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15 hours ago, Gideon said:

Yes, load rating IS important. BUT you can always reduce the weight of all the 'junk' that ends up accumulating in our cars.  Even standard (factory installed) tires can be destroyed by overloading the car.  My 7-seat TC has never yet had a load equal to 7 people in it.

You make a good point. The load index is based on the gross vehicle weight rating or in other words the vehicle weight plus passengers and cargo weight. Reducing the index means you would have less capacity. The manufacturer's recommendations are a good (very good) rule to follow but they are not absolute. The sky is not going to start falling and the world isn't going to stop turning if you reduce the index number. 

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There must be a little wiggle room.  I doubt if any tire will burst when you exceed the recommended load rating.  I am fairly certain that load rating is recommended, with the thought in mind that some people will exceed it.

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39 minutes ago, Fifty150 said:

There must be a little wiggle room.  I doubt if any tire will burst when you exceed the recommended load rating.  I am fairly certain that load rating is recommended, with the thought in mind that some people will exceed it.

That and the fact that the load index is also over rated for the gvwr of the van by about 1100 lbs. on mine. That's about 19% margin of error. I'm a big fan of margins. But the point is that going outside of the manufacturer's recommendation does not immediately make the vehicle "unsafe". As Gideon says, what you put into it is another big part of the equation. 

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3 hours ago, OLDSCHOOLFOOL said:

going outside of the manufacturer's recommendation does not immediately make the vehicle "unsafe"

 

3 hours ago, OLDSCHOOLFOOL said:

what you put into it is another big part of the equation

 

 

You put my ex into your van; you might intentionally roll the vehicle over yourself.  

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14 hours ago, Fifty150 said:

You put my ex into your van; you might intentionally roll the vehicle over yourself.  

 

I really don't have any idea what this may have to do with the weight limits of the tires......but wait, please don't tell me. I'm quite certain I don't WANT to know.

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Hey gang, I created an account here just to add to this discussion.  I've been eyeing the TC to be a poor man's camper van/bug-out van/stealth camper.  And today as I was driving around I was wondering if there were lift kits for the TC, which lead me here.

 

I had a Mk4 2000 diesel VW Golf, and I put a 2" lift kit on it, something like this:

http://www.metalnerd.com/vwaudi-accessories/lift-kits

Yeah, most folks slam their Dubs down, but us diesel geeks were a little different. :)  Many of us wanted to raise them up a little.

The 1" lift kit shown involves putting a 1" spacer under the rear coil springs (trailing arm/torsion bar rear suspension), and putting a 1" spacer in the front struts.  This requires you to pull the struts, compress the springs, and install the spacer between the upper spring perch and the upper bearing/mount.  For a 1" lift, no modification was necessary to the rear shocks; there was enough travel in them.  The 2" lift kit required spacers that went under the rear shock (sort of hidden in the picture in the hopes that other folks wouldn't make knock-offs).  This basically raised the lower mounting point of the shock 2".  Getting an alignment afterwards was advisable.

 

These were home-grown kits that were based on actual VW parts offered elsewhere in the world, where roads are worse.  Our poor TDIs had only 4" of ground clearance to the oil pan, so in some parts of the world, the front strut spacers were included as OEM parts.  I don't know if there are similar configurations for the TC, but I know the TC comes from Turkey and I've actually been to Turkey and know the roads there aren't stellar.

 

Also keep in mind that the TC is basically on the Focus platform.  So I wonder if there are Focus parts/kits that could be adapted to the TC.

 

On caveat on the lift kits, however.  Modern cars have stability-control systems that may preclude the use of a lift kit.  I believe this was the case with the Mk5 VWs (~2007-2014).  With the older Mk4's, your lift just raised your damper pistons up a bit, and you were operating on the high side of the travel.  But doing that with the Mk5's, I seem to recall that it may have been a problem for the stability system if you took the 'home' position out of the middle of the damper's travel range.  I'm not 100% sure on that, though.

 

Also, on thought on tire load ratings.  I have read that if you get in an accident and your tires don't have the proper load rating, your insurance company could deny your claim.  I don't know how often this happens, but I can see the argument that they don't know if the under-rated tires contributed to the accident.

