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Now that my order for the Tema4x4 front strut spacers are finally gonna be delivered, I am now focusing on what to do about lifting the rear of my 2007 C/V FWD.

I have the single rear leafs, and I just replaced the worn out Nivomats with heavy duty Gabriels.

To lift the rear, has anyone looked into using a spacer between the leaf and the axle?
 

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Drivin' Maniac
2002 Grand Caravan ES 3.8L
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I didn't know that C/V (Cargo Van) were ever fitted with the self-adjusting Nivomats. But no matter...the standard spring rates were higher than those used with the self-adjusting Nivos. So, its no wonder your van needs a 'lift'.

Can't answer your spacer question, as we are proponents of the Gabriel Hi-Jacker air shocks.
 

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First, is it a cargo van or was that an abbreviation for Caravan? Cargo vans came with the multi-leaf packs just like the AWD did. The AWD also used Nivomats in the rear, and also special shackles for the rear of the leaf springs that are longer than the standard ones. You can swap the rear shackles from an AWD to your single leaf for a little lift. There is also a full leaf helper spring kit you can add for stiffness. Air bags would also bolt in. I think you would be able to make some blocks to go between the axle and the leaf for a lift. I couldn't do that because of my rear CV axles for AWD, so I added half leaf helpers. The rear of my van was already pretty high, but I run without the rear bench seat and spare tire.
 

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2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
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I have an '05 C/V, and it sits ~"2 higher in the rear. If I didn't already have nearly new summer and winter tires on hand in the factory size, I would get some spacers or taller struts for the front and go with larger tires.
 

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Once more with feeling, if you never intend to drive faster than 40 mph, you can pretty much do whatever you want, but the last thing you want is a 4500 pound box, bouncing around on a raised suspension with a raised center of gravity.

The whole vehicle is engineered and tested as a unit, at high and low speeds. Good luck with your project, you'll need it.
 

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I finally hooked up my front sway bar, and it drives fine on the freeway, highway, curves taken at the posted/suggested safe speeds. Handicapped vans are lifted the same way, and they are everywhere. Shoot, some of the conversions I've seen were scary! A 3rd gen had the rear axle removed, and put back on sitting on TOP of the rear leaf springs! It looked like a hack job. The rear leaf mounts had been lowered along with the floor, but they needed to raise the rear axle again to make the rear shocks bolt up.

Now that the van is higher, some stuff that would have scared me enough to swerve to avoid, I can run over. I can change my oil now without having to use a jack to get underneath. As long as you pay attention to your surroundings and drive sensibly, you shouldn't have any trouble.
 
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2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
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Once more with feeling, if you never intend to drive faster than 40 mph, you can pretty much do whatever you want, but the last thing you want is a 4500 pound box, bouncing around on a raised suspension with a raised center of gravity.

The whole vehicle is engineered and tested as a unit, at high and low speeds. Good luck with your project, you'll need it.
:rolleyes:
Thanks for the public service announcement.
 

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I didn't know that C/V (Cargo Van) were ever fitted with the self-adjusting Nivomats. But no matter...the standard spring rates were higher than those used with the self-adjusting Nivos. So, its no wonder your van needs a 'lift'.

Can't answer your spacer question, as we are proponents of the Gabriel Hi-Jacker air shocks.
My 2007 Grand Caravan C/V FWD has the Nivomat rear shocks and multi leaf springs. The build sheet shows a sales code SDHS for "Commercial Wagon Suspension" and SERS for "Load Leveling And Height Control". Even with 320K miles on the van it still sits at a nice ride height with the rear about an inch or so higher than the front.
 

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Once more with feeling, if you never intend to drive faster than 40 mph, you can pretty much do whatever you want, but the last thing you want is a 4500 pound box, bouncing around on a raised suspension with a raised center of gravity.

The whole vehicle is engineered and tested as a unit, at high and low speeds. Good luck with your project, you'll need it.
You are wasting your time.

Those who want to raise their vehicles will still do it, regardless.

There are some guys who raised their vehicles and keep encouraging others, they will never admit their vehicle changed the center of gravity, even if they know their vehicle is not safe.

Remember that thread about replacing the throttle body for a slightly bigger? Couple of guys got excited and following that guy advice, and keep posting, then that thread went dead.

