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I'm hoping to offroad "proof" my vehicle because i'm concerned about fire road access stuff etc. with the current clearance and getting stuck. Has anybody gone with bigger offroad tires/suspension upgrades? I'm kind of looking for price range expectancy so I can go into a shop with a little bit more information.
 

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Slightly bigger tires will only raise the rear axle about 1/2".
So, a lift and off road tires will look cool, but won't offer much advantage on roads that require a 4wd vehicle with decent torque and ground clearance.
Point is, it's a van and you can only go so tall with the tires and spacers/blocks won't raise the rear axle. Or make the 3.6 and 6 spd have low gear or more torque.
No more advantage than simply getting off-road tires in stock size and skipping the expensive lift.
FWIW, I drove around on fire roads south of Williams, AZ last year in a Chrysler Pacifica with street tires.
 

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I went with the 1.5" front lift kit from vancompass.com and rhino Havasu wheels. Lift kit is $300. I added Bilstein B6 struts for another $350. You can also go with Koni's for about $100 more. Wheels are about $250 each. I kept the original tires to save some money because they were almost new, but when they wear out I'll look into replacing them with BFG K02s. You can also lift the rear 1.5" and add Fox shocks for another $600 or so, but I just wanted to get rid of the downward slope.

You can get a kit from Wildernessvan.com that lifts the front and rear approx 3", but I thought this was too much.

Again, neither one of these lift kits raise the rear axle.
 

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Ignoring aesthetic issues, lifting the vehicle should only really be undertaken to fit larger tires or you will often decrease your performance, because without larger tires you don't really gain clearance and just create additional leverage on your suspension and raise the center of gravity, which is not a good thing for performance on or off road.

Armoring the underside components with skid plates, and getting better tires (don't have to be bigger) would be my recommendation. Bigger tires are good, but if there is any way to fit them without a lift that should be your avenue to explore. Some judicious work with a plasma cutter and some some cut out fender flares will increase performance if you can fit larger tires without a lift.

As you can tell I am recommending against a lift. One of the best things about the promaster relative to the other options is the good handing created by the lower load floor (and lower center of gravity). This is possible because of the front wheel drive and lack of driveshaft going to the rear axle. Raising it compromises one of the reasons I chose the promaster but you may have different reasons. If the handling characteristics are not one of the important things to you then the lift option might be right for you.

On my vehicles I have always tried to avoid lifts and still fit bigger tires (sometimes because of aesthetics when I was younger). Now the first thing I go for is skid plates. My other car is a subaru crosstrek (MT, because the CVT was a dog when I bought mine) with 3/16 stainless skidplates under the rear diff, transmission, and engine, rocker panel protection bars on the sides, and a winch on the front behind the factor bumper cover. I fitted larger tires without a lift (BFG KO2) and have kept the things I like (low center of gravity also among them). I am not against a little off road fun but creating a higher center of gravity doesn't always create more fun. Its the bigger tires you want and if there is another way I would do that first. Unless you think the lift looks cool and like that, then go for it! I'll admire it because I think it looks cool too!
 

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I know I sound like a crabby old man, but it's just not practical with these vans and you do more to hurt the vehicle than help,....no matter what they people selling these kits, tell you.
Unfortunately, you can't have your cake and eat it too. I would rather have a campervan than a truck camper (hence why I traded the truck for the van). And I will now limit myself on where I drive,based on the vans limits.
If I thought I would spend 90% of my time in my camper in rough, off-road situations, I would've kept the truck and had a truck camper.
You have to pick one.
 

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I know I sound like a crabby old man, but it's just not practical with these vans and you do more to hurt the vehicle than help,....no matter what they people selling these kits, tell you.
Unfortunately, you can't have your cake and eat it too. I would rather have a campervan than a truck camper (hence why I traded the truck for the van). And I will now limit myself on where I drive,based on the vans limits.
If I thought I would spend 90% of my time in my camper in rough, off-road situations, I would've kept the truck and had a truck camper.
You have to pick one.
You could be the first to build a ProMaster version of this Classic GMC meant for serious off-roading — just smaller scale. Who wants to be practical all the time? 😀

8AE820E3-4C5A-4947-AACF-1D779DCDF4F7.jpeg
 

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On a serious note, I read on Fiat Camper brochure that they offer “higher” front suspension. I’m assuming that means more ground clearance, not higher load rating. It may be worth looking into.

