front shock location frustration and suspension Questions

#1
I have checked loads of references for front shocks in the forum. I can't find matching mounts and dimensions.
all I want is some great front shocks for my '09 express 1500 H1(awd) LT * cool to state H1 instead of AWD?
I like being out in the wilds and want what off-road performance I can get suspension-wise. running wrangler sr-a 265/65 r18 on some nice 5 spoke chev mags the dealer put on her and I gather they are not "A/T's".
I'd like to lift the front up a little, like <1".
I bought this express a month ago and have gutted the rear and insulated the wall and roof panels w/ 1" polyiso. Designed the ultimate dinette/murphy transverse bed and got partway finished before I decided it was time for a quick fix to the bed and some hunting and adventure. (The Ruby Grade in Okanogan Co. would be a definite wife worrier and Pinto 'Rock USFS rd 77 behind Mt. St. Helens is unbelievable.)
Almost enough introductory digressions. I did an oil change to synthetic and replaced a bent leaking black rear shock with a set of control-Max. My rear bump stops are dis-integrated and I should ask for upgrade recommendations.
I want some great shocks in front and got confused about what will fit my van. not skyjackers h7003 travel was less , bilstein look like different mounts, waiting for 2.0 fox reply. Price points are also confusing.
Do any of you have good shocks on a non or slightly lifted Express with something like 31.7"tires? I need advice suspension work is foreign to me.
Should I be thinking air lift for replacing the bump stops? I am sure the loads will only go up. I like the idea of a cargo basket full of essentials in the back.

Thanks,
Tod
 
#3
I used Bilstein 24-186643 front EDIT(SEE POST BELOW, THIS MAY NOT BE A GOOD OPTION!), 24-221948 rear with a traxda ~2" lift keys in the front and air bags and 1" spacer in the rear. I'm pretty happy with the results although I think the front springs could be a little stiffer. I don't do much off-roading though.

This is all already covered in the AWD thread along with other options.

https://expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/gm-fullsize-awd-van-info-thread.137390/
 
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#4
jaycray. looks like less travel than stock by over an inch in front.
isn't the goal max suspension travel?
ever bottom or top the front shocks out?

Thanks
 
#5
all I want is some great front shocks for my '09 express 1500 H1(awd) LT * cool to state H1 instead of AWD?
I like being out in the wilds and want what off-road performance I can get suspension-wise. running wrangler sr-a 265/65 r18 on some nice 5 spoke chev mags the dealer put on her and I gather they are not "A/T's".
I'd like to lift the front up a little, like <1".
Tod
You should do any "lift" first...then size shocks according to your actual measurements...advertised/intended lift frequently doesn't match actual lift and can result in a shock length that doesn't support your needs (albeit less of a concern with a smaller lift).
It will be up to you to decide what brand of shock you are comfortable with, look at the reviews for similar applications then most all shock makers produce charts that show their product line, here's an example for Bilstein 5125's that show the differing lengths for each connection style.
https://www.shockwarehouse.com/site/bilstein_5125.cfm
Find the one that most closely matches your dimensions and buy...Occasionally you'll have to contact a vendor to get a size chart for a particular brand but they are typically motivated to provide it to help make a sale..
 
#6
@akskiffer You are absolutely correct! Well, I come up with .88" less available travel with those bilsteins with the length numbers that I found. Stupidly, I never actually looked at the measurements since those front shocks PNs came up in numerous searches here and other places. I haven't noticed bottom out, but I do notice top out every once in a while. I also have the ZR1 front bump stops, so that probably helps with the bottom out. I'll be taking a look at Len.Barron's chart in the very near future!
 
#9
Thanks Len!
Well, if you boil down that list, you get these options shown in the attached PDF.
I don't see anything that looks better than what I have. It would be really nice to get that 25-177411 in there, but I don't think there is room to raise the upper mount, and nowhere to go with the lower. In the end, it might be best to go with the stock shock and stem extenders as many of the vendors offer. Remember, twisting the torsion bars doesn't give you any more travel, it just makes your static ride height live in a different place within the travel.
 

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#10
Thanks Len!
Well, if you boil down that list, you get these options shown in the attached PDF.
I don't see anything that looks better than what I have. It would be really nice to get that 25-177411 in there, but I don't think there is room to raise the upper mount, and nowhere to go with the lower. In the end, it might be best to go with the stock shock and stem extenders as many of the vendors offer. Remember, twisting the torsion bars doesn't give you any more travel, it just makes your static ride height live in a different place within the travel.
Sometimes on the stem end you have a fair amount of extra length and you can put a solid spacer on top of the shock before you feed it though to give you some extra static length...I've actually seen where a guy cut and extended(tig welded some solid round stock in) the stem to do this....you wouldn't be able to get a lot but I'd bet you could get 1/2" extra height for free..
 
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