L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's good

Mitsubishi Delica Camper vans, lift kits & other Delica Accessories!

Moderator: BCDelica

User avatar
jessef
Posts: 6457
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:27 pm
Vehicle: JDM flavour of the month
Location: Vancouver
Location: Vancouver, BC

L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's good

Post by jessef » Fri May 28, 2010 8:00 am

There are some really nice lifted L400's in Canada.

Some have perfect lift kits installed, addressing critical components, while some do not.

I've repaired a few L400's for other people that came over from Japan with a suspension lift already installed.

I'm seeing more and more lifted L400's coming over from Japan and many appear to be incomplete installations with crucial components either missing or broken.

The front IFS (Independent front suspension) can be altered without problems, so long as the suspension components (balljoints/tie rods/control arm bushings/shocks/torsion bars) are all in good condition and the caster/camber alignment adjustments can be made within the correct angles. Depending on the lift height, balljoint spacers/subframe spacers/longer shocks may be required.

The rear RA (rigid axle) with 5-link suspension can be altered but certain critical components need to be addressed with the suspension modification.

If you have an L400 with a suspension lift, please check the following:



1. Rear sway bar

What it is/purpose : The rear sway bar or Anti Roll Bar (ARB) reduces the amount of body side to side roll and it used to help in the handling of the vehicle.

L400 has a suspension lift but no relocation/drop-down bracket for the rear sway bar. This will cause stress on the upper links that are bolted to the bottom of the L400 chassis frame. Out of the lifted L400's that I've seen, only two had the proper brackets in place. I had to weld/repair the chassis on one recently because the stress ripped the sway bar right out of the frame.

Without the rear sway bar attached and/or a broken sway bar, there is significant body roll which can cause the L400 to pitch/roll unless controlled properly.

Solution : Install a drop down bracket/spacer in between the frame and the rear sway bar. The typical extension should correspond with the amount of lift (ie. a 2" lift would need to have a 2" spacer to lower the sway bar to it's stock position relative to the frame/axle).




2. Rear brake proportioning valve

What it is/purpose : The rear brake proportioning valve assists in braking with varying weight loads in a vehicle.

For those who may not know , the rear axle on the L400's has a Brake Proportioning Valve fitted to it . The valve itself is rigidly mounted to the chassis. The rear brake line enters this valve and then is routed to the rear calipers. The valve has a lever on it that moves fore and aft. This lever opens and closes an orifice to limit the flow of brake fluid to the axle as the load demands . The other end of the lever attaches to the axle via a large coiled spring. When the vehicle is empty , the orifice is greatly restricted as the lever is pulled by the extended spring because the body of the vehicle is sitting high. This prevents rear wheel lock up when empty. As the load increases in the vehicle , the rear of the car lowers which takes the tension off of the spring and allows the lever to relax a little. This opens the orifice in the valve allowing more fluid pressure to reach the rear brakes giving more braking power.

I only seen one L400 with an extension. Probably because people don't know of the need to install one. The raised vehicle without an extension will have poor rear braking performance and increased front brake wear because the valve thinks the vehicle is lightly loaded due to the body sitting high, regardless of weight in relation to the axle height.

Solution : The typical extension should correspond with the amount of lift (ie. a 2" lift would need to have the spring attaching bracket moved up 2" to keep the spring at the correct angle).




3. Control arms/panhandle bar/driveshafts

What it is/purpose : The control arms provide the physical link between the body and the axle. They pivot allow flex movement of the axle relative to the body.

The pandhard bar/track bar keeps the axle centered horizontally (left/right) relative to the driveline. It is attached at the rear axle on the left side and on the body/frame at the right side. Diagonally.

The driveshafts connect the driveline/axles.


With mild suspension lifts (1-3" inches in height), these components do not required any alteration.

With larger suspension lifts (3+ over" inches in height), these components required modifications.

As the axles are moved further away from the chassis, the control arms will need to be lengthened/dropped down in the rear. The driveshaft may need to be lengthened to compensate for the extension. The panhard bar will need to be extended (adjustable one's are common - the stock one is not) to keep the track left to right centered in proportion to the driveline.

Solution : Large lifts should be installed professionally and the proper components must be installed as large lifts greatly alter the driveline geometry of the vehicle.



