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Old 05-02-2018, 09:11 PM   #1
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Default themexicandoctor's Roadtrek upgrades

Just sharing this thread on behalf of themexicandoctor for his 2004 Chevy 190 Versatile.

The old suspension can be found in this post.

And the upgrades per this post:

"Beau is the second in charge after Jeremy the Owner & he is th one who did all my work along with his apprentice Miles - they took their time, doing a great job, one time. There was some difficulty getting off the old parts but I was there for every minute & Beau paid attention, checked & marked every part before & after & then went to work with a detail & deliberation.

And I could have saved money by buying the shocks somewhere else & having them shipped to me & I probably could have had them installed by myself however I am so glad it dint. - That kind of labor is not worth it.


FRONT
My original appointment was to have some repairs made & a 2 inch Spacer
https://weldtecdesigns.com/product/c...ling-spacer-2/

Bthey realized the Spacer wouldn't fit the extra large Erb Coil & it wasn't such a great idea compared to the 3inch Spindle Kit plus the steering geometry, etc stays the same, it gives you a wider track, plus plus plus.
https://weldtecdesigns.com/product/c...-lift-spindle/
The 2inch Spacers are $299, the 3inch Spindles $1500.

THEY WERE RIGHT.

It was well worth the extra money invested now & will be the best long term solution for my needs.

I was happy with the ride the BILL ERB / Valley Spring Works Coil already gave me up front. They said it was in great condition & it too is over 5 years old but apparently didn't show any signs of serious fatigue.

Then I replaced the Upper Control arms & had B6 Bilstein Heavy Duty installed up front - when the KYB Gas Shock came of it was in pieces & you could see the huge difference in build quality between the two beginning where they mount.

Costs
3/Three Inch Spindle $1499
Installation 4 Hours $ 400
Bilstein B6 Shocks $ 230
Installation $ 150

REAR
I already have had for over 5 years the Supersprings Overleaf Helper at the Rear which gave me 3 inches the day it was installed.

To even everything out I added their Aluminum Blocks at 2 inches
No link to be found

And their U Bolt System - internally they code Chevy & Ford the same.
https://weldtecdesigns.com/product/f...s-van-u-bolts/

Plus added the 2 B6 Bilsteins in the rear also.

Cost
2" Lift Block $ 150
U-Bolts 11 1/2x3 $ 99
Installation $ 150
2 Bilstein B6 $ 230
Installation $ 150

FRONT & REAR
Grand Total; $3058
WORTH EVERY PENNY
"

Spindle photos:
1A.jpg

1B.jpg
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:21 PM   #2
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Old shocks:
1C.jpg

1D.jpg
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:24 PM   #3
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The front suspension with the 3" lift spindle install, Bilstein shocks and replacement upper control arms:
S A.jpg

S B.jpg

S C.jpg
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:28 PM   #4
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New 18" Method Racing wheels and LT275/65R18 GoodYear Wrangler AT/S tires:

W&T A.jpg

W&T B.jpg

Here you can see the trimming that was necessary on the front bumper skirt:

W&T TD.jpg

W&T TP.jpg
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:30 PM   #5
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Here's the final height of the wheel arches:

Front:
MF.jpg

Rear:
MR.jpg
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:32 PM   #6
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Here's the wheel and tire clearance in the front:
C D.jpg

And in the rear:
C R.jpg
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:36 PM   #7
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And finally an overall view of the vehicle:
F D.jpg

F P.jpg

F PFC.jpg

F PRC.jpg

F DRC.jpg

We all look forward to the Mexican Doctor's prognosis of his Roadtrek.
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:38 PM   #8
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Default Thank you Mat for setting this up ...

Note; I went in with the Roadtrek/Chevrolet 16inch rims & new Yokohama Geolanders tires.

Drove away with 18inch Method Matte Black Rims & Goodyear Wranglers.

Not sure of the difference in height the 2inch adds overall.

