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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

My 2007 Grand Caravan SXT has the standard suspension (code SDA) and added the factory tow hitch several years ago. I don’t use the hitch other than attaching a bike rack to haul our four bikes around on camping trips, bike rides, etc. I’m a bit annoyed though at how the rear suspension noticeably sags when we haul our bikes. I am thinking about replacing the standard shocks with the load-leveling/Nivomat shocks (code SDE) but want to know first if anyone with similar experiences noticed any improvement in ride height by installing the Nivomat shocks. Looking at the Mopar parts book and online Mopar parts sites, it looks like several part numbers for the load-leveling/Nivomat shocks are available, including vehicles with the standard/SDA suspension.

Appreciate any help or insights into this.
 

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From what I understand, as long as you also swap to towing package springs (which are softer), ride height should be normal.
 

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Do the nivomats maybe provide some lift, and that is why some have reported a saggy rear after putting in standard shocks?
 

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Yes, Nivomats provide some lift, but metered to certain level (self-leveling).

I haven't heard any complaints so far.

The softer springs are needed to help with the pumping action. Regular springs will do the job, but it might take a little longer.
 

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I see now.
 

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Took a bunch of poking around to find the catalog page on the ZF site. :geek:

56602


Nivomat Shocks Explained
https://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/nivomat-shocks-explained.html

Not cheap by any means. This price is for only 1. o_O
https://www.carid.com/2006-dodge-grand-caravan-suspension-systems/sachs-nivomat-shocks-and-struts-1066803430.html

Monroe has their version at $43 cheaper, but still ...
https://www.carid.com/2006-dodge-grand-caravan-suspension-parts/monroe-specialty-shocks-573897461.html

Bet the ride is sweet for that rich price. I'll just swap out the Gabriel Pros every 4 years and still save a bundle.
 

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Get used ones. EDIT - You will also need the mounting bolts, as they are longer. My vans have all had the nivomats, original and still working at 225,000 miles/190,000 miles. My AWD has the heavy duty multi spring pack and nivomats, so I don't see the logic in swapping to a softer spring. Should work fine as-is.
 

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Get used ones. EDIT - You will also need the mounting bolts, as they are longer. My vans have all had the nivomats, original and still working at 225,000 miles/190,000 miles. My AWD has the heavy duty multi spring pack and nivomats, so I don't see the logic in swapping to a softer spring. Should work fine as-is.
Now that is helpful. 1 set going for nearly 200,000 says a bunch! Thanks.

Glad too not having to go to softer springs. Smart.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great! Thanks everyone for the information. So, regarding the the springs: are the standard suspension leaf springs on my van (sales code SDA) stiffer or softer than the springs that are normally paired with the Nivomat shocks? If they are stiffer, I assume the ride height will be higher with the Nivomat shocks until they are loaded?
 

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Correct. I've been thinking of doing this upgrade so I've done a bunch of research. From what I can surmise, if you put Nivomats on your van with the stock SDA springs, your van will ride higher in the back by about an inch and a half over your current ride height. Once you load it up with enough weight to bring it back down to stock or lower, it will not drop below that height while your driving due to the self leveling action of the shock's internal pump. If you want your van to have its current stock ride height unloaded with Nivomats you will need to replace your current springs with the lower rate Nivomat van springs.
 

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Also, as you've noticed there are different part numbers for the Nivomats for vans with standard duty suspension and the touring suspension. I guessing the internal shock tuning is different.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Yes, I noticed that too. I agree, I think the one for the SDA/standard suspension is tuned so you don't get that excessive right height. Does anyone know however if this is true for sure?

I've seen it gets even more complicated with the springs...various part number for the same suspension sales code.

I just discovered too that my van has sales code SDA, but after looking at the actual part numbers stamped on the springs in my van, 5006415AB, they're for the touring suspension (SDC). Plus, has anyone figured out what the different spring group codes mean, for example, "ZDV," "ZPV," etc. for the same suspension?

Also, as you've noticed there are different part numbers for the Nivomats for vans with standard duty suspension and the touring suspension. I guessing the internal shock tuning is different.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I was surprised myself when I saw more than one part number. I found four from the 2007 Mopar RS Body Parts Book that apply to sales code SER, which is the load leveling suspension. Currently, two of the four part numbers are discontinued. The two part numbers that are still available are 4743230AA and 4766452AA.
 

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I believe 4743230AA is for the touring suspension. I only found one part number for the self leveling springs which is why I believe that for the rear the only difference is that the touring Nivo's are valved firmer than the standard suspension. According to the service manual, all the vans should have the same ride height.
 

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I believe 4743230AA is for the touring suspension. I only found one part number for the self leveling springs which is why I believe that for the rear the only difference is that the touring Nivo's are valved firmer than the standard suspension. According to the service manual, all the vans should have the same ride height.
Even if the rear became a tad higher, when load with passengers or bumper mount for a cargo flat shelf, who would notice?

I would prefer the rear to be higher after the nivomats were installed vs. the rear getting lowered. Lower would have more issues. BUT, that's not the case here. whew. :cool:
 
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