4. Shocks + brake lines

What it is/purpose : The shocks provide dampening and ride comfort/handling for the vehicle. Without them, your rig would be bouncing everywhere.

The front shocks are 1" longer in stroke length than necessary. Before the shock can top out (reach it's maximum extension), the upper control arm will rest on the upper bump stop, stopping down travel. The flexible brake lines have a lot of room for play when extended (suspension lift) that does not pose a problem.

The rear shocks are maxed out to their stroke length/extension point when the entire axle is suspended in air from the body (ie. raising the body on a hoist and the rear axle hanging without support).

There are a few components that keep the axle from falling to the ground and disconnecting from the vehicle completely.

1. rear sway bar (attached to the vehicle's frame and towards the center of the rear axle)
2. panhard rod/trackbar (attached to the frame and attached to the rear axle pivot point)
3. rear driveshaft (attached to the transfer case and the pinion/differential which part of the rear axle assembly)
4. rear shocks (attached to the bottom of the vehicle frame and to the side of the rear axle)
5. brake lines (attached to the frame via hanger and connected to the rear axle)

When a suspension lift is installed, the above components' distance relative to each other and the frame/axle change. With that change, extensions and spacers are required for everything to function properly.

The stock shocks travel 2 inches past the standard ride height which allow considerable rear axle flex/articulation.

With the addition of a suspension lift, the stock shocks travel will be reduced relative to the suspension lift which will limit the downtravel of the rear axle and depending on the height of the suspension lift, not be long enough to connect to the frame and the axle.

A note as well to check the flex of the rear brake lines. Depending on the amount of suspension lift, they may be over extended which can cause the line to rupture leading to poor/no braking.

Solution : The longer shock should correspond with the amount of lift (ie. a 2" lift would need a 2" longer stroke length of the shock absorber).


Hope this sheds some light on suspension lifts/what to look for if you have one. :M

psilosin
Posts: 1045
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:31 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: L400
Location: BC

Re: L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's good

Post by psilosin » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:27 am

Another excellent post Jesse. This is good info that applies to many vehicles. Would be a good sticky so it doesn't get lost in the pile as time marches on.

User avatar
remko
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/

Re: L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's good

Post by remko » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:47 pm

I really appriciate this post, i have recently bought an L400 and it does sit higher than others i have seen. it has 31inch tires and for the most part they dont rub. but when the wheels are turned max there is only a one inch gap left between the inner fender and tread. is this the same as all the other people here running 31 inch tires?. how can i tell what way the suspension has been modifeid? i have snooped around the rear suspension and cant see any coil spacers, but it does look like the sway bar has been spaced down an inch. at the front i cant see any ball joint spacers either. how can i tell if the torsion bars have been altered from stock? if anyone has some pics of stock or modifed suspension components ( where the spacers are visible ).

User avatar
jessef
Posts: 6457
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:27 pm
Vehicle: JDM flavour of the month
Location: Vancouver
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's good

Post by jessef » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:57 pm

If you have 31" tires, there is a 2-4" suspension lift on it.

I wouldn't know what you have under there until I see it.

Post pictures of the rear sway bar, top of the coils, rear brake booster, front upper bump stop/control arm area.

User avatar
Mr. Flibble
Posts: 1387
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:31 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1995 L400 Royal Exceed
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Location: Issaquah, Washington

Re: L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's good

Post by Mr. Flibble » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:38 pm

jfarsang wrote:If you have 31" tires, there is a 2-4" suspension lift on it.
I thought you could put 31" tires on with some minor bashing with a rubber hammer, and a little cutting with a knife according to the Ozzies.
Canadian living in Washington USA

User avatar
jessef
Posts: 6457
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:27 pm
Vehicle: JDM flavour of the month
Location: Vancouver
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's good

Post by jessef » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:13 pm

A 31 will tuck nicely in the rear with no modifications.

The front is another story.

If you are talking about a typical 31x10.5x15" AT/MUD tire, it will NOT fit in the front without a lift.

I put 235/75/15 Goodyear Duratrac's in one L400 and had to crank the tbars 1" and trim too.

If you were to drive on the street and not take it offroad, then you 'may' get away with a 31 mild AT with lots of trimming.

As soon as that wheel goes up or down while turning left/right, it will cut into the metal pinched corner at the bottom of the rear-side arch.

