Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Syncro - to lift or not to lift, that is the question.
Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next
Forum Index -> Vanagon Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
DeadSetMonkey Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: April 15, 2010
Posts: 510
Location: Denver, CO
DeadSetMonkey is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:38 am    Post subject: Syncro - to lift or not to lift, that is the question. Reply with quote

So.

I've got all the bits needed to lift my Westy (1990, Syncro, stock 2.1L engine, ~60k miles), I think: Burley UCAs, OME shocks, 2in GoWesty springs, 15in Rhein rims, new brake lines, new shock bolts, and full set of T3 bushings. Very Happy

There is nothing particularly bad about my current suspension, but...

My reasons for the lift:
1. I'm thinking the result will improve on and off road handling and safety.
2. Expecting a better ride up snowy mountain passes (i.e. snow storm on Vail pass, heading to/from skiing, etc). More confidence and clearance.
3. Hoping ride comfort will be better, or at least no worse.
4. Thinking then van will look nicer with more aggressive stance/look.
5. Chicks will dig it too, right? Dancing

I don't do any aggressive off-roading, but do live in colorado where lots of scenic beauty and trailheads are at the end of a 'rough' or 'high clearance suggested' road.

Before I pull the triggering get buried in this project I figured I'd see what the collected wisdom of Samba has to say about this sort of project. It is not too late for me too do an about face, or reconsider the ingredients to the job, etc. The kind and helpful folks at T3, Burley, GoWesty, etc would probably return/refund/exchange if I so desired. They've been a great help so far!

1. Anyone out there with regrets about lifting their Westy?
2. How big a tire can I pan to use? Was thinking 215/75/15 BFGS A/T KO.
3. What else should I bite off as this is underway? Anything to replace/upgrade 'along the way?' Ball joins? Tie rod ends? Other? Any nice services to do... Regresses this or that? Repack this or that? Rebuild this or that?
4. Am I missing something important?
5. Comments? Advice? Suggestions?

Many thanks.
D[/img]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
insyncro
Banned


Joined: March 07, 2002
Posts: 15087
Location: New York
insyncro is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raising the center of gravity on a Syncro Westy, the heaviest of the Vanagons most certainly has gives and takes.
The fact that you are asking speaks of apprehension and need.
I have lifted quite a few Syncros in my day and truely feel one of the best rides is stock with all new bushings and/or upgraded bushings from T3TECHNIQUE if you are looking for a bit more firmness than rubber.

What I find curious about lifting, is that no one addresses the track of the van when lifting.
I widen the rear for more stability at speed.
Yes the sliding door hinge needs addressing to clear the wider rear track.

Stock powered vans can run a 215/75/15 and still be usable, but downshifting will present itself as a common need.

Personally, my snow setup is stock height, no sway bar and studded Nokians on my winter time Syncro.

I prefer specific things from the suspension of my vans and certain aftermarket parts do not give me the feel I like.
Nope, I'm not listing all of them and starting a pissing match over fabricated parts.
Suspension preferences are subjective and I have purchased and tested all available parts to date.
Alignment is one of my major concerns and after dealing with quite a few vans that would not align, nor hold an alignment, my feelings about lifting changed quickly.

With some new advances with conversions, we will start to see a trend towards more on pavement style Syncros that will be at or 1" above stock height.
There are many reasons to stay around +/- 1", but all the hype around building monster Syncros seems to overpower that.

If you are looking to impress the Ladies, I have found a Porsche does a much better job, unless you are looking to score a mountain goat Laughing
(no offense intended to all the mountain goats out there)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
j_dirge
Samba Member


Joined: August 08, 2007
Posts: 4607
Location: El Cerrito, CA
j_dirge is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lifting with firm/taller springs and running bigger tires can hurt mpgs by as much as 10+%. Much of this is due to added windage.. and some it is due to stop to start driving on bigger tires needing more oomph to over come the inertia.
(keep in mind that taller tires is also more lift).

OP mentions safety. Nothing safer about a vehicle lifted over OEM suspension.

Keep in mind, too, that suspension lft only provides more clearance when the van is itting still. Once off road, the suspension still travels thru the entire range, just like it did with OEM springs. You can, and will, still bottom out. Maybe less often.. but all it tsakes to hit on the same rock.. is to bounce onto it a little harder.
If you are looiking to prtoect the underside.. Money is better spent on quality skid plates, IMHO.