Some of the other features covered were interesting also, although not related to this thread. Many have come up in other threads.
ED1A266B-A94A-4976-9119-6E16D15FDEC1.jpeg
 

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Doesn't much matter if you space the front struts and can now staddle a 10" rock,...just to have it hit your rear axle.

No lift kits!
You'll put yer eye out!
 

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We just camp out at the national forest over the weekend. Pretty mellow trail, the only thing i was worry about is punching the stock tires. We avoid a section where there is decent off camber, lifted van = higher CG = tipping over. I said go with some good offroad tire first if you want to upgrade for light offroading. I love the look on those lifted van but if you want the look and function, i would look at the sprinter or transit 4x4.
 

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Apparently I don’t view ground clearance the same as some of you. Consequences of what happens when there’s not enough matters to me.

It’s like when a guy ran into my van’s stout back bumper, but it didn’t even cause a scratch (to my van anyway). The same impact on the side of the van would have left a large dent in sheet metal.

Similarly, the ProMaster’s rear axle may be lower, but I personally expect it “could” survive rough handling better than the front end — oil pan, transmission, steering, fuel tank, etc. Besides, as others have already done, the rear axle beam can be raised in the center without too much trouble. Plus a front lift would level many a ProMaster.

My off-road days are mostly behind me, so it’s highly unlikely I’d do either a lift or an axle modification on a new PM. For now my RWD’s rear axle is the low point, and it doesn’t deter me from driving easy trails.
 

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We just camp out at the national forest over the weekend. Pretty mellow trail, the only thing i was worry about is punching the stock tires. We avoid a section where there is decent off camber, lifted van = higher CG = tipping over. I said go with some good offroad tire first if you want to upgrade for light offroading. I love the look on those lifted van but if you want the look and function, i would look at the sprinter or transit 4x4.
You mentioned off camber. When we escaped from California a couple of years ago, I had my 2500 159 HT loaded up with about 2500lbs of stuff loaded pretty low. Steel shelving and lots of boxes all floor loaded. Got the left side into a culvert and had my van laid over farther than I had ever had any 4x4. I was just waiting for it to topple over. It didn't and we drove right out. Scared the ever lovin **** out of the two movers in the front seat.
 

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Ground clearance is determined by the lowest point/closest point to the ground. I think a lot of people don't realize that you can lift the vehicle 4', but you will only raise a solid axle by half of the added diameter of the tire.
So, if you have a 32" tire and raise the vehicle enough to shoehorn on 34" tires, that's 2". You will raise the rear axle by 1".
Without major modifications, I think the biggest tire you can fit on these vans will only raise the rear axle about 1/2".
I just think it's an excessive amount of money to add a lift, new tires (and usually wheels too) and to pay someone to install it all if need be,...for almost no difference.
If people do it for the look or because they feel there's some advantage to the van being level, more power to 'em.
I only chime in for the folks who consider this and think the money spent will achieve an equivalent off-road advantage. It won't.
If anything, it might make you over confident and get you into trouble.
If you look at capable off-road vehicles, they don't have 1.5" strut spacers and slightly bigger tires. They have very large tires, heavily modified suspensions, low COG, lots of actual ground clearance, powerful drivetrain and most importantly, 4wd.
So, not sure what a 1.5" lift in the front and slightly larger than stock tires are going to allow a fwd van to do that a stock van with good tires can't.
It's a waste of money unless it's just for the look.
Also, the rear axle is always the lowest point. No matter how much weight is in the van, the axle doesn't get any closer to the ground unless the tires flatten. So adding weight doesn't affect ground clearance. Possibly approach angles, but you're not going up or down anything that steep in these vans anyway.
The only situation I could see these small lifts being helpful where the rear axle doesn't come into play is if you are driving over a 12" log laying across the road, or 12" tall speed bump. But I don't see either of those happening either.
 

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Listen to this ^^^^ smart post!
I have capable 4WD vehicles, my Promaster will NEVER be one of them. LOL
 

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There are two reasons to do the 1.5" lift in the front: 1) get rid of the annoying downward slope of the vehicle and 2) provide a bit more clearance underneath for a 2nd alternator.
 

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I have the skidplate meant for a second alternator, although I do not have a second alternator, I can say that making a little more clearance would be a reasonable thing to do. You can see where the skidplate plows the road in deep snow, it pushes the snow out and makes an interesting pattern that you can see in the mirrors.
 
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