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First post and a Koni shock question.
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Christopher Schimke Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:37 pm    Post subject: First post and a Koni shock question. Reply with quote

I've been lurking for a while now and now the time has come to jump in.

A bit about myself.

I've been around VW's all my life. My Dad worked for VW for most of his career. When I was a kid, he had a '74 Westfalia. My brother and I loved that van. My Dad, my brother and I would go camping in that thing every chance that we had and when we couldn't go camping, my brother and I would just play in it.

When I was 16 years old, I worked for Riviera Motors, with my Dad, in downtown Portland. I was a shuttle driver, parts gopher and general grunt. Anyway, when I would go out on runs, I would drive a deisel automatic Vanagon. I guess that the higher up's figured that a 16 year old couldn't get into too much trouble driving something so slow. But what a blast. I instantly fell in love. With Vanagons being fairly new at the time, I couldnt afford one but vowed that someday I would. I even went so far as to draw a concept for how I wanted it to look. Lowered, Mercedes AMG wheels on it, blacked out window pillars, etc.

Fast forward 5 years. I put money down on a 83 Vanagon at a local dealer. Being young and nieve, I went back to finish the deal on the Van only to find out that the dealership had closed its doors for good and my money and the van were gone forever. Heartbroken and broke, I still knew that someday I would own a Vanagon.

It took almost 20 more years before I finally purchased my Vanagon. So here it is. It's a 1984 cheap chuck Vanagon that is mostly stock except for 18" BBS wheels, a healthy lowering, painted bumpers and handles, factory front spoiler and Acura front seats. I also have a set of Whiteline anti-sway bars on order. It's got 230,000 miles on it and is slated for a Subaru conversion fairly soon. It's my daily driver and I love it. My wife just doesn't understand my passion for this thing and I had quit trying to explain it to her. Then one day I was going through a bunch of old junk and found the concept drawing that I had done so many years ago. I took showed it to my wife and told her how long ago I had drawn it. Now she KNOWS I'm crazy. Here's a picture of it when it was about an inch higer than it is now.

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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Most of my questions have already been answered by the big brains that lend their knowledge on here, but I have one that I can't seem to find an answer for.

Where are you guys purchasing your Koni shocks? Are they the Koni "Reds"? Are they any shorter than the standard replacment shocks that are available for the Vanagons? I tried emailing the Bus Depot about them a couple of times with no reply.

Right now I'm running a set of modified Bilsteins from a Chevy S-10. They are quite a bit shorter than the stock shocks but don't quite have the dampening that I would like. My van is very low. So low that on medium bumps, the tires actually rub on the upper fenderwell. It's a nice vibratey feeling in seat of your pants.

Anyway, any comments would be appreciated. Thanks,
Chris
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walrus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, nice story. I'm glad it worked out for you. I don't know that a lot of vanagon guys use or are fond of the konis. I have the yellow adjustable ones on my '91 Jetta and like them pretty well but they are stiff and performance orientated.

PM the guy(11th reply) in this thread that just installed a set.
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=149899
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ProvoCyclist
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Chris, thats a Shocked Shocked Shocked HOT looking van! are you running any spacers on your wheels, howd you get them to work? *grabs tissue to wipe up drool*
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Christopher Schimke Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys.

ProvoCyclist, The wheels are 18x8 with a 32mm offset. I had to modify the upper control arm just a tiny bit by the ball joint for clearance. No spacers in front, but I am running spacers in the rear just to push the wheels out to match the front track. The biggest pain has been the center caps. In order to make the BBS center cap work, I had to shorten the bearing dust caps which also meant trimming just a bit off the end of the spindles. Front tires are 225/40/18 and the rears are 235/40/18. The tires that are on it in the pictures are different than are on it now.

Chris
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pocvw
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to hear you didn't give up on your Vanagon dream - and it paid off! Nice ride!!
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