Note 2nd; it's been a while that I was driving with worn out Upper Control Arm bushings & the shocks had been in a state of disrepair for the same amount of time so my post modifications Ride quality may be jaundiced but here goes (it is amazing what you have to put up with driving our Roadtreks while waiting to find the "best aftermarket modifier & installation team)

The Ride is now considerably smoother & without constant noise as posters suggested.

I don't drive like it's an 9200lb weighted RV, on the way back in the early am the speedometer was at 85mph, just 4mph before the Governor announces itself.

The vehicle handled perfectly.

The taller, wider tires had an effect but more so the difference that the added .750 each side that is created by the 3inch Spindle upgrade.
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Old 05-04-2018, 01:54 AM   #9
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Default Wanted to add links to Two more suppliers & comment further on the Ride & Handling

First

GERRY LAMBRETTI of Supersprings in Santa Barbara, CA (800) 898-0705

https://www.supersprings.com/

What other Class B owners might benefit from are their Aftermarket BumpStops for sure, the Supersprings system which instantly gave me 3 inches ride height in the back, thier Coil SumoSprings which fit inside your existing Coils to give greater life & a better ride & many other products.

Products I used; A set of Supersprings, Bump Stops up Front & Sumosprings on the rear axle.


Second
BILL ERB at Valley Spring Works in Dixon, CA. (707) 678-3944

https://www.yelp.com/biz/valley-spring-works-dixon

Bill manufactured & sold me the same set of springs I have in there now, over 5 years. He did all this just from looking at thread that Photog & Booster created a few years back.

My first post in that now Bible sized thread starts at here #26 so I was riding on the shoulders of the giants before me;

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8...v-1552-26.html

Prior to this last modication I did talk about the chassis being on the Aftermarket Bump Stops (at least an inch wider & higher) but when I checked the original photos from 2003 post Bill Erb, they were still on or just above the Supersprings Bump Stops in same place.

According to the Mechanic Beau who did the entire install at Weldtec, the Erb Coils were Big, the 2inch Spacers* wouldn't have worked because of the size of the Coils. He also mentioned that the Coils looked in excellent condition 5 years later.

*if you have not added modified Coils, call Jeremy before & see if the Coils you want to use will fit into these 2inch spacers if all you need is the 2inch lift - without going technical because I don't understand it anyway, if you can afford it, the 3inch spindles are the best way to go in terms of long term value.

Third
JEREMY JOHNSON, BEAU RALLS & TYRAH at Weldtec who were the final part of the puzzle.

https://weldtecdesigns.com/

The moment I drove out of there this was a whole new vehicle, I tend to drive hard & fast when the conditions allow & the Establishment arent watching.

Of course, with the overdue repairs to the Control Arms & the new Shocks in place, I expected the ride would be quieter & smoother but it was way more than that.

The handling improved dramatically & despite driving 9200lbs 2-3 inches higher, I felt little body roll & I was pegging it at 85mph all the way back, for the first time I was looking for potholes.

The experts here might be able to share what sort of difference going from the standard 16" American Racing Rims with Yokohama Geolander LT 245/75R16 tires* to 18" Method Rims & LT275/65R18 with GoodYear Wrangler AT/S tires made to the ride also but I have a feeling the extra .750 each side at the front added to this superior ride & handling.

Around LA there is still a harder ride than what I remember from stock but overall its very smooth indeed. Well worth every penny.
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:00 AM   #10
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Default Some meaningful scientific measurements ...

Rear Tow Bar Hitch is 17.5 inches

Drivers Side at the Dump Tank Fiberglass lowest point is 13.25 inches

Front Bumper Center is 14.5 inches

Passenger Side but aligned with Dump Tank Door is 12.5 inches

A lot more driving & the only quibble I have is the way it can shimmy across very large potholes - but then again, I am driving across them at a far higher speed than before.

And I forgot to have the Generator exhaust rerouted - I turned the generator on and the exhaust pipe was banging against the differential housing.

