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Thread: Have Previa - Will Lift

  1. #21
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    Re: Have Previa - Will Lift

    Thanks for the reply. Glad to know about the bottoming out issue. I was worried about that and my plan was to attach a bracket that hangs lower. Might be easier still to just attach a piece of 1/4"-3/8" bar stock to extend the flat mounting surface and put the stud lower.

  2. #22
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    Re: Have Previa - Will Lift

    Photo of the latest attempt to get the shock right. You can see the original stud mount hole centered in the axle plate and the new hole I drilled below it.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  3. #23
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    Re: Have Previa - Will Lift

    Wow this is the most specific and helpful post on lifting a Previa, I do a fair amount of dirt/gravel road travel and would like to raise my 91 2WD Previa, what year mustang springs did you use ? and what year Sienna Struts ? Any further word on the prefect rear shocks for this setup?
    Thanx Chris H


    Quote Originally Posted by tbuyan View Post
    Sorry for the delay. Who would have thought that the rear shocks and mounts are the most challenging part of the entire project? But they are.
    The shock mount studs were something I already had in my junk collection - er inventory. I probably found them at a swap meet or yard sale.
    I just Googled "shock mount stud" and found dozens of results including this:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/UNIVERSAL-SH...-/221463424618

    However, as elegant as this solution seems to be, I have since changed it because my shocks were bottoming out too easily. It looked like the studs had bent, but in fact the mounting plates on the axle were deforming. I had to compress the shocks several inches to slip them onto the studs and there was not enough travel left. Shorter shocks would help but that would reduce overall travel, negating one of the advantages of the longer springs.

    I tried drilling new mounting holes in the plate, which moved the studs down about an inch and a half, but that was not enough. So I mounted new shock brackets on the trailing arm using the original shock mounting holes. I inserted bolts up from the bottom so they do not protrude downward, as the original Previa shocks did. That cured the bottoming out problem, but now they top out too soon. That is, I have very little axle droop before the shocks reach full extension. Better than bottoming out, but it can't be good for the shocks. I could attach limiting straps like the rock crawlers and desert racers do, but I'd rather just get the shocks right.

    By the way, I got those lower brackets at a 4WD shop, but here's a source:
    http://www.qa1.net/suspension/street...onversion-kits

    So I'm still working on it and will keep you posted. I'll post a picture of the current setup next.

  4. #24
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    Re: Have Previa - Will Lift

    Thanks for the compliment.
    The rear springs are '65 Mustang front springs. RockAuto part # Moog 8088
    The struts are 2nd generation ('06-'11)? Sienna. RockAuto part # KYB 334430 & 334431

    Starting the lift on a 92 AWD today. Should be done within the week.
    I'll post some progress reports & photos, including any significant differences between the '92 and '96.

  5. #25
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    Re: Have Previa - Will Lift

    Also, I'm still fussing with the rear shock setup. Yesterday I moved the bottom mount up to the lower hole I drilled in the axle plate. Results TBD.
    On the '91 we're currently working on (I incorrectly said '92 in the previous post) we intend to devise a way to retain the original shocks.

  6. #26
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    Re: Have Previa - Will Lift

    Tbuyan, thanx so much for the specifics! I was going to order the parts right away so I could start mine but since you've started a '91 lift project I'll wait a while before I begin mine.
    Chris H

  7. #27
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    Re: Have Previa - Will Lift

    Hopefully everyone is still around, including the OP!

    I have a 1996 AT SC that I want to lift. I'm not a mech head, but still handy with wrenches, so please, be gentle. I'm not too concerned about total lift. I'll be off-road, but never anything too aggressive. I mainly want it to not look like a minivan anymore. Here are my questions:

    1- For the rear, if I want to keep it simple, is it as easy as just swapping the springs? Zenseeker lead me to this post (after a few clicks) and makes it seem the rear is that easy. 2" is all I want anyway.

    2- For the front, can I skip the spacer and just put the new strut in the old ones place? I may have missed the importance of that part of the process. If I understand things right, the machining is to just allow the wider Previa knuckle to fit. Everything else is used as is? If so, I'm set.

    In the end, I plan to camperize it. Seats will come out and kitchen will go in behind the driver and passenger. Table for 4-6 will go behind the side door to the back. The table bench seats will be storage and the table will drop to turn the seats into a bed with the help of an extension. I also plan to make the table seats convert to a 3 seat, forward facing bench using the existing rear seat belts (and mounting the rest to the floor ) so I can haul the kids/friends on some adventures. The roof is getting a basket at the front and I'm building a fold out queen-sized tent at the back. With the tent there should be room for 5 people to sleep quite comfortably. Last, I'm building a hitch mount swing rack for propane bottles, spare tire, etc.

