Ford Transit USA Forum banner
21 - 40 of 75 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Get it out there and try it out, @tomsaffell
I sure will. I just want to make sure I make the change before I tear something off the bottom!


You really need to do the 2” lift if you do the high clearance rear shock brackets. Otherwise, you need a shock that is 2” shorter, or 2” bump stops.
What's the downside to doing the high clearance rear shock brackets and installing a 2" shorter shock (without a 2" bump). That would seem to increase the clearance w/o changing the drive train geometry. But maybe I'm missing something?
 

·
Registered
2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
Joined
·
1,690 Posts
I sure will. I just want to make sure I make the change before I tear something off the bottom!
...
Can't say for every case... but mostly, that'd just be bad driving. Once you know what the bottom looks like (we took turns observing it going over stuff to see where the clearance actually was a challenge and were it really isn't), it's mostly the risk of getting too deep in and not having a better way out - then deciding "it'll probably be fine" that remains a problem.

On the other hand, it sure doesn't look as cool when it looks all stock - with stock tires and everything. And when it looks all stock, you have to put up with, "holy crap... how'd you get that thing out here?" Which is bragging rights, of course. 😏
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
499 Posts
I sure will. I just want to make sure I make the change before I tear something off the bottom!




What's the downside to doing the high clearance rear shock brackets and installing a 2" shorter shock (without a 2" bump). That would seem to increase the clearance w/o changing the drive train geometry. But maybe I'm missing something?
2” less suspension travel. I’m not sure how much these vans have to begin with, only 6-8”? 25-30” is a big decrease. Quad van basically strongly said to only run the brackets with a lift
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
499 Posts
@ArgonautVans Got it - thanks. I guess that explains why they are so low in the first place..?
Pretty much, Ford probably could have designed the suspension geometry differently to get them up higher if that was a design goal, but Ford designed the Transit as a delivery and contractor van, not an off-road truck, so ground clearance was an acceptable sacrifice (while still giving good suspension travel to accommodate high payloads on paved roads)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
What's the downside to doing the high clearance rear shock brackets and installing a 2" shorter shock (without a 2" bump). That would seem to increase the clearance w/o changing the drive train geometry. But maybe I'm missing something?
2” less suspension travel. I’m not sure how much these vans have to begin with, only 6-8”? 25-30” is a big decrease. Quad van basically strongly said to only run the brackets with a lift
Not necessarily. You'd have to compare the compressed measurements of the shocks (stock vs. 2" shorter) before determining that there would be any loss of articulation.

Craig
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Not necessarily. You'd have to compare the compressed measurements of the shocks (stock vs. 2" shorter) before determining that there would be any loss of articulation.

Craig
I also thought the issue with 2" less is that you may also bottom out and damage the shock (unless you do a modified bump stop).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
I also thought the issue with 2" less is that you may also bottom out and damage the shock (unless you do a modified bump stop).
Bump stop extensions limit the suspension travel to keep the tires from contacting the body or (unibody) frame due to increased articulation when installing suspension lifts. They can also protect your shocks from bottoming out and getting damaged. If, however, the new shorter shock allows the rear suspension to stuff without bottoming out the shock or having the tire contact the body, you're good. This is where one would have to research and compare the compressed/extended measurements of the replacement shock. Slowly articulating the suspension in a shop one side at a time would be the best way to verify.

Ideally, you wouldn't want to install anything that would limit your articulation, at least for off-road use.

Craig
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Quigley does offer a 2" lift kit for AWD Transit. It's not on their website but I got an email from their sales confirming it's available.
Installed with Sway bar $3,745.00+ Tax
I didn't get details on it because decided to go with Van Compass.
Quigley also has a Bilstein shock & strut upgrade, $900.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I'm still waiting for a vin/production schedule for my 2021 HR 148 Crew (with Ed @CrewVanManInfo - I'm very positive, wish all car salesmen could be like Ed). I was thinking of getting a van compass lift at first, but now I'm not so sure. The only reason I would lift the van is to fit larger tires. Lifts typically do not improve handling, but if you want more ground clearance they are necessary to fit larger tires. I don't think approach and departure angle discussion is all that pertinent for such a large vehicle.

