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bored001

Lifting a Torrent AWD.... I know; I know... HELP!

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I want to lift my Torrent about 2 inches and can find nothing available. I don't mind modifying something off of say an Equinox or a Vue but I can't find anything to even point me in the right direction. Anyone have any ideas? I am going to put some slightly larger tires, a bull bar and nerf bars on it along with a Baja style roof rack basket for the spare. I live waaay out in the sticks and I recently took a job as an E&I Engineer at a biofuel plant that is surrounded by every deer in Indiana it seems and the damn plants' closest neighbor is Siberia. I need to be able to get out there in the winter. Short of buying something else this seems the best alternative.


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Liking this idea....Have thought about this as well.  Never paid much attention as I don't own one, but got the idea from ralley cars I saw at a show couple years back.  Check into QA1's adjustable shock spring combo.  Thats the next mod to my GTO.


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This is a tough one. I am not aware of any commercially available lift kits for Torrent/Equinox/Vue/Terrain platform. That being the case, I think you will need to have a custom fabricated kit made for you, which will be expensive or perhaps its not worth doing if its too expensive.


 


The Torrent and its sister vehicles are not considered an off road vehicle due to its FWD/unibody architecture (albeit yours is the AWD variant of the FWD). For that reason alone, I doubt that any lift kit or off-road company is willing to invest in developing parts/kits for these vehicles.


 


For the sake of oversimplifying the various engineering tasks that have to be overcome, the essences of the lift kit is to re-position the suspension and steering mounts to accomplish the lift and not put anything in a bad bind or angle that will lead to premature wear. Also, if it is intended for off-road use, the hardware supplied is often beefier than stock to handle the added punishment the vehicle is expected to see off-road between the trail obstacles and beefier wheels and tires guys usually run off-road. 


 


These lift kits work well with today's modern trucks that are based on full-frame/RWD architecture (including 4WD/AWD vehciles) and independent front and rear suspensions. However, with the Torrent, lifting the suspension could put the front half shafts/CV joints into a bad angle and cause them to wear out prematurely. Also, given the AWD varant of your vehicle, then the driveshaft angle to the rear drive has to be considered to make sure this is not put it into a bind or lead to pre-mature wear on the U-joints. About the only way to accomplish this would be to lift the entire drivetrain 2 or more inches away from the body to keep the stock suspension geometry in place (relative to one another). Once you head down that road, you will encounter a number of things you will need to overcome - electrical, mechanical, steering re-location, etc.


 


In my opinion, you should talk to a reputable custom car fabricator and discuss it. Also, keep searching the Internet - perhaps someone is doing this sort of thing on a limited basis with this platform. This is not an impossible project, just an expensive one. The question you will have to answer is how much can you afford?


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This is a tough one. I am not aware of any commercially available lift kits for Torrent/Equinox/Vue/Terrain platform. That being the case, I think you will need to have a custom fabricated kit made for you, which will be expensive or perhaps its not worth doing if its too expensive.

 

The Torrent and its sister vehicles are not considered an off road vehicle due to its FWD/unibody architecture (albeit yours is the AWD variant of the FWD). For that reason alone, I doubt that any lift kit or off-road company is willing to invest in developing parts/kits for these vehicles.

 

For the sake of oversimplifying the various engineering tasks that have to be overcome, the essences of the lift kit is to re-position the suspension and steering mounts to accomplish the lift and not put anything in a bad bind or angle that will lead to premature wear. Also, if it is intended for off-road use, the hardware supplied is often beefier than stock to handle the added punishment the vehicle is expected to see off-road between the trail obstacles and beefier wheels and tires guys usually run off-road. 

 

These lift kits work well with today's modern trucks that are based on full-frame/RWD architecture (including 4WD/AWD vehciles) and independent front and rear suspensions. However, with the Torrent, lifting the suspension could put the front half shafts/CV joints into a bad angle and cause them to wear out prematurely. Also, given the AWD varant of your vehicle, then the driveshaft angle to the rear drive has to be considered to make sure this is not put it into a bind or lead to pre-mature wear on the U-joints. About the only way to accomplish this would be to lift the entire drivetrain 2 or more inches away from the body to keep the stock suspension geometry in place (relative to one another). Once you head down that road, you will encounter a number of things you will need to overcome - electrical, mechanical, steering re-location, etc.