You can go with a 30" AT tire so long as the front tbars are not sagging. If they are, they will need to be cranked a bit otherwise even a 30" will rub on that metal pinched corner and the vertical seam.

Ask me how I know. I've done over 13 already. Different tires, rims, mild to 3" lifts.

This is a 2" lift with 31's. You can see how even with the 2" lift and trimming, it is still VERY close to the body metal.

There's not even 1/2 and inch to spare when fully articulating up and down while the wheel is turned. Very close but just enough.

No lift and one of two things can/will happen :

1. Tire will get ripped apart by the metal

2. Going fast and hitting a bump (dead stop) will force the wheel arching to the back of the vehicle and will crush the metal arch at the pinched point (I've done this and had to get a body/frame shop to straighten it back).

Image

User avatar
remko
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/

Re: L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's good

Post by remko » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:25 am

im not having any luck uploading any pictures, but the pic posted above is almost identical to what ive got. could someone post some pictures of how where and what they trimed to minimize rubbing

User avatar
jessef
Posts: 6457
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:27 pm
Vehicle: JDM flavour of the month
Location: Vancouver
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's go

Post by jessef » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:55 pm

Hey Chris.

This is the topic you were looking for. It got buried as it's almost 2 years old. Sorry I couldn't find it before.

To answer your question, above is a picture of 31x10.5x15 Goodyear's with a 2" suspension lift. Note the close proximity of the rearward metal wheel arch (drivers side). Cheers Jesse

delicabits
Posts: 104
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:36 am
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: L400

Re: L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's go

Post by delicabits » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:50 am

on the rear you can add bump stop spacers to help with over extension or compression

what are the common repairs done and what type of lifts?

johnnyrigs
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:34 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: Delica
Location: Vancouver

Re: L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's go

Post by johnnyrigs » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:50 pm

Can anyone recommend somewhere in Vancouver to get a lift kit installed?

User avatar
nxski
Posts: 3268
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:27 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1991 Delica L300 Super Exceed
Location: Coquitlam
Location: BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's go

Post by nxski » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:14 pm

johnnyrigs wrote:Can anyone recommend somewhere in Vancouver to get a lift kit installed?
I had mine installed at CVI. They don't provide the kits but they did a great job on the installation.
Live the life you love, love the life you live...

Had: 1991 Mitsubishi Delica L300 SuperExceed, heavily modified (totalled by a drunk driver)
Have: 2011 Acura CSX manual, lightly modified
Want: Mitsubishi Pajero Evo

http://nes-design-construction.com
http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/nicolas-spurling/46/b48/924

Nicola Spurling

User avatar
jessef
Posts: 6457
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:27 pm
Vehicle: JDM flavour of the month
Location: Vancouver
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's go

Post by jessef » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:10 am

nxski wrote:
johnnyrigs wrote:Can anyone recommend somewhere in Vancouver to get a lift kit installed?
I had mine installed at CVI. They don't provide the kits but they did a great job on the installation.
echo this. They've done a great job with the installs.

sfd_656
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:33 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: l400
Location: kamloops

Re: L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's go

Post by sfd_656 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:16 pm

where is a place to buy the kits and how much would it set me back?

User avatar
doodah
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:02 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 96 Delica L400 Exceed
Location: Sunshine Coast / BC

Re: L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's go

Post by doodah » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:50 pm

I'm getting a 2" lift kit installed on my Delica Jasper at CVI this coming week and installing some 31" tires/rims.

I'll post some before and after photos for your perusal.

The lift kits are manufactured and sold by one of Delica Canada's more knowledgeable posters.... Jessa Farsang, so you know it will be manufactured and built properly!

radio_van_man
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:17 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: L400
Location: Guernsey
Location: Guernsey

Re: L400 suspension lift - if you have it, make sure it's go

Post by radio_van_man » Thu May 31, 2012 4:07 am

I have had mine for just over 4 years and I am now looking at lowering to slandered or just above slandered hight. I was talking to a guy that wanted it and we were going to do a deal with his van but that has fallen through. I am not sure when I will do it but have started looking for some wheels. The back looks quite strait forward to do but not too sure what has been done to the front yet.
Jes

Post Reply

Return to “Delica Modifications”