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Old 07-29-2019, 12:45 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by alaskasail View Post
Has anyone tried Gabriel Highjacker shocks on the rear? I put a pair on an old Mazda MPV and lifted the rear considerably. I've seriously abused them using the van as a ranch truck and they never have lost pressure. I can raise and lower the van at will. Gabriel also makes a GasSLX shock for heavier applications.

Air shocks are physically limited in how much weight they can pick up simply because of their small diameter. The Gabriel site lists the Highjackers as able to pick up 1100# per pair at a whopping 200psi of air pressure. That kind of pressure may be very hard to find for fills. If the shocks are running at a big angle as mentioned and some do, that can also reduce the effectiveness.



Most of us with air bags bags run 40-60psi so are picking up 2-3000# of the load on the rear.


I don't think we have ever heard of anyone using air shocks in vans to this point. Spring changes and airbags have been done quite a bit on all brands of class b's. Some Sprinters have even gone full rear air ride.
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:31 PM   #222
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i installed the Gabriel MAX Control shocks four years ago, about 70k miles on them now. They still work just fine. up front, thinking it is getting near time on the rear for replacements. I did call Gabriel up and explained what I had and the weight involved, they recommended the MAX Control. I don't see the harm in trying the air shocks in the rear but with the angle that the shocks sit at, may not be fully beneficial.

If you do try the air shocks, please post up how they are working out.
I didn't find the Max shock for the front on the Gabriel site, but I'll give them a call. Anyway, I'm thinking that I would use the Hijackers only when necessary, like when I'm off off-the-beaten-track and need a little more clearance. During regular operation. I would have them in the lower position. I guess one issue is that these are basically fully loaded one-ton vans and heavier shocks are indicated.
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:45 PM   #223
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I didn't find the Max shock for the front on the Gabriel site, but I'll give them a call. Anyway, I'm thinking that I would use the Hijackers only when necessary, like when I'm off off-the-beaten-track and need a little more clearance. During regular operation. I would have them in the lower position. I guess one issue is that these are basically fully loaded one-ton vans and heavier shocks are indicated.

I totally agree on the one ton van needing the best shocks you can put on them. We use Bilsteins like many others, Fox is making some nice variable rate stuff now, others use the high end Monroes, KYB, and some other brands. We found that having the variable damping was a big benefit as higher control shocks can harshen the ride. Unless things have changed over the years, most air shocks don't usually have a really good shock section, although it has been years since I used them on anything and never on anything approaching 5 tons.


I did not look at any vehicle specific information on site, just the information blurb that gave max gain and air pressure range. When folks have looked for air shocks in the past, IIRC, they were not able to find much.


I just looked the vehicle specific information and no air shocks for Chevy 3500 shown, and no Max for the front shown.


It appears you have a Chevy similar to our C19P Roadtrek 2007.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:16 PM   #224
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Following the Lead of other Chevy Owners on this Forum, had these upgrades done;
1). Bilstein Shocks
2). Sumo Bump Stops

The increase in Ride comfort was DRAMATIC. The Sumos raised the rear 1 1/2”. Greatly reduced the “Lean” in turns, off-Ramps and the “Bounce” over Speed Bumps, Driveways, etc.

Having said that, it was still annoying how HARSH the Ride was at the Front End. Attached are two Photos, before and after, of the next upgrade. Moog 81004 Coil Springs.

I expected a 2”-2 1/2” increase with the Springs. I got 4” (!). The change lifted the Nose off the Bumps Stops. That made all the difference. Have driven about 200 miles since. Again, the improvement was DRAMATIC. The FREAKIN RATTLE over Bumps, Pot Holes, rough Surfaces has been virtually eliminated. Money WELL SPENT! .

PS....For whatever reason, the 2nd Photo would not upload vertically. Sorry .
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CED3CDDE-DEB1-4FC3-B34B-FCD2AEC5652D.jpg (165.2 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg C8430609-B00E-45EF-9D34-8AC712D13C94.jpg (159.3 KB, 12 views)
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:46 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by angelmroman View Post
Following the Lead of other Chevy Owners on this Forum, had these upgrades done;
1). Bilstein Shocks
2). Sumo Bump Stops

The increase in Ride comfort was DRAMATIC. The Sumos raised the rear 1 1/2”. Greatly reduced the “Lean” in turns, off-Ramps and the “Bounce” over Speed Bumps, Driveways, etc.

Having said that, it was still annoying how HARSH the Ride was at the Front End. Attached are two Photos, before and after, of the next upgrade. Moog 81004 Coil Springs.

I expected a 2”-2 1/2” increase with the Springs. I got 4” (!). The change lifted the Nose off the Bumps Stops. That made all the difference. Have driven about 200 miles since. Again, the improvement was DRAMATIC. The FREAKIN RATTLE over Bumps, Pot Holes, rough Surfaces has been virtually eliminated. Money WELL SPENT! .

PS....For whatever reason, the 2nd Photo would not upload vertically. Sorry .

You would be, I think, number three that got much more lift than in the past with the 81004. There really seems to be something going on with that. I think I will contact Moog and see what they say, but they are not easy to get any answers out of.


