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Rear Lift options - 1990 Dodge B250 Roadtrek
#758256 March 23rd 2020 3:35 pm
Joined: Oct 2017
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Hi guys. I hope that you are all doing well. Fixing my van seems to be the only thing that keeps my mind off what's going on.

My van is a 1990 Dodge B250 Roadtrek conversion van. I put new tires all around and HD MOOG 7272 springs on the front. The springs gave me 2.5-3" lift in the front, but the back is sagging. I'd like 2-3" of lift in the back. There is less than 50k miles on the original leaf springs. I don't have the typical B250 leaf springs either, they seem to be the B350 6/1 springs 2" 3/4" thick x 2.5". The shackle is the one in Ram4Ever's post/image. (Thanks man, your posts have answered many of my questions) .

B250 Leaf Spring shackle Posthttps://www.vanning.com/threads/ubbthreads.php/topics/399708/leaf-spring-swap-shackle-interchange

My biggest problem is getting help with the options available to me. Most shops tell me "oh, we don't carry anything for those vans" or "too old..."

Can you guys give me some advice on my Rear Lift Options:

3" Lift Block and longer Square U-bolts? Any specific brands to consider?
Add-A-Leaf? Can you recommend an online Dodge B series van shop.
ESPO Springs n' Things and generalspringkc.com said they don't have anything that would help.
Adjustable/longer shackle?
Stiffer springs?

Thanks for your help.

Re: Rear Lift options - 1990 Dodge B250 Roadtrek
fishbone #758261 March 23rd 2020 4:52 pm
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I’ve done 3” blocks on the rear of a Chevy van, that was a common way that lift kits for trucks addressed the rear suspension (atleast the budget ones) I have 2.5” blocks I need some longer u bolts and shocks (don’t forget that your shocks are affected) before I can put them on my 87 dodge. You can look for then online, they are generally universal but want to find them that match the rear end orientation you have. Some mini trucks use them to lower their rigs because their axles are flipped. I haven’t done it yet but you can always measure your current rear ended u bolt length and find ones longer than that. Auto parts are still open and can help you confirm this stuff too.

Last edited by Deathorvictory; March 23rd 2020 4:57 pm.

1979 Dodge B200 Shorty, 1987 B250 Longy
Re: Rear Lift options - 1990 Dodge B250 Roadtrek
fishbone #758281 March 24th 2020 2:15 am
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I put Firestone Ride rite airbags on my '89 b250 in October of 2007

100PSI can raise the rear end well over 4 inches, I usually keep about 15 passenger side and 25 driver to keep it at same height as front. I also have thickened my front springs to Moog 7272's.

I enjoy the ability to level the van side to side, when street parking, 0psi street side and 100PSI curb side can make sleeping much more comfortable. The adjustability is nice to have. Sometimes I have no tools in back and lower PSI, other times I am loaded with a few hundred extra pounds and add 10 to 15 PSI to keep my headlights on the road in stead of the trees. Handing is much improved too of course. Get blown around by semis much less and roll in turns is much reduced too

I like My KYB Gas A Just shocks, but some think they are too stiff.
Comes down to personal preference, but I hate squishy shocks that have give an isolated from the road feel.

Re: Rear Lift options - 1990 Dodge B250 Roadtrek
fishbone #758293 March 24th 2020 12:24 pm
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yeah My B350 Xplorer is all Azz. I have it set up Zactly the same. Each side plumbed individually. All of the above, but running Bilsteins.

Xplorer put Helwig Overloads on at the Factory. I got tired of smacking the hitch in the gutter every time I pulled out of a driveway.Not any more.
IMO Air bags are the best option for what you are after. Big plus you already did the front. Stink Bug that Puppy right out!


