer.

In the vans, the shocks can absolutely be too long. The shocks are the only thing that limits the downtravel of the front suspension at the correct point. If the shocks are too long the suspension can drop to far and be damaged when the control arms hit the van frame. If you do change to different shocks, it is very important that the shop check the downtravel to make sure things can't be damaged.

It is likely that an offfound shop will try to sell you Fox shocks that are longer. Fox makes great stuff, but I don't know about how harsh they would be in the van on the road. Others here might have used them by now. The Bilsteins are quite comfortable a ride. I think you had KYB which are famous for being pretty harsh a ride, but with good handling.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:50 PM   #373
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You can also look into Weldtec Designs.

They make lots of options for 2003+ Chevy Express vans.

I used their parts as well as blocks from Procomp and Moog coil springs to lift mine (see signature) but it's a different suspension then yours.

Also I had made this post with all the Moog spring sizes just for reference. Good luck with your project!
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:21 PM   #374
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Default Thank you Gentlemen ...

About to start making calls right now.

Boulder, Supersprings, Weld Tec & others.

I did notice just now (using my cell), that in the first page photog went to 18 inch wheels - I need to sit in front of a computer & go over this forum again to see if he stayed with them - I just invested a $900 in Yokohama Geolanders - if anyone used 18inch wheels & they proved critical, I will trade the tires in.

Once again, Thank You Gentlemen & please wade in anyone & everyone with recommendations - the truck is handling better with these newer, larger tires & I think that a 1000 miles before alignment won't screw them up as I gather info the next week or so.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:36 PM   #375
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Default Called Supersprings*, BoulderOffRoadVans & WeldTec this far ...

Details in a day or 2.

*I have mentioned many times how effective & Bulletproof the Rear Helper(?) Spring from Supersprings has been.

Speaking with them again 5 years later their company has quadrupled in size & I know they have something for everyone here;

Sumo Springs which are a progressive bump stop.

The Supersprings above.

Plus Super Coils.

And what they call Sumo Coil Springs.

A progressive device that fits inside the Coil & acts to improve not just longevity but ride, handling, etc.

Perfect for our needs regardless of where we get our Coils from - the science is beyond but I did understand that coils have only a certain amount of oscillations before they fatigue (factory or aftermarket) on allvehicles but especially on our Van's that are loaded all the times versus the on off loads of most vehicles like Van's & trucks.

Gerry Lambretti is the guy to talk to.

www.supersprings.com
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:19 PM   #376
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Details in a day or 2.

*I have mentioned many times how effective & Bulletproof the Rear Helper(?) Spring from Supersprings has been.

Speaking with them again 5 years later their company has quadrupled in size & I know they have something for everyone here;

Sumo Springs which are a progressive bump stop.

The Supersprings above.

Plus Super Coils.

And what they call Sumo Coil Springs.

A progressive device that fits inside the Coil & acts to improve not just longevity but ride, handling, etc.

Perfect for our needs regardless of where we get our Coils from - the science is beyond but I did understand that coils have only a certain amount of oscillations before they fatigue (factory or aftermarket) on allvehicles but especially on our Van's that are loaded all the times versus the on off loads of most vehicles like Van's & trucks.

Gerry Lambretti is the guy to talk to.

www.supersprings.com
Supersprings are an intersting company and have some nice stuff.

Personally, I don't like the idea of progressive bumpstop to increase front spring rate or height, as it puts the extra load on the wrong place in the suspension, eg the pivot bushing of the control arm and the arm itself. The will work, but I think aren't the best for durability if you can do it with springs.

I don't recall what we found out when we researched the Supercoils a while ago. Supersprings just gives the free length and "load" without what height that load would be at. Maybe someone remembers or can find the discussion that had the complete specs. I seem to remember them being a bit softer than the Moog 81006 and the same length. I do know they weren't considered a first choice.

The Sumocoils are just plain old coil spring rubber spacers that may have been updated a bit. Again, with the right springs, they should not be necessary, and the big thing about them is that because they somewhat immobilize part of the spring, the rest of the spring gets stressed more and will likely fatigue earlier.

Our vans run at nearly constant weight, with no big swings in how much weight is on any given wheel. For that reason, getting springs that are not progressive is a better idea than getting progressive. Progressive springs are made having smooth ride with light loads but still having the ability to carry heavy loads. If you use a progressive spring on a heavy, consistently loaded van, all that happens is the soft riding part gets compressed completely and the stiff section has to do all the work and is also less comfortable a ride. Putting all the stress in a smaller amount of the spring will cause faster fatigue. This is also one of the problems Erb had on his springs, as they were heavily progressive, and you saw what happened to yours, as I did in our testing.

