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2wd Lift Springs/ Lifting your van in general
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freshintulsa
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:35 pm    Post subject: 2wd Lift Springs/ Lifting your van in general Reply with quote

Hello there. I have an 85 westy, so it started with a rear sag in the beggining of my ownership. years later i put in a subaru svx motor, so it had a drastic rear end sag which bummed me out. so i installed syncro springs inthe rear, andi have a perfectly level van now. BUT, i have 225/75/16's and they are nearly 30" and rub on hard braking and turns on washboard roads. The rubbing is driving me crazy and i need to get rid of it. I could easily put in spacers in the rear to raise it, but not so in the front. Does anyone here with an 85 van have any experience with any of the companies lift springs out there? i just emailed go-westy about their lift springs, which seem to be the best, i've heard a bit about them. I would really like to lift it about 1 1/2 to 2 inches, but im not sure that tthese springs will do that for me. If i get the go westy springs, im sure i will end up ahving to space the rear springs to get it level due to the weight of the svx. SO, does anyone with an 85 westy have any ideas or suggestions for me of what they've done or thought of to raise their van. I only ask this from the 85s, because the front springs on 85s were quite a bit taller than the rest. Again, im just looking for any ideas on lifting my van some. thanks, Doug.
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85 westy svx
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89 wolfsburg/ bluestar.... finished the stick to automatic conversion,
tiico motor
Daily driver, 20mpgs and has enough hair in it to make a few dogs.
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suebicum
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi freshintulsa

225/75R16 on a 2WD Shocked
they even rub on a syncro, there you have to cut out the front wheel well otherwise it could cut the tire if you compress the suspension completely.
VW did this on the 16” Syncro, that’s what the black wheel well trim covers are for.
How do you do in the rear? The 14” trailing arm is pretty short for this size.

And with the springs, VW has 4 different front 2WD springs.
They are colour coded with rings around the wire.
2x blue, normal
2x brown, camper, ambulance, Carat (normal)
2x green, HD for heavy loads
1x yellow, lowered suspension, xx-Star, LLE, Carat

Might be that the 85 US Camper had different Springs then the rest.
For you the 2x green (for HD application) will be interesting (probably a Problem to get in the US, mine are from Germany).

And in the end always the reminder Wink , if you go to high you shred your CV joints that were use to run on the lower alignment

Michael
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sc-surfer
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to hijack this thread but.... this sorta' ties in...

Why did 16s have a longer trailing arm in the back? How, geometrically speaking, does it help. Will it allow bigger tires, or greater lift, or more travel? Will it help freshintulsa with his issues?
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sc-surfer wrote:
Will it allow bigger tires, or greater lift, or more travel? Will it help freshintulsa with his issues?


Yes, yes and yes! No, it probably won't help notsorottenintulsa too much since his rubbing issue seems to be stemming from the front during "hard braking and turns on washboard roads".

notsorottenintulsa, I know that you did not ask this question but the offset of your wheels can have a huge effect on the amount of rubbing that takes place. What are the specs on your wheels?

Athough GoWesty's lift springs will get you some of what you want, it is entirely possible to add a spacer on top of the stock front springs as well. You won't gain any additional spring rate over stock though.
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D Clymer
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sc-surfer wrote:
Not to hijack this thread but.... this sorta' ties in...

Why did 16s have a longer trailing arm in the back? How, geometrically speaking, does it help. Will it allow bigger tires, or greater lift, or more travel? Will it help freshintulsa with his issues?


The semi trailing arm design of the Vanagon causes the wheelbase to get shorter when taller springs are installed and the ride height is increased. A standard Syncro Vanagon for instance has a wheelbase nearly .5 inch shorter than a standard Vanagon. The direct result of this is that the rear wheel ends up not quite centered in the wheel well. The longer 16" specific trailing arm allows the rear wheels to be more centered up in the wheel well.

