GM fullsize AWD Van Info thread

marret

Active member
Hi I'm a long time lurker and have learned a ton on this thread and others. I'm finally getting around to replacing the wheels and tires on my mostly stock 2011 AWD rig.

I had my heart set on these American Classics at 17" and planning on running 265's (no lift). Their fitment guide doesn't approve the 1500 but doesn't have a category for the AWD which has a different size OEM wheel.

I don't fully understand the offset but is there any problem with running these at 0MM? I haven't seen anyone else running them so that's a bit of a red flag.



American Classic
AR17278833B
17 x 8
6 x 139.8
Backspace 4.5
Offset 0MM
Bore 108.00
Lip size 2.2


Apologies in advance if this has been covered. if this option won't work. Any similar soft 8 hole designs that would? I love the classic look my taste in wheels seems to have stopped in 1988.

Thanks again for all the info you didn't know i was soaking up over the years guys!
I am using Method 305s on my 2008 3500 GMC Savana Quigley. 17x8.5, 0 backspacing, 4.75 offset. If you put a 2011 Chevrolet Express into the Method website vehicle selector, that is what you get as well. Don't know if there are differences due to the AWD.
 

Dirt Serpent

New member
Thanks for the replies and advice on backspacing. Good to know there are others running the Omm offset. I did find a site that confirmed that they would fit on the AWD so i'm gonna order them. Tires next woo hoo it's been a long time coming! Lotta numbers for a lot of vehicles to keep track of i gotta start taking notes!
 

maneumann0101

New member
Looking at putting a 3/2 lift on my awd from journeys. I plan to skip the shock extenders and go with longer bilstein shocks. Can anyone summarize if they find this sort of setup to be an improvement compared to factory ride quality? I see a lot of people do it but dont hear a whole lot about the ride afterward.
 

boardrider247

Weekend warrior anarchist
Looking at putting a 3/2 lift on my awd from journeys. I plan to skip the shock extenders and go with longer bilstein shocks. Can anyone summarize if they find this sort of setup to be an improvement compared to factory ride quality? I see a lot of people do it but dont hear a whole lot about the ride afterward.
I think it depends greatly on how heavy your van is.
In the front you are essentially increasing the spring preload by cranking the torsion bars. This could result in poor ride quality if your van is light.
My van is heavy pretty much all the time. I find the ride quality the same or possibly better than stock.
 

whith

Active member
The way I understand it, you aren't actually increasing your spring load much at all if any. Rather you are moving the center point of where the twisting from the torsion bar will begin. So, depending on the setting you end up with you could end up contacting the bump stops at the top or the bottom. You just want to make sure there is enough room for the control arms to travel in either direction before hitting. Because the bars are connected to the lower control arms it does seem to ring true that there would be less mechanical leverage from the arm on the bar if it is turn into a more down position as opposed to perpendicular making it feel a little softer if it starts in the most center position. However I don't think the impact is that much. Either way you aren't really preloading the spring so to speak.
 

maneumann0101

New member
The way I understand it, you aren't actually increasing your spring load much at all if any. Rather you are moving the center point of where the twisting from the torsion bar will begin. So, depending on the setting you end up with you could end up contacting the bump stops at the top or the bottom. You just want to make sure there is enough room for the control arms to travel in either direction before hitting. Because the bars are connected to the lower control arms it does seem to ring true that there would be less mechanical leverage from the arm on the bar if it is turn into a more down position as opposed to perpendicular making it feel a little softer if it starts in the most center position. However I don't think the impact is that much. Either way you aren't really preloading the spring so to speak.
Thanks for the info. I am pretty clueless as to how the whole torsion key system works. I came from a truck with simple coil overs
 

boardrider247

Weekend warrior anarchist
The way I understand it, you aren't actually increasing your spring load much at all if any. Rather you are moving the center point of where the twisting from the torsion bar will begin. So, depending on the setting you end up with you could end up contacting the bump stops at the top or the bottom. You just want to make sure there is enough room for the control arms to travel in either direction before hitting. Because the bars are connected to the lower control arms it does seem to ring true that there would be less mechanical leverage from the arm on the bar if it is turn into a more down position as opposed to perpendicular making it feel a little softer if it starts in the most center position. However I don't think the impact is that much. Either way you aren't really preloading the spring so to speak.
That makes sense and probably a much better explanation than I came to.

I think the most important thing to remember is that the suspension needs both up and down travel to ride well. So you don't want to crank the keys to the point of loosing your down travel (droop). This will definitely cause poor ride quality
 

whith

Active member
This is true, keep an eye on both. Most torsion key lifts don’t allow for enough to impact it that much. Also always consider your shock lengths.
 

Fc3434

New member
Ride quality and Mpg definitely went down when I put my 3/2 on. The Hellwig rear sway bar brought it back to stock ride and probably a little better.
 

cgee

New member
Hi I'm a long time lurker and have learned a ton on this thread and others. I'm finally getting around to replacing the wheels and tires on my mostly stock 2011 AWD rig.

View attachment 689951I had my heart set on these American Classics at 17" and planning on running 265's (no lift). Their fitment guide doesn't approve the 1500 but doesn't have a category for the AWD which has a different size OEM wheel.