"Who New? Blue"
1990 Chevy G30 454
Church Van, maternity division

"Old Blue"
1988 Dodge B250

"Cabin Cruiser"
'94 Dodge B350 www.xplorermotorhome.com/
Xplorer MH model 230 230 hp MPI 360 LA Wedgy OD auto

Old vans never really die if we chose to let them live
Re: Rear Lift options - 1990 Dodge B250 Roadtrek
fishbone #758295 March 24th 2020 1:35 pm
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if he’s trying to lift the rear 3”, and 100psi is 4”, won’t that be super stiff ride? We have some in our shorty dodge and if it’s filled up a lot, the ride is almost unbearably stiff.


1979 Dodge B200 Shorty, 1987 B250 Longy
Re: Rear Lift options - 1990 Dodge B250 Roadtrek
fishbone #758302 March 24th 2020 4:34 pm
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Well he's got a lot more weight than I do with a Roadtrek rv package atop it and does have different leafs too.

100PSI is very uncomfortable for me in the driver's seat, and with less caster the steering feels funny, along with my headlights hitting the road way too close to be effective at speeds above 25mph.

I've had passengers in the back say it is quite bouncy with 15/25psi in the bags, but there were sections of road which would be bouncy no matter what vehicle was traversing them.

i do feel the best/ most comfortable ride and handling is accomplished with the correct leafs for the weight carried.
But when the load is variable, then the leafs will be either too stiff or too saggy to some degree, where as at least the airbags have the option of adjustability.

I've no regrets going with the airbags, and they have been there 12.5 years now. I got 100PSi in them right now for helping to shed rain from gutters with the stinkbug stance, and I've not really been driving much at all with the whole covid19 lockdown thing. I have left them at 100psi for the occassional trip to the store, rather than lowering them to the 15/25psi. I have my Schrader valves are inside with a compressor right next to them, and it is more convenient that other locations, but nowhere near as nice as being able to change psi from drivers seat. i certainly would employ this feature often if I had it but can't be bothered to set up a dashboard controller in order to do so.

If I pump one bag to 100psi then the other, the first bag is now down to ~85psi, but this depends on the parking spot when I am filling the airbags, so getting to 100PSI in two stages will lift the rear well more than 4 inches.

The super stiff rear, when parked, makes it move around less when moving around inside of it, and strong winds do not shake it as much. It is a significantly bigger step to get inside the side doors with them at 100PSI, and I am considering making a step just to save wear and tear on my, and my dog's knees, even at the regular 15/25 psi.

One other factor for me at the time of airbag purchase was inability to actually do a leaf spring swap in the place where I was, but adding the airbags was feasible. I had some pep boys style helper springs which just add some pressure to backside of leafs, but they have a slider plastic bushing which wears out, and they were toast. I needed something and new leaf packs for the weight, and the cost, and requiring a shop to do that work, had the airbags rise to the top, and I've no regrets with them.

I wont say that airbags are superior to the correct leafs for the load carried, only that I like the adjustability factor of them, and use it often, and would miss it if I were without it.

Re: Rear Lift options - 1990 Dodge B250 Roadtrek
fishbone #758350 March 25th 2020 2:44 pm
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I don’t think they are a bad thing, we like them when parked, but my thinking is that if he’s trying to get the rear to be level with the front in a static manner, leafs or blocks will get the lift he needs.


1979 Dodge B200 Shorty, 1987 B250 Longy
Re: Rear Lift options - 1990 Dodge B250 Roadtrek
fishbone #758396 March 26th 2020 12:18 pm
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Blocks are not going to counteract the compression. Only transfer it directly to the bump stops. Static, sitting still, level, sure. It's when the rubber hits the road fully loaded, maxing out the GVWR which is probably close with the RoadTrek convo anyway. Your experience may vary.

Bags were the best modification I've done to the Cabin Cruiser. So much more enjoyable to drive.
Even with 2500 lb Helwig overloads, compression would overcome the factory leaf only setup. Bam! I got sick of that. Hasn't bottomed out since.
Good Wrenching!

