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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This isn't a 4X4 question, but I hope you guys will answer it anyway. Who knows, maybe someday it will be a 4X4:

I have a '76 Dodge 200 camperized van. I use it strictly for forestry camping in Chilliwack/Harrison area. I need more clearance, as the back bumper often drags on the cross-ditching. I added a leaf and 1 inch block in the back, and now want to raise the front. Are there any coil springs out of a 4X4 or 1 Ton or something that would give an extra few inches in the front?

Second question: As far as I know, its got the 9.25 inch rearend with 3.21 gears. It works pretty hard, even in first gear, on some of the steeper hills. I would like to change the gears to a 4.10 or 4.56, and eventually get a bit bigger tires (currently have 235/75R15's). How difficult is it to change gears? Is it easier to just get a different axle with the gears already in? What is the cheapest way of doing this?

Third question: Do I have to worry about driveshaft length with adding a bit of lift like this? I had a few guys tell me horror stories of drive shafts popping out of the yoke after adding lifts.

Fourth question: I have stock 5 bolt rims, but the pattern is closer spaced that most other vehicles. What is the correct name for this type of spacing (is it 5 by 4.5?), and does any other manufacturer use similar wheels?

So far this van has done pretty good for me and taken me just about as far as I want to go (don't want to break dishes, TV, etc). I did the Pemberton to Harrison route this last summer, with some vicious bumper drag north of 20 mile bay, but hardly a tire spin. I guess the weight really helps with traction. I also use it to tow either a trail bike or Suzuki Samurai.

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions you can give me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Since nobody can (or wants to) answer my questions, could someone at least tell me where I could post these questions. Is there another board or website where someone might take the time to help me out?
 

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1. You could try coild out of a 1 ton, or you could probably get some lift springs for it. I think the 1 tons trucks might have leafs in front though. Give north shore off road a call and tehy can probably give you a couple sugguestions.

2. Gears are a hard thing to change. Unless you are an experienced mechanic I would sugguest letting a shop do it. Try posting an ad in the wanted section

3. With onlt 2-3" of lift I wouldn't worry too much about drive shaft length, unless you are doing some serious off roading, but I don't see that happening is 2wd


4. It sounds like you have the 5 on 4.5" bolt pattern. Dodge made to bolt patterns 5 on 4.5" and 5 on 5.5". I believe the 5 on 5.5" is more common to find, but there are other trucks that use the smaller patter. I think Ford has it on some trucks, and I believe that jeeps are 5 on 4.5".

If you are going to be putting lower gears in the dif, I would sugguest also adding a locker at the same time. a little more $$$ but they are nice to have.

You could try posting this in the general section as well. More people will see it there.

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1974 Dodge W100 Power Wagon
Looks beaten up but it's fun.
360 V8, TF-727, NP-205, D44 front, chrysler 8 3/4" rear with detroit locker
http://members.shaw.ca/jaretthumphrey

[This message has been edited by Jarett (edited January 14, 2002).]
 

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the 5x4.5 bolt pattern that you have is very common. Most 1/2 ton dodges, all dodge midsize cars , newer jeeps, and most ford cars. The 9.25 diff in the van is common to most all dodge trucks and lower gears should be a snap to find. Lots of them will have a sure grip diff as well. It's not quite as strong as a locker but for the logging road touring you do it will be plenty. For your front end lift, call a spring shop and buy a set of custom coils, they won't be very expensive. Hope this helps, Wade

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if it ain't broke, you don't go hard enough!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your help guys. I guess the best thing for me would be to try to find a complete 9.25 differential/rear axle assembly with 4.10 or 4.56 gears (if thats available) and the 5 X 4.5 bolt pattern. At least the know the proper name of the bolt pattern now so I won't make as much of a fool of myself as I look at the wreckers.

I didn't realize that front coils were not that expensive; maybe I'll just get a couple made.

If I do find a set of wheels from a car, do I need to worry about them being strong enough? My van is pretty heavy; with the fridge, stove, my junk etc. in it.

So far the old gas guzzler has done pretty well with the abuse I put it through. I don't expect miracles from it. I just want to travel the numerous logging roads in the Chilliwack and Harrison area that are 2 wheel drive accessable except for the cross-ditching.

Thanks again for the info.
 

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The other thing you could do if you don't want to swap the entire axle assembly is to just change the 3rd member. Unless I am mistaken teh 9 1/4" has the removable 3rd member. You could go to an auto wrecker and just buy the complete 3rd member ans swap that in. This is a fairly easy job(from what I have heard). Pull out the axle shafts, pull off the drive shaft. bolt off the 3rd member, bolt on the new 3rd member, put axle shafts back in. put the drive shaft back in.

If you are worried about the strength of the rims, you could get some American Racing wagon wheels(white spoke) I got mine new for $50 each. I think the black ones are $60-65 each. I have seen quite a few Dodge 1/2 tonne trucks with the 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern so you should be able to find some rims suitable to hold the weight.

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1974 Dodge W100 Power Wagon
Looks beaten up but it's fun.
360 V8, TF-727, NP-205, D44 front, chrysler 8 3/4" rear with detroit locker
http://members.shaw.ca/jaretthumphrey

[This message has been edited by Jarett (edited January 14, 2002).]
 
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