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Shocks for lift springs
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Zero419
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:57 pm    Post subject: Shocks for lift springs Reply with quote

I ordered the 2wd GW lift springs from Van Cafe today (along with 1,500 bucks worth of stuff)
I want the Koni's, but due to the recent reports explaining topping out, I am not going to take the chance.
What is the second best shock out there that will meet my needs?

Thanks.
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RCB
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See nothing wrong with the Bilsteins.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recent posts also state that VC says the Konis are fine with the GW springs.....

I *AM* confused.

See post by pighamling in http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=406870&highlight=koni
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1621
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bilstiens are nice, and you can have them "tuned" to your specifications should you desire a firmer ride.
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
Recent posts also state that VC says the Konis are fine with the GW springs.....

I *AM* confused.

See post by pighamling in http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=406870&highlight=koni



According to 1621's measurements, the Konis are 6.5mm shorter at full extension over the Bilsteins. That equates to roughly 12mm less downward travel at the centerline of the wheel (30mm offset). While that is not a huge amount, it is enough to prove that there will be less downward travel with the Konis, which means that "topping out" will occur sooner compared to the Bilsteins. Whether or not that difference is detrimental to the function of the suspension during normal use, I don't know.

I know a guy with Bilsteins combined with the GW springs and he hates that combo. He feels that the van is too wallowy feeling...not enough control over the spring. I'm really happy with my cheap NAPA shocks/stock GL springs, but I have no idea how they would behave with the GW springs.
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SSWesty
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have about 10k miles on gowesty lift springs and heavy duty bilsteins. The combo was a big improvement of over stock and I don't notice any negative traits that concern me. They seem to perform well empty, loaded and towing. I am a pretty mellow driver so my experience may be a bit sheltered.

Steve
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Ryan Alfonso
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

quite pleased with my bilstien GW/H&R spring combo. no topping out/bottoming out the shocks. going on about a year or so with this set up. other than the parking garage hassles associated with having a 7 foot tall vehicle, there's no downside I can see.
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Zero419
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Response from Koni Rep.

Mike, sorry we don't have anything like that.

-----Original Message-----

From: (hero419)
Address:
Phone:
Fax:
Comments: I have a 1987 VW Vanagon that I plan on adding lift springs to. Do you have a shock that will accommodate 2" higher than stock?
Thanks
Mike
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

loogy wrote:

I know a guy with Bilsteins combined with the GW springs and he hates that combo. He feels that the van is too wallowy feeling...not enough control over the spring. I'm really happy with my cheap NAPA shocks/stock GL springs, but I have no idea how they would behave with the GW springs.



SSWesty wrote:
I have about 10k miles on gowesty lift springs and heavy duty bilsteins. The combo was a big improvement of over stock and I don't notice any negative traits that concern me. They seem to perform well empty, loaded and towing. I am a pretty mellow driver so my experience may be a bit sheltered.

Steve



Ryan Alfonso wrote:
quite pleased with my bilstien GW/H&R spring combo. no topping out/bottoming out the shocks. going on about a year or so with this set up. other than the parking garage hassles associated with having a 7 foot tall vehicle, there's no downside I can see.



And herein lies part of the problem when discussing shocks. Topping or bottoming out are things that I think we can all agree upon as being something that needs to be avoided, but the way that a particular shock makes a vehicle feel is totally personal and subjective to other factors including tires and tire pressures.

I agree that it always good to gather information based on other people's experiences, but at the end of the day it all comes down to personal preference and without first had experience with a particular shock, there is no way to know for sure that it will be to your liking.
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

loogy wrote:

I know a guy with Bilsteins combined with the GW springs and he hates that combo. He feels that the van is too wallowy feeling...not enough control over the spring. I'm really happy with my cheap NAPA shocks/stock GL springs, but I have no idea how they would behave with the GW springs.

Hi Chris.

When I dismantled my front end the first time a couple months ago, it sure did seem that the shocks act to stop travel in the stock setup.