 

I was keeping an eye on the 2020 TC because I'd read that they were coming out with a 1.6L diesel.  Then at the last moment they pulled it due to a lack of interest, according to Ford.  Given the fleet nature of this vehicle, I understand.  All the used ones I've seen have been the 2.5L versions; I've only seen one with the 1.6T gas motor, and it didn't have any rear windows.  Looking for one glass in all or most of the doors, ideally.  I was sad to see the only current option is the 2.slo non-turbo.  That's whimpy for a vehicle that even with an empty back end weighs 600# more than my current 2016 VW GTI.  I'm hoping with Trump's ruling regarding fuel efficiency standards that Ford reintroduces the 2.5L.  

Edited by frugality

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Strut spacers could be engineered and fabricated.  Or even adapted from another vehicle with similar specifications.  Your could design your own strut spacer, and have a shop manufacture it for you.  Most of these simply bolt on top of the OEM strut, then bolt onto the vehicle.  Some are a little bit more complex.

 

The real question is what happens to the rest of the vehicle after you install it.  The front end components will all be just a little bit off.  Nothing will line up and fit as it did when the car left the factory.  Most trucks with leveling kits experience alignment issues.  The ride will be a little rough.  Certain items will wear out faster because of the new angles.

 

411ievLzW8L._AC_.jpgvitara_strut_spacers_3.jpgTwo-pcs-one-pair-32mm-Aluminum-Front-Coistrut_3_1.jpgpr-74-3200f2009-2014f150prorydeadjustabl

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I messaged a company in Russia last year and they replied the other day that they completed their 2014+ Connect lift kit. It's up to 30mm in the front and 40mm in the rear. 

 

https://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_ssn=tema4x4&LH_PrefLoc=&_from=R40&_trksid=p2499338.m570.l1313.TR12.TRC2.A0.H0.Xtransit%20connet.TRS0&_nkw=transit%20connet&_sacat=0&fbclid=IwAR2tjdyyBHboHEuKqtCMZ12LXQ0SiG-Mg4mDRcUh68Z1CZK7dxm-ELk9y5I

Edited by REI_Grande

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On 1/24/2020 at 8:21 AM, REI_Grande said:

I messaged a company in Russia last year and they replied the other day that they completed their 2014+ Connect lift kit. It's up to 30mm in the front and 40mm in the rear. 

 

https://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_ssn=tema4x4&LH_PrefLoc=&_from=R40&_trksid=p2499338.m570.l1313.TR12.TRC2.A0.H0.Xtransit%20connet.TRS0&_nkw=transit%20connet&_sacat=0&fbclid=IwAR2tjdyyBHboHEuKqtCMZ12LXQ0SiG-Mg4mDRcUh68Z1CZK7dxm-ELk9y5I

 

I just pulled the trigger on this. 30mm front and rear. Feels odd buying stuff from Russia, but it’s a known company, soooo....  Shipping is up to 2 months!?!

 

Since I killed a tire on a forest road, I’m going with the bigger 215/65r16 Geolandars, going on this week (been on spare for a while). That gives me .8” extra clearance, plus the 1.2”/30mm from the spacers I get 2” more, which should be enough to feel confident on the cobble and crap that sometimes need to straddle on logging roads. 

 

I’ll post before and after pics... in a few months once the spacers actually arrive. 

 

On that note, any idea how the rear spacers go on? If I’m lucky, they’ll have install instructions in English.  Front is easy, just drop the struts and sandwich the spacers in.  I’ll probably also buy my own grade 10 bolts, don’t trust the Russia ones. Rear I’m hoping I don’t need a spring compressor. 

Edited by JustinVP

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Shouldn't be much of a surprise that there's some nice aftermarket goodies available in Russia ... The Transit is the best selling import there AND they've even got a factory building them for the last five years?

 

If it helps any, I've bought a few odds and ends from there for my Ural sidecar rig, and never been disappointed. Shipping is surprisingly fast, and if you use PP, they do all the currency exchange stuff, so it's usually just click 'n done.

 

PS - not sure if they're exporting any vehicles, but who knows, yours might have been built there!

Edited by sKiZo

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21 hours ago, JustinVP said:

I’m going with the bigger 215/65r16 Geolandars, going on this week (been on spare for a while). That gives me .8” extra clearance,

 

That's 0.8" diameter difference - only 0.4" radius or 'lift' below the hub. For my van, I went with the General Grabber AT/2 in 215/65R16 a little over 2 years ago ($116/ea back then, now $132/ea) and have around 48K miles on them now - I'll have to check the tread depths again and update my thread on them. When I checked a few months ago, three had 10/32's and one was 8/32's, I believe. Tire Rack shows 14/32's on them when new. 

