Express Van spacer install - looking for tips/tricks from those that have done it

#1
Hey Guys,

Just order my WeldTec spring spacers for my 3500 Express Van and I'm just wondering if anyone has done the install and if you have any tips to make the job go more smoothly. From looking under the van, everything looks pretty straight forward, but the easier the better would be great.

I'm half wondering if I can lift the van, pull the shocks, and compress the springs enough to slip the spacer in without taking them out, thoughts?
 
#3
I don't think there's any way you are going to compress those springs enough to get the spacers in...as a matter of fact...unless you have a really good set of compressors I'd bet you'd just end up with broken tools(or fingers). The 3500 springs are beastly, do yourself a favor and drop the control arm and just do ball joints at the same time (ball joints take a beating on these things so if you have more than 80k miles or so on them I'd be the lowers are due for replacement anyways..
 
#4
Do as Len.Barron stated above. There are no real shortcuts in this install. It is straight forward, and the first side will take longer than the second. Floor jack and stands are all that is needed.
 

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#5
If you have questions or need help give us a call. We will have a install video up soon although that isn't going to help you now. We can usually do it without spring a compressor, you will need to remove the upper arm from the spindle.
Please post before and after pics.
 
#6
Following.
Looking forward to your report.

My van sits real low, and I need to do something too.
Not sure what.
Emailed Weldtec a couple of times, but no response.
Boulder Offroad appears to have stuff that will work.
 

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#7
Chevrolet express Aluminum Leveling spacer

Following.
Looking forward to your report.

My van sits real low, and I need to do something too.
Not sure what.
Emailed Weldtec a couple of times, but no response.

SORRY!
If we overlooked your email I apologize! we would love to help out you out with lifting your van. Here is a link to the product in discussion and we will give you $50 off and free shipping for being an active participant here on EP and because we suck and didn't respond to your email.
https://weldtecdesigns.com/product/chevrolet-express-leveling-spacer/

Let us know if we can help.
Jeremy
 
#8
Following.
Looking forward to your report.

My van sits real low, and I need to do something too.
Not sure what.
Emailed Weldtec a couple of times, but no response.

SORRY!
If we overlooked your email I apologize! we would love to help out you out with lifting your van. Here is a link to the product in discussion and we will give you $50 off and free shipping for being an active participant here on EP and because we suck and didn't respond to your email.
https://weldtecdesigns.com/product/chevrolet-express-leveling-spacer/

Let us know if we can help.
Jeremy
That’s awesome! My install is planned for Tuesday, my daughter is going to help me <eek>. I will try to take photos or even video along the way, but no promises. I have about 5 hours to get it all done and be driveable, so hopefully that is enough time.
 
#9
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CGOZEs9N7X0

Even though there are differences between a Silverado and an Express, this is what I used as a guideline for doing my install. I did coil spacers on my 2017 3500 Express, but mounted on the bottom. Exact same process for doing the install, be it top or bottom. I ended up disconnecting the ABS line, remove the caliper (hang it out of the way with a zip tie), disconnect the sway bar, disconnect the upper ball joint, and lowered the lower control arm with a jack. Make sure the frame is jacked way high to ensure you have enough droop for the lower control arm to sweep out. And keep constant tension on the lower arm with a floor jack as you disconnect everything, for ease of unbolting and your safety. (That coil spring holds a lot of energy. Treat it like a loaded gun.)

Five hours should be enough time, especially with a helper. As I stated earlier, first side will take a lot longer than the second side. Good luck and have fun!
 
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#10
well hell, that was brutal! I did not get any photos or video, except before and after photos, but I plan to do a little write-up with at least step by step instructions. they are installed though and looks great! Here are some before and after photos.

Before
IMG_0003.JPG
IMG_0004.JPG
IMG_0005.jpg

After
IMG_0006.jpg
IMG_0007.JPG
IMG_0008.JPG
 
#11
Looks nice.
Glad it went well for you.
Looking forward to your write up.
So, just the front then? You didn't feel the need for blocks in the back? Is height about equal front and rear now?

I spoke with Jeremy the other day, and will probably do something with them, and definitely let them do the install.
 
#12
Looks nice.
Glad it went well for you.
Looking forward to your write up.
So, just the front then? You didn't feel the need for blocks in the back? Is height about equal front and rear now?

I spoke with Jeremy the other day, and will probably do something with them, and definitely let them do the install.
Yeah, I just did the front. If you are only doing the spacers, and want to level out the van, just do the front. And yes, it’s much more equal front to rear...

The write up is complete and posted, but I wish I had pics to go with it. I may go back and take some reference pics to add.
 
#13
What size tires are you running?

I highly recommend a locker if you expect to be on anything more technical than a fire road. I had fine luck without one for my first trip off road with but I also have WeldTec's long travel suspension and 6" spring lift in the back so I probably have more articulation. While that keeps the tires down a little better, I still lifted a drive tire a couple times and started spinning. Since installing the locker I haven't been stopped by anything, including some very soft spots on Hunter Mountain Road in DVNP that were freshly dug up by a maintenance crew.

If you have the factory limited-slip unit I'll be interested in hearing your experience. Mine was an open 3.42 that I swapped for a 3.73 and a true Eaton Detroit Locker.
 
#15
What size tires are you running?

I highly recommend a locker if you expect to be on anything more technical than a fire road. I had fine luck without one for my first trip off road with but I also have WeldTec's long travel suspension and 6" spring lift in the back so I probably have more articulation. While that keeps the tires down a little better, I still lifted a drive tire a couple times and started spinning. Since installing the locker I haven't been stopped by anything, including some very soft spots on Hunter Mountain Road in DVNP that were freshly dug up by a maintenance crew.

If you have the factory limited-slip unit I'll be interested in hearing your experience. Mine was an open 3.42 that I swapped for a 3.73 and a true Eaton Detroit Locker.
Tires are 275/75/16 and I definitely want to add a locker in the future. I was originally thinking I would just do a Powertrax locker, but the more I think about it, the more I’m thinking I would rather run a selectable locker on this. Mine came with a 3.73 D70, and I’m sure that hasn’t changed, but for some reason, someone wrote 410 on the diff cover, so hmmmm... what kind of mileage are you getting with 35s and 3.73s? Oh, my diff is most definitely open still... hahaha! I live in the country in Temecula and break traction just driving to my house. LOL