 

In my opinion, you should talk to a reputable custom car fabricator and discuss it. Also, keep searching the Internet - perhaps someone is doing this sort of thing on a limited basis with this platform. This is not an impossible project, just an expensive one. The question you will have to answer is how much can you afford?

Frosty..you were standing next to me when I had the brainfart about this one.  Off road tires/rims, off road wheel flairs, fab up a tube push bar/grille guard, matching tube nerf bars, fab a swingaway spare tire from a Bronco or Jeep. Now, what class do ya run this thing in at shows?  Car, Truck, SUV, custom, Pretty-New Iron Rat rod?   :lol2:   N still all PONTIAC.  :dancingpontiac:

Gto%2012%20005_zps2gsown4y.jpg

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I'd pay to see a Rally Vibe


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Frosty..you were standing next to me when I had the brainfart about this one.  Off road tires/rims, off road wheel flairs, fab up a tube push bar/grille guard, matching tube nerf bars, fab a swingaway spare tire from a Bronco or Jeep. Now, what class do ya run this thing in at shows?  Car, Truck, SUV, custom, Pretty-New Iron Rat rod?   :lol2:   N still all PONTIAC.  :dancingpontiac:

Gto%2012%20005_zps2gsown4y.jpg

 

Brainfart is a good term there buddy. A Rally Vibe is one thing, its based around harden parts using the stock geometry and drivetrain for the most part. They don't do 2-4" body lifts to go rally racing. I know someone in Canuckistan with a Vibe we can test it out on too.

 

I'd pay to see a Rally Vibe

 

You are looking at a picture one there sunshine. :lol2:  Now mail JUSTA your buck and quarter. That was taken at the Golling Buick-GMC charity car show in September - either last year or the year before.

 

Back to bored001's topic though, I think doing a full lift kit will require custom fabrication.

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Despite all it's marketing ... the Torrent is a minivan. Attempting what you're wanting will just make a mediocre vehicle worse. There are plenty of other vehicles out there that come stock with more ground clearance than you're looking for. Take the money you'd put into the mods and buy a second hand one for hard use, and keep the Torrent stock for daily driving everywhere else. You'll be happier.


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ANYTHING is possible.


Gto%2012%20061_zpsbxkusndi.jpg


6-6-2015%20009_zpsqeuwhczy.jpg


:slap:  :lol2:  :lol2:  :lol2:  :lol2:  :pontiac:


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Gto%2012%20061_zpsbxkusndi.jpg

 

 

 

Someone put a shortened 4x4 full frame under this Grand Am. Not quite the same thing - I remember this car

 

 

 

6-6-2015%20009_zpsqeuwhczy.jpg

 

 

Sins of Steels swap meet area???

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For a trail runabout I'd agree 100% Justy. But he's talking modifying his family runabout, his daily driver.  I expect he'll want to do highway speeds with it. I'm very loath to mess with unibody cars when it comes to suspension. Simply nowhere strong to weld to. And those things are now always high strung finicky bastiches at the best of times. A worn bushing will make it feel like a wheel's about to come off. Lifting it as he's after would make the Jeep crowd envy their legendary Death Wobbles.


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For a trail runabout I'd agree 100% Justy. But he's talking modifying his family runabout, his daily driver.  I expect he'll want to do highway speeds with it. I'm very loath to mess with unibody cars when it comes to suspension. Simply nowhere strong to weld to. And those things are now always high strung finicky bastiches at the best of times. A worn bushing will make it feel like a wheel's about to come off. Lifting it as he's after would make the Jeep crowd envy their legendary Death Wobbles.

