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Looking to get offroad tires and suspension upgrade

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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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What do you have to pay to use a facility like that?
I paid about $550 dollars. That included the bay, all tools, air, special tools in the tool crib, a small workshop in the back for doing light machining and expert help for things that I didn't know how to do. Normally the price is $470, but I stayed past closing time to finish my van in one day. It sounds like a lot of money; however, if I paid someone to do it for me, I would have paid a lot more and it would have taken at least a couple of days.
 

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Did any of you who installed the Van Compass 1.5" front lift change out the front struts too? Is it necessary/a good idea? I read something about swapping out the OEM for Bilsteins, but I can't find any reference to it anymore.
 

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Did any of you who installed the Van Compass 1.5" front lift change out the front struts too? Is it necessary/a good idea? I read something about swapping out the OEM for Bilsteins, but I can't find any reference to it anymore.
I have owned a lot of lifted vehicles I cant see changing the front shock changing much unless you are adding more weight like a heavy duty bumper or winch etc. That spacer sits on top of everything and shouldn’t change ride dynamics to much just making everything a little worse.
 

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however when you lower the rear spindles, you increase pressure on the CV axle and it could snap as the poster in 2021 has had a booger of a time since installing the OHV 3inch lift that did just that.


If you just want to deliver washer machines or cruise to the KOA then you don't need to worry about off road stuff. Some people are a little more adventurous. Putting 275 AT tires is the first step and helps A LOT, you can't get very deep with the stock size and style of tire.

Lifting the front is easy and cheap. Or you can go a couple inches higher with one of the bigger aftermarket kits. If you combine that with the larger "and better looking tire" you all of the sudden have a substantial increase in clearance in the front. There are a couple ways to fix the rear. Simply change the rear beam highth by cutting the center section and lifting it like people have been talking about and doing for years. I'm sure you can find some pics. Or you can use one of the spindle carriers that spaces the rear spindles lower increasing the rear beam height. That with the bigger tire makes a big difference. Al the sudden you have more clearance than a sprinter or transit. These vans are so stiffly sprung these changes won't change the driving dynamics very much at all, it will still sway while driving less than a stock sprinter.

It's still limited to traction, turning of the ESC helps a ton if it's slippery. Less than 1 million pounds of air in the tires also helps. Bring a shovel and have fun taking your living room with you to some crazy spots away from regular people in the camp grounds.
 

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i'm a weee bit late to the convo...my wife and i took our stock 159" PM to many places that saw only jeeps and trucks. The only change was swapping the stock rubber w/stock sized BFG KO2s. Here is the two of our vans up Lovell Summit Road in southern Nevada (a jeep single track) ..
the side by sides and jeepers were like; "WTF??". I'm not saying it was smart to do, but my wife drove slow and chose her track in the PM while i drove ahead in the Chevy. Not a plate was broken
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Plant Tire Sky Vehicle Car
:)
 

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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.
for every inch of tire you only gain a 1/2 inch in axel clearance. But, that said, we drove a '65 VW bus from L.A. to the tip of Baja and were on some seriously sketchy dirt/rock roads and made it round trip without getting stick once. (of course we were smart enough to avoid the deep mud. it snows where I live and I have a dirt driveway and I am not afraid.

good luck. if you do decide to life, i'd love to see the pics! I am not saying it won't be cool.
 

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for every inch of tire you only gain a 1/2 inch in axel clearance. But, that said, we drove a '65 VW bus from L.A. to the tip of Baja and were on some seriously sketchy dirt/rock roads and made it round trip without getting stick once. (of course we were smart enough to avoid the deep mud. it snows where I live and I have a dirt driveway and I am not afraid.

good luck. if you do decide to life, i'd love to see the pics! I am not saying it won't be cool.
The older air-cooled VW busses and beetles with their ground clearance and engine over the drive wheels were generally excellent off-road and I took mine (3 Beetles, 2 Busses, a Squareback and a Baja Bug) everywhere. Naturally the 1963 Baja Bug (with the bigger tires, cut-away rear fenders w/fiberglass front end kit, and modified exhaust) was better but all of them were a blast and I never got stuck, not even with the 1965 Squareback in pretty deep sand.
 

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The older air-cooled VW busses and beetles with their ground clearance and engine over the drive wheels were generally excellent off-road and I took mine (3 Beetles, 2 Busses, a Squareback and a Baja Bug) everywhere. Naturally the 1963 Baja Bug (with the bigger tires, cut-away rear fenders w/fiberglass front end kit, and modified exhaust) was better but all of them were a blast and I never got stuck, not even with the 1965 Squareback in pretty deep sand.
Yep, we regularly drove (slowly) our '78 Bus on logging and primitive roads with zero issues. The earlier swing axle VWs were really pretty darn rugged with no slide component. And post '67 IRS axles used two CV joints instead of the much more common CV/DOJ combination, so both inner and outer joints endured and shared the wear.
 
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