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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Has anyone added the Bilstein B6 Struts to the front of their AWD non lifted van? My goal is to level the ride and add a little more wheel well clearance to fit BFG KO2 245/75/R16 tires. This should result in the same amount of ground clearance as a Q-Lifted van without the need for the lift or the higher center gravity ride height. I expect to fold the front pinch welds and do a small amount of trimming of the plastic fenders for better clearance.

I believe the B6 spring perch is 5/8" higher than the OEM strut so in essence it is a 5/8" front lift.

Questions:
-Did you achieve better wheel well clearance for the 245/75/R16s by adding the B6 Struts? Did this result in less trimming?
-How is the ride after the modifications?

I did perform an advanced search to see if this specific information exists in the forum, but could not find anything

Thanks in advance!

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’ve exact van. Passenger cv went out after 7k miles with bilstein/VC topo. I’d really research this more
The subject was for non lifted. But, If I were to lift, the q lift works with Bilstein. Sorry to hear about the Problems with the Van Compass lift.
 

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Q-lift is a 2” lift. This will not give you the same amount of lift (5/8”).

it will work fine and people have added it to a non lifted van. In fact, the bilsteins do not work With VC Topo lifts due to CV angle. They do work with quad van/quigley 4x4 or quigley Q lift
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am interested in doing the same. No lift, B6 struts and falcon rear monotubes, 245/70's.
[/QUOTE
Q-lift is a 2” lift. This will not give you the same amount of lift (5/8”).

it will work fine and people have added it to a non lifted van. In fact, the bilsteins do not work With VC Topo lifts due to CV angle. They do work with quad van/quigley 4x4 or quigley Q lift

Just want to stay on topic here. I think the above information is well understood in this forum. Can anyone with experience help answer the following questions.

When adding B6 struts to a non lifted AWD van fitted with 245/75/R16 on stock OEM wheels:
Questions:
-Did you achieve better/necessary wheel well clearance for the 245/75/R16s by adding the B6 Struts?
-Was the there any noise/rubbing after all trimming was completed?
-How is the ride after the modifications?
 

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I think that Argonaut may be referencing this statement from your original post: "This should result in the same amount of ground clearance as a Q-Lifted van without the need for the lift or the higher center gravity ride height."

The Q lift provides 2" lift vs the B6 5/8" lift. Are you comparing the Q lifted van on stock tires to yours on 245's with the B6 struts which would result in about 1.875" (basically 2") increase in ground clearance over stock?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think that Argonaut may be referencing this statement from your original post: "This should result in the same amount of ground clearance as a Q-Lifted van without the need for the lift or the higher center gravity ride height."

The Q lift provides 2" lift vs the B6 5/8" lift. Are you comparing the Q lifted van on stock tires to yours on 245's with the B6 struts which would result in about 1.875" (basically 2") increase in ground clearance over stock?
I have a fully stock AWD transit van. I want to increase the ground clearance by adding larger diameter tires. Many report adding 245/75/R16 tires to stock AWD wheels with little to no front wheel well interference. Pinch weld folding and some front to back fender trimming has been reported as necessary. I have never heard of any problems in the rear with 245/75/R16 tire size.

Adding a body lift does not add ground clearance, but it does offer more room within the wheel wells for larger tires. I'm trying to determine if anyone here has just added the B6 struts (5/8" front lift) and achieved all the wheel well clearance (with the above mentioned pinch weld fold and light fender trimming mods) needed so there is no hindrance between the tire and vehicle, even with some mud or snow on the tires.

I would rather not have the Q-Lift ($4k) done if i can get the needed clearance with the B6 struts for the 245/75/R16 tire application. I will likely have the B6 struts mounted and put some miles on offroad and then determine if Q-Lift is necessary. Sometimes mud and snow accumulation in the tire tread can cause rub when the clearance is very tight. I want to avoid this too.

I created this threat to see in anyone here with a stock AWD van using stock AWD wheels has mounted B6 struts and used 245/75/R16 tire size without issue and maybe even answer a few questions:

Questions:
-Did you achieve better/necessary wheel well clearance for the 245/75/R16s by adding the B6 Struts?
-Was the there any noise/rubbing after all trimming was completed?
-How is the ride after the modifications?
 
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The main problem with tire clearance for larger tires is at the front and back of the wheel well, not really the top of the wheel well, so a lift doesn't really help much with tire clearance per say. Maybe a tiny bit but not much, trimming the pinch weld is what gives you enough clearance. Even with a lift eh bottom part of the wheel well is close to even across with the center axle.

