Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-24-2011, 05:46 AM   #1
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,903
Default Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Photog's thread on lifting his C190P Roadtrek has gotten pretty long and varied, so I figured I would just do a quick new thread with the results of our work done to the suspension of our 07 C190P.

We put in TuffTruck front springs, Airlift rear bags, Bilstein shocks, and a home built 1 3/8" rear swaybar, plus a good alignment.

We just returned from taking the "circle of Lake Superior". 1650 miles of varied roads, mostly two lane, lots of wind, some rain, gravel roads, curves, hills, etc. It was a very good test.

All in all, I was very impressed by the amount of the improvement. I already knew that the lift had put the suspension in the "sweet spot" of the geometry, by the measurements and by driving last fall. It was very, very stable and easy to drive with no wind, and considerably less susceptible to wind movements. What did surprise me was how much the swaybar helped the wind handling and the van's reaction to ridges and pitches in the less than stellar roads we were on. I could easily drive 65 mph where it would have been 55 before any changes and probably 60 after the other changes. We had always been able to hear the front tires scuffing on "hard" curves, and that has been radically reduced. This makes sense as a rear bar should reduce understeer and unload the front tires somewhat.

I had been a big supporter of the 2" lift, and still am, as it is an off the shelf modification (not cheap though) and gives a lot of benefit in handling and clearance. I had been iffy on whether adding a swaybar was worth the effort, because you either have to build a setup like I did, or move the genny back a bit to use the Hellwig bar. Based on what I have seen now, I would change my mind and say the bar is definitely worth it, if you are uncomfortable with how you handle in the wind. The cost of the bar, or parts to do your own, is not large, but the labor is quite a bit.

I think we are done with suspension mods at this point, and are happy with the results.

Now I just need to get the stuff to fix the fiberglass ground effects in front of the passenger side rear wheel, as we hit an otter (yep) that somehow got caught up in the glass and then pulled under the tire, tearing a big chuck of the ground effects apart. Fixing the glass should be pretty easy, but painting and blending the base and clear always sucks, and never seems to match very well.
__________________

booster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 03:00 AM   #2
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 489
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Based on the posts and interactions with booster and photog here is what I did on my 2006 RT 210P: TuffTruk front springs, Firestone rear airbags, Bilstein shocks. I am running 75 psi in the airbags; this raises the back about 1.5 inches. The vehicle is very close to level.

We just returned from a 2500 mile trip to New England. Overall I am very happy. The vehicle handles much better than before. Overall the smoothness of the ride is about the same. Maybe a little harder over small bumps, but none of the hard jarring over a large bump that I thinks was caused by the front suspension hitting the bump-stops. There is still some side to side rolling at low speeds when one side traverses a large bump or crossing the threshold from the road to a parking lot. Presumably a swaybar would help solve this but I am not planning to add at this point due to the RT 210 model being close to max GVWR.

I would consider these are must adds to a RT 210, especially the rear airbags. Roadtrek should install these as standard equipment.

Pete
2006 RT 210P
__________________

peteco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 06:46 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Photog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Posts: 364
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Good news Peteco. Glad to hear the suspension upgrade worked well for you. Booster's ideas and parts list have worked very well (Thanks Booster).

We have a rear swaybar, and the rig still wallows when crossing a parking-lot threshold, at an angle. There is so much weight moving, it is hard to stop the swaying.
__________________
Brian
2009 Roadtrek 190V, 5" lift - Build Thread
2004 Toyota 4Runner
2014 Honda CR-V
1965 Dodge Coronet 440
Photog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 11:35 PM   #4
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,903
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photog
Good news Peteco. Glad to hear the suspension upgrade worked well for you. Booster's ideas and parts list have worked very well (Thanks Booster).

We have a rear swaybar, and the rig still wallows when crossing a parking-lot threshold, at an angle. There is so much weight moving, it is hard to stop the swaying.
The wallowing is an interesting(?) thing. The very first thing that I noticed after putting our rear bar in was when I made a right turn we didn't get the big rocking motion when the rear wheel went through the low spot near the gutter. Other times were equally improved. I would say our wallowing is reduced by at least 75%.

IIRC our rear bar is bigger than yours, and may have shorter arms, both of which make it stiffer. It is also a straight bar which they claim gives you higher rates.