When I removed my OEM shocks (van on jacked on frame) the lower control arm could move only another 1/2" or so down (with force). At that point the sway bar and radius contol arm binds up the lower control arm from moving much more.

Then I installed the VC (syncro.org) springs.. the van rests about 7/8" higher.. This leads me to believe that the limiting factor on travel beyond the shock is the radius control arm and sway bar acting in tandem.

When I dismantled my radius control arms.. the bushing sleeves (oringinals, no doubt) showed some deformation.

Seems maybe we would WANT the shock to top out first... rather than having the sway bar and radius control arm taking all that force.

In the rear, aren't the shocks the limiting factor on travel?.. acting almost as limiting straps?

Your thoughts?
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danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do agree that the shocks on a Vanagon are acting as a downward travel limiting device. Most common shocks do not have much in the way of protection for the valve to prevent damage when at full extension. While jacking the vehicle off of the ground causes the valve in the shock to come in contact with the upper portion of the shock body, it's a pretty gentle contact. When the suspension tops out during a driving situation, that valve-to-body contact can be very harsh which commonly causes damage to the valve and/or seal.

A shock should never be relied upon to act as a suspension limiting device in a driving situation. It's a quick way to ruin a perfectly good shock absorber. If your shocks are too short to prevent topping out on a regular basis, you really need longer shocks. Installing some form of external travel limiting device (like a limiting strap) will protect the shorter shocks from damage, but if the downward travel is too limited, it could easily have a negative affect on the handling of the vehicle.
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Zero419
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am 99% on Bilsteins HD.
Thanks for your comments.

I don't think I would have the time to correctly dial in the Koni's anyway.
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Zero419
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK 100%
I just placed an order with Shox.com
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hero419 wrote:
OK 100%
I just placed an order with Shox.com

I am using Bilstiens and am very happy with them.
But if you find the front end too mushy (I did) once you've had the chance to drive it a bit, look into the Addco sway bar.. I am not sure how it will work on the added lift of GW springs, though,
On my more modest lift it has worked out great.. argubaly one of the best handling improvement mods I've made.. Especially in terms of bang for buck.

Anyone use the bigger swaybars in tandem with the H&R/GW springs?
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-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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JeffRobenolt
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Blistien's topped out and were WAY too soft with big brakes.

I went with monroe coil overs for a 76-80 Ford Bronco up front and some Chevy Astro van rear shocks for the rear.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jrobewesty wrote:
My Blistien's topped out and were WAY too soft with big brakes.

I went with monroe coil overs for a 76-80 Ford Bronco up front and some Chevy Astro van rear shocks for the rear.

Details please!

What springs are you using? Do you have part numbers for the shocks?

Do you have to do or make anything to make them fit?

PICTURES?

Don't be a tease!
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
jrobewesty wrote:
My Blistien's topped out and were WAY too soft with big brakes.

I went with monroe coil overs for a 76-80 Ford Bronco up front and some Chevy Astro van rear shocks for the rear.

Details please!

What springs are you using? Do you have part numbers for the shocks?

Do you have to do or make anything to make them fit?

PICTURES?

Don't be a tease!


http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=351169&start=60
last page.. post by "snoop"

also here:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=361395&highlight=shocks
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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JeffRobenolt
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the post on the rear.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=346855&highlight=
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is from a different post,



I looked on rockauto website under Syncro shocks and it showed that they were the same as Astro vans. So I looked under the Astro vans an there were a lot more options. I went with the middle of road Monroe's, they were the longest.

Went I got them they were a little wide to slide in the shock mounts. I'm not sure if the mounts are smaller from me tightening in the last shocks I had. They seemed smaller so when I tightened them it sandwiched the mount til it hit the shock.

I took a angle grinder to the metal sleeve that goes through the rubber bushing on the shock and made it a little narrower.

Like I said this might be because of the last shocks I had on.

Jeff
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snoop
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

j_dirge wrote:

Anyone use the bigger swaybars in tandem with the H&R/GW springs?

Yep.
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