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Old 05-06-2021, 11:04 AM   #1
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Aspen , Colorado
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Advice on upgrading suspension 2017 AI 4x4 GT

After recently adding a Backwoods front bumper NCV3, ARB air compressor under the hood, Owl Vans Sherpas with 1 small and 1 large box mounted on the rear, and a Kuat 2 bike rack. I am looking to upgrade the suspension on both the front and rear of my '17 4x4 Interatate GT. Has anyone upgraded front and rear springs or have any advice on doing so?
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Old 05-06-2021, 01:19 PM   #2
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Hi

Do you have any CAT scale info on just where you are at weight wise?

Bob
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Old 05-06-2021, 02:24 PM   #3
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There is at least one other thread that discusses suspension upgrades.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f24...ad-196344.html

https://www.google.com/search?q=susp...=airforums.com

Use the search feature and you find others.
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Old 05-06-2021, 05:33 PM   #4
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I have not yet weighed my van. Just getting started on research for improving ride and suspension. My van did not come with an air suspension.
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Old 05-06-2021, 05:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach05855 View Post
There is at least one other thread that discusses suspension upgrades.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f24...ad-196344.html

https://www.google.com/search?q=susp...=airforums.com

Use the search feature and you find others.
Zach05855 thanks for the link.
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Old 05-06-2021, 06:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbettyco View Post
I have not yet weighed my van. Just getting started on research for improving ride and suspension. My van did not come with an air suspension.
Hi

There's only just so much cargo capacity on these vans. Generally adding this or that is required to improve the ride. If you are already at / over the limit, this becomes a "what do I give up" decision as well.

As you check the weight, there are little decisions like how much of the (maybe) 600 pounds of water do you allow for ....

Bob
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Old 05-07-2021, 08:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

There's only just so much cargo capacity on these vans. Generally adding this or that is required to improve the ride. If you are already at / over the limit, this becomes a "what do I give up" decision as well.

As you check the weight, there are little decisions like how much of the (maybe) 600 pounds of water do you allow for ....

Bob
Bob, thanks for responding, I already am aware of the weight limitations on the Interstates and driving with as little water as needed. I'm looking for information on upgrading the front and rear suspension. Have you seen any more recent threads which discuss suspensions or any first hand knowledge?
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Old 05-07-2021, 09:58 AM   #8
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Airbags

I put airbags on the rear of 4x2 sprinter. It allowed me to raise either or both sides of back end 3 to 4 inches using a remote control. The downside being a very harsh ride at higher pressures so not really ideal for off-road applications. The biggest benefit was firming up suspension added much stability in crosswind conditions as I could make the van lean into the wind also with the vehicles long rear overhang I could add clearance entering steep driveways etc.
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:24 AM   #9
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I have a 2018 Interstate GT (2WD dually) and recently installed a VB Airsuspension system. If you are not familiar with VB, they are the vendor that both Mercedes and Airstream use. VB worked with Mercedes to develop a Mercedes approved configuration for their 2WD and 4WD Sprinters. The VB system for the Sprinter is only available for the rear, but provides great stability and ride comfort. It is also adjustable to give you some additional rear clearance when going slow over a low or bumpy spot. It can also be set lower on the road side to help dump the black and grey tanks. This was one of the best investments I've made to my GT. I live in Tucson, AZ and found a VB authorized installer in Phoenix to install. Alex Zeeman is very knowledgeable about VB Airsuspension and has done several Sprinter/Airstream installs.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:35 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info. Did you upgrade shocks or springs as well?
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SterlingsDad View Post
I have a 2018 Interstate GT (2WD dually) and recently installed a VB Airsuspension system. If you are not familiar with VB, they are the vendor that both Mercedes and Airstream use. VB worked with Mercedes to develop a Mercedes approved configuration for their 2WD and 4WD Sprinters. The VB system for the Sprinter is only available for the rear, but provides great stability and ride comfort. It is also adjustable to give you some additional rear clearance when going slow over a low or bumpy spot. It can also be set lower on the road side to help dump the black and grey tanks. This was one of the best investments I've made to my GT. I live in Tucson, AZ and found a VB authorized installer in Phoenix to install. Alex Zeeman is very knowledgeable about VB Airsuspension and has done several Sprinter/Airstream installs.
Thanks for the info in the vb airbags. Did you upgrade shocks or springs as well?
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Old 05-08-2021, 04:29 PM   #12
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The VB kit replaces the leaf springs, shocks, and stabilizer bar with main spring bars, new shocks, new stabilizer arm, a panhard rod, air bags, air compressor, and air tank.

Vb airsuspension link: https://www.vbairsuspensionusa.com/u...edes-benz.html

Vb YouTube link:
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bigbettyco View Post
Bob, thanks for responding, I already am aware of the weight limitations on the Interstates and driving with as little water as needed. I'm looking for information on upgrading the front and rear suspension. Have you seen any more recent threads which discuss suspensions or any first hand knowledge?
Hi

The reason I'm asking is that from your description, it sounds like you are close to (or are) overloading the vehicle. "Fixing" that gets into stuff like axles.

Bob
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Old 05-11-2021, 07:43 PM   #14
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Don’t understand how a shock swap or a sumo spring will change the weight at all or drastically change the weight of the Interstate.