Looking at the pic, it appears that there is a non factory bump stop at the lower arm that is nearly contacting control arm. At 4" above the low Roadtrek ride you would normally be maybe 3/4" off the bump stop. If that an aftermarket lift type bump stop?


Re the 4" of lift. That would normally put the front wheel wells at 37.5" to 38.0" high. This is where the bad Erb springs I tested had ours sitting. I am actually very surprised they could get the shock to bolt up, as the Bilstiens I had were too short unless I moved the mount from under the arm to above.


Now the "please take a look" very soon, thing. At 4" of lift you start to get so high that the upper control arm is nearly hitting the frame of the van in the area just outboard of the bushings. Ours had very little clearance left at that point, so almost no allowable down travel of the wheel on bumps before the arm hits frame and could get damaged. There is not protective bump stop on down travel so the shock does the stopping. If the shock is long enough to mount up at that height it could also let the frame contact the arm. Even if the shock does stop the travel before contact, at that height you would likely be topping out the shocks a lot, which is not a good thing. My worry would be if you have a possible contact it could get quite expensive to fix.



I will go back and find my Erb thread and see if I have pix of that condition to compare to.
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:09 PM   #226
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Hey booster. Thanks again for all of your Recommendations in the past .

1). The first Photo was taken after the initial Upgrade (Bilsteins and Sumos). The Sumos were bright yellow in color. Ran that set-up for several months. As I said earlier, as much as the Ride was improved, more was needed. Then the Moogs were added. By then, the Sumos coloring had changed.

2). I also added BFG KO2 Tires (265/75R16.1” taller than Stock). Finished Ride Height is 37” at the front Wheel Well. Total increase is 4 1/2” at the Nose. 2” at the Tail. Going to run this setup for a bunch of miles. I MAY add Air Bags .
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:14 PM   #227
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Here is a pic of the area you need to look at. Two places on each upper arm that might contact, front and rear of arm.





Look at that gap with the van on ground and note the gap . Then jack it up from the frame so the wheel hangs on the shock and check the gap. At this point most would say you need 1/4 to 3/8" gap to allow for momentum making it go lower by compressing the shock upper mount.



If the gap doesn't change much, you will have very little down travel and top out the shocks. If there is any question, you need to measure how much downtravel you really have. 2" is about as low on downtravel as I like, but some are OK at less.


If it the arm hits the frame when jacked up, don't drive it much or over big bumps until you get it so it won't hit.


I forgot to ask in the first reply. What is you current wheel well height? Stock tires?
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:38 PM   #228
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Hey booster. Thanks again for all of your Recommendations in the past .

1). The first Photo was taken after the initial Upgrade (Bilsteins and Sumos). The Sumos were bright yellow in color. Ran that set-up for several months. As I said earlier, as much as the Ride was improved, more was needed. Then the Moogs were added. By then, the Sumos coloring had changed.

2). I also added BFG KO2 Tires (265/75R16.1” taller than Stock). Finished Ride Height is 37” at the front Wheel Well. Total increase is 4 1/2” at the Nose. 2” at the Tail. Going to run this setup for a bunch of miles. I MAY add Air Bags .

Now we are making progress!


I just went out and measured ours, which doesn't have Moog 81004 springs in it but they are identical and give the same lift as the Moogs have in the past. We also have the 265-75-16 tires. We are right at 36" at wheelwells right now, lightly loaded. Our springs are nearly a decade old now so have gone a little maybe a 1/4". Tires are worn maybe 1/8" on radius.


I would expect that you will go down at least 1/4" as the springs seat and age a bit. Maybe more if the put in the new version of the upper rubber spring cushion, as they now are all rubber without the metal reinforcement like the originals had.


At our 36" I have the shocks spaced down as far as the thread allows, maybe 1/4", with washers on the top of the shocks. With that we get about 2" of down travel. I would expect at 37" high and if we have the same shocks, which is likely, you are going to have quite a bit less downtravel than we have, maybe less than 1", so you probably want to at least check that. You get double the spacer thickness at the shock in downtravel with the geometry, and it is an easy thing to do if it will give you enough fix.


For reference, we have about 1" of gap between the upper arm and the frame when sitting on the wheels.


At that height, you might start to feel a bit of bump steer. When we were an inch higher than that bumps steer was quite bad.


As always after a lift the wheels need to be aligned, particularly the toe which can change a lot with that much height change.


It does appear you got about an inch more lift than in the past, but not the 2" more that some have gotten, which is way too much. Will be interesting to see where you are at after 10K miles and things have settled.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:52 PM   #229
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I was looking up the Moog springs and see some wildly different prices on them. Anyone have experience regarding that. Are there some counterfeit springs out there?
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:35 PM   #230
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When I was looking I too found some confusion. I remember reading a review by someone who bought the cheaper ones and they were not to the specs he thought he was getting. I ended up buying them from the suspension shop that put them in. I paid a few bucks more but thought it was worth it. If I brought in my own springs I'd have to pay their labor even if they didn't fit. Too much hassle and worry. Moog in front, air lifts in rear. The ride is waaaay better. Good luck.
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