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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone damaged or hit the rear shock mounts?

Over the years I've learned to keep the differential out of harms way but the rear shock mounts are at about the same level (but closer to the tire). The shock mounts just add another level of difficulty in taking your van where it should not go, many of the BLM roads to the best camp spots. We have had to do a little road maintenance.

So far, I have not had any problems but it is pretty low and makes maneuvering the rear end fairly difficult.

VanCompas makes a kit to raise the mounts by about 2". I'm trying to see if it is worth the effort.

Has anyone installed that kit? and the shorter shock?

Ron
 

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I have the same concerns, like most of us Transit owners that drive to trail heads or dispersed campsites. I've scraped the shock mount parking at a trail head before and don't want to worry about high centering on a rutted road.

I bought the VC shock mount brackets (cheap, so no brainer), but also bought 245/75 tires, VC fox shocks, Bilstein b6 struts, and foes lift. Will install them w/in the month. Hoping I don't ever need the VC diff plate.
 

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They really suck if you bog down in soft sand. Just spin your tires slightly and they becomes anchors. And once you are stuck, the fun begins trying to get a jack where you need it to lift the wheels. Gotta be the worst feature of a Transit.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK
Based on cost and potential grief I'll get the shock mount relocation kit on order shortly. I am also considering a 1" lift block under the leaf spring. It does nothing for clearance of the running gear but does improve the departure and break-over angle. It would also get the factory shock closer to it's normal operating position.

I carry a motorcycle on the back of a 148" regular van so a little move clearance in the back would be nice. I have scrapped a few times despite the motorcycle rack being 3" above the trailer hitch.

The only thing I miss about my Sprinter is the increased ground clearance compared to the transit (and being able to get a dually in the non extended body length).

Ron
 

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OK
Based on cost and potential grief I'll get the shock mount relocation kit on order shortly. I am also considering a 1" lift block under the leaf spring. It does nothing for clearance of the running gear but does improve the departure and break-over angle. It would also get the factory shock closer to it's normal operating position.

I carry a motorcycle on the back of a 148" regular van so a little move clearance in the back would be nice. I have scrapped a few times despite the motorcycle rack being 3" above the trailer hitch.

The only thing I miss about my Sprinter is the increased ground clearance compared to the transit (and being able to get a dually in the non extended body length).

Ron
Air bag suspension might be a good alternative to the 1" lift. Then it could be adjusted when you add or remove the motorcycle. Or, do both a lift and air bag springs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Collecting some data on the best solution as we speak. I have the T350 and between empty (no water, clothes, food or people but with the interior) to fully loaded (water, bikes, motorcycle, food, etc., no people) the suspension only sags 1/2" in the rear and 1/4 in the front. With two people it is likely 1/2" front and rear. Unloaded it has 3.5" of clearance from the top of the LT245/75 tires to the bottom of the wheel arch. I wish I had done theses measurements before I installed the interior. So not very loaded and also towards the top of the suspension travel already. (It is likely that the only reason I even noticed is that the Transit is about 2"-3" lower compared to my prior stock 350 dually Sprinter.) I'm guessing that I am only about 2" lower than an empty cargo T350.

Despite the nice capability to level, at a campsite, I don't think I want to add the complexity of an air bag system. It also increases the spring rate which is already pretty stiff. I might do a Sumo spring which is more progressive if located to just touch the spring when lightly loaded.

So a 1" rear lift block with the 2" rear shock relocation kit would get me 1" of departure improvement, 2" of actual additional ground clearance, put the stock shock closer to it's normal operating position / length and not increase the spring stiffness. This is also a pretty cheap tweak, roughly $250.

Leaving for a 2 week trip. I will report back on what I do and how it works.

Ron
 

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They really suck if you bog down in soft sand. Just spin your tires slightly and they becomes anchors. And once you are stuck, the fun begins trying to get a jack where you need it to lift the wheels.
Having spent considerable time in remote woods, this is a much bigger consideration than whether something scrapes a rock now and then.

These days i stay mostly on the pavement except for a sand/clay graded road (our shortcut to Disney's back door), so the low shock mounts are not an issue for us.
 

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Ours T350HD was really saggy in the rear from the weight of the Winnebago build. I added Supersprings and Sumosprings, and that totally fixed the sag. I got about 2.5" of additional clearance at the rear trailer hitch from that. Then I upsized the tires to 215/85R16 which got me another 1.25" all the way around. I pull a small enclosed trailer for hauling our dual sport motorcycles, and after these changes, I had to replace my 2" rise drawbar with a 2" drop one to keep the trailer level. That is a pretty significant improvement...


BTW, we're pushing 10K lbs when fully loaded with water, propane, food, and 200 lbs trailer tongue weight.
 

