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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently picked up a 2004 AWD Sienna with 140k miles for taking mountain bike trips in the Pacific Northwest. The plan is to do a very simple build-out and just make it super capable for carrying bikes, camping, and driving remote backroads.

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Camping in the back of the van on the first night confirmed that buying a Sienna was a way better decision than buying a truck! Also getting up to this photo spot was pretty gnarly and the AWD was amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
A couple friends helped me install a set of BF Goodrich KO2s size 245/65/17. No rubbing and added quite a bit of clearance. The tires are quiet and I love how it handles and rolls over rough terrain. I don't have a spare. Currently just carrying a small compressor, tire plugs, and AAA.
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Are you running that tire size with no rubbing without a lift?

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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Nice video! The driver's side rear seatbelt is easy to take out (though your floor may get in the way of removing the quarter panel trim panel). I didn't look super hard at the passenger side, but it will definitely take more work as it looks like some of the AC venting would need to come out to access one of the bolts.

I ended up detaching the seatbelts from the floor (one bolt each side) and zip tying them up as high as I could to get them out of the way. I can re-attach easily without removing the quarter trim panel.

-Mike

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That floor is looking great. Just wondering - how far off is your speedometer reading with those tires? There are speedo apps you can use to find out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've been camping in the Sienna almost every weekend since purchasing it. I picked up a Yakima box to haul firewood, camp stuff, and smelly mountain bike clothes. Planning to install the lift kit, new shocks, and airbags, sometime this summer. I definitely feel like the suspension is pretty beat so will be nice to get to that sooner than later. I'll post up shots of the interior camp set up soon.

Cheers.

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I've been camping in the Sienna almost every weekend since purchasing it. I picked up a Yakima box to haul firewood, camp stuff, and smelly mountain bike clothes. Planning to install the lift kit, new shocks, and airbags, sometime this summer. I definitely feel like the suspension is pretty beat so will be nice to get to that sooner than later. I'll post up shots of the interior camp set up soon.

Cheers.

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Thanks for the update! I've got the same year model (unfortunately only 2wd) that I'm looking to use in a similar way. Did some forest road camping two weeks ago and now I'm itching to make the van at least slightly more capable.

Which lift kit are you planning to put on? My shocks are pretty beat as well.

Also what cargo box is that in the photo?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So I finally got my Journey Lift Kit installed. My buddy lent us his garage. It took a few hours over three days. We ran into a problem with the rear diff. The bushing was about to blow so we had to order the part which delayed us a day. The rear was definitely a pain to put in. We followed the directions but improvised on a few things. All in all, we replaced the front shocks and rear struts and added the lift kit.

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Here is the blown bushing. Cost $36 on Amazon. My buddy had access to a shop to remove the old one and press in the new one. Here is a link to the bushing: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DBR1J8R/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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To get the brackets in the rear to fit you had to grind off a little lip. See below. For the other side we just hammered it over because we didn't want to use the grinder near the gas tank.
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The front went in very smoothly. We forgot to put in the camber bolts but I had them put them in with the alignment.
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I had replaced my rear struts previous to the lift and they were not compatible with the provided spacer. I would call Journey ahead of time to confirm. Luckily I was able to find struts same day and we were good to go.
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See next post for more info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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The following week after lifting the van we took it on a 1400 mile trip down to California to see my parents.

We opted to not replace the CV axles which is recommended since the van has a 150k on it. Before leaving on the trip the axles were leaking a bit in the front. So I was a little worried but after doing research I read that it would be ok to run it like this for a while. So that was the only thing in the back of my head maintenance wise on the trip and in my head knew I would be replacing them when I got back home.

Otherwise, the van drives great. New shocks front and back make a huge difference. The lift and clearance are amazing. I would definitely recommend it to people looking to buy a Sienna for camping, mountain biking, etc.

On our way home during the last couple hundred miles, I noticed a little wobble in the front end when accelerating uphill going 65-75mph. I am assuming it's the CV axles. It did it again when we were really close to home but at a slower speed and was much more violent. Like a real shake. I would have been stressed if I was not already aware of the CV axles. My plan is to call Journey on Monday and get a recommendation on CV axles for the van. Then call around and find a good mechanic to install them this week. From what I've gathered from other users this should solve the problem. It makes sense since the axles are so old and the angle has changed quiet a bit.
 
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