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Old 09-04-2020, 02:25 PM   #1
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Default Bilsteins With 2" Lift on Chevy Express 3500?

I have a 2014 Roadtrek 190P (2014 Chevy Express 3500). I'd like to lift it a couple inches to improve the ground clearance, and have read several lengthy threads here on this topic. I'm considering a 2" lift kit from Supreme Suspensions, similar to the ones from Weldtec Designs and Boulder Offroad.

However, I previously upgraded to Bilstein shocks (24-187435 front, 24-221948 rear), and Bilstein says they do not support lifts or shock extenders on this vehicle.

Has anyone used this shock with a 2" lift? Is it a problem? If so, is there another shock that would work for this application?
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Old 09-04-2020, 03:35 PM   #2
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A 2" clearance gain doesn't seem to need an actual lift. A return to the upper limit of the Z trim spec can be accomplished with aftermarket coil springs and rear Air Lift bags.

Maybe confirm that what you're looking for is an actual lift over the upper limits of stock specs.
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Old 09-04-2020, 03:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jamesv999 View Post
I have a 2014 Roadtrek 190P (2014 Chevy Express 3500). I'd like to lift it a couple inches to improve the ground clearance, and have read several lengthy threads here on this topic. I'm considering a 2" lift kit from Supreme Suspensions, similar to the ones from Weldtec Designs and Boulder Offroad.

However, I previously upgraded to Bilstein shocks (24-187435 front, 24-221948 rear), and Bilstein says they do not support lifts or shock extenders on this vehicle.

Has anyone used this shock with a 2" lift? Is it a problem? If so, is there another shock that would work for this application?

I just looked at that kit on their website, and it appears that they do the front lift with spacers on the existing spring, made of aluminum.


If the shocks are the ones for the stock vans and you have the stock springs in it now, you are probably sitting about 2" lower than a stock, non converted van would be. Best way to be sure is to measure the wheelwell lip heights to the ground and the wheel center on both sides. You probably will see about 33.5" as that is what most of the Roadtrek 190s have been in the past, including ours.



If you are at 33.5" and lift really does 2" of lift the shock should be OK as the van will be at original factory ride height.


I always give a bit of a warning on the spacer lift with stock springs, and that is there is the chance of overcompressing the spring on big bumps because it won't hit the bump stop as early in relation to the spring. There is also the possibility that you will feel the front ride get noticeably softer because the spring is not hitting the bump stop a lot of the time.


You definitely should get it aligned right away as the toe will probably change a bunch unless it has not been aligned since it was built.
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Old 09-05-2020, 06:44 PM   #4
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Thank you Booster and MarcoPolo for the great feedback! I'm now leaning toward upgrading the front coil springs and adding the Air Lift Load Lifter 5000 (p/n 88205).

I have two follow up questions...

1. What is the upper limit of the stock spec for the wheel well height? You're right that mine is currently about 33.5"

2. Is there a specific manufacturer / model number / part number for the front coil spring that you guys recommend?
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Old 09-05-2020, 07:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jamesv999 View Post
Thank you Booster and MarcoPolo for the great feedback! I'm now leaning toward upgrading the front coil springs and adding the Air Lift Load Lifter 5000 (p/n 88205).

I have two follow up questions...

1. What is the upper limit of the stock spec for the wheel well height? You're right that mine is currently about 33.5"

2. Is there a specific manufacturer / model number / part number for the front coil spring that you guys recommend?

35.5" is right about at the factory ride height spec, which is actually measured under the van from the suspension and frame. This will be pretty close with standard size tires and wheels. Personally, I would not want to be much over 36" as it starts to adversely affect the suspension geometry and also would require longer shocks. Others have gone 37" and been OK with it, but it gets very critical on shock length because the shock does the stopping in the downtravel direction. If the shock is too long the upper control arm can hit the frame and be damaged.



The front springs are really a tough one to call, as the go to spring from MOOG has changed the last couple of years and has been giving much higher lifts, and I think, stiffer ride. The MOOG number is 81004. It is also suspected that MOOG makes the springs for other brands so they may also be too high. I don't know if anyone has tried any others lately, but hopefully they will chime in if the have.
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