When you do the rear springs, and get even higher, the wallowing will probably get worse for you. You may want to consider doing a swaybar of the type we did. They are modular, so you can order them in pretty much any stiffness you desire. Ours is 1.375 and I think you can go to 1.500 with the 1.250 spines we have. If you go to the bigger spine bars you can get absolutely massive rates in them. You probably could reduce your wallowing quite a bit, and gain some space and ground clearance to the bar.
booster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2011, 12:46 AM   #5
Platinum Member
 
Photog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Posts: 364
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Booster,
Those comments match my thoughts, over the last few months. When I get the new leaf springs figured out and installed, I will work out the proper shock absorber for the spring-rate & vehicle weight. Then I will be able to accurately determine how much more stiffness I need from the sway bar. I think my current shocks do not have enough rebound valving, to control the stiffness of the rear over-load springs.

I will say that our sway bar did reduce the wallowing; maybe 30%. I still have plenty of room for improvement, without becoming too stiff.
__________________
Brian
2009 Roadtrek 190V, 5" lift - Build Thread
2004 Toyota 4Runner
2014 Honda CR-V
1965 Dodge Coronet 440
Photog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2011, 01:45 AM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,903
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photog
Booster,
Those comments match my thoughts, over the last few months. When I get the new leaf springs figured out and installed, I will work out the proper shock absorber for the spring-rate & vehicle weight. Then I will be able to accurately determine how much more stiffness I need from the sway bar. I think my current shocks do not have enough rebound valving, to control the stiffness of the rear over-load springs.

I will say that our sway bar did reduce the wallowing; maybe 30%. I still have plenty of room for improvement, without becoming too stiff.
Here is a link to the place I got my bar. They have full rate charts for all the sizes. How does a 2000# rate bar sound to you!!! Wow

http://www.1speedway.com/Swaybars.htm
booster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2013, 09:03 PM   #7
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Western Tenn
Posts: 2
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

====================================
Booster;

Thanks for all the great work you have shared. I am lining up a 2013 C190P for much of the same. I realize some of the p/n may be different due to the model year. Could i please verify what you used, so I can extrapolate to where i need to go?
I have the springs (TufTruck = TTC-1617). I am guessing I will use:
model 57205 for the AirLift kit,
F4-BE5-G611-H0 and F4-BE5-2570-H0 for the shocks,
I have been reading my way around the Speedway website. Any other information you can share regarding the speedway sway bar (besides 1.375" dia and 1.250 splines) would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again, R Vernon
rlvernon42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 02:36 AM   #8
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 14
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Rivernon, curious if you have the "new" Tufftruck 1617'a or an older version. I was told by Randy at Tufftruck that the new 1617's were not recommended...no questions asked. He actuall recommended Bill Erb of Valley Springworks by name who is also touted by another poster in the "big thread".

My coils are in route and I am hoping they give me 2inches+. I am having a local springshop on their strong recommendation add a leaf or re-arch the springs in the rear, or whatever it is they do.

I will have to post up when I get them installed, barring banana peals and falling piano's I should be all set next week.
2wiresdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 02:50 AM   #9
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,903
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wiresdave
Rivernon, curious if you have the "new" Tufftruck 1617'a or an older version. I was told by Randy at Tufftruck that the new 1617's were not recommended...no questions asked. He actuall recommended Bill Erb of Valley Springworks by name who is also touted by another poster in the "big thread".

My coils are in route and I am hoping they give me 2inches+. I am having a local springshop on their strong recommendation add a leaf or re-arch the springs in the rear, or whatever it is they do.

I will have to post up when I get them installed, barring banana peals and falling piano's I should be all set next week.
Did Randy tell you what changed on the 1617's and why the no longer recommend them for a Roadtrek?
booster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2013, 01:13 AM   #10
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 14
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Booster, Randy made it seem that they had undergone a pretty dramatic change - and I am thinking he said that they had become much stouter, and I believe he mentioned ambulances if I remember correctly. He said they were designed for much heavier vehicles, and the impression he gave me was that I would not be pleased. I am not literate in these matters and he answered all my questions patiently. I would call Randy before going forward with the current 1617's in order to get the details and confirm what I am saying.

I did also speak with Don at Boulder Off Road and am considering doing their new 4" lift if the coils and spring work do not do it for me. I really am not looking for anything super dramatic, but would like to feel comfortable driving the van without too much hesitation - No four wheel drive type stuff, but simply feeling comfortable with gravel roads and speed bumps etc. We really love the van and it is perfect other than the low clearance.
2wiresdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2013, 04:51 AM   #11
Platinum Member
 
Photog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Posts: 364
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Randy also told me the new TTC-1617 springs are more stout than the ones Booster & I have. I think I posted the spring rates and lengths for the "old" 1617 springs in my suspension thread (now referred to as the "Big Thread").