Same here, but with a slight difference. On the other thread people lost time and money, here they may lose their life.

Be careful guys, beside the safety issue, those vehicles look even uglier when rised.

Been warned, twice! :(
 

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You can easily tell when people have little or no experience with lifted vehicles, and have obviously never owned one.

I have owned several mildly lifted vehicles, including my last car (haha), installed lifts for other people, and driven their vehicles. Guess what, I made it past 40mph without dying. :)

Is the center of gravity changed... yes, DUH. It doesn't mean the vehicle is no longer safe. You adjust your driving habits.

BTW, I like the look of tastefully lifted 4x4s.
 

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You can easily tell when people have little or no experience with lifted vehicles, and have obviously never owned one.

I have owned several mildly lifted vehicles, including my last car (haha), installed lifts for other people, and driven their vehicles. Guess what, I made it past 40mph without dying. :)

Is the center of gravity changed... yes, DUH. It doesn't mean the vehicle is no longer safe. You adjust your driving habits.

BTW, I like the look of tastefully lifted 4x4s.
You should not talk about people you don't know, especially if that person is a certified NHTSA vehicle modifier.

#1 rule to be a certified NHTSA vehicle modifier is to keep the vehicle safety standards (FMVSS).
 

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You should not talk about people you don't know, especially if that person is a certified NHTSA vehicle modifier.
I really couldn't care less what you are. I have quickly learned that you are a know-it-all type.

Don't you have to go argue with someone about whether or not their brake rotors are warped?:)
 

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Hope your family is not riding with you when you get into that accident, I really do.

Good luck, you really need it.
 

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Hope your family is not riding with you when you get into that accident, I really do.

Good luck, you really need it.
I don't need luck. I have common sense.
BTW, my mom, who is in her mid 60s, drove a mildly lifted S10, and my slightly lifted Ford Aspire for several years. I guess it was an out and out miracle the she is still here. :rolleyes:
 

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This same topic has been beat to death on a Dodge Ram forum, and some people just don't get it - and that reason hasn't even been mentioned here. Front suspension components - ball joints, tie rod ends, control arms, etc. are designed to be in the center of their working radius at ride height - to allow for the suspension components to work freely and not bind up during suspension travel. In this case - if you space the strut assembly down (or use longer strut assemblies to raise the ride height) you have just changed the angle of the lower control arm and the stud inside the lower ball joint is now off center, and also changed the angles of the tie rods. This makes them more likely to bind/fail when the lower control arm over-travels it's intended radius. Also, unless you loosen the inner control arm bushing retainers so the bushings can relax and be neutral at ride height - your inner control arm bushings will be under constant tension and fail quickly. Now to fix this issue, you probably could build new (lower) location points for the lower control arms, but that usually still leaves the tie rod ends off centered in their travel.

Point is - getting the height is usually the easy part. Making the suspension function properly with the moving parts operating back at their designed angles can be quite a challenge. Will it "work" without correcting the miss-alignment issues? Yes. It it correct? Not in my shop.

So IMO - driveability/center of gravity issues aside - not a good idea to raise this style suspension.
 

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Drivin' Maniac
2002 Grand Caravan ES 3.8L
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My tongue-in-cheek comment is simply... that with our Gabriel shocks pumped up and the rear lifted, I get better gas mileage.😋

After all, the van is now going down-hill all the time. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: 🤓

++++++++++++

More seriously, the higher-than-designed center of gravity could be a liability if the vehicle unintentionally slides into a curb or a soft shoulder (it could flip). 🥶 BUT it's a free country...do whatever floats your boat.
 
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"So IMO - driveability/center of gravity issues aside - not a good idea to raise this style suspension."

Go tell that to Braun Entervan then. They lift vans this way. It works, and I don't see those vans getting into accidents because of it. I know, there's the expression "Just because it works, doesn't mean it's right." There are trade-offs, and I accept them.