A stock height syncro has pretty good ground clearance in factory trim.
Better than most new SUVs on the market.
_________________
-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..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
SCM
Samba Member


Joined: January 26, 2011
Posts: 2325
Location: Bozeman MT
SCM is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:39 am    Post subject: Re: Syncro - to lift or not to lift, that is the question. Reply with quote

I'm no suspension expert so will defer to others on this but IMO lifting your van will do nothing to improve it's on-road handling especially in snow. When is having a higher center of gravity ever beneficial on the road? I often see vehicles in ditches on the way to the ski hills here. Low-slung cars get a tug from a passing helper or tow truck and are on their way. SUVs are often flopped over on their sides - something to consider.

You say you want good trail head access but do no "no agrressive off-road". I think you need to decide how well your Syncro handles the places you want to go already. I bet it's fine unless you're driving up 1 or 2 foot tall ledges to get there. I also live in the land of ample backcountry access and find the stock height of my 2wd Westy to be fine for anything other than honest-to-goodness, signed 4WD Only trails.

That said, you already have the parts and at least some chicks will certainly dig it.
_________________
'91 Westfalia GL Automatic w/Peloquin
2.3L GoWesty Engine
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
insyncro
Banned


Joined: March 07, 2002
Posts: 15087
Location: New York
insyncro is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A word of caution about your 90 and its late cast lower control arms.
The lower front shock bolt threads into the arm and has a pinch nut to hold it in place.
I do not recommend removing the bolts with an impact.
Make sure that the bolt is actually un threading and not destroying the threads in the arm.
The arms and pinch nut are NLA and hard to come by if destroyed.

If you do elect to lift, Lemforder upper ball joints are the only ones that will safely allow full articulation and be able to handle it.
Finding them may or may not be hard...it all depends upon availability.
From the dealer they were $86 each....not the $20 cheesy POS ones available all over the place.

Hope this helps.

If we see a classifieds ads for all the parts we will now which direction you chose.
You wont be the first, nor the last to sell parts before installation.

Happy Holidays.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Jon_slider
Samba Member


Joined: April 11, 2007
Posts: 5091
Location: Santa Cruz, Crowdifornia
Jon_slider is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds all good including the tire size

the only things you did not add to your very complete list, that I can think of, is a

1. Big Brake upgrade. And a

2. Rear mounted tire carrier. The 215x75x15 will not fit in the stock clamshell.

No, a taller van does not handle better.

What is your current ride height?(wheel center to fender lip) I believe the GW springs will actually add 1.5" to your ride height, and ground clearance.

What is your current ground clearance? The 215 tires will add 1.25" of ground clearance.

Your Waterboxer will struggle with the 215 tires, you will be heading towards a motor upgrade.

If Handling is your priority, replace your shocks, and any worn ball joints and bushings.

I dont think you really need big tires, and I definitely dont think you need lift springs.

And NO chicks wont dig it, guys do.

ps, when you lift the van, you may find your CV's need replacing, if they are old and not well maintained.

very $lippery $lope, lifting a Van.
_________________
My Soapboxes: Inflation; Handling; Gearing; Decoupling; Swepco


Last edited by Jon_slider on Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
k.t.
Samba Member


Joined: August 16, 2012
Posts: 102
Location: kitsap peninsula, washington state
k.t. is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

baaa-aa-aaaaa Cool
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Phishman068
Samba Member


Joined: February 19, 2007
Posts: 1601
Location: Pittsburgh PA (ish)
Phishman068 is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I vote build a monster truck.
Anything less than 30'' tires and a 2.5'' lift is just inadequate.

: )
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Classifieds Feedback
insyncro
Banned


Joined: March 07, 2002
Posts: 15087
Location: New York
insyncro is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon_slider wrote:
very $lippery $lope, lifting a Van.


I am in 100% agreement with this statement and Jon knows from first hand experience.

To lift properly, you are looking at thousands of dollars in parts in addition to what you may have been sold as needed.

I will freely share my experience on the subject and my opinions on the OPs list of parts via pmail.
No need to have this thread locked up Laughing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
euromog
Samba Member


Joined: September 19, 2008
Posts: 267

euromog is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you add longer shocks and have at least a 21" ride height the
Burley UCA's are a waist of money. With today's options OME shocks are in the lower end of best ride catagory. Unless you are willing to do a 930 CV axle conversion stay under a 19.5" ride height. If you are not willing to pay to have the drivetrain regeared keep the tire height under 27". Otherwise it will be a slug on grades and not much fun to drive. Those Go Westy springs are going to cause all kinds of problems. I know because I get phone calls all the time after people install them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
GWTWTLW
Samba Member


Joined: April 22, 2008
Posts: 2155
Location: Portland, OR
GWTWTLW is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

euromog wrote:
Those Go Westy springs are going to cause all kinds of problems. I know because I get phone calls all the time after people install them.

