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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1996 Dodge B350 "Sportsmobile" 2WD Van.  All Dodge Vans are Uni-Body in construction with front suspension points coming off the Uni-Body frame rails.

I would like to LIFT the van 2 inches to 3 inches MAX.  Of course lifting the rear-end is easy it's the front suspension that is a different animal.  I know I could install longer/taller springs for a small lift.  Of course that also changes a lot of suspension geometry, steering geometry and is hard on suspension components like ball joints etc.  Different front spindles with the axle stub lower on the spindle while retaining the same spindle height would be GREAT and far too easy.  I am not aware of any spindle changes that would accomplish this task.  Are YOU??

Therefore my real question to the suspension guru's:

Do you have any suggestions on how to make this small 2-3 inch lift possible on my Dodge Van with stock or easily available off the shelf aftermarket parts????
 

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those vans came as cab/chassis ( so to speak) for motor home / cargo van builders , as such they came with the heaviest GVW's , dual wheel ( 6 tires) etc .  if yours is a standard van , for a small 2 inch lift , I'd look into the parts differences there , spring rate is certainly one of them , control arms may be as well, and could well give a 2 inch lift over your tired standard van springs .. ( even tho your IS a 1 ton , the motor home stuff was heavier )    ( 6 tire w/school bus body ?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am thinking about doing the reverse of what folks do to lower a dodge pickup.

The Van lower control arms recess the spring 2+ inches deeper into the control arm therefore the PU guys like to replace their lower control arms with Van control arms to get their truck lower.

Why not do the opposite for a Van?

Install a set of PU truck lower control arms which will raise the spring 2+ inches therefore raising the van in the front?

Anyone got any ideas about the possible negative changes in suspension geometry that may result?
 

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IDK exactly , BUT IF all it does is recess/raise the spring , doesn't that change how the BJ sets ? then what happens when that wheel goes over a "hole" and drops farther , will the BJ bind ? isn't that the same as using a longer spring ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes that is the same as using a longer spring and yes it will mess with the ball joint angles and possibly the tie rod angles.

Typically you can get away with a 2 inch lift with not to many problems on most vehicles HOWEVER there are exceptions.  The use of the PU lower control arms would allow me to use the original stock springs OR buy new stock springs (best idea) to replace the original 25 year old springs.  This means I don't have to pour through the MOOG catalog looking for the correct spring rate, wire diameter and guestimate length longer spring to replace the stock spring IF I just went to a long spring for the lift.  Besides the shorter spring should easier to install with the PU lower control arm.

The unknown right now is how much lift will I get with the installation of PU lower control arms AND new replacement stock springs. 

I know this a little different than a Ramcharger lift however with all the knowledge here on the site maybe someone has some experience with my foolish idea.

Here are a couple of pictures of the van.

 

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https://ramchargercentral.com/articles/?sa=view;article=51

This was posted in the How To section about 10 years ago and yielded 6 inches of lift on a 2wd Ramcharger, using "two" pairs of coil spring boosters (One on top and one on the bottom of each coil spring)

You could do something very similar with just one pair of coil spring boosters. The van front suspension is very similar to the pick-up and RC front suspension.

Ed
 

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If you end up going with a pickup control arm, I'd suggest buying XRF Chassis ball joints, they are near bullet proof.  I use them on all my vehicles after seeing how well they held up on a bagged 91 C1500 I had (which obviously has extreme ball joint angles).

If they're good enough for Baja racers, they're good enough for me.  XRF uses the same part numbers as moog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
RXT said:
https://ramchargercentral.com/articles/?sa=view;article=51

This was posted in the How To section about 10 years ago and yielded 6 inches of lift on a 2wd Ramcharger, using "two" pairs of coil spring boosters (One on top and one on the bottom of each coil spring)

You could do something very similar with just one pair of coil spring boosters. The van front suspension is very similar to the pick-up and RC front suspension.

Ed
I will take a look and see how they compare as the Ramcharger is on a full frame and the van is a Uni-body for suspension attachment points.

Thank for the link, help and suggestions!
 

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vintageracer said:
I will take a look and see how they compare as the Ramcharger is on a full frame and the van is a Uni-body for suspension attachment points.

Thank for the link, help and suggestions!
The frame is irrelevant in the mod. The lift in the "How To" was accomplished by installing a coil spring booster between the spring and the control arm and another between the spring and spring pocket. This created the lift (In this case up to 6 inches)

If all you want is 2-3 inches of lift, all you need to do is first find a coil spring booster thats 2-3 inches thick and mount it either between the coil spring and the (lower) control arms or between the coil spring and the spring pocket in the frame rail. The van has a very similar spring pocket as the trucks do…the unitized frame doesn't matter.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The lower control arm is similar in appearance only between the PU and the Van however that's about it.  The Van control arm is wider than the PU and the spring pocket is 2-3 inches deeper in van lower control arm. 
 
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