Rear Axle Lift Blocks to Adjust Ride Height 1"-1.5" - Yea or Nay?

Mr. Bills

Raconteur Emeritus
Recent discussion regarding Van Compass Opti-Rate springs has inspired my query.

My 2016 2500 4x4 high roof 170, as built and fully loaded, weighs 9040# (3640# F, 5400# R).

My Sprinter has a Van Compass suspension installed by the original owner. The rear is likely what is now called "Stage 3.0" with the mini leaf spring pack and the previously supplied Fox shocks. Tires are LT265/75R16-E on factory alloy wheels.

I am contemplating the addition of rear Sumo springs and "Baja Bracket" rear shock mounts, but otherwise I no problems with the rear suspension except the van does not sit level when fully loaded. I would like to lift the rear a small amount (1-1.5") so that it sits level when fully loaded with gear and all tanks full.

My question today is about rear leaf spring lift blocks. There are already factory-supplied lift blocks under my rear axle tubes that measure 80mm x 70mm x 140mm (3.15" H x 2.76" W x 5.5" L).

Is there any reason not to use a 4.0-5.5" tall lift block in place of the factory supplied lift block (with new U-bolts, of course)?

If a taller lift block would be acceptable, does anyone have a link to a specific block or blocks you have used with success? LxWxH? Size of locating pin? (9/16?)

Here is a link to one that I found after a very brief search:


If a taller block is unacceptable on a Sprinter, please explain.


Here are some previous comments from another thread:

Just use [a] lift spacer, I did.
The correct fix is to increase spring rate to counter the weight/sag and get the ride height up, or, a block if you find the spring rate to your liking.

Here is my rear suspension (old photo supplied by original owner):

IMG_1796.jpg
 
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Mr. Bills

Raconteur Emeritus
I'd (and had done) shed the 500 lbs that you are overweight by.
The weights I quoted are for my Sprinter fully loaded for a month long trip, all tanks full. Those weights are the heaviest the van will ever be.

I typically run with water tanks no more than 1/4 full and fill when closer to my destination and employ other weight saving tricks, such that I don't typically load to the scaled weight. Realistically, I might be able to shed 250-300# but not 500#. For example, the pending installation of LiFePO4 to replace the existing AGM house batteries will save a bit over 200#, but the installation of a 47 gallon fuel tank will add back 140# in potential additional fuel weight. I have already changed large items to save weight, but am now experiencing diminishing returns.

I have no issue with spring rate, I just need to raise the rear 1-1.5" and am looking for a way to do it without investing in new springs.

What did you use for lift blocks?
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
The weights I quoted are for my Sprinter fully loaded for a month long trip, all tanks full. Those weights are the heaviest the van will ever be.

I typically run with water tanks no more than 1/4 full and fill when closer to my destination and employ other weight saving tricks, such that I don't typically load to the scaled weight. Realistically, I might be able to shed 250-300# but not 500#. For example, the pending installation of LiFePO4 to replace the existing AGM house batteries will save a bit over 200#, but the installation of a 47 gallon fuel tank will add back 140# in potential additional fuel weight. I have already changed large items to save weight, but am now experiencing diminishing returns.

I have no issue with spring rate, I just need to raise the rear 1-1.5" and am looking for a way to do it without investing in new springs.

What did you use for lift blocks?
I used the OE 3500 blocks. I believe ~50-60mm. But, I shed a good 600lbs............ ;)

the-stubborn-mule.jpg
 

Rocksnsalt

There Can Be Only ONE
Maybe consider emailing VC and Agile, and compare what each says.
If you call agile, I would suggest asking to talk to Jesus or Glenn. They are experienced and have spent years in the trenches so to speak.
 

Mr. Bills

Raconteur Emeritus
Maybe consider emailing VC and Agile, and compare what each says.
If you call agile, I would suggest asking to talk to Jesus or Glenn. They are experienced and have spent years in the trenches so to speak.
I'm looking forward to what @Andy @ Van Compass might have to say about lift blocks if he sees this thread, particularly because I already have a Van Compass rear suspension with the mini spring pack.
 

Mr. Bills

Raconteur Emeritus
Consider selling your mini-packs and put that money toward a full Agile spring pack.
I typically don't bother selling used suspension parts, gear sets, etc.. Eventually I meet someone struggling to raise a family who can use them and pass the used parts on to a good home.

Writing a check for $1,459 for Agile springs or $1,659 for Opti-Rate springs is certainly easy enough, but if I can accomplish my goal for $100-150 it's worth consideration.

The initial question is whether or not lift blocks taller than the stock 80mm blocks are a good idea or a bad one.

The next question would be whether or not there are taller lift blocks on the market that will work.
 

#yardsale

The cruelest dream, reality.
I say go for some blocks. I think in some cases a block can exacerbate wheel hop. But since you already have the mini spring pack supporting your main leaf I’d try it. You are an experienced enough off-roader to recognize wheel hop when (if) it happens. If it doesn’t work take the block out.

Be prepared to maybe shim the carrier bearing.
 

Christian1402

New member
I’m having the exact same issue, van compass stage 4.3 rear suspension with the mini leaf pack but the van still sits low in the back end.

I have also been contemplating having some bigger lift blocks machined but am currently away traveling in the van.

Did you get anywhere with this? @Mr. Bills
 

bazar01

2008 Dodge Sprinter 2500 170 extended
The initial question is whether or not lift blocks taller than the stock 80mm blocks are a good idea or a bad one.