With that said, common upgrades are Fox shocks which are on a long wait or back order due to COVID. Agile shocks are another option that are options for an upgrade. You’ll see tons of posts on Sumo Springs which are not a super major difficult install. Different colors will give a different level of dampening. Most installers state that the Sumos help with side sway, like when you go up a driveway at an angle. Some owners choose to upgrade the rear sway bar too. Rear leaf spring additions or upgrades are difficult to find.

As SterlingsDad stated, the VB system is an option. Our Interstate has the VB air ride installed. I test drove a different Interstate without. I didn’t notice a substantial difference, but our system is older than SterlingsDad’s so they might have made changes that have made great strides over the years they have been installing the system in Interstates. Glad to hear the newer version must have made some headway with the ride quality.

We’ve decided to hold off on upgrading because I’ve just not seen glowing reviews of upgrades. I’ve seen tons that say they help, but for the investment, I personally would like to hear people stating they are thrilled and it’s made a huge difference, but just haven’t seen many posts singing lots of total praises for their upgrades. Hope some will come on and set me straight if I’m wrong. That means I’d totally want to follow suit then too!
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Old 05-11-2021, 07:44 PM   #15
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Donít understand how a shock swap or a sumo spring will change the weight at all or drastically change the weight of the Interstate.

With that said, Common upgrades are Fox shocks which are on a long wait or back order due to COVID. Agile shocks and Bilstein shocks are two other options for shock upgrades. Youíll see tons of posts on Sumo Springs which are not a super major difficult install. Different colors will give a different level of dampening. Most installers state that the Sumos help with side sway, like when you go up a driveway at an angle. Some owners choose to upgrade the rear sway bar too. Rear leaf spring additions or upgrades are difficult to find.

As SterlingsDad stated, the VB system is an option. Our Interstate has the VB air ride installed. I test drove a different Interstate without. I didnít notice a substantial difference, but our system is older than SterlingsDadís so they might have made changes that have made great strides over the years they have been installing the system in Interstates. Glad to hear the newer version must have made some headway with the ride quality.

Weíve decided to hold off on upgrading because Iíve just not seen glowing reviews of upgrades. Iíve seen tons that say they help, but for the investment, I personally would like to hear people stating they are thrilled and itís made a huge difference, but just havenít seen many posts singing lots of total praises for their upgrades. Hope some will come on and set me straight if Iím wrong. That means Iíd totally want to follow suit then too!
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:50 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hawk-ination View Post
Donít understand how a shock swap or a sumo spring will change the weight at all or drastically change the weight of the Interstate.

With that said, Common upgrades are Fox shocks which are on a long wait or back order due to COVID. Agile shocks and Bilstein shocks are two other options for shock upgrades. Youíll see tons of posts on Sumo Springs which are not a super major difficult install. Different colors will give a different level of dampening. Most installers state that the Sumos help with side sway, like when you go up a driveway at an angle. Some owners choose to upgrade the rear sway bar too. Rear leaf spring additions or upgrades are difficult to find.

As SterlingsDad stated, the VB system is an option. Our Interstate has the VB air ride installed. I test drove a different Interstate without. I didnít notice a substantial difference, but our system is older than SterlingsDadís so they might have made changes that have made great strides over the years they have been installing the system in Interstates. Glad to hear the newer version must have made some headway with the ride quality.

Weíve decided to hold off on upgrading because Iíve just not seen glowing reviews of upgrades. Iíve seen tons that say they help, but for the investment, I personally would like to hear people stating they are thrilled and itís made a huge difference, but just havenít seen many posts singing lots of total praises for their upgrades. Hope some will come on and set me straight if Iím wrong. That means Iíd totally want to follow suit then too!
Hi

Read through the description in the original post. Then think about the issue. In this case, being at / over max weight *is* a possibility. Spending the $10 to find out *if* it's an issue is way cheaper than playing with springs.

Bob
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:38 AM   #17
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Respectively responding here Bob, have you ever driven or rode in an Interstate?
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Old 05-12-2021, 05:05 PM   #18
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For some clarity: Bob, I am sure I am at or possibly beyond GVWR on my Interstate, that is the primary reason I am looking to upgrade my springs and shocks. & yes, I know that upgrading either will not increase GVWR as represented on the sticker on my van. What it will do is improve my ride and will provide for the extra weight I am now carrying.

Hawk-ination, thanks for the information. Have you heard anything about Falcon 3.3 SP2 adjustable shocks?
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:08 AM   #19
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Respectively responding here Bob, have you ever driven or rode in an Interstate?
Hi

Most definitely have, I can't imagine buying one if you hadn't ....

Bob
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:11 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bigbettyco View Post
For some clarity: Bob, I am sure I am at or possibly beyond GVWR on my Interstate, that is the primary reason I am looking to upgrade my springs and shocks. & yes, I know that upgrading either will not increase GVWR as represented on the sticker on my van. What it will do is improve my ride and will provide for the extra weight I am now carrying.

Hawk-ination, thanks for the information. Have you heard anything about Falcon 3.3 SP2 adjustable shocks?
Hi

If you are past GVWR, be very careful about what you do. The axles and the spring mounting structure plays as much into the weight rating as the springs. Indeed, wheels and tires also get into the act. Work that part out *before* you zero out the budget for the project.

Safety / reliability comes first, comfort second ....

Bob
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