David
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freshintulsa
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well.. to try and answer everyones questions/replies...
Suebicum) yes, im sure they run on a syncro, i had to cut and bend the front fender in front of the wheel well, then weld and paint it again. The rears dont rub at all, i had to grind the pinch weld completely off in about a 5" area at the corner of the wheel, then weld again. No rub whatsoever. It actually doesnt rub the body anywhere, even under braking or suspension compression, its only that i have SA mudflaps and it rubs those. And, yes i can see that being a problem with the cvs, but the angle its sitting at right now looks perfect, a little more couldnt do too much damage, i would hope. And, im not sure what springs are in teh front as far as code wise, all i know is they are 85 frt springs, which are known to be taller than the rest of 2wd springs.


Loogy) off the top of my head i dont remember the offset, but i needed a half inch spacer to get it pretty darn close to stock. it doesnt rub any suspension, control arm, or any body parts whatsoever, its just now that i added my mudflaps it hits them and annoys the hell out of me. BUT, i havent really heard of anyone adding a spacer on top of the front springs. To me it looked like there wasnt really a good space for it to sit. Have you heard of anyone adding spacers on top of the front springs as well? how far do you think i could "push it" until it became dangerous or unsafe? An inch? inch and a half? i would like to go at least an inch.



SO, i guess i could save myself a ton of money by just making some spacers which i was going to do in the first place, but was scared of putting spacers in the front, it just looked unsafe. I am perfectly fine with my spring rate, i have bilsteins up front, and old man emus out back(to mate with my syncro springs) and it seeems like a good match for me, except that i need new bushings... but thats a whole other story.
_________________
"go slower, go lower!!!"

85 westy svx
Fresh front end rebuild
Front cab changed from brown to black with new homemade door panels, etc.
Soon to remove fridge/sink/cabinet and make custom bench seat!!!



89 wolfsburg/ bluestar.... finished the stick to automatic conversion,
tiico motor
Daily driver, 20mpgs and has enough hair in it to make a few dogs.
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Crughy
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

suebicum wrote:
Hi freshintulsa

225/75R16 on a 2WD Shocked
they even rub on a syncro, there you have to cut out the front wheel well otherwise it could cut the tire if you compress the suspension completely.
VW did this on the 16” Syncro, that’s what the black wheel well trim covers are for.
How do you do in the rear? The 14” trailing arm is pretty short for this size.

And with the springs, VW has 4 different front 2WD springs.
They are colour coded with rings around the wire.
2x blue, normal
2x brown, camper, ambulance, Carat (normal)
2x green, HD for heavy loads
1x yellow, lowered suspension, xx-Star, LLE, Carat

Might be that the 85 US Camper had different Springs then the rest.
For you the 2x green (for HD application) will be interesting (probably a Problem to get in the US, mine are from Germany).

And in the end always the reminder Wink , if you go to high you shred your CV joints that were use to run on the lower alignment

Michael


I'll rebound on that. I have 215/70R16.
I have a bit of rubbing while turning at low speed on dirt/uneven roads.
(front only)
I got some Bilstein HD shocks. I think it will help a bit, limiting the traveling.

But I plan to lift the front springs (half an inch or so).

I was told to make some from kitchen cutting board. It seems weird to me. I read that a couple of time. I think rubber donuts probably just do the same thing.

Does that make any sense? I would still feel more comfortable with some off the shelf solution. Any ref would be welcome. it's for a 2wd.

JP
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suebicum
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi David
D Clymer wrote:

The semi trailing arm design of the Vanagon causes the wheelbase to get shorter when taller springs are installed and the ride height is increased. A standard Syncro Vanagon for instance has a wheelbase nearly .5 inch shorter than a standard Vanagon. The direct result of this is that the rear wheel ends up not quite centered in the wheel well. The longer 16" specific trailing arm allows the rear wheels to be more centered up in the wheel well.

David


Your right that the Syncro has a shorter wheelbase.
2WD 2460mm(96.85")
Syncro 2455mm(96.65")
But the 16" Syncro had the same Springs front and rear then the 14”.
VW used the longer trailing arms only to get enough arm clearance for the 195R16/205R16 Tires

@ Crughy
Cutting board or rubber sems fine, I took the board.
You also don’t need a lot of donut for ½”, the lever of the suspension will make it more.

