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Experiences with aftermarket springs?
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El Boxeador
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:25 pm    Post subject: Experiences with aftermarket springs? Reply with quote

I'm thinking of replacing my Carat springs with taller and hopefully more firm aftermarket springs.

I've noticed that companies seem to (not so) subtly imply that other designs rip theirs off and are cheap imitations. Thing is, all the prices seem about the same.

The ones I've found are the syncro.org springs and the smallcar.com springs. There's others mentioned but I can't find reliable sources for them. Can anyone add to the list?

So, insights of personal experiences with aftermarket (not drop) springs? I'm especially interested in the difference in ride quality between the taller standard height springs (pre-87 I think) and the aftermarkets, as I can find used standard heights for ~100 set locally.

Thanks!
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wolfej1
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello
Did you ever get a reply to your questions? I am in the process of restoring a 82 Westy that is really sagging in the rear. I would like to get it leveled out. If you ever completed your project or got any information I would be curious to know about it....

Thanks
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now I am almost certain I wrote about this before and I am sure there is a thread or two that asks similiar questions. My 85 Westy was sitting at 18 inches in the front and 16.5 in the back. I bought the sycro.org springs. He only had rears for a two wheel drive and that was fine, at the time. It raised the rear to 17 1/2 and my front remains at 18. I still have to correct this, as I do not like the nose pointing up. Plus it dips too much during stops.

I do urge you to: "Use the SEARCH, Luke"
Search for all terms syncro.org springs in the Forum: Vanagon/Eurovan
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wbx
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Experiences with aftermarket springs? Reply with quote

El Boxeador wrote:
I'm thinking of replacing my Carat springs with taller and hopefully more firm aftermarket springs.


I really don't mean for this to be a threadjack... however, I am curious if anyone has used carat springs in a westy. I need to lower my westy so it can get into garages, and what-not, and it seems a swap with a carat might do the trick. I'm just concerned about them being stiff enough.

Personally, I find the ride in my '84 (original suspension) to be quite excellent. Not harsh, but not mushy either. About what you'd expect a european touring vehicle to be... But moderately off-road capable.

-Damon
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riceye
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This borders on travesty, and could get me booted from VW cyberworld, but I swapped out the OE (or OG - whatever) rear shocks with a pair of load leveling shocks. These are the ones with the coils around them. The ones I used are now Napa # 58595. They are widely used as rear shocks on late 70 to mid 80's Chevy vans.

I did do a great deal of research to find the shock with the same upper and lower mounting, and extended and comperssed lengths, and travel distance. Under normal load, the shocks are right in the middle of their travel range.

The vehicle leveled out nicely, and the ride improved dramatically. They have been on the vehicle for about 40,000 miles, and I've not had a problem.

I still like the Bilsteins for the front, though!
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Riceye,

What are your ride height measurements?

-Walt
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riceye
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where shall I measure?

I have 29-3/8" from ground to bottom of wheel arch of fender with the tape measure passing through the center of the hub.
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'87 Westy Weekender - daily driver on salt-free roads

There's gonna be some changes made.

I find that things usually go well right up until the moment they don't. - Ahwahnee

"Quality isn't method. It's the goal toward which the method is aimed." - Socrates, later quoted by R.M. Pirsig
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. But, we measure differently. Measure from the center of the wheel to the bottom of the fender flare. That way we all end up being able to compare equally, regardless of wheel or tire size. Mine is 17.5 in the back and 18 in the front (and yes, like many 85 Westies, the nose points up.)

So what do you have front and rear?
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riceye
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I measure 16-1/2" front and 17-1/2" rear.

Just barely fits in the garage w/o the Thule racks. Good reason to get gutter mount racks. Left the roof vent open once...

Sorry for not knowing how to measure ride height. Embarassed My bad.

Regards,
Ric
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'87 Westy Weekender - daily driver on salt-free roads

There's gonna be some changes made.

I find that things usually go well right up until the moment they don't. - Ahwahnee

"Quality isn't method. It's the goal toward which the method is aimed." - Socrates, later quoted by R.M. Pirsig
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r39o
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Riceye,

So I guess you still have the OE springs in the back too, then?

Also is the price of $119 for each or the pair?

http://www.napaautoparts.com/MasterPages/NOLMaster...ter+-+Rear

My dad has been trying to get me to put a set of air bags in the back. I am resisting but, my ass still sags even with the new syncro.org springs in the back. Got to do something.

Did you rear end come up when you added those shocks and helper springs?
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riceye
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I installed them back in '94 and they were about $55 ea. I think they are actually Monroe. I know Napa filters are actually Wix and the first two digits of the P/N are differtent than Wix. I'm guessing the same holds true for the Monroe P/N.

Raised the ride height just a bit, and leveled out the driver's side sag a little, as well. More importantly, kept the laden height better. I like cooking with cast iron over the campfire. Wink

Regards,
Ric
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'87 Westy Weekender - daily driver on salt-free roads

There's gonna be some changes made.

I find that things usually go well right up until the moment they don't. - Ahwahnee

"Quality isn't method. It's the goal toward which the method is aimed." - Socrates, later quoted by R.M. Pirsig
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r39o
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I noticed they were Monroe too. I'll poke around some, I guess then. Or, at least, put them on my list!

BTW: I made a spacer out of aluminum to help the Westy lean. It was pretty simple. Just got a piece of scrap plate aluminum and used the jigsaw to cut it to size. Only took a few minutes to install.

Thanks,
Walt...
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riceye
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great tip.
I keep threatening to swap the rear springs from side to side just to see if it makes a difference in ride height. It could just be me, though. I'm up 15# to a beefy 160. March is my heavy time!

Ric
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'87 Westy Weekender - daily driver on salt-free roads

There's gonna be some changes made.

I find that things usually go well right up until the moment they don't. - Ahwahnee

"Quality isn't method. It's the goal toward which the method is aimed." - Socrates, later quoted by R.M. Pirsig
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r39o
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

riceye wrote:
Great tip.
I keep threatening to swap the rear springs from side to side just to see if it makes a difference in ride height. It could just be me, though. I'm up 15# to a beefy 160. March is my heavy time!

Ric

Must be all the cheese and beer......or is that ice fishing?
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riceye
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I've had both cheese and beer today!
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'87 Westy Weekender - daily driver on salt-free roads

There's gonna be some changes made.

I find that things usually go well right up until the moment they don't. - Ahwahnee

"Quality isn't method. It's the goal toward which the method is aimed." - Socrates, later quoted by R.M. Pirsig
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vwjedi
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have Carat/Wolfsburg springs stock on my '87. Below is raked with '85 Westy springs in the rear.

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


Drove it like that for a day then put the '85 Westy springs in the front too,

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


It leveled out nicely, still sitting higher in the back, I guess 'cause she doesn't have the weight of the full westy?

Thanks again Provocyclist for the springs mang. Cool
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wbx
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vwjedi wrote:
It leveled out nicely, still sitting higher in the back, I guess 'cause she doesn't have the weight of the full westy?


How does it ride? Like i mentioned earlier, i am curious about going the other way, but am concerned about too soft of springs for the shorter travel. Also, it sounds like i would end up with a bit of rear end sag, but that is fixable with either bags or spacers.

In your opinion, would a swap work the other way?

-Damon
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vwjedi
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, why not? I replaced my shocks with Bilstein touring blacks, not the HD ones because I heard they are very stiff for unlaiden window Vans. Still made a huge difference because my old Shocks were shot-out Gabriels.

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

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


Notice how they don't even rebound in my hand! Are yours this shot? Could be partial cause of sag.

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


New springs and shocks=big difference.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vwjedi wrote:
Sure, why not? ...

Notice how they don't even rebound in my hand! Are yours this shot? Could be partial cause of sag....

New springs and shocks=big difference.


Actually, my van rides awesome, even with all the original suspension stuff in there (don't know why... doesn't even sag or have the "westy lean"). It is, however, too tall for what i do, and i want a cheap/effective way to lower it primarily so it will fit into a garage.

My comment about butt sag had to do with you saying that the 85 westy springs in your van bumped the back end up a bit... so i figure going the other way carat springs would tend to droop a bit in the back of a westy. Certainly fixable, though.

Does your van ride stiffer/softer/dive more under braking, etc.? Thanks for the pictures, btw Smile

-Damon
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vwjedi
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Def. stiffer, but in a good way, she used to "pogo" down the road, real bad on camp trails. Nose diving under hard braking has been cut in half. I think the spring rates are pretty similar, probly the new shocks and stiffer side wall tires have created this new ride. Cool
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