The "Body lift doesn't give you more ground clearance" comment is silly, sure it doesn't change the lowest points of the van (rear shock brackets, rear pumpkin) but it does raise your ground clearance in critical areas, like the fuel tank, rear bumper, front intercooler, etc. High centering these vans anywhere along their enormous underside, and your approach and departure angles, are the primary concerns off-roading - if anything more of a concern than hitting the rear pumpkin or shock brackets.

That being said, in order to install rear shock relocation brackets, which are ridiculously low stock, you have to install a body lift anyways. So yes, the body lift is essentially the only way to really add extra ground clearance besides tires. And it gives you more extra clearance at the lowest point than larger tires do.

B6 with no lift and 245s should be fine if you modify the pinch weld. There's a small chance it will rub on the inside of the body depending on tires, but that isn't dependent on the lift anyways. If you're going to go through the trouble of paying someone to install new struts, you might as well do the VC lift anyways. It doesn't void the warranty, and its a good product.

I have yet to see someone do it, but in theory you should be able to do B6 struts up front with the VC lift, using the stock springs instead of VC's 1" longer coils. This gives you a 3/8" lower lift, but keeps the CVs from being maxed out. I wish I had done this, and I might eventually swap out my VC coils for stock coils with the B6s if no one comes out with struts that match the stock strut dimensions in the next year to two
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The main problem with tire clearance for larger tires is at the front and back of the wheel well, not really the top of the wheel well, so a lift doesn't really help much with tire clearance per say. Maybe a tiny bit but not much, trimming the pinch weld is what gives you enough clearance. Even with a lift eh bottom part of the wheel well is close to even across with the center axle.

The "Body lift doesn't give you more ground clearance" comment is silly, sure it doesn't change the lowest points of the van (rear shock brackets, rear pumpkin) but it does raise your ground clearance in critical areas, like the fuel tank, rear bumper, front intercooler, etc. High centering these vans anywhere along their enormous underside, and your approach and departure angles, are the primary concerns off-roading - if anything more of a concern than hitting the rear pumpkin or shock brackets.

That being said, in order to install rear shock relocation brackets, which are ridiculously low stock, you have to install a body lift anyways. So yes, the body lift is essentially the only way to really add extra ground clearance besides tires. And it gives you more extra clearance at the lowest point than larger tires do.

B6 with no lift and 245s should be fine if you modify the pinch weld. There's a small chance it will rub on the inside of the body depending on tires, but that isn't dependent on the lift anyways. If you're going to go through the trouble of paying someone to install new struts, you might as well do the VC lift anyways. It doesn't void the warranty, and its a good product.

I have yet to see someone do it, but in theory you should be able to do B6 struts up front with the VC lift, using the stock springs instead of VC's 1" longer coils. This gives you a 3/8" lower lift, but keeps the CVs from being maxed out. I wish I had done this, and I might eventually swap out my VC coils for stock coils with the B6s if no one comes out with struts that match the stock strut dimensions in the next year to two
I do appreciate your reply and understand the added body clearance that results from a body lift for things like the fuel tank and intercooler. For my typical off-roading I will be on two track dirt roads in CO and surrounding states. I will not be going into areas where high center is a concern, but I will install skids to better protect certain areas under the vehicle like the intercooler, rear diff and fuel tank. It sounds like you have the VC lift. I have read about so many issues with the design and quality of that product that I will never buy it. I do not want to be part of their ongoing R&D. I would consider the Quigley Q-Lift if the B6 mod does not work. Unlike the Van Compass product, they are a Ford certified lift.

Still looking for any user experience from someone that has performed the mod described in the thread:

I created this threat to see in anyone here with a stock AWD van using stock AWD wheels has mounted B6 struts and used 245/75/R16 tire size without issue and maybe even answer a few questions:

Questions:
-Did you achieve better/necessary wheel well clearance for the 245/75/R16s by adding the B6 Struts?
-Was the there any noise/rubbing after all trimming was completed?
-How is the ride after the modifications?
 

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245/75 x 16 will fit the same regardless of lift. Rubbing at the rear pinch weld may or may not be an issue as it's a combination of mf'r tolerance and the offset of the wheels you use. If you maintain the stock offset (many after-market wheels don't) chances are that you will not have a rub. If you do its' a 20 min fix with a hammer and a drift to roll the pinch weld over a little.

You may be lucky to get input from others that have only added B6 struts to an AWD. Most are looking for increased clearance at the front, center and rear.