Yes, the front end parts are at different angles now. At least all of my used joints are now operating in different areas than where the wear was, so should actually be tighter than before. I also have spare used parts on hand if something does wear out, and I know how to change them myself. When I did my lift, I did loosen the front control arm pivot points and set the control arms on jack stands, then put the weight of the van on them, bounced it, and tightened the bolts to get the new "road attitude". When I swapped my front hubs, I switched them side-to-side so they would wear on a different part of the stationary race. I run front wheel spacers so the wheels clear the calipers. They also put the wheels back out to where they would be stock width (or more) for stability. The van drives better than it ever has, since it had worn out, crappy quick struts in it before that would bottom out and make the tire rub the fender. I also try to keep the gas tank full to have more weight lower, plus I have the extra weight of the AWD drivetrain under there. I thought this through before doing it, and also made sure everything is bolt-on so it can be reversed if it didn't work out.

While I'm at it, did anyone mention lifting the rear using blocks and longer bolts between the front leaf spring mounts and the body? It's an easier way to lift than helper springs, and it keeps the stock spring rate the same.
 
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"So IMO - driveability/center of gravity issues aside - not a good idea to raise this style suspension."

Go tell that to Braun Entervan then. They lift vans this way. It works, and I don't see those vans getting into accidents because of it. I know, there's the expression "Just because it works, doesn't mean it's right." There are trade-offs, and I accept them.
I made my post to point out an issue that no one else had - the possibility of damage to suspension components from being run at incorrect angles.

I'm sure that Braun doesn't just blindly modify suspension components. They do what I've done when modifying stock suspensions or installing aftermarket parts - remove the springs and boots and cycle the suspension full up/down left/right and make sure that nothing binds, bottoms out, or is in severe miss-alignment. As to the lower control arm - even "relaxing" the bushing and making sure the ball joint stud doesn't bind in the housing - the new operating angle between the LCA bushings and the ball joint may cause alignment issues. I've seen $2000 worth of aftermarket suspension parts change toe-in 3/8" when cycling ride height alone - aftermarket steering rack installs that the outer tire would over center and change direction during turns.

Main point is don't just blindly make suspension mods without looking at the big picture. Looks and handling are only part of that picture - engineering and proper function should be front and center. If that's the way you approach your projects - good for you. If not - hope you don't drive in SE Mi . . . LOL
 

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"So IMO - driveability/center of gravity issues aside - not a good idea to raise this style suspension."

Go tell that to Braun Entervan then. They lift vans this way. It works, and I don't see those vans getting into accidents because of it. I know, there's the expression "Just because it works, doesn't mean it's right." There are trade-offs, and I accept them.

Yes, the front end parts are at different angles now. At least all of my used joints are now operating in different areas than where the wear was, so should actually be tighter than before. I also have spare used parts on hand if something does wear out, and I know how to change them myself. When I did my lift, I did loosen the front control arm pivot points and set the control arms on jack stands, then put the weight of the van on them, bounced it, and tightened the bolts to get the new "road attitude". When I swapped my front hubs, I switched them side-to-side so they would wear on a different part of the stationary race. I run front wheel spacers so the wheels clear the calipers. They also put the wheels back out to where they would be stock width (or more) for stability. The van drives better than it ever has, since it had worn out, crappy quick struts in it before that would bottom out and make the tire rub the fender. I also try to keep the gas tank full to have more weight lower, plus I have the extra weight of the AWD drivetrain under there. I thought this through before doing it, and also made sure everything is bolt-on so it can be reversed if it didn't work out.
While I'm at it, did anyone mention lifting the rear using blocks and longer bolts between the front leaf spring mounts and the body? It's an easier way to lift than helper springs, and it keeps the stock spring rate the same.



Road Ripper, I've been looking at yours and doc houses lifts and it is good work, easy to do and results are appealing. I recently slapped on some 235/70-16 tires on one of our AWD 2003 T&C and just that change alone is fairly striking. I'm looking at getting a mild 1.6" spacer kit for the front, and for the rear I am thinking about fabbing up some spacer plates to be installed between leaf spring front and back mounting locations like you just suggested. I must have missed where you said what strategy you used to lift your AWD leaf suspension. You didn't make spacer plates to go between frame and leaf spring mounts?

 

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Also, chatted with a mobility van dealer here in Denver, they can supply parts that are bolt on for these vans from Braun / VMI for lifting the front struts (2"), it's just the rear of the van that is the issue since we are not tubbing these vehicles to lower the floor pan after being lifted and hence this lowering of the floor is also how they achieve a lifted rear end. They probably have the sway bar links too, I'll have to reach out to them again about that.
 
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