Yo PRO, ya know I was JUSTA jokin with ya.  Saw that sign @ Sinn's of Steele RAT ROD show as Frosty pointed out. How did he know?   :lol2:   Being a front wheel drive platform. The entire front drive train cradle bolts to the body from the underside.  At least on my limited thoughts on a project like this, seems like you could make blocks of solid steele to insert between the cradle and attachment to the body.  Using longer bolts and factory bushings.  This would keep your stock frontend geometry and allow slightly taller and wider rims/tires.  As your Radiator would stay in stock position, you would have to have longer hoses, Add rubber lines for the brake system and maybe for the fuel system. Wouldn't be an issue to lift the rear. Might need longer rubber brake hoses to the block in the rear. Hardest part would be adding a universal swivel in the steering linkage. Agreed, it's NOT a weekend project or something to start on your daily driver. :slap:  Unless you've had your NUTS removed already.  Cause mine would be nailed to the garage door by the warden. :lol2:

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Gto%2012%20061_zpsbxkusndi.jpg

 

 

 

Someone put a shortened 4x4 full frame under this Grand Am. Not quite the same thing - I remember this car

 

 

 

6-6-2015%20009_zpsqeuwhczy.jpg

 

 

Sins of Steels swap meet area???

 

Downright scary how well you know me. :bowdown:

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No worries Justy.  I'd sell my left testicle for access to a CNC laser cutter like that myself. Well ... maybe not mine, but someone's left testicle. I'll probably find something in the garage ....


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Yo PRO, ya know I was JUSTA jokin with ya.  Saw that sign @ Sinn's of Steele RAT ROD show as Frosty pointed out. How did he know?   :lol2:   Being a front wheel drive platform. The entire front drive train cradle bolts to the body from the underside.  At least on my limited thoughts on a project like this, seems like you could make blocks of solid steele to insert between the cradle and attachment to the body.  Using longer bolts and factory bushings.  This would keep your stock frontend geometry and allow slightly taller and wider rims/tires.  As your Radiator would stay in stock position, you would have to have longer hoses, Add rubber lines for the brake system and maybe for the fuel system. Wouldn't be an issue to lift the rear. Might need longer rubber brake hoses to the block in the rear. Hardest part would be adding a universal swivel in the steering linkage. Agreed, it's NOT a weekend project or something to start on your daily driver. :slap:  Unless you've had your NUTS removed already.  Cause mine would be nailed to the garage door by the warden. :lol2:

 

 

JUSTA - you've outlined most of the problems I thought of too. You will also have to fab up extensions for all the electrical connections for the lowered drivetrain for engine and ABS sensors and such. Don't forget this an AWD variant, so you have to drop the back end as well to keep things in proper spec.

 

I think steering will be one of the biggest challenges beyond making longer power steering hoses since either the rack and pinion has to stay put to maintain its geometry to the steering column and some sort extensions are needed, or the rack drops with the rest of the engine cradle and you have to fab up a new connection between the rack and the steering column. Also by running significantly larger tires and wheels, will it overwhelm the rack and pinion set-up and require a ram-assist unit or something similar to what the off-road guys use?

 

Upgrading the brakes due to the larger wheels and tires would be another consideration - question is how much can you really do with this platform and what is available in the aftermarket, or do you have to try to adapt Camaro/Corvette/truck spindles onto the Torrent in order to run bigger aftermarket brakes? In the end, you could end up re-plumbing much of the entire car's brake system, certainly an upgraded master cylinder and booster and perhaps proportioning valve.

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And at what point through all this have you rolled right past the cost of a used 4x4? I'd say about when you buy the longer rad hoses.


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JUSTA - you've outlined most of the problems I thought of too. You will also have to fab up extensions for all the electrical connections for the lowered drivetrain for engine and ABS sensors and such. Don't forget this an AWD variant, so you have to drop the back end as well to keep things in proper spec.

 

I think steering will be one of the biggest challenges beyond making longer power steering hoses since either the rack and pinion has to stay put to maintain its geometry to the steering column and some sort extensions are needed, or the rack drops with the rest of the engine cradle and you have to fab up a new connection between the rack and the steering column. Also by running significantly larger tires and wheels, will it overwhelm the rack and pinion set-up and require a ram-assist unit or something similar to what the off-road guys use?