The reality with the transit is max size is 245/75/R16 with or without the lift. I believe the front pinch weld needs to be rolled aside for proper clearance, but the back should be good to go. There is just not enough room with the 265/75/R16 to allow for mud accumulation on the tire. I was up in Wyoming last winter with a guy that fit tires with minimal dry clearance on his suburban and we got into some frozen mud. All his body panels were damaged/deformed at the end of the day because the mud/ice packed out the wheel wells. Not to mention how it sounded while we were driving around.

Anyway, not going to do the lift. Will gracefully roll the pinch, put on the 245/75/R16, and will consider the best struts (B6-luke warm about that) and the adjustable Falcon shocks. I wish we had more functional options, but this seems to be the most reasonable approach to better ground clearance and a better ride for a van designed to be a delivery vehicle. I will follow along to see if any new ideas are introduced. Thanks for posting this topic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
If, however, the new shorter shock allows the rear suspension to stuff without bottoming out the shock or having the tire contact the body, you're good.
This is useful - thanks, but I don't understand what "stuff" mean here. Please can you explain?

Seems like in theory the shock brackets could be raised without a lift, but whether that's practically possible depends on whether there is a set of shocks that meets all the requirements, and currently neither Van Compass nor Quigley provide a recommendation for doing that, so we'd be on our own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
This is useful - thanks, but I don't understand what "stuff" mean here. Please can you explain?

Seems like in theory the shock brackets could be raised without a lift, but whether that's practically possible depends on whether there is a set of shocks that meets all the requirements, and currently neither Van Compass nor Quigley provide a recommendation for doing that, so we'd be on our own.
Sure thing. I added a couple photos of my old Jeep LJ below. I swapped to 1-ton axles, and 37" tires with only about 3" of lift. "Full stuff" is when the suspension is at the maximum range of articulation, and the tire stuffed as far as possible into the fender well. On a coil-sprung vehicle, it's best/easiest to do this without the springs in place, as it allows the control arms to flex easily without resistance. On a leaf-sprung vehicle, it can be a little tougher, but you're just looking for the maximum suspension travel without the tires (or other suspension components) making contact with things they shouldn't.

Craig

157016


157017
 

·
Registered
2020 148 Mid-Roof AWD Crew
Joined
·
140 Posts
...I have come to terms that some of the camp spots I used to drag my tent trailer into with the LJ are no longer accessible to the van, and I only have 33's.

That being said 245/75 16 AT tires fit with just a small rub on the inside of the wheel well. I'm still thinking of installing Bilsteins instead of using the spacer and using the Vancompass springs. I still can't get my head around what camber correction a flat spacer provides, or is it in the rotation of the strut?

I'm still waiting for the engineers to chime in😁
 

·
Registered
2020 Ford Transit T250 Mid Roof Crew Long Ecoboost
Joined
·
23 Posts
G
Hi everyone, I’m a certified mechanic, a Ford transit owner, and I’m frustrated with the available lift kit options. I’ve installed a lift kit in my van, but having the front end apart, I’ve discovered some things I want to discuss.

So, here’s a basic run down of the available kits, the problemsI experienced with my traxda lift and the issues I see with the rest of what’s available.

Vancompass has two lift kits. The Subframe drop idea is a crazy amount of work, but gives you perfect geometry. However you gain no effective clearance under the subframe unless you run bigger tires. You’ve merely lifted the van body higher.

Their second lift style is better. 3/4 inch strut spacer, plus a 1 and 1/4 inch lift from a new coil spring. Add those numbers together, you have 2 inches. Then you can also install a bilstein strut, and have a little more.

