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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve recently fitted 245/70r17 tires and the clearances at the back are way too close. We’ve actually been ok traveling 3000 highway miles like this but there is no room for any real articulation and I will install a lift kit and probably trim the fenders slightly as soon as we get home. Our van (3500, 159”)weighs 8800 lbs as loaded, so definitely at the high end there! I don’t think the weight is way out of balance left to right since the water tank is on the passenger side and the batteries and electrical are on the driver side.

What I’m worried about is that the clearances are not even side-to-side, and this was true even with the factory wheels and tires, where the passenger rear tire was rubbing on the factory mudflap while the driver side was fine. The larger tires have made the side-to-side differences much more obvious. See pics below. Clearances are decent on the front and rear of the passenger side rear wheel. On the driver side rear wheel, the clearance to the rear fender is also ok but the clearance to the front side of the wheel well is almost nonexistent.

This tells me something isn’t symmetrical side-to-side in the rear. The van is brand new with 4K miles on it and no incidents or impacts to the rear suspension. Could it be something like the shackles binding on that side, or maybe where the axle is located on the leaf springs? Is there a locating pin there that restricts movement, or could I try to loosen the ubolts and shift the driver side of the axle rearwards slightly?

Any ideas or advice is welcome before I start cutting sheet metal…thanks in advance.

passenger rear wheel, front of wheel opening:
Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Automotive tire


passenger rear wheel, rear of wheel opening:
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Car


driver rear wheel, rear of wheel opening:
Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Automotive tire


driver rear wheel, front of wheel opening:
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Car
 

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2019 118" Silver
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1,472 Posts
Looks like your rear axle is out of alignment and you are likely not tracking straight down the road because of it. You can check by having someone follow you to see if the rear end is in line with the front. I had this happen on a 2-wheel drive pickup after backing into a curb at an angle and it pushed the axle forward very slightly on one side. Going to a shop that does 4-wheel alignment should take care of it.
 

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2017 Promaster 2500 159 HT Gasser
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350 Posts
Measure how far the axle is mounted back from the front leaf spring mount on both sides. It should show a measurable difference based on the pictures (I assume the vehicle is level left to right). You can move the axle by loosening the u bolts and using a ratchet to pull into place. Tighten nuts to spec (see torque thread). I have removed one of my leaf springs and made sure I marked the position to make sure I tightened it back later in the correct position.
 

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2019 159 EXT HR (3500) in WA
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1,578 Posts
IIRC there is an alignment mechanism (bolt head, maybe) that assure the springs are aligned with the axle.
 

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2017 Promaster 2500 159 HT Gasser
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350 Posts
You are correct on the bolt head, it is used to hold the two leafs together. There is a little play, so one side max back and one side max forward would likely be measurable.
 

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2018 136 HR Ont.
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1,058 Posts
I can't really tell from the pictures but isn't the gap at the back about the same on both sides? Maybe the plastic isn't symmetrical on both sides and the axle is good. They're just add ons.

I would measure front to back at the center of the wheels on both sides before trying to adjust anything.

You could also remove the plastic and measure to the actual van body.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't really tell from the pictures but isn't the gap at the back about the same on both sides? Maybe the plastic isn't symmetrical on both sides and the axle is good. They're just add ons.

I would measure front to back at the center of the wheels on both sides before trying to adjust anything.

You could also remove the plastic and measure to the actual van body.
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good point…I’ll check that first!
 

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2017 2500 HiTop 159 Cargo Van white.
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706 Posts
Be sure you are measuring to a point that indicates things are square. The distance to the plastic fender flare surface may not be an accurate point.
 

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Looks like your rear axle is out of alignment and you are likely not tracking straight down the road because of it. You can check by having someone follow you to see if the rear end is in line with the front. I had this happen on a 2-wheel drive pickup after backing into a curb at an angle and it pushed the axle forward very slightly on one side. Going to a shop that does 4-wheel alignment should take care of it.
You are two sizes over with your tires.I put 245s on mine because they were on sale.Your speedo will be off too.
 
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