@ freshintulsa
I thought you had to cut, on a syncro its usually the rear wheel well corner.
It’s a hole lot of tire on your van Cool
with the CV's I think the heavy engine helps to offset your syncro springs.
Somebody I know needed a set of CV's a year on his DoKa with this set up.


Michael
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sc-surfer
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

loogy wrote:
sc-surfer wrote:
Will it allow bigger tires, or greater lift, or more travel? Will it help freshintulsa with his issues?


Yes, yes and yes! No, it probably won't help notsorottenintulsa too much since his rubbing issue seems to be stemming from the front during "hard braking and turns on washboard roads".


Cool, guess when I have an extra $1200 sitting around I'll look into the longer arms! It'll have to wait 'till after the motor swap, the blackout, new bumpers........ hmmmmm, guess I can live with mine for awhile. Still, if money were no object....
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will get a ride height of around 18.5" with the GoWesty lift springs. That's measured from the wheel center to the lip of the fender. You can compare that with what you have now to find what lift you will get. The Syncro.org springs will level out at 17" ride height. There are a couple of other posts about this.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=272234

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=273255&highlight=
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presslab
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an '86 2WD Westy with a modified suspension. In the rear are air bags (no springs), so I can set the height to whatever I want. In the front I am using some springs off a Chevy S-10, they fit perfect. Moog 5660, $54/pr shipped at Amazon. 17" fender to hub center and a good bit stiffer than stock.

Spring spec's:
4.08" ID, 0.718" wire, 598 lbs/in, 13.26" free length

http://presslab.us/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=3954
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Herr Motorspiele
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Presslab,
How do you like those springs? Can you get them for the rear too? Wink
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vinnyvango
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to work at the Moog Spring Plant (when it was still in the US) and I know they used the same mandrel for several different springs. And we mad a FINE product back in the day. So I'm fine with the idea of using springs from another vehicle. BUT, 17" hub to fender seems low to me. I thought most (pre 86 models) were 18-18.5. What year and model are these from? 2WD or 4WD? Though, I know that at some time the S-10 4WD were torsion bars. Thanks. That's pretty innovative.

Vinny
84/90 Westy/Soob
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presslab
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't want to go any higher; the camber adjusters are already max'd out and I don't want to top out over small bumps, there isn't too much negative travel.

Pretty sure the Syncro has 18.5" hub to fender stock. I don't think any 2wd came with that.

I don't know exactly what year Chevy, mid 80s I think, pretty sure they are for the front.

The ride is fantastic. Combined with the Koni red shocks it is like it should have been all along, firm but not harsh. The stiffness of the 5660 springs is about 50% more than the stock springs, according to my rough calculations.

I have not found suitable springs for the rear, that is why I went air bags. I sometimes carry my dirt bike on a hitch carrier so the adjustment is nice to have with the extra 300# hanging back there. The spring rate of the air bags is quite stiff as well.
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vinnyvango
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

O.K. I've been thinking about this for a couple of days now and have finally come up with a few reasonably intelligent questions.

I'm assuming you went with the Konis for the adjustable rebound. That is to tune them to the spring rate. Did you have to dial them in? Are you using them on all four corners?

Next, what calculations? Spring rate? Load height vs. Free height? I found this website:
http://jeffd.50megs.com/Moog_Spring_Page.htm

So it looks possible to dial in to a specific spring. Or did you do that already? You obviously did your homework.

Don't mean to interrogate you. Just want to understand your decision.
Also, I'm looking for a little more height. I'm running 215 75R15s. Don't have any rubbing issues but would like to go a little higher.

I feel like you're on to something here. It's hard for me to drop $4-500 on a new set of springs. It makes more sense to me to get spendy with the dampers. I'm pretty happy with my rear suspension (stock with boge and Airlift and sway bar). BUT the front is terrible. With the subie I feel like I'm exceeding the aerodynamic capacity of the stock set-up around 70 mph with truck traffic.

Thanks again for sharing this!