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I don't like the shock mounts hanging down either. The VC relocation kit is on my Wish List...


@Ron ,
What is the source for your 1" lift blocks? That seems to be about the Goldilocks amount of lift for my needs. I don't want the 2.5" kit that VC sells. One inch would also minimize the chance of the shock bottoming out with the relocated bottom mount. Question: Are you taking about a longer shackle, at the end of the springs, or a block under the U-bolts, which wrap the axle?

@Anyone waiting for Bilstein B6 series rear shocks,
I got a response back from Bilstein [pasted below] about avaibility of B6's for the rear. The part number is listed in the quote. I wonder if its stroke will prevent bottoming when using the shock mount relo kit?

-Barry



Hello,
We should have the B6 rears by late summer. Part number is 24-265331. Kind Regards,
Junior Africa
Technical & Warranty Support Expert
thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America, Inc
T: +1 858 386-5956, F: +1 858 386-5256, [email protected]
thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America, Inc, 14102 Stowe Drive, Poway, CA 92064, USA, www.bilsteinus.com
OK
...I am also considering a 1" lift block under the leaf spring. It does nothing for clearance of the running gear but does improve the departure and break-over angle. It would also get the factory shock closer to it's normal operating position.
...
Ron
 

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QuadVan in Portland, OR will raise your shock mounts 3.5" for $200 and install Bilstein B4 rear shocks for $80 a side. To raise the shock mount they cut a wedge out of either side of the stock shock mount, bend it up until the wedge cuts close, reweld cut sides and paint it flat black. I was in and out in under 2 hours. Very clean professional work.
 

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QuadVan in Portland, OR will raise your shock mounts 3.5" for $200 and install Bilstein B6 rear shocks for $80 a side. To raise the shock mount they cut a wedge out of either side of the stock shock mount, bend it up until the wedge cuts close, reweld cut sides and paint it flat black. I was in and out in under 2 hours. Very clean professional work.
that's a good deal. interesting that they already have access to the b6 shocks. I paid way more for the fox shocks since I wasn't able to get the b6 for the rear.

wish I lived up near quadvan.
 

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My mistake - Bilstein shocks installed by Quadvan were B4's, not B6's.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The quadvan option sounds very nice. I will look into it. And it's not that far from Seattle.

If you do a google search, for lift blocks, you will find dozens of options. It is not clear that they fit but it looks like there is a standard footprint / size. They are also dirt cheap. To be clear, I don't know if the Transit is unique or just uses that standard block. I'll need to get on the phone and ask questions and split the axle / spring to take a peak.

Yup, there is a tendency for the axle to wrap when a lift block is used. The only cases that I saw on the web where for very large lifts of around 5". I don't think a 1" lift will cause any issues, but I don't know for sure.

VanCompass has an inexpensive extended shackle that provides .5" lift. And you can get a Sumo Spring that would provide a progress spring (that will stiffen the leaf spring when loaded so it would not sag as much when loaded).

For only a modest lift it is not clear what the best course of action is.

Since I have a T350 and only need a little lift I'm tending towards the 1" block and the shock relocation. Currently traveling so it will be a few weeks before I can make any progress.

Ron
 

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Quadvan just installed their version of the shock mount shortener on my van. They cut off the bottom, then bolt their unit over the stub. This mount increases clearance here by 2.5", and preserves the sway bar mounting points. The flat base provides better a better skid surface. John says he'll be selling these online. I've also got a 2" lift, VC hitch receiver, VC rear diff skid plate. Ron, you're welcome to come by and take a look. Between the new tires and the lift, I've gained 2.75" - went from 13.25" from ground to bottom of rear hitch to 16".

Here's a short video of it.

https://youtu.be/YLkSU26uS-A
 

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Seems like everyone with modified rear shock mounts either have a lift kit or add a 1" lift block in the rear.

Is it required to have at least the 1" rear block to get a modified rear shock mount?

No, but it might bottom out the shock if you take a big hit. VC sells modified bump stops. I didn't get them, but I bought the shock mounts and rear Fox shocks from Mark at VC, and he asked for the weight of our van so that he could tune it to work. I subsequently bought the Foes lift, so I guess the height change is a wash anyway (2").
 

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No, but it might bottom out the shock if you take a big hit. VC sells modified bump stops. I didn't get them, but I bought the shock mounts and rear Fox shocks from Mark at VC, and he asked for the weight of our van so that he could tune it to work. I subsequently bought the Foes lift, so I guess the height change is a wash anyway (2").
Thanks for the feedback. I dislike the idea of 2" bump stop extensions effectively reducing up-travel 2".

I wonder if the VC Fox shocks are custom eliminating the need for a bump stop extension? I'll contact Mark at VC and ask.
 
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