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    All in all, I'm looking forward to this little project. A taller stance, roof rack and bigger tires should make this a pretty sweet little rig. Not bad considering I bought the van so I could steal the winter tires - all for a whopping $200. It was when I was pulling one of the front tires that I noticed it was AT and SC. I couldn't bring myself to send the leftovers to the scrap yard.

    Thanks to the countless people that have contributed over the years. I might be able to do in a weekend what some of you have spent years researching thanks to your hard work.

    PS - I'm also considering cutting tin and building 2" fender flares out of wire mesh/foam. With some elbow grease, I should be able to make them durable enough to stand up to the elements. I'm going to plasti-dip the whole thing when done, so that should seal it up. Pros? Cons? Better ways to skin this cat?

  8. #28
    Van Enthusiast
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    Re: Have Previa - Will Lift

    Quote Originally Posted by ickybuck View Post

    1- For the rear, if I want to keep it simple, is it as easy as just swapping the springs? Zenseeker lead me to this post (after a few clicks) and makes it seem the rear is that easy. 2" is all I want anyway.

    2- For the front, can I skip the spacer and just put the new strut in the old ones place? I may have missed the importance of that part of the process. If I understand things right, the machining is to just allow the wider Previa knuckle to fit. Everything else is used as is? If so, I'm set.
    I don't have time to search for the other threads pertaining to lifting, but ALL of the info you are asking is on this forum...

    Rear: Yes, changing springs does take care of the 2" lift, but you also need to adjust brake proportioning valve, and ideally add bump stop extensions, plus some kind of shock extender. I did not resort to adjustable control arms in the rear, have had no problems.

    Front: Tbuyan's is different than mine, mine has adjustable preload/ride height from the coilover setup I built, but looks like your'e not going to get equal lift without the top spacer. This will create an un-level pitch front to rear. You may also benefit from longer brake lines... refer to timsrv's thread. You will need a fresh alignment after messing with front struts.

    Good luck!

  9. #29
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    Re: Have Previa - Will Lift

    1- The rear really is that easy, except for the shocks. Just swap in the Mustang springs and adjust the p-valve. Forget the adjustable link rods. Extended bump stops are optional. I haven't found a good solution to the rear shock issue. There are no parts shelf replacements that are 2" longer. I have longer shocks with eyes on both ends mounted to clevis brackets in the stock lower mounts. Works OK, but I'd rather find a way to use the stock units. My pal is running the stock shocks on his, but they top out now and then. Tim's shock mod is prolly the best option so far. BTW, the rear lift displaces the axle to the right an inch or more because of the Panhard rod droop. Poses no vehicle dynamics issue, although it looks kinda funny after you're aware of it. The alignment shop didn't even notice.

    2- The front strut spacer simply makes changing the struts much easier next time by eliminating the need to take the dash apart. The added lift is a bonus, although I'm glad to have it. But, yes, you could bolt the new strut directly into the Previa. It will seem a little high in the rear, but with all that origami you intend to put in the back it'll probably level out OK. And, yes, the Previa knuckle must be machined to fit the Sienna strut. And as mountainhick pointed out, you'll need longer front brake hoses.

    This is not a cheap project. You'll need to completely strip the front knuckles for the machining shop. That means all new bearings and seals in addition to the machine shop fee. You'll also have to pay someone to strip and reassemble the front knuckles. Don't try this at home, unless you have a press and a bunch of mandrels. New springs, struts/shocks, and tires all around, brake hoses, alignment, and probably something else. I think I spent about $2500 all in, and I did all the labor except the machine work and alignment.

    That said, the results are excellent nearly 2 years and 20K miles later. I would do it again without hesitation.

    Keep us posted.
    tb

  10. #30
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    Re: Have Previa - Will Lift

    Thanks for all the information on this. I have a '92 AWD Manual transmission van that I want to do this with. Anyone with one of these knows they turn about 3700RPM at 70 mph. Part of the reason I want to lift the van is to get those 235 75 r15 tires on it so I can do 80 mph at that RPM. These are estimates because I have not done the math yet, but the goal is to get some big tires on there, possibly even 31s. Yes, i will be cutting and rolling sheetmetal, at least. If anyone has a hi/lo transfer case that will fit, let me know. The 80's breadbox t-cases were a direct fit to the M/T Previa, right? TBUYAN is your '92 lift started? Is it an automatic or manual? The van in question is the second blue one on the left side.

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  11. #31
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    Re: Have Previa - Will Lift

    We completed the '91 lift about a year and a half ago. Manual trans with breadbox transfer case. Yes. it's a bolt in for manual transmission Previas only. The owner installed 235/75 R15 tires and they fit without any body work, although they certainly rub as you'd expect. Although those tires are great off-road in low range, the van is seriously overgeared on the hiway in hi range - a real dog in the Colorado mountains where he lives. As I mentioned in a previous post, the supercharged Previas can regain some gearing by fitting differentials from unsupercharged Previas, but since yours is unsupercharged you're stuck with no option for lower gearing. So be judicious in your tire selection.

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