GM fullsize AWD Van Info thread

MoonMan

New member
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.
I have had the Cognito upper control arms on my van for about three years now without the limit straps. After reading this post by drsmonkey I order them but never had them installed. This is a good reminder to get this done. See this post for a good limit strap mount example.

Nice looking van! Enjoy the snow, these AWD vans are tanks in the snow.
 

Willsfree

Member
I have had the Cognito upper control arms on my van for about three years now without the limit straps. After reading this post by drsmonkey I order them but never had them installed. This is a good reminder to get this done. See this post for a good limit strap mount example.

Nice looking van! Enjoy the snow, these AWD vans are tanks in the snow.
Thank you for the finding the helpful pic showing a welded bracket for the lifting strap. I can see how the shop wasn't prepared to dive that deep at the time. I'll arrange for a welder to get involved now. I'm looking forward to rocking the deep snow that's falling in California right now.
 

Pabloaguas

New member
I installed the Moog upper and lower control arms. No strap needed. 3” lift front, 4” rear with burb springs. Fox in front, Bilstein in rear. Rides great, no loss in gas milage with the lift of course. It’s only the tires that really affect gas milage. Got 4.11 gears and still trying to find a tuner/programmer that will do a Speedo recal… if anyone knows of any (besides $500 HP tuners) let me know.
 

Pabloaguas

New member
Anyone have any issues with the Skyjacker H7003 front shocks? I just installed and they don't seem to have enough dampening- the front of the van boats up and down on big bumps on the freeway... I'm thinking to return them and get some custom foxes... the Bilstein front shocks don't seem to have alot of travel....
 

Pabloaguas

New member
For those interested, here is an update on the front Fox Shocks:

The skyjacker shocks seemed cheap and outright dangerous with the complete lack of any damping which would cause serious front- end bouncing/ boating on big hits.

I bought the skyjackers from Summit Racing so I called them and they said I could return them for a full refund (less return shipping). Five stars for Sunmit.

Summit sells the compatible front Fox Shocks for our vans, so I went with these. These Shocks were created for the H3, but fit our vans perfectly. Part number is 985-02-009. Price is $159. Same one that Boulder sells at a premium. There seems to be some speak that Boulder is custom valving theirs, however their website has no indication that they are custom valved so if someone can confirm this for certain it might be helpful. Personally, I see be no reason to revalve as the ride seems perfect. They seem to have that fox plush firmness just as fox products perform in other applications.

In summary, I am happy with the Fox Shocks and am curious why they havn’t gained popularity in this thread. Maybe is because many don’t know about them?
 
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boardrider247

Weekend warrior anarchist
For those interested, here is an update on the front Fox Shocks:

In summary, I am happy with the Fox Shocks and am curious why they havn’t gained popularity in this thread. Maybe is because many don’t know about them?
I'm sure the lack of info indicates that not many people have tried the Fox shocks or didn't know about them.
It's also possible they are a newer offering. Much of the info originally compiled in this thread was stuff I found before I bought my van, so 2012/2013 timeframe.
Wholly crap has it been that long!!! 😂
 

DbqDude

New member
Are the 2500 suburban springs compatible with the current rear shackle on these vans? My springs were just delivered so I was curious if I should have bought shackles as well before digging in. Cheers!
 

boardrider247

Weekend warrior anarchist
Are the 2500 suburban springs compatible with the current rear shackle on these vans? My springs were just delivered so I was curious if I should have bought shackles as well before digging in. Cheers!
I did not need new shackles on my 2010. Really as long as they are the same width and have the same diameter bolts there shouldn't be any issues.
 

Pabloaguas

New member
Are the 2500 suburban springs compatible with the current rear shackle on these vans? My springs were just delivered so I was curious if I should have bought shackles as well before digging in. Cheers!
yes, you don’t have to replace the shackles. I did because they include the new bushing and it’s easier to replace the shackle than to replace the bushing.

However, you must replace the u-bolts. 8” is the correct length. Most people go longer for some reason not sure why. Maybe someone can enlighten me?

attaching screenshot of my order
 

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DbqDude

New member
yes, you don’t have to replace the shackles. I did because they include the new bushing and it’s easier to replace the shackle than to replace the bushing.

However, you must replace the u-bolts. 8” is the correct length. Most people go longer for some reason not sure why. Maybe someone can enlighten me?

attaching screenshot of my order
I actually have the bolts and all from the surpreme suspension 3 inch lift kit I bought. I just won't use the lift blocks. Thanks.
 

North

Observer
Strange request, but here goes:

My 2008 Express AWD that I converted myself (using much of the info from this thread and others on Expo) was destroyed in the Marshall Fire near Boulder, CO on Dec. 30th. I'm now in the process of dealing with insurance and trying to get fair value for the van.

If anybody on here has or can find recent comps for similar vans, a contact at a van conversion company that would be willing to help quote my build, or any other resources to help me establish the value I'd be super grateful. I have a limited number of photos (computers, hard drives, etc. all destroyed by fire) but believe I have enough to establish the quality of the build/features. I also have an itemized list of every item purchased for the conversion, and have major items and estimated value for the conversion listed on my policy. Always meant to do a build thread here, regretting that now for sure!
 

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