Re: Rear Lift options - 1990 Dodge B250 Roadtrek
Wedgy #758510 March 28th 2020 7:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Wedgy
Blocks are not going to counteract the compression. Only transfer it directly to the bump stops. Static, sitting still, level, sure. It's when the rubber hits the road fully loaded, maxing out the GVWR which is probably close with the RoadTrek convo anyway. Your experience may vary.

Bags were the best modification I've done to the Cabin Cruiser. So much more enjoyable to drive.
Even with 2500 lb Helwig overloads, compression would overcome the factory leaf only setup. Bam! I got sick of that. Hasn't bottomed out since.
Good Wrenching!


Thanks for the input guys.
If I had even just 2" more in the back it would even out the wheel gap I now have in the front with my new 7272 springs. I used a 3/4 urethane spacer instead of the spring rubber cover on the top. When I measure the pin stripe to the road (with no slope), the front is 1/2" higher than the back. When you look at the wheel gap in the front compared to the back, it looks like I'm doing a mini wheelie, no rake. (I'll add a photo tomorrow) My concern with raising the back now is not bottoming out but over extending the rear shocks, as Deathorvictory pointed out. I might go back in and replace the spacer with the proper rubber spring cover (I don't remember the proper name for it). That would drop the front a bit.

The other plus side of the airbags is leveling the van when I'm at a camp site/park. The fridge needs to be level to work. Being able to "flatten" things out would be great. I use plastic wedges to level the van before turning on the fridge. they take up space and get buried in the mud when it rains.

wrcsixeight - what shocks did you put in the rear to be able to ride at +4" stink bug stance?

Re: Rear Lift options - 1990 Dodge B250 Roadtrek
fishbone #758522 March 29th 2020 3:06 am
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My 7272 springs got only the rubber cap atop the spring and while the old springs bottomed out regularly, the new springs surprisingly did not add any ride height to passenger side and only 1/4 to 1/2 inch driver's side but rarely bottom out and greatly improved handling.

I use KYB KG4518, the stock sized rear shock. When one cuts the zip tie keeping them compressed, one better be quick and align them to the receptacle or they will go several inches below them and require compression with way more arm strength than I can muster on my back under the van.

With Airbags one needs to keep at least 10 PSI in them according to firestone and AirRide. I thought mine said 5psi minimum, and they might have back in 2007, but now I see 10psi

One is also not supposed to hang the weight of the rear axle from the airbags. The shocks might act as travel limiters if the leafs themselves do not.

I added a cut up Pizza tray to the exhaust heatshield on the drivers side airbag, and my exhaust needed to be cut and opened up about 1/2 inch in order to not hit the heatshield. I bridged the gap with a steel hunts pasta sauce can and hose clamps, intending to repair it correctly at some point. 'Correctly' has not occurred in the subsequent 13 years, I just replace the steel can every 2 years or so.

The push to connect airline fittings provided with these kits need a little bit more love than they mke them out to be, When one inserts the square cut tubing into them to their full depth, one needs to pull back on teh hose and the little sliding collar, rather than just relying on PSI to seal them. I recall ordering aftermarket PTC fittings and more airhose, and I do have the schrader valves on the inside.
--------

Absorption/Propane fridges are finicky if operated off level, but it is not just a matter of them not working properly if operated off level, but this off level operation is cumulatively damaging to them as crystals can form in the refrigerant's plumbing, blocking flow, and they cannot be removed.

I use a 12vDC Vitrifrigo Compressor fridge and it is fine with angles off level upto 30 degrees. when your absorption fridge fails, the Danfoss/secop compressor dc fridges are $$, but similar to a new absorption fridge. Residential fridges on an inverter are an option too, but in general one needs more battery and charging sources than one does for a DC compressor fridge.

Absorption fridge quality seems to have taken a steep nosedive in the early to mid 90's, being built much sturdier before this. NO reason to get rid of a functioning Absorption fridge but do put some thought into what route you'd want to take if/when it takes a dump on you.

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