As you can see, I am not a big fan of rubber helper springs or spacers. They will wear out way before most coil springs and they almost always are very progressive.

IMO, you will be way better off getting the correct springs for the height you want, and some good shocks. Use a stock height bump stop. I think you will be happy and also have a very reliable and consistent setup.

If you talk to Supersprings again, see if they will give you complete specs on their coil springs, so we can see where they would fit in your plan.
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:54 AM   #377
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Default Will call Supersprings tomorrow ...

And send him your feedback & see if his Engineering correlates with our needs in detail.

When speaking with Boulderoffroadvans they also mentioned they have a slightly longer custom shock that is a Bilstein & has performed well.

Tomorrow I will be talking to Weldtec Design in San Diego as the owner Jeremy is back - they too have a 2inch leveling kits, 3inch Spindles & more.

Gerry at Supersprings has been very good to me & I trust his input will be worth considering also.

Thank you Booster!
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Old 04-19-2018, 05:04 PM   #378
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And send him your feedback & see if his Engineering correlates with our needs in detail.

When speaking with Boulderoffroadvans they also mentioned they have a slightly longer custom shock that is a Bilstein & has performed well.

Tomorrow I will be talking to Weldtec Design in San Diego as the owner Jeremy is back - they too have a 2inch leveling kits, 3inch Spindles & more.

Gerry at Supersprings has been very good to me & I trust his input will be worth considering also.

Thank you Booster!
I think a slightly longer shock would be good. There is not much travel on the shock from loaded to unloaded on my 210. I did keep the original GM upper rubber mount. I can't tell if the shock becomes fully extended when going over a big bump. I would think the shock could be damaged from repeated and rapid full extensions. I have had my lift and Bilstein shocks for 7 years and they are fine as far as I can tell. I try to be very careful when going over big bumps, but sudden potholes in the road are sometimes hard to avoid.
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:41 PM   #379
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I think a slightly longer shock would be good. There is not much travel on the shock from loaded to unloaded on my 210. I did keep the original GM upper rubber mount. I can't tell if the shock becomes fully extended when going over a big bump. I would think the shock could be damaged from repeated and rapid full extensions. I have had my lift and Bilstein shocks for 7 years and they are fine as far as I can tell. I try to be very careful when going over big bumps, but sudden potholes in the road are sometimes hard to avoid.
We have had ours about that long also and ours are also just fine, from all I could see when I had them out for the Erb spring experiment last year. The only amount of hit they can get in extension is the weight of the tire and whatever the spring is pushing at that compression, so it is nothing in comparison to full van weight bottoming. You always have to be sure that in the extension direction the shock stops the travel before the control arm hits the van frame, which would likely bend it.

During the Erb experiment, I would up way to high on the van, so the shocks would not even go into place and I found that the shock can be mounted to the top of the lower control arm instead of the bottom, making it effectively about 3/4" longer. The problem was that the extra length also allowed the control arm to hit the van frame.

The shocks for the previous generation vans were a bit shorter and had longer thread on the shaft, so it is possible that you might be able use them and put them on the top of the control arm and then adjust the top mount with double nuts to limit the travel down to protect the A arm. I have not tried it, but probably would work. You might also be able to put more threads on the stock shocks so they could be put on the top of the lower control arm.

When all of this first came up those years ago, I did a lot of reading on the pickup forums which indicated the pickups have the same design, it worries everyone, but very, very, few had ever had any reliability issues because of it.

One thing that I can say that might help some people is something that bit me early on. I had always been trained to tighten the upper shock mounts until the rubbers bulge to about the diameter of the washers, and that is what I did, even after changing back to the GM upper shock mounts. We did get some noise from them that we thought might have been shock topping. As it turned out, it was not the shock topping out, it was the upper mount hitting on itself internally. I pulled them up tight and the noise went away.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:58 AM   #380
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Default Driving to Weldtec Design by San Diego

Will report back on my in person experience with;

www.weldtecdesigns.com

Tomorrow, meeting with the Owner Jeremy Johnson & Staff - tried doing everything over the phone but its impossible - as it is may need to scale back on what I have already done in the rear.

But this guy seems to be a straight shooter & they have such an array of products for lifting Van's, etc that I am fairly confident this might be my furst& final pit stop.

And will try to bring as much technical data back for the Engineers here - the website details everything.

Thank you Gentlemen!
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