View Full Version : van handling

03-05-2001, 01:42 PM
my uncle said he used to deliver groceries in a 69 back in the day, he said that these vans ride pretty ruff,(no offense to anyone),i know enough to not take just one persons advice so iam wondering what the majority says here, personally i pick the look way before the ride but there has to be some tricks to make them ride a bit smoother,tire size,shocks, any modifications
whats seems to be the best combination,
what your opinion?

03-05-2001, 03:53 PM
I've only owned vehicles made beofore 1970, so I may not be the best authority to rate our vans vs. newer vehicles, but I must say that my '68 rides real nice. No modifications that I'm aware of. In '67, Chevy changed the van suspension, so I don't know exactly how to compare the two eras. Yes, I have a '66, but haven't yet driven it. It would appear that the later models have a heavier-duty suspension, but I'm not sure if that translates into a smoother ride. I've ridden in some older cars that will jar the teeth out of your head, and I can say that the vans ride much better.

What I can say about the van suspension is that it does leave a lot to be desired as far as handling. In other words, you won't be winning a lot of slolum races with the stock setup. They can roll (not in a good way) as well.

When outfitting a van with a big block and all the hi-performance stuff, a little attention to the "stoppers and balancers" is a good idea. When you are running a 300+ H.P. engine with drums and a round of leaf springs, you're not really "steering" the van. It's more like "aiming".

03-06-2001, 10:44 AM
Since our vans use leaf springs at all four corners, the same as Short Wheelbase Jeeps, up to 1995, there is a wealth of information on leaf spring articulation, and ride.
On a SWB Jeep, they want a spring that will flex quite a bit (allowing the tire to go very high inside the wheel well) and still be able to carry the load required. The combination of springs and shocks can give you any type of ride you want.
Leaf springs will never give you the ride that coil springs will. In fact, since 1997, the Jeep Wrangler has used coil springs at all four corners and has gotten rave reviews as far as ride is concerned.
Aftermarket manufactures now make kits to convert leaf spring Jeeps to coil springs.
It is expensive, and complicated, but generally agreed that they work well, for Jeeps. From what I understand, a leaf spring pack consisting of many thin leaves will give you the best ride and articulation.
They make shock absorbers that are adjustable from soft to stiff ride. Even from the dash. (Rancho 9000's)
If you check with almost any 4 X 4 shop in your area, they can really show you that, for a price, you can get any type of ride you like.
I know that I went off on a tangent a little here, but until I got into 4 wheeling, I didn't realize the huge varieties of suspention systems and options there are, that can be "do it yourself".
Ross in Boulder Colorado

03-06-2001, 09:14 PM
1964 CLASSIC Chevy
van, good original
condition, runs good,
$1200. 208/376-5903
says it in boise Idaho. THATS NEAR you Aint

03-08-2001, 05:39 PM
nah, too far, i wish these idiots up here in ontario never started using salt, its gonna cost me an extra $1500 to get down to a good solid van with a truck and flat bed, if there is any solid running vans maybe me and my old man could whip down in his car and i could drive the van back, that would probably work out the same because the price of a solid driver, man these things have got me up at night, i almost said forget it but i cant stop thinking of how cool i would be!

03-08-2001, 05:43 PM
$1200 american is about $2000 canadian