If you do it, I would be amazed if your experience is any less than everybody else (including me) that absolutely love the improved control and ride quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
245/75 x 16 will fit the same regardless of lift. Rubbing at the rear pinch weld may or may not be an issue as it's a combination of mf'r tolerance and the offset of the wheels you use. If you maintain the stock offset (many after-market wheels don't) chances are that you will not have a rub. If you do its' a 20 min fix with a hammer and a drift to roll the pinch weld over a little.

You may be lucky to get input from others that have only added B6 struts to an AWD. Most are looking for increased clearance at the front, center and rear.

If you do it, I would be amazed if your experience is any less than everybody else (including me) that absolutely love the improved control and ride quality.
I appreciate your reply. I have read many of your posts and see that you own a 2WD Transit that has been converted by Quigley to a full on 4x4. That's probably the most capable version out there, congrats.

I am looking for increased clearance from front to back and this will come with the larger tires. I'm hoping that by just adding the Bilstein B6s I can get the performance I'm looking for. I don't want to experience any body rubbing when the suspension is fully compressed. That level of clearance may require the lift, I just don't know. Still waiting to see if there is a user that can share their experience for the AWD B6 strut stock wheels with 245/75/R16 mod.

My experience with lifted vehicles is that for highway driving they are much less stable. I also know the added sidewall height for the tires I'm choosing will also take away from road handling. I get that there are trade offs, and I'm good with the tire size but would rather not raise the body if the B6 Strut mod does the trick. I will likely do the B6 struts, see how it goes and only add the Q-Lift if needed. I often find that my tires get lots of mud, snow and ice accumulation to the point where the tight tolerance at the front and rear front fenders (even after the pinch weld folding mod) could potentially be a problem.

The shock towers are a whole other concern, but I will first take the approach of trying to drive the tire over the obstacle for now and hope that gets me above it all. I will see how that works...

If i put the Q-lift on, then I can add the shock relocation bracket for better tower clearance.

I like the idea behind the Falcon shocks, but have not seen shaft protection on any of the installs listed on the forum. Maybe they have something for that, but I have not seen it. I know on my dirt bike, fork seals go fast after the shaft is nicked. You typically don't realize it until the oil starts leaking. The B6 shocks are protected so I would likely go that route for component longevity vs difference in performance unless there is shaft protection for the Falcons.

Part of me wanted the no-nonsence approach with the MB 4x4; put 265s on and your done. I do like the Ecoboost and hope that I can somehow mod this AWD to perform in the places I like to explore. Time will tell....

Just to stay on topic:

I created this threat to see if anyone here with a stock AWD van using stock AWD wheels has mounted B6 struts and used 245/75/R16 tire size without issue and maybe even answer a few questions:

Questions:
-Did you achieve better/necessary wheel well clearance for the 245/75/R16s by adding the B6 Struts?
-Was there any noise/rubbing after all trimming was completed?
-How is the ride/full suspension compression after the modifications?
 

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I appreciate your reply. I have read many of your posts and see that you own a 2WD Transit that has been converted by Quigley to a full on 4x4. That's probably the most capable version out there, congrats.

I am looking for increased clearance from front to back and this will come with the larger tires. I'm hoping that by just adding the Bilstein B6s I can get the performance I'm looking for. I don't want to experience any body rubbing when the suspension is fully compressed. That level of clearance may require the lift, I just don't know. Still waiting to see if there is a user that can share their experience for the AWD B6 strut stock wheels with 245/75/R16 mod.

My experience with lifted vehicles is that for highway driving they are much less stable. I also know the added sidewall height for the tires I'm choosing will also take away from road handling. I get that there are trade offs, and I'm good with the tire size but would rather not raise the body if the B6 Strut mod does the trick. I will likely do the B6 struts, see how it goes and only add the Q-Lift if needed. I often find that my tires get lots of mud, snow and ice accumulation to the point where the tight tolerance at the front and rear front fenders (even after the pinch weld folding mod) could potentially be a problem.

The shock towers are a whole other concern, but I will first take the approach of trying to drive the tire over the obstacle for now and hope that gets me above it all. I will see how that works...

If i put the Q-lift on, then I can add the shock relocation bracket for better tower clearance.

I like the idea behind the Falcon shocks, but have not seen shaft protection on any of the installs listed on the forum. Maybe they have something for that, but I have not seen it. I know on my dirt bike, fork seals go fast after the shaft is nicked. You typically don't realize it until the oil starts leaking. The B6 shocks are protected so I would likely go that route for component longevity vs difference in performance unless there is shaft protection for the Falcons.