Edit: Our "old" TTC-1617 springs are 17.7 inches long (free length) and 2026 lbs/in spring rate. This could be a starting point for a discussion with Bill Erb. It would be interesting to find out what specs the Bill Erb springs will have.
__________________
Brian
2009 Roadtrek 190V, 5" lift - Build Thread
2004 Toyota 4Runner
2014 Honda CR-V
1965 Dodge Coronet 440
Photog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 02:44 AM   #12
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 14
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Well, I received a set of springs from Bill Erb...a very reputable suspension shop that works on school buses, semi's, Class A rv's and fire trucks could not get them installed. They said they were possibly "wound too tight". They called Bill and he gave them some info.

They actually broke a high end spring compressor and at that point told me they not could no longer attempt to get them installed, that they felt the springs were incorrect. They still have the van and are trying to help me out.

Waiting patiently for the hopefully upcoming springs from Tufftruck.

Are springs like recipes? In that I mean, if Tufftruck had made the "old" 1617's - could they run a batch of those??
2wiresdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 02:59 PM   #13
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,903
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wiresdave
Well, I received a set of springs from Bill Erb...a very reputable suspension shop that works on school buses, semi's, Class A rv's and fire trucks could not get them installed. They said they were possibly "wound too tight". They called Bill and he gave them some info.

They actually broke a high end spring compressor and at that point told me they not could no longer attempt to get them installed, that they felt the springs were incorrect. They still have the van and are trying to help me out.

Waiting patiently for the hopefully upcoming springs from Tufftruck.

Are springs like recipes? In that I mean, if Tufftruck had made the "old" 1617's - could they run a batch of those??
As far as I know, these springs would be made on a maybe computerize spring winder, one at a time. They would then be heat treated. They should not vary much between them as it would mess up handling. It is interesting to note that GM always calls theirs "computer selected" in their specs, so they must be checking the rate on a rate machine and then catagorizing them. They are still crap springs, though.

The problem they have installing them would indicate that the Erb springs are much longer than stock and need to be compressed a bunch to get them into place.

This does bring up an interesting question. Did the shop try to put them in by separating the lower balljoint, or take loose the lower control arm pivots at the frame? GM recommends taking the pivots loose, in the factory repair manual. Perhaps this problem is why they say that.
booster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2013, 12:07 AM   #14
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 14
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Does the correct way negate the need for as much compression? I will find out on Monday. Thanks for the info!
2wiresdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2013, 01:20 AM   #15
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,903
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wiresdave
Does the correct way negate the need for as much compression? I will find out on Monday. Thanks for the info!
I can't answer that question. The manual's way of removing the inside lower control arm pivots is the first time I ever heard of it done that way. It is very possible that you would have more room, and thus less compression needed. For sure, it would be safer, as the spring couldn't fly out at you. Did the shop say what Erb said to do to get them in?

Side point. How long were the Erb springs you got?
booster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2013, 06:42 PM   #16
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Western Tenn
Posts: 2
Default Re: Results of lift and suspension upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wiresdave
Rivernon, curious if you have the "new" Tufftruck 1617'a or an older version. I was told by Randy at Tufftruck that the new 1617's were not recommended...no questions asked. He actuall recommended Bill Erb of Valley Springworks by name who is also touted by another poster in the "big thread".

My coils are in route and I am hoping they give me 2inches+. I am having a local springshop on their strong recommendation add a leaf or re-arch the springs in the rear, or whatever it is they do.

I will have to post up when I get them installed, barring banana peals and falling piano's I should be all set next week.
================================================== ================================================
Hi Folks; Sorry for the slow response. On our 2013 C190P, I got the TuffTruck 1617 (not 1617"a") springs from Amazon. The shop had no trouble installing them. They said the new springs were the same height as stock, but the coils were thicker in cross-section. That picked up the front end about 2+ inches. Noted that the rubber bumpers on the lower "A" frames now have about 1.5" clearance instead of being squished flat. Bilstein shocks all the way around and Airlift bags in the rear. It drives like a new truck, plus it has ground clearance! I towed a 2200 lb trailer with about 200 lb hitch weight out and back from Tenn to WY with about a 3" drop on the hitch ball mount; just sweet as can be. I will be figuring out the set-up for a Speedway Engineering's sway bar some time in the futrure, but I have to work for a while first. Thanks again for all the good input. RV
__________________

rlvernon42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 06:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×