Shawn
84/90 Westy/Soob
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presslab
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vinnyvango wrote:
I'm assuming you went with the Konis for the adjustable rebound. That is to tune them to the spring rate. Did you have to dial them in? Are you using them on all four corners?


Exactly! Yes, all 4 corners. I had Bilstein HD but they just didn't cut it. They were "ok" but not the firm ride I had in mind. My front ones are currently 1/2 turn out, and the rears are 1.75 turns out. Not sure why they are so different but these settings give a balanced ride that is firm but still not too stiff. The freeways here have quite a periodic warp to them and any stiffer and I can feel it.

Quote:

Next, what calculations? Spring rate? Load height vs. Free height? I found this website:
http://jeffd.50megs.com/Moog_Spring_Page.htm


Yes I found that page before ordering the springs. The calculations I did were based on the existing springs: wire diameter, number of coils, free height, load height, etc.

Quote:

So it looks possible to dial in to a specific spring. Or did you do that already? You obviously did your homework.

Don't mean to interrogate you. Just want to understand your decision.
Also, I'm looking for a little more height. I'm running 215 75R15s. Don't have any rubbing issues but would like to go a little higher.


Oh by all means, ask away. I am using the same size tires as you. Before the new springs, the tires would rub the top of the wheel well when I bombed into my driveway, so I added a small rubber bushing on the shock shaft of about 3/4" thickness. They are still on there.

Quote:

I feel like you're on to something here. It's hard for me to drop $4-500 on a new set of springs. It makes more sense to me to get spendy with the dampers. I'm pretty happy with my rear suspension (stock with boge and Airlift and sway bar). BUT the front is terrible. With the subie I feel like I'm exceeding the aerodynamic capacity of the stock set-up around 70 mph with truck traffic.


There were no springs available from any vendor with the stiffness I desired. I tried the Syncro.org springs and they were too soft. I have a EJ22 engine and I have hit 100 MPH; the suspension was fine at that speed.

If you haven't done so already, get some poly rack bushings. I think I bought mine from England or something. This mod alone felt as good as the F/R oversize swaybars! Best bang for the buck.
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Charliemon22623
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:22 am    Post subject: Lifting 91' 2wd Reply with quote

Hello, I'm not sure if anyone has checked this thread in a really long time, but I figured I would try my luck.

I am a newbie and would love all the help and support I can get.

At the moment I have a stock 91' vanagon gl. I am hoping to lift it, get new suspension and tires. I am planning a trip to baja this winter and would like to get my rig offroad friendly. If anyone sees this post, please reply with some knowledgable feedback:

What lift to get, shocks and suspension. How much ground clearence this would get me. What tires I can use after this upgrade. And any little tidbits of information that could be useful. I know that there is a whole page of info in this thread, but I would appreciate it if someone could just lay it out nice and easy for me. As I said, I am a newbie and could use all the help I can get!

Thank you so much!

-Charlie
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914 mike
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of good reading here.....

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=329946
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie! You live in the same town as GoWesty. Drive the two miles to their shop and see what they can do for you. In my opinion, their lift springs along with Bilstein HD shocks is the best set up for providing lift. You can go cheaper routes and a lot has been written in this forum about it, but you usually get what you pay for.

www.gowesty.com
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freshintulsa
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes.. get the go westy lift springs. i recently saw these on a van here and it looks awesome and drove amazingly well. a bit pricey but totally worth it, especially since you live right there. spacers and all that can work, but the springs are the best bet in my opinion. i have 225/75/16s on mine, which is 18.5" center of hub to bottom of fender, but they rub on occassion, so i would go a little smaller than that and you should be fine.
_________________
"go slower, go lower!!!"

85 westy svx
Fresh front end rebuild
Front cab changed from brown to black with new homemade door panels, etc.
Soon to remove fridge/sink/cabinet and make custom bench seat!!!



89 wolfsburg/ bluestar.... finished the stick to automatic conversion,
tiico motor
Daily driver, 20mpgs and has enough hair in it to make a few dogs.
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