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Jon

Connect Camper Lift

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I just bought a 2012 Transit Camper conversion.  I live in So. Arizona and would like to increase the ground clearance to allow access to more forest service type roads. More interested in functionality rather than looks. Anyone who has been successful in this modification please let me know some details.

 

Thanks

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It’s a simple suspension solution in the first gen TC. Rear leaf springs and McPhersons in the front so standard solutions should work. 1” blocks will be adequate, I guess?

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I can't recall seeing any Transit Connects lifted (gen 1 or 2). One of the biggest problems on FWD is that the axleshafts tend to be pretty short, so a lift puts them close to or even outside of their operating range. IFS on 4x4 trucks is usually not the same, because you have a front differential instead of a transaxle like FWD. A differential is easy to drop using brackets; but a whole engine & transaxle, not so much. 

 

I "lifted" my 2015 Gen 2 about a whopping 1/2" over stock height using slightly larger tires, 215/65R16 General Grabber AT2 (I have an old thread in the wheel/tire subforum for them, but not updated in a long time). With differences between TC1 & TC2, I couldn't say what fits your wheel wells, but I'd try to find an all-terrain style tire that will fit. Your TC1 has 15" wheels stock (OEM tire size 205/65R15), which should give you a much better all-terrain tire selection than my TC2 with 16" wheels - and I believe I read that 15's won't fit on mine because of larger brakes. 

A major overkill method to raise the back would be using air suspension bags like some people put on pick-ups. Raise it a bit when extra clearance is needed, then drop it back down on the streets. Front would still be an issue, although I've seen someone here before use McPherson air bag struts designed for a Focus (TC uses a modified Focus floorpan/structure), so that could be an option. Most people use those to lower, but they may have enough range to lift, instead? 

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The Gen 1 Connects already have pretty good ground clearance stock (7.9") vs Gen 2's (6"). I haven't had any problems with the forestry resource roads around British Columbia with mine. That being said, fitting the largest tire you can would be the easiest thing to get some extra clearance.

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My feeling is that the Transit Connect is not an off-road vehicle.  I don't have much confidence in the small "crossover SUV" class either.   I would rather step up to the 1/4 ton 4X4 like a Tacoma.

 

Opinions vary.  Just because I don't like them, doesn't mean they won't work for you.  Plenty of people are buying CR-V,  Escape,  and comparable small utility cars.  

 

 

 

 

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