 

Upgrading the brakes due to the larger wheels and tires would be another consideration - question is how much can you really do with this platform and what is available in the aftermarket, or do you have to try to adapt Camaro/Corvette/truck spindles onto the Torrent in order to run bigger aftermarket brakes? In the end, you could end up re-plumbing much of the entire car's brake system, certainly an upgraded master cylinder and booster and perhaps proportioning valve.

I never thought of going all BIG FOOT on it.  Taller tires on wider rims shouldn't  mess that much up,  to the extent of needing brake upgrades ect.  You really wouldn't be adding any extra weight.  An extension for the steering is the biggest prob,  your only making 1 1/2in lift for the body.  Electrical should all be fine once you disconnect from firewall and reposition.  Never considered making a rock climber, Justa give it more 4X4 LOOK to it N doing it with Pontiac style.  :indian:

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I never thought of going all BIG FOOT on it.  Taller tires on wider rims shouldn't  mess that much up,  to the extent of needing brake upgrades ect.  You really wouldn't be adding any extra weight.  An extension for the steering is the biggest prob,  your only making 1 1/2in lift for the body.  Electrical should all be fine once you disconnect from firewall and reposition.  Never considered making a rock climber, Justa give it more 4X4 LOOK to it N doing it with Pontiac style.  :indian:

 

Once you upgrade to larger wheels and tires, you've add more rolling mass and sprung weight, so then the stock brakes have to at least be evaluated for safety sake.

 

And at what point through all this have you rolled right past the cost of a used 4x4? I'd say about when you buy the longer rad hoses.

 

Pro, your point is well taken. I think this is a good bench racing session to help answer bored001'squestion. Its feasible from an engineering perspective, but not from a practical cost perspective.  However, how many guys do we all know that have done things that don't make financial sense? Case in point, the 4x4 Grand Am. Who would build such a thing on a tight budget? As I said in the beginning, this is going to be expensive.

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Just invest in good winter tires and that should get you thru winter.  lifting it will be damn near imposisble, you will need custom axles made ( around 1k for a pair) to accommodate for the new angles, then you will need custom struts and springs for the lift, and modified lower control arms. then in the end you still have a open diff AWD vehicle so that pretty much makes it pointless


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As Killer states......I would rather lose by a mile because I built my own car, than lose by an inch, because someone else built it for me. Your car is your story, so don't let someone else write the book.  This all burns down to Bored's mad skills N deep pockets. BEST SOLUTION is a used 4X4, but damn that would turn heads everywhere he goes, same as the Grand AM.


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Once you upgrade to larger wheels and tires, you've add more rolling mass and sprung weight, so then the stock brakes have to at least be evaluated for safety sake.

 

lots of people add lifts and bigger tires to the 00-04 outbacks and haven't touched the brakes.. and from checking it has roughly the same size front rotor and backs too.

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lots of people add lifts and bigger tires to the 00-04 outbacks and haven't touched the brakes.. and from checking it has roughly the same size front rotor and backs too.

I've always gone with wider/taller tires on everything I've ever owned and never a brake issue, except the speedo shows about 5 mph (slower than what your really driving) per inch taller tire.   :lol2:   The GTO, with the rear gears N jumpin up to 15's, and the tallest tires possible on the rears. Speedo say's  70 and I'm really doing around 50mph.   :slap:  Cost at speedo shop is about a 100 DUCKS to re-gear and correct.  

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QUACK!


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QUACK!

Quack X 100

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I've never seen a true lift kit for that platform.

It would need to be either:

One off custom parts, which will cost A LOT to have fabricated.

Or, take the time (a lot of time) to find out what can be mixed and matched for a taller ride. But that also means comparing spring rates, too. Even then, it's basically still a car chassis (CUV problems) and the suspension articulation will still be extremely limited to that of an actual truck.

In the end, you'll get parts wearing out faster for just 2 inches of lift and at what cost?

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:lol2:  Read the 1st N last page of the book. Book report done. = D-   :lol2:


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