What kind of problems? I'm looking at installing some. Thx!
_________________
89 Syncro Westy - GW 2.5, now with a double knob job
@gwtwtlw
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Instagram Gallery Classifieds Feedback
photogdave
Samba Member


Joined: April 05, 2004
Posts: 2791
Location: Vancouver Island, B.C.
photogdave is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GWTWTLW wrote:
euromog wrote:
Those Go Westy springs are going to cause all kinds of problems. I know because I get phone calls all the time after people install them.

What kind of problems? I'm looking at installing some. Thx!


Yeah, I'd like to know what kind of problems I'm having. They're not evident in the great ride and solid handling on and off road.
_________________
89 Syncro GL Westfalia 2.1 WBX/WBXaustSS

My Westy Movies:
photogdave On Vimeo
photogdave On YouTube

Stop dead photo links! Post your photos to The Samba Gallery!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
tarandusVDub
Samba Member


Joined: August 27, 2010
Posts: 1523
Location: Between Here and There
tarandusVDub is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been looking for exactly this kind of feedback from folks that have installed their 1.5" progressive springs.

Now that they have been out for awhile, how do they work? What kind of problems?

On a westy or tintop?
_________________
1984 Westy, base model, 2WD. Plus some goodies.
________________________
Sold: 1972 Bay Campmobile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
240Gordy
Samba Member


Joined: May 15, 2008
Posts: 2341
Location: Vancouver, BC
240Gordy is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

None of the reasons you list are addressed by lifting the van.
_________________
Tencentlife said,
"So, now that you know what you're doing, go to town."
2010 GOLF TRENDLINE 2.5
1985 GL now with more! a 2.1L
H&R SPORT(RED) Springs FRONT , SLAM SPECIALTIES RE6 AIRBAGS REAR
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
insyncro
Banned


Joined: March 07, 2002
Posts: 15087
Location: New York
insyncro is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is going to get really good Laughing

In case anyone doesn't already know...there is a search function that will answer these and many other questions.....you will find tons of opinions too.

Again, suspension and feel are subjective, if you dont know what you prefer...I'd find some vans nearby with parts you are considering buying and test drive them....if the owners feel like sharing.
You may be surprised at what you find about some available "upgrade" parts.

I have had all of the mentioned parts, mounted and driven each.
Some are good, some OK, some, well, marketed a bit too much for my taste and do not deliver exactly what is described unless you are "going BIG" and have a budget to match.
Be wary of any vendor knocking other vendors products Exclamation
Do that search, you will see what I mean Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
euromog
Samba Member


Joined: September 19, 2008
Posts: 267

euromog is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They cause the ride height to be too tall which causes problems with the stock CV joints. I am not the only one who has this opinion. There are quite a few seasoned Syncronauts/specialists who don't bother to post on Samba. Samba posters tend to have a follow the herd mentality of what is cool even though something does not work correctly or is not needed. There are many Johnny come lately springs from various vendors that want a piece of the action. No set up is perfect for all situations and you have to do your home work for what will work best for what YOU have. Even though the early springs that were available had longevity problems A LOT of testing and thought went into making sure they did not cause too much lift that would lead to other problems. They suffered from poor manufacturing that with time is being over come.

The biggest issue is that every Syncro weighs a different amount. That is why I never sold a one size fits all spring set. It is more difficult this way but the only way to get the best ride and performance for Syncro's that are out of the norm for weight.


photogdave wrote:
GWTWTLW wrote:
euromog wrote:
Those Go Westy springs are going to cause all kinds of problems. I know because I get phone calls all the time after people install them.

What kind of problems? I'm looking at installing some. Thx!


Yeah, I'd like to know what kind of problems I'm having. They're not evident in the great ride and solid handling on and off road.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
DeadSetMonkey Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: April 15, 2010
Posts: 510
Location: Denver, CO
DeadSetMonkey is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

insyncro wrote:
Raising the center of gravity on a Syncro Westy, the heaviest of the Vanagons most certainly has gives and takes.
The fact that you are asking speaks of apprehension and need.
I have lifted quite a few Syncros in my day and truely feel one of the best rides is stock with all new bushings and/or upgraded bushings from T3TECHNIQUE if you are looking for a bit more firmness than rubber.