 

I'm not sure how the rear spacers will install, but I do wish y'all good luck on them, lol. When I installed my hitch, I kind of looked at the springs & rear axle and the geometry did not really look like it would work well with spacers or even taller springs. They're already 'leaning' like the Tower of Pisa when the van is empty, going from low & forward to up & rearward when looking from the side. Going taller would swing the axle forward a bit more due to the short 'control arms' of the axle beam and larger tires will naturally be even closer to the body then, but I'll be interested to see how it actually works out when your spacers arrive & are installed. I doubt it will actually take two months, probably a month or so on the slow boat across the pond, haha.

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Posted (edited)

I went for it, and got the front 30mm lift done, plus larger Geolandar 215 65/r16 tires.  I haven't yet done the rear, my cheap 2-rod-style spring compressors couldn't do the job due to access. I might have the local shop do it when I get an alignment. 

 

It actually measures dead-nuts-level unloaded with just the front lift. I've got some stuff in the back in this pic, but only ~150 lbs including bike rack. I'll definitely do the rear lift one way or the other. Don't want it saggy when I have 3 MTBs on the back plus all my work event stuff inside.

IMG_4750.thumb.jpg.d030e38bab587c5cbe55012fab1b0676.jpg

 

Here's the Russian Ebay kit I bought from Tema 4x4 (thanks REI_Grande!).  Made of rubber, not plastic, so I  hope the front spacers hold up over time.

 

IMG_4700.thumb.jpg.14002cf41cbbfe4aaf8a1a7d2a3605e7.jpg

 

Getting the wiper arms off  to access strut bolts is a PITA. Needed to clamp the puller together otherwise the dogs would pop off. The basic Amazon special puller sucks for the job,  it really doesn't open far enough, I had to modd it plus used big C-clamp like below, so use something beefier. 

IMG_4711.thumb.jpg.41d7fc640347b417e6cc2f8f22637e4a.jpg

 

Removing the passenger side strut on this required a lot of force. The axle bottoms on a metal frame piece (where circled), and you have to push hard, which made me nervous. It eventually slid out of the steering knuckle (slid = hammering on it with 2x2 piece of lumber/2 lb hammer). Driver's side has a lot more room for the axle to move, and was 10x easier.  I put the pinch bolts in through the "wrong side" (at end of yellow line) to squeeze open the joint since I didn't have the special tool for this. Worked great.

IMG_4699.thumb.jpg.88a376505d88fde0db04dbcb95d961ee.jpg

 

Given the lack of room even stock, the only way to put struts back in with 30mm spacers was to compress the springs. Once I cut some pipe as spacers so the compressor rods wouldn't hit the top of the strut towers, it was relatively easy, though very tight. In hindsight, I'd probably compress the non-drive spring to get the stock strut off without levering so much force on the axle/CV joint.

IMG_4703.thumb.jpg.a800197386141d671de796d8dfb9e700.jpg

 

Went back together nicely. Even the brake lines and ABS wire mount went back in with enough room to bend at topout. A couple hundred miles and a bunch of logging roads later, I'm thrilled with the fronts and the awesome Yokohama tires.

 

I'm not 100% sold on the spring spacers for the rear, possible spring bind at full compression? I come from the mountain bike world, so worry about stuff like that.  I'd prefer an air assist shock or spring assist shock for the back, but haven't found any that are direct fit. We'll see how much the shop wants to install the rear spacers. Should be less than an hour of labor with a good one-sided commercial spring compressor - but we all know how these odd mods go, so we'll see.

 

Edited by JustinVP

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7 hours ago, JustinVP said:

A couple hundred miles and a bunch of logging roads later,

 

 

Any noticeable ride quality change?  How does the handling feel?  

 

From personal experience, spring spacers like that are a little bumpier.  While nothing is going to last forever, spring spacers tend to cause extra wear on related suspension and steering components.  With trucks & Jeeps, the spacers tend to change the angles of fitment for other parts; which is why some people opt for suspension lifts.  But as they say, if I have 20 years of experience, then I'm only relating to technology which is 20 years old.  And there is no over-the-counter suspension lift available, so it's not a worthwhile speculation.  

