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Lowered Vanagons - no more?
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vik
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:29 am    Post subject: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

Hi,

Thinking about the threads I have seen on Samba recently and off road/lifting seems still be the thing.

But what happened to the lowered Vanagons running 17 and larger rims? Is anyone interested in this way modification still? Looking at earlier buses low seems to be the way to go.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:30 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

Were they ever?

Overall Vanagon owners still seem drive them, vacation in them, off road in them. They aren't show pieces to drag out on Sunny weekends and show them off.

To be dragging your bumpers or under carriage on the ground just isn't practical for daily use.

I've seen some, but they aren't daily drivers.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:45 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

There are a bunch of bagged vanagons in Europe, based on what I see on Instagram.

There is a lacking of vanagon specific lowering parts, and you quickly run into the bump stops then clearance issues if you drop any further.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

Honest question: what's the appeal/draw of lowered cars/vans (not just Vanagons)?

I've seen many pictures of lowered cars that are barely over the ground, some even with big wheels and skinny tires, and I kept thinking to myself "that's probably a very bumpy ride, and you probably are always afraid of scratching the ground".

Is my above thought correct? Perhaps I'm over-thinking the possible drawbacks and they're super-fun to drive? I admit it, I've never ridden in a lowered car/van, so perhaps it's the smoothest ride in the universe, with fun cornering.
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vik
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:54 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

Sure. Question is how low you want to go.

I do not really considered show cars on bags. Lowering HW (at least in Europe) is available. for example: https://www.brickwerks.co.uk/spring-set-t3-70mm-avo.html
I have seen several lowered T3s, even a 2WD westy. In many countries all land is private and it is prohibited to roam trough country lanes unless you do have a permission. And wild camping is simply illegal with high fines. Croatia as an example. Guy I know has lowered camper so he can fit in the garage.

So it can be bigger thing in Europe.
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I found now actually the samba thread too https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=140
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campism
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:57 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

They're around. I've met the owner of this van. Got a free gas tank from him which I turned out not to need so passed it on.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/471383340771403

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:07 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

pnwkayaker wrote:
"...and you probably are always afraid of scratching the ground".

What you need to fear is the ground scratching you. There was an intersection in my old neighborhood with a manhole in the center that was raised above the surrounding pavement. One morning I noticed a gouge in the metal and a huge splash of oil on the other side. I could just imagine some slammed Civic rubberbanding down the road (serious bass notes from the stereo) and getting rudely awakened. Hope the driver was able to shut down in time to avert further disaster.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

There is no explaining the lowered vehicle thing to people that just don't get it or care to get it.

In many peoples minds a lot of cars just look better when they are low and many people are just fine not exploring the back country in their car, truck or van.
Maybe reworking the suspension to get the van down for working better on the twisty back roads is more their thing.

In the US I can think of plenty of paved twisty back roads that lead to some pretty remote and epic places that also happen to have campgrounds

Obviously there is a limit to how low you can go and still be practical but you can certainly get it down some and still have a decent ride.

Air is good for making a lowered vehicle a bit more practical but might not be the best choice for handling and obviously some super short profile tires have their limits as well whether you can get the van up higher to clear things or not.

I have been flip flopping back and forth with my van during its entire 2 year build as to whether I want to keep it lifted or rethink the suspension to drop it some.

As my van nears completion I have decided to stick with the lifted set up

I do have plans for building a lowered Vanagon and have even started my own thread to discuss the topic.
In the future I will very likely source a cheap Vanagon shell and start from the ground up on a lowered van build.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:04 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

It's very popular in Europe (and Britain)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:21 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

Squidfish wrote:
It's very popular in Europe (and Britain)


So is Marmite.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:23 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

pnwkayaker wrote:
Honest question: what's the appeal/draw of lowered cars/vans (not just Vanagons)?


it looks better. often times, anyway... but i suppose thats subjective!

pnwkayaker wrote:

I've seen many pictures of lowered cars that are barely over the ground, some even with big wheels and skinny tires, and I kept thinking to myself "that's probably a very bumpy ride, and you probably are always afraid of scratching the ground".


the bumpiness really depends on the suspension.
often times adjustable coilovers will ride better as the ride height decreases as you remove a lot of the preload required to raise the car.
similar story with air suspension as you firm it up/pressurize to raise it up
this thing was on air, it actually rode really really well just a hair taller than this
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that said, id have a harder time doing that to a camper van as its really nice to have the clearance to get places to camp. if it was a tintop, sure! id be tempted to try air on a van if i was looking for maximum low - as youd have some of the creeping-over-obstacles ability, but still get the look. and the van has lots of places to tuck compressors and tank/valves.... plus the ride comfort on the highway when the bags are spec'd properly can be incredible.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

People do them, mine is on air ride and 18's.

It rides great as long as I don't drive it in full lowered position at which point its sitting on the control arms and rides HORRIBLY. AND since its adjustable ride height I can still go to 1 inch above stock height if I want to take it out into the woods for camping. Best of both worlds!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:28 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

^^^ sharp!

is that all the way aired out?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:31 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

valvecovergasket wrote:
^^^ sharp!

is that all the way aired out?


Yes in the front, there's still a little farther to go in the back in that photo.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

is it hanging up on the wheels up front? seems like some of the static vans look lower but theyre likely running 15s or something
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:36 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

valvecovergasket wrote:
is it hanging up on the wheels up front? seems like some of the static vans look lower but theyre likely running 15s or something


No, they tuck into the wheel wells at full drop but I still have full turn radius like that. They surprisingly don't hang up on anything even that low.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:42 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

In the UK it is a common thing. together with the rat style.
In the states "overlanding" is the buzzword nowadays.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:52 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

As long as you can maintain the camber, caster and toe, either direction from stock ride height is fine. You do need to pay attention to bumpsteer changes and have an idea where your new roll center has moved to.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:04 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

Brickwerks UK seems to stock a lot of parts for such endeavors, as does T3 technique on our side of the pond.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: Lowered Vanagons - no more? Reply with quote

Ahwahnee wrote:
Squidfish wrote:
It's very popular in Europe (and Britain)


So is Marmite.


Fully off-topic now -- Just don't try to get it in Denmark Shame on you
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