The problem with their second style of lift, is that struts have a maximum extension. These are arbitrary numbers, but imagine if you measured the strut from the top to the bottom, and it was 24 inches tall. That’s the maximum extension. When the strut is fully compressed, it’s 16”. So you have 8 inches of travel. When the weight of the vehicle is on the strut, it’s compressed somewhere in the middle of the travel.
So you have 4 inches up travel, and 4 inches down. When you add a coil spring that adds 1 and 1/4” to the height, what you’ve done is change where the mid point of the strut is. So you now have 5 and 1/4 inches of upward travel (wheel being pushed up into the fender by the road) but you only have 2 and 3/4” of downward travel. So if your wheel has to drop down into something, it is now has limited downward travel and you fully extend the suspension under a huge amount of negative load. This is really not good for the internal valving inside the strut and gives you a ride that feels like your being pulled back to the earth.

Now the traxda lift actually gives the van the best lift. “Technically” It pushes the van up in the air, adds height under the front crossmember, and keeps the strut at its factory middle. 4 inches up and 4 inches down. The problem is, actually getting everything back together. To put the 2 inch strut spacer on top of the strut, you have to remove the strut from the knuckle. It comes apart really easily, then you bolt the strut spacer on top, and stick it all back together. But the strut won’t go back into the knuckle, no matter how hard you try. The angles, because of adding 2 inches, are to great to overcome, and the strut won’t drop into the hole in the knuckle. So then I undid the ball joint, which allowed me to remove the knuckle from the lower control arm, and gave me the clearance to get the knuckle and strut back together. But then the angles were too extreme to get the ball joint back into the lower control arm..... arrrrrgggg. I got it back together, but had to fix the threads on the lower ball joint. Annoying.

Van compass only used a 3/4 inch spacer, and that is what would allow you to get it back together really easily. Remember that the strut has the same maximum extension no matter what. So that means, you’re only fighting 3/4 inch instead of 2 inch. For the sake of installing a lift, that’s why the van compass lift is better. You are not twisting and torquing on everything, to get it back together.

Foes manufacturing, their lift has the 2” spacer, but it has a modified factory control arm. Because the new lower control arm makes up for the angles of everything, the ball joint slips right in. This is the best solution, but very expensive for what you are getting and if you need new control arm bushings down the road, you have to buy new control arms... this is expensive. So that makes it the worst lift. Repairability is super important. You wouldn’t want to be on a trip, only to find out you need new lower control arms, and the factory ones are all that are available.

What I think the solution is.
1)Keep the factory strut and spring together
2) use a 2” space with camber adjustment
3) make a control arm with replaceable bushings, that deals with the angles that are at their maximums.

Anyways, I’d appreciate peoples thoughts.
Any other people who installed their lift by themselves, I’d love to hear of your experience.
Great work on this review. I have the van compass topo 2.0 and bilstien struts on my 2wd 2020 transit. Love the look and the ability to add larger tires (265/75/16) but agree I don’t like the short travel when dropping down (over a hump or into a ditch). Feels a bit harsh and can’t imagine it’s the best for the van. I’ve been considering just biting the bullet and see if I can order a couple sets of the foes lower arms and installing one and having a back up set for later on. The van compass lift doesn’t give me the off road feeling I was hoping for with the understanding it’s a on-road tin can of a van…. I’m not looking for tons of articulation as I’m pretty sure the van would just twist be all outta wack in no time… what do you think of adding the foes lower arms to the van compass components?
 

·
Registered
2020 Ford Transit T250 Mid Roof Crew Long Ecoboost
Joined
·
23 Posts
Vinks, thanks for sharing your perspective. Discounting appearance and going to a max size tire (already 245/75/16), would you do it again?
[/QUO
Vinks, thanks for sharing your perspective. Discounting appearance and going to a max size tire (already 245/75/16), would you do it again?
yes sir, I love it. I have some dialing in to do (still have a little rubbing somewhere) but I love the ride… the bigger tires ride so much better over rough roads than the stocks… and the shocks and struts make a big difference too… I’m obviously biased. Just drove from CA to South Dakota and back and it road flawless at 80 mph most the time. :)
 
21 - 40 of 75 Posts
Top