The next question would be whether or not there are taller lift blocks on the market that will work.
Your U-bolts look like can still accommodate another inch of additional lift block. Instead of replacing it with a one piece taller block, why not for trial purposes just add a 1 inch steel block with a 9/16" hole on top and a pin on bottom. ?
They only cost about $100 a pair.
 

Diver160651

170 ext 3500 4x4
I’ve had 2 different aftermarket rear spring packs. The thing about the Agile pack (I think mine has 9 or so leaf’s) is they proved control yet somehow seem to be more comfortable than my other multi-pack.

The ride quality was worth every penny for me with the heaviest load rated Agile springs.

That said, the stock sprinter engines do not have the gearing coupled with the relatively low torque to make the extra 25mm bock super dangerous-
 
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DeeK

2022 144" 4WD 420W solar, 430Ah LFP, Shower, OGO
I have the same set up and the same question as you although my van fully loaded is right at 8000# I just got back from a trip with some rough 4 wheeling and a bit more clearance would be nice. The question I have is whether the shocks that came with the stage 3.0 kit could handle and additional 1.5" of extension/travel? Have you found any information on that? I imagine VanCompass knows the answer but they also have a vested interest in selling another kit.
 

Mr. Bills

Raconteur Emeritus
I’m having the exact same issue, van compass stage 4.3 rear suspension with the mini leaf pack but the van still sits low in the back end.

I have also been contemplating having some bigger lift blocks machined but am currently away traveling in the van.

Did you get anywhere with this? @Mr. Bills
Yes, I have.

After several conversations with Van Compass, I have decided not to try to find or machine a taller lift block for that 1-1.5" of extra lift I need to get back to the stock rake.

According to Van Compass, adding more height to my existing Van Compass 3-leaf "mini pack" with taller blocks than the 4x4 factory lift block without also adding new swaybar end links and other bits to maintain stock rear suspension geometry will create more issues than the taller blocks will solve.

My choices narrowed to: (1) Van Compass Opti-Rate springs, (2) Agile 5400# 2" lift springs, or (3) convert from the Van Compass 3 leaf mini-pack to their 6 leaf mini-pack.

Think of the additional 3 short leafs as having the same function as a taller lift block. The spring rate for the new 6 leaf pack will not change to any appreciable degree, so this option works best if one is satisfied with the current spring rate and doesn't need or want more. An interesting potential benefit to the 6 leaf mini-pack is that one can choose to run 5 leafs on one side and 6 on the other to correct left or right lean due to weight imbalances. I don't have that issue, but many commercial RV conversions do.

I have chosen option 3. To convert an existing 3-leaf mini-pack to the 6-leaf version that will add another 1-1.5" rear lift, order part #3016 (additional leafs) and #7016 (bracket/U-bolt kit), which is an off-menu package not found on the website. One needs to correspond with Van Compass by email so that they can generate an invoice for this option. The cost including shipping works out to be less than half the cost of new springs from either Van Compass or Agile without shipping.

I have just recently ordered the parts, along with rear Sumo springs and the Van Compass Baja Bracket rear upper shock mounts. I will not be able to install the parts until I return to the U.S. from Mexico in January, so stay tuned for my post-install review.
 
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Rocksnsalt

There Can Be Only ONE
While all businesses are in the business of selling something, personally I would trust that the guys at Van Compass would give the correct information.
 
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DeeK

2022 144" 4WD 420W solar, 430Ah LFP, Shower, OGO
Yes, I have.

After several conversations with Van Compass, I have decided not to try to find or machine a taller lift block for that 1-1.5" of extra lift I need to get back to the stock rake.

According to Van Compass, adding more height to my existing Van Compass 3-leaf "mini pack" with taller blocks than the 4x4 factory lift block without also adding new swaybar end links and other bits to maintain stock rear suspension geometry will create more issues than the taller blocks will solve.

My choices narrowed to: (1) Van Compass Opti-Rate springs, (2) Agile 5400# 2" lift springs, or (3) convert from the Van Compass 3 leaf mini-pack to their 6 leaf mini-pack.

Think of the additional 3 short leafs as having the same function as a taller lift block. The spring rate for the new 6 leaf pack will not change to any appreciable degree, so this option works best if one is satisfied with the current spring rate and doesn't need or want more. An interesting potential benefit to the 6 leaf mini-pack is that one can choose to run 5 leafs on one side and 6 on the other to correct left or right lean due to weight imbalances. I don't have that issue, but many commercial RV conversions do.

I have chosen option 3. To convert an existing 3-leaf mini-pack to the 6-leaf version that will add another 1-1.5" rear lift, order part #3016 (additional leafs) and #7016 (bracket/U-bolt kit), which is an off-menu package not found on the website. One needs to correspond with Van Compass by email so that they can generate an invoice for this option. The cost including shipping works out to be less than half the cost of new springs from either Van Compass or Agile without shipping.

I have just recently ordered the parts, along with rear Sumo springs and the Van Compass Baja Bracket rear upper shock mounts. I will not be able to install the parts until I return to the U.S. from Mexico in January, so stay tuned for my post-install review.
so, are the shocks that came with the Stage 3.0 kit and mini spring pack sufficient to use with the 6-leaf spring kit?
 

Mr. Bills

Raconteur Emeritus
so, are the shocks that came with the Stage 3.0 kit and mini spring pack sufficient to use with the 6-leaf spring kit?
Van Compass had no issue with me using my existing Fox shocks with the 3 additional short leafs.

The additional leafs do not appreciably change the spring rate so no need to change shock valving. Brackets are supplied with part #7016 to maintain appropriate shock travel.

I'm not changing my rear shocks until they wear out.
 
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OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
My pack is bigger than your pack.

It's not the size of the pack that matters, it's how you use it............
 

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