I don't fully understand the offset but is there any problem with running these at 0MM? I haven't seen anyone else running them so that's a bit of a red flag.

View attachment 689950

American Classic
AR17278833B
17 x 8
6 x 139.8
Backspace 4.5
Offset 0MM
Bore 108.00
Lip size 2.2


Apologies in advance if this has been covered. if this option won't work. Any similar soft 8 hole designs that would? I love the classic look my taste in wheels seems to have stopped in 1988.

Thanks again for all the info you didn't know i was soaking up over the years guys!
I have the American Racing BAJA wheels, with KO2s, on my '13 AWD Express. They were on the van when purchased so I didn't take part in any fitment discussion. To my eye, they look great and get frequent compliments. (Admittedly the van has an otherwise very vanilla-looking exterior.)

express.jpeg
 

RichKelly

New member
BE42AB87-1107-4784-A5DB-EAF04A300CF0.jpeg
Thanks for all the info on this thread!! Picked up this 2005 AWD van a couple months ago and soon after contacted the people at Boulder Off Road. I got the 2” AWD kit and fit 275/65r18 Cooper Discoverer SST Pro’s on KMC Mesa 18x9’s. Everything works flawlessly. Even with the conversion cladding.
 

kntr

Observer
My lifted AWD rides better than stock on payment but worse on washboard roads. It does ride real well during slow rough off road. The lift does make it stiffer. I did put the 3/4 ton Suburban rear leaf springs in too.
 

Willsfree

Member
Finally got my suspension mods/tires sorted, thanks to all the great contributions here on EP: I started out with the MaxxCam2 keys (3inch), 3/4 Suburban leaf springs, Bilstien shocks; one block down the road It was apparent that I need to try the upper control arms as the ride was terrible.
Cognito control arms now installed, the van rides better than ever before. The firm leaf springs, tightened torsion bar, firm shocks have given the van a sport car feel in the tight twisty turns; I can punch it and pass on a turn with no wallow/sway. The Cognito upper control arms allow for movement throughout the range needed for rough road; the stock control arms were bottoming out in the dips/potholes. I highly recommend the Cognito upper control arms for a supple/flexible response for rough road driving. I'm still going to modify the bumpstops front/rear with spacers for the new height. The stock ones have a large gap; I'd like to have the bumpstops be an additional component to improve stabilty. I went with a taller than stock, but skinny set of tires for good snow tracking and no rubbing; Toyo Open Country A/T lll's are handling ok, with acceptable road noise. I'm still fiddling with tire pressures to get the best handling; 45 psi still seem a bit high for my weight and driving style; going to go down to 35 psi.

Toyo OPEN COUNTRY A/T III LT235/85R16
MaxxCam2 keys (B3 Setting) front
General Leaf Springs 3/4 Suburban rear
Bilstein 24-186643 on the front
Bilstein 24-185615 on the rear
Cognito 110-90289


1639944857168.png
 

kntr

Observer
Finally got my suspension mods/tires sorted, thanks to all the great contributions here on EP: I started out with the MaxxCam2 keys (3inch), 3/4 Suburban leaf springs, Bilstien shocks; one block down the road It was apparent that I need to try the upper control arms as the ride was terrible.
Cognito control arms now installed, the van rides better than ever before. The firm leaf springs, tightened torsion bar, firm shocks have given the van a sport car feel in the tight twisty turns; I can punch it and pass on a turn with no wallow/sway. The Cognito upper control arms allow for movement throughout the range needed for rough road; the stock control arms were bottoming out in the dips/potholes. I highly recommend the Cognito upper control arms for a supple/flexible response for rough road driving. I'm still going to modify the bumpstops front/rear with spacers for the new height. The stock ones have a large gap; I'd like to have the bumpstops be an additional component to improve stabilty. I went with a taller than stock, but skinny set of tires for good snow tracking and no rubbing; Toyo Open Country A/T lll's are handling ok, with acceptable road noise. I'm still fiddling with tire pressures to get the best handling; 45 psi still seem a bit high for my weight and driving style; going to go down to 35 psi.

Toyo OPEN COUNTRY A/T III LT235/85R16
MaxxCam2 keys (B3 Setting) front
General Leaf Springs 3/4 Suburban rear
Bilstein 24-186643 on the front
Bilstein 24-185615 on the rear
Cognito 110-90289

Ive been thinking about the Cognito arms. Any modifications or did they go right in?
 

Willsfree

Member
Ive been thinking about the Cognito arms. Any modifications or did they go right in?
I had a bay area shop install the Cognito upper control arms, they didn't discuss any challenge; the arms came with instructions. I wanted them to install the Cognito limiting straps, but they didn't figure out a way to drill the shock shroud at the top. They didn't see why they would be needed, but of course they are recommended to limit downward travel and wear. I will tackle the strap attachment soon.
The Cognito control arms have allowed me to crank the front up 3 inches; I can float over bumps and dips with the suspension flexing throughout the full range; the tires are planted, even on the roughest potholed roads. I haven't yet given it a full test offroad , but will report soon. I'll be heading up to the snow this week too.
 
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