I am very happy with the work!
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:09 AM   #11
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Thank you Mat for the referral to Weldtec & for everyone who offered such wise advice over the past 5 years. The ERB coils are still performing well but it can be a harsh ride & next time I would probably go with the Moog Coil Springs everyone suggested.

Or see if Bill Erb has built a softer ride solution that will handle the weight.

I do recommend Supersprings for either the Rear Helper/Overload system they have, the heavy duty Bump Stops front & rear.

If any of you are on the fence because of shocks, get off at the deeper end & invest a little more in the Bilsteins B6 Heavy Duty & use the stock GM mounts Booster suggested.
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:23 AM   #12
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Default Photos showing ...

The Weldtec Design 3" Spindles

The Red Bill Erb/Valley Spring Works Coils after 5 years

Supersprings Front & Rear Bump Stops

In the rear the Red Overleaf is part of the instant 3" Raise I got with the Supersprings Supersprings system

The Weldtec Design 2 " Rear Aluminum Billet Spacers & the Rear Bump Stops

And last but not least, the fact that the Generator Exhaust is now sitting against the differential housing after the lift until I get it rerouted
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:36 AM   #13
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Default More photos ...

Using Coca Cola Cans as a measurement ...
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:41 AM   #14
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Default More Coke Cans ...

To think that within 3 months of ownership, even the 190 Roadtrek has less than 1/One Coke Can between the Earth & our Sewer Plumbing
Attached Images
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:07 PM   #15
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It's great so see you're enjoying your van again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by themexicandoctor View Post
A lot more driving & the only quibble I have is the way it can shimmy across very large potholes - but then again, I am driving across them at a far higher speed than before.
I think, to a certain point, that this is unavoidable. Especially with a firm suspension. I would probably leave it as is... or at least wait a bit before trying to tackle it.

BTW, the only thing missing on your upgrade, and it's up to you, is the rear sway bar. But it didn't really seem to be a concern in your case.

They are usually installed when you feel like the van sways excessively in high winds or turning corners.

Just be aware that the Hellwig brand might interfere with your grey water tank so you might want to go with a Roadmaster brand instead. That one might interfere with your generator exhaust.

So if ever a rear sway bar was on your wish list, you might as well install it when you have the generator exhaust pipe re-routed.

Hondo's thread is very informative about rear sway bars.
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:52 PM   #16
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It is very possible that the shimmy is not really because of the stiffer suspension, but more due to the double whammy of suspension geometry alterations.


The 2.7" of lift from the Erb springs is high enough to make for some bump steer for certain, as we had that during our very brief Erb spring test, so that can be contributing. Add to that the fact that the offset spindles change the front wheel base some so more leverage on things, plus different scrub radius.


There is every possibility the front alignment is going from toe in to toe out on the bumps, which will certainly cause a shimmy as the steering slack changes direction. All new, tight, steering parts can reduce the amount of shimmy, I would think, but probably wouldn't get rid of it for very long. Going with the most toe in you can use without getting too much tire wear should also minimize the shimmy to some extent.
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Old 05-23-2018, 11:15 PM   #17
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This is again, good info - heading over to Hondo's forum now.

By the way, I find it very telling that no-one* from Roadtrek Corporate has come into to any of forums to offer any suggestions, etc.
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Old 05-23-2018, 11:37 PM   #18
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Thank you Booster!
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Old 05-24-2018, 07:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themexicandoctor View Post
.....By the way, I find it very telling that no-one* from Roadtrek Corporate has come into to any of forums to offer any suggestions, etc.

Yes telling. On the AirForum we often get reps from Airstream responding to owner issues posted on the forum.



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Old 05-24-2018, 08:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themexicandoctor View Post
This is again, good info - heading over to Hondo's forum now.

By the way, I find it very telling that no-one* from Roadtrek Corporate has come into to any of forums to offer any suggestions, etc.
As far as I’ve seen the only place you might get a response from Roadtrek is on the “Roadtreking: The Group” Facebook group and generally the response is to contact Roadtrek directly to get the answer. Sometimes there is a direct response...
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