What I find curious about lifting, is that no one addresses the track of the van when lifting.
I widen the rear for more stability at speed.
Yes the sliding door hinge needs addressing to clear the wider rear track.

Stock powered vans can run a 215/75/15 and still be usable, but downshifting will present itself as a common need.

Personally, my snow setup is stock height, no sway bar and studded Nokians on my winter time Syncro.

I prefer specific things from the suspension of my vans and certain aftermarket parts do not give me the feel I like.
Nope, I'm not listing all of them and starting a pissing match over fabricated parts.
Suspension preferences are subjective and I have purchased and tested all available parts to date.
Alignment is one of my major concerns and after dealing with quite a few vans that would not align, nor hold an alignment, my feelings about lifting changed quickly.

With some new advances with conversions, we will start to see a trend towards more on pavement style Syncros that will be at or 1" above stock height.
There are many reasons to stay around +/- 1", but all the hype around building monster Syncros seems to overpower that.

If you are looking to impress the Ladies, I have found a Porsche does a much better job, unless you are looking to score a mountain goat Laughing
(no offense intended to all the mountain goats out there)


Apprehensive indeed... The $$$ and time involved make me want more insight from the experienced folks in here.
Plus, I'm fairly type-a and want my ducks in a row before I go 'all-in.'
Love your insights, thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
insyncro
Banned


Joined: March 07, 2002
Posts: 15087
Location: New York
insyncro is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DeadSetMonkey wrote:
insyncro wrote:
Raising the center of gravity on a Syncro Westy, the heaviest of the Vanagons most certainly has gives and takes.
The fact that you are asking speaks of apprehension and need.
I have lifted quite a few Syncros in my day and truely feel one of the best rides is stock with all new bushings and/or upgraded bushings from T3TECHNIQUE if you are looking for a bit more firmness than rubber.

What I find curious about lifting, is that no one addresses the track of the van when lifting.
I widen the rear for more stability at speed.
Yes the sliding door hinge needs addressing to clear the wider rear track.

Stock powered vans can run a 215/75/15 and still be usable, but downshifting will present itself as a common need.

Personally, my snow setup is stock height, no sway bar and studded Nokians on my winter time Syncro.

I prefer specific things from the suspension of my vans and certain aftermarket parts do not give me the feel I like.
Nope, I'm not listing all of them and starting a pissing match over fabricated parts.
Suspension preferences are subjective and I have purchased and tested all available parts to date.
Alignment is one of my major concerns and after dealing with quite a few vans that would not align, nor hold an alignment, my feelings about lifting changed quickly.

With some new advances with conversions, we will start to see a trend towards more on pavement style Syncros that will be at or 1" above stock height.
There are many reasons to stay around +/- 1", but all the hype around building monster Syncros seems to overpower that.

If you are looking to impress the Ladies, I have found a Porsche does a much better job, unless you are looking to score a mountain goat Laughing
(no offense intended to all the mountain goats out there)


Apprehensive indeed... The $$$ and time involved make me want more insight from the experienced folks in here.
Plus, I'm fairly type-a and want my ducks in a row before I go 'all-in.'
Love your insights, thanks.


You are very welcome.
If a telephone call would set your mind at more of an ease, I will do so over the Holiday if possible on your end.
Send me a number and good time to connect via pmail.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
DeadSetMonkey Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: April 15, 2010
Posts: 510
Location: Denver, CO
DeadSetMonkey is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

240Gordy wrote:
None of the reasons you list are addressed by lifting the van.


Indeed. maybe i go WAY ahead of myself.
What are the useful reasons for:
1. lifting a van
2. replacing the bushings
3. replacing the shocks
4. replacing the springs.

your comment makes me think i need a bit of general guidance on these notions.

i might be coming at this from the wrong, under-educated, point of view... i've no lost pride to admit i'm wading in waters over my head.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
dkoesyncro
Samba Member


Joined: December 10, 2006
Posts: 785

dkoesyncro is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=h-vwPuiILBc

Thats for you John-

Not sure what to say....
Use your rig and appriciate it, buy a beater tin-top if you want ground clearance. Syncros' owners and needs/wants are so different- The VW engineers did alot and for the most part it met and exceeded it's purpose for its time and place. They built an LT that I feel most folks wish their vehicles were.

In my opinion it follows the Jeep creed, "syncro's are built not bought"

A stock syncro can perform very well with a skilled driver-
I would replace all the worn rubber and look at a set of schwenk springs.

Dillon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next
Page 1 of 10

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2018, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB