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2" lift spring install
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ziasync
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:39 pm    Post subject: 2" lift spring install Reply with quote

I just purchased a set of OME shocks and struts and GoWesty 2" lift springs for my syncro. I don't think I'll have a problem installing the shocks but I'm not sure about the springs. I was wondering if any of you have any info advise or even a link on this procedure. I did a search but only foud post for lowering springs for 2wd vans.
Thanks.
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iceracer
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shouldn't be a problem but you will probably need a spring compressor for the fronts. I was able to do my fronts with a jack but my springs are stock. Good luck.
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jakebayless
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What was your grand total for the springs & shocks? I'm interested in following along and doing this myself, but every time I pen it out it gets to nearly $1k!

~jake
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ranchero
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:45 pm    Post subject: GoWesty spring install Reply with quote

I've been meaning to write up a report on my GoWesty spring install. I installed GoWesty springs because of my excellent experience with H&R products E28 and E36 bimmers. I was leaning towards the syncro.org springs, but beer and a twitchy index finger got in the way as I was visiting the GoWesty site.

Unfortunately, the scientist in me was checked out when I installed them and I didn't take before measurements, but the rear sit noticeably lower than the front. Here are some observations.

Things I have noticed about the ride: -feels slightly stiffer than stock, but doesn't feel harsh in any way -definitely a big improvement in ability to absorb bumps/dips/rocks -does seem to be a bit more stable in crosswinds. We have had a lot of wind here in Central Colorado the past few weeks - the added stiffness makes the rear end fly around a bit on washboard roads. It behaves like my solid axle Toyota on that kind of road.

Installation was difficult relative to springs/struts I've installed on other cars (BWM, VW, Subaru). I started on the passenger front. That one corner took 3-4 hours mostly due to the difficulty finding the proper position for the spring compressors on the new spring. You can effectively use about 1/3 of the circumference of the spring due to the location of the shock tower. After I figured the best location for the compressors, the other front side took about 1.5-2 hours and the backs were done in about 30 mins each.

Only special tool besides spring/strut compressor was a standard issue wife who helped a few minutes here and there standing on lower control arms to make more room for the taller springs. Come to think of it, perhaps I have Deluxe model wife - she has been helping with things like this for 16 years.

The lift figures below aren't that informative since I didn't do the before part. But unloaded with 215/75/15 Nokian tires the distance between fender lip and tire is:
Left Right
Front 6.75 6.75
Rear 5.5 6.0

This is with a Syncro Westy, stock engine and Gary Lee rack with tire on the back.

Steve
Salida, CO
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jakebayless
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pictures, pictures, pictures?? Smile
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ziasync
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply Ranchero. That makes me feel a little more confident about installing the springs myself. I've done several vehicles before but never a vanagon and the GoWesty site tries to scare you out of installing them yourself. If you could post some pics that would be cool. I'll try to post before and after pics myself. My shocks and springs should be in by Wed. and I plan to have the install completed by the end of the weekend. I'm preping the Syncro for a week long camping trip through the jeep roads of Southern Colorado so if your interested in wheeling you Syncro drop me a PM Ranchero.
As far as price goes i dont remember the exact amount but obviously you can only get the springs from GoWesty but the shocks and struts were $100 cheaper at Van-Cafe.com.
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ranchero
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:00 pm    Post subject: pic post attempt Reply with quote

OK, I've never tried to post from picasaweb. Here goes:
removing old spring
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


moving the new spring into position...
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


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

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ranchero
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ziasync - I think that if you've installed struts before you shouldn't have a problem. A little time and swearing and you should be ok. Installed my springs in the dirt lot that will soon be my garage. No air compressor and impact gun, but that would have helped with the multiple times that I had to compress the springs to get the spring compressors situated in the right spot.

I bought the shocks and struts from Van-Cafe too. That's my preferred source-about $100 less expensive too if I remember correctly.

I'll PM you about your camping trip!
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'96 FZJ80 (cheap by comparison^^)
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ziasync
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the pics man. I'm glad you posted them because i was trying to decide witch spring compresser to get. I found one exactly like yours for about $50 and a Mcferson strut compress for bout $80. Did you have your van realigned afterwards?
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mellow cat
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just going to chime in, I just wanted to say a few things about my "wheelin" days and my opinions. I lifted my Syncro Weekender with the syncro.org springs w/emu's. I was pretty excited right after I installed them. Big BFGs on 16's, a couple more inches in travel, The feeling of "Road/Trail Command" I really liked it at first, only because of the "change". I also "do" like the highway "feel" with stiffer spring as well. HOWEVER/BUT The spings did sag, I am sure the h&R product won't, but after living with the van for a few years in this set up I am ready to back to stock. WHY? This last year at Syncro de Mayo, a girlfriend of mine showed up in her "bone stock" 7 pass syncro. She had never been wheelin' so I "showed her the ropes" the best I could. This is not saying a whole lot, but I've put in my time. At any rate, after the first couple of approaches, dropping into 5-fingers for example. I realized that the the factory suspension was FAR superior in articulating transitions that my aftermarket stuff did. I mean waaaay better. Softer springs allow tires staying in contact with the ground for a much longer period of time before lifting another tire. I am going back to stock stuff, minus the struts, I like the gas charged stuff.

This is really no more than a rant. Just though it might give you something to think about before you spend a "gob" of money.

As I get older, it seems I find more and more wisdom from those darn VW engineers. "Them thar guys is real smart."

MC
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW.

I was hoping to lift mine a little for the look and to keep my bumpers from scraping, but performance is a good goal too! Thanks for the heads-up........real comparison is good.

Tom
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ranchero
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:42 am    Post subject: mellocat is right Reply with quote

I completely agree with mellocat.
beware...! Generalization coming up...Stiffer springs won't make any rig wheel better unless racing Baja is your goal. The lift helps get the body out of harm's way a bit. If you want articulation, you want softer springs. Softer, longer ones would be ideal for that. I think that the sliding on washboard roads that I mentioned is an artifact of the stiffer springs. I've driven the same road several times with the stock springs and the new ones. There was no sliding sideways with the old softer springs. Or perhaps that could have something to do with the new shocks. Dunno.

I mostly wanted more lift and on-highway stability. The Vanagon with the 17 year old stock springs and loaded had the ground clearance of my Outback.
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'96 FZJ80 (cheap by comparison^^)
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK.... has anyone heard of using spacers? Spacers would retain the original springrate but lift the van the spacer-distance. Just have to verify that there is no coilbind on bottom-out. You would lose a little of the sag, for drop-in traction.

I think would like a 1 inch lift.

TM
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mellow cat
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think using spacers might be the ticket. Of course you don't want to use spacers that fit between the coils of the springs but rather a spring perch pad etc. The rears are very easy to do. The fronts might be a little more involved. I remember seeing a photo of a guy in Oregon that had made mountng brackets for the fronts of this syncro. The simply relocated the lower mount for the strut. Looked pretty clean and functional. If I remember right he is a fairly popular fellow terms of Vanagon stuff. I believe he has a 7 pass camo-paint syncro.

At any rate, I always thought it was a good idea. It will be what I do when I find the time to change back to the factory stuff.

Sodo, i also live in West Seattle.....mmmmmmm....
Look me up. Dragonflyvans, 1115 S elizabeth st, Seattle wa, 98108. North end of Boeing field.

MC
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[email protected]
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:44 am    Post subject: 2wd lift Reply with quote

sorry for the thread hijack, I've got an 85 2wd westy.

installed the syncro.org springs and KYB shocks. Runing 15x6et30 steel rims with BFG LT215-75R15. I rub on the front fenders when turning and loaded down.

I'm having 1" spacers made for the front springs. Will update when they are done.

tommy
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ranchero
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:47 am    Post subject: Making spacers Reply with quote

Here is a link I had bookmarked on making spacers out of plastic cutting boards. http://www.knology.net/~vw/vanagon/sag/
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll chime in to, I agree with mellow cat, 100%
It's fun to play and work on stuff, it's your van do what you want, but if you want to get your moneys worth and not change out parts every couple of years stick with well made stock parts.
I'm not a stock Nazi, I have went thorough many aftermaket parts in my younger days, wheels, tires, shocks, struts, headers, carbs, and on and on.
It was really dishartening to see the stuff go to crap after a couple of years.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:35 am    Post subject: Re: Making spacers Reply with quote

ranchero wrote:
Here is a link I had bookmarked on making spacers out of plastic cutting boards. http://www.knology.net/~vw/vanagon/sag/


OK this IS getting interesting. The question I have is, does the spring "coilbind" at bottomout? If anyone is using spacers, can you wrap something around a coil that will smash if the coils come together. For example "soldering wire". Probably one coil is enough, maybe wrap the solder with black tape so it doesn't fall off or migrate. Then "bottom it out somehow" - that is more difficult if you don't have good vehicle jumps in the area..... If they don't coil-bind then that's the ticket for me!!!

TIA, Tom
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....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban


Last edited by Sodo on Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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ziasync
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you guys for the most part as far as the stock setup being superior in most cases. But for my situation I simply needed more ground clearance. I've stuck my Syncro three times already from bottoming out in both snow and mud. I went with the GoWest 2" lift springs because they are full progresive springs so I hope I will have good articulation and less sag while retaining a decent ride on pavement. GoWesty seems to sell quality products though they are a bit pricey.
Anyway the installation is underway. I hope to have the new springs and shocks on by Sunday. I'll try to post some before and after pics.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I replaced my stock set up for OME's and syncro.org springs I didn't use a spring compressor. I had a one and it was such a P.I.T.A. that I went without. I did one side at a time and used a SUV jack stand(they are taller and more robust), the weight of the van and the floor jack in the right place to load or unload the suspension to get things in and out. My shocks were useless and the springs were broken so the truck drove completely different afterwards- I like the lift as well. When I buy another syncro I want to try out the GoWesty springs. I like the progressive rate as well as the taller lift. I saw one of the GoWesty campers with the wheel stuffed in the well and the springs had more travel available- I was impressed.
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