Part of me wanted the no-nonsence approach with the MB 4x4; put 265s on and your done. I do like the Ecoboost and hope that I can somehow mod this AWD to perform in the places I like to explore. Time will tell....

Just to stay on topic:

I created this threat to see if anyone here with a stock AWD van using stock AWD wheels has mounted B6 struts and used 245/75/R16 tire size without issue and maybe even answer a few questions:

Questions:
-Did you achieve better/necessary wheel well clearance for the 245/75/R16s by adding the B6 Struts?
-Was there any noise/rubbing after all trimming was completed?
-How is the ride/full suspension compression after the modifications?
I think you will be impressed with the capability of your AWD. We have never regretted getting a Transit over an AWD Sprinter, despite starting out trying to buy a Sprinter.

Couple of quick notes:
1) My VC supplied Falcon's came with beefy shaft boots. There is also some additional protection from the hand brake brackets that sit in front of the rear shocks.
2) IMHO handling is more impacted by where you place the weight in a build-out v a 2" lift and increased rolling radius. Apart from the rack, all of the added weight in our build went close to or under the floor. I accept that this resulted in an unusual configuration that's not to everybody's taste. With the B6 up front and Falcon at the rear, I'm pretty certain that ours rides and handles better now than a stock 2WD T250 on stock tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think you will be impressed with the capability of your AWD. We have never regretted getting a Transit over an AWD Sprinter, despite starting out trying to buy a Sprinter.

Couple of quick notes:
1) My VC supplied Falcon's came with beefy shaft boots. There is also some additional protection from the hand brake brackets that sit in front of the rear shocks.
2) IMHO handling is more impacted by where you place the weight in a build-out v a 2" lift and increased rolling radius. Apart from the rack, all of the added weight in our build went close to or under the floor. I accept that this resulted in an unusual configuration that's not to everybody's taste. With the B6 up front and Falcon at the rear, I'm pretty certain that ours rides and handles better now than a stock 2WD T250 on stock tires.
That's great info, thanks! I will have a minimal build so I will always be on the light side. My van is purposed mainly for cargo between dirt bikes, bird hunting with my shorthairs and windsurfing.
 
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That's great info, thanks! I will have a minimal build so I will always be on the light side. My van is purposed mainly for cargo between dirt bikes, bird hunting with my shorthairs and windsurfing.
Mine carries a semi-permeant quiver of windsurfing kit in the summer months. I sail on the SF Bay, mostly out of Pt Isabel. One of the objectives of the build was for a 2-4 week trip to Baja in 2020 - then Covid came along and postponed that plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Mine carries a semi-permeant quiver of windsurfing kit in the summer months. I sail on the SF Bay, mostly out of Pt Isabel. One of the objectives of the build was for a 2-4 week trip to Baja in 2020 - then Covid came along and postponed that plan.
I spent lots of time windsurfing in the Columbia River Gorge, Baja down with Kevin Trejo Solo Sports, Hatteras and other east coast locations. Hoping to get up to the Gorge this summer. Did the kiting thing but ended back on the windsurfing rigs. We actually get some nice high wind days around Denver on the lakes. The transit will make chasing the wind much easier, nothing to put on the roof!
 
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OMB where are you located? My upfitter is in Orange County. He’s gonna replace bilstein with stock. Just sucks when he told me that VC told him b6 were fine. Oh well life goes on
 

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I spent lots of time windsurfing in the Columbia River Gorge, Baja down with Kevin Trejo Solo Sports, Hatteras and other east coast locations. Hoping to get up to the Gorge this summer. Did the kiting thing but ended back on the windsurfing rigs. We actually get some nice high wind days around Denver on the lakes. The transit will make chasing the wind much easier, nothing to put on the roof!
Yes, keeping the kit inside and having somewhere warm to get changed and enjoy a fresh brew after a session on the water makes it a whole new experience. All my windsurfing buddies in the UK switched to vans years ago but it took forever for Euro-style vans to make it across the pond.

Interesting comment about kiting. Most of my buddies who switched to kites are now back on windsurfers and we are even seeing some new young ones getting into it - still way fewer than back in its heyday but fantastic to see some young ones getting into it. With kites, I kept waiting for the day when a kite could come past me on a reach or out point me up wind. It never happened, even the best local kiters remained as moving gybe marks and now most are back on boards. :LOL:
 
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