 

With the rear end, do you think there's a way to incorporate air bags?

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For the wiper arms, no tool is needed and - after you figure out the trick - it only takes about 5 seconds to pop-off each one. Learning that knowledge took me like 15 minutes of screwing around with them, but now I can get them in a few seconds. Turn the arms enough that you can fold it 90* like you were lifting them to change the blades, this removes the holding pressure on the mounts/ends (after removing nuts, too, of course). After that, rock them back and forth a few times to loosen them up and they come right off in your hands, easy peasy. Lining them back up right was kind of another PITA, since they're stepper motors and expect to be within a certain relatively small range of sweep area.

 

Standard air bags on the back could prove rather difficult because the springs aren't sitting vertically - lift will lean them further away from vertical. They're angled back a bit and the rubber bumpstops are mounted to the beam axle inside the springs (see pic, but it's old and shows Conti's instead of General Grabber AT2's), so take those off, too. Some air bags have internal bumpstops, which would be better here. And with the short 'control arm' length of the beam axle, some re-engineering would probably be needed to make air bags work for lifting the van - dropping one would be easy, though. When lifting, the wheel will move down a bit and forward in reference to the body, which could cause tire-body contact if big enough tires are used (size unknown, at this point). Essentially, you would want drop brackets for the body side of the axle, like are used for IFS diffs & t-cases, but some inspection & design work would be required to make them strong enough & bolt-in using OEM holes underneath - or permanently modify the body structure by welding them in? If you used drop brackets in only the one current bolt hole per side, it would act as a shackle, instead and the whole axle would move around in ways it shouldn't. 

 

Rear_Suspension.jpg

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10 hours ago, Fifty150 said:

 

Any noticeable ride quality change?  How does the handling feel?  

 

 

The 65 vs stock 55 series tires made it feel a lot less responsive cornering (loved the stock handling of this thing), quieter on insanely rough/loud Seattle freeways, much smoother over broken concrete (aka our streets), and way, way better on logging roads. Basically what you'd expect on a taller sidewall tire.  I drove these for a few weeks before installing front spacers.

 

I could tell no difference in handling once the 30mm spacers went in, though I'm sure you'd notice something if on stock tires. Quieter again, if anything, which could be the rubber spacer isolating the struts from the metal body of the van. I get that there will be increased wear on CV's, etc., but 30mm is pretty modest and the angles looked reasonable after install.  The  amount I pay in CV and front end work will be saved by not peeling open the underside like a popcan on those ridges of cobble that like to stick up from the center of logging roads. 

 

@jrm223 Good info on the wiper arms! I put them back on with anti-seize, which should also make it easier. I'm looking to keep this fairly low cost, so no welding or bags. I'll probably do the rear spacers, if the shop wants $$ I'm sure I can find better spring compressor to rent somewhere. 

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4 hours ago, JustinVP said:

could be the rubber spacer isolating the struts from the metal body of the van.

 

I forgot to comment on that before - I see what look to be three steel sleeves in the front lift spacers, so they should hold up fine & not cause sloppy handling or anything like that. 

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On 3/2/2020 at 2:20 PM, jrm223 said:

 

I forgot to comment on that before - I see what look to be three steel sleeves in the front lift spacers, so they should hold up fine & not cause sloppy handling or anything like that. 

 

 Negative, Captain. Looks like it, but they're just molding marks. 

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Further research if someone wants an alternate idea for a front lift. This guy on Instagram put in the front struts from an Escape 4x4, plus additional spacers) into his TC.  If those are a direct fit, it would be an ideal solution, bit I couldn't find any additional details.  Someone with better wrenching experience than me should chase this down and see if it works. 

 

https://www.instagram.com/transit_connect_overland/

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I was digging through his posts. He wrote this:


"215/60 R15, Yokahama Geolander ... 3" front lift to level stance .. used 4WD Ford Escape front end suspension components ... Fabricated aluminum strut spacers ... hope that helps"

Looks like not quite direct fit.

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Justin, I'm glad you bought a set! I'm actually waiting for a set of 40mm's to be delivered. I use mine to haul mtb's and don't have any rear seats installed. Think you could squeeze the 40's in there or should I ask to change to the 30mm lift? Anyway, it's looks good and I'm glad they're working with you. I asked that company to build a set for the connect at least 6 months before I even bought my car lol

Edited by REI_Grande

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